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February 23, 2019
Dr. Mary Newport, author of The Complete Book of Ketones, joins us to share what the Ketogenic diet is and how it can help with many chronic health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and more.
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DAR: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. We have an amazing show for you this morning. I'm Darlene Kvist. I'm a long time nutritionist, around 40 years, so I've had a lot of experience helping clients with their nutritional needs and the actually their health concerns. And today I'm really very pleased to be bringing you really cutting edge nutritional information about how the ketogenic diet has helped people who are experiencing Alzheimer's disease. Think about that. Ketogenic Diet helping people with Alzheimer's, helping people with Parkinson's disease, people with diabetes, people with cancer, children and adults with autism or epilepsy, and of course, you know what? People who want to lose weight, we get a lot of questions about that. Everyone's looking for that magical answer. And today we're really honored to have doctor Mary Newport, the author of The Complete Book of Ketones. She's joining us from Florida by phone. And Lea, you and I have known Mary for a long time, spent time with her at different conferences, and I feel like she's an old friend. And she's really a wonderful person. So that voice you just heard was Lea Wetzell. She's a licensed nutritionist. She's a certified nutrition specialist. She's on the board of nutrition and dietetics for the state of Minnesota.
LEA: It's great to be here today with you, Dar. I want to welcome Doctor Mary Newport, the author of The Complete Book of Ketones to Dishing Up Nutrition. Good morning doctor Mary.
DR MARY: Oh, good morning Dar and Leah.
LEA: We are so delighted to have you on this show and we have many questions for you throughout the hour.
DAR: It's one thing to research and write a book. I don't know how you'd do it. I can't imagine. Well this is actually your third book on Alzheimer's. But you have actually lived the story of Alzheimer's when your husband Steve developed early onset Alzheimer's. And what we really want you to do this morning because you do it the best, is share your story about helping Steve function as well as he could for as many years as possible. And then also share a little bit about your personal medical training because I think that would shock people how you got from babies to Alzheimer's.
DR MARY: Yeah. So I'm a neonatologist. That's a physician that takes care of sick and premature newborns. And I practiced in newborn intensive care units in Florida for 30 years. I had the opportunity to actually start a two newborn intensive care units in communities that needed them, which was very gratifying. And my husband, Steve was an accountant and that worked out like perfectly for our family because he volunteered to work from home and he was able to work for my practice from home and take care of our children. So we decided, yes, we are going to have children because, you know, as a neonatologist you get called out day and night to the hospital on a moment's notice. And he was there with our children and that was just amazing. So, I owe so much to Steve because he made it possible for me to be a mother and a doctor.
DAR: That's great. And then you took that and then Steve started getting sick, right? How old was he?
DR MARY: Yeah, he was only 51 when he started hitting the obvious symptoms and he told me that he felt like it was like several years at least before that when he started to notice that he wasn't functioning as well with this memory and with this accounting work. He used to say, if I worked for anybody else, I would have been fired.
And he was an active guy. He would kayak a mile and a half off of the Florida coast to these little islands. And constantly out working in the yard and on a computer day and night. And he read novel after novel. I mean, just a very creative, intelligent and physically active person. So, not somebody you would expect to get Alzheimer’s disease. So he was only 51 and he started making like big payroll mistakes and like procrastinating, not getting taxes done and just quarterly, simple taxes that he should have been able to do in 20 minutes. It would take them days to get it done. And then he started forgetting if he’d been to the bank and the post office and misplacing important mail. And I thought, that's not normal. I was only two years younger than him. And I just felt it wasn't normal. And so we got him to a neurologist and he was diagnosed officially with Alzheimer’s at age 54. And if you can imagine that is a devastating diagnosis. You're thinking you're going to spend your golden years together. And I really liked him. I loved him and I liked him. What a lot of married couples can’t say. But when you have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, they say your average lifespan from diagnosis is about seven years. And so we're not even going to make it to our 60’s. So anyway, that's kind of where we started out in the early 2000’s.
