Maybe it's because Eric got a concussion a few weeks ago in a car accident, but he has been on a bit of a brain kick. Specifically, he has been studying (and experiencing) the effects of ketosis on brain injuries. In this episode, he shares his findings and the guys discuss the everyday benefits of a ketogenic lifestyle on brain function and cognitive ability. No injury required.
Fun fact: how much does the human brain weigh?
The first thing Eric thought of after smashing his head into a windshield. (Definitely only something he would think)
What role does beta play in brain recovery?
This is your brain. This is your brain on free radicals...
How do ketones interact with the brain in everyday life?
What's the deal with the blood-brain barrier?
Past findings from 40-day fasts.
Does a higher beta count correlate to more brain cognitive?
And what fasting can do to jumpstart the brain.
Whether your brain is healthy, concussed, or somewhere in between more ketones are the key!
Eric: 00:00 Yeah, I don't know if they're expecting too much. Our expectations have done a lot. That wasn't much. I want to be floating around
Chad: 00:00 It's not a lsd trip friends
Eric: 00:09 I want to create a new business overnight. What the heck?
Chad: 00:14 They say a journey begins in a single step or in my case. One less piece of bread.
Chad: 00:23 My name is Chad and I am your test subject. I have sought out an expert in the field of nutrition and fitness. I hoped would help me feel better. They call him the biohacker, but I call him parents. I hope you'll join me on a path that leads you and I to optimal fitness as we live our lives in ketosis. This is the life in Ketosis podcast, biohackers guide to optimal body performance.
Chad: 00:56 Hello everyone. My name is Chad and this is my quest to achieving optimal body performance with the man that can get me there. The biohacker himself. Mr Eric Bischof every episode. Eric gives us his crazy intense. I eat the same exact thing every single day just to make sure my macros are perfect, science-y knowledge and I break it down with my regular non crazy guy. Take as we explore the principles of [inaudible] and [inaudible] performance training, whether you're just looking for a way to feel better or if you're an elite athlete looking for that edge. We're here to help. Welcome to the life in Ketosis podcast and today we're talking about the brain. That's a big subject when we talk about ketosis.
Eric: 01:41 Three pounds subjects, right? When you put it in that terms, it doesn't sound that big when you 850 pounds, three pounds of the brain, the human brain, three pounds but average brain but isn't the whole head together. Seven pounds of brain and that's it sucks in 20 percent of your glucose. The energy source, and again, it also takes in about 20 percent at rest of your oxygen consumption. So it's. It's a big feeder.
Chad: 02:16 Yeah, we have. We have talked extensively about the heart in this podcast. I'm. We haven't really dove specifically into the brain. I mean, obviously it comes into conversation here and there, but this was sparked by a little, um, experience where you got to kind of feel the effects of a foggy brain.
Eric: 02:37 Yeah. I head injury really did, was really surprised. Yeah. I thought I had a hard head. I guess I, I've been, I think just as we talked about last, uh, another podcast, I, it, it really humbled me to utilize it, you know, we all think we're immune to this kind of stuff. I took a good hair, good concussion, and I still have some of the, the consequence from that.
Chad: 03:07 Well, nobody's head is hard, Eric, compared to a windshield at 25 miles 35 miles per hour.
Eric: 03:07 That's true.
Chad: 03:15 But I'm, I'm grateful. Grateful it happened, but it's cool because, I mean instantly we saw I was over here a couple days later. Instantly I saw your book, your pile of books change and uh, it went from, it started to change with talking about ketosis and head injury and the studies on your desk where we're reflecting that and stuff.
Chad: 03:38 So you'll have really dove into this, to this topic of, of ketogenic and ketones on the brain and um, and, and specifically head injury. So yeah, I'm ex. I'm excited to see what you've uncovered over the last few weeks.
Eric: 03:52 Has been a fan of the previous podcast at the Beta hydroxybutyrate molecule to the brain of course has been a huge fan and that's reason why I'm Beta OK is because what it does for the mitochondrial level. OK. And performance and everything else. But what was it, what's interesting in. And I knew as soon as I got hit in the head, I came out of the car, I saw it was foggy and I, I know I was foggy. I was stumbling. I was trying to really work on my composure. Like I'm OK, I'm OK, you know, I didn't want the ambulance take me to the hospital, but I knew then even it was really trying as much as I was helping with the accident.
