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We’ve been gone for several weeks as Jimmy and Will have dealt with the busyness that comes with summer, but we’re back for a couple of months before Jimmy heads off for his much deserved six-month sabbatical (more on this coming up). In this episode of Keto Talk, Jimmy and Dr. Will Cole answer your questions about Therapeutic vs. Fat Loss Ketosis, Impact Of Dietary Fat On Reflux, Trigeminal & Occipital Neuralgia Migraines, Ankle Swelling, and more!

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“Sometimes even in the context of the Keto Diet, you need to address other problems like binge eating.”

— Dr. Will Cole

 Where have Jimmy and Will been the past two months?

  • Jimmy’s experience and insights slowing down heading into his 6-month sabbatical
  • Will’s successful new podcast goopfellas and the new opportunities that have come his way


  • Why do I still want to binge eat even eating low-carb, ketogenic foods?
  • What’s the deal with dietary fat intake when you first start keto vs. when you become fat-adapted? 
  • Why does my menopause keep making me want to go back to eating carbs again?
  • What impact do essential oils have on blood ketone levels? Mine go way up when I use them!
  • Are the at-home A1c testing kits (like A1c Now) accurate or should it be tested at your doctor’s office?
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“I’ve noticed that just the act of slowing down has caused me to think about things I haven’t had time to think about and it’s spilling out.”

— Jimmy Moore


Your Questions:

– Is it possible to be in a therapeutic level of ketosis that isn’t ideal for producing adequate fat loss?

Hey guys,

I have been doing keto religiously for the last six weeks and I already love it! I lost eight pounds pretty quickly and then it slowed down dramatically ever since. I started testing my blood ketones and had a 2.5 reading in the morning. When I calculated my glucose/ketone index, it was 1.67 and I’m concerned that I have reached a therapeutic level of ketosis that’s not conducive necessarily for weight loss. How do I get the fat-burning benefits of ketosis to kick in so I can get off this plateau? I am in a caloric deficit right now eating 1300 calories with my macros being 12g total carbs, 130g fat, and 82g protein.  I try to reach a gallon of water a day, I sleep 7-8 hours a night, and my stress levels are good. I also workout 5-6 days a week, do 3 days of heavy lifting a week, and two days of HIIT training. Overall, I feel great in terms of my energy and strength. What do you think is going on with me?

I really appreciate any and all help you can provide,


– Is the high-fat aspect of keto making the symptoms of LPR worse? What can someone with this do?

Hi Jimmy and Will, 

Ever since going keto I’ve developed a case of laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR)—no real heartburn, just throat burning, trouble breathing, coughing, ear ache, stuffy nose, etc. I’m convinced all these symptoms are a result of the high-fat intake on my ketogenic diet. A number of people online have been reporting similar symptoms after starting on nutritional ketosis and seeing it resolve after going off of it. I’ve even seen my dad who had this same condition and doesn’t eat keto have problems, too, because of the fat he eats in his diet. So what do I do? I’ve tried using digestive enzymes, eating smaller meals, reducing my fat as much as possible while still trying to maintain ketosis, but nothing seems to work. I’ve been tested for H. Pylori twice, but both times it came back negative. I’m using keto specifically for my mental health, so I really don’t want to give it up since I’m getting those benefits. I’m at a loss about what to do. Can you help?

Many thanks, 


– Will a ketogenic diet give me relief from my constant migraines due to trigeminal/occipital neuralgia?

Hi Jimmy and Dr. Cole,

I recently discovered the Keto Talk podcast in January and I’m really loving it so far. I have been experimenting with a keto diet for managing trigeminal/occipital neuralgia that gives me nearly constant migraines all the time. I had nerve decompression surgery last year and while it has helped, it’s still not as much as we’d hoped it would be. I’m hearing a lot of people in the migraine community say they have eliminated their migraines completely with keto nutrition. My doctor are completely skeptical about that and they keep saying I’ll see little to no effect from changing my diet. The ironic part is the daily medicines that I am taking to manage this—Lyrica, Vimpat, Metroprolol and the emergency pain medicines Trammadol, OxyContin, and a clonidine tablet for high blood pressure negatively impacts my metabolism enough that it makes someone like me trying to get into ketosis that much harder. What do you think about this and how I should proceed?

Thank you for all you do, I appreciate your show and I have learned so much listening. I’m working my way through older podcasts as well as the current ones.


– What do I need to tweak in my ketogenic diet to keep my ankles from swelling up in warmer weather?

Hi Jimmy and Will,

I’ve been keto for 10 months with blood ketones ranging from 0.4-2.1 and my A1c is very healthy at 5.0.  I’ve learned so much from your show and was hoping you could offer advice on how a ketogenic diet and/or certain supplements could help me control swelling in my ankles that tends to happen when the weather warms up.  I’m 53 years old and have lost about 30 pounds since starting keto. Three different doctors have all told me that need to be wearing compression socks or taking water pills to help with this. I was really hoping that keto would help with this problem,  but with the warmer weather my left ankle is swelling up.  I walk 3 miles a day for exercise but also sit a lot for my work.  The swelling generally goes away overnight, but returns the next time I have to sit a lot for work or when I travel.  I drink plenty of water and supplement with 400-600mg of  magnesium oxide and pink Himalayan sea salt everyday.  Is there anything else I can do to help control this swelling?

Thank you so much for any advice you can offer!



– How can eating a ketogenic diet help me with the loud tinnitus I’m experiencing from Meniere’s disease?

Hi Jimmy and Dr Cole,

I love you two SO SO much! I never miss an episode. Dr Cole worked with my mother and completely changed her life! My question for you guys is about Meniere’s disease and keto. I was recently diagnosed with this and I have had tinnitus ever since I can remember. Two and a half months ago, the ringing suddenly got really loud nearly overpowering all the other noises surrounding me. Needless to say, my sleep quality dropped and after seeing an ENT, Chiropractor, Audiologist, an Acupuncturist, and even an Atlas Orthogonal, I am spiraling out of control, exhausted, and not knowing where to turn. My general practitioner told me I had to change my diet from keto to eating more FRUITS, VEGETABLES, and WHOLE GRAINS. He also said I had to lower my salt significantly. Honestly I would do anything at this point to make it go away, but I can’t with good conscious and two other autoimmune diseases (Interstitial Cystitis and Reynauds) switch to a high-carb, low salt diet. I tried to explain to my doctor that on keto that it was necessary for electrolytes. What do you guys think about this? 

Thank you for your help,


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In Episode 147 of Keto Talk, Jimmy and Dr. Will Cole do a deep dive on the subject of offal and why it is so important to eat 'nose to tail'.

“Especially for people following the carnivore protocol, this is great because offal is one of nature's multi vitamins.” – Dr. Will Cole

“When you think back to our hunter gatherer ancestors when they got an animal they didn't let any part of it go to waste.” – Jimmy Moore

Offal and organ meats are most popular when used from beef, pork, lamb, or poultry. The different kinds of organ meats that you can eat include:

  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Liver
  • Kidney
  • Tongue
  • Gizzard
  • Sweetbread

History Of Organ Meats

Each culture has their own opinion of organ meat and each views it slightly different than the next. In some cultures, organs are consumed daily while in others certain organs are illegal to eat. One thing that stands true for all cultures is that organ consumption has changed over the years.Centuries ago, not only were organ meats just eaten, they were praised and loved. When food was hunted and gathered there was a lot of effort put into supplying it for families and tribes. Hunters didn’t just walk to the local supermarket to buy meat, they had to fight for it. And when you’re putting that much effort into hunting food for your family, you use every ounce of it that you can. Not only was it eaten just so it wouldn’t go to waste, the organ meat was reserved for the respected society members. Whether it was the political kings and leaders, the hunters, or the elders; the organ meats were regarded as the best and saved for the best.

Over the years it has changed to be eaten by all, not just the well respected, in almost all countries. In some countries, organ meats are served as common street food and others as appetizers and entrees in expensive restaurants. No matter how common throughout the world though, eating organ meat isn’t a widely loved meat here in the United States, yet.

