The Ketogenic diet was introduced in 1920, a safe and convential way to treat patients whom were suffering from seizures and epilepsy. The mantle of fasting for treating a disease has been documented for thousands of years, this was studied in detail by Greek physicians. An early treatise within the Hippocratic Corpus on the “ Scared Disease “ described modifcation in diet played significant roles in treating disease. Though epileptic control still failed in 30% of patients this practice was widely abandoned due the rise of anticonvulsant therapies.
Ketosis in present day is more so aim toward weight lost, athletic performance, and cognitive enhancement, But what is the safest way to access this what it would seem to be a human superpower? The answer is Ketone bodies and their ubiquity within the blood stream, Ketone bodies are water soluble molecules comprised of Acetoacetate and Beta-Hydroxyburate (BHB).
These molecules are initiated in the liver during fluctuations of carbohydrate restrictive diets, low-caloric intake, brutal excercise (i.e HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training) untreated type 1 Diabetes and even alcoholism. One of the traits Ketones will take on once free floating in the blood stream is the subsidizing and the upregulating of glucose depletion. Since your brain needs glucose this is included into the how to’s of the typical Ketogenic diet, this removes all stored glucose within the liver and then temporarily breaks down muscle tissue for stored glucose for the 2-4 days of the Ketogenic diet. When glucose is depleted this alleviates the pancreas where the hormone insulin is released and fights off glucose, insulin’s presence in the blood stream then decreases and when this happens your body begins to acclimate to the absence of glucose and then prefers triglycerides as it’s preferred source of fuel optimizing you in more ways then one.
The Ketone bodies are also absorbed by cells with midocondria, midocondria is a double membrane bound organelle found in eukaryotic organisms aka the “ power house “ of the cell and then translated into Acetyl-coA, which then can be used as fuel in the “ Kleb Cycle “ or the Citric Acid cycle, which are used by all aerobic organisms by being oxidated for energy production in the form of adenosine triphospate or (ATP) which then electron receptors are activated and your body is a supercharged battery.
Ketones also have the ability to pass through the blood brain barrier or ( BBB ) unlike fatty acids because the molecules are to big, being available to the brain also allows the substitution of Ketones for fuel rather than glucose for the Central Nervous System. (CNS) and the brain it’s self. The Ketones upregulates the number of Midocondria within brain cells while the BHB allows better quantities of oxygen to be used by the brain all the while reducing inflammatory stress.
It seems Ketones also favors glutamate which is an essential precursor to gamma-butyric acid or (GABA) a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in all mammals, it counters the effects of neurotransmissions that reduces brain activity and promotes relaxation. This is partially the reason the Ketogenic diet treats epilepsy, by maintaining the balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters.
While the Ketogenic diet could possibly turn you into slim trim super genius there are dangers of Ketosis because when there are to many Ketones in the blood stream this will resort in Ketoacidosis which can be fatal, the effects of long term Keto-dieting are still not known.