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Video: The Keto Diet Can Be Dangerous For The Bones Of Athletes
The keto diet can be dangerous for the bones of athletes
A keto diet that is high in fat and low in carbohydrates can be hazardous to bone health in athletes. Scientists suggest that a lack of carbohydrates is bad for hormones.
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A ketogenic diet that is high in fat and low in carbohydrates can be hazardous to bone health in athletes. Participants in the new study, which is published in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology, were professional race walkers.
The ketogenic diet quickly "burns" the body's carbohydrate stores, after which fat becomes the main source of energy. Some athletes turn to such a diet with the expectation that it will help improve athletic performance.
Some previous studies have suggested that the keto diet can negatively affect bone density. For example, children who followed the keto diet to prevent epileptic seizures tended to lose bone.
For the new study, Australian scientists observed a group of athletes. Half of the subjects (15 people) chose to adhere to the keto diet, the second - to their usual diet, without restrictions on carbohydrates.
Scientists performed blood tests on the participants before the experiment, and then after three weeks of intense training while following one of the diets.
Bone tissue is active: it constantly changes its structure in response to various stimuli. The authors of the study measured the levels of markers in the blood of the participants that are associated with the breakdown of bone tissue, its remodeling and metabolism in it.
Differences were found in the analyzes of athletes who followed different diets. Participants who received the keto diet had increased rates of markers of bone breakdown, and levels of markers of bone formation decreased. In the blood of the participants of the second group, the indicators practically did not change. That is, the keto diet has been linked to signs of bone damage.
"We speculate that the keto diet may affect bone metabolism due to the effect of low carbohydrate availability on some hormones, among other factors," Louise Burke, head of sports nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sports, told NewYorkTimes.
In this study, the scientists did not test bone density directly or study changes in bone after three weeks of the experiment. Therefore, longer-term scientific work should clarify how long and expressive the effect of the keto diet on the bones of athletes can be.