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A keto diet keeps your memory sharp

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A keto diet could reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The high-fats, low-carbs diet helps the body produce a molecule that combats early memory decline, one of the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s.

Levels of the molecule, beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), increase seven-fold when people eat the diet.

Researchers at the University of California at Davis started seeing an increase in BHB after just seven months on the diet.  The molecule improved the function of the brain’s synapses, which connect nerve cells and which, in turn, improve memory and overall mild cognitive decline.

Although the researchers can’t be sure, they think this cognitive improvement could also reduce the chances of Alzheimer’s developing later in life.

The keto diet shifts the body’s metabolism from using glucose as the main energy source to burning fat and producing ketones for energy. In an earlier study, the researchers found the diet also extended life expectancy by 13 percent.

Women seem to benefit more from the diet, and they produced higher levels of BHB.  This could be especially good news for women who carry the ApoE4 gene, which increases their risk for Alzheimer’s.

But if the diet doesn’t appeal, BHB can also be taken as a supplement, although the researchers say they haven’t researched its impact on cognitive health.

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Communications Biology, 2024; 7: doi: 10.1038/s42003-024-05860-z
Article Topics: Alzheimer’s, Keto diet, memory
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