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 >>
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 >>
What You Actually Eat On A Ketogenic Diet
Under "normal" physiological conditions, we tend to fuel a significant portion of our metabolism, particularly the energy needs of our brains, from carbohydrates. I put "normal" in quotation marks because the frame of reference for studying our metabolism is our modern, consistently overfed world. This overfed state is not, in fact, normal, healthy, or optimal, as the genetics governing our metabolism were forged in an environment in which access to food was inconsistent and the activity level to procure this food was reasonably high. If the brain can only run on glucose (as most health care providers claim), we must have a consistent supply of dietary glucose or we will "bonk" (experience serious cognitive problems due to low blood sugar) and cannibalize the proteins in our body to produce glucose for the brain. What is it and why is it the answer? The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb style of eating (typically 30 to 50g of carbs per day, not counting fiber) with moderate to low protein (between 75 and 100g per day). When we are either fasting or eating at a significant caloric deficit, our body tends to mobilize our stored body fat for energy. If carbohydrates and proteins are sufficiently limited, fat enters our mitochondria (specifically in the liver) in large amounts. Without sufficient glucose (or protein), our bodies shift into the process of ketosis. Ketosis takes the high-energy fat molecules stored in our bodies and converts them to a form that can fuel the heart, muscles, organs, and, perhaps most important, the brain. This provides an almost limitless supply of brain-friendly fuel in the form of ketones while decreasing the need for our metabolism to use our muscles and internal organs to produce glucose. If we think about this, it’s really smart eng Continue reading >>
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 >>
How Ketogenic Diets Curb Inflammation In The Brain
Ketogenic diets – extreme low-carbohydrate, high-fat regimens that have long been known to benefit epilepsy and other neurological illnesses – may work by lowering inflammation in the brain, according to new research by UC San Francisco scientists. The UCSF team has discovered a molecular key to the diet’s apparent effects, opening the door for new therapies that could reduce harmful brain inflammation following stroke and brain trauma by mimicking the beneficial effects of an extreme low-carb diet. “It's a key issue in the field – how to suppress inflammation in the brain after injury,” said Raymond Swanson, MD, a professor of neurology at UCSF, chief of the neurology service at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and senior author of the new study. In the paper, published online Sept. 22 in the journal Nature Communications, Swanson and his colleagues found the previously undiscovered mechanism by which a low-carbohydrate diet reduces inflammation in the brain. Importantly, the team identified a pivotal protein that links the diet to inflammatory genes, which, if blocked, could mirror the anti-inflammatory effects of ketogenic diets. “The ketogenic diet is very difficult to follow in everyday life, and particularly when the patient is very sick,” Swanson said. “The idea that we can achieve some of the benefits of a ketogenic diet by this approach is the really exciting thing here.” Low-Carb Benefits The high-fat, low-carbohydrate regimen of ketogenic diets changes the way the body uses energy. In response to the shortage of carb-derived sugars such as glucose, the body begins breaking down fat into ketones and ketoacids, which it can use as alternative fuels. In rodents, ketogenic diets – and caloric restriction, in general – are Continue reading >>
Is The Keto Diet Really Good For Your Brain?
The average American consumes 66 pounds of added sugar every single year! This is unprecedented in human history. Never before has so much refined sugar been so readily available to so many people. And it is taking a toll on our health. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, auto-immune disease, and many other common neolithic diseases are linked to excess sugar consumption. Most Americans have sugar with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then also indulge in sugary snacks between meals. You may be thinking, “hold on there, I don’t eat sugar with all of my meals!” Well you may be right, but it is important to remember that all carbohydrates are ultimately metabolised into sugar. Whether it is a bagel, a french fry, or a candy bar, it’s all sugar. Sugar Metabolism All of this excess sugar consumption has altered the fundamental metabolism of our bodies. In the past, people would occasionally eat large amounts of sugar in the summer and fall when harvests were abundant with carbohydrate rich plants, but there would also be more austere times in the winter and spring where carbohydrates were more scarce and proteins and fats were more abundant. God equipped our bodies to deal with these times of austerity by giving us the ability to use multiple forms of energy, including our own body fat! Fat Metabolism When dietary intake of glucose is low, certain cells like muscle cells, are able to utilize body fat as an energy source. This puts the body in a state of ketosis. A diet that promotes ketosis is called a ketogenic diet. Ketogenic diets are well known for their ability to promote fat loss and balance blood sugar levels, hence why Dr. Colbert recommends a modified ketogenic diet for his Slender System weight loss protocol. There is, however, another interestin Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet Improves Cognitive Function
