Gut Microbiome Impacted Dramatically by Ketogenic Diet

Low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diets, which have attracted public curiosity in recent times for his or her proposed advantages in reducing irritation and selling weight reduction and coronary heart well being, have a dramatic affect on the microbes residing within the human intestine, collectively known as the microbiome, in response to a brand new UC San Francisco examine of a small cohort of volunteer topics.

Additional analysis in mice confirmed that so-called ketone our bodies, a molecular byproduct that provides the ketogenic weight loss program its identify, immediately affect the intestine microbiome in ways in which might in the end suppress irritation, suggesting proof for potential advantages of ketone our bodies as a remedy for autoimmune problems affecting the intestine.

In ketogenic diets, carbohydrate consumption is dramatically lowered in an effort to pressure the physique to change its metabolism to utilizing fats molecules, slightly than carbohydrates, as its major power supply – producing ketone our bodies as a byproduct – a shift that proponents declare has quite a few well being advantages.

“I obtained on this query as a result of our prior analysis confirmed that high-fat diets induce shifts within the intestine microbiome that promote metabolic and different illnesses in mice, but ketogenic diets, that are even greater in fats content material, have been proposed as a method to forestall and even deal with illness,” said Peter Turnbaugh, PhD, a UCSF associate professor of microbiology and immunology, member of the UCSF Benioff Center for Microbiome Medicine and a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator. “We decided to explore that puzzling dichotomy.”

In their new examine, printed May 20, 2020, in Cell, Turnbaugh and colleagues partnered with the nonprofit Nutrition Science Initiative to recruit 17 grownup chubby or overweight nondiabetic males to spend two months as inpatients in a metabolic ward the place their diets and train ranges have been fastidiously monitored and managed.

For the primary 4 weeks of the examine, the individuals got both a “normal” weight loss program consisting of 50 p.c carbs, 15 p.c protein and 35 p.c fats, or a ketogenic weight loss program comprising 5 p.c carbs, 15 p.c protein and 80 p.c fats. After 4 weeks, the 2 teams switched diets, to permit the researchers to check how shifting between the 2 diets altered individuals’ microbiomes.

Analysis of microbial DNA present in individuals’ stool samples confirmed that shifting between normal and ketogenic diets dramatically modified the proportions of frequent intestine microbial phyla Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes in individuals’ guts, together with vital modifications in 19 totally different bacterial genera. The researchers centered in on a selected bacterial genus – the frequent probiotic Bifidobacteria – which confirmed the best lower on the ketogenic weight loss program.

To higher perceive how microbial shifts on the ketogenic weight loss program may affect well being, the researchers uncovered the mouse intestine to totally different parts of microbiomes of people adhering to ketogenic diets, and confirmed that these altered microbial populations particularly cut back the numbers of Th17 immune cells – a sort of T cell vital for combating off infectious illness, but additionally recognized to advertise irritation in autoimmune illnesses.

Follow-up weight loss program experiments in mice, during which researchers progressively shifted animals’ diets between low-fat, high-fat and low-carb ketogenic diets, confirmed that high-fat and ketogenic diets have reverse results on the intestine microbiome. These findings urged that the microbiome responds in another way as the extent of fats within the animals’ weight loss program will increase to ranges that promote ketone physique manufacturing within the absence of carbs.

The researchers noticed that that as animals’ diets have been shifted from a typical weight loss program in direction of stricter carbohydrate restriction, their microbes additionally started shifting, correlated with a gradual rise in ketone our bodies.

“This was a little surprising to me,” Turnbaugh stated. “As somebody who’s new to the keto subject, I had assumed that producing ketone our bodies was an all-or-nothing impact as soon as you bought to a low sufficient stage of carb consumption. But this implies that you could be get among the results of ketosis fairly shortly.”

The researchers examined whether or not ketone our bodies alone may drive the shifts that they had seen within the intestine’s microbial ecosystem by immediately feeding ketone our bodies to mice. They discovered that even in mice who have been consuming regular quantities of carbohydrates, the mere presence of added ketones was sufficient to provide lots of the particular microbial modifications seen within the ketogenic weight loss program.

“This is a very fascinating discovering as a result of it means that the results of ketogenic diets on the microbiome will not be simply in regards to the weight loss program itself, however how the weight loss program alters the physique’s metabolism, which then has downstream results on the microbiome,” Turnbaugh stated. “For many people, maintaining a strict low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet is extremely challenging, but if future studies find that there are health benefits from the microbial shifts caused by ketone bodies themselves, that could make for a much more palatable therapeutic approach.”  

Ketogenic Diets Alter the Gut Microbiome Resulting in Decreased Intestinal Th17 Cells. Qi Yan Ang et al. Cell, May 20, 2020, DOI:

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