PUFA Initiate & Promote The Stress Response (ACTH/cortisol), SFA Inhibit It

haidut

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Almost two years ago I posted a study showing that PUFA can stimulate cortisol release even in the absence of ACTH.
Pufa Stimulates Cortisol Production Even In The Absense Of Acth

However, that study above did not look at the effects of saturated fatty acids (SFA) and I keep getting emails saying my claims on the Danny Roddy podcasts that SFA inhibit cortisol synthesis and/or reduce stress are unfounded. Well, not so. This relatively recent study directly compares the effects of SFA and PUFA on ACTH and finds again that SFA suppress while PUFA stimulates the release of ACTH from the pituitary. Of the SFA acids the most effective one was caprylic acid, while of the PUFA the most "effective" one was arachidonic acid. The study was in vitro and used concentrations of 1mM/L, which can usually be achieved in humans by ingesting 5g-6g of the respective fatty acid.
Perhaps more importantly, the study found that PUFA can stimulate ACTH release even in the absence of CRH release from the hypothalamus. In the presence of CRH the effects of PUFA on ACTH was even greater. So, in other words, PUFA is capable of creating a stress response even in the absence of external stress signal (CRH), or pituitary overactivity (ACTH) as per the study above. However, if external stress signal (CRH) is present than PUFA greatly amplifies its effects.

Saturated fatty acids suppress adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) release from rat anterior pituitary cells in vitro. - PubMed - NCBI
"...We then assessed the effects of various saturated fatty acids (C4, C8, C12, C16 and C18) on the basal and CRH (1 nmolyl)-stimulated ACTH release (Fig. 2A, ns5). The basal ACTH release was 102.6"16.2 pgywell. Although each fatty acid (1 mmolyl) slightly reduced ACTH release, there was no significant difference (Ps0.9494). In contrast, the amount of ACTH released by 1 nmolyl CRH (251.7"38.5 pgywell, Ps0.0073 vs. the basal ACTH release) was significantly reduced by each fatty acid (1 mmolyl) to 109.1"8.6, 91.3"11.3, 105.8"19.2, 127.1"38.2 and 145.2"47.3 pgywell, respectively."

"...In the next experiment, we examined the ability of increasing concentrations of caprylate to modify ACTH release (Fig. 2B, ns5). The basal ACTH release was 80.3"9.8 pgywell. The addition of caprylate (0.001–1 mmolyl) did not significantly change ACTH release. In contrast, the amount of ACTH released by 1 mmol/l CRH (246.2"20.9 pgywell, Ps0.0001 vs. the basal release) was reduced by caprylate in a concentration-dependent manner to 59.7"14.6 pgywell at 1 mmolyl (P- 0.0001)."

"...We then assessed the ability of several unsaturated fatty acids (1 mmolyl) with varying numbers of double bonds (C18:1, C18:2, C18:3 and C20:4) to affect the basal and CRH (1 nmolyl)-induced ACTH release (Fig. 3A, ns5). The basal ACTH release was 54.3"10.2 pgywell and the fatty acids (1 mmolyl) except C18:3 significantly increased ACTH release. The CRH-stimulated ACTH release (165.5"28.4 pgywell, Ps0.0062 vs. the basal release) in the presence of each fatty acid (1 mmolyl) was 293.4"89.0, 350.2"44.6, 250.1"135.6 and 719.2"139.2 pgywell, respectively. The value for C20:4 (arachidonate) was the greatest (Ps 0.0242), and the CRH-induced ACTH release was significantly increased in the presence of C18:2 (Ps0.0354)."


And here is another study in which even at a much lower concentration (0.06 mM/L - 0.12 mM/L) was enough to maximally stimulate cortisol synthesis by the adrenals. And it looks like not just PUFA but also MUFA (oleic acid) can stimulate cortisol synthesis.
Stimulation of steroidogenesis in cultured rat adrenocortical cells by unsaturated fatty acids. - PubMed - NCBI
"...The hypothesis that the stimulatory action of free fatty acids (FFA) in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis occurs in part at the adrenal cortex was evaluated. Pathophysiological concentrations of oleic and linoleic acids, but not stearic or caprylic acid, stimulated steroidogenesis from cultured rat adrenocortical cells (concentrations eliciting 50% of maximal responses, approximately 60 and 120 microM, respectively), with a latency of 90 min. Maximal stimulation of steroidogenesis by both acids was < 50% of that produced by adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and was blocked by cycloheximide. The maximal steroidogenic response to ACTH was inhibited approximately 50% by oleic acid. The actions of oleic and linoleic acids were not associated with an increase in adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) secretion but appeared to require intracellular oxidation. None of the lipids influenced cell viability or corticosterone radioimmunoassay. The latency of the steroidogenic response, the putative requirement for intracellular oxidation, and the apparent lack of involvement of cAMP suggest a mechanism of action of FFA distinct from that of ACTH, yet still requiring protein synthesis. It is concluded that the modulation of steroidogenesis by these abundant naturally occurring lipids may be an important component of the control mechanisms within the HPA pathway in disorders of lipid homeostasis (e.g., obesity, starvation, or diabetes)."
 
