Do Food Electrons Impart a Quantum Effect?

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1. What could happen when you ask a supposed “dumb” question to a smart paleo guy?
2. Sleeping  stimulates neurogenesis and learning?
3. What is a ketogenic diet?
4. Does the ketogenic diet show one macronutrient matters more than another for brain metabolism?
5. Are the electrons from different sources treated differently by the brain?


On the plane home from the AHS at UCLA I was reading a series of physics papers that I had mentioned to “The Kracken” while at the AHS. I asked Matt a rather jumbled question this weekend I had from this paper about a chemistry and electron transport and unusual physical effects in relation to oxidative phosphorylation that occurs at the mitochondrial level when we eat. He looked at me like I was nuts, and he tried to rephrase my question to answer it based upon what he thought I meant. My question was worded poorly,  because I really had not thought through what and why I wanted to know about this issue fully.  His answer, however,  told me what I was looking for.   His answer told me how “paleo thinks” about electrons.  If our thinking is not clear its tough to specify it in a question. I realized then I had to explain to him better what I was really asking and share the papers with him.  Electrons are important, because they give chemicals or macronutrients their special and specific chemistry.  It is not the protons or neutrons that do it in any substance of matter including food.  That is a well known fact in all branches of chemistry.  On the plane ride home as I slept, however, I woke up with a sudden burst of insight on how I may not only phrase the question better, but how I might have found the answer myself before in something I read in residency.  That answer maybe buried in the bio-energenic literature I reviewed while a resident at LSU for brain energy transport. I recalled reading about the effects of the ketogenic diet on pediatric brain tumor patients and on patients with neurodegenerative disorders in the mid 1990s. I had to put together a talk on this back in 1995.  When I got home I opened up some books and Pubmed searched a bit. I think that nap might have been what I have been looking for. You have got to love autophagy from sleep! It surely does stimulate neurogenesis so we can learn!

First, let’s talk a little bit about what a ketogenic diet is and what it does for certain peoples’ brains. It is a current mainstream treatment for epilepsy and neurosurgical pathology today but it is rarely used often enough in my opinion. The reason it is not used is because antiepileptic drugs are now considered first lines of therapy these days. Conventional medicine wisdom exists even in neurology and neurosurgery I am afraid. The treatment actually dates back to the early Greek civilization around 350-400 BC. They used fasting as a way to improve the symptoms of epilepsy. I remember reading back then the reason the treatment often failed is because the patients got quite hungry after a week of this. So it was not a sustainable long term treatment. The medical community re-discovered fasting at the turn of the 20th century in Europe. A study was even undertaken in France to show its efficacy. It showed much promise but again compliance was the rate limiting factor. The idea then traveled across the pond to the USA and several physicians came up with a “modified water diet” that had ten percent food and 90% water as its backbone. The American trials showed promise,  but again were limited by hunger compliance.  As the blog goes on, you are going to find out that water electrons are a lot more important than any other source of electrons.  Understanding the ketogenic diet is going to help that understanding.  Few in healthcare still know that.  Consider the following story about the ketogenic diet’s history.


Interestingly enough, one of the patients was boy who father was a rich NYC landlord who donated some money for further research into how this “water diet” actually worked. The money went to Dr. Lennox and Dr. Cobb at Johns Hopkins, who later became famous. From those studies we found out that fasting induced the formation of ketone bodies. All three ketone bodies were found with that grant. Once this occurred the Mayo Clinic researchers joined the party and actually named the diet the “ketogenic diet“. They actually worked out the macronutrient ratios for the diet to be used in 1924. They found children needed one gram of protein per KG of weight, no more than 15 grams of carbohydrates per day, and the rest of dietary calories had to come from fat. Once this was done it was used extensively in children with great success. It met with limited success in adults and interestingly enough, this is why the diet was abandoned and antiepileptic medications became first line drugs back then. This is where my residency recall ended of the papers I had read for my talk. I knew, even today, that in difficult seizure cases where all medications fail, like Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, that the ketogenic diet is still used. I have used it myself as a neurosurgeon for patients with difficult seizure control who harbor brain tumors.  Ketogenic diets are very helpful in cases or neuropathology of the brain or the immune system.

The diet came back to life while I was in residency because another famous NY TV person had a son who went on the diet and did quite well. They even made a TV show about the child’s case. A multicenter trial was begun and the results released as I was finishing my training in Neurosurgery. Today most epilepsy centers offer ketogenic diets as mainstream therapy for drug resistant seizure disorders. It is even covered by all US insurance carriers as of 2011. Interestingly, the literature is bare with a mechanism of action.  I can hear you saying this to me now, Doc, where is this all heading?  Why should I care?

Well, in the paleo blogosphere there are so many arguments about macro and micronutirents ratios and levels and what is optimal and what is not. There are constant questions to many podcasters asking about metabolic typing and related topics. I think the ketogenic diet firmly answers the question whether or not specific macronutrient levels can have a direct effect on metabolism in a measurable way. Remember most current low carb paleo diets are direct ketogenic diets as well, but they are missing the most important ingredient to the diet’s success, water.  Here comes your relevance.

The ketogenic diet of today is loaded with MCTs usually from coconut oil. MCT are metabolized quite differently than other fats. The low carb paleo diet is heavily steeped in MCT oils as well, but not in water. The carb content is usually kept below 100 grams but the range most use is even lower than that. Mind you,  I don’t advocate this across the board for everyone.

