Ketogenic Diet Linked To Microbial & Brain Function Benefits, But Is It Worth It?

A ketogenic diet (KD) improves neurovascular pathways that play key roles in brain function and beneficially alters the gut microbiome.  The study included a 16-week ketogenic diet and was conducted in young, healthy mice aged 12 to 14 weeks. In addition to improved neurovascular function, a KD reduced blood glucose levels and body weight and showed markers of microbial alterations. Researchers conclude that when started early, a ketogenic diet may enhance brain vascular function, increase beneficial gut bacteria, improve metabolic function, and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Scientific Reports

→Takeaway: Should we begin our children (or ourselves) on a ketogenic diet as a preventative measure for disease? Probably not! While ketogenic studies have uncovered some impressive findings – such as rapid weight loss, improved cardiovascular health markers, and efficacy for some diseases like epilepsy and MS – a long-term ketogenic diet can be problematic, if not detrimental. Adherence to the diet is extremely challenging and can encourage yo-yo dieting. In addition, the diet itself has been associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and elevated markers for accelerated aging due to its focus on high protein and fat intake. To reap some of the benefits of a ketogenic diet, we recommend fasting at least 12 hour between dinner and breakfast and in between meals, or consider adopting a fasting mimicking diet.