Carnitines Connection With Ammonia
As I discussed above, dementia is hallmarked, especially in the later stages, by ammonia accumulation in the brain, and we discussed the ways that this might happen due to changes in the gut associated with protein metabolism and the urea cycle.
Valproic and octanoic acids, both C8 MCTs, have been shown to exacerbate ammonia toxicity, and it should not surprise you that one of the mechanisms by which this happens is via the depletion of carnitine. Though octanoics carnitine depleting properties have not been well studied, it has been established that the valproic acid metabolite, 4-en-valproic acid, directly impairs the urea cycle, thereby blocking proper ammonia elimination.
All C8 medium-chain fatty acids are capable of a similar metabolic fate, which involves hydroxylation of the omega-methyl group as a first-step reaction in omega oxidation. It is more likely to occur when beta-oxidation is impaired, as a result of carnitine deficiency, by genetic defect, or a combination of the two.
Carnitine supplementation is actually one of the antidotes for valproic acid overdose.83 Supplementation with only 1 g per day for 30 days is enough to decrease ammonia levels and raise the seizure threshold.
Acute Effects Of Medium Chain Triglyceride Nutritional Ketosis On Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms And Biomarkers
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
The ketogenic diet uses fats as a person’s major energy source rather than carbohydrates. There is increasing interest in using this diet to treat neurodegenerative disorders like PD. Researchers want to learn more before recommending this diet in clinical practice.
To study the effects of a ketogenic diet for someone with PD.
People over age 50 with mild to moderate PD.
Participants will be screened with surveys and a 10-foot walking test. They will have a medical history, physical exam, and blood test.
Participants will be contacted twice in a 1-week period to discuss what they ate over the last 24 hours. They will log data about their daily exercise and activities using an online fitness tracking app.
Participants will stay at NIH Clinical Center for 1 week. They will be put into 1 of 2 groups. One group will follow a ketogenic diet and take MCT oil. The other group will follow a low-fat diet. Their body measurements will be taken. They will meet with a physical therapist and nutritionist.
Participants will have daily respiratory and glucose monitoring. They will have cognitive tests and complete surveys. They will have walking, motor function, and reaction time/finger tapping tests. They will have heart and nerve function tests. They will have electrocardiograms and electroencephalograms. Blood will be taken twice daily.
Participation will last for 4 weeks….
Food Aversions To Popular Keto Foods
Some individuals with Parkinsons Disease have also reported that they have developed specific food aversions to proteins such as meats, dairy, and eggs. This could make the selection of foods a little bit trickier. Sometimes a change in the way that the protein is cooked has been shown to help with this. However, if changing how the food is prepared doesnt work, you can find other keto-friendly suggestions in our guide to the vegan ketogenic diet.
Read Also: Neurologist Specializing In Parkinson’s
Lack Of Natural Sources
In nature, medium-chain triglycerides are not found in great quantity, with only a few exceptions. Coconut oil is the most common source, at around 60%, but MCT content in Bacuaçu palm oil has been shown to be as high as almost 80%. Such oil is not a frequent commodity, even in developed countries, but its cousin, palm kernel oil is well known, with an MCT content of around 50%. All other sources, such as goat and sheep milk, cows milk, butter, ghee, etc. all have only 10-20% MCT content.
Even human breast milk contains anywhere from 10-17% MCTs, depending on pregnancy term, with preterms being on the higher end. Once we go outside the realm of dairy and coconut / palm oils, incidence of MCTs in nature are quite scarce, indeed, with beef and chicken containing not much more than 0.15%. It is also important to note that these natural sources of MCT do not contain large amounts of C8 and C10 fatty acids. Coconut oil, for example, is 45-52% lauric acid, with only 10% caprylic / C8 and 8% capric / C10. Therefore, consumption of only C8 or C10 in large amounts would not be possible without human industrial intervention.
Effects Of Ketonaemia And Kd On The Course Of Ad
In people with AD, damage to the mechanisms that allow glucose to be used in energy processes is observed. Reducing its supply in favor of a substrate that can be used more efficiently by the brain appears to be a reasonable addition to therapy. Reducing carbohydrate supply during KD results in a decrease in insulin levels, which stimulates the oxidation of fatty acids to ketone bodies, which then permeate the blood. BOHB and acetoacetate cross the blood-brain barrier. The ability to utilize ketone bodies in individuals with AD is preserved, allowing the brain to efficiently carry out energy processes using them .
The presence of ketone bodies in blood has a beneficial effect in AD. Ketone bodies reduce -amyloid, improve mitochondrial function, and reduce reactive oxygen forms in the hippocampus .
In another study conducted by Taylor et al. , 10 patients diagnosed with a mild form of Alzheimers underwent a dietary intervention to introduce a KD containing 70% fat for 3 months. In the first part of the study, 10% of the required energy from fat was supplied by MCT oil. Its amount was gradually increased until it reached 40% of energy from fat. When analyzing the results of the study, no significant differences were observed in biochemical parameters after the diet, but better results were reported in tests measuring the patients ability to remember and focus attention .