Breaking NEWS! The first trial using the ketogenic diet (KD) in patients with Alzheimer’s disease was presented at the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. It was presented in session of the Conference that was dedicated to the potential benefits of ketones called: Brain Ketone Metabolism, Ketogenic Interventions and Alzheimer’s disease. As discussed in another blog post, it is know that in Alzheimer’s disease, the brain loses its ability to uptake and use glucose. This decreased glucose utilization results in decrease energy (ATP) production, causing an energy deficit in the brain. It is believed that this energy deficit then increases the risk of neuronal dysfunction and cognitive decline. Specifically, it has been shown that patients with early Alzheimer’s disease have 20-30% less glucose uptake and utilization in certain areas of the brains compared to cognitively normal older adults. Research by Dr. Cunnane, has shown that the uptake and utilization of ketones is the same in brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease compared to the brains of cognitively normal older adults. (Cunnane, 2016) This research by Dr Cunnane shows that the even the areas of the Alzheimer’s brains that had decreased uptake of glucose had normal uptake of ketones. The implication of this is that the neurons themselves are not dead just not able to use glucose. The hope is that ketones can help improve cognition by improving this brain energy deficit. This was the basis of the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Ketogenic Diet study. The objection of the study was to see if by changing the fuel source from glucose to ketones thru the KD, would result in improvement of cognitive symptoms in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The KU Alzheimer’s Disease Ketogenic Diet Continue reading >>
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 >>
Ketones: Your Brain’s Preferred Fuel Source
Ketones have long been touted as a superior fuel source for the brain that possesses a wide array of cognitive benefits. Our brains are made up of two types of cells, neurons, and glial cells, and both are imperative for our brains to function properly (1). Under normal physiological conditions, the principle energy source utilized by the brain cells is glucose (2). Glucose transporters saturate brain capillaries to allow glucose to cross the blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain, glucose is metabolized to pyruvate which enters the mitochondria of the brain cells to ultimately generate energy through aerobic metabolism (3). However, ketone bodies may also provide energy to the brain through different mechanisms. Brain Fuel In addition to glucose, brain cells can derive energy from monocarboxylates which include lactate and the ketone bodies beta-hydroxybutyrate (β-HB) and acetoacetate (AcAc) (2). It is controversial whether or not lactate can be used as a fuel source in the brain; however, many laboratories have reported that BHB is a major fuel supplier for the brain, especially under specific physiological conditions (3,4). BHB and glucose do not nourish the brain uniformly but rather have specific areas of localization. BHB accumulates primarily in the pituitary and pineal glands, as well as in portions of the hypothalamus, and the lower cortical layers (4). Physiological conditions that elevate BHB and consequently provide increased energy to the aforementioned areas of the brain include starvation, fasting, pregnancy, prolonged exercise, uremia, during the prenatal period, infancy, during the chronic consumption of a high fat/low carbohydrate ketogenic diet, and possibly even ketone supplementation (4). Ketones: Brain’s Utilization Capacity Low circulating gluc Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet – What’s All The Fuss About?
In the world of fitness and weight-loss, the ketogenic diet is the new kid on the block. Rumour has it, it’s key to optimizing fat-loss, strength and curbing our appetite. But how much of this is true? Or could this high-fat, low-carb diet be just another trend? The good news is – you’re about to find out. First things first: What is a ketogenic diet? A ketogenic diet means that you get approximately 75% of your daily energy from (healthy) fats, 20% from protein and only 5% from carbohydrates (mainly vegetables) – which basically means only between 30g-50g of carbs per day. (This would translate into one single cup of rice or two slices of whole wheat bread per day). What does “ketogenic” mean? This one’s for all the geeks out there: Ketogenic comes from the word “Ketosis”, the name of a metabolic process your body goes through to produce enough energy to keep the engine running. It happens when we don’t have enough glucose from carbohydrates for energy production and our body then has to use fats to generate energy – also known as beta-oxidation. We do this on a daily basis, for example when we sleep. In this process, fatty acids are broken down into acetyl-CoA, which is an essential molecule in energy transfer. Nevertheless, if the body has mainly only fats for energy production, it will come to a metabolic traffic jam, as not all acetyl-CoA can be used for energy production. Acetyl-CoA builds up. And this build up of acetyl-CoA shifts the liver into ketone body formation. And here we are: if the body has more ketone bodies than normal, it is in “ketosis”. These ketone bodies – acetone, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate – can be reconverted into acetyl-CoA when energy is required to help supply the muscle tissue, the brain and red blo 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 >>
Kegenix For Brain Health And Focus
Work 1 Serving 1 hour before work 1 Serving 1 hour after lunch or KETO MEAL School 1 Serving 1 hour before study or test Anti-Aging 1 Serving in the morning 1 Serving at 12pm 1 Serving at 4pm ORDER Work 2 Scoops for Lunch School 2 Scoops for Lunch Anti-Aging 2 Scoops for Lunch or 1 Scoop for Dinner ORDER ORDER The ketogenic has had numerous studies done, showing the benefits of a low-carb diet on brain health. It has been shown to effectively treat Epilepsy in children, reduce healing time after a head injury, improve symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease, reduce neuron death caused in hypoglycemia in children with type 1 diabetes, and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s in mice. It is thought that using fat for fuel, which the body prefers as its primary fuel source, is beneficial to your neurons. It helps them run more efficiently, avoiding exhaust which leads to cell death. Have you ever noticed that when you have a typical high carb breakfast, of oatmeal, fruit, and toast, and feel tired, sluggish, and may experience brain fog in just a few short hours? This is caused by your body using a less beneficial fuel source in the form of glucose. But we don’t have to suffer through life like this, counting down the minutes until our next “sugar fix” in the form of carbs. That is where ketosis comes in. Ketosis is the natural metabolic state where the body burns fat, rather than glucose (sugar), for its primary energy. Ketosis is an advanced metabolic state because burning fat offers the body 225% more energy than carbohydrates. Getting into a state of ketosis isn’t easy though. Because of our conventional diet, which relies on easily burned carbs, our body is accustomed to having an overabundance of glucose at its disposal. So, when you are no longer providing your b 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>