The Fine Print
Other diets do not trigger the same biochemical pathways that are activated by a ketogenic state. And while certainly other diets (Paleo, or the autoimmune protocol being good examples) stake therapeutic claims, the mechanisms of action are purely through micronutrient saturation and avoidance of foods known to be inflammatory. The ketogenic diet is different in that it was designed to emulate starvation, taking advantage of the biochemical benefits of starvation for certain body systems (mainly neurological, but this is also why weight loss is a common result of a ketogenic diet) while tolerating the detriments to other body systems (such as endocrine and immune systems). (These are even different mechanisms that a standard low-carb diet.) In this regard, the ketogenic diet more closely resembles a drug than a diet (in fact, many of the same pathways activated by a ketogenic diet are manipulated by anticonvulsant drugs), which should not be a deterrent in itself, but rather a caution to read the fine print and talk to your doctor before embarking on this course—especially if going “off-label” and using a ketogenic diet for purposes that have not yet been well studied. And this is why a thorough understanding of both the pros and cons of a ketogenic diet are necessary in order for every individual to make the best decision for themselves.