As I understand it one of the first breakdowns on the road to type 2 diabetes is that your fat cells become insulin resistant. Normally when insulin is high, fat cells respond by turning off the spigot of energy they supply to the rest of the body. That makes sense because if Insulin is high then you [normally] have OTHER caloric options and can hold the fat in reserve for when you have exhausted those other options and insulin goes low.
When you hear that insulin blocks lipolysis (fat burning) that’s one half of that story - fat cells hoovering up fat and holding onto it. The other half of that story is at the other end of the process where your cells are making energy from fuel in the blood … insulin inhibits their ability to rapidly burn fat.
So as we become insulin resistant our fat cells lose the ability to hold onto fat, but our cells still don’t use it well so we end up with a surplus of unused lipids in circulation.
So what happens when a person like that goes low carb? Their insulin drops, their cells all become better at burning fat for energy, circulating triglycerides drop, and their body fat not holding onto fat is now not a problem - it fuels a massive weight loss. These people draw down massive amounts of body fat and burn 60-80 lbs of the stuff. But then their fat cells are no longer stuffed they become more willing to listen to the signal of insulin.
This is why some people who are less insulin resistant go keto and get to their ideal range, and some of us who are more insulin resistant go keto, drop a massive amount quickly and then stall out. People who are insulin resistant make more insulin even when fasted. We stall when we run into the level of our insulin resistance … and it’s that our fat cells have become HEALTHY and doing their job that stalls us out.
How we get off that stall, is we spend more time in as low an insulin state as we possibly can and slowly we make less insulin for the same response – we become more insulin sensitive the longer we are not eating things that raise insulin.
So how does MCT help in this state? They turn into ketones even when insulin is high because they bypass that inhibition at the cellular level against burning fat when insulin is high. As Carol said if you have ketones your brain needs less glucose. If you are ketogenic then the ratio of glucose to ketones for your brain is 1:4. So every 1% reduction in ketones means a 4% increase in demand for glucose. Make less ketones, you have to make much more glucose, and therefore you need to make more insulin. And we’re trying to reduce insulin, chronically.