It is no secret in the natural health community that coconut oil has helped to improve or heal the cognitive skills of dementia or Alzheimer's sufferers.* Many Western Medical practitioners are just now starting to discuss coconut oil in relation to dementia and have surprisingly admitted that yes, there is merit to the claims that coconut oil can improve diminished cognitive skills. I am nothing short of overjoyed that this fabulous oil is finally being credited with another one of its amazing benefits.
Quick disclaimer – I am required to clearly state that I am not a licensed medical professional nor do I pretend to be one on this site. Take what I write as a launching off point to do your own research. My advice, experience, and suggestions are not to be considered medical advice.
Dr. Bruce Fife is often credited with making the connection between coconut oil and ketones, however Dr. Mary Newport can be credited with proving that coconut oil can really reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer's. Her work is nothing short of amazing and if you would like to really read some interesting stuff, head on over to a really information packed article she wrote titled “What If There Was A Cure For Alzheimer's Disease and No One Knew.” It is a little complex at times but pretty much proves the coconut oil and dementia connection.
There is a lot of information, testimonials, and studies floating around which discuss exactly how coconut oil works in the brain to aid those with most dementias. It can get rather confusing so I am going to do my best to provide a very simple, direct breakdown of how coconut oil works in the body to improve or heal the cognitive function in persons with dementia.
Glucose is the main source of energy for the body. Glucose comes from the carbohydrates in our food. In a person with dementia, brain cells have major trouble metabolizing glucose.
When the body is low on glucose, the body responds with the production of another fuel called ketones. Ketones are produced in the fat stored in the liver and used to nourish the brain. When the body is low on glucose, the brain uses ketones to continue functioning. However, ketones are only produced when carbohydrate consumption is very low – very low as in when a person is pretty much fasting. Clearly this is not a practical way to produce ketones.
Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) convert into ketones. Coconut oil is about 63% MCTs. The amount of MCTs in coconut oil is high enough to achieve therapeutic blood levels of ketones. Two tablespoons of coconut oil can produce enough ketones to have a significant effect on brain function. For treatment of dementia, a total of 5 tablespoons (74 ml) a day split between three meals is recommended.
So that is really what it boils down to. I could go into a lot more detail but I suspect that most anyone reading my blog wants an easy to understand outline of the coconut oil – dementia connection.
Questions? Ask away! And be sure to take your coconut oil daily! If you need a good source of coconut oil, check out my Products I Love page!
Want more information? There is a great article on Health Impact News which goes much more in depth than I do here. Be sure to check it out! You can also grab a copy of Virgin Coconut Oil which was recently updated. There is a ton of information and research about coconut oil and various health impacts.
*For the purposes of this post, “dementia” refers to Alzheimer's and other memory related health issues.