Diabetics often suffer from a decrease in muscle mass and also from a decrease in muscle function. However, it appears that a ketogenic diet can induce nutritional ketosis, which is associated with significant improvements in muscle mass and strength.
A new study by experts at Seoul Women’s University examined whether a ketogenic diet can preserve existing muscle mass and strength in mice with type 2 diabetes. The results can be read in the English-language specialist journal “PLOS ONE”.
Muscle problems with diabetes
People with diabetes have an increased risk of muscle atrophy (muscle loss) and changes in muscle composition, which can affect muscle function. However, not all diabetics are affected by muscle problems.
To analyze the effects of a ketogenic diet on muscles, the team examined a total of three groups of mice. These were a control group without diabetes with a standard diet (ten percent of calories from fat), a control group with diabetic mice and a high-fat diet (60 percent of calories from fat) and a group with diabetes and a ketogenic diet.
The mice in the ketogenic diet group were initially fed a high-fat diet for eight weeks, and for the following six weeks the animals were given ketogenic food in which 90 percent of the calories came from fat, the team explains.
After the 14-week study period, the experts finally carried out an oral glucose tolerance test and also tested the mice’s grip strength.
Effects on the muscles
The study showed that animals with diabetes that received a high-fat diet had lower muscle mass than the other two groups. In addition, according to the team, their grip strength was also reduced and the affected mice had smaller muscle fiber areas.
However, the mice with diabetes and a ketogenic diet showed comparable values to the animals in the control group and, according to the researchers, the ketogenic diet also changed certain stress markers in the muscles of the diabetic animals.
Taken together, the research team believes the study results show that a ketogenic diet can lead to an improvement in muscle mass and also muscle strength in diabetes. (as)