Low-carb Diets And Brain Function
How you eat affects virtually every aspect of your health, including the health of your brain. And while a well-designed low-carb plan should supply all the nutrients you need for healthy brain functioning, you've likely heard that lack of carbs decreases your brainpower. That seems to be true for some people, but other evidence suggests that eating low-carb might have a neutral or even positive impact on your brain function. Video of the Day Carbohydrates and Your Brain If you've ever been told to carb-load for a game, race or a tough workout, you know carbs are key for boosting your energy. Your body turns them into glucose, which also directly fuels your brain. Your brain cells can actually only use glucose for energy, which makes carbs absolutely essential for powering brain function. That's not the only way carbs affect brain function, though. Eating carbohydrates signals for your brain to produce serotonin, a hormone that's involved in mood regulation, appetite control and the sleep cycle. That may be one reason that carbs are considered "comfort food" and why you might crave carb-rich foods when you're upset or stressed. Can a Low-Carb Diet Diminish Brain Function? Low-carb diets have a bad reputation for affecting your brain function. And it makes sense -- because your brain needs carbs for energy, lowering your carb intake might affect your brainpower. You might experience fuzziness or "brain fog" if you're not getting enough carbs through your diet or have trouble concentrating due to general fatigue from lack of carbs. Researchers have looked into this effect in low-carb dieters. One study, from a 2009 issue of Appetite, examined the effects of a low-carb weight-loss diet on brain function in study subjects during their first three weeks on the diet. They fou Continue reading >>
How Low-carb And Ketogenic Diets Boost Brain Health
Low-carb and ketogenic diets have many health benefits. For example, it is well known that they can cause weight loss and help fight diabetes. However, they are also beneficial for certain brain disorders. This article explores how low-carb and ketogenic diets affect the brain. Although there is a lot of overlap between low-carb and ketogenic diets, there are also a few important differences. Ketogenic diet: Carbs are limited to 50 grams or less per day. A major goal is to increase blood levels of ketones, molecules that can partly replace carbs as an energy source for the brain. Low-carb diet: Protein is usually not restricted. Ketones may or may not rise to high levels in the blood. On a ketogenic diet, the brain is mainly fueled by ketones. These are produced in the liver when carb intake is very low. On a standard low-carb diet, the brain will still be largely dependent on glucose, although it may burn more ketones than on a regular diet. Low-carb and ketogenic diets are similar in many ways. However, a ketogenic diets contains even fewer carbs, and will lead to a significant rise in blood levels of ketones. You may have heard that your brain needs 130 grams of carbs per day to function properly. This is one of the most common myths about low-carb diets. In fact, a report by the US Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board states: "The lower limit of dietary carbohydrates compatible with life apparently is zero, provided that adequate amounts of protein and fat are consumed." Although a zero-carb diet isn't recommended because it eliminates many healthy foods, you can definitely eat much less than 130 grams per day and maintain good brain function. It is a common myth that you need to eat 130 grams of carbs per day to provide the brain with energy. Low-carb d Continue reading >>
How Does Isolation Affect The Brain?
