India May 16(IM): The ketogenic diet which has been gaining traction among celebrities around the world, for its supposed weight loss benefits, may have other health benefits as well. A new study has indicated that the ketogenic diet may be helpful in promoting healthy eyesight. The study, which was published in the journal JNeurosci, has said that a diet high in fats and low in carbohydrates may help protect vision in glaucoma patients. However, the study was conducted on mice and hence, may have limited use for human beings.
Glaucoma is a disease in which there is damage to the cells which transmit visual information to the brain, resulting in vision loss and, in some cases, even blindness. There is a high incidence of glaucoma in diabetes patients, which suggests a potential link between this disease and metabolic stress. The study, which was lead by Denise Inman from the Northeast Ohio Medical University in the US, showed that following a diet high in fats and low in carbohydrates can act against degeneration of retina cells and their connections with the brain.
For the study, mice were genetically modified to develop glaucoma and were switched to a ketogenic diet composed of nearly 90 per cent fatty foods, for a period of two months. The diet acted by promoting better availability of energy to the cells in the mice. Although further research is required to ascertain whether a dietary intervention in the form of keto diet will actually be effective for glaucoma patients, this study has certainly indicated the diet may have more potential than just weight loss.
Here are some more claimed benefits of the ketogenic diet:
1. Heart-healthy: The ketogenic diet encourages consumption of high-quality good fat, which improves the amount of LDL in the blood, which in turn fights bad cholesterol in the body. It may also reduce inflammation, leading to a healthy heart.
2. Better blood sugar control: The ketogenic diet may help control the release of hormones like insulin, which may help diabetics in regulating blood sugar levels.
3. Better Cognitive Function: Keto diets are claimed to have been used in treating cognitive impairments and even reduce symptoms of Alzheimer's.
4. Promotes Longevity: A study published in the journal Lancet had indicated that following a diet high in fats may help you live longer, by reducing the risk of stroke. This is because ketogenic diet is high in saturated fat, which may protect the heart against complications.