Keto Diet May Not Work for Women – Here’s What Works Better – SciTechDaily

Keto Diet May Not Work for Women – Here’s What Works Better – SciTechDaily

UC Riverside scientists are trying to find the molecular basis of popular diets such as keto and intermittent fasting.

Scientists from University of California, Riverside are studying how the popular keto and intermittent fasting diets work on a molecular level, and whether both sexes benefit from them equally.

The idea behind the keto diet is that low levels of carbohydrates and very high levels of fat and protein will force the body to use fat as fuel, resulting in weight loss. Legions of people swear by it, and innumerable companies produce foods designed for those people.

Intermittent fasting operates on a similar principle, restricting eating to a small window of time during the day. During the hours without food, the body exhausts its stores of sugar and switches to burning fat. The fat gets converted to ketone bodies that the brain can use as fuel.

Despite their popularity, scientists have not yet identified the genes or proteins that enable the diets to work — if they work at all.

With the keto diet, you restrict carbohydrates while eating fat and protein, such as meat.

“The metabolic switch between sugar and fat — it’s amazing that we don’t understand it yet. But if we do, we can tell you if keto is right for you,” said UCR biochemist Sarah Radi.

A new, $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow Radi and cell biology professor Frances Sladek to investigate that switch. They believe they already have a sense of how it might work.

The key is likely a protein called HNF4 found at high levels in the liver. It is a transcription factor, which converts DNA into RNA, which is then made into new proteins, and it comes in two forms, P1 or P2.

With intermittent …….