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Old 12-03-2010, 12:53 AM   #1
Daniel Christensen
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Default Medium Chain Trigyclerides

I have read some recent information about the benefits of MCTs, particularly in a low-carb diet, e.g.
http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.c...d-ketones.html

However, MCTs seem available only in a relatively small subset of foods. Iím wondering, what is the evolutionary story here? Why would the brain or body run so well on something that seems to be pretty rare?

Are people here taking MCTs in their diets?

Thoughts?

Dan
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:11 AM   #2
Steven Low
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It's likely a metabolic adaptation for when fruit was out of season that we could still survive and hunt fairly effectively without crashing and burning out which would leave us without food and thus starve.

The majority of coconut is medium chain triglycerides.

It also helps me sleep better so yeah I take it.
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Old 12-05-2010, 05:23 AM   #3
Daniel Christensen
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Thanks Steven

I've just started using the coconut oils a bit as I'm decreasing carb content. I reckon I feel better (more energetic) after consuming some oils, but I'm reminded of the Simpson's episode where the townfolk turn a truck over looking for placebos.

I can see that the MCTs seem to be beneficial, but where in the paleolithic landscape were the MCTs coming from, so that our body could use them? Was there a food source (no longer around now) that our forebears were getting the MCTs from, or just lots of coconuts? Or is it too much of a stretch to make up an evolutionary story up (other than those who processed MCTs had an advantage and thus passed on their genes a bit more on average)?

Dan
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:13 AM   #4
sarena kopciel
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On a side note, what's the deal with red pal oil? Anyone use it? Value?
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Old 12-05-2010, 07:18 AM   #5
Neill Smith
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This doesn't answer the evolutionary question for adults, but a significant portion of the fat in human breast milk is medium chain triglycerides.
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Old 12-05-2010, 08:10 PM   #6
Daniel Christensen
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Thanks Neill

That might be it. Running with an evolutionary story (fraught as it is), unless there was selection pressure to drop the adaptation, it'd stick around.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:30 PM   #7
Steven Low
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Fats have a benefit over carbohydrates in that they're hydrophobic so they absorb much more quickly through membranes (e.g. can be used as energy sources better) especially in the brain because things have to pass through the blood brain barrier. Hydrophilic substances needed to be pumped across it unlike most hydrophobics

Body needs insulin or glut4 receptors to drive glucose into cells.

Most aerobic metabolism runs off fat stores too so our bodies are built to run on fat. I don't see why it's a contradiction or anything. It is what it is.... MCTs are even more preferential than long chain but some short chains are easily metabolized too like butyric acid (derivatives of BA are neurotransmitters like GABA).
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:20 AM   #8
Andrew Midmer
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Default Modern Day Studies w/ Paleo like Diets MCT

As far as I know, the studies linked below examine the use of MCTs with modern day civilizations eating paleo like diets. Similar to Samburu, Massai etc.

The Tokelau studies indicate that high consumption of MCTs, does not increase the risk of vascular disease.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7270479

Personally, I have used coconut as a way to gain mass, as I do not consume grain, legume, dairy.

Coconut milk w/out guar gum and unsweetened coconut flakes.
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:56 AM   #9
Steven Low
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The other studies I've looked at on MCTs are in babies... and they improve their quality of sleep

So other good thing to note about perhaps trying to add in more coconut to your diet right before you sleep if you're stressed or need improved sleep
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