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Ketosis Serotonin

The Ketogenic Diet Is Killing Your Gains

The Ketogenic Diet Is Killing Your Gains

Put down that coffee filled with butter and coconut oil or you’re liable to spit it out all over your keyboard (or smartphone) when you read this… I suspect I’ll get some disagreement from the ketogenic and very low carb communities out there (it’s because your low carb intake is negatively impacting your brain’s serotonin levels, but I digress…) Yes, low carb diets, the ketogenic diet in particular, does achieve the desired effect initially – weight loss – largely because it helps you achieve a negative calorie balance on a daily, weekly and beyond basis by removing carbohydrates from your diet. But eliminating a food group entirely – carbs in this case – is not a sustainable long-term strategy for most (you’re going to want to have a piece of cake eventually). Now, here’s a caveat: I would suggest a low carb approach (not entirely ketogenic as I’ll explain below) is effective for many demographics — obese, sedentary, type II diabetic, and the like. But if you’ve stumbled upon my site, you likely aren’t in any of these categories, nor are you in retirement doing water aerobics a few times a week as your primary form of exercise… …Put simply, the ketogenic diet is not for you. You want to build muscle and burn fat (so you look awesome), and resistance strength training changes your dietary needs completely. A good analogy is gas for your car. If you never push your car beyond the speed limit, throwing more fuel in it than it needs to get the job done does more harm than good. OK, I suck at analogies, but essentially if you load up on carbs in a sedentary state, it spills over the side (into your love handles, beer gut and double chin). However, if you put the pedal to the metal day in and out, you have to fill it up often. If you don Continue reading >>

Ketosis For Depression

Ketosis For Depression

Depression is so common these days that it seems hard to meet anyone who hasn’t experienced it in some degree. While this has perhaps become the new normal, it doesn’t need to be. Our eating choices not only affect our physical health but our mental health as well—so if you’ve been wondering whether the ketogenic diet can positively impact your emotional state, read on for the use of ketosis for depression. Diet and Depression It’s no secret that most people are overworked, under-rested, and living on a poor diet. It’s also no coincidence that the modern advice to eat a diet high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and with constant snacking or small meals throughout the day has coincided with a rise in diabetes, obesity, and mental issues like anxiety and depression. Let’s take a look at why this difference in diet could be causing these problems—and how ketosis and a ketogenic diet can help. Ketogenic Nutrition and Depression Most of us can agree that a high intake of sugar has a negative impact on mood. Just think of the sugar highs and crashes that result from eating high-carb foods. What follows is feelings of crankiness, low-energy, and maybe even depression. Now, think about how a steady intake of fats from a ketogenic diet could have a positive impact on mood and endorphin levels. Many people who start eating keto have come from a background of eating the Standard American Diet and not exercising enough. Starting a ketogenic diet, removing high-carb refined foods, losing weight, and eating whole foods is bound to help with mood and make you happier. This alone could have benefits for those with depression. In addition, there are some interesting links between ketones and many conditions of the brain similar to depression, including epilepsy and Alzheim Continue reading >>

Probiotics Over Prozac: Ketogenic Eating For The Best Brain. (featuring, Your Microbiome, Butter Coffee, Anxiety, Fasting, Grain-free, Dopamine And More)

Probiotics Over Prozac: Ketogenic Eating For The Best Brain. (featuring, Your Microbiome, Butter Coffee, Anxiety, Fasting, Grain-free, Dopamine And More)

