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New study suggests a ketogenic diet might prevent or even reverse brain aging

A recently published study conducted at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Stony Brook University set out to better understand how diet influences brain aging. The research team, led by Lilianne Mujica-Parodi, found that functional communication between brain regions destabilizes with age.

As we get older, our brain starts to lose its ability to metabolize glucose efficiently. This results in neurons being starved for energy, which in turn destabilizes communication networks within the brain.

What the study found, is that when glucose is replaced by ketones (whether by following a ketogenic diet or by drinking exogenous ketones), more energy reaches brain cells. The result was higher brain activity and more stable communication between brain regions.

According to Dr. Mujica-Parodi

The bad news is that we see the first signs of brain aging much earlier than was previously thought. However, the good news is that we may be able to prevent or reverse these effects with diet, mitigating the impact of encroaching hypometabolism by exchanging glucose for ketones as fuel for neurons.

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