More fat and less sugar to extend life expectancy

News 5 September, 2017
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    Tuesday, 5 September 2017, 15:39

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    WASHINGTON | A ketogenic diet, rich in fat and very low in carbohydrate, has significantly improved the memory and the physical vigor of aging mice, extending their life, according to two studies carried out independently, which could provide new insights on human aging.

    A diet such as the diet Keto stimulates interest in the possibilities that it offers to lose weight. The sports world are interested to improve the performance of athletes.

    When the carbohydrate intake is reduced drastically, the body goes into a state of ketosis, which is burning its own fat to produce energy.

    Recent work on the ketogenic diet, published Tuesday in the journal Cell Metabolism, raise the hope to be able to increase the number of years in good health in humans”, say the researchers, pointing out that it is still necessary to conduct many clinical studies.

    “The fact that this diet has had such an effect on the memory and preservation of brain functions of these rodents is really surprising,” says Eric Verdin, skipper of the research Institute Buck on aging in California, and lead author of one of the studies.

    “Old mice fed the ketogenic diet had a better memory than young mice which is really remarkable”, leading the researcher.

    “I was surprised by the increase observed on average 13% of the life of the mice following the high fat diet… which is equivalent to a gain of seven to ten years for humans,” points out Jon Ramsey, a professor at the University of California, Davis, and lead author of the second study.

    The rodents in both studies followed three diets different a ketogenic from a year, which corresponds to middle age in humans.

    The mice in both experiments were tested at various ages to evaluate their abilities of memorization and learning in mazes as well as their sense of balance on rods and their physical resistance in the wheel of the year.

    Other tests of heart function and of the genetic changes revealed that the ketogenic diet produced physiological effects similar to fasting and physical exercise.

    “If we had a better idea of the biological mechanisms of anti-aging actuated by the ketogenic diet this would pave the way for the development of a single molecule to induce the same effects,” said professor Ramsey.

    These researchers found that the ketogenic diet is complicated to follow, with potentially adverse effects.

    “These two studies are important for advancing our understanding of the role of different nutrients on health and longevity”, says Ilaria Bellantuono, a professor of gerontology at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom who was not involved in this work.

    But, he adds, the results “should be interpreted with lot of caution… because the mice have a metabolism different.”