Migraine Sufferers Should Try a Ketogenic Lifestytle

Healthy Living, Ketones & KetoOS, Uncategorizedon November 25, 2015Leave a Comment

Do you suffer from migraines? I have friends who had migraine issues that were helped by ketogenic lifestyle and low carb/high fat diet.
The science behind how and why ketones help migraines has been well documented – this article talks about how beta-hydroxybutyrate (the active ingredient in Keto-OS) helps mitigate glutamate excitotoxicity in the brain, which can contribute to migraine headaches.

Anyone with an impairment of brain or neurological function – whether mental illness, depression, seizures, brain cancer, headaches, neuropathy, brain infections, or any other neurological condition – should try a ketogenic diet to see if it improves the condition.

Ketogenic” means that the diet causes the liver to manufacture ketones. Ketones are small water-soluble compounds that are metabolized like fats. Unlike fats, they do not need carnitine transport to reach mitochondria. They can be used for energy by every mitochondria-containing human cell type. This makes them one of the most disease-resistant sources of dietary energy. There are few things that can go wrong with ketone metabolism.

Ketogenic diets have several major benefits for neurological conditions:

  • They relieve neuronal starvation from cognitive hypoglycemia of any cause.
  • They stimulate the innate immune response against intracellular pathogens, helping to heal brain infections.

Recent work has identified a third benefit from ketogenic diets: They eliminate an excess of glutamate. In a carbon isotope study, feeding the ketone beta-hydroxybutyrate in place of glucose caused less glutamate to be formed in the brain:

This is important because excessive brain glutamate is “excitotoxic” and kills neurons. Glutamate excitotoxicity causes damage in a host of conditions including

spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, alcoholism or alcohol withdrawal and Huntington’s disease. [2]

Other diseases in which damage from glutamate excitotoxicity is important include epilepsy, schizophrenia and various mood and anxiety disorders.

Migraines and Glutamate

My sister’s husband gets frequent migraines, so I keep an eye out for papers about migraines. A new paper in Nature Genetics finds that people with common migraine tend to have a mutation in a regulatory sequence for genes that control glutamate abundance. [3]

People with the mutation are prone to glutamate excitotoxicity:

[A] DNA variation found between the PGCP and MTDH/AEG-1 genes on chromosome 8 appears to be associated with increased susceptibility to common migraine. The variant appears to alter the activity of MTDH/AEG-1 in cells, which regulates the activity of the EAAT2 gene: the EAAT2 protein is responsible for clearing glutamate from brain synapses in the brain….

“Although we knew that the EAAT2 gene has a crucial role to play in neurological processes in human and potentially in the development of migraine, until now, no genetic link has been identified to suggest that glutamate accumulation in the brain could play a role in common migraine,” says co-senior author of the study Professor Christian Kubisch of University of Ulm, Germany (previously at the University of Cologne where he conducted his research for this study.) “This research opens the door for new studies to look in depth at the biology of the disease and how this alteration in particular may exert its effect.” [4]

If glutamate excitotoxicity causes migraines, then it’s likely that migraine sufferers would benefit from a ketogenic diet.

How Do You Eat a Ketogenic Diet?

The safest and healthiest way to eat a ketogenic diet is by:

  • Restricting carbohydrate consumption to 200 calories per day from “safe starches” like rice, taro, and sweet potatoes.  70 grams of cooked white rice, 150 grams of taro, and 300 grams of sweet potato are an appropriate daily ration.
  • Eating massive amounts of coconut oil. The short-chain fats in coconut oil are the most “ketogenic” of foods, i.e. the most readily turned into ketone bodies. 6 to 8 fluid ounces (12 to 14 tablespoons) per day of coconut oil is an appropriate daily ration.

Supplements with vitamin C and selenium should also be increased on a ketogenic diet.


Research on ketogenic diets as a therapy has focused on epilepsy for decades, with some recent interest in using these diets as a therapy for brain cancer. But really, they are likely to be helpful against nearly all brain and neurological conditions, and probably all solid tumor cancers and many infectious diseases as well.

Rather than waiting for the glacial progress of modern biomedical research, which needs decades to assemble sufficient evidence to get an application for funding for a clinical trial past skeptical reviewers, anyone with a brain or neurological condition should simply experiment with a ketogenic diet themselves to see if it helps. Odds are it will.


[1] Lund TM et al. Availability of neurotransmitter glutamate is diminished when beta-hydroxybutyrate replaces glucose in cultured neurons. J Neurochem. 2009 Jul;110(1):80-91. http://pmid.us/19457063.

[2] Wikipedia, “Excitotoxicity,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excitotoxicity.

[3] International Headache Genetics Consortium et al. Genome-wide association study of migraine implicates a common susceptibility variant on 8q22.1. Nat Genet. 2010 Aug 29. [Epub ahead of print]http://pmid.us/20802479.