There are a lot of subjects here. They are important. And they connect a lot of what we’ve been talking about here, in separate strings, for a long time. Many of the newest learnings in health are related to the significance of the microbiome. From personal experience, I regularly feel what I can only describe as the health of my brain. Chemicals, transmitter-stuff, certain states. Which drives me into these subjects searching for ifs, and if-so-what, is going on. Because there is always a reason for why we feel the way we do. (These topics are also of significant personal importance to me in how they relate to anxiety, which is something I’ve had to handle my entire life. More on that in point 5, below.) Otherwise, this is all just more of the same: learn, live better, prosper. Shall we? 1. We are our microbiomes. I’ve said it; you know it, but a few refreshers JIC: 2. Our microbiomes are best supported by probiotics, live food and excellent digestion via which to absorb the goodness. 3. Our microbiomes are responsible for not only our physical wellbeing, but also our psychological health. Here we go. You have neurons both in your brain and your gut – including neurons that produce neurotransmitters like serotonin. In fact, the greatest concentration of serotonin, which is involved in mood control, depression and aggression, is found in your intestines, not your brain. “Mounting research indicates that problems in your gut can directly impact your mental health, leading to issues like anxiety and depression. “The gut-brain connection is well-recognized as a basic tenet of physiology and medicine, so this isn't all that surprising, even though it's often overlooked. “There's also a wealth of evidence showing intestinal involvement in a variety of neurologi Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet Alters Dopaminergic Activity In The Mouse Cortex

Ketogenic Diet Alters Dopaminergic Activity In The Mouse Cortex

Trinity College Trinity College Digital Repository Faculty Scholarship 4-2014 Ketogenic Diet Alters Dopaminergic Activity in the Mouse Cortex [post-print] William H. Church Trinity College, [email protected] Ryan E. Adams Trinity College Livia S. Wyss Trinity College Follow this and additional works at: Part of the Neurosciences Commons William H. Church, Ryan E. Adams and Livia S. Wyss Department of Chemistry and Neuroscience Program Trinity College, Hartford, CT USA Corresponding author William H. Church, Ph.D. Department of Chemistry and Neuroscience Program Trinity College 300 Summit Street Hartford, CT 06106 USA Tel: 860-297-2215 Email: [email protected] The work described in this paper has been carried out in accordance with the Uniform Requirements for manuscripts submitted to Biomedical Journals The authors report no conflicts of interest 2 Abstract: The present study was conducted to determine if the ketogenic diet altered basal levels of monoamine neurotransmitters in mice. The catecholamines dopamine (DA) and norephinephrine (NE) and the indolamine serotonin (5HT) were quantified postmortem in six different brain regions of adult mice fed a ketogenic diet for 3 weeks. The dopamine metabolites 3,4- dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC) and homovanillic acid (HVA) and the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5HIAA) were also measured. Tissue punches were collected bilaterally from the motor cortex, somatosensory cortex, nucleus accumbens, anterior caudate-putamen, posterior caudate-putamen and the midbrain. Dopaminergic activity, as measured by the dopamine metabolites to dopamine content ratio – ([DOPAC] + [HVA])/[DA] - was significantly increased in the motor and somatosensory cortex regions of mice fed the ketogenic diet Continue reading >>

Keto 201

Keto 201

Living with a Ketogenic Diet In my opinion, unless there is a medical issue you are using ketogenic to address, ketogenic eating is best done as a medium-term plan. I do not see it as a way of eating/living forever, mostly because of quality of life issues. Being a fat and oil monster gets old and I think keto is best used as a lever to accomplish a goal, after which a more sustainable, balanced, and enjoyable way of eating is adopted. During the medium-term of eating this way, though, there can be a lot of potential problems that need to be solved. Ketogenic eating, at least in my experience, has made me face several other issues around health and eating that I simply wasn’t aware of before. Almost like as soon as I cleaned up how I was eating there was nowhere left for other issues that I had to hide. Over the course of living with the ketogenic diet, one of the best attitudes you can adopt is one of flexible determination. You don’t want to be so rigid that you require certain weight loss every week, or that you make yourself crazy micromanaging your life. All eating strategies work because improved behavior is applied over a long period of time. Your weight may fluctuate up, down, and stay the same, but what we are all going for with keto is an overall loss, and that just takes time. Food Sensitivities: When Food Attacks One of the interesting things about eating keto is how it can make you face chronic food sensitivity issues. Perhaps it is that you feel so much better on keto, that feeling bad because of food feels worse and is, thus, more obvious. Or, maybe it is because through cleaning up your diet your body gets more tuned and thus any defects are more obvious. Whatever the case, ketogenic eating can unearth and make people face sometimes uncomfortable, or Continue reading >>

Csf Levels Of Dopamine And Serotonin, But Not Norepinephrine, Metabolites Are Influenced By The Ketogenic Diet In Children With Epilepsy.

