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Can Brain Utilize Ketones?

Ketones Suppress Brain Glucose Consumption

Ketones Suppress Brain Glucose Consumption

Go to: 1. INTRODUCTION Neurodegeneration after oxidative stress limits the recovery of tissue response and appears to be caused by impaired glycolysis. If indeed there is a defect in glucose metabolism it might be beneficial to supplement energy metabolism with an alternate substrate. It was suggested that brain can supplement glucose as the principal energy substrate with ketone bodies1–3 without altering oxygen consumption4,5. Classic studies of ketosis induced by fasting or starvation in humans showed that brain function was maintained which was attributed to the utilization (oxidation) of ketone bodies as alternate energy substrates to glucose by the brain6. Rats that have been fasted for 2–3 days showed no difference in cerebral blood flow (CBF) or CMRO27. One mechanism by which ketosis might be beneficial is through the metabolic step where ketones enter the TCA cycle at the level of citrate bypassing glycolysis, the step after pyruvate dehydrogenase complex where the enzyme activity is often impaired. Through feed-back regulation, ketones are known to down regulate glycolytic rates at various levels such as citrate, phosphofructokinase and/or hexokinase. In addition, particularly in brain, ketones are a carbon source for glutamate (anaplerosis) and thus help to balance glutamate/glutamine homeostasis through stabilization of energy metabolism in astrocyte following recovery from a hypoxic/ischemic event. Based on our experiments and evidence in the literature, we have developed the hypothesis that ketones are effective against pathology associated with altered glucose metabolism, the rationale being that ketosis helps to regulate glucose metabolism. In this study, the effects of ketosis on the local cerebral metabolic rate of glucose consumption (CMRglu) were Continue reading >>

What Are Ketones And Are They Healthy?

What Are Ketones And Are They Healthy?

What Are Ketones and Are They Healthy? If you are up on your health news or follow anyone in the health field, you have likely heard the term ketogenic diet. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to adapt the body to utilize fat as its primary fuel source instead of sugar. The body does this by first converting fat into what are called ketones that the cells can then burn as fuel. It is at this point that I typically get asked, what are ketones? In this article, I am going to clear up any gaps, explain exactly how ketogenisis works, and why it can be so beneficial for the human body. Biological Role of Ketones For our ancestors, eating three meals a day just wasn’t a thing. Instead they would hunt and forage for the foods they could find. When there wasn’t food, they wouldn’t eat. What this means is that sometimes they would go for days at a time with no food. To sustain life during times of scarcity, the body is thought to have developed the ability to utilize fat as an alternative fuel source. In a traditional nutrition course, you would learn that sugar is the body’s primary fuel source while fat is a secondary fuel source. When sugar stores are burned up, the cells then convert to burning fat as an energy source. What we are finding out now is that fat can actually be a healthier and more sustainable source of energy. Our Society Is Full of Sugar Burners Modern day, we have an abundance of food that is available to us at all times. Most of us regularly eat three meals a day with intermittent snacking in between. This kind of frequent eating, along with an overemphasis on carb-rich and sugary foods, causes a reduced ability to burn fat. As these foods damage our bodies on a metabolic level, we actually lose the ability to produce ketones. This type of reliance on Continue reading >>

The Brain

The Brain

This is a summary/extract from The Ketogenic Diet by Lyle McDonald. The fact that the brain is incapable of using FFA for fuel has led to one of the biggest misconceptions about human physiology: that the brain can only use glucose for fuel. While it is true that the brain normally runs on glucose, the brain will readily use ketones for fuel if they are available. In a non-ketotic state, the brain utilizes roughly 100 grams of glucose per day. This means that any diet which contains less than 100 grams of carbohydrate per day will induce ketosis, the depth of which will depend on how many carbohydrates are consumed (i.e. less carbohydrates will mean deeper ketosis). During the initial stages of ketosis, any carbohydrate intake below 100 grams will induce ketosis. As the brain adapts to using ketones for fuel and the body’s glucose requirements decrease, less carbohydrate must be consumed if ketosis is to be maintained. […] the brain which can derive up to 75% of its total energy requirements from ketones after adaptation. In all likelihood, ketones exist primarily to provide a fat-derived fuel for the brain during periods when carbohydrates are unavailable. Continue reading >>