Why People Avoid It

I will admit that the taste can take some getting used to, but they provide far too many benefits to avoid it. Another reason that organ meats invoke negative perceptions is the thought of toxins. The misconception in our society is that the animals’ toxins are stored in their organs; and when eaten, the toxins now move into our bodies. This would make sense, however the toxins are not actually stored in an animal’s organs. The organs, the liver in particular, are where the toxins move to get filtered out. Once there, the liver doesn’t store it, but rather decide where it should be moved to. Most times, the liver moves any toxins to the kidneys where it is then expelled through urine. The toxins are removed from the animal’s organs and bodies before it has the chance to enter our bodies.


The benefits of eating organ meat reach far and wide. Each one acts as a superfood that provides many more nutrients to our bodies than the animal muscle meat that we normally eat.

1. CoQ10

One of the main nutrients that organ meats offer is the Coenzyme Q10, otherwise known as CoQ10. This coenzyme is found in the largest amounts in animal hearts. Like all coenzymes, our bodies naturally produce this nutrient, but only in small amounts and not enough that we need. That’s where organ meat comes in.

CoQ10 is also designed to help other enzymes digest and break down food. When it comes to energy, it isn’t always the same and instead comes in many different forms. The form that our cells use is called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. But when our energy comes in the form of fat or carbohydrates that we eat, how does our body make that change to supply energy to our cells? CoQ10 is crucial for the body to begin and sustain the ATP synthesis process to continually supply our cells with energy each day.

Our brain and cardiovascular systems are also impacted by this coenzyme due to its antioxidant features and its effect on oxidative stress. Although further research is needed, it is recommended to people with or at risk for cardiovascular disease to up their CoQ10 intake along with regular medications. Eating foods high in CoQ10 helps fight the backlash that come with these prescribed medications and keep blood flowing.

When it comes to our brain, it has been shown that those with cognitive disorders have lower levels of CoQ10 that contribute to the issue. As potential agents are looked for to combat the cognitive decline we see on a daily basis, research suggests that CoQ10 has potential to be used medically to fight the decline.

2. Vitamin A

Organ meats also offer one of the largest amounts of the antioxidant Vitamin A. When taken in supplement form Vitamin A in mass amounts can result in toxicity; but, Vitamin A present in food does not lead to any toxic results even in large amounts. When the body breaks down nutrients from food sources it can access how much our individual bodies need and expel any extra, avoiding any issues.

There are two types of Vitamin A: retinol, or active Vitamin A, and beta-carotene. Active Vitamin A is present in organ meats and other animal meat in smaller quantities. This type can be broken down and used by the body right away, making it a perfect source to get this nutrient from. Beta-carotene, found in many vegetables, cannot be used by the body unless broken down and changed. Even though vegetables are great for you, they are an inefficient source of Vitamin A because of the work and stress it has on our bodies just to use it.

Vitamin A can also do a lot of good when it comes to the immune system. In a recent study of children under 5 in Colombia, they came to the conclusion that increasing the childrens’ Vitamin A intake was the most effective way to protect against disease. Not only was it the most effective, it was also the least expensive way to protect the immune system in the children to ensure health. When Vitamin A is present, the mucosal barriers that become damaged by infection can regenerate and repair themselves to provide immune protection. If your body is lacking this immune-boosting vitamin, then regeneration does not occur and infections become more prevalent and can spread faster.

One of the most noticeable benefits of Vitamin A is the glowing and clear skin it can lead to. Its support of cell regeneration keeps wrinkles away while the anti-inflammatory properties protect against acne and skin irritations.

3. B Vitamins

Organ meats also supply us with important B Vitamins. All of the B Vitamins that are present in organ meats offer some kind of help to our cardiovascular systems. These vitamins can maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, blood pressure, blood triglycerides, and homocysteine. When all of these are at healthy levels, the risk of developing a heart or cardiovascular issue is greatly diminished.

Vitamin B7, also referred to as biotin, is known for its ability to enhance beauty through the positive effects it has on hair, skin, and nails. One thing needed for radiant skin is fatty acid synthesis, and, of course, biotin aids this process and can therefore fight the effects of aging and prevent wrinkles.

Biotin deficiency and thyroid problems can both lead to thinning hair and hair loss. This can be reversed and restored through incorporating more biotin into your diet. The same is true for restoring weak and thinning nails back to full health. For this reason many beauty products and beauty enhancing supplements can be found with biotin. However, biotin is not as effective when use topically compared to when it is when ingested. 3 ounces of beef liver provides 30 mg of biotin, which is the daily recommendation for adults.

The B Vitamins in organ meats also aid in hormonal health and pregnancies. Folate, otherwise known as B9, is one of the most needed vitamins for mothers and babies for a healthy pregnancy. Folate supplements are often recommended by doctors, but I truly believe that when available, food medicines are the best way to get your daily dose of vitamins. Vitamin B6 can also decrease the risk of erectile dysfunction, reduce nausea related to pregnancy, and calm menstrual cycle cramps.

Vitamin A for immune system calming.

Vitamin A is essential for a strong immune system, and vitamin A deficiency has been linked to autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes. Researchers suspect the reason has to do with our dendritic cells, which send out a “red alert” at the sign of a supposed invader, to stimulate immunity, or a “calm down” message that tones down excessive and damaging immune reactivity. The “calm down” message makes use of vitamin A!

Vitamin K2 for brain and spinal cord healing.

One study in the Journal of Neuroimmunology found that vitamin K2 was effective at inhibiting the pro-inflammatory iNOS in the spinal cord and the brain immune system in rats that had multiple sclerosis symptoms. That suggests it could do the same for humans, but unfortunately, K2 is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the western diet. You can fix that with the right food medicines!

Iron to replenish deficits.

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is linked to many autoimmune diseases, but it isn’t clear how much of this is cause and how much is effect. One likely reason is that ferritin (stored iron) is mostly absorbed in the intestines. When absorption is compromised by inflammation and autoimmunity, iron stores can fall too low, and as you may already know, damage to the gut lining and leaky gut syndrome are considered (in functional medicine) to be preconditions for autoimmunity.

Micronutrients to quell inflammation and promote optimal function.

Micronutrient deficiencies – especially of selenium, magnesium, and zinc – are associated with several autoimmune diseases. That’s likely primarily due to chronic inflammation, which decreases the absorption of these vital nutrients. Yet, these micronutrients are required for the healthy production and conversion of the thyroid hormone, and thyroid problems such as Hashimoto’s disease are some of the most common autoimmune conditions. Supplementing with these micronutrients can help get thyroid issues back on track as you work on healing the gut and decreasing inflammation to increase micronutrient absorption.

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In Episode 146 of Keto Talk, Jimmy and Dr. Will Cole answer your questions about Healing Chronic Fatigue, Elevated Glucose Response To High-Carb Meal While Keto, APAO2 Gene, Keto & A-Fib, Daily Laxative For Opiate-Induced Constipation, and more!


  • Will's exciting new podcast The goop Fellas Podcast
  • Why is being proactive about your health by doing things outside of conventional wisdom considered strange?
  •  How do you mitigate the effects of cortisol and insulin resistance (even while eating keto) induced by taking prednisone for Crohn’s disease?
  • What role could a ketogenic nutritional health plan play in the recovery from opioid addiction?
  • What’s the difference between saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats and how much of each do you need in your keto diet?
  • Should a Type 1 diabetic who eats keto and sees a major glucose rise from a powerlifting workout be concerned about the rise in glucose?
  • How do I eat low FODMAP real food-based keto to control my IBS when my doctor tells me the fat-digesting bile is flowing back into my stomach?
“At one point when I was on Lipitor before starting the Atkins diet I got my cholesterol down to 120, but you can ask my wife, I was NOT a happy man.” – Jimmy Moore “With the rise in awareness in wellness you also have a rise in skeptics and trolls. You can be objective without cynical and name calling.” – Dr. Will Cole


– How do you heal fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue when you’re doing everything perfect in your ketogenic lifestyle?

Hi guys,

I’m a longtime listener listener and appreciate all of the information you give so generously! I’m trying to figure out how to heal from fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome which I was diagnosed with in 2014. I have eaten an LCHF diet for many years and lost around 30kg (~66 pounds). I'm 59 years old and have been a yo-yo dieter my entire life. On low-carb, I have been much more successful in stabilizing my weight and the trend has been moving slowly in the right direction with about 22 pounds left to go. It’s such a struggle. Even still, my fasting blood glucose is 5-6 mmol/L and blood ketones are 0.5-0.9 mmol/L.

