Keto & Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor BDNF

(Bunny) #1

6 Ways A Ketogenic Diet Improves Brain Function …More

Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor And Its Natural Benefits

BDNF is important for longterm memory and helps grow new neurons from neural stem cells (neurogenesis). R


  1. Basics
  2. Benefits
  3. How To Increase BDNF
  4. Mechanism of Action
  5. Genetic Pathways
  6. Caveats
  7. More Research


Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) like NGF, CNTF, GDNF, CDNF, and MANF is a protein that promotes brain growth. R

It acts on the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system:

•helps support the survival of existing (DRG) neurons R
•encourages the growth and differentiation of new neurons and synapses R

In the brain, it is active in the hippocampus, cortex, and basal forebrain (areas vital to learning, memory, and higher thinking). R

It is also expressed in the retina, motor neurons, the kidneys, saliva, and the prostate. R

Neurotrophins are proteins that help to stimulate and control neurogenesis, BDNF being one of the most active. R R R

BDNF is important for the development of the brain, sensory nervous system and neural development, as mice born without the ability to make BDNF, will usually die soon after birth. R

BDNF increases until around the age of 65, and then after decrease markedly. R

BDNF facilitates glutamate release that the presynapse to increases postsynaptic glutamate receptor synthesis. R

BDNF is levels can be different in different places: blood, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and various brain locations, but there is no correlation between blood BDNF and CSF BDNF. R

Blood BDNF may be reliable marker, since BDNF can cross the blood brain barrier. R R

BDNF has a circadian rhythm. R R



  1. Brain changes in BDNF and S100B induced by ketogenic diets in Wistar rats.


  3. BDNF Alzheimer’s – The Fundamental Principle - Dr. David Perlmutter, MD.

  4. Broken Brain: Episode 1 - Dr. Hyman

  5. The efficacy of the ketogenic diet on motor functions in Parkinson’s disease: A rat model

  6. Effect of Dietary Ketosis On Alpha-Synuclein Accumulation - Rapid Response Innovation Awards, 2014 - Michael J. Fox Research Foundation

  7. The Ketogenic Diet Alters the Hypoxic Response and Affects Expression of Proteins Associated with Angiogenesis, Invasive Potential and Vascular Permeability in a Mouse Glioma Model.

  8. Angiogenesis (treatment for Parkinson’s Disease?) - ZHITTYA REGENERATIVE MEDICINE INC. See also How I Reversed My Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms - John Gray and Ice Bucket Challenge? No. Ketogenic Diet for ALS? Yes!

  9. Angiogenesis

  10. New Evidence Suggests Parkinson’s Might Not Start in The Brain A new study adds further evidence to a growing number of research breakthroughs which suggests that Parkinson’s (PD) originates in the gut and not the brain. New research outcomes in mice suggest PD might actually start in the gut and this might explain why most Parkinson’s patients complain of constipation and gut-related symptoms before other symptoms arise. See also Read the background science paper - 'Microbiota-gut-brain signalling in Parkinson’s disease: Implications for non-motor symptoms- ~ Valeria D. Felice, Eamonn M. Quigley, Aideen M. Sullivan, Gerard W. O’Keeffe, Siobhain M. O’Mahony and Parkinson’s: Could this existing drug (for tapeworm) halt disease progression?

  11. Oil Change: Can the Ketogenic Diet Treat Multiple Sclerosis? See also Can Low Carb, High Fat Ketogenic Diets Improve MS And Other Neurological Disease Symptoms? and The Therapeutic Potential of the Ketogenic Diet in Treating Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

  12. Brain Tumor - A Diet for Brain Cancer The Ketogenic Diet: The Ketogenic Diet is a very high fat, high protein, and extremely low carbohydrate diet typically used to treat epilepsy (Porta N et al 2009). Without carbohydrates, the body shifts from using glucose to ketones for energy. … Brain tumor cells can only burn glucose. See also Can a keto diet treat brain cancer? and Treatment of glioma patients with ketogenic diets: report of two cases treated with an IRB-approved energy-restricted ketogenic diet protocol and review of the literature

  13. Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of the Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in the Central Nervous System (note related: P53 apoptosis {and cancer cells} FOX04 and FOX DRI binding behavior, mechanism dynamics and senescent cell death)

  14. Human rGDF-11 counteracts age-related short-term memory impairments in middle-aged mice

  15. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)–regulated DNA methylation alters CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF)/cohesin binding and transcription at the BDNF locus

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(Troy) #2

Great Info!
Huge fan and follower of Dr. Jockers

(Bunny) #3
  1. Dr David Perlmutter: Grain Brain, Eating Fat Makes You Smart, and Why (Brain) Size Matters - July 13, 2018
  1. Dr. Perlmutter is going to tell you 2 things you can do right now to actually regrow your own brain cells. Pretty cool. On the show (podcast) we chat about:

•The surprising reason you should be eating more cholesterol.

