Coconut Oil and Alzheimer’s
You may remember my previous post about coconut oil, and the few reasons why I use this oil above all others. Well, there is another benefit to coconut oil that I didn’t mention so I could cover it in its own post. You wouldn’t know it, but coconut oil contains a fat that is showing promise for those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Many of you who are reading this may be all too familiar with the disease, and some of you may not. Alzheimer’s disease is a dis-order of the the brain and how it functions. It affects memory, thinking and behavior, and generally worsens over time. Lifestyle factors do play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s, as the brain is essential plastic and changes constantly, yet there are times when a genetic link may influence the risk of developing the disease.
Coconut Oil and Alzheimers: Showing Promise in Treatment
In 2003, medical doctor Mary Newport found out that her husband, then only 53 years old, started showing signs of dementia, which was later diagnosed as Alzheimer’s. This started affecting his every day life–he wasn’t able to place a spoon in the correct drawer, or even cook dinner because it became to confusing.
After Mary’s husband was rejected for drug trials, she started researching the science behind Alzhemier’s disease and what happens in the brains of these patients. What she discovered was that brains cells in Alzheimer patients may have a hard time utilizing glucose as an energy source. All of our cells thrive on glucose as it major fuels for energy (which are derived from carbohydrates).
She found that these brain cells will die off if they cannot utilize the glucose, contributing to memory loss and dementia. What surprised her was that these brain cells can rely on another form of fuel, when glucose is not readily available. This fuel is called ketones, which are created in response to a low carbohydrate diet (with plenty of healthy fats).
A drug that was showing a tremendous amount of promise for patients for producing ketones was essentially a medium chained triglyceride oil. We know that coconut oil is mainly made up of MCT’s, and when combined with a low carbohydrate diet can help produce this alternative fuel for our cells. In fact, an extreme low carbohydrate diet might not even be necessary, as medium chained triglycerides are quickly used as energy by our cells than any other fat or oil (although a grain free, sugar free diet would still be ideal).
Mary started giving her husband two tablespoons of organic, unrefined coconut oil and started to see results immediately. Over a few weeks time, she tested his ability to draw the face of a clock. You can see his drawings in this article.
Can Coconut Oil Prevent Alzheimer’s?
My answer would be yes – BUT, I haven’t the ability to perform long-standing clinical trials on a large number of people. The fact that our cells can use ketones as an energy source when it can’t utilize glucose is very promising, in my opinion. Not only do I believe that pure, organic coconut oil can prevent dementia (along with a healthy lifestyle, like exercising, sunshine, relaxation and a grain free diet), I believe it can show a lot of promise in delaying the acceleration of the degeneration of the mind with current Alzheimer’s patients.
What are your thoughts on this? Of course there are other factors that contribute to Alzheimers, but do you believe coconut oil, and the medium chained triglycerides it contains, could help patients that are currently suffering? If adding coconut oil, and unrefined coconut products, to the diet is the only things that we do, why not? It’s worth a shot, and should harm any thing. If we don’t do something, we get nothing. Why not try?
Check out Dr. Mary T. Newport’s new book, Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure?
This is The Healthy Advocate.
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