LEA: Yeah. And we met you at the American College of Nutrition conference. It was like four years ago. And I was so impressed with really your story and how you took Steve’s health problem into your own hands and applied not only your medical knowledge to help him reverse his Alzheimer's symptoms, but you also look dietary wise too. Can you tell us a little bit about the background of how you discovered looking into the Ketogenic diet for him and his Alzheimer's?
DR MARY: Well, I hadn't even really considered nutrition might be have something to do with it until around 2006. So he was 56 at this point. And then I came across a study that said that people with Alzheimer's who were eating the most Mediterranean type Diet live four years longer on average than the people who ate the least Mediterranean diet. And I thought, “What? Nutrition has something to do with this?!” So we completely revamped our diet at that point. We were on what I used to call the convenience food diet. But then became interested in learning more about Omega 3 fatty acids, which are very important to the brain. And started giving him that, but he still progressed. He's still got worse. Maybe it slowed it down, we don't know. But then in 2008 there were a couple of clinical trials that came along. They were very few and far between in our area. And there just happened to be two that came along at the same time. And at that point, the drug companies were all looking for a drug to break up the plaques in the brain and get rid of these plaques that are found in Alzheimer's disease in the brain. And so these two drugs, one was a vaccine and one was an oral medication that were supposed to do this. And so I had him set up to test, try out, to get into these clinical trials two days in a row. And the night before the first clinical screening, I got on the Internet to look at the risks and benefits of these two drugs just in case he got accepted in the boat, so we could choose. And I came upon a press release for a medical food that ultimately became Axona which came out about a year after this. But they said that in their trials that they saw improved memory and cognition in almost half the people with Alzheimer's that took it. And you never hear that about Alzheimer's drugs. They may be slow it down for six months, but they never improve anyone. And so I became curious about what it was and I was able to find their patent application. And that's where I learned that Alzheimer's is a type of diabetes of the brain. I had never heard that before. And there's a group at Brown University who had looked at the brains of people that had died with advanced Alzheimer's, and they found that there was insulin resistance and insulin deficiency in certain areas of the brain. And then they also learned that they looked at people at different stages, that this starts in a specific area of the brain and it spreads throughout the brain until it's very severe and basically includes most of the brain during the last stages of Alzheimer's. And so the problem is with insulin deficiency and Insulin Resistance is that glucose doesn't get into the cells, right? It's like the brain cells are starving, they need fuel and they're not getting fuel and they're not functioning then, they just can't carry out their functions.
DAR: So, Doctor Mary, let's go over that one more time because I don't think people understand that the brain needs something for fuel. Usually it is sugar or glucose. Just repeat that because we know it and you know it, but most of our listeners don't know it.
DR MARY: Right. So, I'll add a little bit to that. Our brain is only about 2% of our body weight, but it uses about 20 to 25% of the calories that we eat. It’s a really active organ. I mean, it controls our whole body really. And so, normally in our cells, almost all of our cells need insulin to get glucose in and we basically need to make a molecule called ATP. It's an energy molecule to carry out the functions of our cells. And to make ATP a fuel is required. So, in a typical, American type Diet, glucose is the predominant fuel for the brain. It's the main fuel for the brain. And in Alzheimer’s there's a problem of getting glucose into those brain cells. So, it's blocked for several different reasons. But glucose isn’t getting in. And so those cells don't have the fuel they need to make ATP. And ATP carries out functions. For example, if you flex your muscle, all of those muscle cells need ATP to flex your biceps. And they also need ATP to relax it again. So virtually every cell in our body is making ATP constantly. But you can't make ATP without a fuel. And in this case, glucose is the predominant fuel on the typical diet that we eat.
DAR: You explained that so nicely. That’s so easy for people to understand some of this chemistry.
LEA: So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition and we are discussing the Ketogenic Diet with Doctor Mary Newport, the author of The Complete Book of Ketones. We will be right back.
