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Ketosis And Brain Function

Ketosis Supports Good Brain Function

Ketosis Supports Good Brain Function

The ketogenic diet has been used since the 1920s as a proven medical therapy for epilepsy control. Nutritionist today consider burning ketones to be a much “cleaner” way to stay energized compared to running on carbs and sugar. Following a keto menu plan, your fat storing hormone levels drop greatly which turns your body into a fat burning machine. Studies have shown that this kind of nutritional approach has a solid physiological and biochemical basis. After reaching a state of ketosis, you'll be amazed at how much energy you have, and chronic fatigue symptoms should get better. Ketone bodies have been shown to be beneficial in stabilizing neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which can also result in better mood control. An effective keto diet for weight loss should be based on real food. One of the most efficient ways to train your body to use fat for fuel is to remove most of the sugars and starches from your diet. Protein can induce an insulin response in the body when consumed in high amounts, so you want just the right amount in your menu plan. Fat is what makes you feel full or satiated, gives you energy when in ketosis, and satisfies your taste buds. Healthy fats include saturated fats, monounsaturated fats and certain types of polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids. A common mistake on a low-carb, high-fat diet is being fooled by creative marketing like special “low-carb” foods. Eating a healthy high-fat, low-carbohydrate menu plan filled with real foods and moderate to low proteins, which allows your body to enter nutritional ketosis. It can take 3 to 4 days to reach ketosis based on your normal exercise regimen. To learn more about how a personalized menu plan can help you lose weight and keep it off forever, contact a Metab 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 >>

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 >>

The Fat-fueled Brain: Unnatural Or Advantageous?

The Fat-fueled Brain: Unnatural Or Advantageous?

Disclaimer: First things first. Please note that I am in no way endorsing nutritional ketosis as a supplement to, or a replacement for medication. As you’ll see below, data exploring the potential neuroprotective effects of ketosis are still scarce, and we don’t yet know the side effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. This post talks about the SCIENCE behind ketosis, and is not meant in any way as medical advice. The ketogenic diet is a nutritionist’s nightmare. High in saturated fat and VERY low in carbohydrates, “keto” is adopted by a growing population to paradoxically promote weight loss and mental well-being. Drinking coffee with butter? Eating a block of cream cheese? Little to no fruit? To the uninitiated, keto defies all common sense, inviting skeptics to wave it off as an unnatural “bacon-and-steak” fad diet. Yet versions of the ketogenic diet have been used to successfully treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children since the 1920s – potentially even back in the biblical ages. Emerging evidence from animal models and clinical trials suggest keto may be therapeutically used in many other neurological disorders, including head ache, neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, autism and brain cancer. With no apparent side effects. Sound too good to be true? I feel ya! Where are these neuroprotective effects coming from? What’s going on in the brain on a ketogenic diet? Ketosis in a nutshell In essence, a ketogenic diet mimics starvation, allowing the body to go into a metabolic state called ketosis (key-tow-sis). Normally, human bodies are sugar-driven machines: ingested carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is mainly transported and used as energy or stored as glycogen in liver and muscle tissue. When deprived of d Continue reading >>

