Background: the ketogenic diet (KD) has become a widely used nutritional approach for weight loss. Some of the KD's positive effects on metabolism and cardiovascular risk factors are similar to those seen after n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3) supplementation. We hypothesized that a ketogenic Mediterranean diet with phytoextracts combined with ω-3 supplementation may have increased positive effects on cardiovascular risk factors and inflammation.
Methods: We analyzed 34 male overweight subjects; aged between 25 and 65 years who were overall healthy apart from overweight. The subjects followed a ketogenic diet protocol for four weeks; with (KDO3) or without (KD) ω-3 supplementation.
Results: All subjects experienced a significant loss of body weight and body fat and there was no significant differences between treatment (body weight: KD-4.7 kg, KDO3-4.03 kg, body fat KD-5.41 kg, KDO3-5.86 kg). There were also significant decreases in total cholesterol, LDL-c, and glucose levels. Triglycerides and insulin levels decreased more in KDO3 vs. KD subjects, with a significant difference. All the investigated inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α) decreased significantly in KDO3 subjects whilst only TNF-α showed a significant decrease in KD subjects over the 12 month study period. No significant changes were observed in anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10 and IL-1Ra), creatinine, urea and uric acid. Adiponectin increased significantly only in the KDO3 group.
Conclusions: ω-3 supplementation improved the positive effects of a ketogenic Mediterranean diet with phytoextracts on some cardiovascular/metabolic risk factors and inflammatory state.