Is The Ketogenic Diet Advantageous For The Brain?

did you know your brain is 60% fat so
what happens when you eat a lot of it the ketogenic diet is an unorthodox high
fat low carb diet which conflicts with everything we’ve ever been told about
nutrition which is popular through tech startup entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley
people who want to lose weight people who want to improve their cognitive
health people who just want to eat more comfort foods while they lose weight and
also elderly people who have cognitive impairments I’ve really come to realize
that blood glucose is quite parallel to your willpower let’s explore why that is
and whether the evidence actually supports us so your body usually uses
glucose as its primary source of fuel the difference with the ketogenic diet
is that when you restrict your carbohydrates all the way down to 5% you
increase your fat and you keep your protein at a moderate amount your body
begins to use what is called ketones with fuel because I can’t use fat
directly just like it can with the off product of carbohydrates fat are
metabolized in the liver into something we call ketones
so the ketones hydroxy butyrate or BHB a store s8a and acetone are released
into the blood after they are metabolized in the liver and they’re not
taken up by the brain and the body which then fires ketone bodies into the
mitochondria so the mitochondria are basically powerhouse plants of the cells
that’s what they’re called so that’s where all the energy is produced
mitochondria act like a mini digestive system and they take in nutrients they
break it down into energy rich molecules for cells through cellular respiration
so when you’re on the ketogenic diet your brain still needs glucose for
certain areas of the brain which it can’t use ketones effectively for even
though you only have 5% of your macronutrients coming from carbohydrates
the medium amount of protein which you’re consuming can be turned into
glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis if you wake up in the
morning and you don’t really have much of an appetite
chances are that you’re in nutritional ketosis and this is a good sign that you
have a strong metabolism but basically anytime we fast which the most common
example is sleeping or anytime we can go without food for a significant period of
time even in a 24-hour period our body shifts into nutritional ketosis the
difference with the ketogenic diet is that you go into this more permanently
you could say and you become keto adapted so you
can go into nutritional ketosis as someone who doesn’t do the ketogenic
diet just by fasting but it doesn’t mean your key to adapt it key to adapt it
implies that your body’s primary source of fuel becomes the ketones which are
metabolized in the liver from fat rather than glucose another way you can enter
ketosis is also by exercising and this is especially exacerbated if you’re
already in a fasted state running your brain and your body of ketones is very
neuro protective meaning it can alleviate or even reduce the risk of one
developing a cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s disease which is which is
great obviously we don’t have much time between our meals right and the past
kids would play outside for a while now a sedentary now we’re all eating more
and we’re eating more frequently so this goes against the dogmatic myth and had
the idea that you have to eat frequently to boost your metabolism so I think it’s
the problem that we’re eating frequently with fasting lists and we’re not really
going into ketosis often additionally we’re sleeping less how we used to sleep
for nine hours in 1910 and now it’s around six hours on average so we’re
getting no time in between meals and we’re not naturally going into a state
of ketosis which is newer protective and rates for Alzheimer’s have gone up so I
think there’s a distinct correlation there maybe not a causation but there’s
something – it’s something worth exploring
so the ketogenic diet was shown to increase the expression of genes which
encoded from mitochondria enzymes in the hippocampus and we know that the
hippocampus is an area of the brain responsible for learning and memory
they’re efficient because they leave less mitochondrial waste behind as
opposed to glucose and when there’s less waste it’s easier to restore memories in
the brain and so free radicals are reduced free radicals being a direct
cause of cognitive impairment and oxidation so oxidants in the brain have
a single electron which makes them really really reactive and this means
and we can see clearly that in epileptic patients in their brains they have a lot
of oxidants and this leads to X I so toxicity so excited toxicity leads to
epileptic brain damage right because neurons basically they
basically fizzle out due to the excitement of these oxidants in the
brain going the tiki toasters from time to time is a very natural thing let’s go
