Cell https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.04.027 (2020)

A ketogenic diet influences the composition of the microbiome, which in turn influences intestinal TH17 cells.

Credit: Shana Novak/DigitalVision/Getty

Very-low-carbohydrate high-fat diets induce ketone production and are used for the treatment of multiple diseases. However, their mechanism of action is unclear.

Ang et al. hypothesized that they might act thought the microbiome. They found that these diets did indeed alter human microbiome structure and function. Furthermore, they were able to show that in mice, the result of this was a reduction in pro-inflammatory TH17 cells in the gut. Further investigation will elucidate the importance of this in the diets’ disease-modifying effects.