The brain is composed of a network of neurons that transmit signals by propagating nerve impulses. The propagation of this impulse from one neuron to another is typically controlled by neurotransmitters, though there are also electrical pathways between some neurons. Neurotransmitters can inhibit impulse firing (primarily done by γ-aminobutyric acid, or GABA) or they can excite the neuron into firing (primarily done by glutamate). A neuron that releases inhibitory neurotransmitters from its terminals is called an inhibitory neuron, while one that releases excitatory neurotransmitters is an excitatory neuron. When the normal balance between inhibition and excitation is significantly disrupted in all or part of the brain, a seizure can occur. The GABA system is an important target for anticonvulsant drugs, since seizures may be discouraged by increasing GABA synthesis, decreasing its breakdown, or enhancing its effect on neurons.[7]

More definitive evidence that metabolic syndrome per se predisposes to coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease has been reported. Thus a twofold to fourfold increase in subsequent cardiovascular events has been described in men and women with metabolic syndrome (modified WHO criteria) even in the absence of type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance.234-236 Qualitatively, similar results have been obtained when metabolic syndrome was defined by ATP III criteria237,238 (Fig. 43-9). In a compilation of multiple studies, the presence of metabolic syndrome had a greater impact on the risk for developing diabetes (fivefold) than ASCVD (twofold).22,182,199 In addition, where studied, the rate of cardiovascular events was higher in patients who had diabetes and metabolic syndrome than in individuals with only metabolic syndrome.22,239


On the ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are restricted and so cannot provide for all the metabolic needs of the body. Instead, fatty acids are used as the major source of fuel. These are used through fatty-acid oxidation in the cell's mitochondria (the energy-producing parts of the cell). Humans can convert some amino acids into glucose by a process called gluconeogenesis, but cannot do this by using fatty acids.[57] Since amino acids are needed to make proteins, which are essential for growth and repair of body tissues, these cannot be used only to produce glucose. This could pose a problem for the brain, since it is normally fuelled solely by glucose, and most fatty acids do not cross the blood–brain barrier. However, the liver can use long-chain fatty acids to synthesise the three ketone bodies β-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate and acetone. These ketone bodies enter the brain and partially substitute for blood glucose as a source of energy.[56]

Broyles, S., Katzmarzyk, P. T., Srinivasan, S. R., Chen, W., Bouchard, C., Freedman, D. S., & Berenson, G. S. (2010, May). The pediatric obesity epidemic continues unabated in Bogalusa, Louisiana. Pediatrics, 125(5). Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/125/5/900?sso=1&sso_redirect_count=1&nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token
Why is the keto diet good for you? A keto diet is one that prioritizes fats and proteins over carbohydrates. It can help reduce body weight, acne, and the risk of cancer. Find out about the mechanisms through which it achieves these benefits and the research that supports it. This MNT Knowledge Center article also discusses the risks of the diet. Read now
Although metabolic syndrome is a serious condition, you can reduce your risks significantly by reducing your weight; increasing your physical activity; eating a heart-healthy diet that's rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fish; and working with your healthcare provider to monitor and manage blood glucose, blood cholesterol, and blood pressure.
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