Food reduces brain inflammation

Reduce brain inflammation with ketogenic diet but now they want to make a drug to induce a ketogenic state. People always want the quick fix.

The keto diet is focused on reducing the amount of carbohydrates as much as possible and increasing the amount of fat.

Besides its weight loss-related benefits, recent studies have pointed to many other advantages. For instance, Medical News Today recently covered research suggesting that the diet may increase longevity and improve memory in old age.

Other studies have noted the neurological benefits of the diet. The keto diet is used to treat epilepsy, and some have suggested that it may prove helpful in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

However, the mechanism by which a keto diet may benefit the brain in these illnesses has been a mystery. The new research - which was led by Dr. Raymond Swanson, a professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco - suggests that it may do so by reducing brain inflammation.

In the new study, Dr. Swanson and team show the molecular process by which the keto diet reduces brain inflammation. The researchers also identify a key protein that, if blocked, could create the effects of a keto diet.

This means that a drug could be designed to reduce inflammation in patients who cannot follow a keto diet because of other health reasons.

The findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.

A keto state lowers brain inflammation

A keto diet changes the metabolism, or the way in which the body processes energy. In a keto diet, the body is deprived of glucose derived from carbs, so it starts using fat as an alternative source of energy.

In the new study, Dr. Swanson and his colleagues recreated this effect by using a molecule called 2-deoxyglucose (2DG).

The 2DG molecule stopped glucose from metabolizing and created a ketogenic state in rodents with brain inflammation as well as in cell cultures. Levels of inflammation were drastically reduced - almost to healthy levels - as a result.

"We were surprised by the magnitude of our findings," said Dr. Swanson. "Inflammation is controlled by many different factors, so we were surprised to see such a large effect by manipulating this one factor. It reinforces the powerful effect of diet on inflammation."

The restricted glucose metabolism lowered the so-called NADH/NAD+ ratio. Dr. Swanson explained to MNT what this ratio refers to, saying, "NAD+ and NADH are naturally occurring molecules in cells that are involved in energy metabolism."

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