Low Carb, Blood Sugar, and Melatonin

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

A lot of attendees have written to us that they find our webinars to be really helpful, so I wanted to share a question that I thought was interesting.

Question: I recently started using a continuous glucose monitor to track my levels throughout the day. I’ve been doing Keto for the last three years. What I’ve noticed is my glucose seems to rise while I’m sleeping. Can you explain why this happens?

Well, first of all what tends to happen with someone on a Ketogenic diet is that the increased consumption of fats tends to raise your fasting glucose levels.

Lots of people who do Keto might develop a slight glucose intolerance which is a reason that when doing a high fat or keto diet you really want to pay attention to your lab results.

It’s important to check and upload fasting glucose levels in SelfDecode’s Lab Analyzer.

A keto diet is great for a lot of things but there are some negatives to every diet. These increased fasting glucose levels are one of the potential negatives.

Why Can Keto Cause Higher Fasting Glucose?

First, some people get more insulin resistance with a higher fat diet, and this is highly dependent on genetics. People can have genetic variants that are more susceptible to high fat diets.

But I want to dive into one specific factor.

Lower carb diets may cause some insulin resistance as a result of lower melatonin.

Carbs are important for increasing serotonin, and serotonin is what the body uses to create melatonin.

Melatonin is useful for blood glucose balance and insulin sensitivity [1].

If you have a certain genetic variant in the melatonin gene (MTR1NB), you can be even more affected.

Check out your own results for this SNP variation here if you have uploaded your DNA file to a SelfDecode account. I have one of the negative genetic variants, which interferes with melatonin binding to its receptor and results in higher fasting glucose and risk of diabetes [1].

If you’re doing a low carb diet or having blood sugar regulation issues, you should check out this gene.

You should also take a look at your CLOCK gene which has established relationships with both your Circadian Rhythm Cycle and your Insulin levels. You can read about the CLOCK gene and ways to improve both your sleep and blood sugar levels in this SelfDecode Blog Post.



P.S. For information about Sleep and Blood Sugar in general, be sure to check out our comprehensive DNA Wellness Reports on both topics, and discover how to optimize your rest and your glucose levels.

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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