Studies show the ketogenic diet (high fat, low-moderate protein, very low carb) offers numerous neuroprotective properties for many neurological disorders including ALS, Alzheimer’s, autism, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, seizure disorder, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).1Overview of studies using ketogenic diets to treat various neurological disorders. Front Pharmacol. 2012 ;3:59. Epub 2012 Apr 9. PMID: 22509165, http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/overview-studies-using-ketogenic-diets-treat-various-neurological-disorders 2Ketogenic diet in neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases, Paoli, A., et. al., Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:474296. doi: 10.1155/2014/474296. Epub 2014 Jul 3., https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/251012843Ketogenic diet protects dopaminergic neurons against 6-OHDA neurotoxicity via up-regulating glutathione in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease, Cheng, B. et. al., Brain Research Volume 1286, 25 August 2009, Pages 25–31, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006899309012797The ketogenic diet is anti-inflammatory, increases ATP, raises glutathione, lowers blood sugar, improves insulin resistance, has benecial effects for mitochondria, protects against oxidative stress, and, may even support remyelination.4Keto diet improves brain inflammation, reverses brain atrophy, etc. in mice model of MS: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0035476 5Harvard University, FEBRUARY 1, 2013 BLOG A DIET TO PROTECT THE BRAIN, Allison Provost, http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2013/issue135b/
Things to consider:
– Make sure you measure your macronutrients to get used to what your plate should look like fats/protein/carbs.
– Make sure you get ample fiber and micronutrients
– Make sure you’re eating enough salt — Celtic and Himalayan are good options for rich mineral content.
– Stay hydrated!
– Don’t just add more fat to a high carb diet. That’s a recipe for weight gain.
– Don’t overdo the protein either — it will also get stored as fat.
– It may be as important to practice intermittent fasting — like a restricted eating window — say an 8-hour eating window and 16 hours of fasting per day, along with a ketogenic diet to derive most benefits.
– If you’re going to try it, give it at least 6 months
– If you need help implementing, look to online keto diet experts, like the KetoDietApp or or consider hiring a keto coach.
Resources on ketogenic diet for autoimmune & neurological conditions:
– Look to scientist and educator, Terry Wahls, MD who recovered from secondary progressive MS by following a keto-Paleo diet she calls “Wahls Paleo Plus.” She is currently conducting clinical trials on diet and MS.
– Read the “empowering neurologist,” David Perlmutter, MD‘s Grain Brain and Blog
– Watch the interview with study lead, Mithu Storoni, MD, PhD on The Fat Burning Man podcast
– Read Dr. Mercola’s piece on conditions that benefit from nutritional ketosis
– Check out my quick interview with Mary Ruddick, medical diet expert on the ketogenic diet for autoimmune conditions
Multiple Sclerosis International
Mithu Storoni, MD, PhD and Gordon T. Plant, M.D.
2 December 2015
Until recently, multiple sclerosis has been viewed as an entirely inflammatory disease without acknowledgment of the significant neurodegenerative component responsible for disease progression and disability. This perspective is being challenged by observations of a dissociation between inflammation and neurodegeneration where the neurodegenerative component may play a more significant role in disease progression. In this review, we explore the relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction and neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis. We review evidence that the ketogenic diet can improve mitochondrial function and discuss the potential of the ketogenic diet in treating progressive multiple sclerosis for which no treatment currently exists.
Take good care!
Mithu Storoni and Gordon T. Plant, “The Therapeutic Potential of the Ketogenic Diet in Treating Progressive Multiple Sclerosis,” Multiple Sclerosis International, vol. 2015, Article ID 681289, 9 pages, 2015. doi:10.1155/2015/681289