Credit: © anaumenko / Fotolia

Credit: © anaumenko / Fotolia

Can eating healthy fats help you live longer?

We have seen how healthy fats can help your heart and even aid in weight loss efforts. Can eating healthy fats help you live longer?

A new study from UC Davis aimed to find out how a high fat or ketogenic diet can help with longevity and physical strength.

The results surprised me a little,” said nutritionist Jon Ramsey, senior author of the paper. “We expected some differences, but I was impressed by the magnitude we observed — a 13 percent increase in median life span for the mice on a high fat vs high carb diet. In humans, that would be seven to 10 years. But equally important, those mice retained quality of health in later life.”

Ketogenic diets have soared in popularity lately amongst athletes and body builders. The point of the ketogenic is to keep your carb and glucose intake so low, that your body goes into a state of ketosis, where is burns fat for energy instead of sugar.

The mice in the study were split into three groups: a regular high-carb diet, a low carb/high fat diet, and a ketogenic diet.

We designed the diet not to focus on weight loss, but to look at metabolism,” Ramsey said. “What does that do to aging?

The ketogenic diet not only increased the lifespan of the mice, it also increase memory and motor function, while decreasing inflammation. It even reduced incidences of tumors.

In this case, many of the things we’re looking at aren’t much different from humans,” Ramsey said. “At a fundamental level, humans follow similar changes and experience a decrease in overall function of organs during aging. This study indicates that a ketogenic diet can have a major impact on life and health span without major weight loss or restriction of intake. It also opens a new avenue for possible dietary interventions that have an impact on aging.”

The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism. 

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Good high fat diet may postpone brain aging.
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High protein diets help improve blood sugar. 

REFERENCES:
1. “Eat Fat, Live Longer?” UC Davis, UC Davis, 5 Sept. 2017, http://www.ucdavis.edu/news/eat-fat-live-longer.

2. “A Ketogenic Diet Extends Longevity and Healthspan in Adult Mice.” Cell Metabolism, Cell Metabolism, 5 Sept. 2017, http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/abstract/S1550-4131(17)30490-4.
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