Low-carb diet good for brain
Eating fewer carbohydrates might prevent and could even reverse age-related damage to the brain, reports The Guardian (U.K.). Researchers examined brain scans of nearly 1,000 people, ages 18 to 88, and found that the rate of damage to neural pathways varied depending on the brain’s main source of energy. Glucose, the sugar broken down from carbohydrates, accelerated the damage; ketones, produced by the liver during low-carb diets, slowed it down. The researchers also found that people can start experiencing damage in their neural pathways as early as their late 40s. “The bad news is that we see the first signs of brain aging much earlier than was previously thought,” says lead author Lilianne Mujica-Parodi, from Stony Brook University in New York. “The good news is that we may be able to prevent or reverse these effects with diet.” A high-ketone diet is low in carbohydrates and high in fats and proteins; further research is needed to determine whether the possible neurological benefits of such a diet outweigh its impact on heart health.