β-hydroxybutyrate production consequent to exercise induces within the muscle the activities of a key promoter involved in the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
From the article:
Studies have shown that BDNF levels in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s or Huntington’s disease are, on average, half that of people without either brain-damaging disease.
Among the key findings of the current study was that a ketone, a chemical naturally produced in the liver called beta-hydroxybutyrate (DBHB), triggers biological reactions that activate the BDNF gene to produce more of its protein. DBHB has long been known to build up in the body and brain with exercise. Ketones are “by-product” chemicals made when animals break down fat as an alternative energy source after having drained more readily available sugar stores during exercise.
Specifically, Chao says, the researchers found that DBHB prevents other proteins in the brain known as histone deacetylase complexes, or HDACs, from suppressing BDNF production by altering the environment of the BDNF gene.