Ask Patrick on Brain Health

  • 17 Sep 2018
  • Reading time 6 mins
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Every month I will answer your questions on the topic of the month. September 2018 is Brain Health.

Thank you to everyone who sent in questions. I hope these answers are helpful.

Q: Is it safe to take coconut oil in addition to using it to cook with, to feed the brain. Is the saturated fat in it a concern for heart health? Judy

A: The saturated fat is not a concern for the heart. That link is, and has always been, a bit of a myth. However, the real purpose of consuming coconut oil is to provide Medium chain triglycerides, specifically C8, to turn into ketones. This is not going to happen if you’re eating carbs as well., nor, I suspect, will it do anything much for ‘feeding the brain’. However, having periods in which you go more or less ketogenic, and having ideal C8 oil then, could make a difference, especially to those with compromised brain function. I’m writing about this in a book coming out in March next year.

Q: I studied at ION and followed you since the 80’s...still the eternal student...have just read the most fascinating book called The Plant Paradox by Dr Gundry...all about Lectins...would love to know your thoughts on these. Barbara 

A: I’m writing an article on lectins in the next 100% Health Club Members newsletter, so I’ll get a copy of this book to add to the pile for research. A full response will follow. An IgG test is a very good way to know if your immune system is reacting to specific foods, possibly due to their lectins.

Q: Interested to know more about keeping focused and organised with ADD and being dyslexic. Yvie

A: Have you read my report - https://www.patrickholford.com/advice/nutritional-approaches-to-attention-deficit-disorders. The evidence for nutrition helping ADHD is much stronger than pure dyslexia. I’ve also written about this in both Optimum Nutrition for the Mind and Optimum Nutrition for Your Child. As an adult you might want to a) ensure you are on a low GL diet; b) have enough seafood and omega-3 fats; c) supplement one of my packs, plus do try Brain Food and Connect. The best pack for you would be Optimum Nutrition Pack with Brain Food.

Q: I am a healthy 54 year old lady and on having an eye examination the specialist has seen some narrowing of the arteries and plaque in my head but followed by an MRI all is clear and normal everywhere else . I am already taking your Connect supplement and have a good diet. Can you please suggest what might help. Loretta

I recommend you study the book Say No to Heart Disease since that really talks about atherosclerosis and what thickness and narrows arteries in detail. Keep  a) low GL diet b) high antioxidants c) keeping homocysteine down – do check your level; d) enough omega-3; e) enough magnesium to relax arteries and reduce pressure.

Q: I hope you are feeling good. Thank you for giving me a chance to ask you this:

How to recover the brain after talking over 20years benzodiazepines like Valium? Which food supplements, amino-acids, herbs, etc. will help to tranquil the brain during the withdrawal process?

This additional treatment was given by a medical doctor. Thank you in advance! Be healthy! Yoanna

A: Well done! They are so hard to get off. In my range Chill Food is perfect. Take 2 in the evening. For one month, also take Awake in the morning. The other thing you could try is NAD – the form I like the best is called Niagen. I know some people who have had a course of intravenous NAD (related to B3) with great results. Alternatively, try my No Blush Niacin, taking one a day.

Q: What are some good ways to detox the brain? Paul

From what? Alcohol? Mercury? Best thing is to read my 9 Day liver Detox, which will probably answer your question. It’s the liver that protects and hence ‘detoxifies’ the brain. One of the key brain detoxifiers is the process called methylation. How good you are at this is indicated by a blood homocysteine test. if above 11 you need more B vitamins. Connect Food Formula, in my range, is designed for this.

Q: Kryptopyrroles/pyrrole disorder is related to biochemical imbalance which impacts physical and mental wellbeing.. It is caused by stress that depletes the body of essential vitamins and minerals. It is not included in your ‘stress cure’ book. Online there is massive conflict of authenticity of this condition. 

Do you have any experience of nutritional intervention being beneficial for this patient group?? Specifically in adults. Louise

A: Yes, loads. We’ve been treating pyroluria for over 30 years. It is written about extensively in Optimum Nutrition for the Mind. The key nutrients needed are the methylating b vitamins – B6, folic acid and zinc. All of these are in Connect Food Formula. Take 2 is your HPL level is high. We assess and treat this at our Brain Bio Centre in Putney.

Q: Wondered what you think about intermittent fasting?! Is there any evidence that it might help brain health in the long term? As well as following a low GL diet of course!! Thanks. Orkneyjen

A: Generally, it’s good news. The best results have been achieved either by three low GL/low calorie days a week or, even better still, is Professor Longo’s Fasting Mimicking Diet – 5 days of 700-1000cals (depends on your size and exercise) and ketogenic. I’m going to use this kind of approach in a one week ‘Hybrid Fast Detox Retreat’ next June (21 to 28th) in our retreat centre in the Black Mountains. Details will be posted in the New Year. We then transition into a low GL diet. You get the best ‘recovery’ by switching between my kind of healthy keto diet and then low GL diet. All will be explained in a book next year!


Q: If someone has had an MRI of the brain and it is showing one or two tiny bright white dots of high signal intensity change what does this signify and are there any specific supplements which may help to make them to disappear? Everything else was normal on the MRI just these few tiny areas, many thanksTracy

A: Sorry Tracy. I don't know what this signifies and would rather not guess. But if you find out let me know. There are, however, studies which show structural and healthy tissue improvements in the brain by increasing omega-3 fats from fish/oils and by lowering homocysteine with B vitamins. Taking my 100% Health Pack is a great place vto start but I’d also recommend testing your homocysteine level (yorktest.com – use this code PH50 for a £50 discount or buy through holfordirect.com if you’re a 100% health Club member) and taking Connect Food Formula if above 11mcmol/l..

Other Advice and Information

You can also visit his Brain Food  page for all the articles and blogs on the website as well as further information in his range of books on mind health.

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