I’ve been very strict in my keto diet for a while, but the aches and pain in my arms and legs from my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue persists. The good news is my brain is a lot clearer and I’m able work again. It’s so difficult to find any doctors here in Sweden willing to run the tests I need to dig a little deeper into this. What would you suggest I do to help with my health issues? Thanks for your input.

Susan from Sweden

– Why is the blood glucose response to a higher-carb meal greater since I’ve gone strict keto than it was when I was only eating low-carb?

Hey Jimmy and Will,

Can you explain more about the blood glucose rebound effect that happens after eating keto for a while and then having a higher carb meal? I’ve noticed much higher blood sugar readings when I eat carbohydrates while on a ketogenic diet than I did just eating low-carb. I suppose it’s sign that my insulin resistance has gotten worse, but I can’t imagine why since I’m on keto. Granted, it is not always perfect in my keto diet and I don't track macros anymore. But my normal readings two hours postprandial might have been 130 before but now it’s 160.

Good luck with your six-month sabbatical, Jimmy. And thank you for answering my question.


– How can I optimize my keto lifestyle with the APAO2 gene mutation that makes it difficult to process saturated fat?

Hi Jimmy and Dr. Cole,

I have been keto for a year and a half and I’ve lost 60 without taking any medications. I recently learned that I have the APAO2 gene mutation that makes it difficult for my body to process saturated fat. My doctor insists that I cut my fat intake and eat a lot of vegetables. My LDL-P is 2418 and my heart calcium score came in very high at 268. I also have high oxidized LDL. I’ve been dairy-free for a year which has helped me boost my HDL cholesterol to an all-time high of 49. I took statin medications for almost 18 years before the side effects became too much for me to bear. I’m 68 years and just want to be as optimally healthy as I can possibly be. The one bright spot is my inflammation marker hsCRP is stellar at 0.3.

Should I be eating more lean proteins and increasing my intake of avocado, olives, and nuts along with eating more leafy greens?  I am considering the Ketotarian way of eating since it seems to fit my genetic needs at this time. I just hate to give up so many of the animal-based foods I enjoy.

Thanks for your help,



– Will a ketogenic diet help patients dealing with atrial fibrillation?

Hi Jimmy and Will,

I just listened to your special episode with guest cohost Dr. Jay Wiles from a few weeks back where you discussed the bogus a-fib study. As someone who has this condition, I appreciated your input on that. But you guys didn’t say whether keto would help with this disease or not.

My experience has been that my heart palpitations get worse eating keto and that if I backed off my thyroid medication I get relief from this. I’m not sure why, but I suspect it is the hormone regulatory effects that come from a ketogenic diet. Unfortunately, when I did this my TSH shot way up to (yes, that’s not a typo—338!), and my doctor was obviously VERY concerned. I went back on the medication for fear of not knowing what impact chronically high TSH would have on the body. (I live in Canada and doctors rarely test any of the other numbers on the thyroid panel).

Can you talk more about what impact eating keto has on patients with a-fib? Thanks so much.



– Is using senna leaf as a daily laxative to deal with opiate-induced constipation causing damage to the microbiome and general gut health?

Hey guys,

I eat >keto, but have a really bad case of opiate-induced constipation which forces me to use senna leaf as a laxative on a daily basis.  I try to boost my gut health with fermented foods, probiotics, and digestive aids. But it seems I’m hopelessly addicted to taking laxatives since I can’t poop without help. This is probably a silly question, but is my microbiome suffering from this? I haven’t had a solid stool in months. So embarrassing!

Thanks for helping me with this!


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In Episode 145 of Keto Talk, Jimmy and Dr. Will Cole answer your questions about Persistent Itchiness, Bladder Pain While Eating Keto, Primary Hyperparathyroidism, Being Ravenously Hungry When Cutting Protein, Meal Timing To Increase Carbohydrate Intake, and more!


  • Will taking daily Holy Communion impact insulin levels and my ability to burn fat and ketones?
  • Is it normal to experience intense heartburn after breaking an extended fast?
  • Other than meditate or quit my job, how do I deal with the stress-induced panic attacks and weight gain despite eating keto?
  • I’ve heard keto and dry fasting can help me with my tinnitus. Is there any scientific evidence supporting this?
  • Why would my blood glucose remain elevated even after a 72-hour fast?
“You have to decide what is more important to you; the stress of a certain job or your health.” – Jimmy Moore “It doesn't have to be carnivore or vegan. Find what makes you feel the best. We lack a sense of nuance in our current culture.” – Dr. Will Cole


Jimmy and Will answer your questions:

– Why do I have a persistent itch ever since I started eating keto? What else can I try to try to deal with this?

Hey Jimmy and Will,

I have dealt with an extremely annoying itch all across my back, shoulders, and inside my arms ever since I started eating a ketogenic diet. I’ve tried eating no dairy, but the itching persists. I stopped taking as much of my vitamin C, but that didn’t solve the problem either. I highly suspect this is coming from oxalate dumping in my body as I eat lots of almond butter, almond milk, and raspberries as a keto dieter over the past seven months. I used to be vegan and added back in red meat after years of not eating it to help with my kidney health. Any suggestions about how to deal with this annoying itch?

Thanks for listening,


– Why would I experience cramping, bladder pain, and diarrhea when I eat a ketogenic diet?

Hey Jimmy and Dr. Cole,

I was eating a keto diet and loving along with my husband, but I started developing some cramping pain in my bladder and diarrhea as well as feeling an urgency and a burning sensation when I went to the bathroom. I went to see my doctor who gave me antibiotics and I saw only marginal improvement so we switched medications. This song and dance went on for about a month or so, but I decided to go off of keto to see if that would help. I slowly started feeling better from the bladder pain, but I sure miss the benefits I was getting from it. What could be causing this in my ketogenic eating plan?

Thank you for your wisdom and help.


– What impact is my Primary Hyperparathyroidism having on my elevated blood pressure and weight loss challenges while eating keto?

Hey guys,

I’m a 63-year old woman diagnosed with Primary Hyperparathyroidism one year ago. I have doing strict keto for the past six months with a few slip-ups during the holidays. I have lost 40 pounds and about 20 inches off my body with another 25 pounds of weight loss to go. The pain related to this disease has eased up since I started eating low-carb, high-fat, but blood pressure has still remained elevated requiring me to take medication. How is this disease impacting the blood pressure and my ability to shed the rest of the weight off my body?

A thankful Ketonian,


3. Why did I get ravenously hungry when I reduced my protein intake and raised my dietary fat consumption?

Hey Jimmy and Will,

I hear you guys talk about moderating protein and eating a higher percentage of fat in the diet to be keto. I’ve been eating this way for about a year and have lost a total of 95 pounds and getting stronger each day. I’ve been consuming around 130g protein daily and stalled out in my weight loss efforts at 220 pounds. I dropped my protein down to 90g and raised my fat to 285g attempting to eat this in an 8-hour feeding window (16 hours of intermittent fasting). It went well for a couple of days and helped me break my stall. But then out of nowhere I started having ravenous hunger like I haven’t experienced before being in a state of ketosis. I workout six days a week, so I’m very active. Do I need to raise my protein back up again to help produce satiety with my keto meals? Any help or advice you can give is appreciated.



– Could spacing out your meals allow for more wiggle room for a keto dieter to consume more carbohydrates than 50g in a day and stay ketogenic?

Hi guys,

I have been keto for many years and am curious about the role of timing my consumption of carbs each day. I generally try to stay at 20-30g daily and never go over 50g, but I wonder what would happen if I ate 40g carbs each in three meals spaced out enough during the day to be cleared by the next meal if I could get to 120g of clean carbohydrates and still be in ketosis. Is there any research that has looked at this? I’ve personally seen it happen in me consuming as many as 150g carbs in a daily strategically spaced out and still showing solid ketone readings. I believe this is something that should be explored that perhaps seasoned low-cabers could be ingesting more than the standard no more than 50g carbs daily.

