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VLC and Physiological Insulin Resistance and Impact on Brain

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 28, 2011 at 4:23 AM

If vlc/ketogenic diets can cause physiological insulin resistance - then why are such diets helpful for Alzheimer's? My endo calls Alzheimer's insulin resistance of the brain. Don't know if he's correct but if he is -- wouldn't the physiological insulin resistance experienced by vlc/ketogenic dieters have to potential to create/worsen insulin resistance in the brain? I've been eating coconut oil for years for weight loss maintenance,energy and also to protect the brain as I thought the ketones coconut oil help generate were good for the brain. Thoughts?

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on February 12, 2012
at 05:05 PM

Alexandra, physiologic IR is a healthy response to eating low carb. Pathological IR is the kind of insulin resistance that causes trouble.

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on September 28, 2011
at 04:21 PM

@Alexandra: I think it is ok to criticize anything here, no problem for me. I think I understand what IR is, but it was just counter-intuitive to me why VLC would develop or worsen IR... Maybe it caught my mind since just yesterday I finished that sciencey book I mentioned above, and the guys there just report the opposite - that IR improved on keto/VLC, and what usually develops IR is probably high carb diet. That's why I asked for some sources to read more about the phenomenon you mentioned, to see whether it was just anecdotal evidence or controlled study.

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on September 28, 2011
at 04:19 PM

@Alexandra: I think it is ok to criticize anything here, no problem for me. I think I understand what IR is, but it was just counter-intuitive to me why VLC would develop of worsen IR... Maybe it caught my mind since just yesterday I finished that sciencey book I mentioned above, and the guys there just report the opposite - that IR improved on keto/VLC, and what usually develops IR is probably high carb diet. That's why I asked for some sources to read more about this phenomenon, whether it was just anecdotal evidence or controlled study.

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on September 28, 2011
at 03:24 PM

the question was if insulin resistance will worsen on VLC with coconut oil. Thats simply not the case because if you are on ketones it doesn't matter if you are insulin resistant, it only can get better. Whether vlc causes insulin resistance is a different thing I don't know anything about.

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on September 28, 2011
at 09:11 AM

UPDATE: But those author talked about insulin resistance in general, not specifically about brain IR.

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on September 28, 2011
at 08:58 AM

That's true, but she claimed that VLC *causes* insulin resistance. What you seems to say is that if you already have Alzheimer, ketogenic diet can help fuel the brain.

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on September 28, 2011
at 08:54 AM

Please what is the source of the claim that "ketogenic diets can cause physiological insulin resistance"? And is such resistance temporal or long-term? I am asking because I just finished reading "The science and art of low carbohydrate living" and the authors reported, from observation in their clinic, that the insulin sensitivity was generally improved, not impaired (as you suggest).

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2 Answers

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Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

on September 28, 2011
at 06:27 AM

Ketogenic Diets change the energy supply from glucose to ketones in most part of the brain. Since in Alzheimer's often the cells are insulin resistant and cannot metabolize glucose, changing the fuel gives them the ability to get energy again. If you are on ketones, it doesn't matter if you're insulin resistant, afaik.

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on September 28, 2011
at 08:58 AM

That's true, but she claimed that VLC *causes* insulin resistance. What you seems to say is that if you already have Alzheimer, ketogenic diet can help fuel the brain.

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on September 28, 2011
at 03:24 PM

the question was if insulin resistance will worsen on VLC with coconut oil. Thats simply not the case because if you are on ketones it doesn't matter if you are insulin resistant, it only can get better. Whether vlc causes insulin resistance is a different thing I don't know anything about.

0
27361737e33ba2f73ab3c25d2699ad61

(1880)

on September 28, 2011
at 01:20 PM

Hi Greyman -- do a search on paleohacks (it's been discussed before) - I don't want to rehash. The physiological insulin resistance within the context of a very high fat, very low carb diet and normal blood glucose levels is an adaptation to the diet -- not the insulin resistance seen in overweight type 2s with high blood glucose. Ex: If you eat an apple after VLC for a long time -- your blood sugar will elevate higher and stay elevated longer than it would if you had been eating a high carb diet. Ugh -- I'm rehashing. My question was does this adaptive response affect the brain negatively but I think Primordial answered my question. Sorry if it sounded like I was criticizing vlc -- I wasn't --it's how I've eaten for years with no desire to change. There's Alzheimer's in my family so I wondered if the adaptive insulin resistance from vlc could negatively impact the brain. Just wondering.

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on September 28, 2011
at 04:21 PM

@Alexandra: I think it is ok to criticize anything here, no problem for me. I think I understand what IR is, but it was just counter-intuitive to me why VLC would develop or worsen IR... Maybe it caught my mind since just yesterday I finished that sciencey book I mentioned above, and the guys there just report the opposite - that IR improved on keto/VLC, and what usually develops IR is probably high carb diet. That's why I asked for some sources to read more about the phenomenon you mentioned, to see whether it was just anecdotal evidence or controlled study.

3432683fc74c2d2a40efe1e8f16ac1f6

(1130)

on September 28, 2011
at 04:19 PM

@Alexandra: I think it is ok to criticize anything here, no problem for me. I think I understand what IR is, but it was just counter-intuitive to me why VLC would develop of worsen IR... Maybe it caught my mind since just yesterday I finished that sciencey book I mentioned above, and the guys there just report the opposite - that IR improved on keto/VLC, and what usually develops IR is probably high carb diet. That's why I asked for some sources to read more about this phenomenon, whether it was just anecdotal evidence or controlled study.

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