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RedStaR

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Chicken has been a diet staple for as long as I lived, and continues to be so.

I'm guessing this means that it's a no-no for Peat diets. I'll still eat it either way. :cigar:
 
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I eat boneless skinless breasts.

Chicken fed soy and corn are very poor eating. Without the fat I’m sure it’s fine.
 

Wagner83

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I wonder how important it is to add significant amounts of saturated fats to eggs when eating them.
 

haidut

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I wonder how important it is to add significant amounts of saturated fats to eggs when eating them.

That's what I do because I love eggs and it is the gold-standard for protein. A single tsp of MCT seems to also block the hypoglycemic effects of the eggs. If you have not tried it yet, try eating just the yolks. Much better effects (even though less protein). There is something in the egg whites that does not sit well with me. Peat said it is probably the tryptophan but I think the biotin-depleting effects of eggwhites is also involved. It can drop plasma biotin and cause (temporary) symptoms. If done chronically it can lead to biotin deficiency.
 

raypeatclips

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That's what I do because I love eggs and it is the gold-standard for protein. A single tsp of MCT seems to also block the hypoglycemic effects of the eggs. If you have not tried it yet, try eating just the yolks. Much better effects (even though less protein). There is something in the egg whites that does not sit well with me. Peat said it is probably the tryptophan but I think the biotin-depleting effects of eggwhites is also involved. It can drop plasma biotin and cause (temporary) symptoms. If done chronically it can lead to biotin deficiency.

I have noticed this too, positive response from eating yolks alongside a meal but not always positive when I eat the whites.
 

Wagner83

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That's what I do because I love eggs and it is the gold-standard for protein. A single tsp of MCT seems to also block the hypoglycemic effects of the eggs. If you have not tried it yet, try eating just the yolks. Much better effects (even though less protein). There is something in the egg whites that does not sit well with me. Peat said it is probably the tryptophan but I think the biotin-depleting effects of eggwhites is also involved. It can drop plasma biotin and cause (temporary) symptoms. If done chronically it can lead to biotin deficiency.
Interesting, as I said somewhere else on the forums I find that besides desserts recipes egg whites do not go well with any food, I don't even enjoy much the taste either and I do feel like there could be negative effects from eating eggs, even more so when they're the main source of fat of the meal. I did not experience with all of this extensively but will try your ideas. What makes you use MCT instead of CO? I'm still intrigued by VoS diet , basically when you use pepsi as a main source of fuel he uses smaller amounts of mct with fat soluble vits .

Btw, see here two papers that may be worth a glance: Why Isn't There More Enthousiasm About MCT Oil?
 

haidut

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Interesting, as I said somewhere else on the forums I find that besides desserts recipes egg whites do not go well with any food, I don't even enjoy much the taste either and I do feel like there could be negative effects from eating eggs, even more so when they're the main source of fat of the meal. I did not experience with all of this extensively but will try your ideas. What makes you use MCT instead of CO? I'm still intrigued by VoS diet , basically when you use pepsi as a main source of fuel he uses smaller amounts of mct with fat soluble vits .

Btw, see here two papers that may be worth a glance: Why Isn't There More Enthousiasm About MCT Oil?

I use MCT as it is much cheaper than coconut oil and is available from the local stores around me. Coconut oil is also available but the refined (odorless) type runs out very quickly and is 5-10 times more expensive than the MCT oil on a per gram basis. And if the MCT is mostly caprylic acid as several sources claim then MCT is probably better anyways. Finally, the label on my MCT says it is fully saturated unlike coconut oil, which is about 2%-3% PUFA.
Interestingly, in one of the studies you linked to they used a mix of egg yolk and MCT. So, I guess I am not the only one who noticed good effects from egg yolk + MCT combo.
"...All studies were performed in informed and consenting inpatients on the University of Colorado Hospital Clinical Research Center. Diabetic patients and normotriglyceridemic nondiabetic control subjects were randomized as to the order of two isocaloric formula diets: 1) an LCT diet containing 40% of calories in the form of long-chain triglycerides, 45% as carbohydrate including 62.2 g/1000 polycose and 50 g/1000 cal powdered skimmed milk, and 15% as protein; or 2) an MCT diet, which differed only in that 77.5% of the fat calories were in the form of medium-chain triglycerides (Mead Johnson Nutritional Division). Both diets contained 1 g dietary fiber in the form of iceberg lettuce. Hypertriglyceridemic nondiabetic control subjects received the LCT diet first. The LCT diet contained 17 g egg yolk, 39 g household shortening (Crisco, Procter and Gamble, Cincinnati, OH), and 272 mg cholesterol per 1000 calories. The polyunsaturated-saturated fat ratio was 0.29 including 10.5 g saturated fat and 3.0 g polyunsaturated fat per 1000 calories. The MCT diet also contained 17 g egg yolk but only 4.2 g shortening and 40.9 g MCT oil (Mead Johnson Nutritional Division) per 1000 calories. The polyunsaturated-saturated fat ratio of the MCT diet was 0.02 including 41.3 g saturated fat and 0.6 g polyunsaturated fat."
 
