In a recently released study, the author detailed what brain imaging demonstrated while on a ketogenic diet:
Two groups of nine mice, aged 12-14 weeks, were given either the Ketogenic Diet (KD) or a regular diet. After 16 weeks, Lin et al saw that the KD mice had significant increases in cerebral blood flow, improved balance in the microbiome in the gut, lower blood glucose levels and body weight, and a beneficial increase in the process that clears amyloid-beta from the brain — a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
Cool, so does that mean we should implement the ketogenic diet all the time?
Like most things, there are advantages and disadvantages. Being on a ketogenic diet for most people chronically with no breaks can cause problems in other areas. However, planning times of being ketogenic certainly have advantages.
Ketogenic diets are used in many areas, and I have helped people use them for many applications including cancer and weight loss. There are many pitfalls to be avoided and some customization that may need to be done for each situation. Recently, I had a patient that had been working diligently to lose weight and was strictly ketogenic, but not losing. One of the things that can happen when keto and calorically restricting (in this case by intermittent fasting), is your body slows it’s metabolism by dialing down thyroid activity. We tested her thyroid and sure enough, it had slowed down. A thyroid prescription was started and we also worked on planning coming out of keto regularly and also changing the intermittent fasting plan from a strict 16 hour fast to incorporating 12 hours some days. The feedback within a couple weeks was higher energy levels and weight loss ramping back up.
While I personally spend time in ketosis regularly, it isn’t long durations. I am looking to gain the advantages this study listed, particularly the brain benefits. However, I also ensure I cycle out of ketosis as well. That cycle I believe will be shown to be highly beneficial long term.
Where most people are right now is strictly in a carbohydrate burning metabolic state. By, switching to keto or fat burning, there are a whole host of benefits that can be experienced.
If you are looking for a partner in implementing this or other nutritional strategies, please don’t hesitate to engage our service!