Coconut Oil, Ketones and Alzheimer's

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

COMBINING KETONE SALTS WITH A LOW CARB DIET TO LOSE FAT

While my highest priority is to increase awareness of ketones as alternative fuel for the brain for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases, reducing sugar in the diet can help support that. Also, there are very many people dealing with being overweight to obese and/or with type 2 diabetes, which increases the risk of developing dementia later in life. So embracing a low carb ketogenic lifestyle could go a long way to reducing the risk and improve health overall.

Until about thirty years ago, if you wanted to lose weight, the doctor would likely tell you to cut down on sweets and starchy foods. Then along came the concept of the “low fat diet” based on, what has turned out to be, flawed research.  Rates of obesity and diabetes in the USA and many other countries have been steadily climbing ever since. Added sugar in the diet has increased from about 6 pounds per person per year in the early 1800’s to more than 130 pounds now for the average person in the USA. That is a lot of extra sugar! For most people, eating a low fat diet turns into eating a high carbohydrate (sugar) diet, and eating too much sugar is a big problem for many reasons (which will be the subject of another blog post). When you eat sugary foods, your body will crave more sugar.

So the simplest way to think of a low carb diet is to…cut down on sweets and starchy foods!  These include the obvious sweets like candy, pies and cakes, added sugars (including agave and honey), starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn and peas, rice and other grains, anything made with wheat or rice flour (breads, pasta, pastries, crackers, cookies, cereals, pancakes, muffins), fruit juices and most fruits. Berries such as blueberries and strawberries are relatively low in sugar, so would be good choices in limited amounts.  Aiming for less than 50 grams per day is reasonable and will support ketosis for most people.  Dropping to less than 20 grams per day for the first 2 or 3 weeks can hasten fat burning.  You can accomplish this by getting most of your carbs from vegetables and perhaps choosing ¼ to ½ cup of berries or a slice of whole grain bread or ¼ cup of whole grain rice per day as part of a meal.  See Carb Chart below.

Your body needs a certain amount of protein to maintain muscle and other lean tissues, especially while on a fat losing diet, but if you eat too much protein, some of it may be converted to sugar. Our goal is to lose fat, not muscle.  The best way to accomplish this is to adopt a ketogenic diet, which is a diet that raises levels of ketones.  This is a diet that is low in carbs and higher in fat, with just enough protein to maintain our muscle mass.  With a ketogenic diet, we switch from mainly burning glucose (sugar) for fuel to burning fat, and do not have to tap into muscle so much to compensate for eating fewer calories. 

Supplementing with ketone salts, can enhance fat burning by raising ketone levels even more. Ketones lower glucose levels, which lowers insulin levels (insulin puts and keeps fat on our bodies), and ketones also stimulate fat burning.

A reasonable amount of protein per day for most people is ½ gram for each pound that you weigh. So that would be 75 grams of protein for someone who weighs 150 pounds. 75 grams of protein provides about 300 calories. A couch potato might need less and an athlete or body builder might need up to twice as much.  See Protein Chart below.  Think of 3 ounces of meat or fish as about the size of a deck of cards.

One very important part of ketogenic/low carb dieting often overlooked is eating enough fat, which will help keep ketone levels elevated and promote burning fat as our primary fuel.  Medium chain triglycerides are converted by the liver to ketones, so ketone levels can be enhanced by adding MCT oil and coconut oil, which is 60% MCTs to the diet.  Some other sources of healthy fats include olive oil, olives, avocados, nuts and nut butters or milks.  If you like cow or goat milk and milk products like yogurt or soft cheeses, choose full fat versions, which contain some MCTs, and look for no added sugar.  A reasonable goal is to aim for between 60 and 100 grams of fat per day, which equates to 540 to 900 calories per day – the higher the percent of fat as the total calories in the diet, the higher you can expect your ketone levels to be.  A tablespoon of oil contains about 14 grams of fat, one large avocado has 27 grams of fat and an ounce of nuts (a small handful) has about 10 to 15 grams. Check package labels for milk and milk products.