Also Check: Parkinson’s Disease Prognosis With Treatment
H Pylori And Viral Virulence
GI effects of MCT are not limited to the intestinal tract. In the stomach, H. Pylori has been shown to induce gastritis via Peyers patch mediated translocation. In fact, mice lacking Peyers patches do not contract gastritis from H. Pylori. We have already established that MCTs induce their effects locally on contact, so it is not at all a far-reaching conclusion to assume it could increase H. Pylori virulence directly in the stomach as well, on its way down to the small intestine.102
The Growing Mct Epidemic
Most scientists and doctors would argue that anything inducing or provoking oxidative stress in the brain has the potential to damage neurons and initiate the cascade that becomes dementia. I would not argue with them. Nonetheless, I have noticed a very alarming health trend over the last decade that involves an increasingly popular dietary choice a choice that is silently creating problems of a magnitude that few suspect. I am talking about the now ubiquitous consumption of MCT oil and the havoc it is slowly but surely wreaking on the health of millions of people around the globe.
Before you jump quickly to the conclusion that this is simply another article about the dangers of fats, please take some time to absorb the multiple points that will be carefully and thoroughly elaborated below. Numerous studies have been performed on the effects of medium chain triglycerides on the brain, the heart, the digestive tract, mitochondria, and immune system, but to date, a comprehensive and holistic view of its effects has not been posited to the degree that the average citizen can make an educated decision about its potential risks for health. Most of what is seen in blogs and social media is wholly positive, with only infrequent mentions of GI disturbances or allergic sensitization. In this article, I seek to correct this problem, and reveal the entire story a story that is still being written, but nonetheless has a very dark and disturbing side to it.
Also Check: Dopamine Patches For Parkinson’s
Adverse Effects Associated With The Use Of Coconut Oil
There is not enough information about the safety of using coconut oil in Parkinsons patients. But generally, it is not associated with adverse effects and considered to be safe if used in moderate amount.
However, its excess consumption may cause some complications. Several studies have shown that its intake is associated with increased lipid levels in the blood. Therefore, people who are suffering from heart diseases or high blood pressure should avoid using it.
Caprylic Acid Excess Can Induce Coma
Claims have even been made that C8 oil is superior for the brain, given its higher ketogenic capability. At high levels, however, it has been shown to induce coma, in both human and animal studies.23 It has long been known that another C8 medium-chain fatty acid by the name of valproic acid, used commonly in children with convulsive disorders, can induce a coma if overdosed, especially when combined with phenobarbital. One study aimed to produce the same effect with C8 / octanoic acid and discovered that mole for mole, C8 was far more toxic than valproic acid in this respect.24
Valproic acid, when administered along with phenobarbital, significantly elevates brain ammonia levels. Ammonia is highly neurotoxic, and octanoic acid was shown to increase its toxicity by 12%. As a matter of fact, caprylic acid in the presence of ammonia is capable of inducing a deep coma with lower ammonia levels than valproic acid.
Comas are described in multiple stages with the last stages being characterized as being fully unconscious, with Stage V demonstrating complete unresponsiveness. Valproic acid can achieve these stages in 50% tested cases at 1.06 mmol in only 5-10 minutes. Octanoic acid, on the other hand, can do the same at only 0.6 mmol, a quantity 43% less than that of valproic acid.
Read Also: Best Parkinson’s Doctors In Usa
What Does The Research Say
Researchers are in the exploratory phase of finding out how coconut oil can help people with Parkinsons. Since coconut oil contains high concentrations of medium-chain triglycerides, some think that it can improve brain function and help your nervous system.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that consuming coconut oil could help with the tremors, muscle pain, and constipation that Parkinsons causes. And the are connected to Parkinsons improvement for some people, so its not a stretch to think that coconut oil could help Parkinsons symptoms.
For people that have tried coconut oil for Parkinsons and are convinced that it works, it seems like cognitive function and memory are what improved. Other people say they experienced improved tremors and better muscle control. Some evidence suggests that coconut oil improves digestion for some people that use it. Coconut oil is antimicrobial and antifungal, and it can aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. This can help with digestion by improving nutrient absorption and promoting good gut bacteria. So its not surprising that people with Parkinsons consume coconut oil to relieve constipation and help make them more regular. Adding coconut oil to food might make eating easier for people who have dysphagia because of Parkinsons.
Immune Sensors In The Gut
Peyers patches are the immune sensors in the lymphoid tissue of the intestine that transport antigens and bacteria. This tissue is actually one of the largest immune organs in the body and is known collectively as gut-associated lymphoid tissue or GALT. It discriminates between dangerous pathogens and harmless bacteria in the gut and is so large, in fact, that is said to contain as much as 70% of the bodys entire immunocyte content.89
PPs consist of collections of lymphoid follicles surrounded by a follicle-associated epithelium . The FAE mediates exchanges between the GALT and the internal luminal environment. Specialized cells called microfold- or M-cells transport antigens and bacteria from the lumen toward immune cells that are responsible for inducing or limiting immune response.
