There is certainly a lot of discussion these days about the ketogenic diet, especially as it relates to brain function. I thought it would be instructive to review one of the most important, and early, research studies in this area, as it reveals several very important findings that are worthy of attention.
The study, Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults, dates back to 2003. Why this is relevant with respect to the ketogenic diet is because beta-hydroxybutyrate is one of the ketones produced when somebody is in ketosis. The ketogenic diet is one that is aggressive in terms lowering dietary carbohydrate intake while increasing dietary fats. The production of ketones is amplified in people who supplement with things like coconut oil or MCT oil. Continue reading
The relationship of the ZIka virus to the development of microcephaly has certainly been receiving a lot of attention in the news lately, and with good reason. Microcephaly is a devastating, although rare, consequence of this viral infection, and it is for this reason that we are now seeing recommendations that women who are pregnant, or are considering pregnancy, avoid going to places where Zika infection is possible.
But the story is now becoming more complicated and worrisome. We are now seeing research that indicates that the Zika virus has a predilection for attacking cells in the brain’s memory center, in adults. Continue reading
This is a rather short version of a long story.
In 1987 I weighed about 205 lbs. I was eating all kinds of trashy foods, from doughnuts to fried fish to French fries. While I exercised regularly, I also suffered from severe eating disorders. What I ingested was a lot of sugar, and I ate very poorly One morning I woke up, and a lightning bolt smacked me in the head. I needed a change.
I was given Grain Brain and Brain Maker as birthday presents on Jan. 22, when I reached age 71, and started a gluten-free, sugar-free, high-fat diet on Feb. 1.
After 25 days, I have solved two of the 3 “neurological” health problems I had: left arm trembling while leaning the arm on the arm of a chair, loss of equilibrium, and memory deterioration. The first two are now gone, but for the memory recovery I cannot yet claim an improvement, but I am hopeful. Further, I would like to think that maybe I have improved my speech as well, since before the diet I was reaching the point where it was difficult to have a fluent conversation, because my brain and mouth simply could not speak to each other. I have also lost 3kg of weight!
You’ve heard me speak extensively about the toxic role of sugar and carbohydrates in terms of brain health. I’ve even gone so far as to say that elevated blood sugar is correlated with shrinkage of the brain. Why would I say that? In this video we look at a study associating shrinkage of the hippocampus with elevated blood sugar. We now know that when blood sugar is elevated, it binds to protein and forms what is called AGEs or Advanced Glycation End Products. These AGEs then turn on inflammation by leading to leakiness of the gut, which is what affects the brain the most. This is the toxic effect of blood sugar as it relates to the brain.