Ketones Might Be Good for Fat Loss and Brain Health

You may have heard people talking about The Ketogenic Diet lately. You may even know someone who has tried - either successfully, or unsuccessfully - to give it a go. And if you're really in the loop, you may have also heard that supplementing with ketones (also known as exogenous ketones) can make it easier to transition into ketosis while also making your body more effective at burning fat. But what about your brain?

It may seem silly to worry about your brain health while you're so fixated on solving the problem of your expanding waistline. But what if you could show concern for both parts of your body at the same time and kill those birds with one stone? As it turns out, there's some pretty interesting research about exogenous ketones and their ability to take care of all areas at once. If you're in any way interested in brain health, new science, or if you just want an excuse to make Janice in accounting feel bad for stuffing her face with donuts around you, then get ready to learn all about the different ways ketone supplements can be good for your brain!

Ketone Bodies and the Human Brain: the Best Fuel Source

If you put a donut and a salad in front of most people and tell them to make a choice, which one do you think they would go for? Most of you reading this right now would probably say donut, and you probably wouldn't be wrong. As it turns out, the brain is the same. Think of glucose as your brain's version of a donut, and ketone bodies as your brain's version of a salad. When your brain consumes the healthier option, it works and feels better. And it does so in a number of different ways.

Brain Energy, Function, and Mood

Let's revisit the donut v. Salad metaphor. Have you ever tried to start a new exercise program without changing your diet first? Have you ever had a hard time functioning the next day at work after eating a bunch of junk food and/or drinking with friends? What about the opposite? Have you ever felt really good, sharp, focused, and full of energy after treating your body right and avoiding all the wrong things?

Well, your brain goes through the same thing depending on whether it chooses glucose or ketones for fuel. The more glucose your brain consumes, the more mentally sluggish, forgetful, distracted, and lethargic you will feel. On the other hand, the more ketones your brain consumes, the better your brain will function with regard to memory, focus, and enjoying higher energy levels. As it turns out, the health (or lack thereof) of your brain largely depends on how it metabolizes the energy it gets.

In order for the brain to start consuming either fuel source for energy, it has to be converted into something called glutamate first. Once it transforms, it can then either become GABA (which is very good for your brain) or something called aspartate (a toxin). Having ketone bodies in your system helps your brain convert more of its glutamate into GABA than aspartate. So not only are you preventing excess toxic buildup in the first place, but you are replacing those toxins with something healthy that your brain can use to function at its best.

Speaking of GABA, science is also starting to discover how having more GABA in the brain is also good for your psychological health and wellness. When you don't have enough GABA in your system and the aspartate is "clogging the pipes", so to speak, your brain becomes over-stimulated in the worst possible ways. This can lead to a variety of disorders such as depression, ADHD, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and even migraines. But getting rid of all that aspartate and increasing the amount of GABA calms down these over-stimulated brain cells and soothes the mind.

Brain Injuries

Ketones for Fat Loss and Brain Health

But those aren't the only positive effects ketone bodies can have on the brain. For years - and especially recently - scientists and medical experts have been racking their brains trying to figure out what to do about traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Even a single TBI can have severe consequences for an individual, whether it's mood problems, compromised cognitive function, brain death, or a severely decreased life span.

The sooner ketone bodies can be administered to a patient with a TBI, the better, according to recent studies. The trauma of the brain injury causes a massive wave of acute inflammation which, although its biological purpose is to help the brain heal quickly, leaves behind toxic plaques which tend to linger and even increase over time. But when you throw ketones into the mix, it decreases the severity of this initial inflammation while helping to heal and preserve brain tissue without producing so many toxic plaques. Furthermore, as the brain injury slowly heals over time, the presence of those ketone bodies and the lack of bad fuel helps reduce overall neurotoxicity as we discussed in the previous section.

So Why Doesn't the Body Prefer Ketones Over Glucose?

The answer is fairly simple: even though, over the long-term, preferring glucose produces more toxic buildup and increases both your quality and quantity of life, it is easier and more readily available. Ketones, on the other hand, are harder to break down and metabolize; also, thanks to the "low fat" diets which the Western world has been following over the past few decades, ketones are less abundant than ever before. This is why switching to a ketone-friendly diet is so important for weight loss, brain health, and overall wellness.

Unfortunately, the switch can be difficult for some people, and can take some time for your body to shift away from glucose and towards ketones. Thankfully, exogenous ketone supplements (like our favorite, Ultimate BHB Keto) not only help reduce unpleasant symptoms of the keto flu, but they immediately give your body to ketones it needs to keep your energy levels up and to encourage your body to burn more fat. So if you want to switch to a ketogenic diet, but you're having trouble, we strongly recommend keto supplements. It's good for your brain, and your body! Learn more.

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