Keto As a Treatment & Prevention for Alzheimer’s

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb and high-fat diet. It can contribute to better management of many medical diseases like diabetes, epilepsy, heart attacks, and cancers. It improves the symptoms of PCOS in women. Studies show that the ketogenic diet also shows potential benefits in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. It prevents the development of Alzheimer’s disease. So, the ketogenic diet can be used as a treatment.

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder in which affected people lose their memory and brain functions. They show abrupt behaviour during performing the simplest tasks. It is the commonest cause of dementia among older people.


The person looks healthy in physical appearance but shows odd behaviours.
• Memory loss
• Poor judgment leads to bad decisions
• Loss of spontaneity and sense of initiative
• Taking longer to complete normal daily tasks
• Repeating questions
• Trouble handling money and paying bills
• Wandering and getting lost
• Losing things or misplacing them in odd places
• Mood and personality changes
• Increased anxiety and aggression

What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?

It is described that lifestyle factors and genetics are the leading cause of the development of Alzheimer’s disease. There is an accumulation of tau proteins in the neurons of the affected person. There are also some amyloid plaques present in these patients. The affected person has a loss of connection between neurons. This damage is initially present in memory parts of the brain. So it causes damage to the thinking ability of the brain.
There are three main causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

Genetics, specifically the gene APOE4 allele
ApoE causes insulin resistance and disrupts blood sugar levels. It is the main cause of Alzheimer’s disease. It also causes an increase in ROS.

Oxidative damage and chronic inflammation
Free radicals cause damage to normal brain cells. It causes inflammation in the body and brain cells. It causes cell death which leads to Alzheimer’s disease.

Insulin resistance in brain cells
Type 2 diabetes leads to Alzheimer’s disease.70% of people with type 2 diabetes develop AD. Insulin resistance causes cognitive disorders in AD patients.

What Is Insulin Resistance and What Does It Have to Do with AD?
A higher intake of carbohydrates causes an increase in blood sugar levels. Insulin is a hormone that shifts this glucose into muscle and other body cells to store. A long term high level of blood sugar makes the body resistant to insulin. This causes a high blood sugar level and insulin start to accumulate in the body. This is the cause of type 2 diabetes. The brain also needs this glucose to work properly. When insulin fails to shift glucose to the brain, it causes the death of brain cells. It is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. The body produces a response to this high level of insulin in the blood and produces an insulin breaking enzyme in high amounts. This enzyme also breaks amyloids. It produces a toxic protein in the brain. It causes poisoning of brain cells. So the ketogenic diet with low-carb can be beneficial to treat this situation.

Three Reasons Keto for Alzheimer’s Shows Great Promise

Researches show that a diet low in carb can improve the symptoms of AD. Here are three main reasons that are concluded from studies.
1. Ketones give brain cells a clean, alternative energy source.
When we shift to a low-carb diet, our bodies use fat as a fuel or energy for our cells. Fat produces ketone bodies like beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), acetoacetate, and acetone. These are the main source of energy.
There are the following benefits of ketone bodies.
• Ketone uptake is strong fuel for the body after glucose uptake impairment.
• Ketone is fuel for the brain after glucose.
• When glucose uptake is impaired. It can be bypassed.
• BHB contains more energy per unit than glucose. Ketones produce more energy than glucose.
• Ketones increase mitochondrial function in brain cells. Studies show the energy from ketones may awaken dormant cells and restore cell functionality.
• Ketones are a cleaner energy source than glucose because they produce fewer ROS when metabolized. Reducing extra oxygen in the brain may stop neurodegeneration in its tracks. Ketones also tell the enzymes to clean up the free radicals so that the relative function can be performed efficiently.

2. Ketones tip the GABA/Glutamate scale in your favour.
The ketogenic diet produces low levels of glutamate in brain cells. A high level of glutamate causes inflammation and results in neurodegenerative disorder. Ketone stops hyperactivity of the brain.

3. A keto diet is rich in beneficial MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides).
Medium-chain triglycerides boost the ketone levels in the body. MCT oil is the main source of triglycerides.
It has the following benefits.
• Elderly patients show improvements in working memory, visual attention, and task performance after having MCT oil.
• People show significant improvements in cognitive tests when given with MCT supplement for 90 days.
• People with AD having a keto diet with MCT oil improve in overall cognitive function and improve on a 70-point test of memory, language, attention to detail, task completion, and spatial awareness.
• People with AD have to consume only a single drink with MCT once a day for six months
• It increases brain ketone metabolism by 230 per cent.
• It improves episodic memory, language, executive function, and processing speed.

Impact of a keto diet on amyloid, inflammation, dementia, and neurodegeneration.
The ketogenic diet has a positive effect on the symptoms of AD. It reduces amyloid degeneration by reversing the process of toxicity. It protects amyloid bodies from toxicity and improves mitochondrial functions. These improvements in mitochondrial functions also reduce the tau proteins in the brain.
The ketogenic diet reduces inflammation by activating the kappa light chain enhancer. It causes downregulation of nitric oxide and COX2. It diminishes the activity of cytokines IL-1b, IL-6, CCL2/MCP-1, TNF-α, and IL1. The ketogenic diet also acts as an anti-inflammatory by activating glial cells and by elevating the concentration of neuroprotective mediators like neurotrophins {neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF)}, and molecular chaperones. Reducing inflammation is one of the most crucial beneficial modifications of the ketogenic diet in Alzheimer’s patients.
Studies show that a diet with low carb and low sugar improves cognitive behaviours like dementia, and thinking impairments. Reduced glycemia improves the toxicity of amyloid plaque and tau proteins. This toxicity results in these cognitive disorders.
The ketogenic diet helps to increase the NAD+/NADH amount. These are alternative sources of energy to glucose. This high level of NAD+/NADH improves mitochondrial functions, and redox reactions and protects the brain from neurodegenerative dysfunction. This process improves synaptic functions. The ketogenic diet also improves the activity of ETC and results in reduced production of ROS. The ketogenic diet improves the overall activity of neuronal cells and results in an adaption to stress and metabolic changes.

The Final Word

The ketogenic diet plays an important role in lowering the adverse effects of AD. It reduces the insulin levels in the blood and protects the body from insulin resistance. So it prevents the formation of amyloid plaque and tau produces an alternative source of energy for brain cells and prevents the apoptosis of brain tissues. The ketogenic diet also prevents inflammation and improves dementia and the neurodegeneration process.

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