Effect of Dietary Ketosis On Alpha-Synucl... - Cure Parkinson's

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Effect of Dietary Ketosis On Alpha-Synuclein Accumulation

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In these models, the ketogenic diet significantly reduced alpha-synuclein clumps -- the pathological hallmark of PD -- in the substantia nigra, a brain region that loses cells in Parkinson's.


18 Replies
Bolt_Upright profile image

I have a FB friend whose husband went from RBD to PD cognition problems and his cognition is improving on extreme keto (20 grams of carbs a day) and exogenous ketones.

in reply to Bolt_Upright

Happy to hear that and not surprised. This video is super interesting.

(Listening to videos while working, juggle juggle!)

This is a neurology professor from CO.

I found him while researching uric acid.




House2 profile image
House2 in reply to


Raphaekg profile image

Preclinical model: be wary of conclusions. In this animal model, rodents didn't produce neuromelanated neurons, something rendering them totally different than humans who uniquely get PD.

This is NOT to say that a ketogenic diet could still be useful in aging, insulin-resistant and undernourished brain. The ability for the brain to use ketones as a fuel source does not diminish with aging, although it's ability to utilize glucose does.

JeanieBeanie profile image

But protein seriously affect the PD drugs from working on my husband and keto is mostly protein and fat. I have done it myself.

Sydney75 profile image
Sydney75 in reply to JeanieBeanie

That's my concern too and if you cheat at all you will gain weight.

amykp profile image
amykp in reply to Sydney75

That depends entirely on the degree to which you cheat, and it's true with every diet, I suspect. I started keto when I was diagnosed with PD. I happened to be overweight, but I didn't care about that one way or the other--I was terrified by the diagnosis and wanted to give myself the best chance.

Over the course of seven years I lost about 60 pounds. I can't say I never cheated, though overall I'm fairly strict. The disease has been pretty good motivation! :o)

in reply to JeanieBeanie


Keto can be done with very little meat.

amykp profile image
amykp in reply to JeanieBeanie

Keto is relatively low protein--you have to watch it carefully, in fact. That's because protein, like carbohydrates, is converted to sugar in the body. It's a slower process, but it still happens.

That's a huge misunderstanding a lot of folks have!

JeanieBeanie profile image
JeanieBeanie in reply to amykp

I lost 2 stone on it eating protein and very low carb and sugar. Think about it. You would not be full on salad and veggies. It's the protein that fills you. And the fats.

amykp profile image
amykp in reply to JeanieBeanie

Sure. But high protein is not exactly keto--it's low carb. Ketones by definition are a specific breakdown product of fats only. If you want to understand why ketones specifically are thought to be neuroprotective, read this:blogs.scientificamerican.co....

I'm no longer doing this for weight loss--though that's a side effect (and I eat LOADS of fat.) I'm doing it to protect my brain.

amykp profile image

Yeah. Actually, you can be a vegetarian pretty easily. Being a vegan would be tough, I imagine.

JeanieBeanie profile image
JeanieBeanie in reply to amykp

Vegans have carbs though.

amykp profile image
amykp in reply to JeanieBeanie

Yeah, a lot I think.

House2 profile image

No question, keto diet improves my PD symptoms.

Skidad profile image

What are the "models"? Live humans?

amykp profile image
amykp in reply to Skidad


It's hard to test the effects of a ketogenic diet on animals because their dietary requirements are different than ours. Cats, for example, eat almost no carbohydrate at all--that's their normal diet (I think, right?)

I'm not saying cats are a usual experimental animal, just that diet studies are tough in other species. Of course, they're hard in humans too, because you can't rule out placebo effects.

The thing is, there are physiological pathways that explain WHY a ketogenic diet would be neuroprotective. So it's not just a shot in the dark. Otherwise, I'd be suspicious too.

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