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Old 06-07-2007, 10:57 AM   #1
Mike ODonnell
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Default Low carb and increased brain function

from Dr Eades blog

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An article in the current issue (May 2007) of Nature Medicine discusses the mechanism underlying the well-known anti-seizure effect of the ketogenic diet.

I found a few statements in this paper that I thought readers of this blog would find amusing.

The article starts out:

" Doctors have for nearly a century prescribed a low-carbohydrate diet to help prevent seizures in people with epilepsy, but they had no idea why it works—until now.

Harvard University researchers in April reported that the strict diet—dubbed the ketogenic diet because it induces a state of ketosis, in which the body is forced to use fat for energy—may enhance the function of electrical switches in an area of the brain that controls seizures (J. Neurosci. 27, 3618–3625; 2007). With further testing, the mechanism could reveal potential drug targets, experts say. "

Yep, that’s science for you. We’ve got a perfectly safe and acceptable solution to the problem in the form of the ketogenic diet, so let’s try to find a drug that will do the same thing. And cost a zillion dollars. And cause side effects. And… But, friends and neighbors, that’s how science - funded by Big Pharma - works these days.
I remember years ago seeing a show on kids with daily/hourly seizures switching to a high fat diet....and the seizures dramtically reduce if not disappear all together...
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:39 AM   #2
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I'd wager that if that high-fat diet included a good omega-3 : omega-6 ratio that the benefits would be even better.
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:43 AM   #3
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Our ancestors high protein meat based diet spurred our brains to grow and increased our intelligence. That theory is a little bit contradicted by the fact that carnivours aren't intelligent like us though...
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Old 06-08-2007, 10:48 AM   #4
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Troy,
It's the cross-breeding with aliens that made us so smart...

Duh...

:-)
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Troy Archie View Post
Our ancestors high protein meat based diet spurred our brains to grow and increased our intelligence. That theory is a little bit contradicted by the fact that carnivours aren't intelligent like us though...
Probably because we crushed in the skulls of animals with rocks we could hold with our opposable thumbs and ate their brains...which are like 75% DHA....who knew crushing in skulls would lead to the building of the IPod....
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:17 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mike ODonnell View Post
Probably because we crushed in the skulls of animals with rocks we could hold with our opposable thumbs and ate their brains...which are like 75% DHA....who knew crushing in skulls would lead to the building of the IPod....
Reminds me of the sequence from 2001 A Space Odyssey...
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:28 PM   #7
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I remember ready an article stating that brain function is enhanced when individuals are in a fasted / hungry state, I am guessing there may also be a correlation between the fasting mechanisms induced by low carb and a fasted state in this regard.
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robb Wolf View Post
Reminds me of the sequence from 2001 A Space Odyssey...
or did you mean Scary Movie...9 or whatever it is on....
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:26 AM   #9
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another good post from Dr Eades on why we are naturally made to eat low carb....

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we realize that we have all the internal biochemical machinery to make glucose out of protein and out of the glycerol from disassembled fat (triglycerides), but we have no machinery to make amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and no machinery to make the essential fats. These essential amino acids and these essential fats have to come from our diet.

And we can to a certain extent replace glucose with ketones, which come from the partial breakdown of fat in the liver.

So, we need glucose for many cellular processes simply because of our primitive systems dating back millions of years that evolved when glucose was really the only food available. But we’ve evolved ways to make glucose out of fat and protein and evolved a method to replace some of the glucose by ketones, which are a fat by product.

What this should tell us is that over the recent past of our evolutionary history protein and fat have been readily available and glucose may not have been. Where do we get protein and fat? The main source for both is meat.

Obviously in our Paleolithic past (and before) we had plenty of meat and not much starch, otherwise we would have evolved differently. If we had evolved in a situation in which we had plenty of starch and no meat, we would have evolved a way to make protein out of carbs (which we can’t) and essential fat out of carbs (which we can’t). The fact that we are structured the opposite tells us the real story. And should lead us to reckon that if we evolved eating primarily meat and not much, if any, plants that we are fine tuned metabolically to operate optimally on such a diet. Which is the reason a low-carb diet works so well to reverse the diseases caused by eating in the reverse of our evolutionary heritage.
Because of this evolutionary heritage we have, I’ve always found it amazing as well as a little ignorant that educated, intelligent people tell us that we need to load up on carbohydrates, which we have the ability to manufacture ourselves, at the expense of fat and protein, which we don’t. As some of my rednecked friends would say: it just don’t make no sense.
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