I myself eat a high percentage of calories of fat and protein with copius amounts of non fluoridated hard water based upon my own testing and results. This puts the patient in sustained ketosis and is a successful way to reverse metabolic syndrome and lose weight.  Low carb ketotic diets without water do not work well in my experience.  But it confers a much bigger advantage that previously has gone unrecognized until now. What is that advantage? OK…….this part is going to hurt your brain because it has a lot of cerebral physiology but I promise the pay off is worth it.

In neurosurgery, we have hundreds of thousands of studies done on the coupling of cerebral blood flow (CBF) to cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen consumption (CMRO2). Neurosurgeons are experts in managing CBF and CMRO2 in neurologic injury or in pathologic states to navigate patients back to health. We spent seven years learning how to alter this simple equation to provide the best outcomes to patients. We need to control CBF often because, if it increases indiscriminately, the patient will die because the brain swells and it is located in a fixed closed compartment. This is commonly how one becomes brain dead in case you are wondering. The brain controls its own CBF by a process called autoregulation. In simple terms, the metabolic activity of the neurons determines how much blood flow a certain region of the brain gets. The only way to uncouple CBF from metabolism and keeping the patient alive is inducing general anesthesia. Uncoupling or losing autoregulatory control does occur in many neurologic diseases. For example , when we do dynamic cerebral blood flow studies in the brain we can tell the difference between patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia by testing their metabolic consumption of oxygen. The difference lies in how the CBF looks in each disease.

In vascular dementia (chronic TIA’s) the problem is a poor blood supply to the neurons. Dehydration robs the brain water and it slows energy production because water is found in the mitochondria and makes up 70% of the molecules found in the brain.   This starves the brain slowly of oxygen causing long standing neuronal cell death and leads to a dementia. The neurons are completely normal–just starved for air and water.  Autoregulation however is completely intact. In AD, the neurons are diseased from protein folding defects but the blood vessels can deliver a normal cerebral perfusion pressure. Protein folding is a key early problem in all neurodegenerative diseases.  This means oxygen flow is intact in the AD patients’ brain.


The neurons however on the dynamic PET/SPECT scans show major hypo-metabolism and hypo-perfusions in the frontal and temporal lobes. Autoregulation is clearly uncoupled in AD and it is 100% tied to a loss of energy. Remember the only way we have to uncouple CBF from CRMO2 and keep the patient alive is anesthetic drugs. This begs the question…when we put a person with AD under a general anesthetic do they react differently since their neurons cannot control their own perfusion do to the formation of neurofibrillary tangles? The anesthesia literature says this is a true statement. So then,  why is it that a ketogenic diet, high in fat or MCT oils, is very helpful in improving cognitive function in AD?   Here is where it gets real interesting.

The brain is an amazing organ of evolution. It makes up 2% of our body weight but draws 20% of our cardiac output. This means it is the ultimate energy hog. But one would expect that because of the amount of energy it uses to run the entire human body. Moreover, as humans evolved the neocortex (human parts of our brain) it increased the demand for energy to greater degree than primates.   There is a huge difference in primate brains and human brains as you will find out in  future blogs like Brain gut 3, 4, 5, and Energy and Epigenetics 1.

More brain tissue evolved,  means more oxygen is needed.  This is why primates pound for pound are stronger than us.  Their lineage chose muscle-skeletal strength to climb trees while we evolved brains to increase our thinking ability.  But this decision was more based upon longevity.  This story is told via the evolution of MHC1 gene in hominids.  This allowed us to forage for food with more diversity because we could think to find ways to forage better than we had.  Forming social networks to use collective knowledge is an example. But this huge evolutionary advantage also came with a cost.   A human can live without food for 30 days.   They can survive for without water for seven days.  But the human brain cannot do without oxygen for 4 minutes or it dies. It is clear water and oxygen are the fuel sources for the brain  somehow.  This linkage comes into play in their mitochondrial efficiency and capacity.


Because of the brain’s high metabolic demands, when humans think or do any mental activity they can only activate about 2% of the total neurons in their brain to carry out the task when they are using glucose as a source of fuel. Primates only eat 5% fat or protein in their diets, so their brain growth is stunted by their dietary choices from an evolutionary prospective.  This has been shown by PET scan studies and more recently in fMRI studies using CRMO2 as the major variable. This limits our ability to use multiple systems at once. If we did we would pass out from the lack of oxygen due to the heightened CRMO2 by the neurons actively engaged. Remember that oxygen consumption in the brain is directly coupled to blood flow. When the human brain is running on a ketogenic diet as its primary source of fuel the ketone bodies directly down regulates genes that allow glucose to be utilized in neurons. Moreover, the ketone bodies allow us to use between 35 ~100% more total neurons than we could with the isocaloric dose of glucose as fuel. This means we can activate and use more neurons using less oxygen! That provides a huge macronutrient advantage for ketosis. It appears that the real advantage of ketosis from the brain’s perspective is an increase function and cognition. This is pretty amazing and in fact has been shown in many patients with neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.

Remember my original point about how the brain works normally. Neurons determine how much CBF it needs based upon its own metabolic demands. CBF is tightly coupled to CMRO2 given the wide variations in blood pressures. BP is a function of plasma water content.  A ketogenic diet works by uncoupling CBF from CMRO2!  This means that eating a ketogenic diet allows a higher CBF while have a lower resting cerebral metabolism.  Carbohydrates and proteins have never shown this benefit in any study I know of testing cerebral autoregulation. This means that a low carb, high MCT fat diet confers a significant metabolic advantages to the brain because it improves mitochondrial efficiency by generating a lot of energy from splitting water.


