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Special Thanks to my team and Nicholas Norwitz – Oxford Ketone PhD Researcher and Harvard Med Student – for working diligently on research as well!
Here’s How to Do Keto to Optimize Brain Power – Thomas DeLauer
How can you tweak your Keto diet to get more out of your brain? By now, you probably know that the ketogenic diet is powerful for cognitive function. It’s one of the leading ways to really boost brain performance. That’s why military forces are using it, that’s why all kinds of government agencies are using it to heighten how we think. So it’s proven there, there’s no exaggeration there.
But I think what we need to do is we need to start looking at things slightly different. We need to understand that the body and the brain are much more closely connected than we give them credit for. We often think just in a cerebral sense, “How can we increase our brain function?” But we have to think about what the diet is doing.
Let me give you an example. Serotonin, the feel good neurotransmitter, the neurotransmitter that allows you to feel good and just get that sense of wellbeing. Did you know that 95% of that is created in your gut and it travels up to your brain as a neurotransmitter?
So the gut biome really harnesses a lot of power for our brain. Now the other piece of the equation is looking at the other side of the spectrum, Parkinson’s disease. It’s theorized and somewhat proven that Parkinson’s disease probably starts in the gut. It starts in the gut by certain proteins unfolding and ultimately traveling up the vagus nerve into the brain so it could literally start in the gut.
Now, my point in saying all of this is the ketogenic diet alters our gut bio. Our microbiota changes dramatically and that alone has a powerful effect on our brain from a genetic standpoint, from a disease prevention standpoint, and from all kinds of different standpoints. But let’s talk about some ways that you can possibly have some fun with this, ways that you can boost your brain performance but also protect your brain from neurodegenerative diseases as well. That’s important stuff. It may not be important to you now but it’s important as you get older so let’s pay attention.
So let’s start with what the ideal level of ketones are. Should you try your hardest to get your ketone levels high? It’s a common question and I talk about frequently in my other videos that you don’t need to get your ketone levels high to burn fat and to lose weight.
But if you’re trying to go for cognitive function and trying to boost just overall cognitive wherewithal but also prevent neurodegenerative disease higher ketones probably are better.
Now, one of the ways that we can justify this is when you look at the epileptic community, the science community that’s treating epilepsy with ketones. They require their patients to have high therapeutic levels of ketones north of three millimoles usually.
And this is because they only see positive results with their epilepsy if their ketone levels are high. So what that tells us is clearly it’s doing something within the brain. Clearly something that is chilling out seizures and possibly tilting that GABA glutamate scale enough, we don’t really know. The point is, is it’s doing something in the brain that is very optimal.
So there was a study that was published in the journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism that took a look at this specifically. They took a look at patients that were on the keto diet for really just a few days, for four days, and they measured glucose oxidation and ketone oxidation.
Glucose oxidation went down 20% and ketone oxidation went up six fold. So, that shows that when we have more ketones we start suppressing glucose oxidation which means we have a cleaner burning fuel. It’s going to make you think clearer but more importantly it’s going to protect from neurodegenerative disease and any kind of decline Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, things like that.
So as always I appreciate you spending the time here on my channel. I appreciate you watching all my videos. So, keep it locked in here and I’ll see you tomorrow.
Nicholas Norwitz – Oxford Ketone PhD Researcher and Harvard Med Student: