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Gwyneth’s keto diet can add 10 years to your lifespan

The controversial high-fat, low-carb keto diet can add 10 years to your lifespan, research has shown.

Two new studies have concluded that the lifestyle – favored by self-modeled health expert Gwyneth Paltrow and others such as Mick Jagger and Kim Kardashian – can even ward off Alzheimer’s and cancer.

The studies tested mice who were fed the keto diet and found that they were more resistant to life-threatening diseases, and were more likely to live to old age in good health.

Researchers are now trying to create a supplement that will provide humans with the benefits of the diet without making them adhere to it.

Gwyneth Paltrow has also adhered to the keto diet

The ketogenic diet is popular among celebrities such as Mick Jagger (left) – who became a father last year at 72 years old – and Gwyneth Paltrow (right)

People who follow a ketogenic diet replace carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta and grains, with high-fat foods, such as cream and butter.

Adverse effects of the diet include impaired growth, which can be caused by a nutrient deficiency, as well as an increased risk of getting kidney stones.

Research has shown that low-carb meals produce a chemical called beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB).

BHB is a ketone, which is a chemical compound that is a byproduct of the process of fat breaking down in the liver. Ketones serve as alternative metabolic fuels for the brain and heart.

BHB is produced when someone adheres to a low-carb, high-fat diet. This happens because when they turn off access to gluclose – a primary fuel derived from eating carbohydrates – the body taps into its own fat stores for energy. This process is called ketosis.

For one of the two new studies, researchers from the University of California Davis fed mice a ketogenic diet, which was 90 percent fat. They started the mice on the diet when they had turned one, which is middle age for them. 


A typical keto diet meal

A typical keto diet meal

The keto diet was originally created as a cure for epilepsy.

It is prescribed to children who do not respond well to medications that treat epilepsy.

This cure can allow them to, eventually, stop seizing completely. 

The following are examples of meals that people on the keto diet could eat:


  • half a cup of coconut milk
  • half a cup of cultured dairy
  • four tablespoons of chia, flax or hemp seeds
  • two raw eggs


  • salad with organic lean turkey meat and olive oil


  • eight ounces of wild caught salmon with broccoli and steamed carrots

Study researcher Jon Ramsey said: ‘We designed the diet not to focus on weight loss but to look at metabolism. What does that do to aging?’

The mice were tested at various ages in tasks such as mazes, balance beams and running wheels.

The study concluded that a ketogenic diet provided the mice that followed it with a host of health benefits.

The diet increased their memory, coordination and strength during old age. It also reduced inflammation and the incidence of tumors.

The ketogenic diet-fed mice had a lower risk of dying as they aged from one to two years old but their maximum lifespan did not change.

They performed at least as well on memory tests during their old age – two years old – as they had during middle age. This was compared to mice who were fed a normal diet and showed an expected age-associated decline.

Additionally, the mice on the ketogenic diet explored more.

Professor Ramsey said: ‘The results surprised me a little. We expected some differences but I was impressed by the magnitude we observed: a 13 percent increase in median life span for the mice on a high-fat vs high-carb diet.’

‘In humans, that would be seven to 10 years. But, equally important, those mice retained quality of health in later life,’ he added.

Professor Ramsey also said that the results were applicable to humans.

‘At a fundamental level, humans follow similar changes and experience a decrease in overall function of organs during aging,’ he said, adding that the study ‘opens a new avenue for possible dietary interventions that have an impact on aging’.

The second study, from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, confirmed that the keto diet improved lifespan and memory in aging mice.

Tests on the mice checked for heart function and gene regulation changes through DNA analysis. 

Researcher Dr Eric Verdin, who worked on the second study, said: ‘The fact we had such an effect on memory and preservation of brain function is really exciting.’

‘The older mice on the ketogenic diet had a better memory than the younger mice. That’s really remarkable,’ he added.

Dr Verdin said that the two new studies reinforce each other and ‘show the same global effect on healthspan’.

Researchers are exploring a molecule that mimics BHB to see if simply taking it as a supplement can induce the same benefits of a ketogenic diet.

However, Dr Verdin expressed skepticism about its effectiveness, saying: ‘The ketogenic diet is a complicated, drastic diet to follow. Can we reduce all of this beneficial effect to one molecule?’