Thanks for talking about this.


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In Episode 144 of Keto Talk, Jimmy and Dr. Will Cole dig into the subject of Functional Medicine and Dr. Cole explains to us exactly what tests every keto dieter should be running and what they mean to you.

“It's rarely one thing that is the magic bullet. Normally it's a confluence of different factors. These labs allow us to find the pieces of the puzzle.” – Dr. Will Cole

“You can take a shotgun approach with labs and do everything, or use them to really fine tune your health.” – Jimmy Moore

The specific tests we talk about in this episode and the ranges you should be looking for:

C-reactive protein

Inflammation is one primary way disease genes get turned on, and it is generally destructive all over the body. C-reactive protein is an inflammatory protein that, while it is essential for cleaning up bad bacteria, in excess it can lead to accelerated aging, chronic disease, and damage to the telomeres.

Optimal Range:

Small dense LDL particles

What you thought was “bad cholesterol” (LDL) isn’t all bad, and labelling it so is a simplistic and inaccurate view of cholesterol. LDL particles are proteins that carry cholesterol around in your body. Some of these particles are big and buoyant, while others are small and dense. It’s the small dense LDL particles that can cause damage, while the larger fluffier particles are essentially benign. Knowing your level of small dense LDL particles is much more instructive that simply knowing your total cholesterol, because it is the small dense LDLs – not the cholesterol itself – that indicate a riskfor heart attack and stroke (and thereby put you at risk for an earlier death).

Optimal Range:


This protein in excess (especially when coupled with a B vitamin deficiency) has been linked to cognitive decline, which can drastically reduce quality as well as length of life.

Optimal Range:

Hgb A1C

This test tells you what your blood sugar has been, on average, for the past two to three months. When it is high, it can indicate pre-diabetes or diabetes, and an elevated A1C has been linked with higher rates of all-cause mortality in patients with diabetes.

Optimal Range:

Vitamin D

This nutrient is responsible for hundreds of different genetic pathways in the body but because most people spend most of their day indoors and get little sun exposure, vitamin D deficiency is rampant. That’s too bad because this deficiency is linked to chronic disease, and optimal levels are linked to an actual preservation of telomeres, meaning you live longer and stay healthier! If that’s not a reason to get a little sunshine, I don’t know what is. Note that vitamin D should be paired with other fat soluble vitamins, like vitamin A and K2, for maximum absorption.

Optimal Range: 50-60 ng/mL

Fasting insulin

When your body breaks down carbohydrates, and to a lesser extent, proteins into glucose, your blood sugar goes up. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin to send your blood sugar into your cells (for energy) and bring down the level in your blood. However, if insulin gets activated too often at too high levels, this has been linked to accelerated aging and telomere shortening.

Optimal Range:

C-peptide: Optimal Range: 0.8 to 3.1 ng/mL Fasting blood sugar: Optimal Range: 75 to 90 mg/dL Triglycerides: Optimal Range:

Hormone testing: Urine and Saliva Other Nutrients: Selenium, Mg, Iron, MMA,

Microbiome labs: We look to assess gut health, where around 80 percent of our immune system resides.

Intestinal permeability lab: This blood test looks for antibodies against the proteins that govern your gut lining (occludin and zonulin), as well as bacterial toxins that can cause inflammation throughout the body, called lipopolysaccharides (LPS).

Multiple autoimmune reactivity labs: This array shows us if your immune system is creating antibodies against many different parts of the body, such as the brain, thyroid, gut, and adrenal glands. The labs are not meant to diagnose an autoimmune disease, but to look for possible evidence of abnormal autoimmune-inflammation activity.

Cross reactivity labs: Helpful for people who are gluten-sensitive and who have gone gluten-free and eat a clean diet, but still experience symptoms like digestive problems, fatigue, and neurological symptoms. In these cases, relatively healthy food proteins—such as gluten-free grains, eggs, dairy, chocolate, coffee, soy, and potatoes—may be mistaken by the immune system as gluten, triggering inflammation. To their immune system, it’s as if they have never gone gluten-free.

1. AHCY:

This enzyme is responsible for breaking down the amino methionine by converting S-adenosylhomocysteinase into pro-inflammatory homocysteine. Mood disorders are common for those with a double mutation but typically do well with SAMe supplementation.

2. BHMT:

The BHMT gene directs the enzyme responsible for the amino acid methionine, the building block in the choline oxidation process for optimal brain function. Changes in this gene are associated with ADHD.

3. CBS

No, not the television network! It actually stands for the enzyme that makes the amino acid cystathionine. A mutation of this gene will lead a person to produce more sulfur end products and as a result will need to limit sulfur-rich foods such as legumes and dairy. These foods can increase ammonia levels and contribute to existing health problems. NOS and SUOX are two other genes that can increase sulfur and are linked to immune disorders like asthma.

4. COMT:

This gene is responsible for creating a healthy balance of neurotransmitters and, in turn, a healthy brain. A double COMT gene change is associated with increased risk for anxiety, OCD, bipolar disorder, and ADHD.

5. MAO:

The main role of the MAO gene is to clear out excess neurotransmitters like serotonin. When changes to this gene occur it can create an imbalance in neurotransmitters leading to increased rates of anxiety and depression. Those with an MAO mutation, as well as the MTHFR gene mutation, can have a higher rate of histamine intolerance. Because of this even healthy foods such as fermented foods, bone broth, and vinegar can increase inflammation.


This is not an acronym for a swear word guys, get your mind out of the gutter. The biggest thing I use DNA testing for is to assess methylation, a biochemical superhighway that help your gut, brain, hormones, and detox pathways function properly. This process happens a billion times every single second so if methylation isn’t functioning well, neither are you. Since I often deal with a variety of gut, brain, and hormonal problems in my clinic it is important to see if my patients methylation is working well.

The MTHFR enzyme is responsible for converting folic acid into folate which acts as fuel to the methylation process. A1298C and C677T are the two main MTHFR mutation. When A1298C is altered it can lead to mood disorders due to its important role in neurotransmitter function. C677T changes can cause higher levels of inflammatory homocysteine. Both of these are linked to autism and autoimmune conditions like autoimmune thyroid issues.


These are necessary for B12 production, another methyl donor. Those who have this mutation need higher intake of B12 because their body uses it faster than it produces it. Oftentimes people who have this genetic change can also be low in lithium which is needed for mood regulation. We can easily check lithium levels through testing blood and hair.

8. VDR

VDR stands for vitamin D receptor. Every single cell in your body uses vitamin D. Other than your thyroid hormone, no other nutrient or hormone can claim that importance. It is responsible for over 200 different pathways in the body. Mutations in this gene make it really difficult to absorb vitamin D. It’s important to know if this is the case for you in order to supplement higher doses on a consistent basis to make sure you are getting enough of this vital nutrient.

9. Detox genes

I also look for changes in your detox genes such as CYP1A2, also known as your caffeine gene. This can show just how well you can tolerate caffeine and whether or not it can be harmful or beneficial to your health.

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In Episode 143 of Keto Talk, Jimmy and Dr. Will Cole do a deep dive on the subject of Adaptogens–plant medicines, but not just any old plant medicines– and shine some light on what this means for your health.

"I like to think of adaptogens like Captain Planet. When all the forces combined, they saved the day. Adaptogens are a whole kingdom of substances that all work together, but they all have their own strong suits as well." – Dr. Will Cole

"Most people can find benefit from these adaptogens in their life right now." – Jimmy Moore

What are Adaptogens?

Adaptogens are a broad family of herbs and plant medicines that have been used for thousands of years throughout the world. To be labeled an adaptogen, a plant medicine must fulfill at least three specific criteria:

  • They are generally safe (for just about everyone).
  • They help you handle stress.
  • They work to balance your hormones.

How adaptogens work

Stress and hormone pathways are connected – your body’s stress system, the sympathetic nervous system, controls hundreds of pathways that are responsible for inflammation, and when inflammation gets out of control, this can lead to hormonal problems like adrenal fatigue, low sex drive, and thyroid dysfunction.

