Sunday, September 2, 2012


Ketogenic Diet and Beta-Amyloid Plaque

Amyloids are protein fragments produced by the body. Beta-amyloids, which are found throughout the brains of Alzheimer's patients, are snippets of the amyloid protein. Animal research published in the October 2005 issue of "Nutrition and Metabolism" found that the ketogenic diet reduced the buildup of this plaque in mouse brains.

Human Studies on the Ketogenic Diet

Researchers have tried to mimic the effects of a ketogenic diet by giving a drug that produces ketones in the body to 152 elderly patients who were presumed to have Alzheimer's disease. The results of the study, which were published in the October 2009 issue of "Nutrition and Metabolism," showed that these patients showed significant improvements on tests of cognitive functioning. Results were especially good for patients who carried the APO E4 gene, which predisposes carriers to develop Alzheimer's disease.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012


(NaturalNews) Emerging research on the widespread degenerative brain disease known as Alzheimer's suggests that this prevalent form of dementia is actually a type of diabetes. Published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, a recent study out of Rhode Island Hospital (RIH) confirms that Alzheimer's is marked by brain insulin resistance and corresponding inflammation, a condition that some researchers are now referring to as type-3 diabetes.

Read the full article here.

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Here is a forum post that I found on Natural Medicine Talk.  In it, you can join in the conversation with others who are discussing the benefits of coconut oil to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease:

A few days ago I got the latest newsletter from Dr. Whitaker. It tells of a 59 yr. old accountant who began having problems at work: disorganized, error prone, depressed. He was eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer's and it rapidly progressed. His wife is an MD and she learned of a clinical trial that was going on and that half of the participants who took the medication in the pilot study showed remarkable improvements and the other half held steady compared to a placebo group that continued to decline. She did some searching and discovered that the drug's active ingredient was medium chain triglycerides (MCT's) natural fatty acids that are abundant in coconut oil.

Although he didn't qualify for the clinical trial his wife started him on coconut oil. After the very first dose, "a light switch came on." Over the next 2 months he became more alert and talkative, and his sense of humor slowly returned. His attentiion and ability to stay on task improved, and at a family reunion he remembered the names of relatives he couldn't recognize the year before. Today, a year and a half after beginning treatment, Steve volounteers in a hospital warehouse and enjoys his job and coworkers. His previously impaired gait has normalized and he is able to run, can read again with decent comprehension and his short-term memory is gradually getting better. He feels as if he "got his life back".

The reason for this is ketones. Medium chain triglycerides don't behave like the more common long chain fats. Thanks to their shorter chemical structure, they are easily absorbed and rapidly metabolized in the liver. And rather than being stored as fat, they are converted into ketones. Ketones are your body's alternative energy source.

Dr. Whitaker says that unrefined coconut oil has numerous benefits. It does not raise cholesterol or in any other way increase risk of heart disease. In fact it is cardioprotective and contains compounds that support the liver, improve immune function, and have antimicrobial properites. He is now recommending ketone therapy for all of his patients with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis, ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders. There is evidence to suggest that it may also be beneficial for individuals with Down syndrome, autism, and diabetes.
The most practical and economidal way of raising ketone levels is with the MCT/coconut oil combo. Mix the 2 oils in a jar and measure out the desired amount for each meal. (Take by the spoon, add to oatmeal, cook with it, etc.) Dr. Whitaker feels that ketone therapy also has a promising role in prevention. Poor glucose tolerance precedes symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders and contributes to their progreression. Why shouldn't healthy people--especially if they're older or have a family history of any of these diseases--take a few spoonfuls of these oils every day to help stave off future problems?

The recommended dose of MCT's for neurodegenerative disorders is 20 g per meal (7 teaspoons or a scant 2 1/2 tablespoons). Dr. Newport's (it was her husband mentioned in the above story) recipe is to combine 16 ounces of MCT oil plus 12 ounces of coconut oil, store at room temperature and use as needed. To avoid diarrhea, start with 1-2 teaspoons per meal and build up gradually--and be aware that some people will only be able to tolerate lower amounts. Because coconut oil contains no omega 3 essential fatty acids, a minimum of 2 g of fish oil should also be taken daily.

This is certainly not the whole article but I hope that I have given the most important points!! I ordered some MCT oil (NOW brand) and plan to start taking a few tbsps. a day as a preventative as there is Alzheimer's Disease in my family. I've used nothing but coconut oil and butter for the last several years and love it!

To read the responses of the others on the forum, click here.

Friday, May 25, 2012


I came across this article today on the website Health Impact News Daily on some of the information available on the use of coconut oil to treat Alzheimer's Disease.

by Brian Shilhavy Health Impact News


The Failure of the Medical System to Treat Alzheimer’s

The news about how effective coconut oil is in treating Alzheimer’s Disease is spreading fast, as news about the failure of drugs in treating Alzheimer’s continues to make headlines in 2012. Just recently, drug companies Pfizer and Medivation admitted that 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 here on ABC News)
In May 2012 a federal judge ruled that a case against Harvard Medical School and its teaching hospitals regarding fraudulent research using public funds for Alzheimer’s disease was to proceed. (Read the story here)
So as the development of this drug has now been abandoned, and so many other potential drugs have also failed (possibly due to fraudulent research?), many are beginning to look at the role of diet in Alzheimer’s and focusing on prevention. People are also beginning to see positive results in using coconut oil to reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s.