3 Reasons Why Keto Is Better For The Brain

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 >>

Low-carb Diets And Brain Function

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 >>

Powerful Role Of Ketone Fats In Brain Health And Alzheimer’s Treatment

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 >>

#147: Ketosis And Your Brain

#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 >>

Ketogenic Diet Can Kickstart Weight Loss And Boost Brain Fitness

Ketogenic Diet Can Kickstart Weight Loss And Boost Brain Fitness

A ketogenic diet is an extreme nutritional intervention based on very low carbohydrate intake designed to mimic starvation and drive the body into ketosis, in which the body shifts from using glucose as its main fuel to using fat. While other low-carb diets like the Atkins and Paleo diets have also focused on carb restriction, the ketogenic diet is far more than the latest fad diet but rather one supported by strong research to improve health, energy, brain function, and weight loss. Although the ketogenic diet (KD) has been studied extensively for weight loss, promising research has shown a wide range of benefits in neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Alzeheimer's disease. Promising research has shown that ketones may be neuroprotective, reducing the risk of cognitive decline while boosting memory, energy and mood. The KD provides antioxidant benefits that yield promise in treating cancer, and, in animal models, has been shown to confer longevity. The Science of the KD The goal of the ketogenic diet is to shift the body and brain to preferentially use ketone bodies formed by the mobilization of fat tissue as the fuel source instead of glucose. Ketone bodies such as acetoacetate and b-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) are formed by the body through ketogenesis and can be oxidized as a preferred energy source when energy is sparse as with fasting or high-intensity or prolonged endurance exercise. After three to four days of fasting, the mobilization of ketone bodies from fat stores produces the state of ketosis which can be a physiological response (with low glucose, low insulin) or can be pathological as in uncontrolled diabetes (with high glucose, low insulin). Ketogenesis is an evolutionary adaptation key to our survival in periods of famine to allow the body and brai Continue reading >>

What Is The Effect Of Ketosis On The Brain?

What Is The Effect Of Ketosis On The Brain?

Brad Brown: Welcome to another edition of the LCHF podcast, got a question in from Heidi today. Joining us from Tasmania in Australia is Dr Gary Fettke. Heidi’s question, an interesting one, it’s about ketosis and ketones in particular. She wanted to know, are there any studies that have been done in the effect on ketosis on the brain, both short and long term. She’s been following a LCHF for about 12 days now, she says it’s going fairly well. She just feels that she’s getting a bit slower mentally, so to speak. She also performs worse at mental exercises since she started the LCHF diet and she wants to know, does it take some time for the brain to adapt to this new way of eating? The last thing she wants to know is will it compromise her long term mental health? [membership] Giving up sugar will naturally have an initial impact on the brain Gary Fettke: I think the most important thing you stated there is that Heidi has been doing this for 12 days. So presumably she’s going through a whole transition of low carbohydrate. It’s hard to work out exactly how far she’s actually going and how hard she is at it. But a lot of people when they first give up sugar feel that whole state of agitation and they may get irritability, but that’s probably coming off the sugar. The long term effects of ketosis are very, very good for the brain. If she hangs in there she will probably find that her concentration will improve quite significantly. There are quite a few studies out there and a lot of research being done on exactly what Heidi is questioning. That’s the role of ketosis in brain function and in particular in relationship to dementia, Parkinson’s and epilepsy. A long standing method of management of epilepsy and in fact was the original management of epile Continue reading >>

Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil:

Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil:

If you've landed on this page, then I'm assuming you've heard something about a compound called Brain Octane Oil and have followed the rabbit down the enhanced cognitive function rabbit hole. Or you may have heard about it's incredible benefits for the ketogenic diet. You may have even heard of the product that has gone viral world wide, Bulletproof Coffee, which contains the same compound I'm talking about in this review. When I first heard about the benefits of this compound, it intrigued me so much, that I decided to look further into it to see what it's all about. The MCT oil-based supplement that has been derived from palm kernels and coconut and is designed to improve one’s brain function and cognition, which has gotten the world excited. But what is Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil exactly? Let me explain... Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil is a unique supplement that makes a bold claim of being 18 times more potent than coconut oil when it comes to delivering caprylic fatty acids to our body that can improve our brain functions and help with burning fat. It is created by a supplement company called Bulletproof, which was founded by the world-renowned technology entrepreneur and Silicon Valley investor, Dave Asprey. On his quest to achieve better health, Dave claims to have consulted doctors, traditional healers, psychologists, and naturopaths from all over the world to create this miraculous supplement that has changed his life. In plain and simple terms, Bulletproof's Brain Octane Oil aims to do better than traditional coconut oil and is to be ingested by mixing it with food. It is more potent than regular caprylic acid capsules and is available at just quarter of the price. In a way, it acts as a ready source of energy for the brain, and it can reduce brain fog by m Continue reading >>

