Yeast on Atkins:A Study of Protein Diets on Yeast Growth By Ana Gordon-Loebl
Introduction • The average person in the U.S. gets 50% of calories from carbs • On the Atkins diet, only 10% of calories come from carbs • The body’s response to low carb intake is called ketosis. • People in ketosis burn stored fat for energy. This takes more energy than burning carbs, so more protein is needed to burn the same # of calories
Introduction, Continued • Digestion in yeast cells is comparable to digestion in human cells. • Humans and yeast are very similar on a cellular level. • Just like human cells, each yeast cells contains a cytoplasmic membrane, cytoplasm, a nucleus, vacuoles, and mitochondria. • During the growth phases, yeast breaks simple sugars down to release energy and uses nutrients from a nitrogen source (i.e. amino acids).
Hypothesis • The yeast grown in higher concentrations of carbohydrates will grow more quickly than the yeast grown with higher concentrations of protein. • After 5 days, there will be more colonies of yeast in the trays with carbohydrates than in t he trays with protein. • I hypothesize that there will be a direct relationship between the concentration of carbohydrates in the tray and the number of yeast colonies that will grow in the tray.
Methods • Five trays of gelatin were prepared in muffin tins. • Each tray held a different concentration of proteins and carbohydrates. • Yeast was spread equally over each of the trays and was left to grow for 5 days. • After 5 days, the yeast colonies were counted and recorded. • These steps were repeated 4 times in order to collect 4 different sets of data.
Methods, continued I used muffin tins w/ aluminum cupcake inserts, Baker’s yeast, and amino acids in the form of protein pills I spread the yeast (dissolved in warm water) in the tray in the above way)
Evidence Trials 1 & 2 on Day 5 Trials 1 & 2 on Day 1
Results, continued • The graph shows a direct relationship between the concentration of carbs in the tray and the number of colonies that grew in each tray. • As the concentration of carbohydrates decreased, so did the number of colonies • In addition, the graph shows an indirect relationship between the concentration of protein and the number of colonies (as the concentration of protein increased, the number of colonies decreased). • Both trials were contaminated with mold, so the results may not be 100% accurate
Conclusion • The hypothesis that there is a direct relationship between the concentration of carbohydrates in the tray and the number of yeast colonies in grown in the tray was proven. • From the results of the experiment, it can be concluded that the Atkins diet is effective in slowing the growth of yeast colonies. • Further, one can take the results and infer that the Atkins diet would therefore slow the growth of humans as well. • However, more trials will have to be done before concrete conclusions are made because the mold may have influenced the results.
Future Studies • In order to test the effectiveness of the Atkins diet compared to low-fat diets, yeast could be put on diets with varying concentrations of carbohydrates. • In order to test the effects of the Atkins diet on the body’s immune system, yeast can be grown with varying degrees of the diet and then be put under stress (i.e. soaked in detergent). The ability of the yeast to recover from this stress could provide insight into the healthiness of the Atkins diet.