CO2 1/2 O2 = one mole H2O (~18 grams water = 3.5 teaspoons) = 286 kJ

When one mole of H2O is created from one H2 (hydrogen) and half O2 (oxygen), 286 kJ of power are released to the cell to do work.  That is an astounding amount of energy.  This is just from water.  For your reference, a small tuber has only 68 kcal with in it.  This raises the question, is food really more important than water when you are a mammal and have a mitochondria crafted by a unique set of environmental circumstances?

Please remember the human brain is made up predominantly of lipid and water and surrounded by water and has water within its ventricular system.  The brain directly controls all efferent and afferent pathways of metabolism via leptin. The implications are big. Remember that food is thought to be “our only”  substrate source of electrons for our mitochondria’s electron transport chain in organic chemistry terms.  This also means that somehow the electrons that come from these ketone bodies affects the neuronal ATP requirement of cerebral mitochondria.   Is it possible they come from elsewhere,  or does the electrons from food have a quantum effect?  This was the essence of the question that I asked “The Kracken” at AHS.  I asked him if all electrons are created equal?

On the surface this sounds like an “ignorant question” until one thinks about the implications of these findings in the pathologic brain. Something has to allow for this metabolic advantage. So what is it?   That is open for debate, but I think I have a solid answer.  But this is where the physics papers come in to play that I was talking to Matt about.   This physics data says that can not be true.  And if your experiment does not equal your belief, it implies that your dogma is wrong about diets and food.  And today we know it is not.  Humans get many electrons from water and from sunlight too and evolution has figured out how to harness their energy in our mitochondria.

We know experimentally that CMRO2 (cerebral metabolism) is tied directly to microtubule function and mitochondrial ATP production in the brain. The only way we have as neurosurgeons to uncouple neuronal oxygen consumption from cerebral blood flow and not kill neurons is inducing anesthesia. Today we don’t know precisely how anesthesia works, but Stuart Hameroff, MD (an Anesthesiologist at Univ of AZ) believes he does. His work is pretty amazing and I have been reading it for sometime. I just never put metabolism and physics together until today’s trip home. We know that volatile anesthetic gases act by Van deer Waals (London Convention) forces in hydrophobic pockets of select brain proteins to ablate consciousness. It’s called the induction of gamma coherence of neuronal microtubules. The quantum field theory mathematics and physics are quirky, but I think the answer to many unknown biologic forces will come back to Einstein’s core principles he laid out in 1905 and in subsequent papers. Most of you know that quantum mechanics deals with the physics , chemistry and biology at a subatomic particle level. Well, electrons from all types of sources and from foods, fit that bill.


The real question is do electrons from different macronutrients have specific quantum biologic effects? Many of the things that have been mathematically predicted by Einstein’s quantum mechanical theory have been proven true by science today. For example, the presence of a black hole, a quasar, or the fact that time bends at the speed of light. When he first made the predictions he was mocked. He predicted a quasar and a black hole in the 20’s and until the Hubble telescope was deployed recently, we did not know for sure. We now know he was correct. Einstein’s mathematics also says that things that are of the same origin always remain connected in some fashion no matter how far apart they may exist in space or in time. This is his theory of non locality. I have been an Einstein freak my whole life. And I have been wondering for 15 years whether an electron from carbs, fat or protein, or somewhere else is somehow categorized differently than one another by metabolism. If so this could have major implications for a new understanding of all the biologic pathways in metabolism and in aging.

I can hear you thinking, I am drinking the woo woo now! No, I can promise you I am not. The reason I have been thinking about gamma coherence and “if” all electrons are really equal is because of this seemingly incongruent experimental effect of the ketogenic diet on brain metabolism. The real data implies something else is behind energy transfer in the brain.  It clearly is different in the brain as I have laid out here.  So would evolution select the brain about differently than any other organ in our body? I don’t doubt it, because evolutionary biology uses a strict fractal geometrical framework for evolutionary progression. I think the answer is in water.  This post likely will stimulate the debate in the blogosphere about the real differences in macronutrients effects upon metabolism.  At least, I hope it would.

I’m wondering out loud about how far reaching this effect may reach. But I now have a more complex puzzle to solve. Why does this happen with only a ketogenic diet?  Why are carbs and protein afforded no such benefits?   This needs to be asked don’t you think?   And now you have the essence of what I was trying to ask “The Chemistry Kracken”.

Are all electrons really created equal or does our body account for the types of foods that certain electrons come from?   I honestly think I  know this answer, but I wanted to ask the smartest man in paleo;   but  I can not get away from why would a ketogenic diet high in MCT do something radically different to brain metabolism and CBF that carbs and protein do not.   I think its a question that needs an answer.  Remain curious folks!!!


1. S G Hasselbach et al. Changes in cerebral blood flow and carbohydrate metabolism during acute hyperketonemia. Am. J Physiol. 1996 May 270 (5 PT 1): E746-51 8967461
2. Olaf Paulson et al. Cerebral blood flow response to functional activation. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2009 Sep 9, 19738630
3. LaManna, J et al. Ketones suppress brain glucose consumption. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2009: 645:301-6 19227486
4. Hameroff, S. (1987) Ultimate Computing.
5. Penrose, R (1989) The Emperor’s New Mind
6. Hameroff,S. Penrose, R. The conscious pilot- dendritic synchrony moves through the brain to mediate consciousness. J of Biol Physics, Vol 36, number 1/ Jan 2010.


  1. Joe Brancaleone says:

    Ouch, my 2% brain.

