Should We Take Mct Oil When Out Of Ketosis?

If ketogenesis is not desired, is it beneficial to continue to take MCT oil?


e.g. Does it act as an antioxidant or is it only for it`s thermogenic effect?

Comments

  • edited March 2014
    That's a really good question. My guess is that once the body efficiently uses whatever materials you put into it. Conditioning the body for ketosis is probably like an investment. It makes subsequent utilization of ketones easier. It could be that the body becomes flexible and your ability to oscillate between ketones, fatty acids, and glucose becomes easier. But honestly, I'm not sure. It doesn't seem like there is a lot of good information out there on the dynamic relationships between metabolic inputs and metabolic states. At least as far as I can tell, most of the information is so simple like "just like eat a shit load of fat and you'll be good", but there isn't much nuanced information especially for people who are insulin sensitive and can optimally handle a greater amounts of carbohydrates.
  • HazakinsHazakins Graveyard shift putting me in the Grave!

    I'm curious of this as well. If your brain is being supplied glucose via carbs, ingesting mct would only be forcing triglycerides to the blood stream? Without the ketone bodies what biological mechanism cleans up or stores the triglycerides? 


    Trying to get a grasp on Ketosis? Watch this!

  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭
    edited March 2014

    MCT can't be stored, so it has to be used as energy. You could take it with a bunch of carbs and still use the ketones it creates. You just wouldn't be in ketosis - you wouldn't be burning fat preferentially to glucose. 


     


    I occasionally take full cheat days when I have serious cravings. They make me feel like crap (shocking, right?) but MCT fixes the problem. Basically if I get a bit of a carb/sugar crash, I can take MCT and within a few minutes my body recognizes it has another form of energy to use, even though blood sugar is low. I feel much better within 5 minutes. 


     


    Not recommended with non-MCT fats, which can be stored.


  • edited March 2014


    I'm curious of this as well. If your brain is being supplied glucose via carbs, ingesting mct would only be forcing triglycerides to the blood stream? Without the ketone bodies what biological mechanism cleans up or stores the triglycerides? 




     


    Fat burning is not a binary metabolic state such that a certain threshold of fat/calorie intake is necessary before the body begins to use fat for fuel. Your body can burn fat without being in ketosis. Remember, fatty acid metabolism is distinct from glycerol metabolism which makes ketones. Ketones are only produced when there is a shortage of glucose. Most people have bodies with a huge demand for glucose, so in these people ketosis results from relatively mild carb restriction at first. Eventually, carb restricting conditions the body to utilize fatty acids, and the demand for glucose and ketones is reduced. So being out of ketosis is relative to the metabolic adaptation of the cells in a given person's body. My guess is if you consume enough glucose, relative to your glucose requirements, then your body won't make ketones because ketosis is inefficient in the sense that there is an extra energy input of metabolizing glycerol into a ketone. From here there is probably an optimization of ketosis to non-ketosis in a fat adapted person. Ketosis is probably necessary to utilize glycerol and avoid the pitfalls of a high fat diet, but it may need to be balanced with non-ketosis because ketosis is somewhat inefficient.


     


    According to Dave, MCT's are easier to utilize into ketones.  If this is true, then using MCT's while intentionally going out of ketosis is probably wasteful, as your body will metabolize it the same way as it does for other cheaper fats like butter and regular coconut oil.


    I'm not sure what the body does with the glycerol molecule of a triglyceride when you are out of ketosis.


    Anyway, to summarize, while you are out of ketosis the body can still utilize the fatty acids of a triglyceride, but it might not do anything to the glycerol molecule.


     


    Most of this is speculation, so feel free to let me know if I'm totally off.


  • NickatNickat
    edited March 2014

    Cool explanations here. We have been taking MCT with high carbs hoping that our bodies will still burn the ketones it creates.Our bodies were/are "ketone adapted" so our thinking was to continue this state if we could.


    So far we have not been in a state of ketosis that we know of (eat high carbs, starches, fats, lowered protein intake slightly) and have noticed no fat gain. It`s kind of strange as we thought maybe this would increase more over time. What we have noticed is muscle is still progressing or at very least being maintained. Now there is a lot of things going on here we know but just wanted the take on MCT and no Ketosis. Our bodies can burn fat without being in ketosis it is true but we want them to burn ketones and not lose the adaptation we had either. One constant worth mentioning is the rate of exercise has not changed at all. That has been the same for weeks.


  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭
    edited March 2014


    Our bodies can burn fat without being in ketosis it is true but we want them to burn ketones and not lose the adaptation we had either. One constant worth mentioning is the rate of exercise has not changed at all. That has been the same for weeks.




     


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    You should be fine and not lose the adaptation with any reasonably healthy diet. What I'd watch out for is signs of insulin resistance - once you're insulin resistant you'll have elevated blood sugar which in my understanding makes fat burning a lot harder. Essentially a metabolically healthy human should be able to burn fat and sugar, so you just need to make sure your metabolism doesn't get too focussed on sugar only. 


     


    The biomarker to check this is either hemoglobin A1C, which measures longer-term blood sugar regulation, or you can calculate your insulin resistance if you have your fasting blood glucose and insulin numbers using the link in my signature. 