Csf Levels Of Dopamine And Serotonin, But Not Norepinephrine, Metabolites Are Influenced By The Ketogenic Diet In Children With Epilepsy.

Abstract The ketogenic diet (KD) is a non-pharmacological treatment of medically refractory epilepsy in children. Its mechanisms of action are still unclear but monoamine neurotransmitters have been proposed to be involved. Norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin are known to modulate seizure susceptibility in many animal models. We examined whether the concentrations of norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin metabolites were affected by the KD in children with pharmacoresistant epilepsy. The metabolites of norepinephrine, HMPG, of dopamine, HVA, and of serotonin, 5-HIAA, were analyzed in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) before and 3 months after starting the KD. Twenty-six children (mean age 5.9 years) participated. Twenty-one children had generalized epilepsy and five partial. CSF was sampled by lumbar puncture. Seizure frequency before and during the diet was determined. Highly significant changes were found for HVA (p=0.0002) and 5-HIAA (p=0.004), which were both decreased during the KD compared to before diet. The levels of HMPG were unchanged. However, no differences were found between response groups. Valproate medication affected the levels of HMPG during diet with decreased levels in children on valproate and increased in those not on valproate (p=0.04). Our study indicates that the KD significantly alters the levels of metabolites of dopamine and serotonin but with a stable ratio HVA/5-HIAA in the CSF of children with refractory epilepsy, which finding may be of importance for the mechanism of action. Continue reading >>

Is Your Brain Two Quarts Low?

Is Your Brain Two Quarts Low?

I know, a brain isn’t quite like a car engine, but stick with me on this one. I learned the hard way what happens when you run your car engine when it’s low on oil. Years ago I somehow ignored that little red light on the dashboard and I managed to fry the engine on my beloved Jeep Wagoneer. As they say, live and learn. Neurotransmitters—Your Brain’s Natural Oil Of course your brain doesn’t run on oil. Nerve cells communicate with each other using chemicals called neurotransmitters. You are probably familiar with some of the more important ones like dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. These chemical messengers are stored in small sacks called vesicles located at the end of a long arm of the cell called the axon. When the cell is stimulated the neurotransmitters are released into the synapse, the narrow space between cells. These chemicals can then attach to receptors on the tree-like protrusions on adjoining cells called dendrites. The stimulated receptors then create an electrical action potential in the new cell. Of course this is a simplification of a very complex biological system. When you don’t have enough of these important chemicals, your brain cells can no longer talk to each other as intended and you get pesky neurotransmitter deficiency symptoms that interfere with your ability to function. If your serotonin is low you likely feel anxious and depressed, you don’t sleep very well, you are moody and irritable and you crave sweet and starchy foods. If your dopamine and norepinephrine levels are low, you will likely have problems concentrating and focusing, you will have poor impulse control, you will lack physical and mental energy and you will be more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol. Just as your car engine needs oil to run properly, your br Continue reading >>

Keep Yourself In Ketosis

Keep Yourself In Ketosis

When talking about a Grain Brain lifestyle, and the very similar ketogenic diet, it’s frequently mentioned that we are aiming to keep our bodies in ketosis. However, if you’re new to my work, it may be that you’re not exactly sure what ketosis is, or why we should be worrying about getting our body into this state. Allow me to explain. Ketones are a special type of fat that can stimulate the pathways that enhance the growth of new neural networks in the brain. A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fats, and this diet has been a tool of researchers for years, used notably in a 2005 study on Parkinson’s patients finding an improvement in symptoms after just 28 days. The improvements were on par with those made possible via medication and brain surgery. Other research has shown the ketogenic diet to be remarkably effective in treating some forms of epilepsy, and even brain tumors. Ketones do more than just that though. They increase glutathione, a powerful, brain-protective antioxidant. Ketones facilitate the production of mitochondria, one of the most important actors in the coordinated production that is the human body. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Our bodies are said to enter ketosis at the point when blood sugar levels are low and liver glycogen are no longer available to produce glucose as a fuel for cellular energy production. At this point, not only is the body doing the natural thing, and burning off fat, it’s also powering up the brain with a super efficient fuel. We can jump start ourselves into ketosis with a brief fast, allowing our body to quickly burn through the carbs that are in our system, and turn to fat for fuel. A ketogenic diet is one that derives around 80% or more of of its calories from fat, and the rest from carbs and prote Continue reading >>