The Ultimate Guide To Ketones And Ketosis

The Ultimate Guide To Ketones And Ketosis

Ketones and Ketosis are one of the hottest health trends right now and are rising in popularity - so what’s all the fuss about? Many people still don’t know what ketones are or why ketosis would be a desirable lifestyle, but as more and more people experience the benefits a ketogenic lifestyle can offer, the clearer it becomes. We’re here to help you sift through the facts and fallacies so you can understand what ketones and ketosis are and whether or not a ketogenic diet is right for you. We’ll start with the basics of what it means to be ketogenic or live in ketosis. Then you’ll get a break down of the best diet tips and recipes. BONUS: Access the FREE Ketosis Cheat sheet What are Ketones? Humans naturally get energy from glucose which is the result of broken down carbohydrates. Ketones are an alternative fuel source to glucose made by breaking down fats for energy as opposed to glucose. People who suffer from epilepsy, Parkinson’s, Alzheimers or even those who just have an aging brain tend to have dysfunctional glucose uptake in the brain. In fact, more and more research is providing evidence that these are diseases of lifestyle - brought on by insulin resistance and too many carbohydrates consumed over a lifetime. When the liver is in ketosis and is able to construct ketones from fatty acids for energy for the brain to function, our bodies are able to function for longer periods of time without needing to constantly be fed. Cognitive Benefits of Ketosis The benefits of following a ketogenic diet and using ketones for brain function aren’t restricted to those with an aging, epileptic, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer's brain. Even healthy people can drastically improve their brain function and overall health with ketones. The trend of high fat, low-carb diets Continue reading >>

6 Health Benefits Of Ketogenesis And Ketone Bodies

6 Health Benefits Of Ketogenesis And Ketone Bodies

With heavy coverage in the media, ketogenic diets are all the rage right now. And for a good reason; for some people, they truly work. But what do all these different terms like ketogenesis and ketone bodies actually mean? Firstly, this article takes a look at what the ketogenesis pathway is and what ketone bodies do. Following this, it will examine six potential health benefits of ketones and nutritional ketosis. What is Ketogenesis? Ketogenesis is a biochemical process through which the body breaks down fatty acids into ketone bodies (we’ll come to those in a minute). Synthesis of ketone bodies through ketogenesis kicks in during times of carbohydrate restriction or periods of fasting. When carbohydrate is in short supply, ketones become the default energy source for our body. As a result, a diet to induce ketogenesis should ideally restrict carb intake to a maximum of around 50 grams per day (1, 2). Ketogenesis may also occur at slightly higher levels of carbohydrate intake, but for the full benefits, it is better to aim lower. When ketogenesis takes place, the body produces ketone bodies as an alternative fuel to glucose. This physiological state is known as ‘nutritional ketosis’ – the primary objective of ketogenic diets. There are various methods you can use to test if you are “in ketosis”. Key Point: Ketogenesis is a biological pathway that breaks fats down into a form of energy called ketone bodies. What Are Ketone Bodies? Ketone bodies are water-soluble compounds that act as a form of energy in the body. There are three major types of ketone body; Acetoacetate Beta-hydroxybutyrate Acetone (a compound created through the breakdown of acetoacetate) The first thing to remember is that these ketones satisfy our body’s energy requirements in the same w Continue reading >>

Your Brain On Ketones

Your Brain On Ketones

The modern prescription of high carbohydrate, low fat diets and eating snacks between meals has coincided with an increase in obesity, diabetes, and and increase in the incidence of many mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. In addition, many of these disorders are striking the population at younger ages. While most people would agree that diet has a lot to do with the development of obesity and diabetes, many would disagree that what we eat has much to do with our mental health and outlook. I believe that what we eat has a lot to do with the health of our brains, though of course mental illness (like physical illness) has multifactorial causes, and by no means should we diminish the importance of addressing all the causes in each individual. But let's examine the opposite of the modern high carbohydrate, low fat, constant snacking lifestyle and how that might affect the brain. The opposite of a low fat, snacking lifestyle would be the lifestyle our ancestors lived for tens of thousands of generations, the lifestyle for which our brains are primarily evolved. It seems reasonable that we would have had extended periods without food, either because there was none available, or we were busy doing something else. Then we would follow that period with a filling meal of gathered plant and animal products, preferentially selecting the fat. During the day we might have eaten a piece of fruit, or greens, or a grub we dug up, but anything filling or high in calories (such as a starchy tuber) would have to be killed, butchered, and/or carefully prepared before eating. Fortunately, we have a terrific system of fuel for periods of fasting or low carbohydrate eating, our body (and brain) can readily shift from burning glucose to burning what ar Continue reading >>

