Details on the Keto diet and its effect on the body. Results show that when performed correctly, the Keto diet is very effective at treating neurological disorders. In regard to weight loss and overall physical health, clients must educate themselves on the proper execution of the diet for best results. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carb diet. It is most known for its benefits towards lessening symptoms of epilepsy, but it has now become a well-known weight-loss diet. The goal of the diet is to get the body in a state of ketosis, where it burns ketones for energy more readily than carbs. This stabilizes the neurons in the brain, therefore, restricting their ability to initiate a seizure. People all over the world are using this diet and the results will be discussed throughout this paper.
In a study conducted on a 57-year-old female with early signs of dementia, the results are positive. The 12-week trial “included ketogenic nutrition protocol, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and memory training using the PEAK brain training app” (Dahlgreen). The pretrial examination showed a below-average 22/30 score for cognitive awareness. After the twelve weeks, the subject tested at a 30/30; a major improvement in awareness and overall function.
This experiment is evidence that the ketogenic diet, when paired with daily memory stimulation and exercise can improve brain function as well as the overall well-being of an individual. These findings may one day lead to a cure for dementia. An experiment was performed on another age group: men around the age of 30 and considered to be athletes, the results continue to be positive. In an eight-week trial of the ketogenic diet, there was a significant loss of “fat mass and visceral adipose tissue without decreasing lean body mass” (Vargas). The scientists evaluated the ketones in each subject’s urine to monitor consumption and concentration. The subjects continued their strength training regime throughout the course of the trial.
In both instances, the keto diet was paired with exercise and the results showed positive improvements in health. However, this experiment states that the keto diet may not be beneficial for increasing muscle mass, only for decreasing fat. The ketogenic diet also plays a role in inhibiting the sodium-glucose cotransporter (SGLT2). In doing so, it “provides respite to the overloaded glucose metabolism while utilizing lipid stores for energy production” (Sanjay). The keto diet paired with a calorie deficit benefits cardiovascular health as well as burns fat to provide for the body. This can lead to healthy weight loss and an overall increase in health. As previously mentioned, the ketones stabilize the neurons in the brain decreasing the chance they will cause an epileptic episode.
Ketogenic diets also show some promise in treating people diagnosed with schizophrenia. GABA is a drug commonly used to treat this condition. Following the keto diet helps with the absorption of GABA in the brain which can lead to “better outcome[s] of the disease regarding symptomatology and preventing the weight-gain regarding some medications used and the correlating diseases responsible for weight gain” (Włodarczyk). So far, it is evident that the keto diet has a very positive effect on brain function. This leads me to my final evidence regarding the benefits of keto diets on brain health. As previously mentioned, keto diets are the main treatment for epilepsy. At first, it was considered the last resort for treatment but now it is considered the most popular. The keto diet creates a state of ketosis in the body “the brain uses ketone bodies as energy sources, which results in decreased in epileptic seizures” (Gizem). However, it is very important to follow the diet correctly in order for it to work effectively. Increasing protein too much can have harmful effects on the kidneys leading to other health problems. Limiting carb intake can increase drowsiness and performance. The athlete-subjects mentioned earlier, limited their carbohydrate intake under the strict surveillance of the administrators allowing them to maintain their strength and energy during training. If restricted incorrectly, it is possible to lose strength as well as muscle mass. It is essential to fuel your brain with adequate energy (the best source being carbohydrates) to maintain focus and strength throughout the day. An informed individual attempting the ketogenic diet can replace some of the carbs with lipids and still have healthy energy levels.
In conclusion, the keto diet is beneficial to the health of individuals when executed correctly. However, too much protein can cause damage to the kidneys, and too low carbohydrate intake can cause fatigue. The diet is effective when paired with exercise and with those who have mental conditions associated with brain function. High levels of fat promote brain function and development, but a healthy lifestyle must accompany it. It is very important to do research before attempting any diet to ensure one is still providing themselves with adequate nutrition.