PP density reaches its peak between the ages of 15 and 25 and subsequently declines as life progresses, making individuals in that age group at increased risk for MCT-induced antigen sensitivity.90 Nonetheless, other age groups are at risk as well. For example, Peyers patch numbers in the ileum are at their highest from the age of 30-40.91 In the small intestine there is an average of only 60 PPs at week 30 of gestation and this number gradually increases to 240 by the time a person reaches puberty!
Recommended Reading: How Does Smoking Lower The Risk Of Parkinson Disease
Mcts Encourage Memory Loss
Recent clinical trials have demonstrated that frontotemporal dementia is characterized by a wide array of changes in neurotransmitter systems such as serotonin, dopamine, GABA, and glutamate. Of these, glutamate is considered to be a critical player in its development240 Hypofunction in N-methyl D-aspartate and -amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors has been shown in animal models, and in humans, we have seen a loss of glutamatergic pyramidal neurons across the brain, especially in the frontal and temporal cortices.
Frontotemporal dementia is characterized by multiple abnormalities in behavior along with impairments of language and executive function. It is one of the most common neurodegenerative conditions after Alzheimers disease, although both pathologies could potentially be combined into a single category due to the similar way in which they develop.241
One viable therapeutic approach might involve scavenging of anti-GluA3 antibodies, but in my opinion, it would not be effective without first understanding the original triggers for autoimmunity that are at the root of those antibodies in the first place.
Tslp Master Allergy Inducer
TSLP is a master cytokine responsible for the induction of allergic responses.128129 It is produced primarily by epithelial cells and plays a critical role in the regulation of immune responses via the maturation and activation of dendritic cells, lymphocytes, basophil precursors, and fibrocytes.130131132133
It is common to see increased TSLP production at the sites of inflammation such as those seen in severe asthma, allergic rhinitis, and even atopic dermatitis.134135 In mice that are deficient in TSLP receptors, there is close to no incidence of asthma or allergic dermatitis. We can easily extend this to include the intestinal epithelium, which has already been demonstrated to express TSLP mRNA in the presence of antigen.136137
To put it simply, wherever there are epithelial cells, there is the potential for TSLP-induced allergic reaction. TSLP mRNA levels were shown to increase significantly, for example, by doing nothing more than painting caprylic acid on the ear lobes of mice.
Don’t Miss: Is Ataxia A Symptom Of Parkinson
The Dosage And Side Effects Of Mct Oil
For most people, MCT oils do not pose any safety concerns. There has been no report of any serious reaction to the use of this diet food. Minor side effects such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea have been reported.
As the tolerance levels vary between people the dosage plays an important role in the beginning stages. In the early phase, it is better to take only one teaspoon of MCT oil. After a few days, it can be slowly increased to one tablespoon. This will aid in steering clear of the minor side effects.
No standardization of the amount of MCT oils used for prospective health benefits is available. Most of the recommendations are 1 to 3 tablespoons per day. No cause of concern has been noted on its reaction with other medicines.
People suffering from type 1 diabetes should abstain from the use of MCT products due to the production of ketones. The concern arises from the possibility of the occurrence of ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition. Diabetes that is controlled does not cause serious health problems. More studies are needed to understand the use of MCT by diabetics.
Mcts Provoke Allergic Sensitivity
Thus far, we have been focusing on MCT metabolism and the general risk for overconsumption. Id now like to shift attention to a more commonly known side effect of MCTs: their ability to increase allergic sensitization to foods in even small amounts. It was originally presumed that MCTs prevent allergic reactions systemically by suppressing antigen absorption into the blood. This myth was subsequently dispelled when it was shown that medium-chain triglycerides of varying lengths stimulate absorption of antigens into Peyers patches, thereby invoking allergic response.
Read Also: Will Parkinson’s Show Up On An Mri
The Power Of Ketones: Ginny Talks Again
Jonny and his Gramma Ginny 3:07 minute video, filmed May 2 & 4, 2018 Watch Here
People often ask me if it is worth trying ketone salts and ketone esters in the latest stages of Alzheimers and other dementias. This videosuggests it could be worth a try.
Jonny Bonilla-Bowman, a nursing student, takes small amounts of the ester for his traumatic brain injury. In May of 2018, Jonny gave his 97-year-old grandma, Virginia Bowman, who was diagnosed with dementia some years earlier, a larger dose of the ester. The results of the first dose led him to film her on the second and fourth days.
Mct Contains Fatty Acids That Fight Yeast And Bacterial Growth
MCTs have been shown to have antimicrobial and antifungal effects (
An in-vitro study also showed that coconut oil reduced the growth of a disease-causing bacteria called Clostridium difficile .
Coconut oils ability to reduce yeast and bacterial growth may be due to the caprylic, capric, and lauric acid in MCTs .
MCTs themselves have also been shown to suppress the growth of a widespread infectious fungus in hospitals by up to 50% .
However, note that most of the research on MCTs and immune support has been conducted via in-vitro or animal studies. High-quality human studies are needed before stronger conclusions can be made.
MCT oil contains fatty acids that have been shown to reduce the growth of yeast and bacteria. Overall, MCTs may have a variety of antimicrobial and antifungal effects, though more research is needed.
Recommended Reading: How To Cure Parkinson’s Disease