Ketones, Diabetes & Alzheimer's

posted Jul 28, 2012, 5:04 PM by 7 B   [ updated Jan 8, 2014, 8:41 PM ]

  • Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are converted to Ketone bodies in the liver. MCTs are composed of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA)
  • These Ketones are an alternate food source for the bodies cells, particularly useful in situations where carbohydrate metabolism is failing (diabetes  / insulin resistance)
  • Coconut oil is an excellent source of Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT)
Mitochondria - it is easy to overlook how crucially relevant their health is for autoimmune disorders & brain health

Alzheimer's & Diabetes
  • "US researchers writing in Genetics say a study of worms has indicated a known Alzheimer's gene also plays a role in the way insulin is processed....
    Prof Li said: "People with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of dementia
    "The insulin pathways are involved in many metabolic processes, including helping to keep the nervous system healthy."...
    Mark Johnston, editor-in-chief of the journal Genetics, said it was "an important discovery".
    "We know there's a link between Alzheimer's and diabetes, but until now it was somewhat of a mystery.
    "This finding could open new doors for treating and preventing the disease."...
    And Dr Anne Corbett, research communications manager at Alzheimer's UK, added: "There is a growing body of evidence linking the development of diabetes with an increased risk of dementia."
  • Your Brain on Diabetes
    More signs that insulin ills set off neurodegenerative conditions
    By Melinda Wenner, May 19, 2008
    "..insulin abnormalities have been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. Among the latest findings is the discovery that a gene linked to insulin processing is located in a chromosomal area linked to Parkinson’s.
    "Historically, scientists believed that insulin was produced only by the pancreas and had no business in the central nervous system. Then, in the mid-1980s, several research groups spotted the hormone and its receptor in the brain. It appeared that the hormone not only crossed the blood-brain barrier but that it was also produced, at low levels, by the brain itself.
    "Suzanne de la Monte and her colleagues at Brown University ... compared postmortem insulin and insulin receptor levels in healthy brains and brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Average insulin levels in the neural parts associated with learning and memory were up to four times higher in the healthy brains, which also had up to 10 times as many insulin receptors [ed: as compared to those with Alzheimer's].
    “That made it clear that one could get exactly the same problems as in regular diabetes except confined to the brain,” says de la Monte, who refers to Alzheimer’s as “type 3 diabetes.” Because brain insulin is linked to insulin in the rest of the body via the blood-brain barrier, diabetics are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s, too—nearly twice as likely, according to a 2002 study
    A handful of recent studies have also linked insulin and IGF-1 to Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. The prevalence of diabetes in patients with Huntington’s is seven times higher than average, and at least half of Parkinson’s patients have glucose metabolism problems.

