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MCT and brain function during lows

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Lakeman, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. Lakeman

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    I mentioned briefly here some time ago that I suspected that eating MCTs or Medium Chain Triglycerides in the form of coconut oil might help type 1 diabetics avoid brain damage when low because the brain can use the ketones made from MCTs for fuel. So today I was reading one of my favorite bloggers, Mark Sisson, and he posted a link to an article which says something really close to that.

    In the article a study was done in which type 1 diabetics were intentionally sent low (about 50 mg/dl) after they ate MCTs and then given tests of cognitive abilities. In the study 9 people, were fed MCTs or sucralose and given tests. Firsts they were dropped to about 120 and tested then to about 50 and tested. There was no difference between subjects at 100 but at 50 those given MCTs did better than those given sucralose.

    The study also found that those with the MCT had less symptoms of lows overall while none of the subjects nor controls had in increase in glucagon at any time.

    The study also had a statement in it that said type 1 diabetics might get better at using alternative fuels compared to those without type 1 which to me speaks to those who stop feeling their lows. While this is generally considered to be a bad thing it may also mean that they truly are not being impaired while low if they are using alternative fuels. Kind of like saying my car is out of 91 octane gas but it doesn't matter since the tank is full of 87 octane.

    I found it a little hard to read the medical jargon in the protocols but as near as I can tell they ate the MCTs quite some time before the tests and also at three times while they were being sent low.

    So this is some good news for those of us that respect lows. While I doubt its a good idea to be eating coconut oil while treating a low it seems like a good idea to eat the stuff throughout the day as one never knows when one is going to be low. Use it in place of or in addition to butter in baked goods or saute with it. But hey, let's not just break out the spoons:)

    Here is a link:
    http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/58/5/1237.full
     
  2. C6H12O6

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    you have to burn the MCT for fuel and actually be in ketosis for that to work. any ketogenic diet is going to be neuro protective

    you have to be overtly spilling ketones in the urine or have ketones showing on the blood ketone meter for it to work.

    its hard to judge by the urine ketone strips

    not saying I agree with ketogenic diets but yes I do believe they are neuroprotective like you describe.
     
  3. C6H12O6

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    as far as I recall the MD in this video states that ketogenic diets are neuroprotective. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TR8rc_AF6XU

    I recall reading that ketogenic diets for treatment of epilepsy and seizure prevention work on this principle because in cases where this treatment approach works the seizures relate to glucose metabolism in the brain.

    I don't endorse ketogenic diets but I do believe and have personal experience that while in ketosis I can be asymptomatic from a hypo and fully functional with numbers in the like 63
     
  4. Lakeman

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    I don't doubt at all that ketogenic diets are protective since the study clearly indicates that at least one ketone is protective. It is worth noting that the subjects in the experiment were not on ketogenic diets; they merely ate several doses of MCTs before going low.
     
  5. C6H12O6

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    your body is supposed to always have some degree of ketones as some organs need ketones as fuel and cannot use glucose.
     

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