19 Feb Nutrition for Neurons: The Wonders of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is primarily made up of a group of fats known as medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs).
These fatty acids are easily absorbed into cells to increase energy without the need for insulin.
Coconut oil is also ketogenic, meaning that it stimulates the production of ketones. Ketones are a super food for the brain. They supply the brain with energy more efficiently than glucose does. Ketones can supply all the energy the brain needs in individuals with defects in glucose metabolism, such as autistic individuals. Ketones also trigger the activation of special proteins known as brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNFs) which (1) stimulate brain cell repair, protection and maintenance, (2) stop oxidative stress in brain cells, (3) reduce inflammation in the brain, (4) remove toxins, and (5) improve insulin sensitivity so that cells respond to insulin again and can take up glucose for more energy. Ketones also stimulate the growth of new brain cells and stimulate more blood flow to the brain. This improves circulation and delivery of oxygen to brain cells.
Ketogenic diets have been formulated to force the body to make ketones from fat. These diets can be restrictive and may be difficult to prepare for some parents. Eating coconut oil provides the MSFAs which can stimulate the production of ketones even when the diet contains carbohydrates. So by eating coconut oil, you don’t have to eat the ketogenic diets.
Coconut oil is not easily oxidized by heat making it great for cooking, baking and also for adding to your steel cut soaked oatmeal! Coconut oil is great for applying to dry skin, too!
- “Coconut Ketones: Fueling Brain Function & Reversing Autism”, Bruce Fife, Well Being Journal, Sep/Oct 2012, pp. 24-28.
- “Coconut Ketones: A New Approach to Alcoholism”, Bruce Fife, Well Being Journal, Nov/Dec 2013, pp. 9-14.