PUBLISHED: 18:24, Tue, May 26, 2020 | UPDATED: 18:42, Tue, May 26, 2020
The keto diet has become well known for its potential weight loss benefits in recent years. The low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet has been shown in various studies to help shed the pounds as well as reduce blood sugar and insulin levels. However, the latest research has revealed that it could also have a positive effect on the gut.
While most people embark on a keto diet to lose their gut and tone up, the new research suggests that it could help from within, too.
A small study, published in the May 20 issue of the journal Cell, showed that it can significantly alter the microbes in your gut.
It’s thought the effects on the microbiome could even strengthen the immune system and help to reduce inflammation.
The two-month study first tracked microbiome changes in 17 obese or overweight men according to their diet, followed by further testing in mice.
READ MORE: How eating a high fat diet may help weight loss
The new study revealed the effects of the keto diet on the gut (Image: Getty)
The keto diet affects the gut microbiome according to the results of the study (Image: Getty)
"There has been a lot of work on ketogenic diets," explained study author Peter Turnbaugh, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of California, San Francisco.
"But we didn't know much about how these diets differ from other high-fat diets, how exactly they impact microbes, or whether or not these diet-induced changes to gut microbes matter," Turnbaugh said.
For the study, the researchers placed half of the men on a one-month "standard" Western diet based on 50 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent protein and 35 percent fat.
Meanwhile the other half started a keto diet made up of five percent carbs, 15 percent protein and 80 percent fat. After the first month the two groups switched diet plans.
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