  • benmahalik-


    "According to Dave, MCT's are easier to utilize into ketones. If this is true, then using MCT's while intentionally going out of ketosis is probably wasteful, as your body will metabolize it the same way as it does for other cheaper fats like butter and regular coconut oil."


     


     


     


    I was also under the impression that adding MCT to high carb foods (rice, sweet potato, etc) somehow decreases the glycemic load? I'm not sure of the mechanism but it doesn't seem like it would be wasteful to use MCT oil if this is the case.


  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭
    edited March 2014


    I was also under the impression that adding MCT to high carb foods (rice, sweet potato, etc) somehow decreases the glycemic load? I'm not sure of the mechanism but it doesn't seem like it would be wasteful to use MCT oil if this is the case.




     


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    That's the idea. There are plenty of claims that MCTs keep you in ketosis when taken along with moderate amounts of sugar, but someone with a blood ketone meter would have to verify. I'm pretty sure some Googling could find you someone who has done this experiment. 


     


    Just to be clear, MCTs are metabolized differently than other fats. They have their own special pathway. Via Wikipedia's MCT entry:


     


    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.


     


    To understand why this is unique, you must understand how other fats are handled. This video covers that. I linked to 1:55, and the fats discussion is done by 5:25. Bile is needed to emulsify fats before pancreatic lipase can act on it, and pancreatic lipase is needed to break down most triglycerides into monoglycerides before they can be absorbed, as described in the video. As we learned from Wikipedia above, MCTs are small enough that they can be absorbed without modification by pancreatic lipase, and also without emulsification by bile. Which is unique. 


     


    So I do not believe your body will metabolize them like regular fats under any circumstances. 


  • While its true that mct's are not absorbed like other fats, cellular level metabolism has got to be pretty much the same. Fatty acids are cleaved from glycerol through lypolosis and used for energy.


    If mct can produce ketones in a relatively high carb state in which other fats wouldn't produce ketones then using them on high carb days might be beneficial to keep an artificially high level of ketones going. Perhaps brain octane works mainly by ensuring that your brain's utilization of ketones remains consistent even in high carb days.
  • NickatNickat
    edited March 2014

    That`s exactly our point.   Thank ACH85 will def look /keep an eye on insulin resistance. Maybe we should consider 3g Cinnamon powder as back up. re: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18234131 Any thoughts on that while still taking the MCT and higher carbs?


     


    Thinking of adding a teaspoon to our BP coffee every morning....o la la....the taste.


     


     




    While its true that mct's are not absorbed like other fats, cellular level metabolism has got to be pretty much the same. Fatty acids are cleaved from glycerol through lypolosis and used for energy.


    If mct can produce ketones in a relatively high carb state in which other fats wouldn't produce ketones then using them on high carb days might be beneficial to keep an artificially high level of ketones going. Perhaps brain octane works mainly by ensuring that your brain's utilization of ketones remains consistent even in high carb days.



  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭
    edited March 2014

    @benmahalik: Good points. Back in podcast 13, Dave talked to a doctor who claimed she reversed her husband's alzheimers with ketones from coconut oil. I believe she hypothesized that some parts of the brain either can't metabolize glucose effectively OR can't metabolize glucose effectively only as alzheimer's progresses. If it's the former, brain octane might be revving-up parts of the brain that don't get used very much, or that are a bit starved in people that aren't producing many ketones. 


     


    @Nickat: Tim Ferriss used an implanted glucose meter to measure the effects of cinnamon for the Four Hour Body. His findings were that Saigon cinnamon is most effective, Cassia is quite good too, and Ceylon cinnamon is much less effective. Cassia is what he found most often in coffee shops in California. You can Google how to tell them apart if buying at the supermarket - it's something to do with how the dried raw cinnamon rolls up into a "scroll" shape or not. Coumarin, a compound in cinnamon, can cause liver and kidney damage at high doses, so I wouldn't go nuts with cinnamon. A bit more on coumarin from Wikipedia here


     


    Overall I don't think people who've been eating healthy for a long time and who have no symptoms have very much to worry about in terms of blood sugar regulation. Hacks like MCT for ketosis and cinnamon for blood sugar are just that: hacks that provide a bit of additional benefit. I don't think they could keep a long-term unhealthy high-sugar diet from deregulating your metabolism, but they can protect from fat gain during an occasional cheat day within an otherwise healthy diet. 


  • NickatNickat
    edited March 2014

    Hey thanks..."The Saigon Cinnamon Hack" it is then....if it works anything remotely like MCT then that will be just awesome.


    If Tim Ferris says it`s good then that`s another great endorsment. Nice.


     


     


    Here is a site that we found talking about: "thinner layering of bark as one indication that your cinnamon sticks are made from true cinnamon" and how "after finding true cinnamon sticks you can use a coffee grinder to grind the sticks up into a powder":


     


    http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=newtip&dbid=31


  • I seem to get a rash every time I take MCT oil now, or become slightly ketogenic. I still take it though, because of the associated benefits it has with reversing Alzheimer's, and so I add a little here and there to be a preventative measure.


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