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Ketosis And Brain Function

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 >>

Ep.17 – Dominic D’agostino, Phd: Boosting Brain Function & Fat Loss With A Ketogenic Diet Part 1 Of 2

Ep.17 – Dominic D’agostino, Phd: Boosting Brain Function & Fat Loss With A Ketogenic Diet Part 1 Of 2

With your help, I can expand this podcast and deliver better content! Dominic is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida (USF) Morsani College of Medicine and also a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC). In his lab at the University of South Florida, Dr. Dominic D’Agostino and his team develop and test therapies that target specific pathways linked to seizure disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic dysregulation, cancer, muscle wasting and exercise performance. Not only is Dominic D’Agostino a researcher, professor, and neuroscientist, he’s also a biohacker and athlete. In this episode we discuss using calorie restriction, fasting, and the ketogenic diet to boost brain function, fat loss, athletic performance, and for therapeutic purposes, particularly regarding brain-related diseases and cancer. The primary focus of his laboratory is developing and testing metabolic therapies, including ketogenic diets, ketone esters and natural and synthetic molecules to target metabolic processes. His research also explores the use of these therapies for a broad range of disorders. D’Agostino’s laboratory uses in vivo and in vitro techniques to understand the physiological, cellular and molecular mechanism of metabolic therapies. His research is supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Department of Defense (DoD), private organizations and foundations. So if you or somebody you know is suffering through neurodegenerative disease, diabetes, cancer or you just want to avoid these things in the future, this episode is definitely one you’ll want to pay attention to and share with those who might really need this info. What You’ll Hear In Continue reading >>

The Fat Burning Brain: What Are The Cognitive Effects Of Ketosis?

The Fat Burning Brain: What Are The Cognitive Effects Of Ketosis?

41 Comments Although mainstream sources still mistake “the brain needs glucose” for “the brain can only run on glucose,” regular MDA readers know the truth: given sufficient adaptation, the brain can derive up to 75% of its fuel from ketone bodies, which the liver constructs using fatty acids. If we could only use glucose, we wouldn’t make it longer than a few days without food. If our brains couldn’t utilize fat-derived ketones, we’d drop dead as soon as our liver had exhausted its capacity to churn out glucose. We’d waste away, our lean tissue dissolving into amino acids for hepatic conversion into glucose to feed our rapacious brains. You’d end up a skeletal wraith with little else but your brain and a hypertrophied liver remaining until, eventually, the latter cannibalized itself in a last ditch search for glucose precursors for the tyrant upstairs. It would get ugly. That’s adaptation. But is there an actual cognitive advantage to running on ketones? Maybe. It depends. It certainly helps people with neurodegeneration. People whose brains suffer from impaired glucose utilization see cognitive benefits from ketones. In Alzheimer’s disease, aging-related cognitive decline, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s disease, brain glucose uptake is depressed—even before any actual cognitive decline appears. Despite high glucose availability, the aging, epileptic, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s brain can’t utilize enough of it to handle cognition. Enter ketones. Ketones act as an alternative energy source for the glucose-starved brains. It’s no coincidence that ketogenic diets can improve symptoms (and in some cases abolish them) and cognitive function in all four conditions. Okay, but those are in unhealthy people with existing (or looming) neurological d 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 >>

How To Use The Ketogenic Diet For Productivity And Mental Performance

How To Use The Ketogenic Diet For Productivity And Mental Performance

Beginning in the 1920’s, the ketogenic diet, or “keto” diet — which involves eating mostly fat and protein as an energy source with low intake of carbohydrates — has been used by many for weight loss and in helping patients with diabetes or epilepsy. But there’s another less-talked about benefit of this diet: ketosis for mental performance. If you’re experiencing brain fog, lack of productivity, or poor mental performance, ketosis might be a solution for you. We’ll go over some of the ways ketosis can have a positive effect on cognition and may help you be more productive throughout your day. KETOSIS FOR MENTAL PERFORMANCE First, let’s start with a little refresher around ketosis and energy. The basis of the ketogenic diet is that it uses specially designed macronutrient balance to get a certain response from the body. Those on the keto diet eat normal amounts of protein, higher amounts of fat than the average person, and they keep their carbohydrate intake very low, less than 50 grams per day. When carb intake is this low, it triggers a response in the body that is similar to how it would act during starvation. Instead of simply utilizing glucose, the primary source of energy, the brains pulls from its alternative energy source: fat. But before fats can be used by the body, the liver has to first convert them to ketone bodies. Then, these ketone bodies are used as energy for the body and brain when there is lack of glucose. This is how ketosis works. Now that we’ve understood that, let’s talk about how ketosis might be used as an advantage for your mental state and productivity. KETONES IMPROVE BRAIN FUNCTION The standard Western diet is deficiency in many areas, including the very important essential fatty acids. This is detrimental to health bec Continue reading >>