Eric: 04:34 I just honestly, I keep thinking, I'm so glad I have Beta hydroxy butyrate going to the head because I've always studied and traumatic brain injury. If you already have that energy substrate Beta that's already been provided to the neurons and the astrocytes and the cells are so far ahead of the game because brain injury is an energy substrate issue because your uptake of glucose is going to be limited inflammation. A, the blood-brain barrier is going to have issues because it's trauma. OK? You could have pathogens in front of your peripheral tissue, [inaudible] member. Now we have the blood-brain barrier. We've got to protect, but in an injury you can break down that barrier, so anything's open to come into the brain. You gotta be really careful, but I knew that. I thought, oh my gosh, I've got Beta. I'm ahead of this. So actually fine. OK, great. In brain traumatic injury that will give him, they'll get lactate to try to get energy to the astrocytes to push into the neuron. So you're keeping yourself alive because I think, oh my gosh, bashing my head. I'm probably brain neurons. I'm old. I can't afford to lose any more than I have, but it was interesting how, how the Beta was there.
Chad: 05:50 It's interesting to how head injury can kind of be. You and I were talking about before we hit record was just a head injury, kind of a magnification of some of the things that we deal with even outside of his head injury, right? When we talk about the blood-brain barrier and stuff like that. So we're going to dive into that, which I think is fascinating and shows a little bit how people react differently to Beta in the brain and that kind of stuff. But let's, um, let's talk about first off recovery. So because that's kind of what's bringing up all of this, um, talk a little bit about what role ketones play or Beta hydroxy butyrate and plays in brain recovery.
Eric: 06:30 It's a huge role. I mean, that's, that's what it's all about because remember, you can have a neuro generative diseases, Dj, genotype, digitization. You could have a neural, um, uh, inflammation. OK. You can have a structure that's going to cause an issue with inflammation. So getting a direct hit, of course it's going to cause inflammation right away. So we remember what that oxygen that I take in are you taking everyone takes him like 20 percent of your consumption is a lot of oxygen going to the brain. So when we remember we talked about the brain being 50 percent fat, correct? OK? So you have a lot of fatty acids in the cellular membranes and the astrocytes in the Mitochondria. So what happens? Lipids can oxidize. And so you would think the brain has a really built in antioxidant defense system like your mitochondria in your heart, your tissues and everywhere else.
Eric: 07:32 But it doesn't. You would think it's so important, so powerful that it had the best anti endogenous OK inside to protect your brain, OK? Uh, you know, against free radicals. But guess what? It really is weak on its own antioxidant defense system. So anytime you're bringing in more oxygen, like the brains of Hog, you can create more free radicals. You damage this, OK? The neurons, astrocytes, the sales, you're free. Radical damage is really going to increase. Your inflammation is going to increase your reactive oxygen species is going to increase things we've talked about over and over again, so the the goal is to say, hey, how can I reduce this? The ketones that most people don't have is the substrate that actually is gonna counter that. Right, and that's what's exciting about it because as we know, it goes into the Mitochondria and your neurons got Mitochondria.
Eric: 08:33 Is that move, that stay stationary or astrocytes? Everything is is producing atp to for neuron firing, transmission synaptic activity. So what's so cool about ketones is it's an energy because as soon as you get hurt, that glucose uptake is diminished. To what degree? It depends on your injury or depends on on your brain, but that glucose uptake is what's going to hinder you. That's what's going to slow you down, your cognitive, your foggy. I felt it, but I, I, I swear to you, I'd said, Oh, you know what I am. I hope I have a lot of ketones. And so when I rushed home, I didn't rush home. I finally got home. The first place I went t c, I'm raising my ketones because remember what's cool about nct oil. It bypasses, we call the carnitine shuttle, OK? In the mitochondria, fatty acids need carnitine, shuttle MC, a smaller a carbon chain, so it bypasses that.
Eric: 09:35 So the speed of mct to get to my brain is very fast, so I was pumping mc oil does a lot to the point where I was excruciating. Some of. Sorry about that, but hey, I had overdosed. Mc t's, it's not going to store because you can't store that as a fatty acid. It just going to enhance my plasma concentration of ketones, which the brain says I need it. I'm going to take it. Which are those? Are those key tones? Are they protecting the free radicals or are they regenerate? Do they actually regenerate? OK, so anytime you have cellular respiration, we would call it oxidative phosphorylation. You're creating energy in the electric transport chain. You're moving those electrons down. Elect transport chain, you're going to create free radicals. OK? Everybody does right at complex one, we created what we call super oxide. OK? Even at three is a secondary complex.