    This may seem off point, but regarding the applicability of quantum physics to metabolism / biology, or to any other discipline for that matter, I'm reminded of Ted Goranson's profound comment in this old thread on Quantum Information in a list for the FIS (Foundations of Information Science). First someone's initial dizzying post for context:

    And Ted's fascinating response, note especially his concern about layers of information that need to be distilled to go from workable theory to something descriptive of reality:

    Ted is a very interesting cat who works in cognitive science and abstraction modeling. I first came across him in his film analyses ( of all things, but your ideas and how you shape them are very reminiscent to me.

    I suppose the main reason I bring this up is how relevant is the Kolmogorov complexity referenced in the above post necessary in pursuing the sorts of questions raised in this post? I know I'm not qualified to give an answer, but I'm curious what others may think.

    • Joe I brought this up to Matt at AHS but I did a horrible job framing it. This post frames it exactly in how I was thinking about it. I think to get my answer I am going to have to get Matt (stud organic chemist) and a physicist who specializes in photosynthesis to answer this. Most people dont realize that biologic quantum effects are now a proven scientific fact in in explaining the photochemical efficiency of photosynthesis. Since I became aware of this science I new that if plants were using quantum effects eukaryotes have to as well. The only biologic system I could tie it to was anesthesia induction and explaining how consciousness occurs biologically. But I think this ketogenic effect maybe another. Clearly, I am speculating here but I thought I'd unleash it for the blogosphere to tear apart. I think it poses many interesting questions. But this I do know as a neurosurgeon……the effect of a ketogenic diet on CBF and CRMO2 have been known for decades. How it all ties together however is new ground.

  2. dentalque says:

    You gave us a lot to digest here. You may find your answer (or part of it) in the TCA cycle. MCT enter it at a different place. I am not sure if it is a qualitative or quantitative difference. (Or even if that is THE cause or A effect, but it is something to look at.) In addition, I bet there are changes at the first cytochrome.

    Not sure Einstein is all that relative (no pun intended) to this. He was looking at relativistic (ie large things) He envisioned light as a quanta to solve certain problems in theory with the photoelectric effect. He did theorize black holes but did not think that it was possible, just theoretical. Don't forget relativity is not the answer, it is an incomplete theory. It breaks down at the subatomic level. (We are still looking for what is called a "unified field theory." That is the arena where you will find definitive answers.)

    • But Eisntein is the father of quantum mechanic mathematics. The rest of the physicists took off with it. Remember chaos theory came from Heisenberg's uncertainity principle too. But it all started with Einstein. The one nutty quantum effect I wonder about it the theory of non locality. I have always wondered if the body somehow knows which electrons came from which macro nutrient at some level. On the surface it sounds crazy but then again what in quantum mechanics is not bizarre. Just remember Schrödinger's cat experiment that believes his cat can be dead and alive simultaneously. When you view it in this light and have this unusual effect of the ketogenic diet it makes you think. Well it has been on my mind anyway for 10 years. I think a quantum biologist will be best to answer it but there are so few out there. I am trying to contact the scientists who worked on the new photosynthesis data but no luck so far. I ran it by "The Kracken" and he just gave his best, "are you fucking crazy look." LOL My fault because I did a shitty job of explaining my thought process.

  3. Just a couple of quick notes, maybe more later when I have time. The first is to note that as a theory, quantum mechanics is somewhat lacking. It's true that quantum field theory is the most accurate in terms of predicting certain things at the subatomic level, but there's a giant gap between how we model those micro-processes and the cascade of physics that ultimately leads to our observations in the macroscopic world. That quantum physics seems "weird" to us is probably in no small part just be a reflection of the incompleteness of the theory.

    Quantum states exhibit "entanglement". When two ping-pong balls collide, you can consider them separately before and after the collision. The collision obviously changes the individual states, but the ping-pong balls basically "forget" each other. When electrons interact, however, the resultant state can't be separated into two one-electron states. So when electrons from MCT take part in some biochemical reaction, the resulting state is the entanglement of the original MCT molecule, the electron, and whatever else participated. So there is some notion of the electron "remembering" where it came from; however, this is already accounted for in the chemistry of the reaction. Further, as the electron interactions with other things, it also becomes entangled with their states, and increasingly "forgets" about its origin. This is a hand-waving explanation of "decoherence", and amongst other things is the reason quantum computers are hard to make useful.

    I expect there's plenty of richness in regular old organic chemistry to account for the phenomena you discuss.

    • @Dave great comment you make……. and this is why I asked The Kracken. He is the guru of organic chemistry in my view. Again, I total screwed the pooch with how I asked it. I realize that QM has its holes……..but it also has a possible answer. I am wondering out loud if this is it. I am not sure. I also wonder about palmitic acid from natural foods vs de novo lipogenesis. Matt and I have already spoken about it some time ago but the question remains fuzzy in my mind still. Until I get the why…..I will wonder why and think about it.

      Dave I understand you used to be active in physics no? For twenty years as a neurosurgeon I still cant figure out why ketone bodies can uncouple CBF from CMRO2. I need to find that answer.

  4. Can I just say WOW? I mean WOW. Dr K. as I read this and distill it down to my low-level Liberal arts/engineer brain – I think what I just read tells, me that the brain will use fat, protein and carbs as potential fuel source – but for optimal metabolic efficiency FAT is the brains preferred fuel source & use of said FAT as fuel unlocks the unlimited metabolic potential necessary for optimal life functions through out the body.