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 >>

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 >>

Being Ketogenic Increases Brain Function

Being Ketogenic Increases Brain Function

Being Ketogenic Increases Brain Function Lacking energy is a familiar feeling for most of us. Many of us find ourselves running on fumes, nearing the end of our “tank”. As time goes on we become more tired and sluggish – we see our mental performance and physical drive decrease. Don’t give up hope. Research has demonstrated those who follow a ketogenic lifestyle can increase mitochondrial function and decrease their free radicals. The purpose of mitochondria is to process food and oxygen to produce energy. When you have an increase in mitochondrial function you have more energy for your cells – and more energy for you. Free radicals develop when oxygen affects certain molecules in your body. They are dangerous and determined to do damage to our mitochondria. When this occurs, cells often function badly and die. When we can lower the production of free radicals this can result in better neurological stability and enhance cellular performance and the consequence your body becomes more energy efficient. Then your body will focus on repairing the damage done by free radicals and your body’s inner wisdom will focus on producing more energy. Combining the ketogenic diet with exercise will help increase mitochondrial function and will produce more mitochondria to help compensate for any increased energy demands. A common indication of the standard American diet is a deficiency in mental clarity – commonly referred to as brain fog. The lack of ability to focus on a job or recall information is frustrating. Two molecules that have are involved with this are glutamate and GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid). Glutamate is the molecule responsible for exciting neurotransmitters which promotes stimulation in your body and GABA inhibits the neurotransmitter which reduces sti Continue reading >>

Low-carb Iq Boost? Ketosis And Cognitive Function

Low-carb Iq Boost? Ketosis And Cognitive Function

I’ve been sticking to quite a low carbohydrate diet while enjoying this enforced running hiatus and awaiting my MRI results. Good news is, rather than gaining weight after going from 50+ miles a week running to zero, I’ve actually lost a few pounds over the past month and a half, while putting on some muscle mass by way of weight training. The most surprising aspect of this for me has been, however, an amazing increase in steady mental focus, sharpness and creativity in the past few weeks. It’s like I got a bonus 15 IQ points that I can turn on whenever I want, in meetings, while writing, brainstorming, etc. This was not an effect I was expecting or looking for, and has been pronounced enough for me to be sure it’s not my imagination. I was curious as to why this might be the case. If you Google around you can find plenty of information about low-carb diets and brain function. For example, when you first embark on a low-carb diet you’re likely to endure the keto-flu — a few days where you’re body isn’t getting the sugar/carbohydrate it’s used to burning, but hasn’t adapted to burning fat for fuel instead. You feel foggy-headed, or worse. Some people even feel as though they have the actual flu. This passes in a few days. Following that transition, your body has been converted into a fat-burning machine. At this point, why would you get mentally sharper? According to this explanation on the Scientific American blog, it’s because once you’re in ketosis, your brain actually gets more energy delivered to it than it did before. “BHB (a major ketone) may be an even more efficient fuel than glucose, providing more energy per unit oxygen used. A ketogenic diet also increases the number of mitochondria, so called ‘energy factories’ in brain cells. Continue reading >>

How To Create A Diet That Enhances Brain Function: The Role Of A Ketogenic Diet In Alzheimer’s Disease And Cognitive Decline – An Interview With Andrea Glaser, Rd, Ld

How To Create A Diet That Enhances Brain Function: The Role Of A Ketogenic Diet In Alzheimer’s Disease And Cognitive Decline – An Interview With Andrea Glaser, Rd, Ld

