Whether you’re on a weight loss diet or generally trying to keep the skin healthy, your first instinct would be to keep a distance from oil as it is quite infamous for taking up the calorie load of dishes and also impacting the skin health. However, a recent study, published in the ‘Journal of Investigative Dermatology’, has emphasised on the consumption of oil in a well-balanced ketogenic diet and that it may actually do wonders for your skin health.
“This study leads to a broader understanding of possible effects of ketogenic diets with a very high-fat content on skin inflammation and underlines the importance of the composition of fatty acids in the diet,” said co-lead investigator, Barbara Kofler, PhD, Research Program for Receptor Biochemistry and Tumor Metabolism, Department of Pediatrics, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria.
“We found that a well-balanced ketogenic diet, limited primarily to long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) like olive oil, soybean oil, fish, nuts, avocado, and meats, does not exacerbate skin inflammation,” explained Barbara Kofler.
“However, ketogenic diets containing high amounts of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) especially in combination with omega-3 fatty acids should be used with caution since they may aggravate pre-existing skin inflammatory conditions,” added Barbara Kofler.
Keto diet has gained popularity in the recent times. And now it is being evaluated as a potential therapy in a variety of diseases and have been suggested to act as an anti-inflammatory in certain conditions, reported the study.
Dietary products containing fish oil (rich in omega-3 fatty acids) or coconut oil (high in MCTs), consumed as part of a keto diet, are marketed and consumed by the general population because of their reported health-promoting effects.
The investigators of the study hypothesised that high-fat ketogenic diets would dampen psoriasiform-like skin inflammation progression. Also, the partial supplementation of long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) with MCT and/or omega-3 fatty acids would further enhance these effects. While the study did not confirm that hypothesis, its findings showed that an LCT-based ketogenic diet doesn’t worsen inflammation of skin.
Co-lead investigator Roland Lang, PhD, Department of Dermatology, Paracelsus Medical University, Salzburg, Austria, elaborated on the study’s results, “Ketogenic diets supplemented with MCTs not only induce the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines but also lead to an accumulation of neutrophils in the skin resulting in a worse clinical appearance of the skin of the mice.
“Neutrophils are of particular interest since they are known to express a receptor for MCTs and therefore a ketogenic diet containing MCTs may have an impact on other neutrophil-mediated diseases not limited to the skin,” added Roland Lang.