Press Esc to close

'Ketogenic diet' can ward off ageing: Study

Washington, Dec 7, 2012, PTI: 22:14 IST
A type of low-carb, low-calorie diet called “ketogenic diet” is rich in a compound that could delay the effects of ageing, scientists say.

Researchers in the laboratory of Gladstone Senior Investigator Eric Verdin, have identified the role that a chemical compound in the human body plays in the ageing process.

The mechanism may be key to new therapies for treating or preventing a variety of age-related diseases, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s and many forms of cancer.

Researchers examined the role of the compound beta-hydroxybutyrate (beta-OHB), a so-called “ketone body” produced during a prolonged low-calorie or ketogenic diet.

While ketone bodies such as beta-OHB can be toxic when present at very high concentrations in people with diseases such as Type I diabetes, researchers found that at lower concentrations, beta-OHB helps protect cells from “oxidative stress” — which occurs as certain molecules build to toxic levels in the body and contributes to the ageing process.

“Here, we find that beta-OHB - the body’s major source of energy during exercise or fasting - blocks a class of enzymes that would otherwise promote oxidative stress, thus protecting cells from ageing,” Verdin said in a statement.

Oxidative stress occurs as cells use oxygen to produce energy, but this activity also releases other potentially toxic molecules, known as free radicals.

As cells age, they become less effective in clearing these free radicals — leading to cell damage, oxidative stress and the effects of ageing. Researchers found that beta-OHB might actually help delay this process.

In a series of laboratory experiments, the team administered beta-OHB in a chronic calorie-restricted diet.

The researchers found that calorie restriction spurs beta-OHB production, which blocked the activity of a class of enzymes called histone deacetylases, or HDACs.

Normally HDACs keep a pair of genes, called Foxo3a and Mt2, switched off, but increased levels of beta-OHB block the HDACs from doing so, which by default activates the two genes.

Once activated, these genes kick-start a process that helps cells resist oxidative stress. This discovery not only identifies a novel signalling role for beta-OHB, but it could also represent a way to slow the detrimental effects of ageing in all cells of the body.

Go to Top

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
Two peacocks in a mid-flight at the Rastrapati Bhawan in New Delhi...

Two peacocks in a mid-flight at the Rastrapati Bhawan in New Delhi...

Former Telecom Minister A Raja addresses the gathering at his book launch 'The 2G Saga...

Former Telecom Minister A Raja addresses the gathering at his book launch 'The 2G Saga...

Police personnel stand guard near the premises of Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya...

Police personnel stand guard near the premises of Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya...

STF personnel recover gold after a raid which resulted in arrest of most wanted criminal Subodh...

STF personnel recover gold after a raid which resulted in arrest of most wanted criminal Subodh...

Former Miss Earth Nicole Faria addresses the event for felicitation of 112 women achievers...

Former Miss Earth Nicole Faria addresses the event for felicitation of 112 women achievers...

Bollywood actor Aishwarya Rai at an event to recognise 112 women achievers, to be honoured...

Bollywood actor Aishwarya Rai at an event to recognise 112 women achievers, to be honoured...

A farmer burns the residue of her sugarcane crop at her farm on a cold foggy morning...

A farmer burns the residue of her sugarcane crop at her farm on a cold foggy morning...

Kite-enthusiasts display a kite with an image of Kulbhushan Jadhav during International Kite...

Kite-enthusiasts display a kite with an image of Kulbhushan Jadhav during International Kite...

Honey bees visit a flower near Vijay Chowk area in New Delhi...

Honey bees visit a flower near Vijay Chowk area in New Delhi...

A squirrel eats corn grains on a cold winter morning in Bhopal ...

A squirrel eats corn grains on a cold winter morning in Bhopal ...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.