Keto v Vegan Diets?

Gang. I was thinking recently that I was going to go Keto again. I tried it when first dxed for about 6 weeks but didn't get much relief from symptoms so packed it in. Neither does coconut oil or MCT do much for me. But I started to think that I needed to give it longer and was/am preparing to galvanise myself again for a fresh attack. However, I was just re-reading the Laurie Mischley findings again courtesy of a link from ParkBear. The dietery findings suggest that generally, meats were far less helpful in holding back the progression of PD when compared to fruit and vegetables. Whilst vegetables are a prominent feature of Ketogenic, fruit (due to the sugars) is not apart from berries really. Ketogenic also places a lot of emphasis on meats (was well as fish, nuts, cheese etc).

So I'm sure you can se where we're going with this: true Keto adherents (and I say this because many think that they're in ketosis and aren't. It's not an easy state to maintain), seem to report a lessening of symptoms yet Mischley's research suggests higher rates of progression in meat eating folk (especially beef).

What's a guy to do!?

30 Replies

  • Meat differs a lot. There is no specification in Mischley’s in between grassfed and grainfed meat.. neither any organ meat.

    You could also go keto on fish if you cannot find grassfed meat

  • Thanks Josie. Nice one.

  • I agree, clean meat is key. Also finding the right balance, since everyone is different, takes time. You can't expect immediate results when you are fixing underlying issues verses putting a band aid on a symptom. Give it another try and more time!

  • This is an interesting question and it is a complicated one. On one hand being vegan insures optimal performance of L-dopa therapy because animal protein intereferes with the absorption and conversion of L-dopa into dopamine. On the other hand red meat (animal products in general) are the only sources of cobalamin/B12 and sustained veganism, without B12 supplementation, can cause permanent neurological damage. Also, considering L-dopa raises homocysteine levels, by being on a vegan diet you lack the an appropriate B12 which is required to lower homocysteine levels. The combo of veganism and L-dopa therapy (with no B12 supplementation) provides a negative feedback loop in the form of homocysteine levels.

    Veggies such as algae/seaweed are a source of pseudocobalamin:

    Pseudovitamin B(12) is the predominant cobamide of an algal health food, spirulina tablets.

    "According to, “unlike animals, most, if not all, plants have no B12 requirement for any function, and therefore have no active mechanisms to produce or store B12."

    So B12 supplementation is required for veganism. What about the keto diet?

    The ketogenic diet is a fat centric diet with no carbs and little to no protein. The keto diet induces the body to produce ketones thus servivg as an alternative source of evergy for the brain. But what vitamins should be taken by those on the keto diet?

    Here is a link to the nutritional content of thr keto diet.

    The short list of keto supplements:

    Sugar-Free Electrolyte Powder

    MCT Oil

    Vitamin B12 “Sublingual Spray”


    A daily multivitamin

    Either vegan or keto B12 should be a staple of both.

    Is there an alternative diet to consider? Perhaps the mediterrean diet?

    "The study revealed healthy eating habits slashed the risk of the incurable brain disorder by up to 46 per cent."

    Perhaps one of the reasons why the Med diet has a preventative effect is because it is anti-inflammatory?

    "The Mediterranean diet pattern and its main components are associated with lower plasma concentrations of tumor necrosis factor receptor 60 in patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease."

    "Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) increases both in the brain and in the cerebrospinal fluid from parkinsonian patients."

  • Excellent analysis, silvestrov! Because my wife is a heart patient, and I have diagnosed PD, we are, and have been on s Mediterranean diet for several years now. We had several sessions with a registered dietician, as suggested by my wife’s cardiologist, and she suggested the Mediterranean diet, including B-12 and multi vitamins. I do believe there is an anti-inflammatory element in that diet. I would recommend that seeing a registered dietician, is a good thing, and a diet can be tailor made for whatever ailment the person may have, to help them.

  • and has your diet helped you?

  • Yes!! A great deal!! I eat very littke meat-mainly fish and some chicken!

  • As always an excellent and generous response. I've definitely got to respond to PD now with all guns blazing and pull out all the stops. One very difficult thing that increasingly annoys the hell out of me is when trying new low carb recipes etc there's usually more than one teenage voice that won't eat it. Catering for everybody in the family whilst holding down a full time job tests my patience sometimes! What's your own dietery approach currently Rich? It's not something that I've really applied myself to fully and long term. I talk a good game but am a devil for reneging on a fast or a healthy diet. It's always hard turning your back on a doughnut or dessert. But I've got to put this behind me now especially sugars which I learnt from nutritionist Georgia Ede in a recent post supress one's own anti-oxidants. I think this is a major discovery for me and hopefully a game changer in controlling these habitual urges.