back to Paleolithic times for example it’d be very
common or at least occurring that a tribe would go without food for a while
and naturally shift into ketosis and it would appear from the scientists who are
exploring the cognitive benefits of ketosis that there is an evolutionary
argument to why it has your protective properties and that’s because that’s
just part of nature it’s not natural to have a fridge next to you and constantly
be able to eat now let’s move on to what the science is saying about how ketones
actually affect your brain directly so in studies of rats ketones were shown to
increase in gaba gaba improves your sleep and improves your focus your
concentration we know that intelligent people have
more gaba in their brains naturally something also interesting to note is
that in many recreational drugs like cigarettes and nicotine
this increases gaba in the brain so you like improving your ability to feel
euphoric but it’s an unnatural way from a dietary intervention rather than
something that’s going to be addicting and clearly degenerative to your health
so that’s also fascinating in itself now I’m not going to go into the topic of
saturated fat in too much detail but basically when you’re on a ketogenic
diet and you’re trying to fuel your brain with fat clearly you’re eating
more fat and a lot of this is going to be saturated fat now I’ve covered this
in another video exploring the reason why I set rated fat isn’t actually that
unhealthy but basically it’s because think about infant milk human milk has
six times the amount of cholesterol an average person consumes an infant milk
you have saturated fat monounsaturated fat polyunsaturated fat out of all those
fats saturated fat is proportionately larger than followed by monounsaturated
fat and polyunsaturated fat if cholesterol and fat was something that
we really did not need and it was cancerous to us and it caused death why
would nature intend for the first sip of drink and food for a baby to consume be
something that’s going to fundamentally harm it and oppose our true nature so
just some food for thought for you um but if you want to learn more in depth
about this topic and specifically why saturated fat is it bad all in the
description and there will be a video there for you to watch but just keep
that example in mind when you come across someone who is telling you
something different as long as you’re maintaining an adequate amount of
polyunsaturated fats and making sure to maintain an appropriate balance between
omega-3 and omega-6 favouring omega-3 and specifically DHA /
EPA then you’re going to be involved in your
protective properties so on cognitive impairment we know conclusively that
inflammation is a huge problem Phyllis as it is with obesity and obesity
generally goes hand-in-hand such as diabetics with cognitive impairment so
what researchers are now calling Alzheimer’s disease is type 3 diabetes
why is it called type 3 diabetes because it’s basically insulin resistance in the
brain it’s inflammation and insulin resistance in the brain the hormone
insulin isn’t properly processing glucose in the brain and so this leads
to inflammation release leads to so many problems and it’s one of the most
fundamental causes of cognitive impairment dementia Parkinson’s all
these things it’s all interlinked with inflammation and of course the ketogenic
diet lowers inflammation that lowers oxidation in the brain it lowers all
these markers of cognitive impairment and when you’re running your brain of
ketones is so much smoother it’s so much more efficient it’s like running your
brain of electric versus gasoline if we’re going to give an analogy for a car
now many of the studies have been done on animals and there hasn’t been that
much conclusive research on whether there’s a there’s a definite more
protective effect but all the research which is coming out right now
again and again and again is solidifying these suspicions people have had about
inflammation but insulin resistance in the brain and the way that diet
specifically affects this now this isn’t to say any other type of diet can’t do
this but it appears that the ketone brain the fat fueled brain has some
distinct advantages compared to its glucose counterparts but if you’re
looking to like hack your brain and you’re looking to optimize your
performance cognitively and perhaps in terms of endurance training then the
ketogenic diet might be something you consider if you’re brave enough to enjoy
the 5% carbohydrates which honestly isn’t that difficult because the moment
you insulin drops the moment your insulin sensitivity goes up the moment
inflammation goes down the moment your keto adapted or even a nutritional
ketosis all your appetite and your cravings go away so it becomes a piece
of cake it really is make sure to subscribe and
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Reader Comments