Eric: 10:37 Three's a secondary, a superoxide that's a free radical that turns into hydrogen peroxide. Then if you got iron attached to it, it turns into a hydroxyl. I'm a free radical, which is bad. So when you, when you're in Ketosis, the Beta hydroxy [inaudible] will protect you by less free radicals. Moving down the electric transport chain, you're not getting the leakage, you're getting more ATP, so less reactive oxygen species. It's, it's number one. That's what's so exciting about it because everything comes from free. Radical damage gives you that dysfunctional Mitochondria. OK? Your, your ATP can back up. The electrons back up. They leak out. So we're really big on free. Radical damage in and what's needed is they're getting better. And there are studies about the mechanisms that's behind all this therapeutic, OK? When we talk about your big, about causal, but we need to discover what the mechanisms are behind us. So they're discovering all the time, you know, what the mechanisms are behind why ketones are show therapeutic.
Chad: 11:41 That's so interesting. So as we talk about this, we started the podcast talking about head injury, which is interesting, but, but I, I'm willing to bet the majority of our audience isn't dealing with a head injury right now. So how do we cross this over into daily life? Like what does this mean for you and I as we go day to day, um, it's, I mean ketones are still doing the same thing that they do when you're experienced a head injury. It's just having a different effect on us because we're not dealing with that head injury. So what's, what do we need to know about the way that ketones are interacting with our brain? And then we can, once we talk about that, we can move into where the differences come from, right? Because we're all going to experience different things.
Eric: 12:27 That's taken me down a study about a month or two ago because you know, I'm coaching a lot of bio fitters and we're having such a discrepancy in ketones production and I've tweaked their nutrients. I tweet years, I tweak a lot to say, OK, try this, try this. Just say, why are we at a point [inaudible], why don't we appoint a. Why are we at four point two? Why are we getting these different plasma concentrations of ketones? So what I mean delving into the last few months to the blood-brain barrier. So in the brain, as we know, we said a thousand times the fatty acids that you produce out of your adipose tissue, muscles love at the heart, loves it. Your other tissues let by the brain can't take it. You cross the blood-brain barrier because it's the blood-brain barrier. Likes what? Take a hydrophilic, OK, which is water-soluble, OK? And it's very semi permeable.
Eric: 13:25 So not much anything can really pass through the blood brain barrier, very protective pathogens and even drugs and pharmaceuticals are constantly trying to figure out how to get a therapeutic drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier to be effective for diseases. But the bulb and parents really tough to pass. All these drugs aren't effective and they're getting into Nano particles now, which is, I'm not going to be a fan of because they're in the drug industry, didn't have a whole new field. OK? But to get back that blood-brain barrier, we need to know how it gets past the blood-brain barrier. Because remember when that blood's going through your capillaries and everybody's like, where's the blood-brain barrier? Could be at the neck, the already coming out. If you've got those two coming out to the wall, the wall. Where's this? Where's that bridge? I got cross?
Chad: 14:15 Trump is on our nation's blood in
Eric: 14:19 the capillaries, in the vessels. OK? So you're in this three little cells that are in the aluminum oxide. Now where the blood's flowing through, there's ad bloom on the other side, OK? This house, the blood way, Brighton's right there, OK? All throughout. And there's some areas in the brain that don't have a blood-brain barrier, but I won't go into that. But everything is there to protect anything to cross into the brain. That's how protective is. Your central nervous system is protecting you. So my question is, why aren't we getting ketones? If you're got a lot of ketones in, why aren't you utilizing them mostly in your brain? Because your muscles love it too. But your brain will take it because you remember your glucose down, your insulin's down, so your brain's not getting a lot of glucose. You remember when you're in a fasting state, 70 percent of your ketones will be utilized in the brain.
Eric: 15:06 The brain loves it. I mean, that's that one study that they finally, you think about, this owns it. At 1967, they did a 40 day fast for three obese individuals. Think about trying to pull that off. Nowadays, you never could do it. It'd be home, you know, abuse, they'd call it. But they actually, that's what showed them there some other fuel going to the brain besides glucose. Why aren't these people dying? Why are they, they feel good, why is there a glucose? Everything's working. And they were like, what is it? And they finally determined that it's ketones. OK? So you think about ketones, you can live. I'm in. I mean you can go 60, 70 days on, on, on Ketosis if you're in a starvation diet. But if you were to live on just protein, because we always talk about how protein breaks down to provide your glucose.
Eric: 15:59 Ten days, if you didn't have anything else, you would live 10 days, cause I'd only give you 30 grams a day. Remember your, your brain wants about a hundred and 20 to a hundred 50 grams a day of glucose if not that your ketones, but daily you can produce a hundred and 50 grams of ketones a day for your brain. So here we go. We've got the blood-brain barrier. We've got to work out what's the transporters taking the ketones when I know I'm getting a little long here, but we're down to what we call the set one, set two. These are the transporters that are there saying, OK, I'm going to let this Beta hydroxy Beta molecule into the brain to the cell to be effective. I think it's there that why some people are very efficient in their MC transporters for the ketones and some people aren't and they did a test.
