PKP: DIETA – The influence of low carbon hydroatate nutrition on health indicators


Duration of the project:

1. 2. 2017 – 30.6. 2017

Project leader:

Assist. Prof. Tamara Poklar Vatovec (SICRIS, ResearchGate)

Other participants:

Zala Jenko Pražnikar (SICRIS, ResearchGate)
Maša Černelič Bizjak (SICRIS)
Nina Mohorko (SICRIS, ResearchGate)


Project partners:

Maksimum d.o.o.
Neocortex Institute for Education, Treatment and Rehabilitation in the field of mental health


Ketogenic diet is very popular in lay literature as a method of weight loss, but there are many concerns in professional circles on its behalf, especially because of fear of ketoacidosis and dyslipidemia. Because the physiological environment of ketosis is very different from the physiological environment of a high-carbohydrate diet, it is important to study the health effects of a ketogenic diet before evaluating it. In the project, we tested the effects of a 12-week ketogenic diet on selected physiological and psychological health indicators in 38 otherwise healthy adults with obesity. During the first two weeks, the subjects were prescribed a low-energy diet with at least 75% energy intake from fat and 20% energy intake from protein. After two weeks the subjects were allowed to consume energy ad libitum, but had to consume at least 75% energy from fat and 20% energy from protein. The subjects lost weight, reported a reduced appetite, a spontaneously reduced energy intake, improved fitness, reduced emotional and external nutrition and improved body satisfaction. During the first two weeks, blood glucose levels dropped, and LDL cholesterol and inflammation indicator CRP increased, but then levels returned to baseline and remained stable until the end of the study. Throughout the study, a decrease in leptin and insulin levels and an increase in adiponectin levels were observed, which is beneficial to health. No signs of ketoacidosis were observed. An analysis of micronutrient intake showed that the subjects had significantly reduced their intake of calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, chloride and vitamins C, B6, B12, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin and folic acid. This intake was below recommendations, but the reduced micronutrient intake was not reflected in the reduced serum concentrations, nor was the oxidative potential of the serum. The 12-week ketogenic diet was found to be beneficial in obese subjects. However, attention should be paid to micronutrient intake, as many food groups are emitted. Although serum concentrations were not reduced in the short term, they could be reduced in the long term. In addition, the effects of a prolonged ketogenic diet should be evaluated as well as whether participants have maintained a lower body mass after discontinuing the diet.

»The authors acknowledge the project DIETA is finacially supported by the European Social Fund (80%) and Ministry of Education, Science and Sport (20%).«