Do ketones protect against Alzheimer's?

Do ketones protect against Alzheimer's?

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Ketone consumption could protect against Alzheimer's

An American research team investigated the effects of ketones on the brain and found that the fatty acid-like compounds protect neurons from dying as Alzheimer's disease progresses.

In a recent study, researchers from the Society for Neuroscience showed that dietary supplements containing ketone can prevent brain cells from dying. This could delay the progression of Alzheimer's disease. The results were recently presented in the "Journal of Neuroscience".

Overactivity in the brain

It is already known from previous studies that an increased stress level can be determined in certain brain cells in the early phase of Alzheimer's disease. Researchers attribute this stress to the loss of so-called inhibitory interneurons, which prevent neurons from sending too many signals. It is currently believed that interneurons are more susceptible to premature death because they require more energy than neurons.

Amyloid beta damages mitochondria

Interneurons in particular threaten to die if they encounter so-called amyloid beta proteins. Amyloid beta proteins increasingly form deposits in the brain of Alzheimer's sufferers, which is why they are associated with the development of the disease. The researchers found that amyloid beta has been shown to damage mitochondria - that is, so to speak, the engine of the cells. More specifically, amyloid beta interferes with a protein called SIRT3. This protein is essential for the maintenance of the mitochondria.

Mice with Alzheimer's

In experiments on mice, the researchers reduced the SIRT3 level in the animal's brain. As a result, an increased loss of interneurons was found in the mice, which subsequently led to an premature mortality rate and to a more severe course of Alzheimer's disease. A group of mice suffering from Alzheimer's disease in whom the SIRT3 level was not reduced served as a comparison.

Ketones protected the mouse brains

In further experiments, the animals were fed a diet enriched with ketones with a reduced SIRT3 level. As a result, the animals experienced fewer seizures and the premature risk of death was mild. The researchers were able to document how the ketones increased the SIRT3 level in the mouse brains again.

What are ketones?

Ketones are chemical compounds whose structure resembles short fatty acids. Ketones always consist of carbon atoms on which either an oxygen atom or a hydroxyl group (OH) is attached. Ketones have become known, for example, through the ketone-genetic diet, in which ketones are increasingly formed in the body.

Do Ketone Supplements Slow Alzheimer's Disease?

The researchers conclude that a ketone-enriched diet can protect neurons from death as Alzheimer's disease progresses. Since the study was carried out on mice, the results still have to be checked in humans. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • Aiwu Cheng, Jing Wang, Nathaniel Ghena, u.a .: SIRT3 Haploinsufficiency Aggravates Loss of GABAergic Interneurons and Neuronal Network Hyperexcitability in an Alzheimer's Disease Model, Journal of Neuroscience, 2019,

Video: The Power of Ketones! (December 2022).