Eric: 16:50 I read a study that said if you're fasting like three or four days, you have about an eight fold increase in the blood-brain barrier of MCT. Those are the transporters. If you go longer fast, you get a 13 fold increase that's really kicking it up. But so what if we just say, OK, let's add exogenous ketones on top of that. OK. Instead, doesn't change terminus. It's the actual time that your ketones have been in the plasma for a period of time to adapt those it transporters get better adapt. So there's, that's part of the, the, the rabbit hole. I'm going to say, hey, some people are just going to adapt slower and sometimes it's not going to two years. So I never have high ketones. I can't get above one, one point. Oh. So I really think is adaptation of blood-brain barrier. Can cities,
Chad: 17:44 can you share some examples of maybe two, two different coaching, right? Coaching right now that, yeah, that are experiencing different cognitive, cognitive, um, side effects or I don't know what's the, what's the best side effects is. That's the best term.
Eric: 18:00 A bad side effect is an effect. Do you like that effect has such a negative connotation. Side effect.
Eric: 18:12 She's in Qatar, Qatar, she runs high. She'll wake up to three point three to four, and then during the day she'll drop. Sometimes she has really high production of Ketones, so I have to say, where's the utilization? OK, it's what's going on. So she really, her and somebody from St George sent me down the path to figuring out, well, who do we have any dietary fatty acids that are coming in competing against the ketone endogenous that you're producing? So are those going to the mitochondria, the fatty acids and leaving the ketones in the blood and the plasma is. The brain's not taking them all in the MCT transporters one and two aren't adapted fully yet. So I always ask the questions, Chad, is if you're at 4.1 or threes, how's your brain cognitive? How do you feel? How is your energy level in the brain? How's your other energy level?
Eric: 19:13 How's your appetite? So I asked those questions because you told me you were high at a few times a year. You couldn't even sleep because you're. The brain is just chatting. It's gone. I know you're active. It's like taking super caffeine at night or something. So those, and then I have somebody who's really low continuously, like point five, like myself, point eight, point six, point whatever, and they feel fantastic. OK, so I have to say your brain is the biggest use of your ketones. It's the [inaudible] that blood brain barrier, the transporters, and they're taking it in and so it's being utilized.
Chad: 19:53 So let me make sure I understand what, what, what we're saying here is that the minimal or millimole a measurement that you come in with your ketones when you test isn't necessarily correlated to the amount of cognitive benefit you will receive from your ketones or the Ketogenic Diet.
Eric: 20:12 That's what I'm discovering more about the delivery system and its efficiency. The studies say, Hey, if you're fasting, you can get up to nine millimole. I've never seen anybody and I have people five day, six day fat. Even myself, I've seen six point one. Then they say, if you go up what a one ml milimole to two millimolar three, you're, you're, you're changing your intake into the brain. Your cognitive is going to increase by 20 something percent. That's not necessary because I seen pitfalls, but with the high millimole that aren't having brain cognitive, and I'm saying, wait a minute, there's something missing here, so we got to get to the blood-brain barrier and get to the the, the transporters. Now you've got your astrocytes member, you're astrocytes in the brain. Those are nine to one ratio to your brain neurons. OK, so you'd say what astrocytes, what they like to do it for Glucose, glucose likes to go into the astrocyte, produce lactate, and what's kind of cool? We'll go right into the neuron to fire the Mitochondria. You got to take the glucose to pyruvate lactate to ATP. To do that, your neurons are getting straight lactate, nine to one ratio to neuron. So I'm like, all right, I'm on that rabbit. That's where I was going to go next as you probably have more questions than answers, but if I could get that Mitochondria in your brain functioning properly because the energy substrate that's going to a glucose uptake. Alzheimer, Parkinson Dementia.
Eric: 22:06 So I've got to figure out what's the best way to produce that in your Mitochondria, in your brain. For you, and that's what I'm learning. I'm trying, I'm really trying to go down
Chad: 22:20 As your coaching someone, they're testing in ketosis but are not experiencing the cognitive that they hoped they would. But let's talk about that because I'm sure we have some listeners that are going, what are you guys talking about? I've been doing this thing for this long
Eric: 22:20 How long did it take you, it's equivalent to the runner's high almost.
Chad: 22:20 Which I've never had by the way
Eric: 22:20 You've never had it?