DAR: Well, welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Most people realize that a ketogenic diet is a low carb, high fat plan. Doctor Mary Newport, the author of The Complete Book of Ketones warns people if you're not accustomed to eating much fat in your diet, adding in too much fat, too fast, may result in some intestinal distress. So what would that be? Diarrhea, bloating, gas, possible nausea. So, I think that from Mary just explains things so well.
LEA: She does. And so we were talking before break about, with Alzheimer's disease, the sugar doesn't get into the cells in our brains, like it used to that you've classified it really as type three diabetes of the brain. And we were explaining how we naturally should be using sugar for energy, but if we can't get the sugar into the cell, what did you find as that alternative fuel for the brain?
DR MARY: Right. I was reading a patent application for a medical food. And it turned out the medical food was MCT oil, which is medium chain triglyceride oil. And I knew what that was because I'm a neonatologist. We used to add it to the feedings of our tiniest preemies to help them gain weight and get home faster and they started adding it to infant formula. So I knew what it was. And one of the things about MCT oil is that part of it's converted to ketones in the liver and ketones are an alternative fuel for the brain. So this made perfect sense to me. The idea was that ketones could bypass this block. They don't require insulin to get into cells and they basically feed into the very same biochemical pathway that glucose does to make that very important energy molecule ATP. So, it kind of is an interesting little trick. Take MCT oil to make ketones and then ketones are just eagerly taken up by the brain and get into brain cells. The brain can switch like instantly from using glucose to ketones. And so, this made sense to me to do this. And so one of the things I learned was that MCT oil is extracted usually from coconut oil or palm kernel oil. And so I thought, Huh, I didn't know that I could get MCT oil over the counter at that point, but I didn't know that I could get coconut oil. And I was learning about this around 1:00 AM the night before the trial and there wasn't anything I could do about it. So we went to the screening and he did very poorly. He needed to score 16 out of 30 points on a memory test and he only scored 14 points and didn't qualify. And we were very disappointed. And the doctor had him draw a clock and he drew a few little small circles and a few numbers that wasn't organized at all, like a clock. And she said he's on the verge of severe Alzheimer's. And so I thought, what do we have to lose, we're going to get some coconut oil. And then when we got home, I got back and refreshed my biochemistry 101 from high school to learn what are the medium chain triglycerides. And then I was able to find the fatty acid composition of coconut oil on a USDA website and learned that it was 60% medium chain triglycerides. So, I figured out how much I would need to give them to equal what was in the medical food and the next day he was scheduled, again, to have a tryout for a different clinical trial. And it was at a different city, a different facility. And this time I gave him a little over two tablespoons that I came up with of coconut oil. Luckily he did not have that diarrhea you were talking about. We went for the screening and this time he gained four points from the day before. He remembered the day of the week, even though it was a different day, the season, what city we were in, what floor he was on in the institution, which you couldn't remember the day before in a different location. And he qualified for the study, which was just remarkable. We were ecstatic. We went from devastated the day before to ecstatic. And I thought, well, was it really the coconut oil or did we just get lucky? But at any rate we're going to keep it going. And we just really saw a remarkable improvement from day to day to day. And I didn't stop with just two tablespoons of coconut oil. The medical food was going to just be, and it is, a once a day dose. And what I learned too is that ketone levels, they increase from MCT oil, they peak at 90 minutes, but they're gone after three hours. And I thought, well, what does your brain do the other 21 hours? So, I started learning everything I could about coconut oil and start cooking with it throughout the rest of the day and then added MCT oil probably about six weeks later when I found out that I could get my hands on it and started mixing both of them together. Coconut oil just has so many remarkable properties. The lauric acid in it is antimicrobial. It kills all kinds of bacteria, viruses and other things. And there was research, constant research on Alzheimer's that certain microorganisms might be involved in contributing to the disease and maybe even causing it. So, I thought there's value to continuing coconut oil for that reason. And it also turns out now a group in Japan has found that the lauric acid, which is half of coconut oil, stimulates ketone production directly in astrocytes, which are brain cells at nourish other brain cells. And they've shown this in the lab, so there's a way to stimulate ketones possibly directly in the brain. They're still working on this to confirm it that it happens to living creatures, but very interesting idea. And it could explain a lot about why Steve improved so much when he was just taking coconut oil.