  • "But what's interesting about coconut oil is that it also gives "good" HDL cholesterol a boost. Fat in the diet, whether it's saturated or unsaturated, tends to nudge HDL levels up, but coconut oil seems to be especially potent at doing so.
    Saturated fat is divided into various types, based on the number of carbon atoms in the molecule, and about half of the saturated fat in coconut oil is the 12-carbon variety, called lauric acid. That is a higher percentage than in most other oils, and is probably responsible for the unusual HDL effects of coconut oil."
  • "MCTs passively diffuse from the GI tract to the portal system (longer fatty acids are absorbed into the lymphatic system) without requirement for modification like long-chain fatty acids or very-long-chain fatty acids. In addition, MCTs do not require bile salts for digestion. Patients that have malnutrition or malabsorption syndromes are treated with MCTs because they do not require energy for absorption, utilization, or storage. Coconut oil is composed of approximately 66% medium-chain triglycerides. Other rich sources of MCTs include palm kernel oil and camphor tree drupes. The fatty acids found in MCTs are called medium-chain fatty acids. The names of the medium-chain fatty acids (and the corresponding number of carbons) found in MCTs are caproic acid (C6), caprylic acid (C8), capric acid (C10) and lauric acid (C12). "
Journal Articles
  • Ketone bodies as a therapeutic for Alzheimer's disease
  • Neurotherapeutics. 2008 Jul;5(3):470-80.
    Henderson ST.
    An early feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is region-specific declines in brain glucose metabolism. Unlike other tissues in the body, the brain does not efficiently metabolize fats; hence the adult human brain relies almost exclusively on glucose as an energy substrate. Therefore, inhibition of glucose metabolism can have profound effects on brain function. The hypometabolism seen in AD has recently attracted attention as a possible target for intervention in the disease process. One promising approach is to supplement the normal glucose supply of the brain with ketone bodies (KB), which include acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone. KB are normally produced from fat stores when glucose supplies are limited, such as during prolonged fasting. KB have been induced both by direct infusion and by the administration of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate, low-protein, ketogenic diets. Both approaches have demonstrated efficacy in animal models of neurodegenerative disorders and in human clinical trials, including AD trials. Much of the benefit of KB can be attributed to their ability to increase mitochondrial efficiency and supplement the brain's normal reliance on glucose. Research into the therapeutic potential of KB and ketosis represents a promising new area of AD research.
    PMID: 18625458 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 
  • Beneficial effects of virgin coconut oil on lipid parameters and in vitro LDL oxidation.
    Clin Biochem. 2004 Sep;37(9):830-5. Nevin KG, Rajamohan T.
    Department of Biochemistry, University of Kerala, Kariavattom, Thiruvananthapuram 695 581, India.
    The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of consumption of virgin coconut oil (VCO) on various lipid parameters in comparison with copra oil (CO). In addition, the preventive effect of polyphenol fraction (PF) from test oils on copper induced oxidation of LDL and carbonyl formation was also studied.

    After 45 days of oil feeding to Sprague-Dawley rats, several lipid parameters and lipoprotein levels were determined. PF was isolated from the oils and its effect on in vitro LDL oxidation was assessed.

    VCO obtained by wet process has a beneficial effect in lowering lipid components compared to CO. It reduced total cholesterol, triglycerides, phospholipids, LDL, and VLDL cholesterol levels and increased HDL cholesterol in serum and tissues. The PF of virgin coconut oil was also found to be capable of preventing in vitro LDL oxidation with reduced carbonyl formation.

    The results demonstrated the potential beneficiary effect of virgin coconut oil in lowering lipid levels in serum and tissues and LDL oxidation by physiological oxidants. This property of VCO may be attributed to the biologically active polyphenol components present in the oil.
    PMID: 15329324 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 
  • Effects of dietary coconut oil, butter and safflower oil on plasma lipids, lipoproteins and lathosterol levels
  • (ed: not quite relevant but still interesting)
    The Cholesterol-Lowering Effect of Coconut Flakes in Humans with Moderately Raised Serum Cholesterol

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posted May 16, 2012, 8:11 PM by 7 B   [ updated Jul 17, 2012, 7:32 PM ]

A few months back I learned that sticky rice (glutinous rice) contains a different type of starch that doesn't cause me as much trouble. The kind of starch found in most grains is a compound called "Amylose" (which makes me sick), however glutinous rice is different - it contains Amylopectin. I am still experimenting with it, but so far the results have been fairly positive. No pain, but some tiredness and transient mild weakness. So then, if you wish to transition into the No Starch Diet (NSD) then this could serve as a bridge by making it easier to adapt to the new diet. According to wikipedia "this rare starch stained red with iodine, in contrast to normal starch which stained blue".


    • [Concentration of Amylopectin is] "100% in glutinous rice, waxy potato starch, and waxy corn.."
    •  "this rare starch stained red with iodine, in contrast to normal starch which stained blue"
    • ".. waxy maize contains 100% amylopectin"
    • "At this time, waxy maize was not so important because the main source of pure amylopectin still was the cassava plant, a tropical shrub with a large underground tuber."
    • "Amylopectin or waxy cornstarch is relatively easy to gelatinise, produces a clear viscous paste with a sticky or tacky surface"

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