Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition
Online ISSN : 1880-5086
Print ISSN : 0912-0009
ISSN-L : 0912-0009
Original Articles
Ketone production by ketogenic diet and by intermittent fasting has different effects on the gut microbiota and disease progression in an Alzheimer’s disease rat model
Sunmin ParkTing ZhangXuangao WuJing Yi Qiu
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2020 Volume 67 Issue 2 Pages 188-198


The benefits of ketone production regimens remain controversial. Here, we hypothesized that the ketone-producing regimens modulated cognitive impairment, glucose metabolism, and inflammation while altering the gut microbiome. The hypothesis and the mechanism were explored in amyloid-β infused rats. Rats that received an amyloid-β(25–35) infusion into the hippocampus had either ketogenic diet (AD-KD), intermittent fasting (AD-IMF), 30 energy percent fat diet (AD-CON), or high carbohydrate (starch) diet (AD-CHO) for 8 weeks. AD-IMF and AD-CHO, but not AD-KD, lowered the hippocampal amyloid-β deposition compared to the AD-CON despite serum ketone concentrations being elevated in both AD-KD and AD-IMF. AD-IMF and AD-CHO, but not AD-KD, improved memory function in passive avoidance, Y maze, and water maze tests compared to the AD-CON. Hippocampal insulin signaling (pAkt→pGSK-3β) was potentiated and pTau was attenuated in AD-IMF and AD-CHO much more than AD-CON. AD-IMF and AD-CON had similar glucose tolerance results during OGTT, but AD-KD and AD-IMF exhibited glucose intolerance. AD-KD exacerbated gut dysbiosis by increasing Proteobacteria, and AD-CHO improved it by elevating Bacteriodetes. In conclusion, ketone production itself might not improve memory function, insulin resistance, neuroinflammation or the gut microbiome when induced by ketone-producing remedies. Intermittent fasting and a high carbohydrate diet containing high starch may be beneficial for people with dementia.

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