DAR: So Dr. Mary, I know people that are listening are going to be saying, so how much coconut oil did you give Steve and how much MCT oil did you give Steve? And I think they're thinking, do I have to be a medical doctor to figure this out?
DR MARY: I tell people to start slow. Start with about a half a teaspoon of coconut oil or MCT oil or a mixture, two or three times a day with food. If you take it with food, you're less likely to have a problem. And just to increase it slowly and there's some good evidence out there that it might even be able to help prevent or slow down, delay the onset of Alzheimer's and other types of memory impairment. I wish we had time to talk about that. Some really interesting work in Canada with Ketones and glucose pet scans. But I tell people to try to get up to somewhere between three and five tablespoons a day of coconut and or MCT oil. And if they have Alzheimer's, they can push it further than that if they tolerate it. The big thing is how much can you tolerate. And if you increase it very slowly, it's amazing how much you can and I mean, for Steve it took months to get them up to this amount. But we got him up to about 9 to 10 tablespoons a day combination of coconut and MCT oil. And, he did really well with that. And one of the other interesting things, even though were on a Mediterranean diet, it wasn't a deliberate low carb diet, but we found that he wasn't eating nearly as much fruit and he was kind of leading the pasta and the bread and rice on the side. So, I kind of stopped putting that on his plate and he was effectively on a ketogenic diet by virtue of how much fat he was getting, plus taking coconut and MCT oil, which are Kenogenic as we say.
DAR: Dr. Mary, hold that because when we come back I think we want to talk about what is a ketogenic diet and what does that really mean.
LEA: You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Whether you're just curious about the Keto craze or ready to jump in and do a Keto Diet, The Complete Book of Ketones is a comprehensive guide to all things ketones. I highly recommend that you check out Dr Mary Newport's book. We'll be right back.
DAR: Well, welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Here's some things that's kind of interesting. Do you realize that a single daily serving of a sweetened drinks such as like a soda or a glass of fruit juice can result in accelerated shrinking and aging of the brain? Brain shrinking affects your memory. If you drink three sodas a day, you can accelerate the aging of your brain by 13 years. Many clients make that commitment to give up soda when they take the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss series. I mean, that's a big change in their life and a big change for the brain. Maybe a shrinking brain or pain and inflammation in a knee or perhaps bloated and miserable that you want to relief from. And that comes from taking and changing your diet, taking Nutrition 4 Weight Loss. So, come and join us to learn and practice a real food solution and don't miss this opportunity to even look better, feel better by spring. These graduation parties and the weddings.
LEA: I know it. And for our distant listeners, we have the online as well. So everybody can participate. It is fun. It's a great class.
So,Dr. Mary Newport, before our break, we were talking about how you started to implement in the MCT oil, which is that medium chain triglyceride oil and the coconut oil. And you noticed a significant improvement with Steve. And you talked about in the book, which I thought was really interesting as far as how you used it therapeutically by blending the two together and I think was it the ratio of 4:3 you were doing. So you would do 4 MCT and 3 coconut oil.
DR MARY: Yeah, like the easiest way to think of it as like four ounces of MCT to three ounces of coconut oil. That would be the easiest way to make it.
LEA: Great. And I liked that you said it stayed like a liquid. That's the hard thing sometimes with coconut oil. It can be solid and hard to use sometimes. But you found that that was really helpful.
