Harnessing the Power of Ketones for Brain Health and the Surprising Benefits of Walking

Harnessing the Power of Ketones for Brain Health and the Surprising Benefits of Walking

Live Longer!


Ketones and Brain Health


Readers of this newsletter have heard me emphasize the benefits of Time Restricted Eating (TRE) or Intermittent Fasting which is consuming calories only during a fixed time window each day. Typically individuals will go 14-16 hours without eating per day. Numerous studies have shown health benefits to doing this and animal studies show that it can lengthen lifespan.


One added benefit to TRE may be brain health. In the early part of the last century doctors observed that kids with epilepsy who were malnourished stopped having seizures. Based on this information, doctors at the Mayo Clinic devised the Keto Diet for these kids in the 1930s. Fast forward to today and the Keto Diet is all the rage. TRE has a similar effect, albeit temporarily, each day. TRE flips your body’s
metabolism to use ketones as an energy source instead of glucose. Thus, TRE
generates ketones and ketone bodies which may help the brain.


A recent article by Dr. Marc Arginteanu, MD, entitled Ketones May Be the Key to
Unlocking a Healthier Brain, emphasizes the following benefits of fasting, a ketogenic diet and ketones on the brain:

  • Promoting neuroplasticity (nerve cell remodeling including autophagy and
    removing bad cells)
  • Increased growth and reproduction of nerve cells.
  • Decreased depression and improved problem solving.
  • Enhanced mitochondrial activity in the hippocampus which could improve
    learning and memory.
  • Trigger release of Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor (BDNF) which helps
    neurons thrive.
  • They have potent anti-inflammatory effects.

Other studies have shown that ketones can help treat or prevent conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, brain cancer, traumatic brain injury, and cognitive decline. However, more research is needed to confirm the long-term effects and optimal dosage of ketones for brain health.


How crazy is it that the timing of when you eat can so significantly impact your health and, likely, lifespan? 


The Business of Your Healthcare


A recent lawsuit may upend the health benefits industry and it is about time!


The lawsuit's basis is on newer laws that were part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (H.R.133). This law includes fiduciary rules on employers and ERISA that apply to group health plans12These rules are similar to the ERISA fee disclosure requirements that had been applicable to sponsors of retirement plans for over a decade23They require group health plans to disclose detailed information about the compensation of their service providers, such as brokers, consultants, and third-party administrators12Employers and plan sponsors should designate a “responsible plan fiduciary” to make sure this is being done34.

The recent Johnson and Johnson lawsuit regarding health benefits is a proposed class action filed by an employee of the company, Ann Lewandowski, on February 5, 2024.


The lawsuit alleges that Johnson and Johnson and its pension and benefits committee violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by mismanaging the prescription drug benefits program for its workers.


The lawsuit claims that the company agreed to pay its pharmacy benefit manager, Express Scripts, inflated prices for generic specialty drugs that are widely available at much lower cost.


The lawsuit also claims that the company failed to monitor and audit the performance of Express Scripts and did not disclose or correct the excessive fees and charges to the plan participants. The lawsuit seeks to recover the losses suffered by the plan and its beneficiaries, as well as injunctive and declaratory relief to prevent further breaches of fiduciary duty 123.


Some additional information about the lawsuit are:


Take Action


Walking Rocks!

Sometimes we are so busy that we cannot find time to work out.
Walking is an under appreciated form of exercise. Besides getting you out in the sun and scenery it has these 5 additional benefits that you may not be aware of according to the Harvard Medical School. Walking: 

  1. Counteracts the effects of weight-promoting genes. Harvard researchers looked at 32 obesity-promoting genes in over 12,000 people to determine how much these genes contribute to body weight. Among the study participants who walked briskly for about an hour a day, the effects of those genes were cut in half.
  2. Helps tame a sweet tooth. A pair of studies from the University of Exeter found that a 15-minute walk can curb cravings for chocolate and even reduce the amount of chocolate you eat in stressful situations. And the latest research confirms that walking can reduce cravings and intake of a variety of sugary snacks.
  3. Reduces the risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers already know that any kind of physical activity blunts the risk of breast cancer. But an American Cancer Society study that zeroed in on walking found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked three hours or fewer per week. And walking provided this protection even for the women with breast cancer risk factors, such as being overweight or using supplemental hormones.
  4. Eases joint pain. Several studies have found that walking reduces arthritis-related pain, and that walking five to six miles a week can even prevent arthritis from forming in the first place. Walking protects the joints — especially the knees and hips, which are most susceptible to osteoarthritis — by lubricating them and strengthening the muscles that support them.
  5. Boosts immune function. Walking can help protect you during cold and flu season. A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder.


Keep moving friends and have a great weekend!


Matt McCord, MD
Founder, Benesan.org


Disclaimer: I am not your doctor. We don’t have that kind of a relationship. The information shared here should not be viewed as medical advice. For that matter, no newsletter should ever be viewed as medical advice! 

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