The Beginner’s Guide To Exogenous Ketones

The Beginner’s Guide To Exogenous Ketones

Have you been wondering what exogenous ketones are? If so, you’re not the only one. The keto-dieting world has been buzzing with information about developments on exogenous ketones for awhile now, with many brands producing exogenous ketones that are used by Keto lifestylers around the world. But the majority of Keto dieters don’t completely understand what exogenous ketones are or how they can benefit their diet (or dieting options). In this post, we’ll provide you with easy to read information about exogenous ketones. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to utilize exogenous ketones in your diet, and teach others about their value. Let’s start with the label! The Definition of Exogenous Ketones Two words: exogenous and ketones. The word exogenous describes something that is developed from external factors; something outside of the usual production. So in terms of ketones, this means that exogenous ketones are synthetic: created outside of your body by scientists and then ingested for accelerated ketosis. We assume that you already know what ketones are, but just in case, we’ll give you a brief description of this term as well. Ketones, are organic compounds produced by in your body when your system experiences starvation, or when you restrict carbohydrates and increase fats, which inhibits a starvation-like state that produces ketone bodies. These ketones are an ideal fuel source for your body and your brain. Studies have suggested that when your body is in a ketogenic state, it utilizes oxygen more efficiently in the generation of energy. In short, ketones are secret weapons for anyone looking to take their body’s fueling system to the next level! To restate the point: Exogenous Ketones are ketone supplements. They’re created outside of your body and i Continue reading >>

Beta Hydroxybutyrate

Beta Hydroxybutyrate

Summary Beta hydroxybutyrate (BHB) is the first ketone body produced in a fasting state. It is commonly produced by the body during periods without much food (glucose) in order to provide an alternative energy fuel source [1]. Although it is not technically a “ketone” (owing to the bonding structure), for the purposes of this post it is. Diets that are low in carbohydrates and high in fatty acids can either prompt the body to produce ketone bodies, such as beta hydroxybutyrate, or allow people to consume them exogenously (outside the body) instead. These exogenous ketone supplements have grown in popularity along with the ketogenic diet and media attention from popular icons such as Tim Ferriss [2] and Dave Asprey [3]. Although supplementation of beta hydroxybutyrate has been described as “jet fuel” [4] and undesirable, modern iterations of exogenous ketones are making it easier for anyone to utilize these ketone bodies for optimal brain performance. Also Known As Ketone bodies, Beta-hydroxybutyric acid, 3-hydroxybutyrate Editors’ Thoughts on Beta Hydroxybutyrate Making exogenous ketones palatable is one of the most exciting things for me right now. As I prepare to embark on an experiment doing cyclical ketosis with my girlfriend, exogenous ketone bodies like beta hydroxybutyrate will be incredibly important for kickstarting ketosis (for her especially). The addition of beta hydroxybutyrate will make the ketogenic process easier, though I’m not sure how much. Mansal Denton, Nootropedia Editor Benefits of Beta Hydroxybutyrate There are a host of benefits of beta hydroxybutyrate, but it is primarily known as a fuel source in the absence of glucose. Within 24 – 72 hours without food, the body no longer uses glucose as the main fuel support system, which is wh Continue reading >>

Ketosis

Ketosis

There is a lot of confusion about the term ketosis among medical professionals as well as laypeople. It is important to understand when and why nutritional ketosis occurs, and why it should not be confused with the metabolic disorder we call ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where the liver produces small organic molecules called ketone bodies. Most cells in the body can use ketone bodies as a source of energy. When there is a limited supply of external energy sources, such as during prolonged fasting or carbohydrate restriction, ketone bodies can provide energy for most organs. In this situation, ketosis can be regarded as a reasonable, adaptive physiologic response that is essential for life, enabling us to survive periods of famine. Nutritional ketosis should not be confused with ketoacidosis, a metabolic condition where the blood becomes acidic as a result of the accumulation of ketone bodies. Ketoacidosis can have serious consequences and may need urgent medical treatment. The most common forms are diabetic ketoacidosis and alcoholic ketoacidosis. What Is Ketosis? The human body can be regarded as a biologic machine. Machines need energy to operate. Some use gasoline, others use electricity, and some use other power resources. Glucose is the primary fuel for most cells and organs in the body. To obtain energy, cells must take up glucose from the blood. Once glucose enters the cells, a series of metabolic reactions break it down into carbon dioxide and water, releasing energy in the process. The body has an ability to store excess glucose in the form of glycogen. In this way, energy can be stored for later use. Glycogen consists of long chains of glucose molecules and is primarily found in the liver and skeletal muscle. Liver glycogen stores are used to mai Continue reading >>

