While insulin is made predominately by the pancreas, the neurons also are able to produce small amounts. Medical researchers have noted that patients with diabetes are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s later in life. This is further complicated by exposure to nitrosamines which causes type 2 diabetes and fatty liver. Nitrosamines are the result of nitrites which are used as meat preservatives, along with flavor and color enhancers, and nitrates used in fertilizers.
Dr. Richard L Veech of the National Institutes of Health has spent the last decade researching the effects of ketone bodies on the brain. The level of ketone bodies is usually very low except in cases of starvation or in a low carbohydrate/high ketone diet. When glucose is not available, the body will switch to using ketones as an alternative fuel source. Dr. Veech tested whether ketone bodies could be used to feed the brain when it was not able to use glucose due to insulin resistance. He found that medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) were very quickly converted into ketones by the liver, and were immediately taken up by the brain to make energy. Coconut oil is a readily available source of ketones as it contains 66% MCTs which are readily converted to ketones rather than being stored as fat as most oils are. Coconut oil has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain by 39%, which is critical for those with neurological diseases. Dr. Veech’s research used a dose of 4 teaspoons of coconut daily, though he recommends using up to 8 teaspoons daily. It is best to start at 1 teaspoon daily and gradually increase over the next one to two weeks.
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