Study: Keto Diet May Help Protect Individuals Against Gout
The keto diet is all the rage right now, with many famous people and celebrities jumping on the bandwagon to stay in shape and lose weight thanks to its low-carb and high-fat requirements.
A new study has recently revealed that this ketogenic way of eating may also help when it comes to the gout condition.
A rheumatic illness, gout affects over eight million Americans and is caused by either insufficient excretion or excessive production of uric acid. As such, uric acid crystals are deposited within fluids and tissues, which can trigger a person’s immune cells. This causes inflammation for a patient in their joints, as well as terrible pain, and sometimes fever.
Episodes around immune cell reactivation are often referred to as flares, which can be triggered by NLRP3 inflammasome, a protein complex. The study which was launched at New Haven’s Yale School of Medicine aimed to look closer into the idea around the keto diet potentially helping with the uncomfortable and often painful symptoms that gout brings.
The keto diet works by sparking up “physiological ketosis” within one’s body; a metabolism level that works to “back up” the body’s glucose reserves when there are not enough for its central nervous system. It therefore requires another energy source and has the liver turn fats into ketone bodies and fatty acids. The research outlined in this article revealed that one of the ketone bodies, referred to as beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), might help to ease gout.
Medical News Today revealed that the team used rodents as part of their research, and developed new model of gout flare ups for the animals.
The flare ups were sparked by NLRP3 inflammasome. The rats were induced by gout via a 1.25 milligram injection of monosodium urate into the rodent’s knees. The animals were placed on a keto diet one week prior to the experiment. The researchers measured BHB levels within the rat’s blood.
While doing this, the team also reviewed human subjects.
Steroid-free, healthy adults were recruited between the ages of 18 to 45, as well as 65 years of age and older. It’s important to note that these human participants did not fast while blood was taken.
What was revealed when all was said and done, is that BHB levels were raised during the keto diet, and in turn, repressed the NLRP3 inflammasome. As such, the urate crystal-induced gout symptoms eased, without impacting the immune systems in a negative way.
Thus, the team concluded that BHB, an alternative metabolic fuel, can also become an anti-inflammatory molecule that could very well help with the gout condition.
While gout is not a fatal disease by any means, it is a very painful one that tends to recur over time, depending on a person’s diet. This study can not only help alleviate the symptoms of this illness, but potentially help place an individual on a path to avoiding gout in the future. Keto has been touted as an excellent diet for those looking to lose weight; maybe it can become a way of life for those who want to refrain from getting gout, as well?