Effects of Hyperglycemia and Effects of Ketosis on Cerebral Perfusion, Cerebral Water Distribution, and Cerebral Metabolism, Diabetes, July 2012
Low-carb diets, at least if the carbs are low enough, cause ketosis - elevated ketones in the blood. Long fasts cause ketosis. Insufficient insulin, commonly seen in type 1 diabetes, causes ketosis. Anything that depletes glycogen stores over an extended period of time causes ketosis.
This study found that ketosis:
- Changed water distribution in the brain, "indicating brain cell swelling."
- Reduced cerebral blood flow.
- Reduced levels of cerebral ATP, a high-energy compound used to propel metabolic reactions.
Atkins said the ketosis associated with his low-carb diet was "benign."