Alex’s Notes: This brief editorial is actually the introduction to a thematic series on ketone bodies and ketogenic diets for the treatment of various neurological conditions. It is universally known (although many don’t like to admit it) that diet and lifestyle are the primary contributors to the pathology of inflammatory diseases such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Human’s and other mammals have this great survival ability during times of famine to compensate for glucose fuel by switching to the use of ketone bodies.
Outside of starving, a purposeful shift in fuel substrate may provide some benefits to chronic inflammation. Hyperglycemia is a known contributor to oxidative stress and inflammation, at least when it is constant as is the case with type-2 diabetes. Caloric restriction helps offset this. However, it isn’t clear if the benefits are from the caloric restriction, per se, or the elevation of ketone bodies or both. No one likes dieting forever, and simply eating a ketogenic diet low in carbohydrates has many of the benefits associated with dieting while still allowing you to enjoy bacon and eggs. It has been used in epileptic children for decades as an alternative treatment option.
This Thematic Review Series highlights current research related to the mechanisms of action and therapeutic potential of caloric restriction and ketogenic diets. If you are interested in A LOT of information, then check this series out.