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Korean J Community Nutr. 2019 Dec;24(6):525-534. Korean. Original Article. https://doi.org/10.5720/kjcn.2019.24.6.525
Kim EJ , Park JS , Choi WS , Park YK .
Department of Medical Nutrition, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Korea, Student.
Maeil Dairies Co., Ltd., Seoul, Korea, Researcher.
MD wellI Inc, Seoul, Korea, Researcher.
Department of Medical Nutrition, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University, Yongin, Korea, Professor. ypark@khu.ac.kr
Abstract

Objectives

Reduced glucose utilization in the main parts of the brain involved in memory is a major cause of Alzheimer's disease, in which ketone bodies are used as the only and effective alternative energy source of glucose. This study examined the effects of a low-carbohydrate and high-fat (LCHF) diet supplemented with a ketogenic nutrition drink on cognitive function and physical activity in the elderly at high risk for dementia.

Methods

The participants of this study were 28 healthy elderly aged 60-91 years showing a high risk factor of dementia or whose Korean Mini-Mental State Examination (K-MMSE) score was less than 24 points. Over 3 weeks, the case group was given an LCHF diet with nutrition drinks consisting of a ketone/non-ketone ratio of 1.73:1, whereas the control group consumed well-balanced nutrition drinks while maintaining a normal diet. After 3 weeks, K-MMSE, body composition, urine ketone bodies, and physical ability were all evaluated.

Results

Urine ketone bodies of all case group subjects were positive, and K-MMSE score was significantly elevated in the case group only (p=0.021). Weight and BMI were elevated in the control group only (p<0.05). Grip strength was elevated in all subjects (p<0.01), and measurements of gait speed and one leg balance were improved only in the case group (p<0.05).

Conclusions

We suggest that adherence to the LCHF diet supplemented with a ketogenic drink could possibly influence cognitive and physical function in the elderly with a high risk factor for dementia. Further, we confirmed the applicability of this dietary intervention in the elderly based on its lack of any side effects or changes in nutritional status.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.