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The Fatome
What is the Best Source of Fat on a Ketogenic Diet?

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What is the best source of fat on a ketogenic diet?

The ketosphere is pretty segregated, almost in a religious manner, on this issue. Some argue that we evolved to eat animal proteins and fats. This includes a higher proportion of saturated fats, which are stable and resistant to oxidation.

Others argue Mediterranean-keto is superior, given its high proportion of healthy monounsaturated fats (olive oil), Omega-3 fats (fish), and probiotic plant material, as well as the association between Mediterranean diets, longevity, and low rates of Alzheimer’s disease ( 1).

We come to the discussion with our own biases, often informed by our personal (and very legitimate) health journeys. But this piece isn’t about sticking to our guns; it’s about thinking critically to add nuance to the discussion and, at the same time, help you optimize your personal “fatome.” But, wait, what’s a “fatome?”

What is a "Fatome"?

You’ve heard of the genomes and microbiomes. These are the unique sets of genes and microbes that fingerprint each of us and interact within our bodies to influence our health. Why shouldn’t we have a “fatome” — the unique balance of fats we each consume in our diets that influences our health?

The key word in the above paragraph is “interacts.” Each “ome” interacts in its own network and with the others. The genome, microbiome, and fatome all talk with each other. And, as with any team, the qualities of one player should complement those of the others.

In short, there is no one best “fatome.” We can’t tell you what your is, but we can nudge you down the road of self-study by providing the following background information to hopefully help you decide what fatty factors are most important to you.

1. Long-Chain Saturated Fatty Acid Profile

Not all long-chain saturated fatty acids are equal. Long-chain saturated fatty acids differ in the length of their tails, from 14 carbons to 22 carbons.

The three long chain fatty acids to focus on are 14, 16, and 18-carbon, myristic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. In general, myristic acid and palmitic acid can decrease the expression of LDL receptors on your liver ( 2). This is not bad because it can increase LDL, it’s (potentially) bad because of how it can increase LDL. By decreasing LDL uptake at the liver, LDL in the blood has more time to get oxidized, condense, and become atherogenic. Steric acid does not decrease LDL receptor expression on the liver, which is good ( 2).

Therefore, saturated fat sources that have a higher “stearic acid to (palmitic acid + myristic acid)” ratio may, in some people, be preferable. (This is not a clinically proven fact; it’s simply forward-thinking speculation.) If you take a look at the list below, this would imply cacao (chocolate) saturated fat may be better than dairy fat, other factors being equal. #HighFatFoodforThought

Saturated fat sources that have a higher stearic acid to (palmitic acid + myristic acid) ratio may, in some people, be preferable.

2. Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs)

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) go straight to the liver, rather than into systemic circulation. They can also drift into our cells’ mitochondria, without the need for transportation assistance. In short, this means that MCTs get used as more immediate fuel ( 3) and get turned into ketones more quickly than other fat sources.

Coconut oil is rich in MCTs, particularly the 12-carbon, lauric acid. (As an aside, there’s some controversy over whether lauric acid is a long-chain or medium-chain fatty acid. Based on how it’s biologically processed, however, it appears to be medium-chain ( 4)).

What are medium-chain triglycerides? MCTs get used as more immediate fuel and get turned into ketones more quickly than other fat sources.

3. Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFAs)

Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and their primary sources (olive oil, avocados, and macadamia nuts), many consider to be superfoods. Real extra virgin olive oil is perhaps the best fat source of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory polyphenols.

Avocados don’t have quite as many polyphenols as olive oil, but avocados themselves are packed with fibers and avocado oil has a great smoke point for cooking (more below) pro-inflammatory.

However, olive oil and avocado oil have a slight potential drawback: they are each 10-14% Omega-6. These pro-inflammatory essential fatty acids are fine (and unavoidable) to consume in moderation, but if you are like me and can consume over 1.5 Liters of olive oil per week, those Omega-6 can add up, potentially contributing to more harmful oxidative stress in the body.

