Can keto diet help prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease?

Credit: Monika Grabkowska/ Unsplash.

Scientists from Saint Louis University found that the keto diet and supplements may help treat or prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is the most common form of dementia.

There are currently FDA-approved therapies for AD and a recently approved drug, Aducanumab. However, there are no curative or preventative therapies.

Previous research suggests that diet may play a role in AD, but it is unclear which diet provides the most beneficial effects.

There are other lifestyle methods that have been found to possibly play a role in AD prevention and treatment. These include exercise, brain training, and social interaction.

A combined approach may be more effective than any one method alone. The ketogenic diet (keto diet) is one specific diet that has been studied.

Similar benefits to those of a keto diet can also be achieved through consuming a normal diet and supplementing with ketogenic components.

In the current study, researchers reviewed studies involving the keto diet or exogenous ketone administration and AD.

They found evidence that the keto diet and exogenous ketone supplementation may provide treatment benefits in AD patients. It is unclear whether one method is better than the other.

Study findings suggested the specific food composition of the keto diet should be considered because certain types of fat sources are healthier than others.

In addition, many forms of the keto diet require strict monitoring of carbohydrate intake, which would often fall under the responsibility of the caregiver.

Future studies may be more feasible in an institutional setting, where it would be easier to administer and monitor a dietary pattern.

In addition, exogenous supplementation may be more likely to be adhered to as a long-term treatment.

A multidomain approach may be the most effective in possibly preventing/delaying AD and in improving/stabilizing and possibly slowing disease progression in those with AD.

The researchers suggest that most current studies are small and only look at the short-term effects of the keto diet on cognition.

Large and long-term studies about the impact of the keto diet in patients with cognitive impairment and AD are lacking and thus needed.

The research was published in The Journal of Nutrition, Health, and Aging and conducted by H Hersant and G Grossberg.

If you care about brain health, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and Strawberries could help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about antioxidants that could help reduce dementia risk, and Coconut oil could help improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease.

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