Did eating keto contribute to Mishti Mukherjee’s death?

Times of India reported that the untimely death of 27-year-old Bollywood actress Mishti Mukherjee was due to kidney failure brought on by a keto diet.

While her death at such a young age is tragic, it’s troubling to read that it was “due to the keto diet” with no further explanation or medical details. Did she have underlying kidney disease before beginning a keto diet? Did she have other medical conditions? These questions are not discussed in the article and leave everyone guessing about the details leading to her death.

Regarding keto diets, the article states:

This diet may put a lot of stress on your kidneys and may lead to kidney stones. Even though keto is a high-fat diet (and not high-protein diet), the moderate increase in protein also needs to be carefully monitored, especially in those who are already suffering from chronic kidney disease or any other kind of kidney ailment.

The article also remarks,

“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…

As we explain in our evidence-based guide to low-carb diets and kidney health, there is no evidence that low-carb diets harm the kidneys of healthy people or patients with mild preexisting kidney disease. However, anyone with advanced kidney disease does need to be very careful, as low-protein diets are generally recommended for that condition.

Also, there is no evidence to support the article’s claims that keto diets starve our bodies of nutrients or put pressure on our kidneys. That is blatant misinformation.

Anyone wishing to educate themselves further on the safe and effective use of a diet with limited carbohydrates is invited to take our free continuing education course. Although it is designed for healthcare practitioners, it is open to anyone interested in accurate, science-based information on low-carb and ketogenic diets.

We’re saddened to hear of Ms. Mukherjee’s passing. We will continue to look for credible evidence to see if a keto diet may have had any role in harming her health. If any additional information arises, we will share it with our readers. For now, know that evidence strongly suggests that eating keto does not harm kidney health unless advanced kidney disease is already established.

Thanks for reading,
Bret Scher MD FACC