4] “First Genetic Link to Common Migraine Exposed,” Physorg.com, Aug. 29, 2010,http://www.physorg.com/news202139760.html.

The Truth About Inflammation

Healthy Livingon November 11, 2015Leave a Comment

Inflammation diagram

Inflammation is the activation of the immune system in response to infection, irritation or injury. Characterized by an influx of white blood cells, redness, heat, swelling, pain and dysfunction of the organs involved, inflammation has a different names when when it appears in different parts of the body. Most allergy and asthma sufferers are familiar with rhinitis, sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses) and asthma (inflammation of the airways), but inflammation is also behind arthritis (inflammation of the joints), dermatitis (inflammation of the skin and so on.

However, inflammation often gets a bad wrap in the fitness world. Mainly because it is seen as the enemy because it is so closely associated with injuries and chronic pain. Not only that, inflammation can be traced back to just about every major health problem we have in medicine today.

So it’s no surprise that when people talk of inflammation that they immediately thing of it as the devil, but this really isn’t the case.

We need a healthy amount of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is an immune system response to tissue damage. Its purpose is to remove cellular debris from the site of damage and initiate repair.

If you’ve ever been injured, you obviously know that the injured area becomes stiff, and sore. This is the body’s way to limit range of motion in that area to keep you from further damaging it. The body essentially applies a “splint” so as to give it time to heal. And increased inflammation is a part of that healing process. So this is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s important not to upset this process by the body so that it can do the job properly.

For example, there is a big debate about the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) method that has been around in sports therapy for a long time because there have been a tremendous amount of studies that show that icing an area post injury actually can make it so that it takes the healing process longer to take place. Ice constricts blood flow, and slows down inflammation response. One of the things we tend to do is often believe that we know better than our own body does. So we somehow end up introducing methods that, while look good on paper, aren’t really ideal for what we are trying to accomplish. In the case of an injury, we need for inflammation to do its job to help heal that area, work on making the area mobile again, increasing blood flow to the area, and then the healing process is sped up.

So inflammation is not the devil, and has a lot of positive benefits that we need in regards to tissue or injury repair. The issue with inflammation is not allowing it to become chronic. This is where inflammation starts creating problems in our lives.

When you exercise, and there is micro trauma at the cellular level, and what we call muscular damage. When this occurs there is a repair process that does involve an inflammatory response and it has a purpose as well. In fact, a very positive one. It helps to promote healing and is a part of making your muscles larger, stronger, and more prepared for future training sessions. In fact, this mild form of inflammation, which a lot of us feel as post exercise soreness is a component that helps to reduce more soreness from future training sessions. Most of us understand this process. It’s a part of the adaptation principle to stresses or demands on the body. So the healthy inflammation response in this regard is something we need in order to get stronger, faster, and more prepared for future training sessions.


This is a good thing, chronic inflammation is something totally different.

More chronic inflammation can occur when there is either too much damage done at the cellular level, or because of repetitive stress in a particular joint or soft tissue. For example, when you read too many motivation memes on Instagram or take way too scoops of pre-workout and go crazy in the gym and do four times as much work as you usually do and can’t walk right for days and days after.

If muscle soreness is too great, it can seriously compromise performance. In fact in one study of runners who experienced severe delayed onset muscle soreness their running economy was reduced by as much as three percent. Which doesn’t seem like a lot on the surface, but when you understand that over the entire lifetime of a runners career their economy is only reduced on average by about 10 percent, that’s a significant amount.

So a small degree of soreness isn’t much to worry about, and is part of the normal adaptation to a new stress on the body. But a significant degree of soreness that changes movement patterns means that now the joints will end up moving in ways to protect the injured area and in fact create an environment for more injuries or problems. So what is the best way to supplement and combat it? Something that has been studied and around for ages but more recently has hit the market in the first exogenous and consumable form, the BHB compound. It is now being delivered in a drink called Keto-OS

No Weigh November!

Healthy Living, wellness workshopson November 4, 2015Leave a Comment

12187760_10153128807302805_4034197548319627874_nWho’s in? “NO-weigh November”! Often, too much time is spent obsessed with the scale. Let’s focus on a healthy lifestyle and not a number. Focusing solely on the scale can create an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise. I want lasting results by changing my lifestyle, and I really feel like kicking the scale habit for the month of November! Measure your energy levels, quality of sleep, body composition (stomach, things, hips, arms…)

So, what we all should do it buy a tight Tshirt or a tight pair of pants. Eat better this month, fewer carbs, more healthy fats and exercise a little more…… at the end of the month, we will try back on our tight Tshirt or jeans and check out of progress:)
Measurements Sheet