BHB’s are health food.
I’ve already sung the virtues of using BHB’s to help you along the way as you embrace the keto diet. But did you know that BHBs may be able to help with a variety of other health conditions? Here are some ways that BHB’s can benefit other health conditions (always consult your doctor before introducing something new to your health plan).
Migraine – Exogenous ketones may help bring migraine relief to some sufferers. According to a 2017 Medscape article, “increasing evidence suggests an energy deficit disorder exists in migraine.” By swapping out glucose for ketones, some participants in a limited study saw their migraine count decrease by half. While a long term study is still in the works, many people in my Facebook group have reported a lowered incidence of migraine once they are fully fat adapted; this may come sooner with the addition of BHB’s.
Traumatic Brain Injury – Because of keto’s successes with relation to epilepsy, the next natural thing to research was the role of the ketogenic diet in relation to traumatic brain injury. After a traumatic brain injury, the brain may not process glucose the same way; this means that the brain may not be getting some of the nutrients that it needs to heal or even function. BHB’s may support brain function after a TBI. According to a 2008 study, ketones may act as a “neuroprotector.” This is increasingly important after a traumatic brain injury.
Stroke – According to some doctors, stroke can have the same long-term impact on the brain as a traumatic brain injury. Even just having a clot on the brain that doesn’t lead to bleeding can cause the brain to function differently than it did before a clot. Extrapolating the evidence from the study on BHB’s for TBI, they may also work to support the brain during recovery from a stroke.
An important fact to note when you’re looking at the role of BHB’s in helping alleviate some health concerns, is that you may need to maintain very strict ketosis in order to see those benefits. You’ll need to follow the 4:1 ratio of fat to protein and carbs. There can be no lazy keto if you’re trying to see benefits from BHB’s in these health situations. Below are some conditions which may also see benefit from BHB’s, but which may not need to follow the strict 4:1 ratio:
Depression and Anxiety – People suffering from depression and anxiety often produce neuroinflammation. It’s a normal stress response, but people who are battling anxiety and depression often have higher than normal levels of neuroinflammation. BHB’s can help alleviate the neuroinflammation.
Memory Issues – In a study completed in 2004, consumption of BHB’s was associated with increased paragraph recall in people with mild cognitive impairments or Alzheimer’s. While the study results that a diet high in BHB’s may benefit those with Alzheimer’s, adding BHB’s may also help those suffering from run-of-the-mill memory issues brought on by exhaustion, stress, or aging.
Thyroid – I honestly believe that keto healed my thyroid. BHB’s may play a role in healing thyroid issues by reducing overall stress on the body and providing a source of energy that is much more effective than glucose. This helps the thyroid to re-learn how to function properly, without the constant fatigue that so many people, even those on thyroid medication, experience.
Acne – I have a friend that used to complain to me on a regular basis about her adult acne. Once she turned 40 and started really noticing the wrinkles on her face, she felt doubly insulted; there’s nothing quite like experiencing both wrinkles and adult acne. While the keto diet helped a bit, she was concerned that increasing her fat intake had a negative impact on her acne. She was thrilled when she added BHB’s and her acne finally went away. She does get a pimple every now and again, but nothing like it was before.
General Hormonal Issues – BHB’s can help normalize hormonal issues. That may be because the BHB’s support the thyroid, which in turn allows the other hormone processes in your body to heal and normalize. You may find that BHB’s reduce cyclic migraines, keep your PMS in check, and reduce symptoms such as breast tenderness and menstrual cramps.
You got this!
Leta ~ Intentionally Bare
❗ Health information given here is based on public research and is not meant to take the place of your doctor's advice. Always do your own research before trying something new.