DR MARY: Yeah, liquid at room temperature. You can put it in almost any kind of food, hot or cold. Salad dressing, put it in yogurt, put it in coffee or tea. I mean just so many different things you can do with it. So, it was very versatile and it really continued to help Steve. We saw him improving for close to a year before he stabilized. It's amazing, dramatic really what happened over that year.
DAR: So, Dr. Mary, talk just a little bit about Steve's improvement because I don't think we've really touched on that. And really that improvement lasted for many years, didn't it?
DR MARY: Yeah, I believe it gave him an extra three and a half to four years that were better than the year before we started doing this. So, it did add years of a better quality life I would say, for Steve and our family.
DAR: For sure. So, you also talked about using a ketogenic type diet. Talk a little bit more about what does that really mean? Because that's thrown out for a lot of reasons right now.
DR MARY: Right, right. A lot of people say, “I'm going Keto.” And basically they're doing a low carb diet. But the other really important factor is that it's a high fat diet. It’s higher in fat than what we've been told to do for many, many years. We've been told eat a low fat diet. And typically to get into ketosis or Ketogenic Diet, you need to get your carbohydrates down somewhere to 50 grams a day or less. For people that are type two diabetic, you might need to get down to 20 or 25 grams a day or less, but also need to push the amount of fat up that we're eating. So somewhere around 50% of our calories as fat. And then going up from there. So, the ketogenic diet was named almost a hundred years ago, 1921. Fasting was used to help treat epilepsy. People that had constant seizures and weren't responding to medication well. And there were no medications back in the Bible and Hippocrates time so they actually used fasting to help stop seizures. And in 1921, it was discovered that if you ate a very high fat diet, and I'm talking about 90% fat and extremely low carbohydrates, so probably 5% or less of the calories is carbohydrate, that it would stop seizures successfully in many people, mainly children, who had epilepsy. And some of these children would have a hundred seizures a day and within three or four days of starting this diet, they would stop having seizures. And as long as they stayed on the Diet, it would control seizures, then it's about a quarter of people will completely eliminate your seizures that they go on this type of diet. And another 50% will have a big reduction, like somewhere between 50 and 90% fewer seizures if they stay on a very strict ketogenic diet. So for many years, the Ketogenic Diet, which is now called the classic ketogenic diet was 90% fat and about 5% carbohydrate and just enough protein to allow a child to grow or for an adult to maintain their lean body mass. But then more recently modifications have come along, a low glycemic index diet, there's a modified Atkins diet. And Atkins is probably the most well known modern day version of the ketogenic diet. But it's not as strict as the one that was used for epilepsy. And basically there's kind of a wide spectrum of how deeply into ketosis you want to get with a ketogenic diet. So for example, you could reduce your carbohydrate, maybe to 50 or 60 grams a day and add coconut and MCT oil, which can help support, because they're naturally Ketogenic, they have these medium chain triglycerides, they will naturally increase your ketone level and it basically will help sustain a low level of what we call nutritional ketosis. The very strictest form of the Ketogenic Diet, your ketone levels could get 10 times higher than what you could get by doing this lighter form or milder form of the Diet that I was just talking about. So, you can fall somewhere in between by further reducing your carbohydrate and increasing the percentage of fat in the Diet. So, different people are using this for different reasons. And so in my book I talk about that and where you want to fall on the spectrum depends on what your goals are and that will really help determine what your diet is going to look like.
DAR: Dr. Mary, we seem like we are working more and more with people that have chronic health conditions. All the time. And that's why we are really interested in exploring it even deeper. I remember 40, 50 years ago about the Ketogenic Diet, use it for epilepsy and I was fascinated at that time about it. But talk a little bit, because there's so many people now that I have Parkinson's disease, talk a little bit because you've had experience with that too. So talk just a little bit more about how that helps with Parkinson's or any other chronic brain health condition.