And don’t forget your vegetables!  Vegetables contain carbohydrates but most are high in important fiber and they are a great source of many vitamins and other important nutrients. Eliminate or minimize the starchy vegetables like white and sweet potatoes, corn and peas. Include at least two cups of leafy green vegetables (1-2 grams of carbs total) and several servings per day of various colors of other fresh veges such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, onions, tomatoes, squash. Most of these vegetables contain 2 to 4 grams of non-fiber carbs per one-half to one cup servings. Frozen veges are nearly as good as fresh as far as providing nutrients. Organic is even better.

Putting It All together -  
                                                                                               
Get rid of tempting high carb foods from your home.  Plan out your meals for several days at a time and shop for the foods you will need. Keep a record of what you are eating to keep you honest and help you find problems and tweak the diet if you aren’t losing weight. Get a good book that will give you total calorie and gram counts for carbs, fat and protein. Find your favorite foods and write them down for easy reference.  There are also great books and websites available now to support ketogenic dieting with tasty recipes for meals, snacks and some amazing desserts.

Consider adding coconut oil and/or MCT oil to coffee or tea in the morning to get off to a ketogenic start. Pruvit KetoKreme is a delicious and easy way to accomplish this.

Use a ketone salt supplement, such as Pruvit KetoMax or Keto//OS, to increase ketone levels. Ketones have been shown in studies to promote fat burning and suppress appetite as well. Drink plenty of water 8 to 10 glasses per day.

Eat only when you are hungry and stop when you begin to feel full. Think mainly protein, vegetables, and oil for your meals.  Consider low carb snacks once or twice a day such as cheese, nuts, coconut milk or almond milk, or veges with cream cheese or high fat dip.

You might not need to count calories to be successful, but if you do, aim for between 1250 and 1600 calories per day depending on how big you are.  If you are starting out at more than 250 to 300 pounds, you might even lose weight on 1800 to 2000 calories per day. As you lose weight you can adjust the calories downward to keep losing.

Aim for 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day, mainly as vegetables, ½ gram of protein per day for each pound that you weigh (or more if you are an active athlete), and 60 to 90 grams of fat per day.
Go one step further and add exercise to your plan.  A recent study by Dr. Stephen Cunnane and associates reported that 30 minutes of walking three days per week can triple ketone uptake in the brain!  

For more information on ketones and a link to research ketone salts, please see my website at www.coconutketones.com.  


# GRAMS PROTEIN
PER SERVING
PROTEINS
25
3 ounces of cooked beef,  pork, poultry, lamb or tuna
1 cup cottage cheese or ricotta
21
3 ounces of most fish (except tuna and cod) or lobster
1 cup boiled green soybeans         
15
3 ounces cod, crab or shrimp  OR 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
8
2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
7
1 ounce hard cheese
6
1 egg  OR 8 ounces of milk OR 1 ounce soft cheese, such as brie or blue cheese OR 1 to 1 ½ ounces nuts OR ½ cup most beans
2 or less
½ cup most cooked vegetables or 1 cup leafy green vegetables
1/3 cup undiluted coconut milk or 1 ounce grated coconut
2 slices of bacon
0-1
Nearly all fruits, 1 medium or typical serving