Adaptogens help to regulate the sympathetic nervous system so everything downstream works better. And because chronic inflammation is linked to many of the common health problems we see today, the medical literature has found adaptogens to have even more cool and far-reaching health benefits like:

  • lowering cortisol levels
  • regenerating brain cells
  • alleviating depression and anxiety
  • protecting heart health
  • protecting the liver
  • preventing and fighting cancer
  • lowering cholesterol
  • protecting against radiation
  • balancing the immune system
  • decreasing fatigue
  • Adaptogen Superstars

They all mediate stress, fight inflammation, and bring balance to your hormonal system but each adaptogen also has its own special set of skills.

Here are the 12 most popular adaptogens and what you should know about each:

1. Ginseng: The pick-me-up

Ginseng varieties, including Asian White, Asian Red, and American White, are great for those seeking an extra boost of energy without the jitters that can come from caffeine. Personally, I especially like to use it to combat jet lag.

2. Pearl: The beauty secret

Crushed-up pearl powder is a great source of amino acids and will nourish skin, hair, and nails.

3. Rhodiola: The stress calmer

Rhodiola rosea is good for people struggling with adrenal fatigue and fibromyalgia, but it can have a stimulating effect on the extra-sensitive, so take it before noon or it could keep you up at night.

4. Schisandra: The adrenal supporter

Another super adrenal supporter, this berry is one I used on a regular basis during my journey recovering from adrenal fatigue.

5. Shilajit: The sex hormone igniter

People with low libido or sex hormone imbalance can benefit from shilajit. This Ayurvedic herb’s name translates as “conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness.” Sounds good to me.

6. Ashwagandha: The thyroid + mood master

A superstar adaptogen, this popular herb is a great tool in supporting optimal thyroid function. If you tend to get mood swings, ashwagandha may also be all the remedy you need. Just watch out – ashwagandha is a nightshade, which may aggravate symptoms (such as joint pain) in some people with autoimmune conditions.

7. Maca: The energizer

Maca both boosts energy and calms anxiety. It’s also a rich source of vitamin C, making it an immunity enhancer. There are three types of maca powders: Red, yellow, and black. Red maca is the sweetest and mildest tasting. Yellow maca is the least sweet, and black maca is somewhere in between the two.

8. Holy Basil (Tulsi): The memory booster

I recommend holy basil to my patients who complain of brain fog because it gently increases cognitive function. As a bonus, it’s also great for bloating and gas.

9. Ho Shou Wu: The libido pumper-upper

Another great tool for people with a low sex drive, this herb has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine.

10. Mucuna pruriens: Nature’s chill pill

This adaptogenic bean extract is jam-packed with L-DOPA, the precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine. I take this daily as it helps with focus and calms me down during my busy day.

11. Eleuthero: The battery pack

If you are dragging through the day, this herb is another great one for optimizing energy levels. Extra stressful week? Eleuthero is your go-to.

12. Adaptogenic mushrooms

Within the adaptogenic kingdom, there is an extra-special group of medicinal mushrooms that offer some of the same hormone-balancing benefits as the adaptogens above and some extra immune-boosting qualities too. These include:

  • Chaga
  • Shiitake
  • Himematsutake
  • Lion’s Mane
  • Turkey Tail
  • Cordyceps
  • Reishi

What are adaptogens anyway?

Adaptogens encompass a wide variety of different natural medicines from all corners of the globe that have a few things in common: They are generally safe and they have a balancing effect on something called the hypothalamic-pituitary-endocrine axis. This is the delicate dance between your brain and hormone system, and include your brain-adrenal (HPA) axis, brain-thyroid (HPT), and brain-gonadal axis (HPG). You need all these communication systems working in perfect harmony for a healthy mood, metabolism, energy, immune system, and sex drive. When your HP axis is unbalanced it leads to hormone problems like adrenal fatigue, thyroid problems, and libido issues. And nobody wants that.

Like the colors of a rainbow or the superhero kids on Captain Planet, the inhabitants of the adaptogenic kingdom sometimes work brilliantly by themselves and sometimes cooperate synergistically with other complementary adaptogens. Usually available in powdered form, you can mix these into your morning coffee, make a caffeine-free tonic, or blend them into your daily smoothie.

The next question is: Which ones do you need? Find your current health issue and I’ll give you a list, but always remember to pay attention to how your body responds to anything new.

Poor complexion, Brittle nails, or Unhealthy hair:

Pearl: This adaptogen of the sea is a great source of amino acids to help nourish hair, skin, and nails.

Chaga: This superfood mushroom is loaded with antioxidants that help fight free radicals to keep skin youthful.

Cordyceps: This is the ultimate anti-aging adaptogen. Not only does this mushroom increase antioxidants, but it decreases the pro-inflammatory monoamine oxidase and lipid peroxidation activity that causes us to age.

Rhaponicum: Full of antioxidants, this root helps to promote cell health, keeping you young and vibrant.

Jiaogulan: Consuming this adaptogen can actually help your body increase its production of superoxidase dismutase. This particular antioxidant protects your body’s cells from premature destruction and aging.


Rhodiola: This herb can help reduce stress and is great for people with adrenal fatigue. However, if you are extra sensitive, be careful because it could potentially keep you up at night.

Mucuna pruriens: This bean extract is packed with L-DOPA, which is the precursor to the neurotransmitter dopamine. I call this nature’s chill pill.

Ashwagandha: Since it has the ability to regulate cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, this is a powerful calming tool to have on hand.

Licorice root: Bring stress down with this cortisol-controlling Zen master.

Hormone Balance:

Schisandra: This berry supports your adrenals and can help fight adrenal fatigue.

Cordyceps: For those struggling with adrenal fatigue, this is a great hormone balancer to help increase energy and stamina.

Ashwagandha: The ultimate cortisol balancer, this helps to support your brain-adrenal (HPA) axis. This herb is also powerful when it comes to thyroid support. Since adaptogens are balancing in nature, ashwagandha in particular is great at boosting sluggish thyroid hormones.

Licorice root: Just like ashwagandha, it helps to heal adrenal fatigue by balancing cortisol levels.


Ginseng: Asian white, American white, Asian red, and Siberian (Eleuthero) all boost energy without the caffeine jitters.

Maca: This herb is available in three different varieties: red, yellow, and black. Red is the sweetest but most mild tasting. Yellow is the least sweet, and black is right in the middle. They are all great energy boosters.

Low Sex Drive:

Shilajit: This herb is used in ayurvedic medicine and translates to “conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness.” Shilajit helps to lift up low libido and balance sex hormones.

He shou wu: If sex were an herb, it would be he shou wu. Used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine, this herb helps increase sex drive in those with low libodos. Mix with shilajit for a sexual health tonic.

Brain Fog:

Holy basil (Tulsi): Start incorporating this into your wellness routine if you struggle with brain fog as it works to increase cognitive function.

Lion’s mane: The nerve growth factors (NGFs) found in this mushroom can help regenerate and protect brain tissue.

Rhaponticum: Some studies have shown that this root can stimulate brain activity.


Maca: Packed with vitamin C, this is a perfect immune booster.

Chaga: Studies have shown this mushroom to have powerful antiviral effects as well as immune-balancing properties.

Turkey tail: When consumed daily, it has been shown to improve immune function.

Ashwagandha: This is traditionally used in ayurvedic medicine to help boost the immune system after being sick.

Astragalus: Having strong immune-boosting abilities, this herb has been used to help restore immune function for people with weakened immune systems from cancer treatments or chronic illnesses. In addition, it has powerful antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Anxiety and Depression:

Lion’s mane: Studies have shown that the consumption of lion’s mane can reduce depression and anxiety.

Ashwagandha: Taking ashwagandha has been shown to reduce anxiety by up to 44 percent!

Blood Sugar Balance:

Reishi: This magic mushroom helps to lower blood sugar levels by down-regulating-alpha-glucosidase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down starches into sugars.

Digestive Issues:

Holy basil (Tulsi): This little guy works hard to reduce bloating and gas, for those struggling with gut issues.

Turkey tail: I often give this adaptogenic mushroom to my patients who are battling gut overgrowths like SIBO or candida.

Licorice root: This has been used for years as a common remedy to help heal leaky gut syndrome since it is both soothing and anti-inflammatory.


