Another mechanism that could be involved in food-regulation during KD is the gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate regulation. Wu et al. demonstrated that GABAergic signaling from the NPY/AgRP neurons to the parabrachial nucleus (located in the dorsolateral part of the pons) is involved in many regulatory sensory stimuli including taste and gastric distension, regulate feeding behavior. GABA signaling seems to prevent animals from anorexia when AgRP neurons were destroyed (Wu et al., 2009). These findings are yet another contradictory aspect of KDs and food behavior; ketosis should increase the availability of glutamate (via diminution of transamination of glutamate to aspartate) and therefore increase GABA and glutamine levels; moreover, in ketosis, the brain imports a huge amount of acetate and converts it through glia into glutamine (an important precursor of GABA) (Yudkoff et al., 2008). The result of these mechanisms, together with the increased mitochondrial metabolism and flux through the TCA cycle, is an increased synthesis of glutamine and a “buffering” of glutamate. These results are not consistent with the well-documented anorexigenic effect of KDs, and therefore the GABA hypothesis cannot be taken into account despite the mild euphoria often reported during a KD that is probably due to the action of BHB (Brown, 2007) and can help to reduce appetite.
As ketones levels rise in the body, the cells of heart, brain and muscles begin to use them for fuel. And once the body is using ketones as a main fuel source, there are some profound and positive health effects. Ketogenic diets are very effective for correcting cellular metabolic dysfunction. The high blood sugar of diabetes gets reversed, the seizures of epilepsy can be calmed, Alzheimers and Parkinsons symptoms are alleviated, extra weight can be lost, joint pain is diminished and so on. In other words, the ketogenic diet is not a “fad.” It is a potent regulator of metabolic derangement, and when formulated and implemented correctly, it can be extremely effective at reversing all kinds of health problems. (See this paper.)
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This is the only way my kids will eat Brussels sprouts! It’s actually great for me because this dish is fast, easy and healthy, and it makes a lovely side. Quick-cooking Brussels sprout halves are available in the prepackaged salad aisle at the grocery store. They’re a timesaver if you can find them, but you can always just buy whole ones and slice them in half. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
If you’re looking to get a jump start on your health and fitness goals this year, you may be thinking about trying the ketogenic diet. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase before — it’s a huge diet buzzword — but aren’t sure what it means. Here’s a primer: The ketogenic diet is an eating plan that drives your body into ketosis, a state where the body uses fat as a primary fuel source (instead of carbohydrates), says Stacey Mattinson, RDN, who is based in Austin, Texas.