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Does The Keto Diet Only Work For Men?
Does the keto diet only work for men? The benefits of the ketogenic diet could depend on gender. Gender makes the difference: the so-called ketogenic diet could work less well in women than in men. At least one study with mice now indicates this.
While the male animals lost weight with the help of the high-fat diet, their female counterparts achieved no success in this regard. On the contrary, the keto diet even seemed to have a negative effect on the regulation of their blood sugar.
A ketogenic diet is a unique form of low-carb nutrition. It involves replacing carbohydrates as much as possible with fat, which accounts for about 80 to 90 percent of calories. This method produces ketone bodies in the liver – chemical compounds that are broken down into the energy carrier Acetyl-CoA in the organs and brain with the help of certain enzymes. It causes the body to switch its metabolism, as in fasting: It now burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates as usual.
Initial studies suggest that the ketogenic diet is not only suitable for losing weight. It also seems to positively affect mental and physical fitness and improve blood sugar levels, among other things. However, not all effects and side effects of this extreme form of nutrition have been researched yet, as scientists around Jesse Cochran from the University of Iowa explain.
Males And Females In View On Keto Diet
“Most studies on the keto diet have been conducted with tiny patient groups or mainly male mice. For this reason, it has been unclear, for example, whether there may be gender differences in terms of effect,” says Cochran’s colleague Dale Abel.
To change this, the researchers have now specifically selected both male and female mice for their study. In the experiment, they fed a group of rodents according to the ketogenic diet rules – their diet consisted of 75 percent fat and only three percent carbohydrates. On the other hand, the control animals were fed a regular diet and received 47 percent of their calories from carbohydrates. How would the different diets affect the animals’ weight and health?
Keto Diet Successful Only In Males?
After 15 weeks, the results showed that the mice on the keto diet had indeed lost body weight and fat compared to their counterparts on the regular diet. However, this only applied to the male test subjects. In the females, however, the high-fat diet seemed to have less of an effect. Not only did they not show any success in terms of weight loss. The regulation of blood sugar also seemed to be suddenly disturbed in them.
In the search for an explanation for these striking discrepancies, the female sex hormone estrogen came under suspicion. Cochran and his colleagues tested whether this messenger substance could be responsible for the different effects of the ketogenic diet by removing the ovaries of some female mice. The result: these mice lost weight with the help of the keto diet, and their body fat percentage shrank.
Keto Diet Not Without Medical Advice.
As the scientists emphasize, they cannot transfer these results without further ado to humans. Nevertheless, they believe the observations suggest that women respond differently to a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet than men. “The influence of estrogen could also mean that post-menopausal women have better success with this type of diet than younger women,” Cochran says.
According to the team, anyone who wants to try a ketogenic diet should do so in any case only after consulting a doctor and undergoing accompanying examinations. Because this special Low Carb Diät is very unbalanced and thus not only difficult to keep up. Risk of consuming too many calories with all the fat or developing a deficiency of essential nutrients and vitamins.
Source: The Endocrine Society