Researchers say brain pathways begin to erode in our late 40’s, but this can be repaired through dietary changes?
A low carbohydrate diet may prevent and even reverse age-related damage to the brain, research has found. By examining brain scans, researchers found that brain pathways begin to deteriorate earlier than previously believed.
Changes associated with ageing are being seen at a much younger ages than would be expected. A study suggests that this process may be prevented or reversed based on dietary changes that involve minimising the consumption of simple carbohydrates. Researchers concentrated there research on young people whose brains showed no signs of ageing, a period during which prevention may be most effective.
Using brain scans of nearly 1,000 subjects between the ages of 18 to 88, researchers found that the damage to neural pathways accelerated depending on where the brain was getting its energy from. They found that Glucose decreased the stability of the brain’s networks while Ketones (produced by the liver during periods of carbohydrate restriction) made the networks more stable.
They found that as people age, their brains start to lose the ability to metabolise glucose efficiently, causing neurons to slowly starve. They tested whether giving the brain a more efficient fuel source, in the form of ketones, either by following a low-carb diet or drinking ketone supplements, could provide the brain with greater energy. Even in younger individuals, this added energy provided further brain network stabilisation.
It is also believed that a low carb or ketogenic diet has the potential to help other neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.