  1. Georgia Rutherford

    When I first tried the ketogenic diet I felt like shit but I wasn;t getting enough salt. Never tried it again untl I did a really long fast and got into deep ketosis, I felt incredible and so I tried it again and did it perfectly and wow I've never gone back. I stay keto adapted but sometimes i'll eat more paleo when I want some fruit

  2. Charisma Academy

    I happen to disagree with your saturated fat hypothesis, I believe the arguement for high carbohydrate plant based diets is more convincing.
    That said, it was well researched and god damn that was interesting

  3. Ivan Savciuc

    Philip tells us a lot of good things about Keto diet, but nothing about side effects which can be easily found in studies, like ketogenic diet may decrease bone mass and density in the long term, and more importantly kidney damage. It is actually frustrating that all almost videos YouTube on the Keto diet theme neglect side effects and drawbacks.

  4. Siim Land

    It's actually thought that eating calorically dense and fatty animal products i.e. bone marrow that lead the cognitive revolution of the human species. This led to a decreased gut size and more energy being directed to the brain.

  5. kinder mörder

    ok man i hope u'll try this diet and die because of's not a normal process. it's called as "ketoacidosis". this is seen in diabetic patients or people dying of starvation. so who the fuck are you to give people advices about health? are you a fucking doctor or a dietitian? some people might actually get hurt because of morons like you.your bullshit interpretations are not based on science. they are just your opinion that you made up. – no offence

  6. Chiungalla79

    Some really interesting points.

    But the part with the milk is just stupid. Sorry. You CAN'T argue that what's good for a baby is also good for an adult. Completely different situations and metabolic needs. Cow babies drink a lot of milk. Would they benefit from a ketonic diet? Surely not.

    Another thought of mine:
    Even some of the most unscientific and extreme diets have been shown to have positive effects. Just because the average western diet is so terrible that the second you start to think about your eating behaviour your health improves. Even paleo and blood type diets work for your benefit (if you don't look at possible side effects).

    Whole food plant based diets shows at least as impressive results as ketosis does. Allthough they are very different. The only thing that both have in common is that they (correctly applied) prevent insulin spikes (through isolated sugar and corn sirup). So maybe that's all there is to it: Stop messing with your insulin levels through artifical sugars in processed foods?

  7. Aiden Hall

    Keto may not be for everyone. But this anti fat attitude is killing people. People buying low fat as much as possible, aiming to get 0 grams of fat each day is making them sick, thinking they are protecting their arteries from clogging and health in general, the hysteria has gone too far

  8. Pedro Pablo Cuvi Santa Cruz

    Hi! I love your channel, many thanks! Do you have any information about the effect of non-vegetarian ketosis and if it affects positively or negatively in the endothelial cells? Keep up the great videos!

  9. Miriam Brait

    I was in ketosis for a while and I didn't noticed any difference.Maybe there is one in people who actually have a problem with using glucose for fuel.

  10. Ross Parlette

    While the brain (and blood cells) cannot use fat directly, apparently most muscles are able to use fatty acids directly. So after keto-adaption the ketone production of the liver is reduced since most of the body is using fatty acids. The small amount of glucose consumed (or generated) is reserved for the brain (or blood).

  11. D Taylor

    Those saturated fats that clog your arteries are the real contributing factor to Alzheimers Disease. Saturated fats are ok for babies because it's a nutrient-dense and calorie-dense food that is meant for growing children. It's not natural for a grown human to drink milk to begin with.

  12. Andrew Taylor

    I have attention deficit disorder and take medicines i have been doing a high fat keto diet mostly eating 80/20 hamburger patties. For about a month now i work out in my home and would usually get easily distracted by the simplest things when working out but since i started keto. I have amazing focus 24/7 and am able to get my workouts done faster now and do more reps as well.

  13. Micke Berndtsson

    How long did it take for you to be fully focus etc, im 10 days in , sleepin great, but my daytime Concentration is pretty bad, brain fog etc. What you think? 1month more of this before change?

  14. E MunY

    I started keto to increase insulin sensitivity and for the cognitive benefits. Im only a few days in and I think im having sugar withdrawals but not too bad. About how long did it take for you to see/feel the benefits of keto? Great vid!

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