Hacking Brain Nourishment and Aging

http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/42273/title/Nourishing-the-Aging-Brain/

Excerpts especially related to “ketones” which result from fasting and Medium Chain Triglyceride (high in coconut oil) consumption, and NAD+ recently introduced as a dietary supplement.

“As an alternative to glucose, the brain can draw energy from ketones, a group of metabolites synthesized from fatty acids in the liver.
Interestingly, feeding a ketogenic diet slows disease progression in mouse models of both ALS and Huntington’s diseases.5,6 And in Parkinson’s patients, who also tend to show increased energy expenditure and weight loss, a ketogenic diet has likewise shown promising results.7
Interestingly, ketogenesis, the production of ketones as a result of fatty acid breakdown, can be induced by fasting, suggesting that ketones could play a central role in the increased longevity effects of caloric restriction observed in the lab.
In addition to being an important redox factor and DNA-repair metabolite, NAD+ is a required molecule for the function of enzymes known as sirtuins, coded by a group of longevity genes, the activation of which may be central in the life-extending effects of caloric restriction in nematodes and flies.1
Recent data suggest that the life-extending effects of ketones and NAD+ both converge on the activation of SIRT1.1
We are, however, getting closer to an understanding of fundamental aspects of neurological aging, and we may soon be able to intervene in the aging process as a whole, perhaps with the benefit of preventing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other age-associated neurological diseases. Increasing the level of circulating ketones, through dietary interventions or exogenous ketone sources, may be one relatively easy way to intervene, and could be efficacious either alone or in combination with other targeted interventions.”

David Kronfeld was on the right track 40 years ago!

 

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