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Can Increasing the Energy in Your Brain Really Help You Heal?

Can Increasing the Energy in Your Brain Really Help You Heal?

Decades of research reveal that when you have an energy deficit in the brain, dysfunction and damage result. A newly published study from Stanford University demonstrates that even severe psychiatric disorders are tied to brain energy deficits. But you can turn your brain energy around on a dime by switching to superior, alternative energy sources – and that newfound energy can be sustaining. Get ready to power up.

Fuel: Glucose vs. Ketones
You know how it happens… We go along living our lives and aren’t aware of the drama going on every day in the cells of our brains – a war between two forms of energy vying to dominate. Remember the Little Engine That Could? Think of the steam engine that pulls that train. Should the stoker shovel wood and coal, or maybe bamboo or daffodils, into the fire to keep the train going?

Or what if he chose bread? Or cookies? (Sounds silly, I know, but stay with me…)

All of hese will burn, but which will create the greatest power for the steam engine to pull the train?

Just as the fuel he chooses to run the train matters, so does the fuel you choose to run your brain. Your brain uses an enormous amount of energy. And the way you stoke the fire that runs your brain – and your entire body – is by eating one type of food or another.

When you stoke your fire with high-carb and ultra-processed foods – like bread, starchy vegetables, pizza, and sweets – it burns fast, then the power drops to nothing after that initial burst. When that happens, the cells in your body and brain find themselves in trouble.

However, when you stoke your fire with nutrient-dense whole foods and healthy fats that provide ketones for your cells to use, your cells thrive. Memory cells remember better. Emotion cells function with more balanced emotion. Cells that have been firing randomly and sparking anger, rage, fear, or panic – or paranoia, migraines, or even seizures – stabilize, and you can feel calm. Life can get easy.

Long story short: Cells that run on ketones get what they need to function at their best.

Mitochondria Are the Key to Pretty Much Everything
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell, and they create every single ounce of energy we have. That energy is called ATP. And we have hundreds to thousands of mitochondria in each brain cell. Think about that for a second. Every time you make one good choice for them, the energy they produce is amplified thousands of times within and across millions of the cells in your brain and throughout your body.

Here’s the thing: Mitochondria run on either glucose or ketones. Those are the two fuel sources that stoke them. Glucose comes from sugars, carbs, and protein breakdown. Ketones come from fats and body fat breakdown – and your body produces them naturally from healthy fats you eat (and from your own body fat) when you keep sugars and carbs very low.

The brain prefers to use ketones for energy. That’s because mitochondria that run on ketones produce considerably more energy (much more ATP) than mitochondria that run on glucose. Period. Molecule for molecule. This is why ketones are more efficient than glucose as fuel for your cells.

Ketones produce more energy than glucose does for each brain cell and throughout your body. Multiply that by thousands or millions. And your brain energy gets better and better over days, weeks, and months. So, for the best possible energy, the deepest kind of energy healing, and the most robust brain health, we want to shift our bodies, our brains, and our mitochondria from using glucose for fuel to ketones.

Bottom line: Mitochondria create all the energy in your brain and throughout your body and are the absolute biological key to energy healing.

Enter an Ancient Healing Tool: Fasting
Fasting is a tool that’s been used for thousands of years to induce healing.

Fasting puts a cell under good stress and taps into the body’s innate ability to heal and repair itself, incorporating processes that remove old and defective parts of the cell and stimulating cellular repair and regeneration. These processes also clean out, remove, and repair defective mitochondria so they can be replaced.

Fasting ignites healing.

A diet that mimics fasting, such as a well-formulated, nutritional ketogenic diet, has the same effect as fasting. In psychiatry, we call it a fasting-mimicking diet. It changes your metabolism and dramatically reduces inflammation. How? Mitochondria, again, and a number of cascades related to their actions can turn inflammation on and off, so shifting your mitochondrial fuel can turn off unnecessary inflammatory processes – and prevent them from getting started in the first place.

