Recent findings suggest that a very low-carbohydrate diet may boost memory in older adults with mild cognitive impairment.

Under fairly extreme low-carb conditions, the body starts to use compounds called ketones, made from the metabolism of fat or protein, as a source of fuel. This state, ketosis, occurs naturally and is quite different from ketoacidosis which is a serious problem caused by severe metabolic disturbances.

A new study tested a ketogenic diet in people with mild cognitive impairment, sometimes a precursor to dementia. For six weeks, half of the 23 participants ate a ketogenic diet, with five to 10% of calories coming from carbohydrates, while the others ate a high-carbohydrate diet, 50% of calories from carbohydrates.

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