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Low- carb, High- fat diet Can Dramatically Affect Gut Microbiome

Feb, 2021 - By WMR

Low- carb, High- fat diet Can Dramatically Affect Gut Microbiome

Ketogenic diets that includes low-crab and high-fat intake which has attracted public attention in the recent past in lowering inflammation and focusing weight loss and heart health, as well as reduces blood sugar and insulin levels.

The small study which was published in May 2020 issue of the Journal cell, showed that Keto diet can significantly alter the microbes in human gut, suggesting that it can help from within as well in addition to tone up. The two months study was tested and tracked microbiome changes in overweight men as per their diet, followed by further testing in mice. The researchers tracked half men for a month with standard western diet that included 50% carbohydrates, 15% protein and 35% fat. Meanwhile, other half were tested with standard keto diet that included 5% carbohydrates, 15% protein and 80% fat. This diet plan was further switched between both groups after a month trial period. When the diets were switched men with keto diet were revealed with significant shifts in levels of 19 bacterial families according to stool samples.

For better understanding how microbial shifts on ketogenic diet might impact health, researcher’s transferred different components of microbiome from the guts of the keto group and inserted them into the mice guts and showed that these altered microbial populations specifically reduce the numbers of Th17 immune cells a type of T cell critical for fighting off infectious disease, however also known to promote inflammation in autoimmune diseases. Following the diet experiments with mice, researchers gradually shifted animal’s diet between low fat, high fat and low carb ketogenic diet. These confirmed that high-fat and ketogenic diets have opposite effects on the gut microbiome. These findings suggested that the microbiome responds differently as the level of fat in the animals’ diet increases to levels that promote ketone body production in the absence of carbs.

Further the researchers mentioned this study suggested that as dietary fats is introduced and increased to the high levels that are seen in a ketogenic diet, causing ketones, microbiome responds in different ways. Moreover, a gradual rise in ketone levels, caused by being on a keto diet, led to a gradual change in gut composition. The keto diet causes “ketone bodies” to be produced due to the way it restricts carbohydrates, forcing the body to use its fat reserves for energy. This research believes that keto diet can alter metabolism by using fat molecules, rather than carbohydrates as its primary energy source- producing ketone bodies as a byproduct.  While many believe the high fat diet has many benefits, experts warn that not all fats are created equal and there is still much research to be done on its long term effects. 

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