Brain, Livin' On Ketones - A Molecular Neuroscience Look At The Ketogenic Diet

Brain, Livin' On Ketones - A Molecular Neuroscience Look At The Ketogenic Diet

Edited October 3, 2013: A 2.0 version of this post can be found at Scientific American MIND Guest blogs, here. And here's me talking about it. Feel free to check it out! Remember when your high school biology teacher said that the brain absolutely NEEDS glucose to function? Well, that’s not entirely true. Under severe carbohydrate restriction, the brain can adapt and start burning ketones as fuel. Originally devised as a therapy for drug-resistant epilepsy in children, the ketogenic diet (keto) has been gaining popularity lately. It’s a high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diet (LCHF) designed to force the body to go into a state called metabolic ketosis. With the advent of books like “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why we get fat”, LCHF diets are increasingly touted as the magic bullet to weight loss. While there is considerable interest in the medical community in using the ketogenic diet to manage metabolic syndrome or prevent cardiovascular disease, more attention has focused on its role in drug-resistant seizure management and (potentially) neuroprotective effects in brain damage. In the last decade, keto has been shown to improve memory in patients at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, stabilize mood in type II bipolar disorder, reduce symptoms in Parkinson’s disease and even ameliorate some behavioral and social deficits in autism. Keto also seems to decrease brain cancer progression. ALL without observable side effects. Although most of these studies were unblinded (hence placebo can’t be ruled out), the effect is still amazing. What is going on in the brain? And why aren’t pharmaceutical companies racing to package keto into a convenient treat-all 3-a-day pill? How does the body go into ketosis? Source: Simple speaking, strict carbo 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 >>

Your Brain Doesn’t Need 130 G/carbs A Day: How A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet Protects The Brain

Your Brain Doesn’t Need 130 G/carbs A Day: How A Low-carb Ketogenic Diet Protects The Brain

Tweet A favorite argument of detractors of low-carb diets is that they don’t provide sufficient glucose for the brain to function. You’ve probably heard some well-meaning person say, “You need to eat 130 grams of carbohydrates a day for proper brain function.” Fortunately, this is not true. Just think how much trouble our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have been in if brain function was compromised every time carbohydrates were scarce. A daily intake of 130 grams of carbs is no small feat when you don’t have a local grocery store stocked with packaged grains, bread, cereal, and chips for your convenience. This widespread misconception is based on a misunderstanding of the brain’s fuel needs. The brain does require about 50 grams of glucose a day, but this doesn’t need to come from dietary carbs, and the brain can get the rest of the energy it requires from ketones, a byproduct of fat metabolism. It works like this: the body can get glucose from three sources other than dietary carbs: 1) Glycerol, produced from dietary fat or fat tissue in the body These substrates go to the liver where it turns them into glucose via the process known as gluconeogenesis. The glucose then travels via the blood to the brain where it uses it for energy. The rest of the energy the brain requires is derived from ketones. Ketones are produced when insulin levels are low due to carb restriction or low calorie intake. Fatty acids that are released due to low insulin travel to the liver, which turns them into ketones that can be used for energy in cells to produce ATP. Having the brain get energy from ketones improves brain function and is the reason that ketogenic diets are used to treat brain disorders. Having the brain run on ketones may have an anti-aging effect as well, protec Continue reading >>

Ketosis To Improve Brain Function

Ketosis To Improve Brain Function

Ketones as a fuel source can make you smarter, more creative, less hungry, boost energy levels, and help you lose weight. You may have heard of ketosis in the context of fat loss and dieting. It’s been popular and infamous in the dieting world to varying degrees since Dr Atkins told everyone to overdose on bacon. Ketosis is a natural state when your body is using fat as fuel instead of glucose. Your body and brain use blood sugar (glucose) as the first source of fuel, but can easily be adapted to utilise a second source of fuel, ketones, when your glucose stores run out. Ketones are made in the liver from fat. Ketones then move around your body and are used by your body and brain as fuel. When your body is in ketosis, it becomes a fat burning machine, which is obviously great if you have fat to lose, but even if you don’t, you might find you feel better fuelling your brain with ketones, at least for some of the time. Your body shifts into ketosis in a number of ways, the most commonly known way is through eating a low-carb diet, which can be difficult for some people to stick to. Another way is through fasting and certain dietary supplements can assist with entering a “keto” state. Since we’re all about making life easier and better, we’ll share the easiest and least disruptive ways to test your brain and body in ketosis. It’s important to point out that being able to use fat for fuel is an important survival mechanism. The body can only store glucose for about two days. After that it could eat away your muscles to produce more glucose, but a more efficient fuel source is to turn fat into ketones. Our clever little brains and bodies adapted to ensure survival with fat stores that can last for weeks (if not months), without topping up on carbs. More researc Continue reading >>

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