Keto diet study is best in small doses, says mice study – FoodNavigator-USA.com

The ketogenic diet — which provides anywhere from 75% to 99% of calories from fat, moderate protein intake, and only 1% to 5% of calories from carbohydrates to achieve a state of fat-burning ketosis — is claimed to deliver health benefits in the short term but can have negative effects after about a week, researchers from the Yale School of Medicine found in a study of mice.

The study, published in the journal Nature Metabolism​, offered early indications that the keto diet could, over limited time periods, improve human health by lowering diabetes risk and inflammation.

“A keto diet tricks the body into burning fat,”​ said lead author Vishwa Deep Dixit and professor of comparative medicine and of immunobiology at the Yale School of Medicine.

According to Dixit, when the body’s glucose level is reduced due to the diet’s low carbohydrate content, the body acts as if it is in a starvation state — although it is not — and begins burning fats instead of carbohydrates. This process in turn yields chemicals called ketone bodies as an alternative source of fuel. When the body burns ketone bodies, tissue-protective gamma delta T-cells expand throughout the body.

This reduces diabetes risk and inflammation, and improves the body’s metabolism, said Dixit, the Waldemar Von Zedtwitz Professor of Comparative Medicine and of Immunobiology. After a week on the keto diet, he said, mice show a reduction in blood sugar levels and inflammation.

But, according to researchers, when the body is in this “starving-not-starving” ​mode, fat storage is also happening simultaneously with fat breakdown.

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