Ketogenic supplements have been used for centuries to treat various conditions, including seizures and diabetes. The ketogenic diet, which consists of low-carbohydrate, high-fat meals, has been shown to be effective in controlling seizures and treating diabetes and metabolic syndrome. However, the effectiveness of ketogenic supplements in treating conditions like heart disease and dementia remains unknown.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $3.5 million federal grant for a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial to understand the effects of long-term use of ketone ester supplementation on frailty.
Ketone bodies, precursor molecules that the body breaks down into ketone bodies when carbohydrates aren't available, could have helpful applications in various aging conditions.
The TAKEOFF trial aims to recruit 180 people across three sites and assess how ketones might affect frailty in the elderly. The main hypothesis of the TAKEOFF study is that targeting these fundamental mechanisms of aging could impact various diseases of aging across different organ systems.
Understanding how ketogenic diets influence brain function could lead to new treatments to prevent cognitive decline in mental health conditions, which are increasingly recognized as neuro-progressive disorders. Treatment-resistant conditions often result from the damage to the brain's structure and function.
Some of the mechanisms through which ketogenic diets may affect brain function include:
Improving oxygen utilisation
Regulating key neurotransmitters
Changing gut bacteria in the microbiome
The latest research on ketogenic diets has shown promising results, but understanding the reasons behind their effectiveness is complex. While not all patients experience improvement, the latest research suggests that ketogenic diets should be used under medical supervision due to potential risks and individual responses.