When you’re in the fasting-mimicking state that ketogenic therapy creates, your body is doing its own repair and clearing out damaged cells. (We call that autophagy, and for mitochondria, mitophagy). It uses the energy you get from ketones to replace them with new ones, which can have profound healing potential.

Ketones you make, not buy. We harness your own body’s potential to do this. Every body has this potential, no matter how old, how bad, or how off it feels.

There are certain cells we would all like cleared out, including cancer cells, cells involved in autoimmune disorders, damaged cells that line blood vessels, cells, and byproducts that affect mood, cognition, well-being, and so on.

And get this: Extensive research on the brain in psychiatry and neurology, along with basic science, has helped to identify clear metabolic dysfunction in brain cells and cells throughout the body. That metabolic dysfunction is related to insulin resistance, inflammation, oxidative stress, and changes in neurotransmitter systems and networks. Even changes in the gut microbiome are communicated to the brain, which can dramatically improve brain energy.

It may be surprising to realize that these metabolic issues are present in people with major depression, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and even ADHD. And the great news is that ketogenic metabolic – or, more simply said, a therapeutic, personalized ketogenic diet – can improve or silence all of them!

So when you hear metabolic, don’t just think metabolism. Think mitochondria. Think ATP. Think real energy. Think healing.

We can walk that walk with you.

Nutritional Ketosis Can Fix Cells in Crisis
The beauty of ketogenic metabolic therapy is that it’s actually a holistic and deeply biologic strategy. Since ketones produce so much more ATP energy in mitochondria than glucose ever can, with this approach, your cells can have abundant energy. Hundred-milers use it, and they never “hit the wall” – seriously!

Your entire body is run by a steam engine – your brain. Not only your emotions and behavior but your organs, your muscles, everything. When the brain’s energy needs are met with abundance, you’re on fire (very cool), but you’re not firing off (in fact, you’re super cool). Your whole body benefits.

You, your brain, your mind, and your very self shine.

Food as Medicine
Ketogenic metabolic therapy uses food as medicine to support a fundamental metabolic shift from glucose to ketone bodies as the primary fuel source. By helping your body enter therapeutic nutritional ketosis, you can ignite the healing processes your mind and body need.

We show you how. Our approach is specifically designed to amplify your brain energy and decrease random firing that’s not needed. It includes a dietary therapy high in healthy whole foods and healthy fat, the right amount of protein for you, and low in carbohydrates. A diet like this can become a lifestyle you can take with you wherever you go, and it can include fish such as salmon and trout, scallops and shrimp, chicken, marbled beef, and lamb. And high health fat foods like avocados, sour cream, eggs, cheese, olive and coconut oils, butter, cream, and a wide variety of green leafy vegetables and others of all colors. Abundance galore – in the proper ratios.

We focus on can instead of can’t. We focus on the fact that fat is not a four-letter word when it’s on your plate.

Touchpoints 180™
Do you have the energy you want? Does your brain run things like it should? If you have brain fog, anxiety, low or bad moods, memory trouble…if you’ve gained weight or feel achy…think about how improving your brain energy could trigger healing – in your brain and throughout your body.

Join us in our Touchpoints 180™ program. We offer immersive, personalized treatment with our team – with guidance and a customized plan for you, taking into consideration your symptoms, medical conditions, likes, and lifestyle (and the challenges that come with all of that). We also offer walks and talks, ketosis monitoring, groups, lots of support, and even a fun book club. Therapeutic nutritional ketosis can bring healing to your mind and body – or to someone you care about.

Lori Calabrese, MD, is a Hopkins – and Harvard-trained psychiatrist specializing in nutritional and metabolic psychiatry. At her practice, Innovative Psychiatry in South Windsor, CT, she offers novel, advanced treatments for psychiatric conditions. Her Metabolic Psychiatry practice provides a comprehensive treatment path with ketogenic and low-carb interventions through Touchpoints 180™.

For more information, google Touchpoints 180 or visit us at: loricalabresemd.com. Call 860.648.9755 to get started. 1330 Sullivan Avenue, South Windsor, CT 06074.