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Effects of vegan, keto diets on immunity

A recent NIH study discovered significant immune system reactions to ketogenic and vegan diets. Participants adhered to each diet for two weeks. The keto diet triggered pathogen-specific immunity linked to regular exposure and vaccines. Conversely, the vegan diet prompted responses linked to innate immunity, the body's initial defense against pathogens.

Keto vs. vegan: Contrasting macronutrient compositions

During the two-week periods on each diet, participants were allowed unrestricted intake. On the vegan diet, comprising 10% fat and 75% carbohydrates, individuals consumed fewer calories compared to the keto diet, consisting of 76% fat and 10% carbohydrates. The study, with randomized diet sequence and diverse participant characteristics, suggests consistent dietary effects on bodily pathways. Further research on functional trade-offs is recommended, considering individual factors like genetics and preferences.

Impact of Keto Diet on Immune Function

The ketogenic diet, or keto, prioritizes high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb foods. By reducing sugar reserves and increasing fat-derived calories, the body enters ketosis, producing ketones for energy, aiding weight loss. In an NIH study, participants on keto showed enhanced adaptive immunity pathways, particularly T cell activation and B cell enrichment. Proteomic analysis suggested greater protein secretion impact than vegan diets.

Vegan diet's impact on the immune

The vegan diet excludes all animal products, emphasizing fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds. It's associated with weight loss, improved heart health, and reduced risk of chronic diseases like cancer and type 2 diabetes. Research notes increased erythropoiesis and heme metabolism, indicating higher dietary iron intake compared to the ketogenic diet.

The authors suggest that calorie intake variances may contribute to the observed differences (vegans consumed fewer calories)," Carter explained. "Thus, it's unclear if specific elements in the vegan diet or reduced intake triggered these changes.

The study underscores the significant influence of diet on immune function and microbiome health, but acknowledges the challenges of maintaining such rigorous diets. According to Kirkpatrick, while patients have experienced benefits from both vegan and keto diets, long-term adherence can be problematic. Many individuals struggle to sustain strict keto diets beyond six months, often opting for a low to moderate carb approach.

Sources-Medical News Today



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