Already known to reduce epileptic seizures and help in weight loss, the ketogenic diet is also good for slowing down cognitive decline.
A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer Disease confirms the interest of a high-fat diet for people with mild cognitive impairment. The ketogenic diet, high in fat but low in carbohydrates, would strengthen the brain functions and memory of people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, conclude this new work.
While there is no cure for this neurodegenerative disease, this new study joins the scientific literature extolling the effectiveness of high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets for maintaining cognitive skills.
It has already been proven that people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease have a brain that can not use glucose as a source of energy. US scientists wanted to know if the use of lipids, as a source of fuel for the body and brain, could benefit patients with early signs of dementia.
To find an answer, researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, observed for three months 14 patients, on average 71 years old and suffering from mild symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Some have followed a Mediterranean diet (low in fat and based on fish, fruit, vegetables, and olive oil) and others a ketogenic diet (with a high-fat content but low in carbohydrates). The verdict, the “fat diet” group has obtained better results in immediate memory tests than the group following the “Mediterranean diet”.
If more research is needed, these findings suggest that fat would be good for keeping a brain in shape longer. A discovery that adds to the benefits of the ketogenic diet, already known to help lose weight.