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Wagner83

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I use MCT as it is much cheaper than coconut oil and is available from the local stores around me. Coconut oil is also available but the refined (odorless) type runs out very quickly and is 5-10 times more expensive than the MCT oil on a per gram basis. And if the MCT is mostly caprylic acid as several sources claim then MCT is probably better anyways. Finally, the label on my MCT says it is fully saturated unlike coconut oil, which is about 2%-3% PUFA.
Interestingly, in one of the studies you linked to they used a mix of egg yolk and MCT. So, I guess I am not the only one who noticed good effects from egg yolk + MCT combo.
"...All studies were performed in informed and consenting inpatients on the University of Colorado Hospital Clinical Research Center. Diabetic patients and normotriglyceridemic nondiabetic control subjects were randomized as to the order of two isocaloric formula diets: 1) an LCT diet containing 40% of calories in the form of long-chain triglycerides, 45% as carbohydrate including 62.2 g/1000 polycose and 50 g/1000 cal powdered skimmed milk, and 15% as protein; or 2) an MCT diet, which differed only in that 77.5% of the fat calories were in the form of medium-chain triglycerides (Mead Johnson Nutritional Division). Both diets contained 1 g dietary fiber in the form of iceberg lettuce. Hypertriglyceridemic nondiabetic control subjects received the LCT diet first. The LCT diet contained 17 g egg yolk, 39 g household shortening (Crisco, Procter and Gamble, Cincinnati, OH), and 272 mg cholesterol per 1000 calories. The polyunsaturated-saturated fat ratio was 0.29 including 10.5 g saturated fat and 3.0 g polyunsaturated fat per 1000 calories. The MCT diet also contained 17 g egg yolk but only 4.2 g shortening and 40.9 g MCT oil (Mead Johnson Nutritional Division) per 1000 calories. The polyunsaturated-saturated fat ratio of the MCT diet was 0.02 including 41.3 g saturated fat and 0.6 g polyunsaturated fat."
Ok.

Yup, VoS uses egg yolks too, he emulsifies the fat soluble vitamins in the mct oil. Looking at his posts it looks like he's doing great but he has not given updates in a while . From the 2009 study it's clear long chain saturated fats are much more detrimental than MCT.

"
While dietary LCFA clearly impair insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism, MCFA seem to protect from lipotoxicity and subsequent insulin resistance without caloric restriction."

From the other paper (short term, small scale study) , perhaps good effects on the liver ?
"
DISCUSSION
MCT, developed and extensively studied over the last 30yr, are found in only small quantities in the human diet. They comprise a unique energy source because their metabolism differs markedly from that of the LCT. Rapidly absorbed from the gut, both as intact triglycerides and as hydrolyzed FAs, MCT do not enter the lymphatics andperipheral circulation as chylomicrons but are transported to the liver directly via the portal circulation, where they are readily metabolized (1). Unlike long-chain FAs (LCFAs), which require carnitine for entry into the mitochondria for p-oxidation to acetyl-CoA, MCFAs do not require carnitine or the activity of the regulated enzyme carnitine palmitoyltransferase I (CPT-I) for entry into mitochondria. In bypassing this major regulatory step in FA oxidation, MCFA may lead to accelerated p-oxidation compared to LCFA (1,3)"

"
In these subjects, however, MCT increased peripheral (predominantly muscle) glucose uptake in response to insulin. In contrast, two other peripheral effects of insulin, i.e., stimulation of ATLPL and suppression of FFA (10), were unchanged after MCT administration."
 
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schultz

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I've been cutting (sounds cooler than dieting) and have been putting a tsp of "liquid coconut oil" (which is just 93% MCT and 7% coconut oil according to the bottle) in each one of my skim milk lattes. It makes the latte much more enjoyable (skim milk latte's suck) and probably helps with the fat loss. At the very least it makes me feel good whereas zero fat makes me feel weird. I drink an average of 5 throughout the day, so 5 tsp of MCT oil.

I've been enjoying these recent posts on fats. Thanks Haidut.

