With dementia on the rise around the world, what could be the cause of this? What is dementia? Dementia is a general term for a decline in metal ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.
The most common early signs of dementia are:
- Memory loss
- Difficulty planning and solving problems
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
- Difficulty determining time or place
- Misplacing items often
- and more…
What if you could help a loved one by just changing their diet to help improve their dementia or maybe even help prevent it?
I have done some research on this topic and here is what I found out.
The people whom I usually follow and get information related to keto are:
- Dr. Ken Berry
- Dr. Darren Schmidt
- Dr. Eric Berg
- Thomas DeLauer
What does the brain use for fuel?
The brain can use carbohydrate and ketones equally as fuel. One of the main problem is that we do not eat as many saturated fats as we use to, to keep the brain healthy. Your brain is made out of fat, and needs to be rebuilt every 3 years. So it would seem like a no brainer (no pun intended) for you eat healthy saturated fat.
Studies has shown that the brain replaces itself about every 3 years completely. In order for us to rebuild our brain, we have to eat the right things in order to maintain our mental health.
Ketones are the preferred fuel for the brain, but why? Because it carries more oxygen than carbohydrates do to the brain. Ketones also make you think more clearly.
Expert are now starting to call Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes. The reason behind this is that the brain becomes resistant to glucose. The insulin can not push the glucose in the brain cells anymore, which in turn means lower oxygen levels within the brain.
Could ketones help with dementia?
In the early days, the keto diet was used to prevent and treat epilepsy patients. To prevent stimulation caused by carbs, they would put the patients on a fast or ketogenic diet in order for the body and mind to run on ketones.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s is caused by not being able to use glucose as a fuel source any longer. This will cause the brain cells to starve off and die due to the lack of oxygen. So, if we can condition the brain to run on ketones more efficiently, you are not going to fall victim of the glucose brain starvation.
2 things that makes the brain more effective on the keto diet.
Mitochondria: We have mitochondria in every cell of our body to help make energy including our brains. The mitochondria burn more efficient and effective on ketones. So you can see it as a cleaner fuel like natural gas vs diesel fuel.
ROS (reactive oxygen species): What is ROS? ROS is a natural process and by product created by any kind of metabolism within the body and brain that can cause damage to cells structures. The ketogenic diet has been proven to reduce the ROS because it allows the brain to burn energy in a cleaner way and not having all that ROS floating around in the brain causing al kinds of problems like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The proof is in the (sugar free) pudding.
In 2018 there was a study that was done and published in The Journal of Alzheimers and Dementia Transrlational Research and Clinical Investigation.
There were 15 participants whom already have mild to moderate sings of Alzheimers disease. These 15 participants were put on a ketogenic diet for a few months. Their cognitive skills were tested when at the beginning, 3 months in and at 4 months.
After 4 months 5 out of the 15 participants had to drop out due to non-keto related health issues.
They did a cognitive skills test called the ADAS Cog Test and found that 9 of the remaindering 10 had a massive improvement of their cognitive skills.
The ADAS Cog Test measures over 70 cognitive skills including: spatial awareness, memory, task at tentative, ability to complete a task and much more. They found that those that were on the ketogenic diet for 3 to 4 months had a 5 point increase on this test, which is a big deal.
They also took a look at what would happen if the participants stopped eating the ketogenic diet. They would find that their test scores would go back down to where they were before. This shows that the ketogenic diet allowed them to activate parts of their brains that were not active when eating a standard high carbohydrate diet.
There is still many more studies and test to be done in order to be absolutely sure if the ketogenic diet is going to be the solution for people with dementia problems. We can definitely say that it does show to make a great improvement on the brain.
What to do?
I would start at the most obvious. Change your diet.
Change it from low fat high carb, to low carb high fat. There are many articles and food list out there on how and what to eat on the ketogenic diet. I have a list of keto friendly foods right here that can help you start.
Keep it simple and high quality, do not go with a low quality ketogenic diet. This means try to get the grass fed and finished beef, pasture raised chicken and eggs. Dark leafy greens, wild caught fish and seafood, not from some farm.
You have nothing to lose but your slowly increasing dementia. These foods are whole, healthy and unprocessed foods that are meant for our bodies. So do not be afraid of trying the ketogenic diet.
I truly believe that the current standard American diet is at the root of the increasing cases of dementia in older people. By the tandard American diet I mean eating, highly processed, high carbohydrates, loaded with sugar, low fat and low quality foods. Not just in America.
One of the biggest problem of trying to help someone that has the beginning signals of Dementia, is for them to recognize these symptoms and are willing to do something about it.
Another problem is that most house doctors do not believe or even know about the ketogenic diet. These doctors still have the old way of thinking that fats are bad and that you need carbohydrates in your diet. This reason alone scares most people to not change their current way of eating. Most people follow their doctor blindly. You can just ask them what they think on this topic and see what kind of response you will get.
I hope that I can be of some help to anyone who will read this.