Ketones are A-OK for brain health as they help address Alzheimer’s disease (recipe included)
04/29/2021 / By Winnie Martin / Comments
Ketones are A-OK for brain health as they help address Alzheimer’s disease (recipe included)

Ketones should be a familiar term for those people undergoing a ketogenic diet. These multi-chain fatty acids are the result of the body breaking down fats to use for energy instead of carbohydrates. People on a ketogenic diet eat high amounts of fat and very low amounts of carbohydrates to enter a state of ketosis. Following a ketogenic diet causes weight loss and suppresses appetite, as the body uses fat for energy.

Aside from helping you lose weight, ketones produced by ketosis also contribute to brain health. In fact, a number of studies have proposed the ketogenic diet as an alternative therapy if you’re experiencing epileptic seizures. Two studies done in 1998 and in 2008 suggested that the ketogenic diet diminished the frequency of seizures in epileptic children.

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A study performed in 2019 has also found that ketones also exhibit protective properties against the damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease. This degenerative brain disorder damaged neurons responsible for transmitting messages from the brain to other organs. Researchers behind the study discovered that a diet supplemented with ketones may help protect neurons from dying during the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.

In the early stages of the disease, the brain becomes over-excited due to the diminished number of inhibitory interneurons. These prevent other nerve cells from signaling too much – at the cost of requiring more energy. Interneurons are more susceptible to dying when they encounter the protein amyloid beta, which is produced by those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloid beta has been shown to damage nerve cell mitochondria by interfering with SIRT3, a protein that protects the neurons and preserves mitochondrial functions.

Ketones supplemented through dietary means helped protect interneurons from damage

The researchers cited the prior effects of a ketogenic diet in addressing seizures in epileptic patients. They explained that beta-hydroxybutyrate, the major ketone produced from fatty acids in the body in response to fasting, can protect inhibitory interneurons against the damage caused by amyloid beta. Furthermore, they also cited a study that examined the potential of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) in addressing Alzheimer’s disease.

People who undergo a ketogenic diet usually supplement their ketone intake using either MCT or coconut oil. They usually mix it with their morning coffee to make it “bulletproof.” While both coconut oil and MCT oil contain medium-chain fatty acids, they differ in how much they have. Pure coconut oil contains about 50 percent MCT, with the rest consisting of long-chain fatty acids.

Meanwhile, MCT oil contains 100 percent medium-chain fatty acids. MCT oil is usually derived from either coconut or palm oil – which is then refined. The refining process has a two-fold purpose: It removes other compounds in the MCT oil and further concentrates its fatty acid content – which allows it to immediately go straight to the liver.

Regardless of the kind of oil you consume, the liver converts MCT into ketones within minutes – giving the body an immediate source of energy it can use. Longer-chain fatty acids take more time to break down and require enzymes from the liver or bile to aid in the process.

However, you should be aware of the amount of MCT oil you put in your coffee if you wish to supplement your ketone intake in this manner. A 2019 study found that excess amounts of MCT oil in your bulletproof coffee may trigger oxidative stress. The researchers behind the study wrote that adding MCT to a cup of coffee does not impact your health, but too much of it could increase oxidative stress.

“Bulletproof” chai latte recipe

Here’s a delicious drink you can whip up in your kitchen! You get beneficial ketones from the MCT oil to help protect your neurons, and the spices contribute to better brain health.

Ingredients for 1 serving:

  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cinnamon tea bags
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond, cashew or coconut)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (unsalted and grass-fed) or ghee
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or MCT oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • a pinch of cloves
  • a pinch of cardamom
  • a pinch of ginger
  • cinnamon for garnish

Procedure:

  1. Boil the water in a small pot, then add the tea bags.
  2. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Discard the tea bags afterward.
  3. Add the milk, sugar and spices to the tea, and stir to combine.
  4. Transfer the spiced milk to a blender, then add the butter/ghee and the MCT oil/coconut oil.
  5. Blend on high speed until frothy.
  6. Pour into a mug and top with cinnamon.

Ketones are definitely important for brain health, and foods rich in these are best included in your diet!

Visit BrainNutrients.news to learn more about ketones and other nutrients for optimal brain health.

Sources:

Healthline.com

Pediatrics.AAPPublications.org

TheLancet.com

ScienceDaily.com

JNeuroSci.org

Alz-Journals.OnlineLibrary.Wiley.com

EcoWatch.com

CDNSciencePub.com

MindBodyGreen.com

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