Significance of the findings, future research
Speaking to MNT about the clinical implications of the study, Dr. Swanson said, “Our findings show that it is […] possible to get the anti-inflammatory effect of a ketogenic diet without actually being ketogenic.”
“[The keto] diet is difficult to follow […], especially for people who are acutely ill. Our work identifies a potential drug target that can produce the same effect as [the] ketogenic diet.”
Dr. Raymond Swanson
“I think the work also increases the scientific legitimacy of the ketogenic diet/inflammation link,” he added.
Dr. Swanson went on to highlight how important it is that the research conducted by he and his team uncovered a causal mechanism rather than simply pointing to an association.
“Most scientists,” he told us, “are reluctant to accept cause-effect relationships between events in the absence of a defined mechanism. Here we have provided a biochemical mechanism by which diet affect inflammatory responses.”
Dr. Swanson also shared with us some directions for future research. “Our work was very focused on brain trauma,” he said, but “next steps will be to expand the list of pro-inflammatory conditions that can be modulated by the CtBP mechanism.”