Keto Diet and Heart Health
Keto Diet

Keto Diet and Heart Health: Facts, Effects

There have been many studies that support the positive effects of low-carb keto on heart health, but there is still a lot of disagreement. Recently, another study on the keto diet and heart health came out, and, not surprisingly, the results showed that keto can reduce cardiovascular risk.

A low-carb, high-fat diet (keto diet), can improve your heart health in many ways.

→ Low Carb Lowers Triglycerides

The previously mentioned Virta Health study released their findings that the keto diet excels in cardiovascular disease, in addition to reversing type 2 diabetes. The researchers systematically followed and reviewed 26 parameters related to cardiovascular disease in a clinical trial, and after 1 year, there were significant improvements in 22 parameters.

Parameters related to cardiovascular disease
  • Among these indicators were.
  • Decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
  • An 11.9% reduction in the 10-year ASCVD (atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease) risk score
  • A significant reduction in the prescription of hypertensive medications
  • 39% reduction in inflammation (as measured by C-reactive protein).

→Ketone Bodies Are An Important Fuel for Patients With Heart Failure

The energy substrates utilized by the myocardium are fatty acids, glucose, lactate, ketone bodies, and amino acids, but under normal conditions, the myocardium utilizes fatty acids preferentially. However, in the early stages of structural heart disease, the heart’s ability to utilize fatty acids decreases, fatty acid oxidation decreases, and glucose begins to be used more often.

This, in turn, does not provide the heart with enough energy, and as a result, the heart muscle becomes deprived of energy, which can lead to heart failure. At this point, the heart in heart failure, reprograms the process of energy metabolism, changing its metabolic process to increase its reliance on ketone bodies to provide the heart with sufficient energy.

A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JAHA) conducted a randomized crossover trial with eight healthy subjects. The results showed that a 75 percent increase in myocardial blood flow was achieved by injecting the right dose of exogenous ketones, which meant a much lower risk of heart failure. The researchers noted that ketone bodies are important cardiac fuel and vasodilators that may have therapeutic potential.

Cardiovascular disease treatment potential

In addition, a 2019 study, a controlled trial of 16 heart failure patients, raised ketone body (3-OHB) levels by injecting exogenous ketones. The results showed that elevated ketone bodies increased cardiac output, decreased systemic and pulmonary vascular resistance, reduced ventricular filling pressures, and improved heart failure-related symptoms in patients with heart failure.

→Reduces Inflammation

People with high levels of inflammation have a doubled risk of heart disease, which is the source of heart disease.

Many recent studies have also found that the main cause of heart disease and atherosclerosis is not cholesterol, but inflammation. And ketogenic has been shown many times to significantly reduce inflammation.

Studies have shown that NLRP3 inflammatory vesicles if activated, will trigger inflammation and exacerbate dysfunction, cell death, and cardiac remodeling in an unhealthy heart. The main ketone body produced in a keto diet, beta-hydroxybutyrate (betaOHB), has a direct anti-inflammatory effect, and betaOHB blocks the activation and release of NLRP3 inflammatory vesicles.

A low-carb keto diet, a powerful anti-inflammatory diet, emphasizes the intake of good fats, in addition to reduced carbohydrate intake, to help reduce inflammation. By reducing or eliminating inflammation-causing Omega-6 fatty acids and reducing carbohydrates with olive oil, coconut oil, and animal fats, inflammation can be reduced.

→ Reduce Hyperinsulinemia

Heart disease is associated with obesity, dyslipidemia, and insulin resistance, and is especially closely linked to insulin. A long-term high-carbohydrate diet can cause long-term elevation of blood sugar and insulin, leading to an imbalance in glucose metabolism, which in turn triggers oxidative stress and causes inflammation, leading to vascular cell damage. A low-carb keto diet, on the other hand, will rapidly lower blood sugar, alleviate hyperinsulinemia, and greatly reduce the risk of heart disease.

→Reduces Oxidative Stress & Enhances Mitochondrial Function

Mitochondria are the creators of life’s energy. We breathe, walk, think, and eat, and we all rely on them to produce energy to do so. Naturally, our heart muscle cells are also dependent on healthy mitochondria for continuous energy production. However, mitochondria are not perfect, and while producing energy, they also produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can lead to oxidative stress in cells.

When energy production is accelerated, reactive oxygen species also increase and lead to more oxidative stress. ROS readily interact with cellular molecules, such as lipids, proteins, and DNA, changing the chemical composition of these molecules and thus their function.

The result is more oxidative stress, which can lead to mitochondrial damage and damaged mitochondria that are inefficient in energy production. This is often referred to as mitochondrial dysfunction and is the main feature of heart failure.

A keto diet, on the other hand, greatly reduces the production of free radicals and reduces oxidative stress. A keto diet also elevates ketone body levels, which have important metabolic and signaling roles that enhance mitochondrial function and improve endogenous antioxidant defense.

Final Conclusion

A low-carb keto diet reduces inflammation, improves oxidative stress, lowers triglycerides, enhances mitochondrial function, lowers blood glucose and insulin, and is very helpful for the heart.