Researchers from Eric Verdin’s lab at the Buck Institute, Novato, CA; and Dr. J.Ramsey from Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California found that ketogenic diet improved memory and prolonged the lifespan in mice. Both the results were published in the journal Cell Metabolism. Keto-diet is a high-fat, adequate protein and low carbohydrate diet. In recent years this diet type grabbed a lot of attention linking it with weight loss benefits, epilepsy treatment and also on in adjuvant cancer therapy.
To test the mice’s cognitive skills development, scientists used tasks such as balance beams, running wheels and mazes. They also checked the mice for changes in heart function and regulation of gene expression. The keto-diet will raise the concentration of ketone bodies (Beta-Hydroxybutyrate acid) in the body which the scientists note, improves memory and life span. Dr. Newman explains the change in gene expression could explain the memory/cognitive improvement.
This study opens up new doors in the field of aging research. Researchers at Verdin lab are currently exploring similar keto-diet effects in the mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.