First of All What is Isolation: Social separation Form Other or The condition Of Being Alone How does Isolation Effects the Brain: A number of true Stories shows how it Blow the Mind. Story No:1 In a summer the 32year old Sarah Shroud had been hiking with two friends in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. They were arrested by Iranian troops accused of spying. She were kept in solitary confinement in Evin Prison of Tehran For more then one year. Results Shows Hallucinations: Sarah mind began to slip after two months.She heard ghostfootsteps flashing lights and she spent most of her day crouched on all four listening through a gap in door. StoryNo:2 In 1993 a sociologist spent 366-days an underground Cavern in Italy that had been design to Stimulate space mission. When he emerged he was convinced that he spent only 219-days. Result show time Drifting His sleep-wake cycle had also been doubled.Many researchers found that most people in dark Eventually adjust to 48hours cycle-: 36hour of activity was followed by 12hours of sleep. Some other Effects on Brain: Chronically lonely people have High Blood Pressure. More vulnerable to Infection More likely to develop Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Greatly Effect on Sleep pattern Verbal reasoning logical thinking and attention. The Sciences behind these events and facts are still unclear that why these Happens.There are some assumptions of which researchers are not surely clear. If you like this article plz upovate.Your upovates will Encourage me to write further …..cheers Continue reading >>
Ketone bodies Acetone Acetoacetic acid (R)-beta-Hydroxybutyric acid Ketone bodies are three water-soluble molecules (acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and their spontaneous breakdown product, acetone) that are produced by the liver from fatty acids during periods of low food intake (fasting), carbohydrate restrictive diets, starvation, prolonged intense exercise,, alcoholism or in untreated (or inadequately treated) type 1 diabetes mellitus. These ketone bodies are readily picked up by the extra-hepatic tissues, and converted into acetyl-CoA which then enters the citric acid cycle and is oxidized in the mitochondria for energy. In the brain, ketone bodies are also used to make acetyl-CoA into long-chain fatty acids. Ketone bodies are produced by the liver under the circumstances listed above (i.e. fasting, starving, low carbohydrate diets, prolonged exercise and untreated type 1 diabetes mellitus) as a result of intense gluconeogenesis, which is the production of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources (not including fatty acids). They are therefore always released into the blood by the liver together with newly produced glucose, after the liver glycogen stores have been depleted (these glycogen stores are depleted after only 24 hours of fasting). When two acetyl-CoA molecules lose their -CoAs, (or Co-enzyme A groups) they can form a (covalent) dimer called acetoacetate. Beta-hydroxybutyrate is a reduced form of acetoacetate, in which the ketone group is converted into an alcohol (or hydroxyl) group (see illustration on the right). Both are 4-carbon molecules, that can readily be converted back into acetyl-CoA by most tissues of the body, with the notable exception of the liver. Acetone is the decarboxylated form of acetoacetate which cannot be converted Continue reading >>
Ketosis In An Evolutionary Context
Humans are unique in their remarkable ability to enter ketosis. They’re also situated near the top of the food chain. Coincidence? During starvation, humans rapidly enter ketosis; they do this better than king penguins, and bears don’t do it at all. Starvation ketosis Humans maintain a high level of functionality during starvation. We can still hunt & plan; some would even argue it’s a more finely tuned state, cognitively. And that’s important, because if we became progressively weaker and slower, chances of acquiring food would rapidly decline. Perhaps this is why fasting bears just sleep most of the time: no ketones = no bueno..? Animals with a low brain/carcass weight ratio (ie, small brain) don’t need it. Babies and children have a higher brain/carcass weight ratio, so they develop ketosis more rapidly than adults. Is this a harmful process? No, more likely an evolutionary adaptation which supports the brain. The brain of newborn babies consumes a huge amount of total daily energy, and nearly half comes from ketones. A week or so later, even after the carbohydrate content of breast milk increases, they still don’t get “kicked out of ketosis” (Bourneres et al., 1986). If this were a harmful state, why would Nature have done this? …and all those anecdotes, like babies learn at incredibly rapid rates… coincidence? Maybe they’re myths. Maybe not. Ketosis in the animal kingdom Imagine a hibernating bear: huge adipose tissue but small brain fuel requirement relative to body size and total energy expenditure. No ketosis, because brain accounts for less than 5% of total metabolism. In adult humans, this is around 19-23%, and babies are much higher (eg, Cahill and Veech, 2003 & Hayes et al., 2012). For the rest of this article and more, head over to Pat Continue reading >>
That's Why They Can't Stop Talking About Their Diet! Eating Only Low-carb Foods Can Have Similar Effect On Brain As Ecstasy
