In Categories: Science & Research

Virta co-founders Dr. Stephen Phinney and Dr. Jeff Volek worked with The Ohio State University’s Food Innovation Center to convene a group of esteemed scientists and researchers to discuss recent progress in the science of low carbohydrate nutrition. The conference was hosted by the OSU Food Innovation Center and the video recordings were sponsored by Virta Health. OSU and Virta have decided to make these videos free and available to the public.

Dr. Stephen Cunnane gave an insightful presentation on brain glucose and ketone metabolism. Dr. Cunnane obtained his PhD in Physiology from McGill University and completed post-doctoral research on nutrition and brain development. He has researched fatty acids and their effect on brain development as well as the effect of ketones and ketogenic diets on brain development. Stephen Cunnane has published over 280 peer-reviewed research papers.

Watch his presentation here:

You can find all of the conference videos here and at the Food Innovation Center.

Speakers at the conference are thought leaders and researchers studying the molecular functions of ketones, treatment strategies for diabetes and cancer as well as metabolic, heart, and brain disorders, public policy and healthcare guidelines, the practical role of ketosis in sports, and more.

12 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Thank you for sharing this research! Is it possible to get a .pdf of Dr. Cunnane’s slide charts?

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      You are so welcome and thanks for following along! All slides are property of the presenters and are unavailable for download.

      Reply

  2. Avatar

    Does this mean that for older adults at risk for Altzeimer’s, not only would a ketogenic diet be prudent but also supplementation with sources of MCT such as coconut oil?

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Hi Robert! Thanks for your question. The early animal and human research indicating benefits for Alzheimer’s disease symptoms with ketogenic foods like MCTs or ketogenic diets is promising, but much more research is needed before general treatment recommendations can be made.

      Reply

  3. Avatar

    Incredible. I just started the ketone diet recently.

    Reply

  4. Avatar

    I believe it is important to know your Apo E4 status (a risk factor for AD) before embarking on a ketogenic diet. A diet high in saturated fat (which many ketogenic diets are) can have negative effects on people with this genotype and those people may do better on a PUFA- focused keto or low-carb diet (i.e., swapping out butter and coconut oil for olive or avocado oil).

    Reply

  5. Avatar

    Are the studies referring to a homozygous ApoE4 carrier or a heterozygous one? Do any studies referred to here sort these two out?

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Thank you for your question. As this is Dr. Cunnane’s research, we would encourage you to reach out to Dr. Cunnane or read the study for more information on his research.

      Reply

  6. Avatar

    L McGrath, Coconut Oil is not stored as fat, yet Olive Oil is. Just the biochemical fact.

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Actually, both fats will be converted to fat storage if consumed in amounts greater than the body can use.

      Reply

      1. Avatar

        Coconut Oil, [medium-chain fatty acid] bypasses the pancreas.
        >>>> DOES NOT UTILIZE INSULIN…Insulin the Fat Storing Hormone.
        MCFA do Not get packaged-up as Lipoproteins.

        Reply

        1. Virta Health

          Coconut oil is only roughly 60% medium chain triglycerides, with the remaining 40% as long chain fatty acids, which are packaged as lipoproteins and stored as fat.

          Reply

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