Researchers from the University of Primorska in Slovenia have just published the results of a 12 week study into the effects of the ketogenic diet on a group of obese individuals. Their results showed positive outcomes in several important health markers.
How the Study Was Done
For their study, the seven researchers chose 35 sedentary, obese adults—25 women and 13 men.
For 12 weeks, they had the participants follow a standard ketogenic diet of approximately 75% fat, 20% protein and less than 5% carbohydrates.
The goal of this protocol was to induce a state of ketosis in these individuals through carbohydrate restriction.
There were no other additional supplements or medication given to the participants and they were not required to do any supplemental exercise.
What the Study Found
Researchers said the 12 weeks on keto “resulted in decreased appetite, significant weight loss of participants (−18 ± 9 kg men vs. -11 ± 3 kg women) decreased emotional and external eating, increased body image satisfaction and improved physical performance.”
They also noted a “significant reduction” in insulin and an increase in adiponectin. Adiponectin levels are inversely related to fat stores and (according to ScienceDirect) high adiponectin levels indicate improved insulin sensitivity.
The researchers summarized their study by saying, “Our results show the efficacy of the 12KD on weight loss, physical performance, cognitive function, eating behaviors and metabolic profile.”
While the weight loss results of this study are impressive—with an average loss of nearly 40 pounds for the men and 24 for the women—the other noted improvements are quite interesting, as well.
The participants not only lost weight, they felt better physically, performed better mentally and showed signs of improved insulin sensitivity—all while their appetite decreased.
Along with this study, multiple others have noted appetite suppression when following the ketogenic diet. This study specifically looked at ghrelin (called the “hunger hormone”) levels while following the diet and found they were reduced as the study participants lost weight. This is contrary to what has been found in most non-ketogenic diets as ghrelin levels typically rise as an individual losses weight.
You can review the full study here.