Two new independent studies show that a low-carb keto diet extends the lifespans of mice. It is yet to be determined whether these results are reproducible in humans, and so it is still “too soon to recommend it.”
Two new independent studies have shown that a low-carb ketogenic diet extended the lifespans of mice. A ketogenic diet is one where the daily caloric intake is comprised of mainly fats, adequate protein and a low amount of carbs. The diet is seen as highly controversial, as its main caloric source is fat- a demonized concept in mainstream culture.
In one of the studies, one group of mice were given a set daily caloric intake, 70 to 90 percent of which coming from fat. Control groups were given the same caloric intake with only 13 to 17 percent of it coming fat, and most coming from carbohydrates. The mice were then tested for longevity, midlife mortality as well as cognitive function.
The researchers found that the mice on diets higher in fat were significantly better than their control group counterparts in all three categories.
“This clearly demonstrate that lifespan is increased in mice consuming a ketogenic diet compared with the control group,” said the authors.
Comments on the Studies
“The conclusion we draw out of this is that it’s a robust effect,” said Dr. Eric Verdin, the lead author of one of the study and “Buck Institute for Research on Aging” chief executive and president. “The two studies reinforce each other because they both show the same global effect on healthspan.”
Susan A. Masino, a Trinity College applied sciences professor, agreed that although it remains unclear whether the results would be similar in humans, it is still a promising study. “This is a really exciting finding and long overdue. [Ketogenic diets] mimic the metabolic state of fasting, or caloric restriction — which has many similar benefits.”
She did caution, however, that it’s still “too soon to recommend” this diet.