Concussions are a fairly common injury in the world of sports medicine. As hard as it might be to admit it, the CDC reported 1.7 million concussions within the U.S. population last year. Furthermore, this type of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is not exclusively seen in sports medicine. All the population can be exposed to this, and 90% of concussion patients have a resolution of symptoms after four weeks. Nevertheless, the remaining debilitating post-concussion symptoms can lead to neurodegenerative consequences later in life. Nowadays, integrating an anti-inflammatory nutritional approach after a concussion is integral to preventing post-concussion syndrome (PCS).
Indeed, the brain is a highly metabolic organ that requires an elevated and uninterrupted energy supply, usually glucose. After a concussion injury, the brain can be susceptible to diminished glucose uptake resulting in a bioenergetic deficit. Recently, research has shown that a ketogenic diet has potential therapeutic applications to reverse the energetic deficit.
In this one-arm study, post-concussion patients taking a very high fat-ketogenic diet reported improved visual memory and decreased concussion-related symptoms.
The researchers noted that a ketogenic diet could promote multiple benefits to PCS patients.
Ketone Diet Benefits:
The recovery of an injury is affected by the patient’s nutritional status. Indeed, there are specific nutrients in the particular case of a concussion:
The overall objective of using herbs and supplements to improve TBI and concussion secondary effects is to increase the body’s resilience. In addition, the recovery process will always be joined by a depletion of the vitamins and antioxidants pool, making us susceptible to other conditions. It is vital to support our patients with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and enough vitamins to accelerate this curing process. – Ana Paola Rodríguez Arciniega, MS
Ellis, E F et al. “Restoration of cerebrovascular responsiveness to hyperventilation by the oxygen radical scavenger n-acetylcysteine following experimental traumatic brain injury.” Journal of neurosurgery vol. 75,5 (1991): 774-9. doi:10.3171/jns.1991.75.5.0774
Moein, Payam et al. “The effect of Boswellia Serrata on neurorecovery following diffuse axonal injury.” Brain injury vol. 27,12 (2013): 1454-60. doi:10.3109/02699052.2013.825009
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