Exploring the Effects of Diet on Diabetes in Mice

By Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg

This episode of the Science Bytes documentary series, produced by Kikim Media for PBS and the Public Library of Science, talks to Dr. Charles Mobbs about his research, which reversed the progress of kidney disease in mice with diabetes. Why do the mice in the diagram below appear to be eating bacon? The secret to their improved health was a low-carb (ketogenic) diet. 

Mobbs summarizes his research in a statement on the Science Bytes site:

Diabetic complications, including kidney failure, develop progressively and become apparently irreversible, even with complete correction of blood glucose. However, based on our studies of the basic mechanisms driving diabetic complications, we hypothesized that decreasing glucose metabolism as well as blood glucose levels would allow reversal of diabetic complications. We had previously shown that a particular chemical known as a ketone, which is used as fuel for the brain during nutritional deprivation, could block glucose metabolism. Ketone levels in the blood can also be produced by the low-carbohydrate low-protein ketogenic diet, which is used to treat epilepsy in people.

For more videos from Kikim Media, visit http://www.kikim.com.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/video/archive/2012/09/exploring-the-effects-of-diet-on-diabetes-in-mice/261127/