Keto Diet and Brain Health
Ketones versus glucose
The brain is likely the busiest organ in the body. Processing information, making decisions, reading, speaking and hundreds of other actions that happen consciously throughout the entire day. Besides that, the brain also performs processes crucial for survival. Think about breathing, secreting hormones and regulating the body’s temperature. As the headquarters of the central nervous system, it sends and receives messages throughout the whole body.
Even though the brain only makes up 2% of the total body weight, it consumes around 20% of the daily energy intake! To perform at its best throughout the day, it requires a steady fuel supply. The brain can utilize 2 possible fuels, namely glucose or ketones. Both can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) but in a very different way, that is very impactful on our brain energy. Glucose needs an active transport across the BBB, whereas ketones pass freely. It is like a wall, where the glucose molecule need to pay toll and ketones can pass freely.
Most people rely on glucose as their brain fuel based upon their (standard Western) diet that is moderate-to-high in carbohydrates. When there is a lack of glucose, the body breaks down fats into ketones which the brain can also use for energy. What impact does that have?
Does the brain need glucose?
It is true that the brain does require some glucose. That being said, this does not mean that the body can only access this by eating high-carbohydrate foods. The liver can make all the glucose needed via a process called gluconeogenesis, the making of new glucose. Amino Acids from protein, Glycerol from the breakdown of fat and Pyruvate and lactate can all be synthesised into glucose.
In essence, the brain can receive all its needed energy by the liver, from stored glucose, gluconeogenesis, or ketone production — whether or not you eat any carbs at all.
Keto Diet and brain health – Health Benefits
When the body relies on fat for energy, ketones are the Brain’s main energy source. There is growing evidence which shows that ketones are a preferred energy form over sugars. Early in the last century the Keto Diet was used to successfully treat children with uncontrollable epilepsy. Nowadays, a large amount of studies provide promising results on for example depression, hunger control and Alzheimer’s. If you like to read those studies yourself please send us an email, as we have a lot of them on file!
Keto Diet & Brain Health Market Opportunities
The demand for brain health supplements is growing steadily. Within different target groups, healthy aging and improving cognitive health are common goals. Consumers are looking into Biohacking or Nootropics and to many of hem the ketogenic diet is key.
The number of brain health products available on the market is still fairly limited, with plenty of room for brands to add value., e.g. with supplement that improve cognition, memory, long-term brain health and focus. We believe we are here to provide and develop formulas that work for your customers to help them achieve a healthy brain like our newest launch Ketosene® Orange.
Reach out to us
At Ketogenic Ingredients, we believe in the Ketogenic diet because it works, because we have tried it ourselves, because of the results we have seen. We are here to serve you with our line of winning ingredients & private labels options and look forward to work with you! Having great knowledge of the keto business and the science, we guide you throughout the process.