Shiitake: Japanese studies have shown that this mushroom has the power to actually decrease tumor growth.

Himematsutake: Also known as God’s mushroom, the protein blazein that is found in Himematsutake actually has the ability to kill some cancer cells. Studies have shown that cancer cells died after just a few days of treatment!

Where the heck do I buy these?

You can find many high-quality, organic adaptogens online and at health foods stores. Some of my favorite brains are Moon Juice, Sun Potion, Four Sigmatic, and Real Mushrooms.


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In Episode 142 of Keto Talk, Jimmy and Dr. Will Cole answer your questions about Mixed Messages About Bonking On Keto, Yellow And Floating Stool, Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia, Hypoglycemia When Cheating, Traumatic Brain Injury, and more!


  • Response to Dr. William Davis’ column “Is the ketogenic diet dangerous?”
  • What is the ideal ketogenic modality to heal the gut microbiome after food poisoning. No antibiotics were used.
  • Fasting can affect pathogenesis of autoimmune disease but also how to address some of the challenges that patients with autoimmune disease might face if they try fasting, e.g concurrent use of prednisone.
  • What role does keto play in recovering from vaccine injuries?
  • How do I have the proper knowledge about the relevant heart health information with my cardiologist?
  • Why do I get nauseated by eating more fats in my ketogenic diet?
“If you see a number like 29,000 people over 17 years, this is not a randomized, controlled study. That's your clue that this is not good science.” – Jimmy Moore “You cannot extrapolate from studies of epileptic children that have other health problems and then apply that to the average human being.” – Dr. Will Cole


Jimmy and Will answer your questions:

– Why did I seemingly “bonk” when engaging in demanding skiing conditions while on a ketogenic diet?

Hi Jimmy and Dr. Cole,

I really enjoy your podcast and appreciate your diligent work. My question is about sports performance. I've been doing a lower carb diet for 8 months now, always under 150g carbs and mostly under 100g. For the past 6 weeks, I've been strictly following a keto diet with net carbs under 30, many days around 20g. I'm also limiting my calories and doing intermittent fasting with calories coming in between 1200-1500. Once or twice a week I cycle up to about 2000 calories. I just returned home from a snowboard trip where I experienced a scary problem and I'd like to learn more about the physiology of what may have happened.

The first two days were challenging conditions with a lot of powder. This takes more effort so I'd consider it somewhat demanding exercise, but still aerobic. This was my first trip since going strictly keto and I was still adhering to the diet strictly. On the third day after a breakfast of Canadian bacon and eggs, we got up and headed up the mountain. On my first short run of the day, the trouble began. My legs literally would not work and I had trouble getting up on my board after falling. This happened a few times and I started to worry I may be having a panic attack even though this is not something I've ever experienced on the slopes. I was definitely a little worried about what I was experiencing but I just chalked it up to nerves, calmed myself, and eventually made it down. I assumed resting on the lift would be all I needed.

I got up to the top and the same thing happened although initially I was fine for a few minutes. It was a real challenge to both my legs and my brain and then I started having the same symptoms again about halfway down. These were steep, challenging runs and I began to worry I had just finally freaked myself out to the limit. Then it occurred to me that I may be "bonking"...I've run one marathon and experienced something like that, however, this was very different. I seriously couldn't get my legs to work, as in laying on my back trying to flip over and couldn't even pull my knees up to my chest.

I ended up making it down safely, albeit so ungracefully and very slowly and decided I should probably eat some quick absorbing carbs if I wanted to continue. I slowly ate half of a very large chocolate chip cookie, monitoring how I felt. Incidentally, this didn't even taste good to me and didn't create any cravings in the days after. After a rest, I went back out and was totally back to "normal." I know I'm relatively fat-adapted at this point since I can fast 18 hours easily. However, I've also read it can take months for metabolic processes to fully adapt. I'm guessing what happened is that the demands of the activity outpaced my body's ability to access fat, and being keto, I had fully depleted my glycogen stores. Is that what happened to me? That's pretty simplistic, but I'd love to hear a more detailed scientific explanation of what may have happened.

Thanks again for producing a great show!


– What’s going on with yellow and floating stool when you are eating keto?

Hi Jimmy and Will,

I’m one month and two days in to my new lifestyle, but I still have diarrhea and it’s always yellow.  Is this normal?  Thank you!


Hey Jimmy and Dr. Cole,

I keep a very strict keto diet eating two times a day, so I have a regular bowel movement every other day. But my stool mostly floats. Is this a problem? I consume quality fats and protein with very few carbs in the form of green vegetables. Thanks for your help!


– Does having low platelets and possibly Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia have a connection to eating a ketogenic diet?

Hello you guys,

It looks like my wife is having low platelets and a possible diagnosis of ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia) and we are working with doctors to find out. We started keto in May 2018 and now consume a meat heavy low-carb, high-fat diet. Is there anything in our keto diet that could cause this or help in the healing process? Would adding in more bone marrow to the diet help?

Thank you,


– How do you prevent bouts of hypoglycemia from happening when you go off plan and consume carbs (other than staying in a state of ketosis)?

Jimmy and Will,

I have been on keto since August and have lost about 50 pounds. I have been testing blood ketones and I am usually at 1.0 mmol+. Over the holidays I had three times when I went out of ketosis and each time I had a bad reaction. About 2-4 hours after consuming carbohydrates, I would have what I think is a hypoglycemic reaction with terrible nausea, diarrhea, sweating, and shaking. I was unable to test my blood to see what my glucose reading was because I felt so bad. After a few hours of resting I would start feeling normal again and eating carbohydrates after that was fine. But each of the three times I was getting out of ketosis I had this reaction. Any thoughts on why this is happening or ways to prevent it (besides the obvious of just staying in ketosis)?  One more bit of info, the third time it happened I was trying to prevent it and instead of eating a big meal I kept snacking to try and keep my blood sugar up and that didn't work. Thanks for all your help and I hope to hear your response.



– What are the mechanisms behind why a ketogenic diet and periods of fasting help with traumatic brain injury?

Hello Jimmy and Will,

Thank you for your work. It is a pleasure to listen to Keto Talk. I have an observation about high-fat/low-carb that you and other listeners may find interesting. I sustained a very bad sports concussion in 2011 and this injury knocked me out (literally!) of school, all physical activity, and nearly all social interaction for upwards of six months. Most of my symptoms subsided within a year, but I had several longer-lasting cognitive effects, including math and language impairment, lack of focus, and increased irritability. One of the more prominent personality changes I noticed after the concussion was the sudden development of OCD, especially compulsion, and heightened anxiety and paranoia. In the years since, I have learned to live with this and work around my "new self." I have even been to counseling, which was somewhat helpful. When I first became concussed, my medical team recommended I take omega-3 fats in the form of flaxseed oil supplements, as well as an anti-seizure medication.

This past summer, I adopted a Paleo diet which quickly transitioned to Paleo ketogenic and I recently began implementing periods of fasting. I am doing all of this for health/longevity/vanity benefits, unrelated to my concussion. Since introducing fasting to my ketogenic diet, I am becoming my "old self" again. I have experienced all the benefits of ketosis and fasting—mental clarity, emotional stability, physical changes, physical performance PR’s, and more. But I never expected that the effects of my concussion would be reversed. They are not gone completely, but every fasting cycle I see huge improvements.

After doing a quick search of Dr. Google and looking on PubMed, I found out that this is a thing. People are using ketosis and fasting to heal traumatic brain injury. And it makes perfect sense- the neuroprotective aspects of fasting and a ketogenic diet should theoretically also help heal. Can you talk more about the mechanism of this on your podcast? My concussion was relatively minor, but there are people with CTE and servicemen coming back from overseas with PTSD and very serious traumatic brain injuries. This could be life-changing for so many people.

Again, thank you for what you do! You are so gracious on your show, and I so appreciate your continued dedication.



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In Episode 141 of Keto Talk, Jimmy and special guest cohost Dr. Jay Wiles from DrJayWiles.com  answer your questions about Mixed Messages About Keto, Hypopituitarism, Convincing Skeptics Saturated Fat Is Healthy, Insulin Pump And Ketosis, Type 1 Diabetic Weight Gain On Keto, and more!