So, if you’re Mediterranean-Keto, what do you do?

Here are two suggestions:

  • Add in more macadamia nut and macadamia nut oil, which are rich in MUFAs, but much lower in Omega-6 (only 2% vs. olive oil and avocado oil’s >10%).
  • I personally found that including some, but not too much, virgin coconut oil and raw organic coconut butter improved my oxidized LDL levels.

Most of the MUFAs in your diet will be oleic acid. Oleic acid is awesome because it gets converted into a metabolite called oleoylethanolamide (OEA) which activates the fat-burning transcription factor PPAR𝛼 and stimulates TRPV1 receptors on the vagus nerve to make you feel full ( 5).

There is, however, another (rarer) MUFA worth mentioning: palmitoleic acid, also known as Omega-7. Palmitoleic acid is richest in macadamia nuts, synergizes with Omega-3s (found in fish), and can help improve serum lipids ( 6), decrease inflammation ( 7), and increase insulin sensitivity ( 8). Omega-7 palmitoleic acid is also the founding member of the class of hormones called “lipokines” ( 9)!

Oleic acid helps fat burning and helps induce satiety. Palmitoleic acid (found in macadamia nuts) is a founding member of “lipokine” hormones that are good for the brain, heart, and tummy.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fatty Fish (SMASH: Salmon, Mackerel, Anchovies, Sardines, Herring) are your sources of the Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. You need adequate EPA and DHA for optimal health as both decrease inflammation. DHA is a major building block of the brain.

Land sources of Omega-3s, such as flax seeds and walnuts, only contain ALA. ALA can be converted into EPA and DHA, but only at extremely low levels. Therefore, you either need to have some fish in your diet or supplement with EPA and DHA in some form. This doesn’t need to be fish oils, if you are vegetarian. Fish get their EPA and DHA from eating marine algae. There are algae-based EPA and DHA supplements available as well. If you do supplement, krill oil is ideal because it contains a high amount of a special form of DHA (lyso-DHA) that’s best able to cross into the brain using a special transport system ( 10).

Adequate intake of EPA and DHA is important for optimal health as both decrease inflammation. DHA is a major building block of the brain.

5. Smoke Points

You ruin an oil if you overheat it. The most heat-resistant fat sources are avocado oil and ghee. Select your favorite (or alternate between both) depending on your personal preference. Most other oils, including olive oil, can be used for low-temperature cooking (see compare and contrast table). Never overheat fish or flax seed oils as they are among the most heat sensitive.

The most heat-resistant fat sources are avocado oil and ghee. Never overheat fish or flax seed oils as they are among the most heat sensitive.

I hope we can agree that it’s not just about IIFYM (“if it fits your macros”), nor it is simply about IIFYFAP (“if it fits your fatty acid profile”). Below are some additional factors to consider.

6. Probiotic Effects

Certain fat sources come with probiotic effects. Lauric acid ( 4) may help to kill off bad bacteria in your gut, while promoting good bacteria. Similarly, the fibers found in avocados and bacteria found in blue cheeses may each help to improve microbiome health.

7. Dairy Sources

Since I mentioned blue cheese, let’s talk dairy. In general, non-cow dairy sources are best. This is because cow dairy contains what’s known as “A1 casein,” which gets turned into an opioid in your gut that is pro-inflammatory and can cause constipation ( 11). Goat, sheep, and buffalo dairy are generally considered safer.

8. Whole Foods

Consider this: nature often packages fats in whole foods in a protective manner.

For example, the Omega-3s in salmon are healthy but fragile. That’s why wild salmon are pink! Yes. That’s why wild salmon are pink. When wild salmon are on their upstream marathon journey to breed, and exercising their little tails off, they generate a lot of oxidative stress. As a result, their bodies make “astaxanthin,” a potent antioxidant that protects the valuable Omega-3 fats.

