- Can Ketogenic Diets Help Muscle Stem Cells?
The new research conducted on animal subjects suggests that ketogenic diets help muscle stem cells survive stress, and scientists believe the same could be true for humans. A Stanford Medicine study tested lab mice and found ketogenic diets helped muscle stem cells survive when food was taken away.
University researchers at Stanford Medicine conducted the dietary study on lab mice and published their findings in June to Cell Metabolism – a health science journal.
The study was implemented to investigate the effects high-fat, low-carb diets and short-term fasting have on muscle regeneration since there is little research on the topic.
Keto diets are a popular weight-loss tactic that people use by eating a high amount of healthy fats – typically broken down to 55% to 60% – while eating a low amount of carbohydrates – typically broken down to 5% to 10%. This puts bodies into a state called “ketosis,” which prioritizes fat as a fuel source and leads to reduced body fat over time.
“We show that ketosis, either endogenously produced during fasting or a ketogenic diet or exogenously administered, promotes a deep quiescent state in muscle stem cells (MuSCs),” Stanford’s researchers wrote.
The popular ketogenic diet (keto diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that puts your body into ketosis, the process in which your body burns fat for fuel, rather than carbohydrates.
Fasting, on the other hand, appeared to slow “muscle repair both immediately after the conclusion of fasting as well as after multiple days of refeeding,” according to study results.
Lab mice underwent fasting periods that lasted between one and two-and-a-half days. The mice were “less able” to regenerate new muscle in their hind legs in response to injury compared to a non-fasting control group.
The rodent test subjects had an observable “reduced regenerative capacity” that lasted up to three days after the mice were fed again. Their weight returned to “normal” a week after the fast ended.
Muscle stem cells in these test mice were smaller in size and “divided more slowly” compared to mice that didn’t have their feedings interrupted.
The cells were found to be “more resilient” and “survived better” when transplanted and grown on a lab dish.
Researchers tested the stems under “challenging conditions,” which included nutrient deprivation, exposure to cell-damaging chemicals and radiation.
Many of the cells were successfully transplanted back into the lab mice. Non-fasting mice had a lower success rate.
“Usually, most laboratory-grown muscle stem cells die when transplanted,” said Thomas Rando, a professor of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford University.
“But these cells are in a deep resting state we call ketone-induced deep quiescence that allows them to withstand many kinds of stress,” he continued, in a university press release.
Muscle stem cells from fasted and non-fasted mice displayed “similar resilience” when treated with beta-hydroxybutyrate – a ketone body, which is a water-soluble molecule that’s responsible for ketogenesis that occurs when fatty acids are produced by the liver.
The muscle stem cells from older mice were treated with ketone bodies for one week, but their cells “grew more poorly in the laboratory” when compared to their younger counterparts. However, these muscle stem cells were able to survive just as well.
Rando said in a statement that cells evolved to survive times of abundance and deprivation, which includes access to food.
“Ketone bodies arise when the body uses fat for energy, but they also push stem cells into a quiescent state that protects them during deprivation,” he said. “In this state, they are protected from environmental stress, but they are also less able to regenerate damaged tissue.”
Stanford University’s news release about the study said the results are intriguing, but it needs to be researched more.
The university also said the study’s findings might give clues about the effect aging has on a body’s ability to regenerate and repair damaged tissue.
“As we age, we experience slower and less complete healing of our tissues,” said Rando. “We wanted to understand what controls that regenerative ability and how fasting impacts this process. We found that fasting induces resilience in muscle stem cells so that they survive during deprivation and are available to repair muscle when nutrients are again available.”
This article originally appeared on Fox News and can be found in it’s entirety here.
- Can A Keto Diet Help With The Aging Process?
Can keto help with the aging process? Ketosis is a metabolic state where ketone bodies (acetoacetic acid) replace glucose as primary fuel in the body. Ketones are produced by the liver when blood glucose levels drop below normal. Ketones are then used as an alternative fuel source by cells throughout the body. Ketosis occurs naturally when eating a high fat diet, fasting, or exercising. When we eat a low carb diet, our bodies produce less insulin which causes the liver to convert fats into ketones.
In order to stay in ketosis, you need to consume on average, less than 50 grams of net carbs per day. Net carbs are total carbs minus fiber. Some people may need to limit themselves to no more than 30 grams of total carbohydrates per day to remain in nutritional ketosis and maintain its benefits; while others may be able to consume more. A female on a keto diet should consume 40–50 g of protein per day, while a male should consume 50–60 g of protein daily.
The ketogenic diet was first developed over 100 years ago as a treatment for epilepsy. It involves drastically cutting down on carbohydrate intake while increasing fat consumption. The diet forces the body to burn stored fat instead of sugar for energy, causing ketones to build up in the bloodstream. These ketones are then used as energy by the brain and other organs.
There are many studies showing how the ketogenic diet helps treat neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, epilepsy, and cancer. There are even some studies suggesting that the ketogenic diet may help improve heart health. While it may take more research for experts to fully determine how the keto diet affects the aging—or anti-aging—process over the long term, it certainly seems like it might have some incredibly positive effects.
It is believed that the ketogenic diet works by forcing the body to use its own fat stores for fuel, rather than relying on glucose from food. The body being in ketosis cause three specific ketone bodies to be released. Of the three ketones, the most important (and the one which allows us to monitor ketosis levels) is beta-hydroxybutyrate. Research shows that beta-hydroxybutyrate blocks immune system receptors linked to inflammation. Not only does the ketogenic diet reduce inflammation it can also increase energy production.
A ketogenic diet is not recommended for everyone. If you have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney problems, thyroid issues, migraines, seizures, or if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consult with your doctor before starting any diet plan.