  • Dr. Wiles shares about the intricate role that a low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diet can play on overall brain health, cognitive performance, and overall psychological well-being.
  • Can a ketogenic diet help with ocular migraines?
  • Does eating keto improve the headaches that are associated with a brain colloid cyst?
  • Why does eating keto and fasting have such a calming effect on your mood and mental health?
  • Is there a period of keto-adaptation necessary to see an improvement in an EEG for persistent sleepiness?
  • Will a ketogenic diet be dangerous for someone with chronic anxiety and a general eating disorder?
“Nobody ever asks if the SAD diet that people have eaten for years is the cause of diabetes, but they jump at the chance to blame keto.” – Jimmy Moore “With a ketogenic diet we can significantly reduce the occurrence and severity of migraines.” – Dr. Jay Wiles


Low-Carb Diets Linked to Higher Odds for A-Fib

NIH Study Probes Impact of Heavy Screen Time on Young Brain

Diet for Alzheimer's: Waikato trial to pit ketogenic and healthy diets against the disorder

– STUDY: New study links Alzheimer's disease with liver function and diet

Jimmy and Jay answer your questions:

– What can I do to prevent the sore, dry eyes that came on when I switched over to keto to help with chronic daily headaches?

Hi Jimmy and Jay,

I went into ketosis for a few months before Christmas with the hope that it might help me with chronic daily headaches I have had for many years. It really helped and I'm hoping it can be the cure I’ve been seeking for so long. However, there were a some side effects which I wonder if you could help with like sore, dry eyes which feels like I’ve drank too much alcohol. What’s going on with this? Liver issues? Dehydration? Lack of sleep? When I switched back over to a “normal” diet during Christmas, my eyes got a lot better.

Since the beginning of the year I’ve cut my carbs again (but not fully keto) and the eye pain is back again. I’ve tried supplementing daily with magnesium, potassium, fish oil, a multivitamin, 5-HTP, a probiotic, and butterbur (which is supposed to be good for headaches). I also put pink Himalayan sea salt in my water and drink 3 liters of water daily. Any help you can give for this issue would be greatly appreciated.

Keep up the good work!


– Will keto help normalize my DHEA-S levels as my blood sugar and insulin levels come down into the healthy range from eating keto?

Hello Jimmy and Dr. Wiles,

I’m a female in my early 40s with elevated DHEA-S coming in at 509. My endocrinologist did additional testing to rule out congenital adrenal hyperplasia and nothing came up. I also have elevated postprandial blood sugar due to metabolic syndrome which also comes with extra weight around my midsection. My question for you guys is this—could my glucose/insulin issues be the reason why my DHEA-S has increased? Or is it vice versa? And will keto help bring this level into normality? I’ve been doing keto for several months and have lost almost all the extra weight around my middle, but I’d love to know more about this DHEA thing.

Thanks for your help,


– Can a low-carb ketogenic diet help bring about healing for the symptoms of someone who has experienced strokes in the past?

Hi Jimmy and Jay,

I love Keto Talk and find it so helpful! I have been looking for information on stroke and keto but have not find anything yet. My boyfriend had a couple of strokes many years ago and now suffers from brain fog, chronic pain, and other quality of life issues. I have been eating keto for a couple of months and have seen so many great benefits. I can't help but think my boyfriend would benefit from doing it as well. Is this wise?

Thank you for answering my question,


– Is my elevated prolactin levels a result of my low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic diet?

Hey Jimmy and Dr. Wiles,

Thank you for playing such a strong part in my journey to better health. In January 2014, I weighed in at 285 pounds and lost 50 pounds with juicing. After slowly gaining back all the weight after getting frustrated with doing that, I then got diagnosed as prediabetic in June 2016 and it terrified me since my older brother has Type 2 diabetes. Fortunately I found the work of Tim Ferriss which led to me the cyclical ketogenic diet and then into full-time keto which helped me lose over 100 pounds. So far so good, right?

I recently went to the doctor and got some bad news about my prolactin levels indicative of the health of my pituitary gland. Normal range is 2.1-17.7, but mine came in at 63.9! Is this increase in prolactin a result of eating keto or is it something completely unrelated to my diet? My doctor is going to run an MRI to see if he can find out more about it. Is this normal for ketosis?

Thank you in advance,



– Is developing vertigo a common problem with switching over to a ketogenic diet? What is added or subtracted from the diet that would cause this?

Hi Jimmy and Jay,

After doing keto for a little while now, I’ve just experienced vertigo for the very first time. Is this a common side effect of keto? Does it mean I’m getting too much or too little of something in my diet now that would cause this? I’d appreciate your help in understanding this.


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In Episode 140 of Keto Talk, Jimmy and Dr. Will Cole answer your questions about Mixed Messages About Keto, Hypopituitarism, Convincing Skeptics Saturated Fat Is Healthy, Insulin Pump And Ketosis, Type 1 Diabetic Weight Gain On Keto, and more!


  • Will’s Functional Medicine perspective on Jimmy Moore’s upcoming 6-month sabbatical (what to expect, the mental challenge, health changes that should happen, and acclimating to the work load again when he returns)
  • Is cutting back on fat the first change to make when weight loss isn’t happening on keto?
  • What are the effects of long-term ketosis on female reproductive hormones, specifically estrogen production?
  • Since the liver needs glucose to convert T4 to T3, does this mean keto leads women especially to develop hypothyroid unless they eat some whole food carbohydrates?
  • How can I deal with the continued hormonal headaches that are reduced but not completely eliminated with keto?
  • Is it true that there may be some health concerns associated with consuming cooked fats (i.e. makes them more carcinogenic).
“As a rule I don't use avocado or olive oil for cooking because butter, coconut oil, lard, and all these stable saturated fats do such a great job for cooking.” – Jimmy Moore “I think being proactive and addressing health issues before they become serious is a brave move and one that is a counter cultural idea.” – Dr. Will Cole


Jimmy and Will answer your questions:

– Are concerns over lack of nutrients and acidity in the body on keto valid? How can you cut through the confusing mixed messages on keto?

Hello guys,

I am incredibly frustrated with my keto experience so far and hoping you can help. I am a 5'3" female and weigh 155 pounds. I started this journey to help me with brain fog, afternoon slumps, and energy level issues and I finally started to feel better after a really rough two months trying to get keto-adapted. While I have gotten better now, it seems to be a bumpy ride so far.  As a runner I’m seeing a negative impact on my endurance, my menstrual cycles have become very intense, and I’ve experience zero weight loss (although that’s not a goal, it would be nice to see). I’ve been doing a ton of research and listening to podcasts trying to figure out if I’m doing something wrong and perhaps seeing if getting the benefits of keto is any different for women as compared with men. I hear things about keto causing acidity in the body which is the precursor to the development of disease and it kinda freaks me out. My diet is very rigid most of the time eating mostly organic foods,  very little red meat, and focused on fish, chicken, turkey, and more vegetables thanks to reading Ketotarian and Dr. Anna Cabeca’s new book. I’m ready to give up on my keto plan because of the lack of nutrients and acidity concerns. There seems to be so many mixed messages about keto that I don’t know what to believe and how to do it the right way for me. My desire is to be healthy, not skinny. Can you help me out?

Thank you for answering my question,


– Why would ketones not show up in blood testing from two years of eating very low-carb? Does it have to do with hypopituitarism and will keto perhaps help with this?

Hi Jimmy and Dr. Cole,

I’m a huge fan of Keto Talk and I learn something new every time I listen! I have been eating real food keto staying under 20g of carbs daily for the past two years but have never registered more than .02 on my blood ketone meter. Is this normal for someone who has hypopituitarism? Can eating low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic help with this?

Thanks again for all you do,


– How do you convince friends who think saturated fat and cholesterol are leading to heart disease on keto? Are there third party resources that can explain all of this?