The Neuropharmacology Of The Ketogenic Diet

The Neuropharmacology Of The Ketogenic Diet

Go to: Introduction Since the early 1920s, the ketogenic diet has been used successfully to treat patients with intractable epilepsy. The diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrate and protein, providing sufficient protein for growth but insufficient amounts of carbohydrates for all the metabolic needs of the body [1]. Energy is derived largely from fatty acid oxidation in mitochondria. During high rates of fatty acid oxidation, large amounts of acetyl-CoA are generated, leading to the synthesis, primarily in the liver, of the three ketone bodies β-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate, and acetone (Fig. 1). The metabolic efficiency of the Krebs cycle is reduced, and excess acetyl-CoA is shunted to the production of ketone bodies. Ketone bodies spill into the circulation, causing serum levels to rise severalfold, and then are utilized as an energy source in extrahepatic tissues, including the brain. Glucose is ordinarily the sole fuel for the human brain; fatty acids cannot be used because they do not cross the blood-brain barrier. Ketone bodies do enter the brain, in proportion to the degree of ketosis. Ordinarily, utilization of ketones by the brain is minimal. During the ketogenic diet, however, ketone bodies partly replace glucose as fuel for the brain. The ketone bodies are converted to acetyl-CoA by D-β-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase, acetoacetate-succinyl-CoA transferase, and acetoacetyl-CoA-thiolase and then enter the Krebs cycle within brain mitochondria, leading to the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) (Fig. 2). It has been known since the time of Hippocrates that fasting is an effective treatment for seizures, and the ketogenic diet was designed to mimic the fasting state [2]. However, despite intensive research in recent years, the mechanism by which the Continue reading >>

Wisconsin Study Finds Serotonin Can Increase Calcium In Cow's Milk

Wisconsin Study Finds Serotonin Can Increase Calcium In Cow's Milk

New research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison could help dairy cows produce more calcium-rich milk. Dr. Laura Hernandez, an assistant professor of lactation biology, found Jersey cows produced milk with higher calcium after they were given injections to increase serotonin, a chemical tied to feeling happy. Serotonin regulates calcium in a cow’s mammary glands, so it’s not their mood that is increasing calcium levels. But increased calcium could make dairy cows happy for other reasons. "When (cows) have low calcium, they'll get things like ketosis or they'll have uterine infections or have a hard time getting pregnant," Hernandez said. Hernandez found serotonin increased calcium levels in Holstein cows' blood and that increased calcium levels could help dairy cows bounce back sooner from low calcium levels after giving birth. "If we can help mitigate some of these effects, we could boost the longevity of the cows in the herd and also have them be more reproductive," Hernandez said. Calcium is the major mineral gained from drinking milk, and it's important in the process of making cheese. But the new research could also have implications for human calcium levels, she said. When breastfeeding, women can lose up to 10 percent of bone mass from the amount of calcium used for milk production. An overload of serotonin could take away too much calcium from a woman’s bones, making them more prone to fracture, Hernandez said. "If women are taking antidepressants, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, while they're pregnant and lactating (and this is becoming more common with depression during the perinatal period), maybe that is too much serotonin," Hernandez said. Continue reading >>

Serotonin (5-ht) Affects Expression Of Liver Metabolic Enzymes And Mammary Gland Glucose Transporters During The Transition From Pregnancy To Lactation

