Many swear that the ketogenic diet aids in weight loss, but men might be reaping more benefits than women from the high-fat/low-carbohydrate meal plan.
A new study presented at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society revealed that in animal models, female mice failed to demonstrate the metabolic benefits of keto, including weight loss and improved blood sugar control.
"Our findings in mice suggest that females on the ketogenic diet are less likely than males to experience significant fat loss and are more likely to exhibit impaired blood sugar control," shared Jesse Cochran, lead investigator of the study and a research assistant at the University of Iowa. "These results may help explain discrepancies in this diet's success rates across the sexes."
Ketogenic Diet On Mice
For the study, the researchers fed the male and female lab mice either a normal or ketogenic diet. The normal or the control group received 47 percent carbohydrates, 19 percent protein, and 7 percent fat. Meanwhile, the keto group received 75 percent fat, 8 percent protein, and 3 percent carbohydrates.
After 15 weeks, the female mice from the keto group experienced impaired blood sugar control. They also did not lose significant weight. Among male mice, however, loss of body weight and a maintained blood sugar control were reported from the ketogenic diet group.
The researchers noted that male mice on the ketogenic diet also had a worsened non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Cochran speculated that estrogen might explain why female mice are not reaping the promised benefits of the ketogenic diet. To test, she removed the ovaries of some female mice and then fed them with either normal or ketogenic diet. She found that female mice that had ovaries removed demonstrated weight loss after consuming high-fat/low-carbohydrate meals.
Results Might Vary
The researchers suggested that women who have gone through menopause might gain more from a ketogenic diet.
Cochran also stated that the study only proves that not everybody would get the same results from keto or any other diet from that matter. The researchers said that people should consult their doctors or a dietician before going on a diet for weight loss or health reasons.