Hey Jimmy and Will,

Saturated fat and cholesterol are the primary concerns that my vegan and vegetarian (and even my SAD dieter) friends point to when it comes to the keto diet. Even when I point out that plant-based food sources such as coconut and olive oil both have more saturated fat than most animal-based foods, they argue that this way of eating will raise cholesterol and saturated fat levels in the blood which will inevitably lead to atherosclerosis and heart disease. I’ve asked them to read your book Cholesterol Clarity, Jimmy, but my very intelligent and mostly skeptical friends want resources from “unbiased” sources since you are a prominent figure in the keto space. I really need some third party resources to share with them about the healthy role of saturated fat, cholesterol, and why a ketogenic diet is a positive thing for the body. I’m shared about Nina Teicholz’s book The Big Fat Surprise as well as the Joe Rogan podcast debate between vegan Dr. Joel Kahn and Paleo diet practitioner Chris Kresser. Do you have other suggestions?

Thanks for your help!


– Does being a Type 1 diabetic using an insulin pump make it that much more difficult to get into a state of nutritional ketosis?

Hello Jimmy and Dr. Cole,

I am a Type 1 diabetic since before I was 2 years old and I’m on an insulin pump as well as dealing with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroid, and celiac. I eat low-carb keto and my blood sugars stay in tight control. My thyroid levels are very good thanks to the Nature-throid medication I use. But here’s my problem—I can never get into a state of nutritional ketosis. Is it because I’m on an insulin pump and there is a constant flow of basal insulin being injected into my body? Over the years, I know I've become insulin resistant and have gained weight especially in my midsection. I'm 47 years old and ever tried working with a personal trainer for two years…but all I did was gain more weight in my belly. Why is my body holding onto fat and not burning it when I’m eating keto?

Thank you for helping me with this puzzle,



– Why would a Type 1 diabetic getting good ketone levels struggling with weight loss unless calories are significantly reduced?

Hello Jimmy and Dr. Cole,

I'm 54 years old, 5’2”, and 143 pounds, and needing to lose just a few more pounds. I currently have 25% body fat and lift weights regularly. I've been a lot like you, Jimmy, trying all different kinds of diets and reducing calories—but nothing seemingly works! I know I got too hypocaloric at one point and increased my calories again. I’m a Type 1 diabetic on an insulin pump and don’t need very much insulin because I keep carbs below 20g, 70-80g protein, and fats from eggs, avocados, butter, cheese, and fatty meats. My blood ketones are in the healthy range of 0.7-1.9. As much as I believe in keto, I can’t deal with gaining weight. The only time I’ve seen the scale move is when I’ve cut calories to 1100 a day. But I know that’s not a healthy level for me to be consuming long-term. Why is this so hard for me? It feels like all of the low-calorie, low-fat diets I’ve always suffered with. I really thought keto was different from those.

Please help me figure this out.



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In Episode 139 of Keto Talk, Jimmy and special guest co-host Dr. Gus Vickery answer your questions about Loose Stools From Higher Fat, Diabetic Neuropathy, Antibiotics While Fasting, San Filippo Syndrome, Regular Exercise On Keto and more!

We begin today's show with special guest co-host Dr. Gus Vickery from DrGusVickery.com talking about Dr. Vickery's basic philosophy on nutrition and health, and his unique seasonal use of fasting and ketosis with patients as a way of honoring ancestral design.


1. There’s a weight loss medication called CONTRAVE I’d like to use to help control carb cravings while I am adapting to keto. Is this a good idea? 2. When I try to stop taking the prescription version of Prilosec that I’ve taken for 15 years after starting keto, my heartburn is as bad as ever. Will keto help heal this? 3. What is the best way to eat a healthy ketogenic diet on a tight budget?

“There are times that we blow by satiety because the keto foods we eat taste so good, but if you listen carefully to your satiety signals you can get that dialed in.” – Jimmy Moore “It's not normal for children to be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and the number one cause is the change in our eating patterns.” – Dr. Gus Vickery


Jimmy and Will answer your questions:

- What’s the solution to dealing with loose stools stemming from eating more calories and fat-based keto foods that normal?

Hi Jimmy and Dr. Vickery,

I’m a big fan of Keto Talk and I’ve listened to every episode since day one. I’ve been eating keto for the past four years and love this lifestyle. I’ve been constantly tweaking and refining what I’m doing to dial in the amount of food and macronutrient ratios that help me feel the best. So far so good.

But I will admit there are times on occasion that I overindulge in the amount of keto foods that I consume that puts more calories and especially fat into my body than my body would typically require. I can always tell when I’ve done this because I have very loose stools. I’ve listened to your show enough to know that is likely a result of eating more fat than I need or some gut health component.

The obvious solution is to stop doing that, but I’m wondering if there is anything I can do before, during, or after those times I have a bit more than normal to mitigate these side effects in my bowels. Thanks so much for your answer and keep up the great work!

Brian in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

– Does diabetic neuropathy ever get fully healed once blood sugar becomes stabilized from eating a ketogenic diet?

Hi Jimmy and Gus,

I have type 2 diabetes as a 51-year old male, 6’3”, 255 pounds (down from 326 pounds since starting keto seven months ago. My A1C has dropped from 7.8 to 5.2 and I came off all my diabetes medications four months ago. The only remaining physical effect I’m dealing with from my pre-keto days is a a slight neuropathy in my feet. Will this ever improve completely or is the nerve damage just too severe for even keto to help heal? Thanks for all you help on this journey because your show has been a real inspiration.


– Does taking an antibiotic cause the body to respond adversely during extended fasting?

Hey Jimmy and Dr. Vickery,

Thank you for being a sounding board for all things keto and fasting! It has truly inspired me in my own journey. I have been eating keto since the beginning of the new year and I’ve noticed this way of eating makes fasting for upwards of 24 hours very easy to do. I tried my first 72-hour fast this week to see how I’d do and the first 24 hours was a cinch. Day two was a challenge, but I already knew that from hearing Jimmy talk about this so much. I was anticipating the “euphoria” of day three, but at hour 58 I woke up feeling absolutely horrible. I took some salt, drank coffee, pounded water, and did my best just to walk on the treadmill for a mile that day. After the workout I felt so bad that I knew it was time to end the fast because hunger pangs and food cravings at that point were just too much to bear.

I feel like I did everything right and saw blood ketones in the 2.0-3.5 range and blood sugar in the sixties feeling great. There is one monkey wrench in this story I haven’t shared yet, but on the night of day two of this 72-hour fast, I had to take an antibiotic. Is it possible that is the culprit in my hunger and symptoms that forced me to quit the fast? Is there a way to safely and effectively get the benefits of fasting if you are taking an antibiotic? Thanks for all of your guidance and support for the keto and fasting community!


– Would a ketogenic diet with periods of intermittent fasting perhaps help children who are afflicted with San Filippo Syndrome?

Hey guys,

I saw a story on the news last night about kids who get Alzheimer's-like symptoms and, dementia at the age of two and then go downhill fast living as long as five years. When I looked up this condition called San Fillipo Syndrome, it seems these kids have trouble breaking down sugar and clearing cellular trash. Do you know if this condition is being researched for the impact a ketogenic diet could play on it? Like epilepsy, perhaps a simple diet change and maybe some intermittent fasting may be all that's needed here. What role would the diet of the mother during pregnancy play in preventing a condition like San Fillipo Syndrome from developing? Thanks for your thoughts on this.

This Old Housewife


– What impact does engaging in regular exercise while eating keto have on cholesterol and general health?

Hello Jimmy and Gus,

I listen to Keto Talk frequently when I am working out at the gym. My story is quite unique as I once weighed in at 799 pounds at the age of 16. With lots of prayer and commitment to my own health, I was able to lose around 600 of those pounds. Today, I am a very active person and have been eating low-carb for the past nine years. In late 2018, I decided to shift my nutritional intake over to the ketogenic diet. I love to move and do an hour plus of cardio six days a week as well as strength training for 20 minutes 3-4 times per week. I have a standing desk at work, and I attempt to move as much as I can throughout the day - sometimes even doubling up on the cardio sessions!

My question for you guys is this: What impact does all this exercise that I do have on my cholesterol levels while eating a ketogenic diet? How well does engaging in regular exercise like I do pair with keto? Do you recommend that people eating low-carb, high-fat engage in some form of cardio to ensure proper heart health and weight management? Thanks for your help with my questions.




– Listen to Dr. Gus Vickery on Episode 1469 of The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show


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