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Benefits of Keto: Glucose VS Ketones in the Brain

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  Published on April 30th, 2020
  Reading time: 2 minutes
  Last modified April 19th, 2021

ShareTweetSaveEmailBenefits of Keto Many people find keto for weight loss but stick to the diet because of its numerous cognitive benefits. The human brain thrives on ketones, which is why so many ketogenic dieters report increased focus and mental clarity.  One of the simplest ways to look at the cognitive benefits of keto over a traditional diet is to compare glucose versus ketone metabolism and uptake in the brain.   Glucose Metabolism (Glycolysis) Dietary glucose is obtained through the digestion of carbohydrates in the stomach and through digestion in the small intestine by gastric and pancreatic enzymes. Glucose is further broken down through the process of glycolysis. Through a series of steps, glucose is broken down into pyruvate and acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA enters the TCA cycle (tricarboxylic acid cycle), which is also known as the citric acid cycle (CAC) or Krebs cycle. For every one glucose molecule that undergoes glycolysis, there is a net gain of 2 ATP molecules, 2 NADH molecules, and 2 pyruvate molecules (technically 4 ATP are produced, but 2 are used). Glucose…

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