An Update on the Keto Craze

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The ketogenic diet, which involves a significant reduction in carbohydrates and adherence to a specific ratio of carbs, protein and fat, has received significant attention in recent years.

It is often used as a weight-loss strategy and sometimes toted as another health fad, lumped together with crazes including Paleo and caloric restriction diets. However, many don’t realize that the history of the keto diet has its roots in scientifically-backed medical interventions at the Mayo Clinic to treat severe childhood epilepsy.

Ketogenic diets are also promising therapies for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis.

It takes a little biochemistry background and a lot of human clinical studies yet to be performed to understand all that goes on in a ketogenic diet.

However, scientists have discovered that some of its neuroprotective roles – decreased inflammation, increased antioxidant performance and insulin sensitivity – may be due to a switch from glucose to ketone bodies as the main fuel the brain uses to perform its many powerful functions.

I believe keto deserves more than a passing glance and should be considered as a viable strategy for keeping your brain and body functioning optimally.

Articles to reference:

Puchalska, P., & Crawford, P. A. (2017, February 7). Multi-dimensional Roles of Ketone Bodies in Fuel Metabolism, Signaling, and Therapeutics. Cell Metabolism. Cell Press.

Awesome podcast:

Abdelwahab, M., Fenton, K., Preul, M., Rho, J., Lynch, A., Stafford, P., Scheck, A. (2012, May 1). The Ketogenic Diet is an Effective Adjuvant to Radiation Therapy for the Treatment of Malignant Glioma.

Erynn Johnson is a senior studying chemistry.