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Supplementation With Ketones Associated With Improved Cognitive Function

The liver turns fat into ketones when the body doesn’t have enough insulin to turn sugar (or glucose) into energy. The ketones are released into the bloodstream and muscles and other tissues use them for fuel. A recent study suggests that consuming a ketogenic drink may help improve cognitive function.

Eighty-three adults over the age of 55 participated in the study. All had been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. Half consumed a ketogenic drink containing medium chain triglyceride ketones and the other half consumed a placebo drink daily for 6 months. The researchers administered 4 cognitive tests at baseline and at the end of the study period; free and cued recall, verbal fluency, the Boston Naming Test, and the Trail-Making Test.

Participants in the supplement group saw improvements in executive function, memory, and language compared to participants in the placebo group. Improvements in cognitive function were positively correlated with significant increases in plasma ketone levels. 

The study was conducted by researchers from the Research Center on Aging. It was published online ahead of print on October 26, 2020 in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.

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