A study recently published in the Journal of Physiology found that ketogenic diets could increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Researchers discovered that the first stage of this diet is the culprit.
Keto diets are low in carbs and high in fat and known to be a healthy diet that helps people lose weight. This study was conducted to see if keto diets are healthy or not.
Insulin is produced by pancreatic cells, and it is released into the blood to control the level of sugar in the bloodstream. It also tells the liver when it’s time to stop producing sugar. When this system is broken, the body cannot properly create insulin, leading to insulin resistance which is usually the result of a high blood sugar level in the body.
Researchers have found a link between this issue and the keto diet, which makes the liver resistant to insulin and if it cannot respond to insulin, it can increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
The Liver Becomes Insulin Resistant
The study was conducted by ETH Zurich and University Children’s Hospital Zurich. Researchers used mice in their trials, where they fed them two types of diet. One type was ketogenic, and another one was high in fats, and it also contained carbs. Then, they ran metabolic tests on the mice. They wanted to see the effects of the internal production of sugar (produced by the animals’ liver) and the way it is used by tissues (like muscles) while insulin was acting.
One of the co-author of the study, Christian Wolfrum, explains that diabetes is a big health issue and their study found that the keto diet is not that healthy:
“Although ketogenic diets are known to be healthy, our findings indicate that there may be an increased risk of insulin resistance with this type of diet that may lead to Type 2 diabetes. The next step is to try to identify the mechanism for this effect and to address whether this is a physiological adaptation. Our hypothesis is that when fatty acids are metabolized, their products might have important signaling roles to play in the brain.”
The research didn’t check to see if the diet caused obesity in long-term periods. However, the conclusion was that low carb and regular carb diets that include high-fat intake both cause insulin resistance in the liver.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.