Coconut oil and your brain
The human brain is truly amazing! Just like the rest of your body, your brain requires an abundance of fuel, and can run on glucose.
But what happens if your brain is no longer able to use glucose due to inflammation?
Fortunately your liver can supply the brain’s cells with an alternate source of fuel. A specific property of coconut oil can also provide this same alternative fuel. But before we get to that, we need to look at one of the most common reasons that your brain could become inflamed.
What is inflammation of the brain?
There are various conditions and types of inflammation that can affect your brain. A few examples are Parkinson’s disease, physical trauma, autism, epilepsy, and even chronic depression.
Alzheimer’s disease is a very common result of brain inflammation. Let’s take a look at how inflammation plays a major role in Alzheimer’s. Here’s a clue – sugar!
Type II Diabetes
It’s probably no secret to you that Type II Diabetes is on the rise in the USA. The main reason for this is excess sugar and carbohydrates in the SAD (Standard American Diet). All carbohydrates are converted to glucose in the body, as this is the form of sugar that our cells can use.
The USDA food pyramid would have us consuming about 60% of our diet as carbohydrates. This translates to approximately 2 cups of glucose a day! Yet your body can only process just a scant 2 teaspoons of glucose at a time. Here lies the problem.
Insulin is a hormone that is released by your pancreas in response to glucose. The body’s cells have insulin receptors that use a ‘lock and key’ method which allows insulin to get glucose into the cell. When there is an excess of glucose, the pancreas secretes an excess of insulin.
Insulin resistance is the result of the receptor ‘locks’ on the cells that no longer accept insulin’s ‘key’.
The excess glucose binds unnaturally with protein to create oxidized free radical compounds call Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). The result is systemic inflammation! The damage from inflammation can increase your risk for many diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Type III Diabetes
Approximately 90% of Type II diabetics are insulin resistant. People with Type II diabetes are at a high risk for developing Alzheimer’s. In a similar fashion to the insulin resistance in your body, the brain’s cells can become resistant. The result is that glucose can’t enter the brain’s cells. And with inadequate fuel the cells degenerate and die.
Medical researchers have recently identified Alzheimer’s as ‘brain diabetes’. Alzheimer’s is now referred to as Type III diabetes.
Alternative fuel for your brain
The cells in your body are able to use fatty acids for fuel if glucose isn’t available. This happens automatically if you are on a very low carbohydrate diet or while fasting. But the brain’s cells can’t use fatty acids and need a different alternative fuel. That alternate fuel is ketones which are made in your liver specifically to supply energy to your brain.
With the exception of red blood cells and your liver, ketones can actually be used as an efficient fuel for your entire body.
Super fuel for your brain
Ketones, or ketone bodies, provide more energy than glucose. According to Dr Bruce Fife, N.D. of the Coconut Research Center, ketones in the brain:
- Are a high-potency fuel
- Improve oxygen delivery to the brain
- Activate processes that protect, repair, and maintain brain function
- Provide building blocks for new brain tissue.
Increase ketones with coconut oil
When you eat foods that contain medium-chain fatty acids, they are absorbed from the small intestine and transported directly to the liver where they are partly converted to ketones. The remainder is used as an energy source, just like glucose.
The most concentrated food source of medium-chain fatty acids is coconut oil, which contains about 55-60 percent medium-chain fatty acids.
Have you had your coconut oil today?
Dr. Fife recommends 1 to 3 Tablespoons of coconut oil per day as a maintenance dose, with higher doses for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil have properties that provide many health benefits. In fact coconut oil has been described as ‘the healthiest oil on the earth’!
Obtaining these levels of coconut oil is easier than you think. You can cook with coconut oil since it is a very stable oil. Why not start your day with organic Soaked Granola Cereal made with coconut oil, snack on organic Honest Potato Chips fried in coconut oil, and enjoy a rich and delicious serving of organic dairy-free Raw Coconut Ice Cream.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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