Ketones The Preferable Energy To Brain

Ketones The Preferable Energy To Brain

Ketones Ketones are organic water soluble compounds, chemically characterised by the presence of carbonyl group in which a carbon atom forms a double bond with an oxygen atom and joins with two other carbons. Increased ketone level (B-hydroxybutyrate) in the blood called ketosis which is nutritional as long as ketone level in the blood is within the normal average which is 0.3-5mmol/l. Ketone bodies They are the three ketones released in the liver as by-products during the process of fat metabolism. It includes beta- hydroxyl butyrate, acetoacetate and acetone. The last one is excreted in the urine while the other two are used for energy. The body usually depends on glucose for energy .In cases of fasting, and starvation there is a decrease in blood glucose levels. That pushes the body to utilize the stored fat and release fatty acids and ketones as an alternative source of energy. This ketone production is mainly for the brain. “Ketone supply the brain with the energy not only to survive but to thrive " Dr.Bruce fife All the body organs can either use glucose or fatty acid as a source of energy except the brain. The brain can only use glucose or ketones to produce the energy it needs .Ketones are the preferable source of energy for the brain as the fatty acids are the preferable source of energy for the heart. Due to the myths of our time, we are encouraged to follow a low- fat diet to keep our heart and brain healthy, but in truth our heart and brain prefer fat sources to function better and become healthier. Ketones are a high-energy fuel that nourishes the brain. Dr.theodore vanltallie MD, Home > Ketones Continue reading >>

Ketosis Makes Your Brain Work Better

Ketosis Makes Your Brain Work Better

Every morning for the last four and a half months, I’ve broken off a large chunk of grass fed butter (usually around 50 grams or just over three tablespoons) and a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and thrown them in a blender with my morning coffee. You might have heard of this idea, dubbed ‘bulletproof coffee’ and created by a guy called Dave Asprey. 1 (this essay was originally posted at Aaron’s blog HERE) You might ask why the hell somebody might want to put butter in their coffee, but all you’d be proving is that you haven’t tried it (because it tastes amazing) and according to Dave Asprey, apparently will help make you healthier, feel better, perform better, think better – everything short of give you superpowers. Now, I didn’t want to like Dave Asprey… he’s just a little bit too charming – especially once you realize he’s created a whole line of supplements and other consumables that meet his extra-special toxin-free super-executive standards. I tried his upgraded mycotoxin free coffee beans and didn’t notice any difference between them and any other local fancy-shmancy coffee I’ve purchased since – not that I doubt that some people are more sensitive to these toxins, I just didn’t notice a difference. Nevertheless, I do like him. He does a good podcast and he clued me into something that I previously would have thought was completely insane, but now am starting to think is key to keep my brain working optimally – eating a high fat diet. A diet that is high in fat (60-70% of calories), is almost by definition low in carbs, and this means that when eating a high fat diet, it is likely that one is at least partially and some of the time in a state of ketosis. For those of you who don’t know, ketosis is what it is called when the Continue reading >>

Ketones To Combat Alzheimer’s Disease

Ketones To Combat Alzheimer’s Disease

Despite decades of efforts to develop a drug that prevents or cures Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most prevalent form of dementia afflicting our aging population, there is currently no treatment for this devastating condition. Emerging research suggests that such a miracle treatment might already exist, not in the form of a pill, but as a simple dietary change. A growing number of studies report that interventions to improve metabolic health can alleviate symptoms and reduce brain pathology associated with AD. A popular theory posits that AD has multiple causes, but their common thread may involve metabolic dysfunction. Indeed, markers of poor metabolic health, such as diabetes, inflammation and high cholesterol, are major risk factors for AD. Just like our muscles, the brain requires energy to function properly. Both neurons and muscles have the unique capacity to metabolize ketones as an alternative fuel source when glucose is in short supply, for instance during fasting or on a low-carbohydrate diet. In the 1920s scientists discovered that a high fat diet promoting ketogenesis controlled epilepsy, and ketosis remains one of the most effective treatments for the condition. This raised the possibility that ketones may also be neuroprotective against other diseases that stem from aberrant neural metabolism, such as AD. Since then, research has confirmed that ketones do in fact alter brain metabolism in ways that reduce neuropathology and relieve behavioral symptoms. Ketones alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease Over the past decade, several studies have supported the clinical value of ketosis in cognitively impaired patients. In a 2004 study twenty individuals with AD or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) were treated with placebo or medium chain triglycerides, a t Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet Benefits