# CARBOHYDRATE
 PER SERVING (minus fiber)
SOME FOODS WITH CARBOHYDRATES
25
½  medium white potato (flesh and skin)
20
½ cup cooked whole wheat egg noodles or pasta
½ cup most beans (except green string beans)
½ cup  long grain brown or white rice, cooked
15
½ large (6 ½” diameter) whole wheat pita
½ medium whole grain bagel (3” diameter for whole bagel)
14
3 cups popcorn OR ¼ cup granola OR ½ medium sweet potato
13
½ medium banana OR 4 ounces orange juice
½ cup regular cream of wheat, prepared
12
1 medium orange OR ½ cup baked potato, flesh only
1 x 4” pancake
11
1 slice whole wheat bread (1 oz)
10
1/4 cup long grain brown rice, cooked OR ½ medium pear
9
1/4 cup cooked corn OR 1 medium peach OR ½ medium apple
6
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
4
½ cup halved strawberries
3
½ cup raspberries OR ½ cup ricotta or cottage cheese
2-4
1 medium apricot, ½ cup raspberries, 1 medium avocado
4 asparagus spears
1 ounce almonds, peanuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, macadamias
½ cup cooked broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, green or string beans, or turnips, chopped bell or sweet peppers
1 cup boiled, chopped kale or other “greens”
1 cup chopped cucumber or celery
1 tablespoon catsup or sweet relish
0-1
1 cup of most lettuces, spinach, other leafy greens and cabbages
1 medium carrot or radish
1 cup cooked yellow or zucchini squash
1 ounce pecans or pistachios
1 tablespoon mayonnaise, mustard, dill relish, vinegar















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Thursday, April 20, 2017

BURNING FAT THROUGH KETOSIS – 

A SIMPLE EXPLANATION

Ketones act as a very basic fuel that can be used by nearly all of the cells in our bodies to produce the energy molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is needed by every single cell to carry out its functions. Our cells can easily switch between using glucose (sugar) and ketones as fuel. As living beings, our metabolism is an extremely complex process involving hundreds of pathways and thousands of chemical reactions that operate on a continuous basis 24/7.  While most organs in our bodies can use fatty acids (breakdown products of fat) as fuel, fatty acids don’t easily cross over into the brain.  During fasting or starvation our energy hungry brains are especially dependent on the ability to use ketones as an alternative fuel. Without the availability of glucose or ketones as fuel to drive metabolism, we just simply wouldn’t exist.

But ketones are much more than fuel, not to diminish how important that is.  Ketones also enter other pathways in our metabolism. One of those has to do with BURNING FAT.   When we eat more food than we need, we store fat.  Insulin is key in making this happen.  When we eat carbohydrates (sugary and starchy foods), insulin levels rise, which allows glucose to enter cells to act as fuel.  But insulin has many other functions and is a key player in depositing fat on our bodies and keeping it there. This is a big problem for people who are prediabetic or have type II diabetes since they struggle with insulin resistance and tend to have very high insulin levels.  Very many people have insulin resistance and just don’t know it.  It can be extremely difficult to lose weight when insulin resistance is involved. When it comes to fat, ketones have the opposite effect of insulin by directly promoting the breakdown of fat to be burned as fuel.  Ketones also lower blood sugar and consequently lower insulin levels as well, making it easier to burn fat.

Taking exogenous ketones, especially when combined with a low carbohydrate, higher fat diet, will help shift us from burning glucose to burning to fat. People often lose muscle when they are on a typical high carbohydrate, low fat diet to lose weight because they will convert certain proteins in muscle to glucose. However, this is much less likely to happen with using a ketogenic strategy to burn fat, because there will be less need to use glucose as fuel.

As an added benefit, ketones signal the brain that our stomachs are full and appear to suppress the hormones that make us feel hungry.  How could it be any easier?

Pruvit Keto//OS and KetoMax contain the very important ketone beta hydroxybutyrate and many people find it easier to burn fat when taking ketone salts as a nutritional supplement.  If losing fat is your goal, combine ketone salts with a lower carbohydrate higher fat diet. Using coconut oil and MCT oil in your food can further support and sustain ketosis. Take it one step further and add vigorous exercise to the equation (which also raises ketone levels!) to find your best formula for burning fat.

