Keto diet may affect skin inflammation

In a new study, researchers found not all fats are equal in how they affect our skin.

They found that different ketogenic diets could impact skin inflammation differently in psoriasiform-like skin inflammation.

This finding leads to a broader understanding of possible effects of ketogenic diets with a very high-fat content on skin inflammation and underlines the importance of the composition of fatty acids in the diet.

The research was conducted by a team from Paracelsus Medical University in Austria.

Ketogenic diets heavy in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) such as coconut, especially in combination with omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and plant sources like nuts and seeds, exacerbated psoriasis.

The diets are increasingly popular because of their promise to treat a number of diseases and promote weight loss.

They are currently being evaluated as a potential therapy in a variety of diseases and have been suggested to act as an anti-inflammatory in certain conditions.

Dietary products containing coconut oil (high in MCTs) or fish oil (high in omega-3 fatty acids), consumed as part of a ketogenic diet, are marketed and used by the general population because of their reported health-promoting effects.

Previous studies have indicated that high-fat diets with a substantial amount of carbohydrates promote the progression of psoriasiform-like skin inflammation and the development of spontaneous dermatitis in mice.

In the current study, the team found that a well-balanced ketogenic diet, limited primarily to long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) like olive oil, soybean oil, fish, nuts, avocado, and meats, does not exacerbate skin inflammation.

However, the team warns that ketogenic diets containing high amounts of MCTs especially in combination with omega-3 fatty acids, should be used with caution since they may aggravate preexisting skin inflammatory conditions.

The researchers think most people following a ketogenic diet don’t need to worry about unwanted skin inflammation side effects.

However, patients with psoriasis should not consider a ketogenic diet as an adjuvant therapeutic option.

The lead author of the study is Barbara Kofler, Ph.D.

The study is published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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