The ketogenic diet has been widely researched for its potential benefits on weight loss, diabetes management, and brain health. However, it may also have positive effects on gut health, including improved digestive function and reduced inflammation.
Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury or infection. However, chronic inflammation can lead to a range of health problems, including gut issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The keto diet may help to reduce inflammation in the gut by lowering carbohydrate intake, which can decrease the production of pro-inflammatory molecules.
One study found that the keto diet reduced inflammation and oxidative stress in mice with colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease. Another study in humans found that the keto diet reduced markers of inflammation in overweight and obese individuals.
Improved Digestive Function
The keto diet may also improve digestive function by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. The diet is rich in healthy fats and proteins, which can provide fuel for the growth of bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These bacteria help to break down food, absorb nutrients, and regulate the immune system.
In addition, the keto diet may reduce digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea in individuals with IBS. One study found that a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet improved IBS symptoms in 90% of participants.
Overall, the keto diet may have positive effects on gut health, including reduced inflammation and improved digestive function. However, it is also important to note that the keto diet may not be appropriate for everyone, particularly those with certain medical conditions, such as liver or pancreatic disease. Anyone considering the keto diet should consult with a healthcare professional before starting.