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Are you on a keto diet for weight loss? Well, study says it only has short-term benefits

Updated on:28 January 2020, 17:08pm IST
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PTI
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ketogenic diet
Ketogenic diet can turn from positive to negative in the long-run, says study. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

You must have seen Karan Johar going gaga about ketogenic diet on his show Koffee with Karan. But do you know that sticking to one particular diet is a harmful bet? And this time we have science backing us up too.  

A study, published in the journal Nature Metabolism, suggests that the keto diet could, over limited time periods, improve human health by lowering diabetes risk and inflammation.

A ketogenic diet is a diet which provides 99% of calories from fat and protein, and only one percent from carbohydrates. This may produce health benefits in the short-term, but negative effects after about a week, according to the study.

Ketogenic diet is stars studded but read what expert has to say
The keto diet has become increasingly popular as celebrities, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Kim Kardashian, have touted it as a weight-loss regimen.

The diet tricks the body into burning fat, said lead author Vishwa Deep Dixit from the Yale University in the US.

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.

ketogenic diet
Keto diet isn’t for everyone. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

This reduces diabetes risk and inflammation, and improves the body’s metabolism, said Dixit.

However, when the body is in this “starving-not-starving” mode, fat storage is also happening simultaneously with fat breakdown, the researchers said.

When you continue to eat the high-fat, low-carb diet beyond one week, they consume more fat than they can burn, and develop diabetes and obesity. They lose the protective gamma delta T-cells in the fat, she added. 

Long-term clinical studies in humans are still necessary to validate the anecdotal claims of keto’s health benefits, the researchers noted.

Dixit says:

Before such a diet can be prescribed, a large clinical trial in controlled conditions is necessary to understand the mechanism behind metabolic and immunological benefits or any potential harm to individuals who are overweight and pre-diabetic.  

Ketogenic diet can help you in stay control but its benefits don’t last for long
“Obesity and type 2 diabetes are lifestyle diseases. Diet allows people a way to be in control,” researcher said.

Also, read: Thinking of embracing the keto diet in 2020? Read these 5 downsides first

With the latest findings, researchers now better understand the mechanisms at work in bodies sustained on the keto diet, and why the diet may bring health benefits over limited time periods.

“Our findings highlight the interplay between metabolism and the immune system, and how it coordinates maintenance of healthy tissue function,” said Emily Goldberg, a postdoctoral fellow at Yale.

Moral of the research is that don’t follow any diet blindly – then may it be recommended by your favourite movie celeb or by an insta sensation. It’s always better to mix things up – so that you get the best of everything.