Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ketosis links

There are a couple of posts on ketosis and brain function on Emma's blog that warrant a read, especially with Failsafe additions (read Emma, I don't know much about Failsafe). Ketogenic diets are in the news in the UK for epilepsy management at the moment. With the list of neurotransmitter effects that Emma details there is very clear cut logic to looking down this route for a fairly wide range of brain problems. As well as epilepsy and bipolar disorder I've heard anecdote on Dr Bernstein's forum for Tourette's. Obviously there is a certain amount of stuff about gluten/casein (A1 I presume) and schizophrenia.



ItsTheWooo said...

The weekend I started eating LC, the depression I had since childhood got about 100% better. Since then I have not struggled significantly with depression although I do have my bad day(s). The only exception is when my weight was lower (then the depression was profound as it was before LC).
I have come to relate depression, in my case, to some kind of hypometabolism in the brain... it feels like the reverse description of what norepinephrine does basically so I assume something about carb eating is reducing NE activity in my brain.

I have read a lot of interesting stuff about glucose and hypocretin in the brain; when glucose is high, hypocretin hormones switch the brain into an "off" state, analogous to depression.
Hypocretin hormones are also implicated in narcolepsy (they lack the receptors for them) and the level of depression in nacroleptics is extremely high. Abnormalities in brain cells metabolism of glucose may be behind both the tendency to sleep and depression, and this is mediated by blood glucose in the brain causing hypocretin to switch the brain off.

Depression gets better on a fat based diet because the brain is not saturated in glucose, which in turn encourages hypocretin to turn the brain into an "on" position; neurotransmitter & blood flow changes occur which actually encourages brain cells to make energy even though glucose may be lower.

Regarding bipolar and schizophrenia there is evidence that these conditions are also related to brain hypometabolism, albeit the problem is slightly different in each case (bipolar is like a siezure affecting the emotions and personality where in which reduced energy causes a rebound disregulated burst of neuronal talk... and schizophrenia is like temporal and frontal brain rot producing the positive/negative symptoms... both of these diseases can originate / be made worse by defects of brain energy metabolism)

Reducing glucose in the brain actually encourages increased brain cell metabolism. WEIRD BUT TRUE.

BTW thanks for the links to the interesting blogs... will definitely become a regular read!

Chainey said...

Very interesting. Thanks for the links. I'm very interested in ketosis.

Varangy said...

Hi Peter,

Wanted to run this by you and see what you of this:

One caveat is that the fat receptor cells become desensitized after a few days on a high-fat diet (at least in rats), responding less well to fat over time.

Granted these are rats, but what are your thoughts on this with regards to humans?

Peter said...

Hi varangy,

The link from Stephan's post produces a Nature paper of extreme interest. As an aside there are also changes in insulin secretion with increasing FFAs in the blood, initially they increase insulin output per unit glucose, then they decrease it, few days to flip over.

Bottom line at the moment is that I've got a stack of interesting papers from Stephan and Chris that I can't even get started on... Now there's this one. Then there's everyone else's blogs to catch up on! So the answer is that I've got to read the papers yet!

All the best