BABIES THRIVE IN KETOSIS
Breast milk is naturally very high in fat. If a newborn is breastfed, it spends a lot of time in ketosis and is therefore keto-adapted. Keto-adapted babies can efficiently turn ketone bodies into acetyl-coA and myelin. Ketosis helps babies develop and build their brains. Click HERE to read a great article about Babies in Ketosis.
The lean human body is 74% fat and 26% protein (broken down by calories). Fats are a structural part of every human cell and are the preferred fuel source of the mitochondria, the energy-burning units of each cell. A fetus naturally uses ketones before and immediately after birth. Many studies done on pregnant pigs that are placed on ketogenic diets show fetuses with increased fetal brain weight, cell size, and protein content. In the early stages of pregnancy, there is an upsurge in body fat accumulation, which is connected to hyperphagia and increased lipogenesis. In the later stages of pregnancy, there is an accelerated breakdown of fat depots, which plays an important role in fetal development. The fetus uses fatty acids from the placenta as well as two other products, glycerol and ketone bodies. Even though glycerol goes through the placenta in small proportions, it is a superior substrate for “maternal gluconeogenesis.” Heightened ketogenesis in fasting conditions, or with the addition of MCT oils, create an easy transference of ketones to the fetus. This transfer allows maternal ketone bodies to reach the fetus, where the ketones can be used as fuels for oxidative metabolism as well as lipogenic substrates.
Fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K which are essential in the formation of healthy fetuses. Full fat dairy is also filled with healthy cholesterol, but I do find some clients to be dairy sensitive. For those particular clients, I suggest finding other sources of saturated fats such as coconut oil and quality animal fats, seafood, egg yolks and bone marrow!
I know it sounds crazy, but this was one of the first foods I fed my boys when we brought them home from Ethiopia. If your kids aren’t ready to eat bone marrow on their own, I suggest mixing it into chili, meatballs, meatloaf or make a puree of “baby food” by pureeing it with avocado. Here’s to happy and healthy babies!