In 2012, news about coconut oil benefiting those with Alzheimer’s disease started making it into mainstream media. That’s not terribly surprising, as big news about the failure of drugs to treat Alzheimer’s also made headlines about the same time. Drug companies Medivation and Pfizer admitted the new drug they were developing for Alzheimer’s, dimebon, not only did not help patients in trials, but made patients worse! The expensive drug had already reached phase III trials. (See story on ABC News)
So as the development of this drug has now been abandoned, and so many other potential drugs have also failed, many have begun to look at the role of diet in Alzheimer’s and focus on prevention.
**This may also be helpful for those on Levothyroxin (Synthroid) for hypothyroidism (which has an FDA black box warning). Studies show subsequent development of dementia of the Alzheimer type with Thyroid medication use.
Studies That Confirm Coconut Oil’s Value
Also, in a 2004 study published in the Journal of Neurobiology of Aging, they found that the Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA’s) found in coconut oil improved the memory problems in their older subjects. Across all the patients there was a marked improvement in their recall ability after taking this fatty acid. As the MCFA’s are absorbed easily in the body and can be accessed in the brain without the use of insulin, they are able to fuel brain cells more efficiently. (3)
My Little Story
I’m going to admit something.
Being a proactive person, I began taking near-therapeutic doses of virgin coconut oil to combat mild brain fog and to address little, mildly-troubling things I (and my family) recognized in myself – increased lack of concentration and focus, unusual lack of motivation and more forgetfulness when tired. I felt I needed to do this for myself (as someone who has always been pretty competent in the OR and as a homeschool mom). What do I have to lose but my mind? I was so impressed at how I felt and responded that my husband began taking it with me. Today, we have seen a sharpening of our mental processes and are far better stewards of our time. We may even communicate better…ha! We are 65 and 64 years old. (See dosage recommendations below).
Is Coconut Oil Controversial For Alzheimer’s?
Some circles feel this topic is rather controversial, but many of those with concerns about their cognitive future feel it’s worth a try, like me. There’s obviously little interest in researching this inside the medical system, with its billions of dollars in revenue and government funds to develop drugs that can be patented.
The anecdotal evidence of the success in slowing, stopping, and even reversing Alzheimer’s in many people using coconut oil is so noteworthy that I feel it is unwise to discount it. After all, it is a fact that Alzheimer’s drugs have been a huge failure.
There is currently one trial in the U.S. looking at the effects of coconut oil on Alzheimer’s Disease. It was started at the University of Florida’s Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute. They have a study currently in progress where they have enrolled 65 individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s to measure the effects of coconut oil, versus a placebo, on the disease.
According to researchers, coconut oil is a source of food that the body can easily convert into ketones. Canadian researcher, Stephen Cunnane studies brain metabolism at Universite de Sherbrooke. His question: How do you revive aging or diseased brain cells in the elderly and those with Alzheimer’s?Using PET scans, he found that ketones are indeed a possible alternative brain fuel.
People all across America and around the world are not waiting for the results of research trials, however. Many people with Alzheimer’s disease are already seeing a moderate to huge improvement, and in some cases a prolonged reversal, of the disease after starting with coconut oil.
I don’t believe coconut oil is a cure-all or permanent fix, but it can, in many cases, help give a better life to a loved one and make life easier to manage for caregivers.
Here is a very partial list of testimonials by real people that convinced me there is something to this despite a lack of the mainstream medical community’s blessing. (Note: while it may seem opinionated or judgmental, if something does have the mainstream medicine’s blessing, I’d caution anyone to pause and look a little closer).
Exciting & Hopeful Testimonies
1.) One of the most widely published reports recently was from neonatologist Dr. Mary Newport as reported by the St. Petersburg Times. Dr. Newport’s own husband had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, and she was watching her husband deteriorate rapidly. After using drugs that slowed down the effects of Alzheimer’s, she looked into clinical drug trials and found one based on MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) that not only slowed the progression of Alzheimer’s, but offered improvement. Not being able to get her husband into one of these trials, she began to give him Virgin Coconut Oil (because of their high level of MCTs), and saw improvement in his condition within the first several days, “lifting the fog.” By the fifth day, there was a tremendous improvement even being noticed by his doctors during testing.
“He would face the day bubbly, more like his old self,” his wife said. More than five months later, his tremors subsided, the visual disturbances that prevented him from reading disappeared, and he became more social and interested in those around him.
You can read Dr. Newport’s entire case study here and her book, Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure? The Story of Ketones.
But Dr. Newport’s efforts to get the medical community to take notice and conduct trials was met with not simply a lack of interest, but even some hostility, as she tried to present her case study at the annual conference of the Alzheimer’s Association in 2007. Watch this persistent doctor as she continues to work in behalf of her husband and others. She has nothing to gain and is selling nothing:
Exciting 4 minute video here. I wish I could get it to load to this post.
2.) Ian Blair tells us how “coconut oil gave me my brain back” and relieved him of depression after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s:
- Coconut Oil Lifts Brain Fog and Stops Memory Loss for 65 Year Old Women
- Coconut Oil Reverses the Effects of Alzheimer’s in 50 Year Old Woman
- Film to be Made of Father’s Recovery from Alzheimer’s with Coconut Oil
- Woman with Dementia Sees Improved Memory and Better Conversation Skills after Starting Coconut Oil
- Canadian Man Swears by Coconut Oil as Alzheimer’s Remedy
- Woman with End-stage Alzheimer’s Sees Improvement in One Week after Starting Coconut Oil
- Coconut Oil Reverses Dementia in 100 Year Old Woman
- Coconut Oil Gave my Grandma Back to Us!
How Much Coconut Oil Do I Take?
Start small with just a teaspoon twice a day and work up. My husband and I gradually got up to 3 TBSP a day. I personally love my coconut oil slathered on hot toast like butter with a little honey, in my oatmeal, or as a hidden addition to smoothies but there are many ways to use coconut oil in cooking and baking.
Once you have it in your cabinet, then go wild – let loose and experiment! Use coconut oil as a replacement for all processed cooking oils, including margarine, butter (yes, even in cakes and cookies!) and vegetable oil.
If you decide to add this super-food to your diet to promote brain health and prevent dementia, the internet is a great source for coconut oil-based recipes.
For best results, experts suggest organic, cold-pressed, non-hydrogenated, virgin coconut oil. Coconut oil is a heart-healthy oil that is free of cholesterol and trans-fats, and provides many benefits in addition to improving brain health.
How to Use Coconut Oil. This includes some of my favorite recipes.
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Thanks for reading!