What is BDNF? It’s like fertilizer for the brain.

Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor. Sounds like something that’s
super complicated and sciencey to the point where you probably
want to turn of this video. But I’m going to bring it back to Earth, and I’m going to make it simple. So first up, brain derived
neurotrophic factor is literally like our brain’s fertilizer. It’s a specific gene that
relates with a specific protein that grows new neurons and grows new synapses within our brain. So it’s a very important thing. And it’s just recently been discovered. But the reality is BDNF is sort of the epicenter for growth and development within the adult brain and a child brain. I’m Thomas DeLauer with Keto-Mojo and we’re going to break
down how the ketogenic diet actually has an effect
on this brain fertilizer. You see, the role of BDNF isn’t just to grow new neurons or
just to grow new synapses, it also has a role when it comes down to just protecting our existing synapses and protecting our existing neurons. So it’s a protective and growth mechanism. The reality is, we need it for survival. And it’s usually an adaptation
to some form of stress. So the reality is, whenever we’re fasting, or whenever we’re exercising,
or anything like that, where we’re putting our body or our brains under significant stress,
BDNF upregulates as a result. So basically, because our
brains get exposed to stress, the body senses that and says we need more BDNF to allow this brain to be able to adapt to this. So it’s literally a growth
factor because of that. When you start looking at the science, you realize that fasting
causes the same effect. When they body and the
brain are under stress, because there’s no food coming in, suddenly BDNF goes up. So we start wondering, well is it simply because we’re starving? Is simply because we’re under
stress that BDNF goes up? Or is there actually a physiological sort of chemical relationship with the ketones that are produced when we’re fasting. So studies actually started looking at the result of specific neurons from the hippocampus portion of the brain and how they relate to
the ketones, specifically. And what was really interesting was that when these cells or these
neurons were exposed to ketones, they ended up having the
upregulation of BDNF. So we could potentially have
a two fold situation going on, where we have the stress from fasting, or the stress from ketosis,
or the stress from working out causing an influx of BDNF, but we also have the increase of ketones actually having an effect, too. What’s possibly going on, and this is somewhat of just a hypothesis, is that the neurons are starting to get adapted to using the ketones. So in the beginning phase, when the brain is
recognizing glucose at first and has to suddenly start
seeing ketones come in, it gets a little bit confused, a little bit stressed out. So it forms some resistance. So have been found in the studies, in the first six hours of these neurons being exposed to ketones, there’s an upregulation of
reactive oxygen species. More specific, oxidative stressors. So it’s probably a result of these neurons just getting adapted to using ketones. But then after six hours, it found that reactive oxygen
species levels went down, but mitochondrial respiration increased. So what that means is
that the mitochondria, the cell, the neurons,
they all got more efficient after being exposed to the stress from the influx of
ketones in the beginning. So what I mean by this is, exposing the brain to ketones, through the ketogenic diet
or through periods of fasting actually triggers an initial
influx of stress on the brain that forces the brain to adapt and get larger and smarter and more developed. So we can actually, literally say that ketones in the blood
and ketones in the body can help us produce more BDNF. So if we have more
mitochondrial respiration, the brain can fire faster. It can recognize things faster. You can memorize things faster. And all in all, it’s just
a great scenario to be in. So you want to make sure that you’re always having your
ketones in the prime position. You want to make sure that
you’re getting them elevated up over at least 1.5
millimoles to have this effect. And this is going to allow your brain to constantly be exposed
to just enough ketones to trigger just enough
of the chain reaction with reactive oxygen species,
followed by the adaptation. So if you want to test your ketones and make sure that you’re
right in the optimal state, you’re going to want to
use the gold standard when it comes to meters, and that’s the Keto-Mojo meter. So this way you can check
not only your glucose levels, but your ketone levels, too, and see that you are
right where you need to be to get those optimal levels of BDNF. I’m Thomas Delauer with Keto-Mojo and I’ll see you in the next video.

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