When you eat wild salmon, you get the Omega-3 and astaxanthin (its bodyguard). When you eat only fish oil, you often don’t. That’s just one of hundreds of examples of how clever nature can be, which is why you always want to prioritize whole foods over packed foods or processed oils.

9. Inter-omic Interactions

Recall that we said everyone’s best fatome is unique. This is because all our other -omes are unique. We won’t delve into the interactions among the fatome and the genome, epigenome, transcriptome, proteome, metabolome, lipidome, microbiome, sociome and more (breath, Nick, breath). We will, however, provide you with two examples of what we mean by inter-omic interactions.

Genome Example

Take Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia and one of the greatest health burdens of our time. The major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s is the ApoE4 allele. This gene codes for a protein involved in the transportation and metabolism of fats.

People with ApoE4 tend to burn Omega-3s for fuel at higher levels ( 12), leaving less DHA for the brain to use for structure. Therefore, people with ApoE4 may do better with more fatty fish and marine sources of DHA in their diets.

The major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s is the ApoE4 allele. People with ApoE4 may do better with more fatty fish in their diet.

Microbiome Example

Do you suffer from constipation and bloating? Since irritable bowel syndrome impacts at least one-fifth of the world’s population (the constipation form is more common in females), I wouldn’t be surprised if this sounds like you. A common cause of these symptoms is the production of methane gas in your gut by methanogenic bacteria. This methane gas swells up your intestines, making you feel bloated, and also acts as a neurotransmitter to slow gastric motility and cause constipation ( 13).

How does this relate to your fatome? Well, these methanogenic bacteria produce methane using soluble fibers and  “FODMAPs”. They also compete with Lactobacillus bacteria, which help you handle dairy. Therefore, methanogen-positive folk may not do well with avocados (soluble fiber and FODMAPs) or cheeses (even A2 cheeses).

But, you’re never powerless. The microbiome is dynamic. You can shift if through diet. Why not get clever? For example, when I found out that I have 500% and 900% the average levels of two major methanogenic bacteria (and very few Lactobacillus), I decided to cut my avocado habit (and fiber load) to help starve the methanogens, while slowly (very slowly) adding in A2 cheese to help grow the little population of Lactobacillus still hanging on for dear life ( 14). This is personal and incomplete experiment (time will tell) is just meant to illustrate that knowledge is power. Thus, having read this far, you now have more the power!

The bugs in your gut influence the fats you should eat. Different microbiomes need different "fatomes".

So, let’s return to the starting question...

What is the Best Source of Fat on a Ketogenic Diet?

I hope, by now you understand that the answer is not so simple. Your best “fatome” depends on your genome, microbiome, etc., lifestyle, and nutritional perspective. To help you start to ponder, we will leave you with some questions to help you reflect on what you just read:

  • Like saturated fat? Is it worth considering that not all saturated fats are created equal? Is it worth considering the stearic acid/(myristic + palmitic) ratio?

  • Are you Mediterranean-Keto? If so, could you be overconsuming olive oil and avocado oil? It is worth checking out macadamia nut oil (Thrive algae oil works too) and/or incorporating just a bit more saturated fat (virgin coconut oil, raw organic coconut butter, or ghee)?

  • Are you eating fatty fish, at least twice per week? Are you getting enough EPA and DHA? If you’re ApoE4, do you need more?

  • What oils do you use for cooking?

  • Are your fat sources mostly from extracted oils, or do they include whole foods?

  • Are your fats “extra virgin” (olive oil), virgin (coconut oil), and/or “raw” (nuts, coconuts, and dairy)?

  • And, finally, what self-experiments can you do to begin your quest to find your best fatome?!

The “fatome” is the unique balance of fats in our diets that influences our health. Our optimal fatomes are unique to us and depend on our genomes, microbiomes, lifestyles, and nutritional perspectives.