Serotonin (5-ht) Affects Expression Of Liver Metabolic Enzymes And Mammary Gland Glucose Transporters During The Transition From Pregnancy To Lactation

Abstract The aim of this experiment was to demonstrate the ability of feeding serotonin (5-HT; 5-hydroxytryptamine) precursors to increase 5-HT production during the transition from pregnancy to lactation and the effects this has on maternal energy metabolism in the liver and mammary gland. Pregnant rats (n = 45) were fed one of three diets: I) control (CON), II) CON supplemented with 0.2% 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) or III) CON supplemented with 1.35% L-tryptophan (L-TRP), beginning on d13 of pregnancy through d9 of lactation (d9). Serum (pre and post-partum), milk (daily), liver and mammary gland tissue (d9) were collected. Serum 5-HT was increased in the 5-HTP fed dams beginning on d20 of gestation and remained elevated through d9, while it was only increased on d9 in the L-TRP fed dams. 5-HT levels were increased in mammary gland and liver of both groups. Additionally, 5-HTP fed dams had serum and milk glucose levels similar to the CON, while L-TRP had decreased serum (d9) and milk glucose (all dates evaluated). Feeding 5-HTP resulted in increased mRNA expression of key gluconeogenic and glycolytic enzymes in liver and glucose transporters 1 and 8 (GLUT-1, -8) in the mammary gland. We demonstrated the location of GLUT-8 in the mammary gland both in the epithelial and vascular endothelial cells. Finally, phosphorylated 5′ AMP-activated protein kinase (pAMPK), a known regulator of intracellular energy status, was elevated in mammary glands of 5-HTP fed dams. Our results suggest that increasing 5-HT production during the transition from pregnancy to lactation increases mRNA expression of enzymes involved in energy metabolism in the liver, and mRNA abundance and distribution of glucose transporters within the mammary gland. This suggests the possibility that 5-HT may Continue reading >>

Brain Tumor

Brain Tumor

There are two specific diets that should be considered for treating brain tumors, either separately or in combination. The Ketogenic Diet: The Ketogenic Diet is a very high fat, high protein, and extremely low carbohydrate diet typically used to treat epilepsy (Porta N et al 2009). Without carbohydrates, the body shifts from using glucose to ketones for energy. Healthy brain cells can utilize either glucose or ketones. Brain tumor cells can only burn glucose. The theory is that switching to ketones for energy starves brain tumor cells. A 2007 study tested this theory on mice implanted with malignant brain tumors. The treatment group was fed a drink high in fat and protein that was designed to cause ketosis in children with epilepsy, and the control group was fed a low fat high carbohydrate diet. The ketone-producing diet decreased growth of the brain tumors from 35 to 65%, depending on the tumor line, and significantly enhanced health and survival compared to the control group, which was on the low fat, high carbohydrate diet (Zhou W et al 2007). In 1995, doctors from Case Western Reserve reported treating two young girls suffering from astrocytomas with low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets. One of the girls had a favorable clinical response without reported disease progression for 12 months at the time of publication (Nebeling LC et al 1995). In April 2010, a case report was published describing an older female patient treated for glioblastoma multiforme with an initial 2-day water fast followed by a ketogenic diet and then simply a caloric-restricted diet. The tumor regressed during treatment, getting smaller on subsequent scans from January until July, at which point the patient stopped following the diet. The tumor returned ten weeks later (Zuccoli G et al 2010). At thi Continue reading >>

Low-carb Diet = Depression??? Not So Fast!

Low-carb Diet = Depression??? Not So Fast!