  5. terrentez says:

    Love your messy beautiful blog Dr Jack. Schroedinger and Heisenburg were the first to present a mathematical framework for QM. Einstein in 1905 helped get the ball rolling with his spot-on explanation of photoemission (energy of electrons emitted from surfaces hit by light), but this was pre-QM. However, Einstein (with Podolsky and Rosen) many years later pulled the rabbit of non-locality out of the QM hat — in an attempt to disprove QM ! Einstein was never a big fan of QM I'm afraid — "God does not roll dice" etc. Keep up the great work!

  6. @Shijin13 I find this amazing as well after reading many vegetarian forums saying the human brain prefers to run off glucose. This refutes that specific claim and goes one further.

    I would say that electrons most certainly could not all be created equal. We treat them that way for ease of calculations but those certain nuances that aren't immediately measureable could make a difference inside our brains. Are all electrons made up of precisely the same bits and pieces? That is a question for a physicist and if so why couldn't that difference in electrons not make a difference in our brains. Now of course you are giving a certain amount of legitimacy to neuropothy.

  7. @Jack,

    I think QM *is* the answer. I just don't think you need to invoke any extra effects. The richness of organic chemistry comes largely from "quantum weirdness", the nonlocality of electrons, the exclusion principle, etc. I'm just saying it's already baked in.

    That said, there's plenty still left to be understood within organic chem, and your problem may be one (of many) yet unsolved. Put that into a complex biological system, with all of the various enzymes and other regulatory mechanisms and the problem becomes considerably more complex. For instance, I would guess there's a whole truckload of subtle physiological differences induced by consuming palmitic acid vs. creating it de novo. There's no need (yet) to invoke some quantum difference between the actual palmitic acid molecules/electrons, because there's almost certainly a complex web of other differences occurring in the body. We currently probably understand very little of this.

    • Dave I think your right and this is precisely what Matt was telling me with that look on his face. The greater point I am trying to make is this…..the ketogenic diet offers some amazing benefits to the brain. We do not know how long the effect lasts and we dont know how it affects the periphery. Guys like Colpo thinks long term it induces cortisol production and cause problems. I respect his beliefs. But we dont know. I really think Matt touched on something that I mentioned in my post AHS blog that may be a big tell. Bioidentical hormones and synthetics are not the same. Cysteine in vitro does not equal cysteine in vivo……so my question to Matt and his ilk is what, from an organic chemistry perceptive imparts this benefit to the ketogenic diet at the brain? And similarly why is palmitic acid from coconut oil and de novo lipogenesis acted upon differently by the in vivo biochemistry. My real belief lies in epigenetic switches that are turned on and off by our environment. But I can not discount the quantum effect just yet because I have not heard a good enough hypothesis to blow it up. I understand completely what you and Matt are saying that the QM is included in the "biochemical equation" but for me to accept that I need more of the WHY laid out. I hope you understand why this fascinates me. And this is why I posted this ………to hang my thoughts out to dry to let people shoot them down. I am totally cool with that. And thank you Dave for your thoughtful posting. I really appreciate it.

  8. @terrentez I agree fully…..but I think a unified theory failed because Einstein could not accept the Heisenberg principle. I think if he had accepted it he would have realized the theory could be unified. And sadly……his mind was the best at conceptualizing thought experiments of any who has previously lived. This is why I am throwing this out there. I actively think about these things constantly.

  9. @Shijin13……..for people seriously steeped in science we have always known that the vegan/vegetarian ideals are based in fairy land. Robb Wolf summed it up well at Denise Minger's AHS talk……."who gives a fuck what they think". I agree 150%. If they want to remain ignorant of the science let them…….But some of us who want to know why this lifestyle increase our chance of survival we can not sit still. I already know implicitly from my own telomere testing that the paleolifestyle works…….but this blog is about the WHY?

  10. Dr. K I've seen positive evidence since moving to the paleo woe last nov. my attention span has increased, I'm no longer walking in a fog, and in general I feel pretty good- the question is how long will it take to reset my LS? recently I convinced my husband that we should be feeding the kids a high protein/fat bkfst every day – and in 2 weeks we've seen our 3yo go from tantrums, and being uncooperative little girl who wants snacks all the time, hard to get to sleep – to a girl who grumbles about having eggs and meat for breakfast but she eats it, and her over all snacking has decreased, and she's going to bed and sleeping better. and with the high protein bkfst her juice consumption has gone down to water (at least at home – can't control daycare) I've even printed out your discusions on AD – for my husband to read – I think It may get him to kick all grains finally, as he's scared of AD as he's experienced it first hand

  11. I went back and re-read "A vegan no more" by Tasha

    It is truly amazing to see how a fat starved brain functions…depression, denial of feeling crapy, etc. And then to see the same brain revel in euphoria and giddiness upon consuming meat and fat. All the crappy feelings and depression fade away.

    The biochemistry and QM is there for the reseachers and biochemists to probe. But how do you impart your findings to your fellow clinicians in an effective manner to convert them. How do you make them into A plus physicians…especially the "lowly" GP Family Practice physicians who are on the front lines of seeing the neolithic dieseases of civilizations.

    And finally, when physicians attend conferences, how many of them suffer from DOC? How many are overweight or obese? And these are the docs that are susposed to treat DOC in the their patients.