8 Sources of Healthy Fats on a Keto Diet

1.Extra Virgin Avocado Oil

The Fatome: What is the Best Source of Fat on a Ketogenic Diet?

Saturated Fats (LCT) 15%
C16 – Palmitic Acid 13%
Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA) 15%
Oleic Acid 63%
Palmitoleic Acid (Ω-7) 5%
Polyunsaturated Fats (Ω-6) 14%
Smoke Point 400 ℉ (200 ℃)
Main Benefits high in Oleic Acid, high smoke point
Other Considerations if Mediterranean, PUFAs may add up

2. Grass-Fed Beef

The Fatome: What is the Best Source of Fat on a Ketogenic Diet?

Saturated Fats (LCT) 55%
C16 – Palmitic Acid 30%
C18 - Stearic Acid 23%
Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA) 34%
Oleic Acid 31%
Polyunsaturated Fats (Ω-6) 5%
Smoke Point 390 ℉ (200 ℃)
Main Benefits low in Ω-6
Other Considerations high in saturated fats

3. Cacao Butter

The Fatome: What is the Best Source of Fat on a Ketogenic Diet?

Saturated Fats (LCT) 63%
C16 – Palmitic Acid 26%
C18 - Stearic Acid 34%
Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA) 33%
Oleic Acid 33%
Polyunsaturated Fats (Ω-6) 3%
Smoke Point 450 ℉ (230 ℃)
Main Benefits high in Stearic/(Myristic + Palmitic) Acid ratio, low in Ω-6
Other Considerations high in saturated fats

4. Virgin Coconut Oil

The Fatome: What is the Best Source of Fat on a Ketogenic Diet?

Saturated Fats (LCT) 35%
C14 – Myristic Acid 19%
C16 – Palmitic Acid 11%
C18 - Stearic Acid 5%
Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) 64%
C6 - Caproic Acid 1%
C8 - Caprylic Acid 9%
C10 - Capric Acid 6%
C12 - Lauric Acid 48%
Smoke Point 350 ℉ (175 ℃)
Main Benefits high in MCTs, especially Lauric Acid, low Ω-6
Other Considerations high in saturated fats

5. Ghee

The Fatome: What is the Best Source of Fat on a Ketogenic Diet?

Saturated Fats (LCT) 62%
C14 – Myristic Acid 12%
C16 – Palmitic Acid 39%
C18 - Stearic Acid 14%
Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA) 28%
Oleic Acid 25%
Polyunsaturated Fats (Ω-6) 2%
Smoke Point 480 ℉ (250 ℃)
Main Benefits high smoke point, low in Ω-6, 4% C4 butyrate
Other Considerations high in saturated fats

6. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The Fatome: What is the Best Source of Fat on a Ketogenic Diet?

Saturated Fats (LCT) 14%
C16 – Palmitic Acid 11%
Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA) 73%
Oleic Acid 73%
Polyunsaturated Fats (Ω-6) 10%
Smoke Point 375 ℉ (190 ℃)
Main Benefits high in Oleic Acid and high in polyphenols!
Other Considerations if Mediterranean, PUFAs may add up

7. Macadamia Oil

The Fatome: What is the Best Source of Fat on a Ketogenic Diet?

Saturated Fats (LCT) 12%
C16 – Palmitic Acid 8%
Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA) 75%
Oleic Acid 65%
Palmitoleic Acid (Ω-7) 19%
Polyunsaturated Fats (Ω-6) 3%
Smoke Point 390 ℉ (200 ℃)
Main Benefits high in Oleic & Palmitoleic Acid, high smoke point, low Ω-6
Other Considerations expensive

8. Salmon and Fish Oil

The Fatome: What is the Best Source of Fat on a Ketogenic Diet?