  • I can really relate to how you feel about some of these dietary choices jeeves19. I admire your attitude in wanting to help yourself fight PD. It’s not easy. You are right, we have to pull out all the stops with guns blazing! I allow myself a dessert or doughnut once every 2 weeks, and I have learned that works well for me. Sometimes, because I’ve cut out so much sugar, breads, desserts etc. I don’t even crave doughnuts or cakes or pies etc. most of the time anymore. Instead, I look forward to a gourmet salad, with cherry vinaigrette dressing! You are definitely on the right track, and you will feel better, I believe, when you eat better. I agree about the teenager eating clashes with yours. My teenage grandson doesn’t like to eat most of the same things we eat, so I will make him a cheeseburger, or grilled cheese. My granddaughter’s, also teenagers, usually will eat what we eat. I don’t know how you can hold down a full time job and cater to everybody. I know it’s really difficult and try’s your patience, so I would suggest that, perhaps, some of the teenagers learn to make some food for themselves, and take a little pressure off you. Living with PD and working is really hard, and they should be a little understanding. You must eat the right food that helps you maintain a healthy diet. PD is an unforgiving disease, but I can tell you,when I stick to my Mediterranean diet, no gluttony allowed, I feel 100% better. It also helps with digestion. I have trouble with constipation-another PD symptom. Good luck with sticking to your diet! Once you find out that it makes a big difference in how you feel, and you get into a routine, I believe you will be pleased. One other thing that has really helped me, is that the dietician and my doctor said that I needed to log all my calories, and put myself on a strict calorie diet. I’ve maintained that for five years now! Every day I put down all my calories, under the app. “ Lose It “. This is for my own personal use. I don’t share it with anybody else. I’ve been able to stick to it very well-especially after the first six months. That way, by recording everything you eat each day, you’ll know exactly where you’ve gone wrong and what you need to work on. Best wishes to you jeeves19, and keep us informed, when you can, on how you are doing! Keep up the fight! We may have PD, but it’s not going to have us!

  • Thanks a lot DD. I think diet is the key but the truth is that few of us are willing to properly divorce ourselves from the standard western diet which as you know is carb and sugar rich. I can't tell you how many times I've been a silly juice fast or a water fast or a bit of keto here and there but never really committed to a long staying lifestyle that might lead somewhere. When certain times of year come around I always find myself making an excuse and telling myself 'I'll start after Xmas' or 'lets get winter over with and then I'm going to eat salads'. I've certainly been more the hare and I think it's time to become the tortoise! Wish me luck and thanks again for a very kind and generous post in response. Regards.

  • I have been just like you Jeeves 19. It’s hard to change, but when my PD started progressing, I knew I had to do something. Also, my wife was getting sicker, with heart failure. For her sake, we had to make a big change, and it certainly has helped us! Good luck to you! I know you can find the right formula that will work for you. Give yourself a little time, to gradually make changes, that way it will be less frustrating!

  • I am finding that a suitable diet does not leave me vulnerable to craving other goodies. In my case that involves nuts, berries, and salmon. ;-)

    Given the finding that Alpha synuclein is pro-inflammatory, an anti-inflammatory diet would seem to be in order.


    Hi, have you seen this article?

  • A superb article. Thanks a lot. In many ways I’ve been very aware of this practice but if I’m being honest find it so hard to carry out and maintain. But I’d better sort myself out soon I’m thinking and address my spineless and gluttonous tendencies or ill be in trouble. When dxed I thought some smoothies and fast paced cycling would keep things in check but it’s a very unforgiving disease is PD.

  • At the bottom of the article linked below you will find numerous studies related to ketogenic diets and neurological disorders. I have researched diet extensively and tried a ketogenic diet myself. I believe the short answer is researchers and doctors are divided on the topic of whether a ketogenic diet is healthy. What is not controversial is that avoiding processed foods, sugar, simple carbs, and dairy are all part of a healthy lifestyle that has proven effective in delaying onset of neurological symptoms in a myriad of illnesses. In short, there is no magic diet that is best for PD, but there are a bunch of foods to avoid.

  • Good call😊

  • Did you have any success with your Keto attempt and what’s Ataxia?!

  • I found keto incredibly effective at aiding in weight loss. Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 1 is a neurological disorder caused by DNA that has too many repeats in a particular allele. It is similar to PD in many ways especially in the early symptoms.

  • My integrative GP recommended a high veggie diet (preferably leafy greens) along with red meat and fish. No sugar, dairy, egg or gluten. Very hard to stick to religiously but possible to move towards it. I have added cooked and cooled potatoes and rice for resistant starch and because I was bloody hungry. Also dark chocolate as I need a treat. She didn't mention coffee so I didn't ask!

    Have slipped a fair bit over Xmas though!

