A University of California study found that following a ketogenic diet might be the key to reducing damaging brain inflammation, especially after stroke and brain trauma.

Senior study author Dr. Raymond Swanson, a professor of neurology at UCSF and chief of the neurology service at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said suppressing post-injury inflammation in the brain was the impetus for the study, as the condition has been a key issue in the field.

Animals (rats) used in the study were found to have reduced inflammation when the researchers used a molecule called 2-deoxyglucose, aka 2DG, to block glucose metabolism and induce a ketogenic state, similar to what would occur if you followed a ketogenic diet.

The result of sticking to a ketogenic diet by adhering to an eating pattern emphasizing healthy fats along with low net carbs is that it literally changes the way your body uses energy. A ketogenic diet will convert your body from burning carbohydrates for energy to burning fat as your primary source of fuel.

When your body is able to burn fat for fuel, your liver creates ketones that burn more efficiently than carbs, thus creating far less reactive oxygen species and secondary free radicals that can damage your cellular and mitochondrial cell membranes, proteins and DNA.

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