You’re So Vain; But Ketones Trigger An Anti-Aging Brain

Defy Aging: Strenuous Exercise and Go Keto!

anti agingDiet and exercise are tools used to achieve a physical or weight goal in order to improve appearance. You might say some people diet and exercise in vain.

Yet new research supports a deeper more important biochemical connection between a ketogenic diet and exercise that goes beyond the vanity of physical appearance and protects against an aging brain. Ketone bodies, also known as β-hydroxybutyrate, are simply defined as by-products of burning fat for energy.

Dr. Moses Chao, a professor of cell biology, physiology and neuroscience at New York University School of Medicine and his colleagues published their study on mice and how “strenuous exercise seems to beneficially change how certain genes work inside the brain," as a result of its ability to produce ketone bodies".


Strenuous Exercise and Ketones Reduce Diseases of Aging

It seems as though exercise “triggers” the production of a protein involved in nerve cell growth and it also helps to improve memory. This protein is called “brain-derived neurotrophic factor”, or BDNF. 

A low level of BDNF is linked to diseases of aging such as depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The more BDNF, the lower the neuro-degenerative mental health risk. 

Chao says, “increased BDNF levels are associated with lower rates of dementia and that studies have shown that BDNF levels in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s disease are, on average, half that of people without either brain-damaging disease.” What the scientists found was that mice who strenuously exercised for one month had higher BDNF levels when compared to those that didn’t exercise at all.

Ketones were found to be the underlying reason for higher BDNF levels. So a ketogenic diet that produces ketones may help improve memory and lower mental/neurological health risks.

Ketones Lower Age Accelerating Enzymes

Experiments also showed that exercise inhibits an enzyme, histone deacetylase or  HDACs. HDACs work to lower BDNF and influence the genetic expression of mental health conditions that occur as we age.  Currently mood stabilizing and seizure preventive pharmaceutical drugs are used to lower HDACs in order to help treat these diseases. So, the ketones that were produced helped lower an enzyme that works to accelerate the aging process.

Naturally Elevate Ketones

How can you increase BDNF and keep HDACs at bay without taking prescription drugs? There are two ways to naturally elevate ketone bodies, diet and exercise:

  1. Eat a ketogenic diet. When you eat more protein and fat while keeping carbohydrates to less than 50 grams a day (based on your personal goals with calorie consumption being equal or less than your body needs) with a primary focus on consuming fat and protein from real food like meat, chicken, eggs, fish, oils, olives, coconut, avocado, butter and 2-3 cups of green leafy veggies. KetoDietApp is an example of one online resource tool that can be used to help target your calorie needs and guide your nutritional choices.
  2. Burn more ketone bodies by being active. Once glycogen stores are depleted more fat is used to provide calories for energy; It takes 20-30 minutes of moderately intense exercise to start burning more fat. If you are following a ketogenic diet, ketones continue to be burned and ketone levels rise immediately.

Your vanity may help maintain your quality of life. Go keto because a ketogenic diet and moderate to high intensive activity can act as powerful tools in the genetic response to aging, mental/neurological health and as substitutes for more risky pharmaceutical drugs that work by blocking natural body processes.

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