For more information on ketones as alternative fuel for the brain and other ketone effects, look at my website at www.coconutketones.com.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

USING PRUVIT KETONE SALTS IN THE ELDERLY AND PEOPLE WITH MEDICAL CONDITIONS
by Mary T. Newport, M.D.
I receive emails and Facebook messages from many people who are using or want to use ketone salts for themselves or their loved ones, many of whom are elderly or may have medical conditions and want to make their life better.  Here is some guidance for how to get started with ketone salts:

HOW KETONES COULD HELP
Pruvit ketone salts are nutritional supplements and have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA to treat any medical condition.  On the other hand, there is plenty of scientific evidence that raising ketones can provide alternative fuel to the brain, reduce inflammation, and burn fat.  Many people report increased energy, endurance, focus and mental clarity, improved mood and sleep, fewer aches and pains, and fat loss.

TALK WITH YOUR DOCTOR
As with any nutritional supplement, it is important for elderly people and people with medical conditions to consult with their physician before using ketone salts.  The doctor could monitor your blood pressure and check blood levels of electrolytes, glucose and minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium) before you get started and after 3 to 6 weeks or so.  Pruvit ketone salts are the first product marketed widely to the public that contains the actual ketone body betahydroxybutyrate attached to the mineral salts sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium.  Many people need to watch their sodium intake, may be on diuretics that may cause loss of minerals from the body, and/or may be taking potassium.  Keto//OS 2.1 and 3.0 have 1400 mg to 1600 mg per serving packet (or full scoop if you have a can of product).  Keto//OS 3.0 (chocolate swirl) also has 490 mg of potassium, compared to just 47 mg in Keto//OS 2.1 (orange dream). 
                
Another option to reduce sodium and potassium intake with ketone salts is to use KetoMax, which contains much less sodium per full serving at 925 mg and minimal potassium at 75 mg.  Another great reason to use KetoMax is that it contains a higher percentage of the circulating form of betahydroxybutyrate and may be even more effective than Keto//OS.  I recommend KetoMax especially for people with medical and neurologic conditions such as Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. It costs more but the value is there. Your doctor or a dietician can help you factor the mineral salts into your diet and adjust, for example, your potassium supplement to account for the amounts in ketone salts.
                
People with diabetes taking medications and/or insulin need to be aware that raising ketone levels with ketone salts may result in a significantly lower blood sugar along with a drop in the amount of insulin the body produces. To avoid abnormally low blood sugar, I recommend that you monitor your blood sugar closely and work with your doctor to make changes in your medications.  Many diabetics report that they are able to reduce their medications, including insulin, rather quickly over days to several weeks, especially if using ketone salts is combined with a low carbohydrate diet. Pruvit ketone salts contain minimal sugar and are sweetened with stevia and/or erithritol, a sugar alcohol.

Regarding diabetic ketoacidosis, this is an abnormal condition that occurs with very elevated blood sugar and inadequate insulin.  Levels of ketones are many times (20 to 50 times higher) than the levels you would get by taking a serving or two per day of ketone salts.  The risk is extremely low, but could be a problem for someone on the brink of diabetic ketoacidosis.   Ketone levels can easily be monitored with a Precision Xtra or NovaMax glucose/ketone monitor using ketone strips, available online without a prescription.  Ketone salts usually produce betahydroxubutyrate levels in the 0.5 to 2 mmol range, compared to 10 to 25 mmol in diabetic ketoacidosis.

START SLOWLY AND INCREASE AS TOLERATED
While it is tempting to start with a whole serving in hopes of seeing maximum benefits right away, I recommend in elderly people and those with medical conditions, to start with 1 or 2 level teaspoons per day, which would be equal to about 1/8 to 1/4 of a serving, and if there is no issue, such as intestinal distress, you could increase by the same amount every few days until arriving at ½ to 1 full serving per day.  The total amount could be divided into smaller portions throughout the day.
                
Also, it is very important that the person taking ketone salts take plenty of water and other clear liquids.  Ketone salts can have a dehydrating effect in some people, especially in the beginning.
                