The harm of low-fat high-carbohydrate diets in cholesterol uptake in the brain

One of the most recent studies that looked at the role of nutrition in Alzheimer’s was published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine: “Nutrition and Alzheimer’s disease: The detrimental role of a high carbohydrate diet”1.
The authors of this study have noted how researchers have begun to direct their energies towards understanding the earlier stages of AD, since drug research in later stages has not been very successful. They note that several researchers have noticed a strong correlation between insulin resistance in the brain and early AD, suggesting that AD might be considered a neuroendocrine disorder of the brain or so-called “type 3 diabetes.” Other observations have noted an association of AD with mitochondrial dysfunction, which is also common in Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
But the authors’ main conclusions regarding the early causes of AD center around the transport of cholesterol from the blood stream to the brain. They state that there is mounting evidence which suggests that a defect in cholesterol metabolism in the brain may play an important role in AD. They give a nice summary of the brain’s dependency on cholesterol:
The brain represents only 2% of the body’s total mass, but contains 25% of the total cholesterol. Cholesterol is required everywhere in the brain as an antioxidant, an electrical insulator (in order to prevent ion leakage), as a structural scaffold for the neural network, and a functional component of all membranes. Cholesterol is also utilized in the wrapping and synaptic delivery of the neurotransmitters. It also plays an important role in the formation and functioning of synapses in the brain.
They point to several studies that show a lack of cholesterol present in the brains of AD patients which is so vital for several functions, and also note that other studies show this cholesterol deficiency in dementia and Parkinson’s disease. In contrast, high cholesterol levels are positively correlated with longevity in people over 85 years old, and in some cases has been shown to be associated with better memory function and reduced dementia.
The authors go on to explain that the lipid theory of heart disease started by the work of Ancel Keys in the 1960s led to dietary beliefs that cholesterol was to be avoided in the diet, and with that belief came the “over-zealous prescription of cholesterol-reducing medications over the same decades in which there has been a parallel rise in AD prevalence.”
Another result of the low-fat dietary belief was the replacement of fats in the diet with refined carbohydrates, which leads to a rise in blood glucose levels and over time to insulin resistance and diabetes. They point out that the prevalence of fructose, mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup, is ten times more reactive than glucose in inducing glycation. This impairs serum proteins, and they hypothesize that this leads to a depletion of much needed cholesterol and fat in the brain. Strong evidence in favor of their hypothesis is the fact that studies show patients with type-2 diabetes are at two to five times increased risk to AD.
Increased lipid peroxidation is also shown to be an early cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Liquid vegetable oils, the polyunsaturates, are highly prone to oxidation and rancidity, and it is now well known that in the form of trans fatty acids (through the process of hydrogenation) they are extremely toxic. (More research on polyunsaturated oils here.)
Dr. Raymond Peat has talked about the difference between polyunsaturated oils and saturated oils in their importance for brain tissue for years now:
Brain tissue is very rich in complex forms of fats. The experiment (around 1978) in which pregnant mice were given diets containing either coconut oil or unsaturated oil showed that brain development was superior in the young mice whose mothers ate coconut oil. Because coconut oil supports thyroid function, and thyroid governs brain development, including myelination, the result might simply reflect the difference between normal and hypothyroid individuals. However, in 1980, experimenters demonstrated that young rats fed milk containing soy oil incorporated the oil directly into their brain cells, and had structurally abnormal brain cells as a result. Lipid peroxidation occurs during seizures, and antioxidants such as vitamin E have some anti-seizure activity. Currently, lipid peroxidation is being found to be involved in the nerve cell degeneration of Alzheimer’s disease.2

How Coconut Oil Can Help Alzheimer’s

Coconut oil, by contrast, is highly saturated, and in its natural unrefined form has a shelf life of more than 2 years. Unlike unsaturated oils, it is not prone to oxidation.
Also, the study from the European Journal of Internal Medicine referenced above notes that Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) all have an association with mitochondrial dysfunction. A study published in 2010 used coconut oil to show that a diet enriched in the saturated fatty acids of coconut oil offered strong advantages for the protection against oxidative stress in heart mitochondria.3
Much research is also being uncovered now on the advantages of high HDL cholesterol levels, besides the study we mentioned above in direct relation to Alzheimer’s. A study appearing in the American Journal of Cardiology in February 2011 showed that the higher men’s HDL cholesterol levels, the longer they lived and the more likely it was that they would reach the age of 85.4 A diet with adequate amounts of saturated fat is essential to keeping HDL high cholesterol levels. Those with deficiencies and suffering from neurological disorders need to consider a diet that is high in saturated fat, in stark contrast to the mainstream dietary advice for low-fat diets that might be causing many of these late-in-life diseases.
Another major advantage the saturated fat of coconut oil provides is its ability to provide the brain with an alternate source of energy in ketones. Ketones are high energy fuels that nourish the brain. Our body can produce ketones from stored fat while fasting or in starvation, but they can also be produced by converting medium chain fatty acids in certain foods. Coconut oil is nature’s richest source of these medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). A study done in 2004 took MCTs from coconut oil and put them into a drink that was given to Alzheimer’s patients while a control group took a placebo.5 They observed significant increases in levels of the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate (beta-OHB) 90 minutes after treatment when cognitive tests were administered. Higher ketone values were associated with greater improvement in paragraph recall with MCT treatment relative to placebo across all subjects.
As coconut oil’s use becomes more accepted and widespread, and as people begin to realize the dangers of the low-fat dietary belief, we are starting to see more testimonies in relation to diseases like Alzheimer’s. One of the most widely published reports is from Dr. Mary Newport as reported by the St. Petersburg Times on October 29, 20086. Dr. Newport’s husband had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and was watching her husband quickly deteriorate. After using drugs that slowed down the effects of Alzheimer’s, she looked into clinical drug trials and found one based on MCTs 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, and saw incredible improvement in his condition.
The coconut oil he’d ingested seemed to “lift the fog.” He began taking coconut oil every day, and by the fifth day, there was a tremendous improvement. “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.7

Click here to read the rest of the article.