Exogenous Ketones and Calorie Restriction
Exogenous ketones are just that, synthetic ketones that function in the body like ketones. Ketones by definition are simple carbon structures that contain a carbon-oxygen double bonds. Ketones are substances that are made when the body breaks down fat for energy. Ketones are produced by the body when fat becomes the main source of energy
Exogenous ketones have been shown to do many things. For starters, they can help prevent seizures and protect brain tissue in certain cases. Studies suggest that during times of acute brain injury, cerebral uptake of ketones increases significantly. Just look at the work of Dominic D’Agostino from the University of South Florida. There was a whole research paper written, titled “The neuroprotective effects of ketones.” Ketone bodies protect neurons against multiple types of neuronal diseases, this is a very good thing in the case of any brain injury.
Ketones are a more energy efficient than glucose and can stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis via the upregulation of genes encoding energy metabolism and mitochondrial enzymes. There is a marked increase in the free energy of ATP metabolism. Ketones protect against toxin mediated cell death. Ketones can oxidize coenzyme Q, thus decreasing mitochondrial free radical formation. Additionally, the reduction of NAD favors reduction of glutathione, which ultimately favors protection of the cell. Cerebral ketone metabolism increases cerebral blood flow, this is a good thing.
There are a couple of exogenous ketones that are on the market nowadays. They are typically in a powder or a liquid form that you can consume and be very quickly into ketosis which is incredibly therapeutic for brain injuries. There’s one called Keto Force, it is a liquid and has a pretty harsh taste, but some tolerate it just fine. Powdered forms of ketones are called Keto-CaNa (which stands for calcium and sodium). Finally, there’s one called Keto-OS, which is a flavored blend of MCT powder and ketones, and they actually taste very good. There will be other ketone products on the market shortly.
Calorie restriction is much like the ketogenic diet or taking exogenous ketones. They all possess broad therapeutic potential in various types of brain injury as well as neurological disease. Following calorie restriction or consumption of a ketogenic diet, there is notable improvement in mitochondrial function, a decrease in the expression of things that cause cell death, a decrease in the inflammatory mediators and an increase in the activity of neurotrophic factors. What all of this means is that ketones, no matter how you get them are going to help your brain injury. Recent studies have shown that calorie restriction decreases the size of the actual damage and improves the memory after the brain injury. So at a minimum, include periods of fasting or intermittent fasting for several weeks if you have a brain injury.
Another benefit of fasting is removal of cells that are not quite dead, but they are sitting around doing nothing. Some cells experience a state of “cellular senescence,” where the cells stop dividing altogether but remain in the body in a kind of purgatory. As the number of these cells increase, it’s theorized that they will start to produce inflammatory by-products that result in aging.
Calorie restriction can be accomplished by any type of fasting. An easy way to go about it is to stop eating around 8 PM, then do not eat again until nine or 10 AM and this is a 15 hour fast. When time may not be much, do this several times a week and the benefits add up. Another effective way to fast is to drink your morning coffee with heavy whipping cream. This is one way I have been able to achieve eating only one meal per day without problems.