DR MARY: Many of these conditions like Parkinson's, it's a different area of the brain than Alzheimer's is affected, but there's decreased glucose uptake in the part of the brain in Parkinson's where neurons produce a very important neurotransmitter called dopamine. So, people with Parkinson's are not making enough dopamine and then they develop these tremors and stiffness. Sometimes when they get more advanced, they have trouble swallowing and even talking and they talk in a whisper and they'll freeze. Their body will freeze because they become very stiff. And so it's really, it's another just terrible disease and about 30% of them will go on to develop dementia. The Alzheimer's type of dementia, too. So again, it's a problem of glucose getting into these cells. And ketones being able to bypass. That's actually been shown in this group in Canada that's doing the Ketone and glucose pet scanning, is that in the Alzheimer's brain, ketones are taken up normally in those same areas that can't use glucose. They've actually been able to show this now. Very interesting. So it makes sense for Parkinson's. And then other diseases like multiple sclerosis, ALS, which is Lou Gehrig's disease, children with autism, people with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, there are areas of the brain that don't take up glucose normally. It's fascinating. So, ketones could potentially help with symptoms and help get fuel into these cells so that they can function normally. And then there's the whole area of diabetes, diabetes type two. A massive number of people in this country have diabetes and prediabetes. So, if you're 75, there's about a three out of four chance that you're either had diabetes or prediabetes. So basically it's the brain and other organs in the body that aren't getting enough glucose into the cells. And people develop very serious complications from diabetes. I do home visits now with people with chronic conditions and almost all of them have diabetes as probably the underlying reason why they have kidney problems and heart problems, and developing dementia and that type of thing. So, there's a really interesting group, Dr. Eric Westman. He's one of the coauthors of The New Atkins For a New You. He has a very simple ketogenic type of diet that he uses with type two diabetics and he's had 4,000 patients now over about 12 or 13 years. And they go into remission with their diabetes very quickly. I mean, in a matter of two or three days, they're already having to decrease their insulin and oral medications. And many of them are completely able to get off of these within a matter of weeks by adhering to a Ketogenic Diet. And he starts them with a diet that's about 20 to 25 grams of carbohydrate a day and a quite a bit higher healthy fat. Fat somewhat limited because it's still possible to eat too much fat and eat too many calories instead of sugar. But he's had great success with this over the last 12 to 13 years. And if you think about, basically one of the things ketones do when you're in Ketosis, it drops your blood sugar. It lowers your blood sugar and it lowers your insulin level and over about like somebody who has really severe type two diabetes, over about 18 months, they can actually get their hemoglobin A1C. It's basically testing your average blood sugar over a few months. They can get that down over 18 months and get their insulin level down into the normal range by doing this type of diet. It's really quite remarkable. And, in a way though, not surprising. People tend to eat too much sugar these days and that probably is behind is this epidemic we're seeing of diabetes.
DAR: Dr. Mary, I know we have to take another break, but one of the things that I know listeners are out there saying, “90% fat in your diet? I'm going to have a heart attack.” So when we come back, I wanted you to kind of address that the saturated fat in coconut oil does not lead to heart disease. And I know you addressed that in your book. We'll be right back.
DAR: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. We appreciate you listening to our show every week. We sponsor and create Dishing Up Nutrition because we really are concerned about the health of people here and around the world. In the US, cancer rates are up and the ketogenic diet has been used with that. And maybe that's one thing we could talk about when Mary comes back. Certainly heart disease rates are up, diabetes, ADHD, autism, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, all of these health things are up and why is this happening? Could it be because of what people are eating? I encourage you to learn more, not just to lose weight, but for your overall health. If the number on the scale is the reason you decided to eat better, that's great. Start with Nutrition 4 Weight Loss, then take some individual classes and the Weight & Wellness series, kind of become part of our Weight & Wellness community and experience better health. We don't change overnight. It takes time.
LEA: It does take time. Before we run out of time, Dr. Mary, I want to really thank you for coming on today and your book is amazing. So I want everyone to make sure to go and check out Dr Mary Newport's new book, The Complete Book of Ketones and if people want to connect more with you, how can people find you?
