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Long-Term Ketogenic Diet Associated with Aged Cell Accumulation in Normal Tissues, According to Research

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Concerns have been raised concerning the long-term implications of a rigorous ketogenic diet by a recent study conducted by experts at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio).

Popular high-fat, low-carb diets, which are well-known for helping people lose weight and control their diabetes, may cause senescent cells, or old cells, to accumulate in healthy tissues, which can have an adverse effect on kidney and heart health in particular.

The study, which was published on May 17 in the journal Science Advances, shows that a continuous long-term ketogenic diet has pro-inflammatory effects linked to aged cells, but an intermittent ketogenic diet with scheduled intervals does not. This study has important therapeutic ramifications since it raises the possibility that regular breaks could improve the ketogenic diet’s advantageous effects.

The primary author and assistant dean of research at UT Health San Antonio, Dr. David Gius, stressed the significance of taking intermittent breaks from the diet to prevent any long-term effects. “To put this in perspective, 13 million Americans use a ketogenic diet, and we are saying that you need to take breaks from this diet or there could be long-term consequences,” stated Dr. Gius.

The Houston Methodist Cancer Center and other UT Health San Antonio departments worked together on the study, “Ketogenic diet induces p53-dependent cellular senescence in multiple organs.” Researchers discovered that mice on various ketogenic diets at different ages displayed indications of cellular senescence in the kidney and heart, among other organs. Senolytics were used to lessen these effects, and an intermittent ketogenic diet plan was used to avoid them.

The results highlight the need for more investigation and prudence for those following a long-term ketogenic diet. With an annual portfolio of $413 million, UT Health San Antonio remains the leader in academic research, and this study contributes to the expanding body of knowledge regarding the effects of dietary treatments on health and aging.

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