Last night I had dinner with a friend in a restaurant. We chatted with a couple sitting next to us. They asked what I did research about. “Food and the brain,” I said. “What foods make the brain work best.” They asked for an example. “Butter,” I said. The woman smiled. “That’s great news! Butter is delicious.” As they left, the woman said, “I feel like I’ve learned some really interesting things.”
I agree, great news — partly because butter is delicious. Yet it fits what we already know. It’s been known since the 1920’s that a high-fat (“ketogenic”) diet can ameliorate childhood epilepsy. I suppose it’s called “ketogenic diet” to avoid the term high-fat — or to sound more “scientific”. It’s an unfortunate name because why the diet helps is unclear. “Although many hypotheses have been put forward to explain how the ketogenic diet works, it remains a mystery,” says Wikipedia.
Another example of dairy fat improving brain function comes from a little girl with a rare genetic disease:
A 3-year-old girl, . . . thanks to a diet of cream cheese, gained the ability to speak despite a disease that [had] left her mute from birth.
Fields Taylor, from Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, was born with the incurable genetic disease Glut 1 Deficiency that caused a lack of glucose to flow to her brain. Today, Taylor’s diet of four containers of the cream cheese per week gives her a voice. . . . “The amount of Philadelphia [cream cheese] she goes through is mad but worth it. It really has been our saving grace. She loves the stuff and piles it on crackers,” The Mirror quoted her mother Stevie as saying. “The first time I heard Fields say ‘Mum’ it was just wonderful.” . . . Glut 1 affects just 26 people in the U.K.
Thanks to Tom George.