2

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Brain on ketones and the rest of the body on glucose

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 16, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Just curious if it is possible for brain to function on ketones while leaving other parts of the body (e.g. muscles) consume glucose? For example, if one eats coconut oil as well as carbohydrates (not at the same time, of course!), will liver produce ketones from the oil's MCT and direct them to the brain?

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on October 17, 2012
at 08:17 PM

I found this: http://www.lucastafur.com/2011/03/quick-on-starch-ketosis-and-non_12.html Lucas is worth listening to, so perhaps a post-workout starch load is doable, at least with regard to keeping ketone production high while reloading those muscle cells.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on October 17, 2012
at 02:17 PM

You make a claim such as you did, provide support to that claim. Otherwise, you're just another ass hat with an opinion.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on October 17, 2012
at 01:30 PM

It may in the sense that it adds energy to the system overall. Some of those ketones will likely be used by the brain, but I am aware of no mechanism by which they would be reserved for the brain to use preferentially.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 17, 2012
at 02:16 AM

i think the percentages vary depending on what/where/who you read....

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 17, 2012
at 02:13 AM

doesn't the brain function on both all time? The brain will never function on 100% ketone bodies http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketone_bodies . But i do not know if the brain can function on 100% glucose.....Anyone know?

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 17, 2012
at 01:34 AM

It's not like this information is hidden in some dark corner of the internet. It's been public knowledge since "The Ketogenic Diet," by Lyle McDonald, (1998). Then, in the 2002 publication "Dietary Reference Intakes: Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids," published by The National Academies Press, the Institute of Medicine acknowledges that the brain will be fine without eating carbohydrates, because it runs perfectly well on ketone bodies, glycerol, and protein-derived glucose. Sorry that I got the percentages wrong.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 17, 2012
at 12:40 AM

for what it's worth, this is what wiki says, "In the event of low blood glucose, most other tissues have additional energy sources besides ketone bodies (such as fatty acids), but the brain does not. After the diet has been changed to lower blood glucose for 3 days, the brain gets 25% of its energy from ketone bodies. After about 4 days, this goes up to 70%" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketone_bodies

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 16, 2012
at 11:18 PM

August, I did not mean switching to ketosis completely. I did mean that the brain uses ketones delivered directly from the liver when eating MCT-rich products like coconut oil :) Will it work?

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on October 16, 2012
at 10:34 PM

"I've read..." Where? Links?

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on October 16, 2012
at 07:34 PM

I am not using them interchangeably. If you don't understand something, ask; otherwise shut up. I am getting tired of stupid comments.

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 16, 2012
at 07:23 PM

Here's a link - http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/02/ketogenic-diets-i-ways-to-make-a-diet-ketogenic/

2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on October 16, 2012
at 07:23 PM

Checkout the Perfect Health Diet's Ketogenic diet. They allow more carbs, in the form of starch, by supplementing with the ketogenic amino acids lysine and leucine and lots of mct oil.

3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

(1782)

on October 16, 2012
at 07:07 PM

Blood sugar and insulin are not the same thing. Please stop using them interchangeably.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 16, 2012
at 06:20 PM

Brain can get required glucose from liver via gluconeogenesis. It's not that much, actually. Yes, muscles as well as heart will still work with glucose, but it will not be the primary source of fuel. That's what I was curios about.

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5 Answers

1
76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on October 16, 2012
at 06:19 PM

you can't direct energy substrates to various parts of the body. excess glucose will always be burned before ketones.

1
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on October 16, 2012
at 06:10 PM

Essentially, the answer to your question is yes. Google 'ketogenic diet wiki' and read the section on MCT oil. You can be in heavy ketosis with nearly 25% of calories coming from carbohydrate.

However, the body is never an either/or state for the type of fuel that it burns, it's a question of ratios. (A five ounce bird could not carry a 1 pound coconut...) The brain will always need at least half it's calories as sugar (iirc). Muscles at rest are going to be burning fatty acids and glucose, irregardless of what you eat, but the ratio of fat to glucose will change.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 16, 2012
at 06:20 PM

Brain can get required glucose from liver via gluconeogenesis. It's not that much, actually. Yes, muscles as well as heart will still work with glucose, but it will not be the primary source of fuel. That's what I was curios about.

1
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on October 16, 2012
at 06:08 PM

From what I understand, NO, I wish we could direct glucose, diabetes would be easier to mange, now I need to go low carb and lift heavy weights to get glucose away from my blood and into muscle.

0
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 16, 2012
at 10:11 PM

I've read that the brain can perform about 60% of its functions with ketones and needs glucose for the other 40% of its functions, primarily because ketones simply can't get into interior parts of the brain.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 17, 2012
at 02:16 AM

i think the percentages vary depending on what/where/who you read....

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on October 17, 2012
at 02:17 PM

You make a claim such as you did, provide support to that claim. Otherwise, you're just another ass hat with an opinion.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on October 17, 2012
at 12:40 AM

for what it's worth, this is what wiki says, "In the event of low blood glucose, most other tissues have additional energy sources besides ketone bodies (such as fatty acids), but the brain does not. After the diet has been changed to lower blood glucose for 3 days, the brain gets 25% of its energy from ketone bodies. After about 4 days, this goes up to 70%" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketone_bodies

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 17, 2012
at 01:34 AM

It's not like this information is hidden in some dark corner of the internet. It's been public knowledge since "The Ketogenic Diet," by Lyle McDonald, (1998). Then, in the 2002 publication "Dietary Reference Intakes: Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids," published by The National Academies Press, the Institute of Medicine acknowledges that the brain will be fine without eating carbohydrates, because it runs perfectly well on ketone bodies, glycerol, and protein-derived glucose. Sorry that I got the percentages wrong.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on October 16, 2012
at 10:34 PM

"I've read..." Where? Links?

0
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on October 16, 2012
at 06:59 PM

If you go into ketosis, your muscle tissues become insulin resistant. This isn't a bad thing- glucose is being reserved for the brain. Of course, most doctors will scare the crap out of you and try to get you to take an oral glucose tolerance test, which you will fail if you are low carb at all. If 75g in purified form all at once? Of course I failed.

Now the thing about glucose is, if you can get it into the muscle cell, that is where it will stay, to be used locally, by that particular muscle. This is the reason so many people do these carbs refeeds, but too often these things look more like carb binges. In light of the transient insulin resistance it is probably better to have a slower cycle- maybe increase carb intake slowly over three days rather than go completely crazy on your refeed day.

After the scare I mentioned above, I've stayed away from carbs, and I watched my blood sugar normalize, so I haven't tried this idea yet, but I do think there is good reason to keep that insulin as low as possible, whatever you do.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on October 17, 2012
at 01:30 PM

It may in the sense that it adds energy to the system overall. Some of those ketones will likely be used by the brain, but I am aware of no mechanism by which they would be reserved for the brain to use preferentially.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on October 16, 2012
at 07:34 PM

I am not using them interchangeably. If you don't understand something, ask; otherwise shut up. I am getting tired of stupid comments.

3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

(1782)

on October 16, 2012
at 07:07 PM

Blood sugar and insulin are not the same thing. Please stop using them interchangeably.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on October 17, 2012
at 08:17 PM

I found this: http://www.lucastafur.com/2011/03/quick-on-starch-ketosis-and-non_12.html Lucas is worth listening to, so perhaps a post-workout starch load is doable, at least with regard to keeping ketone production high while reloading those muscle cells.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 16, 2012
at 11:18 PM

August, I did not mean switching to ketosis completely. I did mean that the brain uses ketones delivered directly from the liver when eating MCT-rich products like coconut oil :) Will it work?

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