Enhance autophagy, ketogenesis

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Goal: Enhance autophagy, ketogenesis

Approach: Fast 12 hours each night and stop eating 3 hours prior to bedtime.

Rationale: Reduce insulin levels, reduce Aß (amyloid beta).

Autophagy means "self-eating." When you don't eat for longer periods, your body turns to itself for fuel by recycling the old bits and pieces that result from every day cellular functions. Here is an interesting discussion of autophagy.

Ketogenesis means making ketone molecules. When you sleep, after your last meal is digested and the resulting blood glucose used, your brain still needs energy. If you fast long enough, the body produces energy from turning your fat stores into ketones, which the brain can use in place of blood glucose. Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) can be used to help promote ketosis and improve insulin resistance. Coconut oil contains MCTs, but for some, coconut oil can raise lipid markers quite a bit. Dr. Bredesen suggests that E4s use MCT and coconut only as short-term crutches to ease into ketosis.

In the long term, a low-carbohydrate diet, along with fasting (minimum 12 hours overnight, Dr Bredesen recommends 14 to 16 hours of overnight fasting for ApoEε4s) and exercise will help sustain mild ketosis. Visit our page about ketosis and a ketogenic diet for more details.

Insulin is the hormone produced when you eat carbohydrates, telling your body to take glucose out of the bloodstream. If you eat more carbohydrates than your body can process, you can become insulin resistant. This can lead to diabetes, which doubles your Alzheimer's risk. For strategies to improve your insulin resistance, see our page on Insulin Resistance.

Aß (Amyloid Beta) makes up most of the plaque found in autopsies of Alzheimer's brains. A ketogenic diet has been shown to reduce the plaques in mice.


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