Can Oils Mess Up Your Brain?

They definitely mess up mine. I know its not kosher to admit to brain problems, but I’m going to do it.

The mental symptoms that I get from eating oils are as follows: brain fog, depression, learning disabilities, forgetfulness, anxiety, moodiness, crankiness, repetitive thoughts,  and a general sense that I’m crazy, weird and out of touch with reality.

I used to be unable to do general cognitive tasks such as: count down from from a hundred by 7’s, remember a string of seven digit numbers,  or any other short term memory sort of function.  For example if my grandmother asked me to wash the windows, sweep the floor and dust the living room mantel, I could probably remember one of those tasks but by the time I finished it, I would have forgotten the others.

After having gotten away from oils, my short term memory has improved. I can remember a 7-10 digit phone number long enough to type it into the computer or my cell phone, or  short lists of items for the grocery store, sometimes up to three or four items. If I have a long written list, I sometimes will even remember forgotten items.  I can read a set of steps on a recipe and follow them without needed to return to read the next one. I know that these tasks don’t sound like much, but they are a huge improvement for me, and have made my life a lot easier. I had no idea how difficult my lack of short term memory made my life.

Long term memory was also a trick before getting off the oils. I would learn things and have them down pat — only to find them completely gone a day or two later. This made memorizing anything (multiplication tables, poetry, rules …) impossible. I was only able to remember things if they were in a story somehow. For example I could not remember the name of the president who chopped down the cherry tree, only the story about chopping down the tree and how his father reacted. This made things like spelling, punctuation, math, and other learning tasks pretty darned difficult. I was delayed developmentally and I only learned to read, write and do math, through sheer determination.  I drilled for hours every day after school and it would take me three times as long to do homework as it did other kids. It was hellish.

Teachers said I was smart but lazy. I say the oils messed with my brain. I’ve noticed that since my mother has also gone off of the processed oils her cognitive function has improved, too, perhaps even more dramatically than mine.

Before going off the oils, she had a benign tremor. It came on slowly and became worse when she was tired and/or stressed. At those times, her eyeballs jumped around and it was impossible for her to read, and her hands shook so badly she couldn’t do simple tasks like write, type, or insert a key into a lock. It was awful. She had to rest a lot and be on several medications so she could function normally at work.

After switching her diet, the benign tremor cleared up and she was able to get off the medications. Was it the oils? I think so.

What researchers of celiac disease are finding is that only a minority of people with an intolerance to gluten show intestinal symptoms. A majority of people show brain inflammation with no intestinal issues. I have to wonder if I’m just one of the lucky people who shows my intolerance to oils with intestinal issues,  and, like celiacs, if there are a lot more people like my mother who only show brain inflammation from processed oils.

Precessed oils are ubiquitous in the modern world. They are in everything. From candy to breakfast cereal, from TV dinners, to highbrow restaurant meals. These oils aren’t just in foods made outside the home. People bring them home to cook with!

People think that processed oils are the same as traditional fats but they aren’t. They look completely different at a molecular level and scientists are finding out that they might work differently in the body too.  We all know the story of prions and mad cow disease. No one thought that mis-folded proteins could do horrible things to living beings, but they can. What if processed fats do horrible things, too?

Please comment if you or anyone you know has any sort of mental issues when they eat things that they are intolerant to.

** Update: Here’s a recent post about effects of oils on the brain in the news


This entry was posted in Health, Oil Intolerance, Oils, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Can Oils Mess Up Your Brain?

  1. Pingback: My Oil Intolerance | Silver Pen

  2. Corine says:

    Take a look at the book “Meals that heal inflammation”, Julie Daniluk, p 46. And you wont feel alone anymore…

  3. Larry says:

    I never reply to blogs but i am compelled to on this subject because i have been suffering from food intolerance since i was 30, i am 51 now and very fit. Took over 10 years for me to figure out that i had food issues, since, in my opinion, MD’s really are not trained on chronic illness. They wanted me to take medication for my digestive issues for the rest of my life, no bad feelings with the MD’s its just the way they work. Since I have avoided certain foods like soy, gluten, wheat ,dairy most of my symptoms have been greatly reduced or eliminated. No meds . I still have this issue with fatigue, mental fogginess and cognitive issues until I stopped eating oils for the last few days. I mostly consume Olive oil, I’m a Italian. WOW ! this is what normal is !! It was like someone had open up all the windows in your house on a nice sunny day. My headache is tolerable, i’m not as irritable, Joint pain reduced, I can think sequentially again without my thoughts bouncing around. Muscle twitching is gone, Puffy face, mostly around my eyes are better…. I can list many things. I am very eager to see how the next few days will go. I have no idea on the medical details behind what is going on but this elimination diet is working for me. if you have any additional info on OIL in-tolerances please let me know thanks.

  4. EAha says:

    Glad to find your blog!!! you describe exactly my symptoms, and from the same cause.
    Severe stomach inflammation and mental fog (memory issues, confusion, not able to count backwards)… this is exactly what happened to me! for years. It took me a lot of careful detective work. Finally I figured out that the cause was processed oils. After feeling healthy for some time now, I became curious and went on the internet to look if someone else reports similar problems. I came across your blog. Bingo! so glad I am not the only strange person in the world. I wonder how many more people have this refined-oil intolerance.

    i find that this refined oil intolerance is easy to deal with. I simply cook everything myself. I can safely use : butter, cold pressed coconut oil and cold pressed olive oil, and those are totally OK. I wonder if my sensativity is to some chemical they use in the regular oil processing? anyway – you cant imagine how glad i am that i found what my problem is. How wonderful it is to be healthy!!!!! and thanks for posting your blog. Your findings are valuable. please do tell me when your book comes out.


  5. Ben says:

    Thank you so very much for having the bravery to come forward with this. Your blog has been so helpful to me. I feel like I’ve become that person who is constantly bleating about my health issues. After feeling like I was going to come out of my skin a few times, I got an allergy test run that showed severe allergy to soybeans and eggs. What was shocking though was that a candida screen showed me as being through the roof. 9 weeks of Diflucan later, I felt normal for the first time in a long time.

    Recently I started traveling, mostly to 3rd world countries and began noticing severe allergies again. Joint popping, severe anxiety and depression, lethargy, gas, what you described as my brain having holes in it, and just an overall constant state of malaise. I had been avoiding soy and eggs, but found later…. it’s absolutely the oils they’re cooking in. In Peru, Ecuador, India, etc… they must use very cheap oils to feed the masses and my assumption is that they’re highly refined. After a recent trip to India I was coming absolutely unglued and a mental nutcase and stumbled upon your site. Thanks again–it has been invaluable to me and I’m adjusting accordingly. After 3 days, I feel like the cloud is lifting. Also, I’ve found that there is a HUGE difference between the different olive oils. The one I can tolerate is the cold-pressed first pass ONLY…. if I go cheap and try to get the “cheapest extra virgin,” I’ll be in agony.


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