Ketones can suppress appetite, which is great if you need to lose weight.  If you are very thin you might consider adding more calories to your diet with calorie dense foods such as coconut oil, olive oil, butter, cream, avocado and nuts.

BRING THESE GUIDELINES TO YOUR DOCTOR
Ketone salts are so new that most doctors don’t know about them yet much less the potential of ketones to provide alternative fuel to the brain and other organs, reduce inflammation, and burn fat.  I suggest that you take a copy of these guidelines to your doctor.  Many doctors decide to pass this information on to other patients when they see improvement in just one of their patients.  Some doctors may even decide to help their patients by providing ketone salts as samples or ordering them through their office.

                
For more information see:  www.coconutketones.com and www.marynewport.pruvitnow.com

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Friday, February 17, 2017

BIOCHEMISTRY 101: WHAT ARE KETONES AND WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?

                If you are new to the world of ketones and ketone salts, you might have a very basic question, what are ketones and where they come from?  So we will start with a lesson from biochemistry 101 that I will try to make as simple as possible. The word “ketone” comes from the German word “keton” meaning acetone, which is your basic fingernail polish remover! This is the very same acetone that is one of the three basic ketone bodies produced in our bodies (I will talk more about that later).
“Atoms” are the basic particles of matter. The basic atoms in living matter are oxygen, hydrogen and carbon.  Atoms are connected to each other by “bonds” that are sort of like magnetic attractions.  When two or more atoms are connected, they are called “molecules”. Glucose (sugar), fats and ketones are made of different combinations of oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. The carbon atoms line up in a chain and the hydrogen and oxygen atoms attach to the carbon atoms.  The positions of the atoms in a molecule determine what it does in the body. 
Glucose starts with a chain of six carbons with hydrogens and oxygens attached to them and is the main fuel for the cells in our body when we are on a higher carbohydrate diet.  Betahydroxybutyrate is one of the three ketones made in the body and starts with a chain of four carbons with hydrogens and oxygens attached. There are two forms of betahydroxybutyrate that have a different shape – the simplest way to think of them is as mirror images. D-betahydroxybutyrate is found mainly in the bloodstream and L-betahydroxybutyrate is found mainly in mitochondria where energy, called ATP, is produced in our cells. There are two other ketones, one called acetoacetate and the other called acetone (finger nail polish remover!), which evaporates easily and is mostly exhaled.  Acetone accounts for the fruity breath people may have when they are in ketosis (meaning when blood ketone levels are elevated). Acetoacetate converts easily to betahydroxybutyrate and vice versa. Acetoacetate also breaks down to acetone.
Endogenous ketones are ketones that originate inside of our bodies. The most common way that we experience ketosis is when we do not eat for 10 or 12 hours overnight; we will often be in mild ketosis in the morning until we eat something with carbohydrates (sugar) in it. Ketosis becomes much more pronounced over days to weeks in people who are fasting intentionally, starving, or on a high-fat low-carbohydrate diet.  In this situation, we begin breaking down fat into fatty acids after the glucose that is stored in our body is used up, usually within 36 to 48 hours. These relatively large fatty acids do not cross very well into the brain, however they are broken down in the liver to ketones. The cool thing about ketones is that they do cross the blood brain barrier and provide fuel to the cells in our brain as well as in our other organs (except in the liver where they are made). Both glucose and ketones enter the same chemical pathway that leads to producing ATP, however ketones enter this pathway several steps downstream from where glucose enters. Because of this, ketones can serve as an alternative fuel to the brain and other organs when there is a problem using glucose for fuel.
Exogenous ketones originate from outside of the body. Pruvit ketone salts, Keto//OS and KetoMax, are natural exogenous ketones and are the first products to be widely marketed to the public that contain the actual ketone betahydroxybutyrate!

Coming soon: How Do Ketones Work?

