Keto Diet May Hold Key to Treatments for Brain Inflammation

Researchers say a biological mechanism of the diet could be used to help treat brain trauma, stroke, and other neurological issues.

Could the ketogenic diet be a new resource in the fight against stroke?

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) say they have identified a biological mechanism of the diet that reduces inflammation in the brain.

Their work could lead to new therapies to treat brain trauma, stroke, and other neurological issues.

“Nothing we’ve done can be turned around tomorrow and given to a human, but it’s proof of principle. We’ve established a mechanism by which a ketogenic diet suppresses inflammation,” Dr. Raymond Swanson, a study author who also oversees a research lab at UCSF, told Healthline.

The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that’s been touted for years for its beneficial health properties, including being an anti-inflammatory.

It has been demonstrated to work effectively for the treatment of epilepsy.

It has also been theorized that it could help treat other neurodegenerative disordersTrusted Source, including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s.

However, the actual biological process through which the ketogenic diet induces these anti-inflammatory effects hasn’t been clear — until now.

The UCSF studyTrusted Source, published last month in the journal Nature Communications, has identified the mechanism involved in this complex process.

And the researchers were able to do it pharmacologically. That is, without actually having to use the ketogenic diet for their study.

“You can get the benefits of the ketogenic diet, at least this benefit, without actually having to be on a ketogenic diet,” said Swanson, who is also chief of neurology services at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center

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