  12. Is MCT found in all forms of consumed coconut, ie coconut water, cream, and oil?

  13. Dr. Jack, really interesting. Being a humble meteorolgist I make no bones about being up on all the QM stuff. But the foundation of your article, summed up in your wondering "whether an electron from carbs, fat or protein is somehow categorized differently than one another by metabolism" moved my brain into an idea of "electron signaling". Then Dave Dixon above, mentioned something about decoherence and I started thinking about the regulation of water in the atmosphere and cloud formations and such, and also remembering what the Tao Te Ching, Nisargadatta and so many others have said about the one substance, emptiness is form and form is emptiness. So why not electrons doing both? being selected out or guided by metabolism, or signaling their "intent" to be a carb or protien or fat.

    So does this mean that if I stand in a meat locker for an hour and think reall hard I might ingest some protein electrons? 🙂

    As I said I may not understand much about all this but I love reading about it!


    • Well Dave thanks for the kind words. I have some other ideas about why this biologic affect occurs and I will be unleashing them shortly. this post was done to get people to understand that a ketogenic diet is critical in certain pathologic states over one loaded to carbohydrates or BCCA.

  14. @Dex…..this blog is part of the answer and lighting patients on fire with information to help them and their doctors understand why these things are vital to optimal health.

  15. @ V…..MCT are best in unrefined coconut oil. That is my number one diesel recommendation in neurologic diseases. The Peripheral neuropathy blog and the ones on AD and parkinson's and MS are also part of this and should be considered by the patient and their doctor.

  16. @v: MCT means medium chain triglyceride and refers to the length of fatty acid molecules. Fatty acid chains differ by length, often categorized as short, medium, or long.

    From Wikipedia search of Fatty Acid:

    "Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA) are fatty acids with aliphatic tails of fewer than six carbons.

    Medium-Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA) are fatty acids with aliphatic tails of 6-12 carbons, which can form medium-chain triglycerides.

    Long-chain fatty acids (LCFA) are fatty acids with aliphatic tails longer than 12 carbons.

    Very-Long-Chain Fatty Acids (VLCFA) are fatty acids with aliphatic tails longer than 22 carbons."

    The fatty acids in coconut are, again, fats, and as water & oil molecules do not have an affinity for each other & do not mix, the fatty acids are not found in the coconut water, only the meat. For more about the wonders of coconut go to

  17. @Jack,

    Interested in learning more about ketogenic diets and the brain. Obvious your blog is a good place to start. Any other recommendations?

    • Im getting ready to post about the biochemical reason a ketogenic diet really makes sense soon. It seems many people do not understand why this diet is so beneficial. It has some drawbacks too but for certain pathologic conditions it confers some amazing benefits. IF your a fit person and an athlete looking for performance and could care less about longevity…….you would not follow it.

  18. The use of MCT oils in combination with a ketogenic diet is an especially effective form of treatment of certain neurological diseases that are caused by an accumulation of very long chain fatty acids in the brain which disrupts the neurological structures and signaling. The intake of short & medium chain fatty acids act to dissolve & displace the long chain acid deposits, and the ketogenic diet stimulates the beta oxidation of the very long chain fatty acids.

    Lipid researcher Patricia Kane PhD. says in her Explore Magazine article ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS, LORENZO'S OIL AND BEYOND (just Google the title):

    "The biochemical basis for the success of the ketogenic diet is simple. The cessation of eating stimulates the beta oxidation of very long chain fatty acids that not only occurs in adrenoleukodystrophy but in epilepsy, autism and developmental delay. The ingestion of carbohydrates stimulates the release of insulin which depresses delta 6 desaturase and stimulates inflammatory prostaglandin two series and ultimately causes derangement of the fatty acid metabolism. Excess carbohydrate ingestion, which is so common in our present American diet, diverts and compromises the synthesis of prostaglandin series one."

    Whether or not there are other quantum effects as an additional benefit of MCT administration remains to be proven, but the initial action of MCT oils appears to be primarily a mechanical process.

    • This is only part of the biochemical reason. She completely missed the major effect. But this is a great comment and glad you added to this discussion.

  19. A while back I was curious to understand the etymology of the word ketone, looked it up & was led to the Wikipedia page about ketones and from there was led to the page about acetone and was quite surprised to learn about how physiologically benign and even essential acetone is in human biochemical processes.

    This caused me to remember a report I read years ago about a couple of workers in an industrial plant that had been using Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) bare handed without gloves or protective gear when cleaning parts. After continuing this practice for some time the two men developed neurological symptoms that grew progressively worse & the men eventually died. On autopsy it was discovered that the MEK had osmotically entered the mens blood stream and was carried to their brains, passed the blood/brain barrier and had basically de-greased & washed the fats from their brain's meyelin, neurons, axons & other structures. Horrible, and just the opposite of the diseases caused by a build up of long chain fats. Just another one of those things that make you go "Hmmmmmmm."

    Good stuff Doc. Can't wait to read your ketogenic diet article to see how it all fits into the puzzle.

  20. @Dave Dixon: YES!! Just Google the title of this excellent article, "The Truth About Ketones & Ketosis" by EFA & lipid researcher Brian Peskin.

  21. @Dave Dixon: Also remember Wikipedia is your friend, look up, follow the links & read everything there about ketosis.

    One day I realized I'll never graduate from the University of Wikipedia because the learning (and a few corrections) never stop.

  22. This post is incredibly interesting. I bet this is the reason homeopathic meds work. I'm a big believer in energy medicine but used to be a total skeptic. Fascinating!

