Q&A: MCT and the brain

The Question:

It’s just over two years I came to your wonderful seminar in London and I remember you do a lot of reading on health and nutrition. I wonder if you can recommend something about keeping your brain healthy, as my memory has become bad and I think getting worse. I am now regularly walking into rooms and forgetting why I went there! Maybe this isn’t so unusual, but my concern is made greater by having had both parents suffer with dramatically declining mental abilities.

My Answer:

You don’t actually say if a form of dementia was present for your parents, but it’s probably helpful to reply as if that was the case. I think there may be many people who are feeling much the same way as you are.

I applaud your interest in prevention. Too many people take the view that disease states simply descend on us; one day we don’t have dementia, and the next day we have a diagnosis, and we do. Surely it’s better to pay attention to more subtle signs, provided there’s something you can actually do about them, which there most certainly is. This is the kind of information that provides you with motivation to eat less that’s not solely based on weight, shape and size. This is the motivation that’s so much more effective – but only if you pay attention to it. This is exactly what people miss when their focus is entirely on weight loss. I’ll recommend further study in a bit, but here are a few things I’ve discovered:

• All brain cells are coated in a protective insulation known as myelin, and more than anything else, myelin needs omega-3 fatty acids to stay in top form. This is available, of course, in a variety of foods, but it may be helpful to supplement as well. However, uptake of omega-3s can be blocked by trans fats, which are found in a great many manufactured foods. If they make up less than 1g per serving they won’t be on the label.

• A state of inflammation and insulin resistance go hand in hand, and are now considered to be the basis of most, if not all, degenerative disease states including those of the brain. (1, 2)

You might know that Alzheimer’s Disease is sometimes referred to as ‘type-3 diabetes’. This is not to say that diabetes inevitably leads to Alzheimer’s, nor that it causes it. They are associated because similar processes are causing them; in particular inflammation and insulin resistance. There are three simple steps here that are now very well understood:

  1. Glucose needs insulin in order to be taken into all the cells in our body, including brain cells.
  2. When insulin is blocked (resisted) glucose can’t get into the cells.
  3. As glucose is your brain’s source of energy, poor brain function is the result.

In addition, insulin regulates the brain chemicals that are crucial for memory. So, becoming insulin resistant is bad news for the brain in a number of ways.

Pages: 1 2 3


  1. Debbie

    This is really helpful and as I have been suffering from memory problems and brain fog due to hypothyroid, I certainly hope that I can add this to the arsenal of non weight loss motivation that I am building up. That said I am finding giving up weighing myself and my obsession with my body shape the hardest part of eating less. I do really well and then as soon as I have a situation where my weight/ body shape will be exposed I flip back into dieting mode which is so destructive…..the tradegy of this is that clinically I am not overweight….although steadily I am putting on weight because of the thoughts of dieting….what is wrong with me when it makes absoutely perfect sense to me that a) diets dont work b) my health should be the goal?

    • If I had a simple answer I really would post it here, but think I’d need a bit of a conversation with you to discover a bit more about what’s going on. This is very, very common – so know you’re not alone. And, just getting the issue identified is a great first step.
      I suggest you re-read the relevant chapters in my book(s) and think you’ll find answers there that perhaps you haven’t noticed before or not taken on board?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.