DR MARY: Yeah, I have a web site and there's an email to contact me on the website, but I have a lot of information, written information that people can print out for free, videos to watch about all of this whole thing. http://coconutketones.com/ Just a lot of information and there's information about my book too, that’s all about, for example, I'm combining ketone supplements with the low carb diet and using coconut and MCT oil, some diet guidelines and foods that you can use it in and that type of thing.
DAR: That's great. One of the things that I know a listener has asked us because it's advertised all over is ketone salts. Mary can you address that. There's so many things we want to ask you. I guess we're just going to have to have you on again
DR MARY: The salt just came on the market in 2016 and this is the first supplement that actually has the ketone that we make in our bodies, that you can take as a drink. So, my husband got to be a clinical trial one person with the Ketone Ester, which is another supplement too, but the ketone salts have really gotten into wide use and I think they have something to do with why people are going keto with their Diet as well. This has all kind of been exploding around the last few years, this whole idea. And the ketone salts are the Ketone Beta hydroxybutyrate attached to sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium salts. And these are minerals that we naturally have in our bodies and that we need to have in our bodies. And, basically you can take it as a drink and it will instantly increase your ketone level. Now normally you would have to be on a ketogenic diet or fasting or starving for several days to get your ketone levels up to what you can get by taking one packet of ketone salts. So it's very interesting and, really, the people that had been studying ketones all these years, their goal has been to get something to market that will make it easy for people to get into ketosis and enjoy the benefits of doing that. So, on my website there's a lot of information about ketone salts, how to use them. And I say to use with caution and get the doctor involved for people that have any medical condition or somebody who's elderly or somebody who's very young. A couple of things to know about them is that like with the Ketogenic Diet, but rather quickly, the blood sugar will go down. My blood sugar will drop 15 or 20 points with one packet of ketone salts and that effect will last for four or five, six hours before it comes back up to where it was before I took it. And it will drop your insulin level. So, somebody who's, say a diabetic and they're on insulin or medication, need to monitor their blood sugar very closely while they're doing this, so that they know what effect it’s going to have and that they don't give themselves too much insulin, for example. If they don't check it, they might give themselves too much insulin and their blood sugar could get too low, cause a problem. And then with the salts, people who are on diuretics are also losing sodium and potassium from their body. Many people taking diuretics are also taking a potassium supplement. So, people need to be aware of that so that their doctor can monitor their electrolyte levels and make sure that they're not getting out of whack. And somebody that has high blood pressure that's very sensitive to sodium needs to know that the ketone salts are high in sodium and maybe choose a product that's lower in sodium and factor it into how much salt and sodium that they're eating in a day’s time. So different things like that people need to be aware of if they're going to use the supplement like that.
DAR: It's more precise than a lot of what we see advertised a lot of times.
DR MARY: Right. There’s not much about precautions on the packaging that I've seen. But, as an MD and just somebody who has a lot of experience with these ketogenic strategies, I liked to caution people so they know. Knowledge is power as they say.
DAR: So Dr. Mary, we could talk about the saturated fat. I don't know how many minutes we have left. What do you want to end with, I guess that would be the question.
DR MARY: Quickly, saturated fat and the a possible use for cancer I think are important to talk about. So, coconut oil is high in saturated fat, but 70% of the fats in coconut oil are these medium chain triglycerides that are either converted to Ketones or used immediately as fuel. And these MCTs aren't in other oils and fats, so coconut oil is much more of these medium chain fats than the longer chain saturated fats that some like the American heart association are worried about. So, it's just not the problem that they're making it out to. It's much more complicated than that.
DAR: They've actually done studies to show that. And that’s it's in your book.
DR MARY: It’s in my book. And as far as cancer goes, there’s a lot of research and a lot of anecdotal reports popping up now on some big, human trials going on around the world of using the Ketogenic Diet for cancer. And basically cancer cells love sugar.