The ketogenic diet, or simply keto, is a fat-rich and low-carb diet mainly used for weight loss. Besides weight loss, studies have established that indeed,the keto diet has other benefits. The latest study has shown that the diet helps in keeping the human brain young and healthy.
Scientists from the University of Kentucky in Lexington have found evidence suggesting that keto diets may help in staving off cognitive decline. The study was based on the effects of the diet on the sensory, circulatory, and motor functions, all of which form the neurovascular function. It was established that following the keto regimen improves the flow of blood into the brain, and also brings about improved bacterial balance in the gut. It goes further to lower blood sugar significantly, and helps in weight loss.
Keto diet helps clear beta-amyloid proteins
In Alzheimer’s patients, beta-amyloid or building blocks proteins in the brain stick together to form dangerous plagues known to interfere with smooth neuronal signaling. It has been established that keto diet helps to bolster the clearance of the same, hence facilitating optimal neuronal signaling.
Neurovascular integrity, which includes both the blood-brain barrier and cerebral blood flow, is a major player in the overall cognitive performance. It is regulated by gut bacteria and therefore keto diet maximizes brain vascular function and helps reduce the risk of neurodegeneration in young brains. Researchers have argued that the brain’s protective effects are as a result of a nutrient sensor; Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) being inhibited by the regimen. Given, there is evidence that mTOR signaling largely impacts an individual’s lifespan as well as the aging process.
Keto helps in Mitochondrial Biogenesis
The human body cannot perform certain functions without energy, and this energy is generated in the form of ATP courtesy of structures known as mitochondria. Mitochondria inhabits in almost every body cell, with some of these cells possessing more mitochondria than others. This reflects directly on the amount of energy needed by each cell in order to function optimally.
The brain is one of the most central areas of the body, and if the energy output of mitochondria in the brain can be improved, that translates to more overall energy across the body. Ketogenic diet and fasting are two best known methods of bolstering mitochondrial biogenesis.
Keto improves insulin signaling
An ordinary human burns sugar to fuel the normal functions of the body while a person on the keto regimen burns fat to achieve the same. As a consequence of continuous high-carb intake, the majority of people experience a sharp rise in blood sugar that eventually causes a rapid crash.
Blood sugar imbalances can be hugely detrimental to the brain as witnessed in cases of congenital hyperinsulinism. It has been proved that keto improves insulin signaling, and at the same time reduces the side effects of blood sugar fluctuating patterns.
Keto lowers oxidative stress
The brain is overly reliant on healthy mitochondria, and therefore; it is the first victim of excess oxidative stress. Glucose metabolism produces higher levels of oxidative stress as compared to ketone metabolism, hence, effectively reducing inflammation as well as supporting the health of mitochondria. This eventually results in optimized energy production.
Ketogenic diet is today being used as a therapy for neurodegerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis, which has been attributed to chronic inflammation.
The keto diet has continued to receive massive backing as a performance booster and a healing remedy for metabolic and neurodegenerative states in humans. Suffice to say, it is a safe diet that can be used for multiple benefits besides the obvious weight loss. If you’re looking to improve your brain health, or you’re looking to enhance your focus, keto diet could be the remedy.