Ketogenic diet may increase memory and prolong life

A ketogenic diet (KD), known as a keto diet is the most extreme Low-carbohydrate diet (LCD). The goal is to get more calories from protein and fat than from carbs. When carbohydrate intake is very low the body shifts from using glucose as the main fuel source, to break down protein and fat for energy producing ketones, causing ketosis.

In the new research scientists split mice into three groups with different diets: a regular high carbohydrate diet (65% kcal from carbohydrate), LCD (70% kcal from fat) and a ketogenic diet (89% kcal from fat). Diets were fed in isocaloric amounts because experts wanted to focus on metabolism not weight loss.

Lifespan was significantly increased in the ketogenic diet group compared to control group. Mice in the KD group lived 13.6% longer than mice in the control group. Median lifespans were 886 days for the control group, 943 for the LCD group, and 1003 for the keto diet group. Also maximum lifespan was the higher in KD group (1175 days) compared with control group (1064 days).

The researches found that the ketogenic diet not only significantly increased the lifespan but also memory of the mice. Old mice fed a KD compared to those fed a control or LCD had better results in the novel object recognition test.

The keto diet also improved strength, coordination and endurance in the hanging wire and grip strength tests. Mice in KD group were more resistant to falling from the hanging wire and had greater grip strength than mice in control group.

The ketogenic diet may have health benefits: it is helping to control seizures in some people with epilepsy and it’s also effective in quick weight loss but it’s also can have adverse consequences to human health. These include increased risk of: kidney stone formation, muscle degeneration, constipation and bad breath.

People should not start ketogenic diet now unless there is a medical indication because there isn’t enough scientific evidence supporting the benefits of keto diet for human. Everyone should always visit a doctor before starting new diet.

Written by: Kamil Bałabuszek, Anna Mroczek, Marta Misztal

A Ketogenic Diet Extends Longevity and Healthspan in Adult Mice Megan N. Roberts, Marita A. Wallace, Alexey A. Tomilov , Zeyu Zhou, George R. Marcotte, Dianna Tran, Gabriella Perez, Elena Gutierrez-Casado, Shinichiro Koike, Trina A. Knotts, Denise M. Imai, Stephen M. Griffey, Kyoungmi Kim, Kevork Hagopian, Fawaz G. Haj, Keith Baar, Gino A. Cortopassi, Cell Metabolism, Volume 26, Issue 3, p539–546.e5, 5 September 2017
Ketone bodies as signaling metabolites John C. Newman, Eric Verdin, Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolizm Volume 25, Issue 1, p42–52, January 2014

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