Not all oils are bad. In fact, there are good and healthy fats such as those in the ketogenic diet. One study finds that ketogenic diet reduces brain inflammation along with caloric restriction.
For those unfamiliar with the ketogenic diet, it is a diet low in calorie but high in healthy fats. This is a popular diet that works well for weight loss, keeping cholesterol level health and helpful in improving insulin sensitivity.
Additionally, this diet is also therapeutic for patients with neurological disorders and epilepsy. Furthermore, the findings of this new study make sense that ketogenic reduces brain inflammation.
How Does Ketogenic Diet Reduces Brain Inflammation?
This is not the first study to discover the protective benefits of a ketogenic diet on the brain. One previous study2 already found how ketogenic diet is beneficial for individuals with epilepsy and broad range of neurological disorders. However, the previous study wasn’t able to discover the mechanism.
In this recent study by USCF led by Raymond Swanson, MD found how diet like the ketogenic diet reduces brain inflammation. The research team also find a protein that links ketogenic diet to the inflammatory genes mimicking anti-inflammatory effects.
The researchers also report that the ketogenic diet alters in which the body uses energy. When there is no available carbohydrate from glucose, the body uses fat as a fuel.
Moreover, in this new study, the researchers use 2DG(2-deoxyglucose) to inhibit the body to metabolise glucose and initiate a ketogenic state.
In a study conducted on rats, the ketogenic diet reduces brain inflammation, improves outcomes after a brain injury and interestingly, increase lifespan. Using 2DG on rats results in reducing the inflammation nearing its level to the control.
Senior author of the study, Dr. Raymond Swanson says;
I was most surprised by the magnitude of this effect because I thought ketogenic diets might help just a little bit. But when we got these big effects with 2DG, I thought wow, there’s really something here.
Furthermore, reducing the body’s glucose metabolism also coincides in reducing the energy metabolism. The protein that activates this mechanism is CtBP (C-terminal Binding Protein), which is a suppressor of anti-inflammatory genes.
Brain Benefits of a High-Fat Diet
If you need more evidence on the benefits of a high-fat diet for brain health, there are many previous studies that support the current findings.
However, take note that only healthy fats or oils should be on the menu like olive oil and nuts. Fats from fish are also a healthy source of Omega-3 fatty acids. And, although coconut oil contains high amount of saturated fats, it is beneficial.