Eating only low-carb foods can have similar effect on brain


Even the Italians are giving up on pasta, mirroring a pattern seen in Britain, with the rise of ‘carbophobia’.

One in four Italians – 23 percent – say they are limiting the amount of spaghetti they eat for health reasons.

This matches the UK where carbohydrate consumption has been demonised because of an association with obesity.

A shift towards protein rich diets has seen sales of bread, pasta, potatoes and rice fall in Britain and other developed nations.

And even Italy, the home of spaghetti, fusilli, pappardelle, tagliatelle, linguine and ravioli, is seeing the carb backlash.

Figures from retail analysts Mintel show annual pasta sales in Italy peaked at just over 1 million tonnes in 2008 and have been falling ever since.

The figure was down to 908,100 tons in 2016 and is predicted to fall further to 842,500 tons by 2021.

BHB is almost identical to GHB, the naturally occurring neurotransmitter, called gamma-hydroxybutyrate, that in synthetic form is used as a recreational drug.

BHB and GHB have exactly the same chemical formula. Both consist of just 15 atoms, with the only difference being the position of one hydrogen and oxygen atom. It’s not too surprising, therefore, the two molecules share the same carrier across the blood-brain-barrier, the impermeable tissue that protects the brain.

During ketosis, BHB can reach high levels in the brain, where it can bind to the same anxiety-reducing receptors as GHB. They bind with sufficient affinity that they may have similar effects.

There are no reports of BHB supplements or low-carb diets causing any of GHB’s adverse effects, like loss of consciousness, seizures and death.

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