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Brain Energy

How is energy involved in the pathology of Parkinson's Disease?

Published on September 30, 2011 by Emily Deans, M.D. in Evolutionary Psychiatry

Your brain uses a ton of energy. It's a small organ, maybe 2-5% of your total body weight, but it uses up to 20% of the energy you use in your body. That means for every plate of food, 1/5 of it goes to feed your noggin.

I have a lot more details about brain energetics in a previous post, Your Brain on Ketones. If you don't have a minute to look at that article, the down low is that, for various reasons, a ketogenic diet (very low carb and high fat, or moderately low carb and high medium chain triglyceride, such as coconut oil), seems to allow our mitochondria (the cells' energy factories) to make energy more efficiently. This ability is less important in our muscles (unless you are an elite athlete), but in our brain, which uses a ton of energy and relies on energy-expensive ion gradients to function properly, efficiency is paramount. Never so much as when you are talking about a brain disorder, such as epilepsy, migraines, Alzheimer's, or, as in the case of the paper I'm referencing today, Parkinson's Disease.
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