The Ripped Dude Program
The ketogenic diet/ketosis and the brain; is there a connection?
Your brain is 60% fat – So what happens to your brain on a high fat ketogenic based diet?
Ketogenic diets are becoming popular, not only for fat loss, but for the potential to improve brain function. The anecdotes for ketogenic diets and brain function have been abundant, but now researchers are focusing in on the idea that ketones are better for your brain power.
Any diet works for fat loss, but not every diet works for super-charged cognitive performance.
The ketones hydroxybutyrate (BHB), acetoacetate and acetone are released into the blood and taken up by the brain and body which fire ketone bodies into the mitochondria, which are the power plants of cells. Through cellular reputation the mitochondria break down nutrients and provide the body and brain with energy.
Some parts of the brain need glucose, this is true, but the body can turn dietary protein into glucose through gluconeogenesis.
You, me, your grandma, any healthy individual shifts into ketosis unintentionally. This happens when you wake up in the morning. If you’re not hungry in the morning this indicates you have a strong metabolism as you’re in ketosis.
Nutritional ketosis occurs in the latter situations, however, keto-adaptation occurs after several weeks when your body adapts and begins to prefer ketones of glucose as its preferred source of fuel.
When you intentionally fast for longer periods or follow a diet very high in fat, medium protein and low (5%) carbs, something interesting happens to the brain and personally called keto-adaptation where your body fundamentally prefers ketones over glucose as it’s primary energy source.
Ketogenic diets favour glutamate becoming GABA instead of aspartate.
Ketones increase GABA where neurotransmitters are released, also known as synapses in the brains of rats and some epileptic patients.
GABA is beneficial for your sleep, focus and attention and increases in various narcotics which causes feelings of euphoria and cognitive focus.
Oxidants in the brain have a single electron which makes them reactions hence the large amount of oxidants in epileptic patients leading to Excitotoxicity.
Excitotoxicity leads to epileptic brain damage as neurones are basically friend due to the excitement of these oxidants in the brain.
Antioxidants in blueberries, for example, reduce this risk, so the state of ketosis inhibits these violent molecules and increases the breakdown of them to a significant degree.
If you do it right and don’t eat trans fats as your source of 75% fat or so then the high-fat nature of keto isn’t a problem if you increase polyunsaturated fats (specifically omega-3) such as DHA and EPA which are commonly cited as “brain supplements” to help aid in the reduction of oxidation and inflammation.
We know that inflammation plays a key role in the role of the development of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is inclusive of the brain, a strong cognitive marker for brain based ailements.
Overall, more research needs to be done. But from what we’ve seen so far and the copious amounts of anecdotal accounts it seems likely that the fat-fuel brain has specific advantages for certain people.
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