Using mouse models of Alzheimer's disease, researchers have been looking into a new approach to slow down the progression of this neurodegenerative disease — a ketone ester-rich diet, Medical News Today says.
To get the energy it needs to function correctly, the body usually relies on glucose (a simple sugar), which results from the digestion of carbohydrates.
When there is not enough glucose to rely on, the body will burn fat instead. This is a process called ketosis, and it is the principle that ketogenic — or keto — diets rely on.
Keto diets are typically low in carbohydrates and high in fats, and this imbalance in resources produces ketosis. But there is also another way of inducing ketosis that does not involve making this dietary shift. It involves taking supplements containing ketone ester, which have the same effect.
Researchers have also been interested in ketone ester because of the possibility that it may help fight neurodegenerative conditions, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
Recently, a team of investigators from the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Baltimore, MD — in collaboration with colleagues from other research institutions — has used mouse models of Alzheimer's to further examine the potential of ketone ester, as well as the possible underlying mechanisms at work.
A study paper — whose first author is Aiwu Cheng, Ph.D., and which features in The Journal of Neuroscience — details the proceedings.