Once again, health is at stake on the plate. Researchers at Stanford University (source 1) found that the ketogenic diet made muscle stem cells more resilient to stress. These findings were published in the journal Cell Metabolism.
“As we age, we experience slower and less complete healing of our tissues,” explained Dr. Thomas Rando. Before completing in a press release issued by the University: “We wanted to understand what controls this ability to regenerate and how fasting affects this process. We found that fasting induces the resilience of muscle stem cells so that they survive during deprivation and are available to repair muscles when nutrients are available again.”
A low carbohydrate diet
In this study, the team found that the ketogenic diet and fasting had the same protective effects. The so-called “keto” diet is based on a diet rich in good fats and low in carbohydrates. “Ketone bodies arise when the body uses fat for energy, but they also push stem cells into a resting state that protects them during deprivation,” Dr. Rando detailed. And to continue: “In this state, they are protected from environmental stressbut they are also less able to regenerate damaged tissue.”
Further research showed that muscle stem cells from fasted animals were smaller and divided more slowly. These cells were also more resistant. Additionally, the researchers isolated muscle stem cellss of aged mice treated with ketone bodies for one week. Thanks to this, the old muscle stem cells survived longer than the others. Although more studies are needed, the researchers believe these findings could help fight aging and improve stem cell function.