Saturated Fats (LCT) 25%
C16 – Palmitic Acid 15%
Monounsaturated Fats (MUFA) 28%
Oleic Acid 25%
Polyunsaturated Fats (Ω-6) 15%
Polyunsaturated Fats (Ω-3) 20%
EPA 9%
DHA 10%
Smoke Point Low
Main Benefits high in Ω-3!
Other Considerations low smoke point

Take Home Message

The “fatome” is the unique balance of fats we each consume in our diets that influences our health.

Our optimal fatomes are unique to us and depend on our genomes, microbiomes, lifestyles, and nutritional perspectives.

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Nicholas Norwitz
MD-PhD candidate at Oxford University

Nicholas Notwitz

Nicholas Norwitz is a Harvard medical student and Oxford PhD researcher who specializes in ketone metabolism. He a rising star in the scientific community, with peer-reviewed publications on topics ranging from brain health to bone health to heart health to gut health.

Informed by his own medical history, he has an infectious passion for food as medicine and a drive to find innovative ways to teach the general public about the latest nutrition science.

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Comments (13)

Hi Nicholas! Thank you for this really informative post. Read with great interest especially the bit about cow milk etc. and how to manage constipation when everything seems to “slow down”. Also wonder why some women find it hard to shift weight despite being keto and “normal” thyroid I wonder if more research can be done there?

Reply

(apologies in advance... no time to edit prose of response but wanted to get you a reply)
Dear Kate,
This is a really interesting question. I wish I had more information on the topic, but I will share a couple of interesting tid-bits. First, on LCHF, thyroid panels tend not to be informative with regards to metabolic rate. The Virta health group has done some work on this (see their website). Basically, when you lose weight thyroid always goes down. But, while decreased thyroid usually correlates with decreased metabolic rate, this doesn't hold true on LCHF. Metabolic rate appears to remain consistent.
My own tests attest to this (of course, take any n = 1 with a grain of pink salt). My free T3 is rock-bottom low and I can't gain weight for the life of me. I weigh 115 pounds, exercise <10 hours per week (no cardio, only weights), do some yoga, a never eat less than 3000 Calories. When I can stomach it, my intake can get as high as 8000 Calories and I don't gain an ounce. (I know it's not a common problem so apologies if this sounds like I'm bragging. Trust me, I'm not). Anyway, I wasn't always like this. When I weighed 130 I was running marathons (should have had much higher caloric needs) and actually ate less, on average. So that's just a little testament to the fact that Calories are a finicky variable on LCHF. I'm going somewhere with this...
I've thought a lot about what changes on LCHF and about women's health/biological differences (I've even done a little bit of unpublished work on the topic). The first thing I'll comment on, before circling back to something that relates to my own experience, is sex hormones. Estrogen modulates metabolic rate, influences fat cell growth, and interacts with the stress axis. Manipulating estrogen in a strategic manner can be difficult. It also depends on a woman's menopausal status. If/when estrogen is at the root of the issue, it's simply important to avoid estrogen disruptors in the environment as a start (e.g. don't touch receipt paper). Lab tests are not that informative, but if you do get a lab test, you need to get the different forms of estrogen, free and bound (to sex-hormone binding globulin) and then have someone who is expert in both LCHF and endocrinology to interpret it in the context of diet. I have attempted this with a couple of people before, with moderate results. Granted, I'm not an expert in female health. But let's set estrogen aside now. I actually think it's a smaller player...
For most women, I think the weight plateau may have more to do with the microbiome! Work by Eran Segal (amazing researcher) shows that the microbiome adapts to caloric restriction. This is why Yo-yo diets actually tend to cause weight gain. When someone loses weight and regains it and loses it again, their microbiome retains its obesogenic profile. The more yo-yo cycles one endures, the more pro-fat gain the microbiome becomes. If you're not aware, the microbiome dictates our metabolism at least as much as anything else. But the opposite also appear to be true. Returning to my own experience, the longer I remain on keto, the more my microbiome changes, and the more my basal metabolic rate appears to increased. Once I hit a weight-stable point, I needed to eat about 2,400 Calories to maintain weight. Now, I need to eat >> 3,000 Calories (one year later). I suspect a plateau will come when my microbiome stabilizes. I do think someone needs to do a proper study on this.
ANYWAY... getting to my real speculation regarding women who hit a plateau... my best guess is that the culprit may be sociocultural. Women tend to be more calorie and portion aware than men. When women go LCHF, many allow their bodies to over restrict to the point of potential metabolic harm (thyroid maybe, but I think more about microbiome-adaptation vis-a-vis Segal's) work. What may end up happening is the reverse of my "male" scenario. I ate all I could and my metabolic rate climbed over time. Flip this on its head, and one would guess that a energy-deprived woman's gut bacteria balance may shift to prevent further weight loss on LCHF.
So, what to do. Well, I giant calorie bump probably won't work. So, step 1 I think would be to play with meal timing. Eat earlier in the day and perhaps in a <8 hour eating window each day. But, make sure not to further restrict intake. Step 2 could be to add in muscle-building exercise. The more muscle you have, the more energy your burn at rest, by far. This could resulting weight gain, at first, but along with improvements in body composition. I recommend waist circumference as a better metric than weight. There are other bio hacks one could try with particular polyphenols to help recover microbiome health, but I don't think that's likely to make a large impact. Also, make sure to get enough sleep. If all that doesn't work, one could experiment with a month of carnivore. I used to be very skeptical about carnivore, but the more I research it the more I think it's a viable option for many. (Best if you eat nose-to-tail). I've never actually walked anyone through it, although am experimenting with it myself, counter to my intuitions, and have been surprised by what I'm discovering through n =1 and reading the literature and corresponding with MDs (Dr. Robert Cywes is someone I recommend that you look up on YouTube).
Sorry, I know that was a lot an incoherent.

