Ketotic Diet Stimulates Brain Growth.


A naturally occurring compound called beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) has already been reported to help open up chromatin. For the new study, the Johns Hopkins researchers tested whether two weeks of a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet, which causes the body to naturally produce high levels of BHB, could alleviate symptoms in mice genetically engineered to have a Kabuki-like condition. The diet has long been known to have an impact on brain activity, particularly as a treatment for severe seizure disorders.

In their experiments, the researchers compared mice given the ketogenic diet to mice fed a normal diet and to those injected with BHB. Compared with their untreated counterparts, both groups of treated mice grew more new brain cells in an area called the granule cell layer of the dentate gyrus, which is associated with the ability to learn and form new memories. They also performed nearly as well as non-Kabuki mice on a test known as the Morris water maze, which assesses the rodents' ability to remember the location of an underwater platform on which to rest during a maze exercise.

Physicians generally consider the intellectual disability that accompanies disorders like Kabuki syndrome to be irreversible, Bjornsson notes. "But we now know that new brain cells continue to form throughout our lives. If Kabuki syndrome and related disorders cause fewer neurons to be made in adulthood, stimulating neuronal growth may be an effective strategy for treating intellectual disability," he says.

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So, my doctor told me to move to a ketogenic diet in the interest of more brain clarity and less brain fog. He goes off to conferences and likely heard about your study above.

I was already on a grain and sugar free Paleo diet, and knew a fair amount about ketogenic diets, so it seemed worth a try.

He suggested cutting back on starchy vegetables and fruit, and adding C8 oil (caprylic acid oil) to my coffee, and beta hydroxybutyrate as you mentioned above and limit food to a 12 hour period of the day.

There's a limit to the health interventions I can manage, but I decided if I could do "casual keto" with those simple changes, it would be worth experimenting.

Armed with ketosis strips from WalMart, I found myself in ketosis by day 2 and my brain fog has been markedly better ever since. I put the BHB with creatine, d-ribose, and some branched chain amino acids in a water bottle I drank at the gym and found my exercise went better than it had in months (I.e. no naps, downtime two!) and I felt better afterwards.

Peter Attia, on the Eating Academy website, has interesting things to say about ketosis. He's a little obsessed and has different health goals than we do, but he did some interesting self experiments, which is how I learned about increased exercise performance.

Now, have to see if the changes stick, it if I adapt and regress... or maybe I'm growing new brain cells, which would be very nice indeed....

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