There is some overlap between the metabolic effects of calorie restriction (CR) and ketogenic diets (Maalouf et al., 2009). A lot of the underlying mechanisms are related to mitochondrial quality and quantity, anti-apoptotic factors, and neurotrophic factors (eg, BDNF induced by ketosis).
Further, ketone bodies have a direct protective effect against multiple types of neuronal insults in vitro.
The Maalouf review article was basically about the ketogenic diet but they kept mentioning the unpalatability of it … seriously, they said it like, 3 times … started to irk me — HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF KETODIETAPP and RULEDME. But yeah, in these neurocognitive and psychiatric populations adherence to a ketogenic diet is poor and gets worse with increasing disease severity. So in this #context, I can get behind MCT-supplemented LC and ketone supps.
Obesity* is associated with an increased risk of dementia. Calorie restriction has been shown to improve outcomes in various models of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It also lowers fasting insulin and has been shown to improve mood.
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BDNF is like Miracle Gro for your brain.
Mitochondria are an important target of ketogenic diet action.
Interestingly, the longer you’re in ketosis, the better your brain gets at taking up ketones.