Why do different types of saturated fat affect the ApoE4 brain differently?

Insights and discussion from the cutting edge with reference to journal articles and other research papers.
Post Reply
alexyryan
New User
New User
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2024 5:39 pm

Why do different types of saturated fat affect the ApoE4 brain differently?

Post by alexyryan »

I have 2 copies of ApoE4.

According to Dr. Steven Gundry and Dr. Dale Bredesen,
people with ApoE4 should avoid saturated fat
because it increases their risk for Alzheimer's disease.

The mechanism by which saturated fat increases risk has not been specified (to me).

However, based on my experience, I am increasingly suspicious that it is not saturated fat per se that is the cause.
It might be the form of that saturated fat.

What I mean by that is:

When I take c8 MCT with my coffee or tea, my brain gets a boost of energy.
It gives me a noticeable boost in cognitive performance.
My understanding is that this saturated fat is processed differently than others.
i.e. Unlike other fats, c8 does not go through the lymph system.
Rather, it is absorbed directly through the gut wall, and goes to the liver where it is quickly converted to ketones.

On the other hand, I recently made myself a hot chocolate with full fat coconut milk.
After only a few small sips, my brain experienced the complete opposite effect.
It felt like it was being STARVED of energy.
My cognitive processing became noticeably worse.

Does anyone know what this may be?

Does the saturated fat that travels through the lymph system somehow block the supply of energy to the brain for ApoE4s?
HelenOwens
Support Team Intern
Support Team Intern
Posts: 71
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2024 1:23 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Why do different types of saturated fat affect the ApoE4 brain differently?

Post by HelenOwens »

alexyryan wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 5:42 pm I have 2 copies of ApoE4.

According to Dr. Steven Gundry and Dr. Dale Bredesen,
people with ApoE4 should avoid saturated fat
because it increases their risk for Alzheimer's disease.

The mechanism by which saturated fat increases risk has not been specified (to me).

However, based on my experience, I am increasingly suspicious that it is not saturated fat per se that is the cause.
It might be the form of that saturated fat.

What I mean by that is:

When I take c8 MCT with my coffee or tea, my brain gets a boost of energy.
It gives me a noticeable boost in cognitive performance.
My understanding is that this saturated fat is processed differently than others.
i.e. Unlike other fats, c8 does not go through the lymph system.
Rather, it is absorbed directly through the gut wall, and goes to the liver where it is quickly converted to ketones.

On the other hand, I recently made myself a hot chocolate with full fat coconut milk.
After only a few small sips, my brain experienced the complete opposite effect.
It felt like it was being STARVED of energy.
My cognitive processing became noticeably worse.

Does anyone know what this may be?

Does the saturated fat that travels through the lymph system somehow block the supply of energy to the brain for ApoE4s?

Hi Alexyryan,

As a Support Team Intern, I want to welcome you to the Forum! I’d like to start off by acknowledging your prudence in your lifestyle choices - the research you have clearly done to ensure you are educated and listening to your body's cues in your effort to be your optimal self. It's not always easy and can be overwhelming!

So, here’s some info pertaining to MCT Oil that can be found on our Wiki Page:
"MCT Oil -- For ApoE ε4s, it may be best to restrict consumption to using MCT oil as an aid when transitioning to a fat burner, i.e. ketogenic. MCT oil is less controversial than coconut oil, but full effects on ApoE ε4 are uncertain. When choosing to consume MCT oil, it's probably best to consume a quality C8 only oil since it has negligible impact on lipid profiles. Quality is emphasized as many MCT oils are manufactured via chemical/solvent refining and can contain undesirable contents."

Additionally, this section speaks specifically to C8 oil:
"The most effective supplemental oil to raise ketone availability for the brain and improve cognitive outcomes in both Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s is Caprylic acid (C8). Constituting only 6% of coconut oil, the eight carbon atom (C8) Caprylic Acid holds anti-viral properties to help maintain a healthy gut. It is also the fastest to directly pass through the lining of the gut, metabolize in the liver and deliver ketones to the brain. As such it is very different than other saturated fats including its negligible impact on lipid profiles."

Here is a link that will provide you with a deep dive on MCT oil, as well as Coconut Oil.