Some people on very low-carb diets say they feel euphoric, have clear minds and lose their appetite. Going low-carb might even mimic the effects of GHB – the recreational drug better known as fantasy, liquid ecstasy or grievous bodily harm – on the brain. To understand why we need to look at how the body processes a very low-carb diet, one that typically limits carbohydrates to no more than 50 grams a day. Your body thinks it's starving A very low-carb diet flips your metabolic switch from burning more carbs than fat, to more fat than carbs. This usually takes a few days in a process known as ketosis. During this time, your body thinks it's starving. Once it uses up most of your glucose (carb) reserves, the body stimulates the breakdown of stored fat into fatty acids and releases them into the blood. When fatty acids reach the liver they're converted into acetoacetate, an excellent metabolic fuel that belongs to a family of chemicals called ketones. That's why very low-carb diets are sometimes called 'ketogenic' diets. Acetoacetate decomposes to carbon dioxide and acetone, the smelly solvent best known for its ability to remove nail polish. This is why very low-carb dieters and people who are fasting often have sweet smelling breath. A healthy liver minimises the acetone lost via the lungs by converting most of the acetoacetate it produces to a more stable substance, called beta-hydroxybutyrate or BHB. And this is where those euphoric feelings could come from. Even the Italians are giving up on pasta, mirroring a pattern seen in Britain, with the rise of 'carbophobia'. One in four Italians – 23 percent - say they are limiting the amount of spaghetti they eat for health reasons. A shift towards protein rich diets has seen sales of bread, pasta, potatoes and rice fa Continue reading >>
3 Reasons Why Keto Is Better For The Brain
The rigors and stress of life often leads us astray when it comes to our diet. Whether it’s a lack of proper nutrients or consuming either too few or too many calories – this can put our bodies out of equilibrium. With a failure to maintain an equilibrium, the body’s energy levels decline and performance on day to day tasks can suffer. We also observe deterioration in more complex tasks. Plus, as we age, it becomes more important to maintain a balance to perform and succeed in daily life. The keto diet is the answer to this! We’ll go over three reasons why the ketogenic diet is great for you and your brain. Increased Energy A lack of energy is an all too familiar feeling for most of us. As many of us try to squeeze more time out of each day, we find ourselves constantly running on fumes, nearing the end of our “tank”. As each day passes, we progressively become more fatigued and sluggish – we see that our mental performance and physical drive declines. But, there’s good news! Research has shown that those who follow a ketogenic (ketone) based diet can develop an increase in mitochondrial function and a decrease in free radicals. (1) What does this mean for you? In a nutshell, the major role of mitochondria is to process the intake of food and oxygen and produce energy from that. An increase in the mitochondrial function equates to more energy for your cells – which leads to more energy for you. Free radicals are formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules in the body. They are highly reactive and the danger comes from the damage they’re able do to our mitochondria. When this occurs, cells may function poorly or die. Reducing the production of free radicals can lead to better neurological stability and cellular performance, leading to more ene Continue reading >>
Powerful Role Of Ketone Fats In Brain Health And Alzheimer’s Treatment
Brain cells function with far greater efficiency when they are utilizing fat (ketones) as a fuel source as opposed to sugar. The exciting news is that scientists are now taking advantage of this finding in the actual treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, as you can see in this recent research publication. This research clearly substantiates the health benefits of a low-carb, high-fat diet as a powerful lifestyle change to achieve the goal of brain health and functionality. While there actually exists a pharmaceutical “medical food” based on the science explained in this report, you can boost the availability of ketones for your brain by simply adding coconut oil or MCT oil to your daily regimen. But to make this effective, carb restriction is a must! Alzheimer’s now affects some 5.4 million Americans. It is my belief that this dietary approach may well go a long way to keeping the brain healthy and allowing us to remain free of this dreaded condition. Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diets And Alzheimer’s Disease
1. Introduction Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease and the most common cause of dementia, accounting for over 50% of individuals affected . This disease is characterized by progressive memory impairment and cognitive decline interfering with daily life activities. The most common early symptom of AD is difficulty remembering recent events. The symptoms of patients with advancing disease can include executive dysfunction, disorientation, problems with language, mood swings, behavioral changes and impaired self-care . Age-standardized prevalence for individuals aged over 60 years varied between 5% and 7% in most world regions . An estimated 35.6 million people lived with dementia worldwide in 2010, with numbers expected to almost double every 20 years . AD has a long preclinical phase of several decades and the most important risk factor for AD is increasing age. Impaired vascular health has been shown to be another major risk factor for cognitive decline and interventions for cardiovascular risk may therefore improve cognitive health at the population level [4,5]. Other lifestyle-related factors, such as obesity, diabetes, smoking, diet, physical and mental inactivity, have been suggested to play a role in dementia, and potential preventive measures related to these risk factors should be investigated . AD is neuropathologically defined by neuronal loss and the accumulation of extracellular amyloid β-peptide (Aβ)-containing plaques and intracellular hyperphosphorylated tau protein-containing neurofibrillary tangles in the brain . The accumulation of abnormally folded Aβ and tau proteins in amyloid plaques and neuronal tangles, respectively, appear to be causally associated with the neurodegeneration in AD . However, Continue reading >>
How Does Gut Bacteria Influence The Brain?
