Indian actress Mishti Mukherjee died of kidney failure at the age of 27, due to complications related to her keto diet, according to a statement from her family. Mishti as she was known, suffered kidney failure related to her strict keto diet, Friday evening, according to a  statement that confirmed the death of the actress, who starred in many movies and music videos. Her kidneys failed after the actress reported suffering severe pain. The keto diet is causing controversy in the medical community because of the way dieters lower their carb intake and overload their protein and fat intake, which can put a strain on the kidneys and cause the renal system to get overwhelmed.

The actress’s family released an official statement that stated, “Actress Mishti Mukherjee who marked her brilliance in many films and music videos with her ace acting is no more. Due to the keto diet, her kidney failed in Bangalore and she breathed her last on Friday night, the actress suffered a lot of pain. Unforgettable and unfortunate loss. May her soul rest in peace. She is survived by her parents and brother.”

How Does a Keto Diet Impair the Kidneys?

A keto diet is a high-fat, high protein, low-carb diet designed to put the body into ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel. The ideal keto diet should consist of about 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and only 5 percent of carbs. Instead of burning carb, the body must switch over to burn fat, which occurs in about 3 to 4 days of beginning to follow the keto plan.

Studies have linked the keto diet to adverse effects on the body, especially if followed strictly and for an extensive period of time since it can put a lot of stress on your kidneys and may lead to kidney stones. The amount of protein a person eats can lead to overwhelming the kidneys and anyone already suffering from chronic kidney disease or related ailment can suffer side effects. Consuming a diet high in animal protein, especially red meat, may lead to a higher risk of forming kidney stones, the research has shown.

"It may also worsen the kidney functioning of those who already have kidney diseases. The theory is that higher intake of animal food products can make your urine more acidic i.e. increase level of excretion of calcium from your urine," said Dr. Salil Jain, Director of Nephrology and Renal Transplant, Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurugram.
Keto Diet Should Not be Followed for More Than 45 Days

The Entertainment Times of India quoted Priya Bharma, a Senior Dietician at the Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute in New Delhi in an IANS report: "The Keto diet is one of the hardest diet schedules to follow, which primarily focuses on weight loss." She added a warning:

"It surely has the potential risk of other health problems as the user is on high proteins and fats intake," she explained

"A person with ideal or lesser body weight is generally not suggested to go for it. It is not suggested to continue for more than 45 days in one go as the body starves for other nutrients as well as high protein puts pressure on the kidney without other related precautions," she noted.

Kidneys and Liver Can Be Damaged by Too Many Ketones in the Blood

While kidney stones are one possible side effect there are other more dire outcomes, the studies have shown. Doctors have warned that while keto works well for obese patients it can cause more severe issues for thinner patients who stay on it too long, since when the body stores up too many ketones—the acids produced as a byproduct of burning fat—the blood can become too acidic, which can damage the liver, kidneys, and brain. Left untreated, it can be fatal, according to medical experts. Dieters should drink plenty of water to reduce the stress on the kidneys while on a keto diet.

The Beet quoted Dr. Andrew Freeman, cardiologist, who has studied ketogenic diets and heart disease, who said: It's not the diet itself, but what most people eat when they are doing it, such as red meat, processed meat (like bacon) and high-fat foods that can cause fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease and other related health problems associated with eating a diet high in red meat. Most people have trouble staying on such a strict low-carb diet, and end up gaining all the weight back. The healthier choice, according to Dr. Freeman,  is a low-fat diet that is rich in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and low in processed foods.

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