I might also ask, could it be possible that what you are experiencing – like your brain is starving of energy – be from the hot chocolate drink, specifically from the sugar/sweetener or other additives (if any) that it may contain? Personally speaking, I tend to experience what I call “brain fog” when I eat chocolate, or any sweets for that matter. (Yeah, I know, it’s unfortunate.) Sugar is definitely not my friend, although my palate would argue that ;) But when you say it feels like your brain is starving for energy…I can relate to that. After consuming sugar, my brain feels like it’s lagging and I don’t feel as sharp. I don’t know about the coconut milk, but for me, I know for sure I would experience that with hot chocolate. How do you think you would feel if you drank the hot chocolate without the coconut milk?

Allow me to also recommend some tools and resources available here, as this site offers a wealth of information. But it’s a lot to digest! The search bar (under your username) is particularly helpful if you have a specific topic in mind.

The Primer is a great place to start as it is a detailed and informative resource written by a practicing M.D. with ApoE4/4. It includes information about the biochemistry of the ApoE4 gene and offers a variety of research-based prevention strategies.

Some helpful tips to navigate the site include the How-To Guide. It includes topics such as navigating the forum, private messaging, and searching.

One great tip is using the quote (") button when replying to a post. Using the button will automatically alert the member of your response.

Wiki Main Page contains a wealth of information.

If you are interested in learning more about other members check out Our Stories. Sometimes, it’s comforting to realize you are not alone on this journey.

I hope this is helpful. Please keep us posted and reach out as you come up with more questions.

Warmly,
Helen
Helen
Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach
User avatar
TheresaB
Mod
Mod
Posts: 1676
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:46 am
Location: Front Range, CO

Re: Why do different types of saturated fat affect the ApoE4 brain differently?

Post by TheresaB »

alexyryan wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 5:42 pm However, based on my experience, I am increasingly suspicious that it is not saturated fat per se that is the cause.
It might be the form of that saturated fat.
Try reading the ApoE4.info wiki: Coconut Oil, MCT oil, and other Ketone/Cognition Boosters (salts, esters). I think that would help explain things to you.
-Theresa
ApoE 4/4
User avatar
Tincup
Mod
Mod
Posts: 3592
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:57 pm
Location: Front Range, CO

Re: Why do different types of saturated fat affect the ApoE4 brain differently?

Post by Tincup »

alexyryan wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 5:42 pm What I mean by that is:

When I take c8 MCT with my coffee or tea, my brain gets a boost of energy.
It gives me a noticeable boost in cognitive performance.
My understanding is that this saturated fat is processed differently than others.
i.e. Unlike other fats, c8 does not go through the lymph system.
Rather, it is absorbed directly through the gut wall, and goes to the liver where it is quickly converted to ketones.

On the other hand, I recently made myself a hot chocolate with full fat coconut milk.
After only a few small sips, my brain experienced the complete opposite effect.
It felt like it was being STARVED of energy.
My cognitive processing became noticeably worse.

Does anyone know what this may be?

Does the saturated fat that travels through the lymph system somehow block the supply of energy to the brain for ApoE4s?
At this time, Gundry encourages the use of C8 by E4's (and others). My 4/4 wife & I had a consult with him where he encourage her to consume sheep or goat cheese, because of the medium chain triglycerides in them.

My understanding is that C8 goes to the liver, where beta hydroxybutyrate is made from it. This happens less with C10 and not at all with the longer chain fats (which coconut oil is primarily composed of).

What you could be experiencing an "energy deficit" or gap in your brain, caused by poor brain glucose processing. Because ketones use a different pathway in the cell to create energy, it is closing the gap.

There is a section in the wiki on ketones from MCT's.

The late Richard Veech, who ran a lab at the NIH (and passed at 84) had an interview with Dave Asprey before he passed. The YouTube link is here. I know the audio is on other podcast players and I've seen a written transcript as well. Veech got his MD at Harvard and then went and got his PhD under Nobel laureate, Sir Hans Krebs. Veech developed a ketone ester as a supplement.

The husband of Veech's goddaughter's husband, Frank LLosa, started a company, Ketoaid, to produce Veech's ketone ester (he makes a cameo at the end of the Dave Asprey podcast).

He goes into the mechanisms in a number of his podcast interviews. Here is one with Mercola.
Tincup
E3,E4
aphorist
Senior Contributor
Senior Contributor
Posts: 239
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2014 3:47 am

Re: Why do different types of saturated fat affect the ApoE4 brain differently?

Post by aphorist »

Not all SFA are the same. Short chain fatty acids are typically beneficial/neutral. Long chain SFA like palmitic acid would be associated with inflammation.
Post Reply