The impact that diets have on our immune system can be a tool to help treat some diseases, such as cancer or inflammatory conditions. A small study carried out by a team from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found that changing to a vegan or ketogenic diet (also called keto) produces rapid and distinct changes in the immune system. This small pilot study has monitored the biological responses of a group of people who sequentially followed vegan and keto diets for two weeks, in random order. The results showed that the vegan diet elicited responses linked to innate immunity, the body’s non-specific first line of defense against pathogens. As for the keto diet, it provoked responses associated with adaptive immunity, specific immunity against pathogens built through exposures in daily life and vaccination. Related News standard No Vegetarian and vegan diets protect us from fats and cholesterol ABCSalud Starting to follow vegetarian or vegan diets from an early age increases the potential to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases caused by clogged arteries Both diets produced changes metabolic processes and modifications in the microbiomes – communities of bacteria in the participants’ intestines. Therapeutic nutritional interventions, which involve changing diet to improve health, are not well understood, and few studies have directly compared the effects of more than one diet. The keto diet is low in carbohydrates and generally high in fat. Vegan eliminates animal products and tends to be high in fiber and low in fat. In the study, the 20 participants followed both one diet (vegan or keto) for two weeks, followed by as much of the other diet as they wanted for two weeks. People on the vegan diet, which contained about 10% fat and 75% carbohydrates, chose to consume fewer calories than people on the keto diet, which contained about 76% fat and 10% carbohydrates. The effects of the diets were examined using a “multi-omics” approach that analyzed multiple data sets to assess the body’s biochemical, cellular, metabolic and immunological responses, as well as changes in the microbiome. Participants remained on site throughout the month-long study, allowing for careful monitoring of dietary interventions. The exclusive change to the study diets caused important changes in all participants. Vegan significantly affected pathways linked to the innate immune system, including antiviral responses. On the other hand, keto caused significant increases in biochemical and cellular processes linked to adaptive immunity, such as pathways associated with T and B cells. Standard Related News No The best diet to take care of our heart ABC Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause mortality worldwide. Claims 17.9 million lives a year The keto diet affected the levels of more proteins in the blood plasma than the vegan diet, as well as proteins from a broader range of tissues, such as the blood, brain, and bone marrow. The vegan diet promoted more pathways linked to red blood cells, including those involved in heme metabolism, which could be due to the higher iron content of this diet. Although more studies are needed to examine how these nutritional interventions affect specific components of the immune system, according to the authors, the results demonstrate that the immune system responds surprisingly quickly to nutritional interventions and suggest that it may be possible to tailor diets to prevent disease. or complement disease treatments, such as slowing down processes associated with cancer or neurodegenerative disorders.