Kirk’s video overview of his interview with Andrea Glaser, RD, LD (13:20 min) Andrea Glaser is a licensed registered dietician at Resilient Health in Austin, Texas, working in partnership with supervising physician Sharon Hausman-Cohen, MD, on a dietary approach to improve cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease patients, with collaboration from Dale Bredesen, MD, neurologist, creator of the Bredesen Protocol™, and author of the newly released best selling book “The End of Alzheimer’s Disease“. This therapeutic dietary approach creates a mild ketosis which is beneficial to cognitive function and brain repair, and maintains a significant reduction in insulin secretion and need, as well as reduced blood sugar levels. This diet differs from many popular ketogenic diets in that it strives to keep cardiovascular risk low, or in check, by keeping animal fats low (saturated fat) while increasing unprocessed plant-based fats and foods to assist in creating the ketosis. The diet is a whole food diet with an emphasis on reducing saturated fat, especially in ApoE4 genotypes; a liberalization of “healthy” vegetable fats, and fats from nuts and fish; a reduction or elimination of complexed healthy carbohydrates (legumes, sweat potatoes, squash, except whole soy foods like edamame and tofu which can be consumed liberally if non-sensitive); elimination of all grains and processed/refined carbohydrates and free sugars; a HIGH intake of non-starchy vegetables, especially GREENS; black coffee and tea are encouraged (without sweeteners) all in an effort to maintain a mild ketosis measured as a beta-hydroxybutyrate level between .5-2.0 mM, while also maintaining fasting insulin levels below 4.5, keeping fasting blood sugars between 70-90, and a hemoglobin A1c < 5.6. Ms. Gl Continue reading >>

Ketosis

Ketosis

Not to be confused with Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which some of the body's energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides energy. Ketosis is a result of metabolizing fat to provide energy. Ketosis is a nutritional process characterised by serum concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 mM, with low and stable levels of insulin and blood glucose.[1][2] It is almost always generalized with hyperketonemia, that is, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood throughout the body. Ketone bodies are formed by ketogenesis when liver glycogen stores are depleted (or from metabolising medium-chain triglycerides[3]). The main ketone bodies used for energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate,[4] and the levels of ketone bodies are regulated mainly by insulin and glucagon.[5] Most cells in the body can use both glucose and ketone bodies for fuel, and during ketosis, free fatty acids and glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis) fuel the remainder. Longer-term ketosis may result from fasting or staying on a low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet), and deliberately induced ketosis serves as a medical intervention for various conditions, such as intractable epilepsy, and the various types of diabetes.[6] In glycolysis, higher levels of insulin promote storage of body fat and block release of fat from adipose tissues, while in ketosis, fat reserves are readily released and consumed.[5][7] For this reason, ketosis is sometimes referred to as the body's "fat burning" mode.[8] Ketosis and ketoacidosis are similar, but ketoacidosis is an acute life-threatening state requiring prompt medical intervention while ketosis can be physiological. However, there are situations (such as treatment-resistant 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 >>

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 >>

These Mice Stopped Eating Carbs So You (maybe) Don't Have To

These Mice Stopped Eating Carbs So You (maybe) Don't Have To

In the ever-more masochistic world of wellness-boosting, pound-shedding diets, the latest trend involves putting your body into a controlled state of starvation known as “ketogenesis,” by cutting out nearly all carbs. If that doesn’t sound like your particular brand of torture, guess what? You’re already on it. Well, at least while you’re sleeping. Two independent studies published Tuesday in the journal Cell Metabolism raise hopes that ketogenic diets, if followed full-time, do more than just slim waists. They also appear to improve the odds of living longer and remembering better … if you’re a mouse. The same effects have yet to be proven in humans, and plans for that are in the works. But in the meantime, self-experimenting biohackers (i.e. dieters) are collecting anecdotal evidence all around the world. Every time you wake up from a solid snooze and exhale out the fiery iron breath of a thousand rotting apple cores, that’s the taste of the “keto” lifestyle. That smell is acetone, and a little bit of it in the morning is a normal sign of a healthy metabolism. Over millennia, humans evolved a backup energy production system, for when glucose—your body’s main fuel source—gets depleted. Like during a famine, or just a good long nap. The goal of keto diets is to switch your body over to to this alternative metabolic pathway not just at night, but during your waking hours as well. By limiting carbs to just a few grams per day, your body begins to rely on its fat stores instead, and voila, epic weight loss. That works pretty well for things like your heart and lungs and muscles. But your brain—that electrical power suck, which consumes about a quarter of your daily calories—can’t burn fats. So in the absence of glucose, it snacks on somethin 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 >>

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