August 13, 2019 – Ketones and Cognition


Anchor lead: Can eating a high fat diet help you think better? Elizabeth Tracey reports

People with mild cognitive impairment who ate a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates for a few months improved cognitive testing scores, a Johns Hopkins study led by Jason Brandt has shown. Brandt says the key seemed that participants produced ketones, indicating that they were using fats as an energy source.

Brandt: For those who were generating at least a trace amount of ketones there was a significant improvement in our cognitive measurement seen at six weeks. Both groups, the group on the modified Atkins diet and the group on the control NIH diet, which is sort of a Mediterranean style diet, both lowered their carbohydrates so we don’t think it’s the carbohydrate reduction that resulted in the improvement in the modified Atkins group but it was the amount of ketones generated by eating the high fat diet.  :32

Brandt says a longer study with more participants is clearly needed. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.