  • Dark chocolate is part of neurologist Dr Perlmutter's ketogenic diet. Must be at least 70% cocoa, though.

  • Whats the problem with good ol eggs?

  • Hi jeeves19.

    I tried a keto nutritional diet a few years ego. I read a book about special ketogenic diet for MS and potentially other neurological disorders like PD and got inspired.

    The diet consisted of a lot of coconut milk and oil and three progressing stages and last stage was in real ketosis. I checked it every morning with keto sticks to confirm I was there.

    Tried for at least 6 months including at least two-three in ketosis.

    Got progressively worse and finally stopped. I should admit that at this stage I was 6 years into PD and should have started Madopar but tried to postpone it as much as I could.

    We are all different and perhaps there are people who got better with it.

    Currently I am on another food plan with plenty of vegies and a bit of fruit but fully abstaining from sugar and flour. Feel great. At times even forget to take Madopar so well I feel which was previously unheard of.

    I take 300mg a day.

    As I mentioned it could get positive results for some people but somehow plenty of coconut and little of vegies didn't work for me. Just my personal experience.

  • That's very interesting, especially as you gave it your best for 6 months. But disappointing too and I'm sure that you felt the same. I'm not sure which way I'm going to goo yet but I know that I'll be building in some intermittent fasting. One of the good things about keto I hear is that it makes stepping into the fasting zone much easier as you've defeated the urge for sugar already. Thanks for the info. You're not the first person that I've come across who had bad luck with the keto though. I know it did little for me and I think RoyProp had no success either. Keep well though.

  • Hi jeeves19.

    I actually tried a lot of things (except supplements which I don't believe in) but think that rigorous daily exercise and eating less and no sugar no flour helps the most.

    Below is the link to an article related to ketogenic diet.

    I have breakfast at eight am and dinner at 5 pm so the intermittent fasting in some form is involved in my food plan. I eat carbs in the morning only,

    I attached the link to the interesting lecture about PD and the benefit of being hungry which awaked some garbage disposal centres in the neuron cells pressing them to start disposing of the used proteins again.

    And a drug for diabetes that imitating this effect.

    Regards and good luck with your endeavors, While experimenting we feel more in control of our destiny and this factor heals by itself.


  • Thanks Rai😊

  • My husband died in 2016 after a reoccurrence of prostate cancer and a long affliction from "Parkinson's symptoms" minus tremors. He lost weight from the swallowing issues related to muscle weakness and fatigue hindered rigorous exercise aw well. My efforts to "detoxify" and adjust his diet seemed too liile, too late. From all the research, the Mediterranean diet seemed most sensible when combined with vitamin supplementation. Since you seem to be younger and more fit than my husband, I commend your tenacity in renewing your dietary focus. Try to put yourself in a healthy weight range and do not let yourself lose too much weight. My husband should gave taken liquid supplements much earlier. Also try to maintain a rigorous exercise with muscle movement daily. All muscles are involved in Parkinson's, vocal included. I switched us,to all organic products, food, houehold, soaps, etc. No toxic yard products either. My husband consumed foods that he never knew about, like avocados in the smoothies. He did not like certain foods that helped his diet so I "camoflauged" a bit. He was retired and we had no children in the home so it was easier to maintain the regimen but you can put yourself first in this,situation and know,that you are helping everyone move toward better health. I do believe the research that links cancer to sugar but for my husband, again, it was really a bit late. You gave a lot more to gain by following a very healthy diet. In my opinion, the gut bacteria balance research may be key to neurological health. My husband did not die from Parkinson's but it substantially impaired the quality of his life, especially given the meds he took that were supposed to help.

  • Apologies for all the typos!

  • No apology needed Redread. A very generous response and I can sense that this one came from not only past experience but also from the heart. It's such a minefield and I think that one has to enter the difficult area of maintaining a difficult lifestyle without knowing if its actually doing much for you. If you read a post several above you'll see our friend did Keto for 6 months but gained little. Others appear to have reduction in symptoms. Bizarre eh? I exercise a lot, take the Mannitol, about a million supplements and sit under a daft looking led light hat twice a day. Maybe diet might add to a critical mass that budges the wretched progression? Thanks for you time and insights.

  • Hi Jeeves.

    Good luck with the keto. after months of thinking and reading I have started taking Mannitol- i feel better already but that is probably reaction to actualy making a decision. I am going for the mediteraen diet and looking at improving my gut health too as i think it a major factor in PD. There are so many factors to look at here that it can be overwhelming it dosen't help that we all different and react differently. I do believe our overprocessed diet and way of life is not helpful with sugar everywhere and E numbers and false foods. This is what appeals about the med diet.

    Good luck and have faith in your path

  • Good luck to you too. I wish you well in your search for health🤞

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