Reply

Thanks Nicholas! A reply is a reply, however incoherent you perceive it to be! I believe you're right regarding oestrogen as a post menopausal woman myself, the waistline increased from about the time I was starting to go into the menopause (so decreasing all female hormones).  I then read articles on "oestrogen dominance" which confused me; I enjoy the keto lifestyle but perhaps it might be easier to put on weight if I'm eating "too much fat" or - perhaps dairy which as many perceive being a potential issue for many of us.
Your suggestions are ones I have heard - so might try the carnivore version for a few days and then switch back.  Having been keto for over 3 years and initially hacked it pretty well, it's easy to switch back to "normal" eating on occasion which can be problematic too!  Thanks again 😊

Reply

NEW essential Fatty acid
So, just as a testament to how fast this field is developing, the evening before (May 18, 2020) Martina and I posted the above, a paper was published in Nature (one of the world's top scientific journals) arguing for a new essential fatty acid called "pentadecanoic acid."
There are a few cool things about pentadecanoic acid. First, it's actually a saturated fat.
Second, it's 15-carbons long, which makes it an "odd-chain" fatty acid. I won't delve into the biochemistry, but this means it's broken down slightly differently than even-chain fatty acids, which are more common.
Third, in some ways, it acts like an Omega-3 fat, even thought it's a saturated fat. For example, it activates PPAR proteins like an Omega-3 (specifically PPAR alpha and delta).
Pentadecanoic acid also repairs mitochondria and protects against inflammation.
The authors of this cool study hypothesize the the inverse relationship between whole milk and fatty dairy consumption (decreasing) and chronic disease rates (increases) relates to blood pentadecanoic acid levels.
if you want to go beyond this slap-dash reply to my blog post written on a iPhone, check out the paper: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-64960-y
AMAZING research coming out all the time!
Oh, and most important, Pentadecanoic acid is rich in butter and crustaceans. So great excuse for buttered lobster!
cool about found in #butter and some #fish (shrimp) activates PPAR, protect mito, decrease inflamm, protect ag chronic disease
Supplement pending
dose2mice in study=17 Tbsp butter for 70 kg human, ha!
https://nature.com/articles/s4159

Reply

I love salmon. Never hear of astaxanthin. How do I know if the fish I buy has been colored. I eat a lot of pacific king salmon. It's not always so pink. I noticed sockeye is usually pinker, almost red sometimes. Is sockeye better?

