Effects of Low-carbohydrate and High-fat Diet Supplemented with Ketogenic Drink on Cognitive Function and Physical Performance in the Elderly at High Risk for Dementia

케톤음료를 보충한 저탄수화물·고지방식이 섭취가 치매고위험 노인의 인지기능 및 신체활동 능력 변화에 미치는 영향

  • Kim, Eun-Ji (Dept. of Medical Nutrition, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Park, Jung-Sik (Maeil Dairies Co., Ltd.) ;
  • Choi, Won-Sun (MD wellI Inc) ;
  • Park, Yoo Kyoung (Dept. of Medical Nutrition, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University)
  • 김은지 (경희대학교 동서의학대학원 의학영양학과) ;
  • 박정식 (매일유업(주) 중앙연구소) ;
  • 최원선 ((주)엠디웰 아이엔씨) ;
  • 박유경 (경희대학교 동서의학대학원 의학영양학과)
  • Received : 2019.11.06
  • Accepted : 2019.12.09
  • Published : 2019.12.20


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.



Supported by : Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (IPET)

This research was supported by a grant from the Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (IPET) (316055-3).


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