Chicken has been a diet staple for as long as I lived, and continues to be so.

I'm guessing this means that it's a no-no for Peat diets. I'll still eat it either way. :cigar:

I eat chicken breast every so often so it's not a no-no for me, and I tend to be pretty strict with PUFA (under 2g most days for the last few years... it's no @tca300 though). 4oz has 1g of PUFA, so it's not terrible. Pork tenderloin is pretty good too. High in b-vitamins.
 

Tarmander

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Doesn't MCT cause some digestive distress that regular CO does not? Also...the risk of disaster pants right?
 

haidut

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Doesn't MCT cause some digestive distress that regular CO does not? Also...the risk of disaster pants right?

Well, technically coconut oil is also MCT as the fatty acids in oils like that typically exist as trigylcerides, which are then de-esterified upon digestion. The only difference seems to be that (refined) cocobut oil has a more diverse fatty acid profile, with lauric acid being the most predominant one while the MCT products on the market seem to be mostly caprylic/capric acid combinations. So, for replicating the results of the study above I'd say the MCT liquids would be better as they have higher C8 contents. But I would ask the vendor for fatty acid composition just in case as I am sure the MCT oils vary quite a bit from vendor to vendor.
 

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Djukami

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There is something in the egg whites that does not sit well with me.
Could it be Lysozyme that is present on the egg white and its protease inhibitors?
- The WHYs behind the Autoimmune Protocol: Eggs ~ The Paleo Mom
- Lysozyme: An Antibacterial Enzyme and a Cause of Egg Allergies

And I suppose you are talking about cooked egg whites, right? They always feel like I am chewing rubbish to me. They are not very appealing. Unless I put a good amount of salt on them.

Also, it's interesting to think about eggs in their raw form. Raw egg yolks are much more tastier compared to whites. And, after all, it's in the yolks where all the nutrients are.
 

haidut

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Could it be Lysozyme that is present on the egg white and its protease inhibitors?
- The WHYs behind the Autoimmune Protocol: Eggs ~ The Paleo Mom
- Lysozyme: An Antibacterial Enzyme and a Cause of Egg Allergies

And I suppose you are talking about cooked egg whites, right? They always feel like I am chewing rubbish to me. They are not very appealing. Unless I put a good amount of salt on them.

Also, it's interesting to think about eggs in their raw form. Raw egg yolks are much more tastier compared to whites. And, after all, it's in the yolks where all the nutrients are.

Could be. I am just saying that I never liked egg whites no matter how much I tried to force myself to eat them. The only way for me to like them is when they are used to make pastries. Yolks on the other hand, I can eat all day.
 

Spokey

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Could be. I am just saying that I never liked egg whites no matter how much I tried to force myself to eat them. The only way for me to like them is when they are used to make pastries. Yolks on the other hand, I can eat all day.

Similar experiences I think. I can eat the whites, but if I eat too many I get flaky skin and I lose interest in them very easily, I think it's avidin related, but the yolks I can eat till they're coming out of my ears.
 

cdg

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Similar experiences I think. I can eat the whites, but if I eat too many I get flaky skin and I lose interest in them very easily, I think it's avidin related, but the yolks I can eat till they're coming out of my ears.

Ray Peat mentioned somewhere that high quality protein, and whites are high in protein, triggers insulin and that it is a good idea to have some sweet orange juice when eating eggs. Also the egg whites should be lightly cooked and not raw.
 

milk_lover

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Could be. I am just saying that I never liked egg whites no matter how much I tried to force myself to eat them. The only way for me to like them is when they are used to make pastries. Yolks on the other hand, I can eat all day.
@haidut how do you eat the egg yolk? Fried in mct, boiled, or raw? Also what is the fastest way to seperate the yolk from the white? I use the empty bottle trick but it’s not reliable as sometimes it diffuses the yolk in the white part.. I am interested in expermenting with egg yolk and see how my body reacts to them.
 

Spokey

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Ray Peat mentioned somewhere that high quality protein, and whites are high in protein, triggers insulin and that it is a good idea to have some sweet orange juice when eating eggs. Also the egg whites should be lightly cooked and not raw.

Yes. I always have plenty of sugar. And I never eat eggs raw. Too yuck.
 

haidut

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@haidut how do you eat the egg yolk? Fried in mct, boiled, or raw? Also what is the fastest way to seperate the yolk from the white? I use the empty bottle trick but it’s not reliable as sometimes it diffuses the yolk in the white part.. I am interested in expermenting with egg yolk and see how my body reacts to them.

I usually take boiled eggs from the cafeteria bar, break them in half and easily extract the yolk. Often, there is yolk already extracted and laying in the cafeteria salad bar containers as people in this area seem to prefer the egg whites. So, win-win for everybody :):
 
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