How does gut bacteria influence the brain? Bacteria in the human body outnumber our own cells 10:1. Most of those bacteria reside in the gut. Research shows that when the balance between healthy bacteria and disease-causing bacteria is changed (in the gut of rodents), they became more bold or more anxious. In a 2011 study of the "microbiome-gut-brain axis," published in Gastroenterology mice that are breed to be timid, were given an antibiotic. They became bold and adventurous and reverted back to their previous timid selves once the antibiotic was stopped. Mice that were raised in sterile environments (no bacteria), had more stress hormones. When fecal samples from healthy mice were implanted, they became normal in their stress response, but only if the implant took place prior to being weaned. Also in another study, mice that were fed probiotics were more resilient to getting depression. Further gut bacteria research on rodents shows that the gut bacteria influence neural development, brain chemistry and many other behavioral phenomena, including emotional behavior, pain perception and the stress system response. The human gut, is often referred to as the "second brain,", and it is the only organ to have its own independent nervous system embedded in the gut wall. Although the gut bacteria affect our brain (via the immune system and , the brain also affects gut bacteria. Stress alters the bacteria balance and can leave the host open to infections, and other problems, and mood disorders such as anxiety and depression. This is due to the vast number of neurochemicals the gut bacteria produce, for example they produce about 90% of our seratonin (a neurotransmitter responsible for making us feel happy. Research on infant monkeys whose mothers got startled by loud noises d Continue reading >>
#147: Ketosis And Your Brain
There was a time not so long ago when nutrition was simple: carbs good, fats bad. But since this neat summary was from the same people who told us to eat more margarine and fewer eggs, well, let’s just say that advice wasn’t the most accurate. Welcome to the ketogenic diet. A high fat, low carb diet based on how our ancestors probably ate, it can control epilepsy, help you get a leaner body, and make your thinking clearer and sharper. Dr. Dominic D’Agostino, Associate Professor of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida and Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC), is here to talk to us about what exactly is going on in your body on a ketogenic diet. The Evolution of Human Diets When you think about how our caveman ancestors lived, they didn’t have access to a glut of high glycemic load foods like ripe fruit or honey, and they definitely weren’t snacking on white bread. They were eating a diet high in fiber and fat, and low in carbs. They were also probably in ketosis for most of the year. Cognitive Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet When your body is in ketosis, your brain just works better: you’ll feel more lucid and sharp. Like so much about the brain, we don’t know exactly why this is. But from an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense. If you haven’t been successful in getting food, it’s time to make a new plan, and you more likely come up with a successful one if your thinking is clear and sharp. Getting into Ketosis Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your brain and body’s energy comes from ketone bodies, instead of from glucose. There are a few ways of pushing your body into ketosis, including sustained periods of fasting and following a ketogenic diet (as the name so obvio Continue reading >>
What Are The Effects Of Marijuana On The Brain?
