The Effects of Ketogenic Eating on Cellular Lifespan

Ketogenic diets have been a very popular diet in the last few years but not without controversy and there have been no major studies on how the diet affects a person’s health. Some people use the diet to lose weight but it is also known to help manage childhood epilepsy, prohibiting neurodegenerative diseases and supporting cancer treatment. Many individuals also report feeling more energetic while experiencing other beneficial effects on the diet, although more comprehensive human studies are needed to confirm these claims.

It is controversial in the respect that in can increase levels of LDL cholesterol, which could lead to heart disease. It has also been reported to cause bone fractures and kidney stones in adults with epilepsy. The long-term effects of this diet are not known and gives reason to reconsider this diet. A new study has investigated the diet’s effects on cellular senescence in mice using two different keto diets with interesting results.

A keto diet is high in fats, whether saturated or unsaturated. The two diets used in the study had different amounts of these fats but largely had the same results. One diet consisted of no carbohydrates, 10% protein and 90% from fats. The other diet was balanced with most of the calories from carbohydrates and some from protein and fat. The mice all consumed the same amount of calories and no substantial weight gain was noted until after 21 days, where there was a slight increase.

What was noted at the end of 21 days was an elevation of senescent cells in the heart of 15-20%. Also, there was a marked increase on cellular senescence in liver and kidney tissue. The mice displayed signs of metabolic dysregulation with higher levels of triglycerides, and LDL and HDL cholesterol. Significant levels of pro-inflammatory molecules, which can affect surrounding cells were also found.

The effects on the mice after 90 days on the keto diet were insignificant, but after 180 days showed a marked increase. This leads one to wonder what the long-term effects might be of this diet. When the mice were put back on a regular diet their senescence cells returned to normal, suggesting the damage could be reversible for a certain time period. The effects of the keto diet occurred in both younger and older mice, therefore, the diet affects all age groups the same.

The study results contend that the keto diet is intricate, manifesting both advantages and drawbacks that are influenced by a range of elements. Items as diet timing, its makeup, and the individual’s genetic profile, hormonal influences, and health status need to all be taken into consideration. Therefore, it is suggested that the starting a ketogenic diet should be evaluated and assessed to decide who might or might not see improvements from this nutritional strategy.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Ketogenic diet induces p53-dependent cellular senescence in multiple organs