Coconut Oil and Alzheimer’s

by Alan Hewitt on September 3, 2013

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Dr Mary Newport is a paediatrician who began using coconut oil to treat her husband, Harry, four years ago.

He had been suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s for eight years. She claims the results after he started taking the oil were remarkable.

‘He began to get his short-term memory back,’ says Dr Newport.

‘His depression lifted, he became more like his old self. The problem he’d had with walking improved.

An MRI scan showed his brain had stopped shrinking.’

So what prompted her to use the oil in the first place?

‘Some years ago, I came across a small study suggesting that Alzheimer’s patients had a problem using glucose in the brain and that ketones could be an alternative source of fuel.

The study suggested a patented drink that boosted ketone levels improved memory and thinking skills in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.’

A follow-up paper on this was published in the journal BMC Neuroscience in 2008. Dr Newport found out the patented drink contained MCT oil extracted from coconuts.

‘The patented product still wasn’t on the market, so I thought it would be worth trying coconut oil itself,’ she says.

Her accounts of Harry’s improvement, illustrated with videos on YouTube, prompted hundreds of people to share their positive experience of the oil (traditionally used in the tropics for everything from cooking to protecting wood).

One carer of a man with dementia reported: ‘His ability to speak and recall words is better, but not his ability to make good decisions.’

The carer of another man who’d had dementia for ten years said: ‘His reaction to the oil was very gradual, but his mood is so much better.’

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