Studies Show Efficacy of Keto for Traumaatiic Brain Injury

The Center for Disease Control reports that over 1.7 million people suffer from traumatic brain injuries each year. In addition to the lengthy recovery for many who suffer a traumatic brain injury, there is potential for epilepsy to occur months and even years later.

Several animal studies have investigated the effect of ketone bodies in traumatic brain injured rats. A state of ketosis from either fasting or provided by a Ketogenic Diet has shown to improve recovery.

In direct contrast to the benefit of Ketogenic Diet on brain recovery is the negative effect of high-sugar, high-fat diets given to brain injured rats. The recovery in these rats was measurably worse.

Evidence that Ketogenic Diet therapy is neuro-protective and has an anti-inflammatory effect is reason to believe it may be beneficial for an injured brain.

According to Stafstrom and Rho, “In light of the clinical problem of post-traumatic epileptogenesis and the fact that the KD can reduce seizure activity, the notion has emerged that dietary therapy might ameliorate brain injury and possibly, long-term consequences such as epilepsy. It was found that fasting – which shares the key feature of ketosis with the KD – led to significant tissue sparing in brain following CCI injury, and that again ketosis (with improved mitochondrial func- tioning) rather than the relative hypoglycemia seen with fasting was the important determinant of neuroprotection.”

Research in humans is desperately needed to confirm the animal data of Ketogenic Diet treatment for brain injuries and to explore other nutrients that have also shown benefit in animal studies such as omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, zinc, and magnesium.

Think the Ketogenic Diet is right for you? Talk to your doctor before adopting a Ketogenic Diet, or connect with one of our qualified diet professionals to determine a course of action that is right for you.

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