A new study recently published in Nature Metabolism by researchers at Yale University suggests that the ketogenic diet may only offer short-term benefits, and with long term use, it may start having adverse effects.
Researchers conducted the study upon mice, and focused on a immune cell called gamma delta T. Upon entering a ketogenic state, the mice’s bodies began to burn ketones for fuel, and the gamma delta T cells also became more abundant in the body. Within a few days, the mice showed a reduction in blood sugar and inflammation, but the benefits stopped there.
Over a longer period of time, researchers noticed a reduction in the gamma delta T cells, and as a result, the mice started to regain the weight.
While this may offer some insight into the ketogenic diet, it is important to recognize that the study was conducted on mice, and that long-term clinical trials on humans are necessary to further analyze the impact of the ketogenic diet.
The study’s lead author, Vishwa Deep Dixit, stated in a Nutraceuticals World report that before the ketogenic diet can be prescribed, large clinical trials in controlled conditions are necessary,
“to understand the mechanism behind metabolic and immunological benefits or any potential harm to individuals who are overweight and pre-diabetic.”