The study demonstrated that transitioning exclusively to vegan or keto diets induced substantial and distinct changes in participants’ immune systems and metabolic pathways.
Written by saumya pandey |Published : January 31, 2024 12:29 PM IST
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conducted a groundbreaking study examining the rapid immune system and metabolic changes associated with switching to vegan and ketogenic (keto) diets. The study aimed to decipher the impact of these diets on the body’s innate and adaptive immunity, as well as the alterations in participants’ microbiomes. The study involved 20 diverse participants, encompassing variations in ethnicity, race, gender, body mass index (BMI), and age. Individuals sequentially followed vegan and keto diets for two weeks each, with the order randomized. Each person consumed as much as desired of one diet, followed by the other. The vegan diet was characterized by approximately 10% fat and 75% carbohydrates, while the keto diet featured about 76% fat and 10% carbohydrates. Participants on the vegan diet naturally consumed fewer calories than those on the keto diet.
Data Collection: A Comprehensive “Multi-Omics” Approach
Throughout the month-long study, blood, urine, and stool samples were collected for analysis. The “multi-omics” approach was employed to assess biochemical, cellular, metabolic, and immune responses, along with microbiome changes.
Key Findings: Immune and Metabolic Impact of Vegan and Keto Diets
Vegan Diet: The vegan diet triggered pathways linked to the innate immune system, emphasizing antiviral responses. More red blood cell-related pathways were observed, potentially influenced by the higher iron content in the vegan diet.Keto Diet: The keto diet prompted biochemical and cellular processes associated with adaptive immunity, focusing on pathways linked to T and B cells. More extensive changes in blood plasma proteins and tissues, including the…