What happens to your brain on ketones?
Well for one thing, ketogenic diets have been used for seizure prevention for a long time. Which is why the military is now researching how to maintain a state of ketosis on an ongoing basis in order for its divers to avoid oxygen toxicity syndrome. Having a seizure underwater is not the best scenario.
Here is my issue, those who jump into this lifestyle for do tend to do so in a very unhealthy fashion. Overdosing on sour cream, bacon and whatever unhealthy fats people can get their hands on. Which is why I prefer a modified version that still gives the benefits of a ketogenic state.
Why do ketones matter to the brain? Let’s geek out for a second.
Take a look at your neurotransmitters and brains energy, most specifically let’s look at glutamate and GABA.
GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the nervous system. GABA is made from glutamate, which as it happens is the major excitatory neurotransmitter, and we need them both. We don’t want to much of one or the other, especially too much glutamate. Too much excitement in the brain means toxicity and too much toxicity means seizures. Not just seizures but also depression, bipolar disorder, migraines, ALS, dementia, anxiety and others have all been linked to neurotoxicity. (Now you may be seeing where I am going with this)
With people having low GABA you will find that also suffer from anxiety. Taking BHB and ketones will help with this. If you aren’s sure what BHB is then you haven’t read my article on beta hydroxy butyrate. Go do that.
Glutamate has the ability to become GABA (inhibitory), or aspartate (excitatory or neurotoxic). When you are in a ketogenic state you are favouring it becoming GABA. How does this happen? It has to do with how ketones are metabolized and used by the brain for fuel. Mitochondria are the power plants of our cells, this is where all the energy is produced. (as ATP)
While using glucose has always been the preferred fuel source, using ketones is much more advantageous. It is less efficient to make ATP from glucose than it is from ketones… This means its a better fuel source. Yay ketones!
When we change the ratios in the brain we optimize it’s performance. Who doesn’t want to optimize the performance of their brain?
Let’s look at newborns, they are born in a state of ketosis, breast milk is high fat… Do the math. What I am saying is that babies are born keto adapted. This is done so that babies can grow and construct their brain.
Now that we have established our brain health benefits from a ketogenic lifestyle let’s talk about how it is maintained.
To maintain a ketogenic state you will need to be extremely diligent with your diet, high fat, moderate protein and low carb. Unless you can find a way (which we have) of adding ketones directly into your bloodstream. It’s hard, and when I say hard I mean good frigging luck keeping yourself in a ketogenic state via lifestyle, nutrition and fasting alone. Personally I like to live life and enjoy myself. Which is why I now advocate a specific ketone/BHB supplement (I’m not affiliated butI do use and love this supplement). I’ve done the research and as anti supplement as I am, this is one I can completely get behind.
Feel free to join my private FB group for more info on ketones as well as a carnivore lifestyle, a modified ketogenic style of living and of course BHB. You can also grab your exogenous supplement of ketones here (not my link – but I do love the product)