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    Coconut fat and Alzheimer's
    heretk posted:

    See also this thread , where I "borrowed" the original link from.

    Didi wrote: If the brain is resistant to insulin, why wouldn't a fat free diet which would allow insulin to unlock the cell's door so to speak, also cause improvement? Ketones are an alternate fuel during starvation so using ketones to feed the brain is not a new idea. Nature does it.

    Good question. My speculative theory is this:
    Brain cells resistance to insulin may be cased by excessive supply of glucose as the sole fuel. The cells develop insulin resistance to reduce glucose burn due to oversupply of glucose, as part of the self-regulating feedback mechanism. That is similar in case of neurons as is in case of regular diabetes t.2 for other body tissues. Beta amyloid plaque that is the hallmark of Alzheimer's is a by-product of glucose metabolism in the neural cells! Just like the accumulation of calcium and cholesterol in the endothelial tissue is the hallmark of excessive glucose metabolism in that tissue (see here ). If the production of beta amyloid is higher than the efficiency of the cellullar cleaning apparatus then excessive beta-amyloid plaque accululates. The cells may have to fight that by reducing an intake of glucose through insulin blocking.

    Neurons most likely require ketone bodies to be supplied, not just in an emergency (starvation) but at all time! If ketone bodies were optional or redundant, then they would not exert such spectacularly beneficial effects upon the neural tissues!

    Ketone bodies not glucose, are most likely the essential part of the neural tissue supply chain. If a person develops metabolic syndrome, with hyperinsulinemia then the production of ketone bodies in the liver diminishes. Production of ketone bodies is inversely dependent on serum insulin: high insulin = low ketone production and vice versa. If ketone bodies are lacking then the neural tissue may be malnourished leaving glucose as the only (inferior) fuel that they get. Incidentally another organ that requires ketone bodies, while malfunctioning if fed only glucose (or free fatty acids), is the heart muscle! That's why what is good for brain is good for heart and vice versa! Brain and heart share the same fuel preferences.

    Stan (Heretic)

    heretk responded:
    I forgot to add: neurons do not see fat or free fatty acids carried by the triglycerides or LDL due to brain-blood barrier. Neurons in the brain can only use glucose or/and ketone bodies as fuel. Lowering of the triglycerides (less fat) by eating a very low fat vegan diet makes probably no difference to the neuron's insulin sensitivity. It is most likely all about glucose!
    (if I mixed something up, please correct me)
    DoloresTeresa responded:
    here is something I found in case anyone is interested.

    H, I do not know why you say glucose is an inferior fuel. Glucose is the brain's preferred fuel. As a matter of fact, I have always thought that glucose is so important to the brain that it does not need insulin to enter the cells of the brain. Otherwise people with diabetes couldn't function and their ability to think would rise and fall with their blood sugar. As a matter of fact I have read that people in ketosis, as on the Atkins diet, have complained of foggy brains.

    If ketones are used, I am wondering how long the effect would last. Remember the movie Awakenings in which dopamine restored Parkinsons victims to normal functioning? Unfortunately after a while they returned to their previous state. So sad.

    Did you say once we are all in ketosis over night due to the long fast? Has anyone shown this?

    It seems to me that if there were too much insulin in the brain, then there would be too much insulin all over the body and the person would be diabetic. Do all Alzheimers patients have diabetes?

    I'll have to look into this more.

    (If you keep lurking on the McDougall board I will have to draw the shades)

    Tomato05 responded:
    I wonder what the incidence of Alheimer's is in South East Asia. I lived in Thailand and Vietnam for a while and it's true that coconut fat is consumed daily and in huge quantities - more so in Thailand, not so much in Vietnam.
    jc3737 responded:
    Am J Clin Nutr. 1981 Aug;34(:1552-61. Cholesterol, coconuts, and diet on Polynesian atolls: a natural experiment: the Pukapuka and Tokelau island studies. Prior IA , Davidson F , Salmond CE , Czochanska Z . AbstractTwo populations of Polynesians living on atolls near the equator provide an opportunity to investigate the relative effects of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol in determining serum cholesterol levels. The habitual diets of the toll dwellers from both Pukapuka and Tokelau are high in saturated fat but low in dietary cholesterol and sucrose. Coconut is the chief source of energy for both groups. Tokelauans obtain a much higher percentage of energy from coconut than the Pukapukans, 63% compared with 34%, so their intake of saturated fat is higher. The serum cholesterol levels are 35 to 40 mg higher in Tokelauans than in Pukapukans. These major differences in serum cholesterol levels are considered to be due to the higher saturated fat intake of the Tokelauans. Analysis of a variety of food samples, and human fat biopsies show a high lauric (12:0) and myristic (14:0) content. Vascular disease is uncommon in both populations and there is no evidence of the high
    DoloresTeresa replied to jc3737's response:
    I read that the main traditional diet of Pukapukans is taro and fish and that some coconut was eaten at every meal. But it was not the main source of calories. I don't think the oil was extracted but it does make up about 80% of the calories of the coconut. Perhaps eating the food whole, as with Fuhrman's use of nuts and avocados, makes a difference as far as artery disease is concerned.

    I would rather eat coconut or drink the liquid than buy a jar of coconut oil. Especially since a good deal of it has been hydrogenated, making it a totally different product. Traditionally the extraction of the oil is not the most sanitary process.

    It was pointed out that in the body the oil is converted into a fat that is only found in breast milk so manufacturers use this fat in baby formula. If they do it without that process in metabolism that occurs in the body --just the converted fat--then I would doubt its efficacy for babies.

    There is no word for virgin in the Pukapukan language.


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