Ketogenic Diet Benefits

Just here for exogenous ketones? Click here to see some Exogenous Ketone Salt Products that I like a lot. (Use coupon code: “FEEDABRAIN” for a discount). What is Ketosis, and What is a Ketogenic Diet? We hear the word “keto” thrown around a lot nowadays in the health and fitness world, and not everyone fully understands what it means. When most people say “I’m doing keto”, they mean they are on a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic simply means “creating ketones”. You might be wondering what a ketone is. When we eat carbohydrates and sugars, our bodies convert these nutrients into glucose or other simple sugars to power our cells via the creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Check out our Full Article on ATP to learn more. How Does Our Body Make Endogenous Ketones? To put it simply, ATP is like a little battery that stores energy, and our cells use these batteries to power just about every reaction in every cell of our bodies. However, our bodies can use fats to power our cells as well. When we eat fats or fatty acids, our liver converts these into ketones. Our cells cannot utilize fat right off the bat, but they can use ketones to create ATP after our liver has converted it. A ketogenic diet is typically described as a high fat, moderate protein, and low carbohydrate diet. The Atkins Diet is usually the first thing that pops into people’s heads when they think “low carb diet”, and while Dr. Atkins popularized the diet in modern times, the ketogenic diet has been around for a very long time. The History of the Ketogenic Diet Many people believe so called “low carb diets” are just another fad diet, but we have been studying the ketogenic diet in the United States as far back as the 1920’s for its use in suppressing drug-resistant seizures! I suppo Continue reading >>

Clinical Review: Ketones And Brain Injury

Clinical Review: Ketones And Brain Injury

Abstract Although much feared by clinicians, the ability to produce ketones has allowed humans to withstand prolonged periods of starvation. At such times, ketones can supply up to 50% of basal energy requirements. More interesting, however, is the fact that ketones can provide as much as 70% of the brain's energy needs, more efficiently than glucose. Studies suggest that during times of acute brain injury, cerebral uptake of ketones increases significantly. Researchers have thus attempted to attenuate the effects of cerebral injury by administering ketones exogenously. Hypertonic saline is commonly utilized for management of intracranial hypertension following cerebral injury. A solution containing both hypertonic saline and ketones may prove ideal for managing the dual problems of refractory intracranial hypertension and low cerebral energy levels. The purpose of the present review is to explore the physiology of ketone body utilization by the brain in health and in a variety of neurological conditions, and to discuss the potential for ketone supplementation as a therapeutic option in traumatic brain injury. Introduction Ketogenesis is the process by which ketone bodies (KB), during times of starvation, are produced via fatty acid metabolism. Although much feared by physicians, mild ketosis can have therapeutic potential in a variety of disparate disease states. The principle ketones include acetoacetate (AcAc), β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and ace-tone. In times of starvation and low insulin levels, ketones supply up to 50% of basal energy requirements for most tissues, and up to 70% for the brain. Although glucose is the main metabolic substrate for neurons, ketones are capable of fulfilling the energy requirements of the brain. The purpose of the present review is to e Continue reading >>

Ketosis Fundamentals

Ketosis Fundamentals

What is ketosis? Ketosis is the physiological state where the concentration of ketone bodies in the blood is higher than normal. This is generally agreed to be at beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) concentrations greater than 0.5 mM. How to achieve ketosis? Ketosis occurs either as a result of increased fat oxidation, whilst fasting or following a strict ketosis diet plan (ENDOGENOUS ketosis), or after consuming a ketone supplement (EXOGENOUS ketosis). When in a state of ketosis the body can use ketones to provide a fuel for cellular respiration instead of its usual substrates: carbohydrate, fat or protein. Why does ketosis exist? Normally, the body breaks down carbohydrates, fat, and (sometimes) proteins to provide energy. When carbohydrate is consumed in the diet, some is used immediately to maintain blood glucose levels, and the rest is stored. The hormone that signals to cells to store carbohydrate is insulin. The liver stores carbohydrate as glycogen, this is broken down and released between meals to keep blood glucose levels constant. Muscles also store glycogen, when broken down this provides fuel for exercise. Most cells in the body can switch readily between using carbohydrates and fat as fuel. Fuel used depends on substrate availability, on the energy demands of the cell and other neural and hormonal signals. The brain is different as it is dependent on carbohydrates as a fuel source. This is because fats cannot easily cross the blood-brain barrier. The inability to make use of energy within fat poses a problem during periods where there is limited carbohydrate in the diet. If blood glucose levels fall to low, brain function declines. Relatively little energy is stored as carbohydrate (2,000 kCal) compared to fat (150,000 kCal). The body's store of carbohydrates runs Continue reading >>

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