Controversial Diet Linked to Accelerated Organ Ageing

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.23 - 2024 11:27 AM CET

A recent study reveals that the popular keto diet may accelerate cellular aging in mice, raising concerns about its long-term effects on human health.

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The keto diet, known for its high-fat, low-carbohydrate regimen, has gained widespread popularity for its potential benefits, such as weight loss and improved blood sugar control.

However, a new study published in Science Advances suggests that this diet may also have a darker side, particularly when followed for prolonged periods.

The Study and Its Findings

Researchers conducted experiments on two groups of mice, each fed different variations of the ketogenic diet with distinct fat sources.

Both groups exhibited signs of cellular aging, including in critical organs like the heart and kidneys. This aging effect was observed across mice of various ages, indicating that the diet's impact is not limited to a specific life stage.

The study's results are significant as they suggest that a continuous keto diet can induce aging in normal tissue cells. But the researchers also noted that taking breaks from the diet could mitigate these aging effects, preventing them from becoming harmful.

The study's findings are particularly relevant as they align with blood sample analyses from humans on the keto diet, which also indicated cellular aging associated with prolonged adherence.

This raises potential concerns about the long-term impact of the ketogenic diet on human health.

Potential Risks

Beyond cellular aging, the keto diet has been associated with several other health risks.

Studies have shown that while the diet can help in weight loss and benefit those with type-2 and type-1 diabetes, it can also double the risk of cardiovascular disease and high cholesterol.

Additionally, Harvard Health Publishing has found other downsides of the keto diet, including:

  • Nutritional deficiencies

  • Liver problems

  • Kidney issues

  • Mood swings

The ketogenic diet remains a topic of intense debate within the medical community. While its benefits for weight management and certain metabolic conditions are well-documented, the potential long-term risks cannot be overlooked.

This recent study adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that the keto diet, particularly when followed without breaks, may lead to adverse health outcomes.

As with any diet, moderation and medical guidance are key.

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