  23. Humans did NOT evolve. Sorry to burst your delusions. Of course you are free to believe what you want, but stating it as fact in an otherwise very good scientific article only lows the articles credibility. Good info otherwise tho! 😉

  24. Dr. kruse, if a person who lost significant weight on a paleo diet, but consumed most of their meat via pan frying with olive oil, were to switch to pan frying in unrefined coconut oil, what would you predict vis a vis

    1.) any continued weight loss (and there is still weight to lose around the middle)

    2.) A1c

    3.) cpr

    • Hard to say without knowing where you started. If you got a spare tire my bet is your O6/O3 ratio is out of whack and your salivary cortisol and several other hormones are not optimal yet. A HS CRP being elevated is a sign. HbA1c should be quite low on a paleo diet if your strict on it.

  25. Mathieu Lalonde says:

    @Dr. Kruse During oxidative phosphorylation, almost all of the reducing equivalents produced by glucose metabolism in the Krebs cycle are in the form of NADH with the exception of the succinate dehydrogenase step, which takes place in mitochondrial complex II and makes FADH2. Metabolism of one molecule of glucose produces an NADH:FADH2 ratio of 5:1 whereas fatty acid metabolism in beta oxidation and the Krebs cycle will produce a ratio of ≤3:1 depending on the length of the fatty acid.

    NADH is oxidized only in mitochondrial complex I whereas FADH2 is oxidized only in complex II. Complex I produces more reactive oxygen species than complex II.

    As such, production of a specific number of ATP molecules from glucose has the potential to generate more reactive oxygen species compared to the generation of the same number of ATP molecules from fatty acids.

    The Kracken

  26. @v. They would lose a lot more weight and faster on coconut oil…..crp would drop and hba1c likely stay the same unless they increased their carbs or bcca from protein

  27. Dr. Kruse, what is the optimal fat/protein ratio in your opinion/experience? Hopefully, not opening up a huge can of worms.

    I weigh 320 lbs. Google tells me this is approximately 145 kg. According to the formula you stated above, that would be 145 grams of protein. But this is at 30% bodyfat, so should I eat less than this? And what about total calorie intake?

    • @ Cody……if you read my blog you will realize there is no correct answer as a rule. It is completely based upon how you partition calories in your body and that is directly tied to your current hormone status. At your weight global guess can be made but they would not be accurate. When I was personally in your position I ate 60-70% fat 5% carbs and the rest in protein. That is how I rolled for about a yr and then things started come up. I did vary things with circadian cycles as i learned more about me from testing my hormones

  28. Thanks Dr. Kruse. I have read most of your blog, but its a lot to take in. 🙂

    I actually was eating 80 to 90% fat (keckwick style) and not losing a pound. So I went in the other direction and went 80 to 90% protein and lost a quick 30 pounds. That quit working, but I'm thinking that going to a more standard keto diet may be effective now. Not to mention, PSMF is even less enjoyable than Keckwick/Atkins Fat fast.

    I strength train 2 times per week (bodyweight, which at my weight is pretty intense), kettlebell swings 2 more days per week, and 2 to 3 hour hikes once a week. I have good muscle tone, but still waaaaay too much fat.

    I'm going to remember to take my magnesium at night, and I'm going to start using coconut oil again.

    I'm also taking D-Aspartic Acid and a few herbs to increase Testosterone levels and taking DIM to hopefully block aromatase a bit.

    I also take 2 grams of triple strength fish oil, cinnamon, ginger, Vitamin D3, Cod Liver oil (mostly for the vitamin A) ,Zinc, Vitamin C (both for testosterone benefits), and Vitamin K2. I'm going to add Turmeric to the list as well.

  29. Dear Jack,

    There is a precedent for quantum effects on biology, but it's in the field of the senses.

    Luca Turin proposed a model of smell that was based on vibration of the molecule and not its shape. I believe this is getting at what you are discussing.

    Unfortunately, as with many novel ideas, his paper was never published and he left academia for a more lucrative and less frustrating career as a consultant to perfumeries. The biologists reviewers did not like his physics, and the physicists did not like his biology. Funny how scientific progress really works, or doesn't work.

    There was a popular book called The Emperor of Scent by Chandler Burr. It's a fun and geeky read and may help point you in a useful direction.

  30. Dear Dr. Kruse,

    In August, you wrote:

    "I'm getting ready to post about the biochemical reason a ketogenic diet really makes sense soon."

    Have I missed this, or is it still coming? I'm waiting on tenterhooks! Thank you so much for your fantastic website!!

    Best wishes,


  31. Is there a metabolic advantage to ketosis? That is, do we lose more weight in ketosis because ketone bodies are inefficiently created/metabolized? I am asking you as I remember reading similarly (I think from Good Calories, Bad Calories)

    • @DanH I think it does. The main benefit is that it creates less ROS at the first cytochrome and this is the signal that mitochondria respond to for biogenesis and for telomere lengthening. It has huge implications in aging. So I am a fan of ketosis but it has to be biologically yoked to our envirnoment. Eating carbs in the dead of winter is not my idea of being yoked. Think about this incongruity. Humans tend to gain weight in the winter when it is the easiest to lose weight. We should be using thermogenesis and also have some food scarcity but we have created a summertime buffet and we eliminate the cold. Wild animals do not do either of these and they are all the leanest and most fit in the winter. This tells you that humans are going directly against our biologic imperitives. I think when you realize this incongruity you can correct for it. That is precisely how my leptin Rx works.

  32. btw Dr. Kruse please continue your research and writing on this particular topic. As an intuitive thinker, I had always believed in learning physics, then chemistry, then biology in order of building up. Although I do not grasp a third of this article, I do understand what you're saying. I love how everything even at the peak of medicine is starting to fall back to quantum physics and laws of the universe.