Sunday, January 8, 2017

KETONE SALTS EXPLAINED

Ketone salts AKA Keto//OS were developed and tested at the University of South Florida in the labs of Dr.Dominic D’Agostino and have just become widely available in 2016 through network marketing by Pruvit.
Ketone salts are carefully formulated and contain the actual ketone betahydroxybutyrate bound to sodium, calcium and magnesium and can increase ketone levels much higher than coconut or MCT oil and could bring about even more improvement. Using ketone salts could be part of the overall strategy to raise ketones, keeping coconut and MCT oil as the foundation.

Ketone salts are now widely used by people with a variety of conditions who are reporting positive responses, including brain fog, memory impairment, sleep problems, low energy, and conditions  caused by inflammation (ketones are anti-inflammatory in addition to providing alternative fuel to the brain and other organs).  Many people have reported substantial fat loss, especially when combined with a low carb diet and without hunger (ketones can suppress appetite and encourage fat loss by reducing glucose and insulin levels and stimulating fat breakdown).  World class athletes and body builders are using ketone salts to enhance physical performance.

A healthy person could take a full serving of Pruvit KetoOS or KetoMax right away. For elderly people or those with chronic medical conditions I recommend getting doctor's approval, so that electrolytes can be monitored and I suggest starting slowly - 1 or 2 teaspoons once or twice a day and increasing gradually over a week or two as tolerated to 1/2 to 1 serving daily, or more as tolerated.  Also very important - the person taking the salts needs to be able to drink plenty of fluids to avoid a dehydrating effect of raising ketones.

The KetoOS 2.1 orange dream flavor is the ketone betahydroxybutyrate PLUS MCT oil powder with mild oragne flavor and stevia.  Works well in hot or cold drink - tea (cold or hot), water or sparkling water.  I know someone who doesn't like it as a drink but puts it into Jello!!

The KetoOS 3.0 chocolate swirl has a light chocolate flavor and contains the ketone betahydroxybutyrate but NO MCT.  It does contain certain amino acids that help maintain muscle mass.

The KetoMax is Hawaiian punch flavor and is probably the best at elevating ketone levels the highest. Can be used in cold or hot drinks.  It is the more bio-available form of betahydroxybutyrate called the D-form.  Also has no MCT.  KetoMax will be coming out in a “hot cocoa” flavor soon.

KetoKreme is a combination of coconut and MCT powder (no betahydroxybutyrate) with stevia and cinnamon that you can put into a warm drink like coffee or tea.  I use this one myself in the morning in coffee and love it.


The most economical way to buy the ketone salts is a 30 day serving supply in a can which comes with a one serving scoop.  One scoop contains about 8 level teaspoons of the ketone salt powder, so if someone starts with one or two teaspoons as their serving the can could potentially last quite a bit longer than a month.  For more information you can link through my website www.coconutketones.com OR www.marynewport.pruvitnow.com

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Eating Academy - Good articles on ketosis and many other topics by Dr. Peter Attia


Here is a link to a blog by Peter Attia, MD on nutrition, stressing low carbohydrate diet with many very interesting articles on ketosis (see part I and Part II).

http://eatingacademy.com/start-here

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dr. Stephanie Seneff of MIT on Cholesterol, ApoE4, Statins, Beta Amyloid and Alzheimer's



Here is a link to a very thorough and highly researched article by Dr. Stephanie Seneff of MIT discussing the importance of fat and cholesterol, how they work in the brain, why statin use may be counterproductive for people at risk for and dealing with Alzheimer's, the function of beta amyloid and why a high fat diet may be beneficial.  I found this especially enlightening in its explanation of how cholesterol is packaged as it is transported throughout the body, and what it is packaged with in LDL particles, for example, may be a surprise.

http://coconutoil.com/the-clue-to-why-low-fat-diet-and-statins-may-cause-alzheimers/

Dr. Seneff has written many other similar articles of great interest to those concerned with cholesterol, statins, Alzheimer's, autism and other neurodegenerative diseases, many of which can be downloaded from her homepage.  http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/

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