Chad: 22:20 No and I've done large bouts of running in my life
Eric: 22:50 I've had it twice and I'm an avid. I wish I could say, hey guys, I get it all the time and I was checking, did somebody slip me something? it was that euphoric. I start on Monday and Saturday and then Sunday I was on cloud nine.
Eric: 23:21 Its always talked about right?The cognitive question, so what i do tell us a good new business in a good way is OK, I'm going to fast you. OK? Because if I get you three days to a five day fast, you're going to experience that. And then it's something you can relate to. OK? If you do your fast, right, OK. And I've done it the fourth and fifth day. We're just euphoric. OK. And, and I, and I'm trying to get people and some people would just get it quickly and. But it just takes time six months and they finally got hit with it, you know, like, oh, it's gotta be the MCT, the transporters, the way the plasma concentration is in your brain. It's got to be. That's part of the puzzle.
Chad: 24:22 Well, maybe we're doing people somewhat of a disservice by calling it cloud nine and, and you know, euphoria and stuff like that, you know, it's there, there might be a better language we use around that because it's not, it's just, it's just when you, you know, that afternoon when you realized, oh my gosh, I didn't get my low.
Eric: 24:42 Yep. Right. And I guess that for me is a really big and nobody knows. But anyway, he, he adderall is a big thing. Obviously our society and our college students are just pushed so hard. It's adderall crazy. OK. And I had a client that was on adderall and stay focus. There's, it doesn't get, doesn't raise your Iq whatsoever. All it does is just keep you focused because it gives you energy. It's amphetamine. So they got off off of it because ketosis started taking over when they actually felt the Beta hydroxy on the cognitive. It was close to what they felt when they're on adderall. They could stay focused on a subject that could go wrong. They're not craving anything, you know, cause the people on and they don't even need to eat or anything because they just stay locked in and it's addictive in that way because they're not going to cram for finals. And I have a daughter in college and, and kids, it's just everyone takes adderall, you know, and they're selling their prescription drugs. A lot of people and it's, it's huge. And people trying to, you know, I hate to say it's the stress of whatever they're seeking to stay up with whomever or whatever is causing it. So she gave a good example that it was comparable to that, which is a good thing because if you're an adderall taker, a stimulant taker, I would love to change that with the Beta hydroxybutyrate molecules.
Chad: 26:20 Yeah. Really, that's, that's impressive. Yeah. Maybe the people who don't experience it, we're already a level up on us cognitively, you know, we were all, we were all down on this level and we came up to there through, through ketosis and we're like, wow, this is amazing. And they're like, we don't know what you're talking about.
Eric: 26:40 My wife will say, are you ever going to come up for air because I'm in a big study or whatever because I spent hours studying and I'd be like, Whoa, wow. Been how long you been doing this? And I'll check my beta. OK. Like, ah, I must be flying point four, point five. I'm like, wait a man, something's, it's working, but it's not, you know, like one point, two point, oh there's maybe not even correlation, not causation. And there are studies that show, hey, if you're this your brains, you know, you got to raise your, your plasma concentration of ketones in the brain to hit this point. But I'm seeing different with, you know, and I've got a lot of clients and I'm picking through them and just trying to, trying to wait it out. They don't know that they're part of a big study. Yeah, they're not, they're not my rabbits. No,
Chad: 27:35 this has been awesome. And learning from them. Anything else you want to make sure our audience walks away with from this podcast?
Eric: 27:41 Well, there's so much to go into in the brain. I mean, I, I'm tapping into it, I'm getting deeper into it and I hope, you know, in my studies, you know, for those out there, maybe I can, you know, bring some knowledge to you to help because I know it's frustrating and I get a lot of frustration from those that are, you know, going into ketosis expectations might be a little high, but I'm working on it, trying to figure out all the answers, but you know, just like everything else, we're trying to figure out the mechanisms behind it and we'll keep striving. The smarter we get, maybe we can bring more of it to. Yeah. Yeah, because I think, I think he tells you it's going to be around a long time. I really do.
Chad: 28:22 Absolutely. What we want to thank you for bio hacking with us today, Eric, and I want to I want to thank you for joining us on this quest for optimal fitness. If you're ready to begin your own journey and live your life in Ketosis, be sure to check out biofitcoaching.com, or BioFit Coaching on facebook, and if this podcast has helped you or entertain you in any way, we really encourage you to consider going to itunes, leaving us a five star rating and a review. We're getting tons of reviews and ratings and it's awesome to see people speak up about what they have gotten out of this podcast. So thank you guys so, so much for doing that. And finally, if this has, and finally, if this podcast has helped you, the greatest compliment that you can give us is sharing it with your friends and family, the ones who need it the most so much. And until next time, stay keto!