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This Is How the Keto Diet Affects Aging, Science Says

Evidence suggests the diet has anti-aging benefits for animals, which has implications for humans, too.

The keto diet may help you lose weight, however, it turns out that there may be another reason to hop onto the food-related trend. When Medical News Today recently took a look at various diets and broke down how effective they are when it comes to fighting aging, they found that the keto diet may have some intriguing and promising benefits when it comes to keeping you healthier for longer.

Pointing to two studies from 2017, Medical News Today noted that both "reported that a low carbohydrate, low protein ketogenic diet increased the average lifespan of mice and improved the animals' health in old age."

The first study, which was published in the Cell Metabolism journal, found "that long-term exposure to a ketogenic diet, fed every other week starting in middle age, reduces midlife mortality and preserves memory in aging … mice." In the second study, which also appeared in Cell Metabolism, researchers found that the keto diet not only "extends longevity," but also preserves "[m]otor function, memory, and muscle mass" in the animals.

Obviously, that's great for mice, but what about us? The researchers claim "that the animal findings are 'highly suggestive' that ketones could have anti-aging properties," according to Medical News Today.

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Stony Brook University professor Lilianne R. Mujica-Parodi, PhD, led a 2020 study that also backed up the idea that a diet that is low in carbs may prevent brain-related issues that are caused by aging. "The good news is that we may be able to prevent or reverse these effects with diet, mitigating the impact of encroaching hypometabolism by exchanging glucose for ketones as fuel for neurons," Mujica-Parodi explained in a statement.

When it comes to how keto affects your body to bring about possible anti-aging results, Emma Pyke, a specialist in fitness, nutrition, and exercise and the founder of Fit Shape, tells Eat This, Not That!: "Keto diets play an important role in reducing amyloid plaques and can also reverse their neurotoxicity, resulting in increase memory."

While it may take more research for experts to fully determine how the keto diet affects the aging—or anti-aging—process over the long term, it certainly seems like it might have some incredibly positive effects.

If you're interested in giving keto a try, be sure to read The 20 Best Foods For The Keto Diet.

Desirée O
Desirée O is a freelance writer who covers lifestyle, food, and nutrition news among other topics. Read more about Desirée
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