A new study from Yale University suggests that while the ketogenic (keto) diet may offer short-term health benefits, such as lowering the risk of diabetes and inflammation, prolonged adherence to the diet may lead to negative health effects.
The keto diet, which has gained popularity due to celebrity endorsements, is high in fat and protein and very low in carbohydrates.
Researchers investigated the effects of the keto diet on immune cells called gamma delta T-cells, which are tissue-protective cells that can lower diabetes risk and inflammation. The study focused on how these cells responded to a high-fat, low-carb diet in mice.
The keto diet tricks the body into a “starving-not-starving” mode, leading it to burn fat instead of carbohydrates.
This process produces ketone bodies, which fuel tissue-protective gamma delta T-cells, reducing diabetes risk, inflammation, and improving metabolism.
However, the body also simultaneously stores fat while breaking it down. After about a week on the keto diet, mice developed diabetes and obesity due to excessive fat storage.
The study offers insights into the complex mechanisms at work when following a keto diet and suggests that while short-term adherence to the diet may bring health benefits, long-term consumption could result in negative outcomes such as diabetes and obesity.
Therefore, long-term clinical studies in humans are necessary to fully understand the health implications of the keto diet.
The study was conducted in mice, and further research is needed to establish whether the findings apply to humans.
The team recommends long-term clinical trials to verify the diet’s potential benefits and drawbacks.
For those interested in nutritional health, other studies have explored vitamins that may protect against respiratory infections and cancer prevention.
Further, recent research has examined foods linked to cancer risk and heart disease.
The study was led by Vishwa Deep Dixit and published in the journal Nature Metabolism.
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