Paleo f (x) Austin 2014

Ketogenic Diets for Traumatic Brain Injury: Keeping the Baby with the Bathwater

Speaker : Robb Wolf


  • A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a bump, impact or penetrating injury to the brain
  • Diffuse brain injuries have symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, etc
  • Long-term complications include:

o   Sleep disturbances

o   Cognitive impairment

o   Dementia

o   Mood alterations

o   Hormonal dysregulation

o   Insulin resistance


  • TBI results in the neurological tissue becoming highly insulin resistant
  • If we introduce ketones as an alternative fule source we can bypass it
  • Acute stage is within 24 hours of injury and we use sleep deprivation to mitigate long-term effects. Ketones are a major solution rather than glucose at this stage
  • Chronic stage – avoid sleep debt and manage sleep disturbances. Can use functional medicine for this
  • MCTs and ketone esters can help to produce ketones without being on the ketogenic diet
  • Significant inflammation in the brain causes insulin resistance
  • What would a post TBI regime look like?

For someone who is very active (for instance, service men and women) we would look at a macronutrient ratio of around 28% protein (higher than average because of activity), 9% carbohydrate and 63% fat

MCT oil, coconut oil and butter are excellent fat sources

Exercise would be weights and limited cardio

Results would be improved cognitive testing, memory and recall improvement

  • Neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s are similar to TBIs
  • Diet and lifestyle would prevent these but can also be used to mitigate symptoms
  • There should be no controversy about using the tools available to us


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