I’ve noticed a few blogs on the internet recently and posts within our Community from people asking about the effects of Atkins on their sleep or whether doing Atkins would increase their risk of depression. I’ve addressed this topic before, but I thought it would be a great time to revisit it. One study that was well publicized in the past followed a group of adults who were separated into two weight-loss groups: a very low-carb plan and a restricted-calorie, moderately high-carb plan. Both groups lost about the same amount of weight over a year—30 pounds. But, according to the researchers, the low-carb group reported higher levels of anger, depression and confusion vs. the higher-carb group. The researchers suggested a link to better serotonin (a neurotransmitter involved in mood) synthesis with the higher-carb group while the low-carb group had lower levels of serotonin. Concluding that higher carbohydrate intake can increase serotonin concentrations in the brain, while fat and protein reduce concentrations. But it’s just not that simple. Even the researchers suggest that more studies need to be done to support this theory. Let’s start with this indisputable fact: The body needs tryptophan to make serotonin. No one denies this—tryptophan is an essential amino acid, and we need it for all sorts of things, including making serotonin. Tryptophan is a good guy. But no one knows just how much is needed; nor does anyone know exactly how much serotonin we need to make in order to “not be depressed”. What we do know: Depression is a function of an Internet-like maze of interrelationships between serotonin, dopamine, beta-endorphins and other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and epinephrine. The making of any of these chemical messengers can be influenced Continue reading >>

Of The Keto Diet?

Of The Keto Diet?

There are many awesome benefits that come with adopting a low-carb ketogenic diet, such as weight loss, decreased cravings and even possibly reduce disease risks. With that being said, it’s also good to talk about possible ketosis side-effects when ingesting these specific ketone supplements, so you know fully what to expect when you get started on this mission. If you’ve already heard about some of the side-effects that come with this special diet and are starting to freak out, don’t panic. We’re going to break down everything you need to know when it comes to what your body will experience when using these supplements for the first time. It’s important to remember, not everyone experiences side-effects when starting a ketogenic diet and thankfully, the symptoms are all very temporary and it can pass very quickly. It varies with the individual, but just to make sure all your bases are covered, we’re going to break down each possible side effect that you could possibly experience. 1. Flu Symptoms Within the first 2-4 days of beginning this diet, a common side-effect is known as the “ketosis flu” or “induction flu” because it mimics the symptoms of the actual flu. This means you might experience: Headaches Lethargy Lack of motivation Brain fog or confusion Irritability​ Although these symptoms typically go away completely within a few days, they are also completely avoidable if you stay very hydrated and increase your salt intake and like always, be sure you're eating enough fat. 2. Dizzyness & Drowsiness​ As you start dumping water, you'll lose minerals such as salt, potassium and magnesium. Having lower levels of these minerals will make you tired, lightheaded or dizzy. You may also experience muscle cramps, headaches and skin itchiness. Fatigue Continue reading >>

Serotonin And The Connection

Serotonin And The Connection

According to doctors Olfson and Marcus of Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons (Department of Psychiatry), "Antidepressants have recently become the most commonly prescribed class of medication in the United States" (August 2009 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry). By far, the most popular of this class of drugs are the SSRI's (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). To see how these drugs work, go HERE. Not too long ago, I wrote a post about the relationship between OBESITY, DEPRESSION, AND LOSS OF LIBIDO. As typical, I suggested a LOW CARB OR PALEO DIET as part of the solution to this problem. Not surprisingly, I had a few people email me links to the research by Dr. Richard Wurtman of MIT who has produced forty years worth of studies on sleep, mood, nutrition, and their relationship to neurotransmitters. He has studies showing that Serotonin (the 'feel-good' neurotransmitter whose lack is thought to be a huge factor in developing Depression), is released due to the ingestion of dietary carbohydrates. His wife is Dr. Judith Wurtman (also of MIT) who has published a book on the topic called The Serotonin Power Diet. As you might imagine, she advocates a higher carb / low fat, lower protein approach to eating in order to boost mood. There are many similar books on the market. We have Potatoes Not Prozac and Natural Prozac by Dr. Joel C. Robertson (he advocates a higher carb approach). But there are also books advocating a low carb approach such as Dr. Michael J. Norden's (Psychiatrist) Beyond Prozac. What is the truth? Our goal today is to sift the evidence and see what we find. One of the big reasons that I am such an advocate of Paleo-type eating is that it is a highly non-reactive diet (HERE). This is critical for those dealing with things Continue reading >>

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