Reply

Wow. Observant! Three letter answer: Yes.
Wild Alaskan sockeye is the best salmon you can buy!
Sockeye is richest in astaxanthin and Alaska has actually banded farmed fishing so you know all the fish is truly wild.
Not pubmed, but I buy from this company, VitalChoice. Their website says, "A six-ounce portion of farmed Atlantic salmon averages 0.75 to 1.65 mg of astaxanthin, while wild sockeye salmon offers 6.75 mg of astaxanthin per six-ounce serving, or four to nine times as much."
https://www.vitalchoice.com/article/salmon-pigment-shows-weight-control-potential
And check out a cool graph here: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Mean-astaxanthin-levels-in-the-muscle-of-prespawning-wild-Pacific-salmon-species-genus_fig3_233489744

Reply

My mother died of Alzheimer's, I love fish and have never heard of lyso-DHA. Can you elaborate on its benefits? That's really interesting. Where can I get it other than krill oil? Thank you in advance!

Reply

Dear Jennifer, thanks for the important question. I have to give credit to Dr. Rhonda Patrick of FoundMyFitness for what I know about lyso-DHA. Basically, free normal DHA gets into the brain by simple diffusion (think of a drop of ink in water). In a person with inflammation, the barrier between the body's blood and the brain can be damaged so this diffusion is impaired. Also, in people at genetic risk for Alzheimer's, there is evidence that DHA get burned for fuel more quickly so that there is less left over for the brain. By contrast, lyso-DHA has it's own transporter called MSFD2A that shuttles lyso-DHA into the brain directly. The fact that there is lyso-DHA in real fish, but not in most supplements, has been hypothesized to account for the fact that DHA supplements aren't as useful for the prevention of AD as fish (take that with a. grain of salt as it is an extrapolation  based on epidemiological data). In terms of sources, the best natural source is salmon caviar and other fish roe/eggs. Krill oil also contains high levels. So eat your roe/caviar or supplement with krill oil 😊. Hope that wasn't too jargony a reply. -N

Reply

That’s interesting about the distinction among LCTs! I never knew that. Based on that hypothesis, would this imply that beef saturated fats (second to cacao in the S/PM ratio) might be better than butter, avocado oil, and olive oil saturated fats. I realize this discounts all the other fat types and antioxidants, but if you humor me...?

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Good observation. All other things being equal (which they are not) you'd be correct. It's important to note, however, that MUFAs (and even PUFAs) can increase LDL receptor expression. So, just because the saturated fats in avocado and olive oil are mostly palmitic, doesn't mean those sources have a more negative impact on LDL receptor expression. In fact, the opposite is true. MUFA-rich foods improve LDL receptor expression. Nevertheless, a worthy thought experiment! For fun, here's a comparison of the Steric to Palm+Myr ratios of animal fats based on USDA data (not necessarily grass fed)
USDA- beef fat (tallow) = .66
USDA- pork fat (lard) = .54
USDA- chicken fat = .27
https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171400/nutrients
https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171401/nutrients
https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173564/nutrients

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... a continuation to my initial reply...
Stearic😜almitic+myristic in fat from [X] based on USDA
Variability among sources don’t worry about decimals
Beef liver  2.64
Lamb liver  1.76
Lamb  1.25
Veal liver  1.20
Goat .92
Beef  .66
Chicken liver  .73
Pork  .54
Butter .34
Poultry .27

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Sorry. Stearic [colon]Palmitic came out as goofy face... whoops... emoji autocorrect is a thing?!

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That happens to me all the time. And you don't notice until you post it! 😊

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