•How eating fat makes you smart

•The brain-building effects of musical training.

•The 2 things you can do right now to literally regrow your brain.

•And much more…

(Bunny) #4

Dr. Rhonda Patrick - There is a trade off when it comes to growth hormone and IGF-1. Growth hormone and IGF-1 enhance muscle and cognitive performance but this comes at a cost: longevity. Reduced growth hormone and IGF-1 increase lifespan by increasing the expression of genes involved in stress resistance but at an expensive cost when it comes to muscles and brain. Learn all about the trade-off and ways to circumvent it. Note: In the video Dr. Patrick mentions Neurogenesis? TEDTALKS Neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret

You can grow new brain cells. Here’s how - Sandrine Thuret: Can we, as adults, grow new neurons? Neuroscientist Sandrine Thuret says that we can, and she offers research and practical advice on how we can help our brains better perform neurogenesis—improving mood, increasing memory formation and preventing the decline associated with aging along the way.


And, fantastic that coconut oil’s medium chain triglycerides that enhance ketosis, also enhance BDNF :wink: As do the MCTs in GRASSFED butter, yoghurt, and kefir - though to a lesser degree.

So a ketogenic/LCHF way of eating that involves plenty of coconut oil OR tons of grassfed dairy takes care of your BDNF!!!

I take 2 tablespoons of Coconut oil most mornings in my coffee, and it has helped me SO MUCH in a very demanding brainy job, with other stressors.

More from Dr. Jockers:

“Ketones activate specialized regulatory proteins in the brain called brain derived neurotrophic growth factors… MCTs can readily cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and be oxidized by the brain providing both a direct and an indirect brain fuel source via the generation of ketones. The best natural source of MCTs are found in coconut oil. Palm oil, camphor tree oil, goat’s milk and grass-fed butter or ghee are all good sources of MCTs as well.”

Interestingly and refreshingly, he refers to basic Coconut oil as MCT oil and isn’t tryin’ to push the more processed/isolated MCT oil.

Last but not least, he concludes with this zinger: “MCTs significantly improve carbohydrate tolerance and inhibit the production of fatty acids in adipose (fat) tissue.” WOWwww… The thought that Coconut oil not only enhances ketosis brainz but also IMPROVES carbohydrate TOLERANCE is fascinating, and points to a powerful healing synergy between MCT-fueled ketosis and regenerative healing that moves beyond the more rigid outlooks on long term keto and towards a life with more metabolic flexibility.

It would be very interesting to see a study that compared keto WOE between folks that rely on minimal MCT intake compared to those with sufficient/maximized MCT intake.

For me personally, I’m in the stage of being well established in 100% fat adaptation - and have a practice of reducing fat intake in order for my body to use my own fat stores, etc. (HOWEVER, I still take 2 tblsp of Coconut oil every morning - it just means not pouring extra fat into my smoothies or on my fat-cooked meals).

So awesome :sparkles::coconut::sparkles: :brain:


Love Sandrine Thuret’s presentation - though it also show that even a neuroscientist can miss the mark, when at the end she identifies high saturated fat as a reducer of neurogenesis (and thus an increaser of depression) within the usual HCHF equation assumption.

Seems she hasn’t yet encountered LCHF/ketosis research on brain nourishment via Dominic D’Agostino, Dr. Jockers, and others.

Also am reminded that sensations that many ketoers apparently have in the first 6 months on the journey - weird feelings in the center of the head that aren’t mineral imbalance headaches - may have to do with the hippocampus’s detoxification/healing with resulting increased neurogenesis…

(Bunny) #7

I am thinking all her research et al. is coming from a sugar burners perspective or biological homeostasis and not people who burn ketones for fuel, with so much sugar and processed foods in the diets of our modern world? So all they have to work with from a research angle is sugar burners? e.g. you mix high sugar and glucose from highly processed carbohydrates with high fat and bad stuff happens?

She (Sandrine Thuret) probably has not had a chance to study the other side of the picture?

Naturally people are so indoctrinated with the “bad fat” quote, that they are more inclined to blame game the fat and not the sugar and processed carbs, even to the point of fooling your local neuroscientist into believing that is case? After all you only want to do your research around what everyone is eating, not about what they SHOULD NOT be eating? But are also peer pressured (monetary or fiscally motivated?) into not acknowledging THE TRUTH?