Reversal of diabetic nephropathy by a ketogenic diet

Michal M. Poplawski, Jason W. Mastaitis, Fumiko Isoda, Fabrizio Grosjean, Feng Zheng, Charles V. Mobbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Intensive insulin therapy and protein restriction delay the development of nephropathy in a variety of conditions, but few interventions are known to reverse nephropathy. Having recently observed that the ketone 3-beta-hydroxybutyric acid (3-OHB) reduces molecular responses to glucose, we hypothesized that a ketogenic diet, which produces prolonged elevation of 3-OHB, may reverse pathological processes caused by diabetes. To address this hypothesis, we assessed if prolonged maintenance on a ketogenic diet would reverse nephropathy produced by diabetes. In mouse models for both Type 1 (Akita) and Type 2 (db/db) diabetes, diabetic nephropathy (as indicated by albuminuria) was allowed to develop, then half the mice were switched to a ketogenic diet. After 8 weeks on the diet, mice were sacrificed to assess gene expression and histology. Diabetic nephropathy, as indicated by albumin/creatinine ratios as well as expression of stress-induced genes, was completely reversed by 2 months maintenance on a ketogenic diet. However, histological evidence of nephropathy was only partly reversed. These studies demonstrate that diabetic nephropathy can be reversed by a relatively simple dietary intervention. Whether reduced glucose metabolism mediates the protective effects of the ketogenic diet remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere18604
JournalPLoS One
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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