Here are some highlights: Short term effects: Some effects may include a general alteration of conscious perception, euphoria, feelings of well-being, relaxation or stress reduction, increased appreciation of humor, music or the arts, joviality, metacognition and introspection, enhanced recollection (episodic memory), increased sensuality, increased awareness of sensation, increased libido, creative, abstract or philosophical thinking, disruption of linear memory and paranoia or anxiety. Anxiety is the most commonly reported side effect of smoking marijuana. Between 20 and 30 percent of recreational users experience intense anxiety and/or panic attacks after smoking cannabis. Cannabis also produces many subjective and highly tangible effects, such as greater enjoyment of food taste and aroma, an enhanced enjoyment of music and comedy, and marked distortions in the perception of time and space (where experiencing a "rush" of ideas from the bank of long-term memory can create the subjective impression of long elapsed time, while a clock reveals that only a short time has passed). At higher doses, effects can include altered body image, auditory and/or visual illusions, pseudo-hallucinatory or (rarely, at very high doses) fully hallucinatory experiences, and ataxia from selective impairment of polysynaptic reflexes. In some cases, cannabis can lead to dissasociative states such as depersonalization and derealization; such effects are most often considered desirable, but have the potential to induce panic attack and paranoia in some unaccustomed users. Some of the short-term physical effects of cannabis use include increased heart rate, dry mouth (cotton mouth), reddening of the eyes (congestion of the conjunctival blood vessels), a reduction in intra-ocular pressure, mu Continue reading >>
How Does Listening To Music Affect The Brain?
There are two main competing views. For Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker, music is simply "auditory cheesecake," and "[a]s far as biological cause and effect is concerned, music is useless." In other words, certain vibrations enter your ear and stimulate your eardrum, information is fed to your auditory cortex, contained within close to the intersection of your parietal and temporal lobes and, without serving any particular survival function or other purpose, neurotransmitters that induce feelings of pleasure are released. For Pinker, the neural response to music is something akin to masturbating or eating a delicious, yet un-nutritious, meal - it is simply a method of artificially tickling an ancient pathway designed for pleasure. In contrast, in his famous book "Musicophilia," Dr. Oliver Sacks argues that music is, for humans, a fundamental and essential experience, that requires the recruitment of vast areas of the brain, but most directly connects to our limbic system and directly induces powerful emotional sensations. Following from Sacks's argument flows the entire field of music therapy, which has used music to help stimulate people with all sorts of cognitive deficiencies. Certain people with brain damage who have lost the ability to speak, form coherent thoughts, or even really interact with other people, come to life, redevelop the ability to sing, and can interact with their loved ones again, all thanks to being exposed to music. So, it really depends on who you ask. Pinker looks at these things from the perspective of evolutionary biology, attempting to understand how particular neural and psychological phenomenon serve a clear survival function, while Sacks recounts several stories as a clinician and practicing physician, observing the power of music to s Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet Brain
To live without it, is to not live at all. It tells everything in our body what to do, when to do it, and how much to do. It’s command central – and it is imperative that it is taken care of. The brain. Our brains are instruments of immense capability. But if not tended to well, they can also be wasted assets, with their potential never being realized. Of the known benefits the fat burning lifestyle has – the Ketogenic Diet brain – and it’s empowering possibilities are some of the most exciting. By cutting out all of the junk we feed our bodies, and focusing on a fat-fueled diet, we can take our brains to the next level. The western world is in a never-ending search for the culprit of why many of us (and our children) are underperforming at work, in school, and at life. Obviously many environmental factors go into play here, but the 1,000 lb gorilla in the room is what we’re eating. With our public schools all but erasing fat from our children’s diets in the classroom, to the FDA providing us with questionable nutritional guidelines, we’ve become voluntarily ignorant to the fact that with the eradication of fat from diets, has also come the eradication of health. And our brains are suffering for it. The Ketogenic Diet brain offers an opportunity to turn the ship around on poor health and cognitive function. But don’t just take our word for it, look at the facts: they’re everywhere – screaming to be heard. 1. The brain is an energy consuming organ, and it has a close relationship to fuel – especially fat. You use your brain everyday, (even your sleep is affected by your brain’s health). The simple decisions you make in the morning and the career altering choices you make at work are both dictated by the same thing – your brain. When your brain Continue reading >>
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 >>