  33. Your reasoning sounds absolutely right. I now thrive in the cold, and always do my running/sprints with just a tee and shorts. it seems to rev up my fat burning for hrs afterwards from face to toe.

    My relatives in China used to say as passed down advice, you should eat heavy meats to stay warm in the cold climate, and "lighter" grains/congee to stay cool in the hotter climates (referring to southern China). Of course I knew nothing back then as a teen but now I understand what they're getting at. Sugar burning does not rev up the fat burning for heat (and those uncoupling proteins), its not necessarily healthier but you do stay "cooler" when its hot. Conversely, eating alot of starches in the past, I used to get horribly cold in the winter despite my being "fat" or insulated.

  34. Pretty interesting article here that is showing a true quantum effect on brain rewiring and learning. A complex dietary supplement augments spatial learning, brain mass, and mitochondrial electron transport chain activity in aging mice.

  35. Dr K,

    Sort of late getting to this post, but it is indeed fascinating. And if nothing else, for those who think the biochem is over their heads, it would seem that going ketogenic in your diet and continually making your brain "hurt" a bit by reading such intellectual goodness as your blog, it might actually get easier as you tap into that other 20- 100% that isn't getting used thanks to the morning bagel.

    The other question this stirs in my head is Paleo in terms of lifestyle rather than diet. Does the fact that our HG ancestors were barefoot and otherwise in contact with the ground moreso than we ever are, make a difference. Earthing seems to be a "new" opportunity in wellness and I wonder if the question of electrons/quantum effects goes beyond what we ingest. Or does the electromagnetic state in which the body rests on the macro level in any way effect the biochemical processes at the cellular level – or lower. Not that I would ever expect that eating a bagel standing barefoot in cold water is ever going to equate to eating coconut oil, but could there be an optimal way of eating so that food does its best medicine to the body? This also may tie over to your thermogenesis posts – in that I wonder if the cold effects are much better in your lake than in your bathtub for a reason that is related to electrons and grounding.

  36. shoot. sorry if the question was silly. I still have sooo much of your brain food to read.

  37. You mentioned vascular dementia here, hence my commenting…

    My 63-yr-old paternal aunt was recently dx'ed with Microangiopathy/dementia (would that be vascular dementia?). I will be accompanying her to her specialist – I want to know the right questions to ask, but moreover I want to be able to challenge her current primary care physician, who has decided to put her on cholesterol-lowering drugs (her cholesterol did not test high – I know this is not a useful test anyway, I'm just VERY upset he's medicating her to lower her levels further!)

    Her MRI results also mentioned something about impaired glucose metabolism in the brain.

    I'm celiac, and based on the health history on my paternal side I figure many of us are, or at least sensitive. My aunt eats horribly (she's a tea and toast type), has suffered severe chronic headaches since she was 13. Her doc told her not to bother trying at least a gluten-free diet, since 'you have no intestinal issues'. Sigh.

    I'd like to go in with her armed with intelligent questions and some information – she does no research herself, and just relies on whatever her doc tells her. Her docs intentions are good, I'm sure… but the road to hell is paved with those. I've tried to get her to change her diet, to no avail.

    • @Tracy Absolutely needs to eat a strict ketogenic paleo diet loaded with seafood and coconut oil…….to reverse it. Read my blog called the Holy Trinity……its reversible.

  38. Dr Kruse.

    You mention autism in a few blogs,will you be discussing this further at some stage. They say autism is cause unknown. No treatment as such only therapy. Can you give us your thoughts on this. Is there any thing we can do to help our child.

    Thanking you in anticipation


    • @Joan YEs autism is an inflammatory brain disease most commonly caused epigenetically from mom's leaky gut, low vitamin D levels, and low progesterone levels……this selects for a rough oocyte and rough pregnancy. If you Read my CT 6 article where I talk about fecundity it is right there. I will hit autism down the road……for sure.

  39. there are 2 types of cars 1 runs on oxygen and gas the other on a battery fermentation makes electrons drink water kefir and the brain doesn’t need oxygen it runs on electrons you all are very good because you are very interesting

  40. the blood can have a ton of oxygen what is important is that the oxygen gets inside the cell sulfer carries oxygen into the cell before there was oxygen life got energy from sulfer o2 is 8 on the periodic table sulfer is 16 sulfer is the mother of all minerals it activates all the other minerals they have similar electromagnetic effects get some spirulina which is high in sulfer proteins add some water kefir for the electrons and turbocharge your brains

  41. This blog post by Lucas Tufur is just ridiculously good……..

    It clearly points out why ketosis is not stressful as some paleo elitist blogger keep saying.

  42. Katooshie says:

    Excellent, thought provoking article. Thanks. Just wondering if you know anything about the Budwig Protocol/Diet discovered by Dr. Johanna Budwig? Google her for an interesting read. She used sulfur protein (cottage cheese) mixed with cold pressed organic flaxseed oil and sunbathing to help cancer patients. Apparently the sulfur protein potentiates the flax oil so that the cells can absorb the water soluble oil and re-charges the cells with electrons from the oil? I’d be so curious to hear your thoughts and ideas about this! All the very best to you 🙂 Katoosie in Canada


  1. […] of you keeping score. My concept of this is just that… concerns itself with how we account for electrons from food at the leptin receptor. Obesity is an inflammatory disease of the […]

  2. […] because of a loss of quantum effects on its electron clouds.  Remember when people made fun of this post?  Be careful what you call bullshit on,  when you are not aware of what you really do not know. […]

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