Your brain on ketones – Is C8 oil your brain’s next best friend?
So far, you’ve focussed on upping your intake of essential brain fats – omega-3, phospholipids and vitamin D. But did you know that your brain can actually run on a type of fuel, ketones, made from fat?
Those billions of tightly packed together brain cells need instant fuel. They’ve got no room to burn more cumbersome fuel such as fatty acids, which muscles cells can do.
There are only two fuels a neuron can use: glucose (high octane sugar) or ketones. Ketones are made in the liver from fat. If you fast, for example, and run out of glucose, your liver will breakdown your body fat and make ketones.
Ketones are the brain’s best kept secret. Most animals can’t make them or use them. But all the smartest animals can – from dolphins to crows. Babies are born with ‘blubber’, and breastmilk is full of fat, both of which allow the baby’s body to make ketones which is needed to fuel the rapidly forming brain, making up to ONE MILLION CONNECTIONS A SECOND!
Watch the film: How Your Brain Makes Energy
If you give a neuron those two fuels – glucose or ketones – they prefer to derive energy from ketones. Ketones are made from a type of fat called C8 oil. While coconut oil contains C8, only 7 percent of it is C8, so it’s a poor substitute.
Read the Report in your Library: Why C8 oil is the best brain fuel. You’ll see the results of an experiment that fed people with the early stages of cognitive decline two spoonful’s a day of C8 oil, and their brain energy came back to life.
If you feel your brain could do with a boost, adding a spoonful of C8 oil might make a difference. Start with one teaspoon twice a day, then gradually increase to a maximum of two dessertspoons. If you get any gastrointestinal side-effects, just lower the dose. The body takes a while to get used to this new fuel, from which the liver makes ketones.
An alternative approach, which you’ll explore in the LOW GL domain is switching to a ketogenic diet by greatly limiting carbs and increasing fat. But that’s another story.