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Keto Fights Alzheimer’s: Emerging Research

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Keto Fights Alzheimer’s: Emerging Research – Thomas DeLauer

Your brain can burn two different fuel sources. It can burn glucose, which it does most of the time. It can burn key tones as a fuel source. Now, one is not necessarily better than the other when it comes down to what your brain needs. Your brain always need glucose.

There are some reasons to believe that utilizing key tones as a fuel source, could help to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, but also help improve cognitive function for those that do already have neurodegenerative diseases. This is gonna be a science-y video. Hold onto your hats, cause here we go.

First off, let’s talk about what happens to the brain on a ketogenic diet, or at least when you’re fasting and using key tones for fuel. Believe it or not, when you are fasting, the byproduct is key tones. That provides an energy source for your brain. In fact that was the original foundation of ketosis in the first place, was utilizing fasting to create key tones to prevent and treat epilepsy.

What that means is, you’re able to reduce the actual impact on the brain, we’re not having as much glucose hitting the brain. The brain isn’t as stimulated, but it still gets energy in a very effective way. Now, if we can utilize that same kind of thought process and apply it towards Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and neurodegenerative diseases, we can put ourselves in a pretty cool spot, for helping out those that are dealing with those kinds of diseases.

Now, when we look at Alzheimer’s and Dementia in the first place, usually it’s an impairment of the brain’s ability to utilize glucose in the first place. What ends up happening is because the brain can’t use glucose as much, the brain cells start to shrivel up and die. They’re basically starving. If we can condition the brain to utilize fat, see key tones, as a fuel source a little bit better, we’re not gonna fall victim to that glucose starvation in the first place. Let’s talk about three things that make the brain a little bit more effective on a ketogenic diet and why it may help out with preventing Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

The first off, is mitochondria. Okay, we have mitochondria in every cell within our body. That’s how we create energy, it’s how we create Adenosine triphosphate. We also have this ATP machine, this mitochondria in our brains. The cool thing is, is Beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is the main ketone body, provides a lot of energy. In fact, it allows more energy per unit of oxygen, than glucose does.

This Beta-hydroxybutyrate, this ketone is utilized and turned into energy in the mitochondria. Since we have mitochondria in the brain and since we have Beta-hydroxybutyrate, when we’re on ketosis, then we create more energy without negative byproducts. Therefore, a cleaner burning, natural gas burning machine, unlike a diesel engine blowing smoke everywhere.

Okay, that leads me into the next thing, which is the ketogenic diet’s effect on reactive oxygen species. Reactive oxygen species is a natural process. Okay. Any kind of metabolism is going to have a byproduct of oxygen.


1) Fan, S. (2013, October 1). The fat-fueled brain: unnatural or advantageous? Retrieved from https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/mind-guest-blog/the-fat-fueled-brain-unnatural-or-advantageous/

2) 6 Ways A Ketogenic Diet Improves Brain Function – DrJockers.com. (2017, September 19). Retrieved from https://drjockers.com/ketogenic-diet-improves-brain-function/

3) Your Brain on Ketones. (2011, April 18). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201104/your-brain-ketones

4) Noh HS , et al. (n.d.). A cDNA microarray analysis of gene expression profiles in rat hippocampus following a ketogenic diet. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15469884

5) Lutas A and Yellen G. (n.d.). The ketogenic diet: metabolic influences on brain excitability and epilepsy. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23228828

6) Henderson ST , et al. (n.d.). Study of the ketogenic agent AC-1202 in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19664276

7) Feasibility and efficacy data from a ketogenic diet intervention in Alzheimer’s disease. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352873717300707

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