Is Coconut Oil the new cure for Alzheimer’s Disease?

Is Coconut Oil the new cure for Alzheimer’s Disease?

There has been much discussion on the intertubes about whether coconut oil is the new cure for Alzheimer’s disease, thanks to the discovery and subsequent book
“Alzheimer’s Disease:  What if there was a cure? “  by a pediatrician, Dr. Mary Newport.

Her husband, Steve was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  In her desperation to find a cure, she discovered research supporting the use of ketones to treat neurological disorders.  Because neurological conditions are associated with a decrease in utilization of brain glucose, ketones are attractive because they provide an alternative source of fuel to brain.   And that’s where coconut oil comes in.. it’s a good source of ketones.

The effects for her husband were profound.  He showed remarkable improvement in his memory, ability to function, mood and personality.  In fact she documented profound unheard of recovery in his clock drawing test (part of a standard clinical test for Alzheimer’s disease) and her findings were confirmed by MRI measurements of his brain size!

So given her results, why aren’t all doctors treating their patients with coconut oil?

Well, the great thing about her story is that it suggests chances are good that it could help other people with the diseaseBut how many others, and whether it could do any harm are completely unknown.  As stated in the Berkeley Wellness Letter, coconut oil is high in calories, and taken at high doses could have gastrointestinal side effects.   I know if I had a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, that would not be enough to stop me from giving it a try.

But I am skeptical that it will work for everyone.  A study published in Nutrition Metabolism showed that a ketogenic agent benefited those without the APOE 4 variant of the APOE allele.  It is estimated that 40-65% of those with Alzheimer’s disease have at least one copy of the E4 allele.  However, this is the result of just one study, and Dr. Newport had just one patient.   Nevertheless I’ve heard others that have benefitted, and others that have not.  But even if it helps a proportion of people with the disease, this find is worth celebrating!   More research is clearly needed, and time will only tell…

Curious to see if coconut oil might benefit you or your loved one?

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  1. Lilly Fasenmyer
    Apr 29, 2013

    Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera). Throughout the tropical world, it has provided the primary source of fat in the diets of millions of people for generations. It has various applications in food, medicine, and industry. Because of its stability, it is slow to oxidize and, thus, resistant to rancidity, lasting up to two years owing to the high saturated fat content.’

    Head to our personal blog page too

    • Tina
      Apr 29, 2013

      Thanks Lilly for that tidbit!

  2. Gary Bigham
    Jun 7, 2013

    Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions. It’s the most common cause of dementia — a group of brain disorders that results in the loss of intellectual and social skills. These changes are severe enough to interfere with day-to-day life. :..”*

    Our favorite blog page

  3. Alvarez
    Sep 19, 2013

    Alzheimer’s disease is an unknown cause illness. It destroys the memory or part of your brain functions. We don’t know the causes, so it’s hard to create a complete cure to the disease. Coconut oil can be a cure to the disease, but not perfect. We still have to do more experiments to make this cure recommended for people with these diseases.

    • Tina
      Sep 19, 2013

      Thanks for you comment Alvarez. I spent 18 yrs in academia studying underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease, and I now believe that there are many causes (for 95% of Alzheimer’s cases – called “sporatic Alzheimer’s disease). For 5% of people with Alzheimer’s there is a familial gene which is the primary cause. But for the other 95% there are many risk and protective factors, which include diet (omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins, antioxidants and more), exercise (or lack of), a gene called APOE, use of one’s brain, sleep, how socially connected we are, stress and depression, and epigenetic factors and of course aging. There are probably lots of other factors as well, and I believe that no 2 people’s risk factor profile (or subset of underlying causes) will be the same.

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