Keto diet has been in trend for quite some time now. A number of people believe that it has helped them get back into shape and become healthier.
A ketogenic diet offers 99 percent of calories from fat and just 1 percent calories from carbohydrates. According to researchers, the diet may result in short term benefits but can have negative effects after about seven days.
According to the study that can be found in the journal Nature Metabolism, the positive, as well as negative results of the keto diet, relate to gamma delta T-cells (immune cells), tissue-protective cells that bring down diabetes risk and inflammation.
Emily Goldberg, the study researcher from Yale University found that the keto diet led to the expansion of gamma-delta T-cells in mice. “Our findings highlight the interplay between metabolism and the immune system, and how it coordinates maintenance of healthy tissue function,” she said.
The study explained how keto works. In this diet, the body is tricked into burning fat. When the glucose level of the body is reduced owing to the keto diet’s low carbohydrate content, your body acts as if it is in a state of starvation. It begins burning fat instead of carbs.
Vishwa Deep Dixit, researcher and study lead author said “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.”
The researchers said that this reduces inflammation and diabetes risk and improves the metabolism of the body.
A reduction in the blood sugar levels and inflammation was noticed in the mice post 1 week on the keto diet. The researchers also found that fat storage was also taking place along with fat breakdown when the body is in this state of false starvation.
Dixit also informed that when the mice keep taking a high-fat, low-carb diet for more than a week, they take in more fat than they can burn. Thus, the mice end up developing obesity and diabetes.
Dixit added, “They lose the protective gamma delta T-cells in the fat, long-term clinical studies in humans are still necessary to validate the anecdotal claims of keto’s health benefits.”
He said, “Obesity and type 2 diabetes are lifestyle diseases, the diet allows people a way to be in control.”
The latest findings made it clearer for researchers to understand what goes on inside the body when a person is on a keto diet and why it leads to health benefits over shorter time periods.