In the field of diet and health, the scarcity of intervention trials often leads to a reliance on population studies for research. However, a recent study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences reported on an innovative and informative dietary trial.
The trial, led by Isabella Cooper, was novel and meticulously executed. Most diet trials take people following the standard dietary advice and put them on a different diet. This study took 10 young, healthy, women, who had been following a keto diet for approximately four years, and asked them to switch to the UK government advised ‘Eatwell’ diet.
The study outcomes were a number of markers of metabolic health and ageing – e.g. BMI, insulin levels, glucose levels etc. The women were measured for 21 days to establish their markers while on the keto (low carb high fat) diet. Then they switched to the UK ‘Eatwell’ (low fat high carb) diet for 21 days and their markers were recorded during this phase. In Phase 3, they reverted to the keto diet and the same markers were measured again.
During the ‘Eatwell’ diet phase, the participants experienced significant increases in health markers such as body weight, BMI, fat mass, total body water, insulin, and glucose. Notably, the levels of ketones in the blood plummeted dramatically. However, the subjects swiftly reverted to their original metabolic state after returning to the keto diet, underscoring their robust metabolic health from the outset. It is worth noting that this study’s focus on young, healthy women may limit its generalisability to other populations. Alternatively, it could be argued that young women are rarely studied (because of hormonal fluctuations) and hence findings in this ‘difficult’ population could well have wider applicability.
The full article shares Isabella’s verbatim conclusions and my six takeaways from this clever study.