For many of us who have experienced Alzheimer’s disease firsthand, there is no greater fear than having the disease ourselves one day. But, recent studies suggest that some organic foods and products like coconut oil may be able to prevent dementias like Alzheimer’s. Learn more.
In her 2011 book, “Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure? The Story of Ketones,” Dr. Newport fervently declares that her husband has shown clear improvement in his dementia with regular use of coconut oil. In some circles, the topic is rather controversial, but many of those with concerns about their cognitive future feel it’s worth a try.
How Coconut Oil Affects the Body and MindFor best results, experts suggest organic, cold-pressed, non-hydrogenated, virgin coconut oil – and don’t let the word “oil” frighten you. 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, including:
- Improving the body’s use of insulin
- Improving cholesterol by increasing HDL (good cholesterol)
- Boosting thyroid function resulting in increased energy
- Acting as an antioxidant and natural antibiotic
- Improving overall health of skin and hair
Adding Coconut Oil to Your DietIf 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 recipes.
I personally love it stirred into my morning coffee or oatmeal, or even as a tasty addition to smoothies, but there are many ways to use coconut oil in cooking and baking.
Do keep in mind that coconut oil solidifies between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, which came as a surprise to me. Here in the Midwest, except for the warmest summer days, it generally takes on a solid form.
The Failure of Big Pharma in Treating Alzheimer’s Disease
Two more Alzheimer’s drug trials have failed. Melissa Healy of the LA Times reported on the most recent failures of Big Pharma to develop Alzheimer’s drugs in January 2014:
Two biological therapies designed to improve the clearance of sticky plaques from the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease have failed to slow the steady loss of cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate forms of the degenerative disorder.
In late clinical-trial findings published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, the monoclonal antibodies known as solanezumab and bapineuzumab were shown ineffective at changing the downward cognitive trajectory of Alzheimer’s patients. (Full Story here.)
These are the most recent failures, and they follow a long list of drug failures in Big Pharma’s attempt to develop pharmaceutical products to treat Alzheimer’s Disease. Drug companies Pfizer and Medivation abandoned their Alzheimer’s drug dimebon in January 2012, because the drug not only did not help patients in trials, but it made patients worse. The expensive drug had already reached phase III trials.
Seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease represent a huge market for pharmaceutical companies, as Alzheimer’s Disease is increasing rapidly, affecting many millions of seniors. Pharmaceutical companies are anxious to tap into this market, and several pharmaceutical companies are currently trying to develop an Alzheimer’s vaccine. (See efforts to develop Alzheimer’s vaccine in Sweden, Canada, and the U.S.)
In the history of drug marketing, the single most successful drug to ever hit the market was a drug targeted at seniors: Lipitor, the statin drug designed to lower cholesterol levels.
Lipitor has since had its patent expire, allowing cheaper statin generics to come into the market. But during its strongest years in sales, Lipitor almost outsold all other pharmaceutical drugs combined, making it the most profitable drug in history.
Today, about one out of every four Americans over the age of 55 is taking a statin drug. So this age group is a very lucrative market for the pharmaceutical companies, who would desperately like to have a successful Alzheimer’s drug or vaccine be approved for sale.
Are Pharmaceutical Drugs One of the Causes of Alzheimer’s Disease?In 2011, Dr. Stephanie Seneff published research looking at the effects of a low-fat diet and statin drugs in relation to Alzheimer’s Disease. This research noticed a strong correlation between insulin resistance in the brain and early Alzheimer’s Disease, suggesting that Alzheimer’s might be considered a neuroendocrine disorder of the brain or so-called “type 3 diabetes”.
But the study’s main conclusions regarding the early causes of Alzheimer’s Disease centered around the transport of cholesterol from the blood stream to the brain. The research stated that there is mounting evidence which suggests that a defect in cholesterol metabolism in the brain may play an important role in Alzheimer’s Disease. A nice summary of the brain’s dependency on cholesterol is given:
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. (Study here.)
They point to several studies that show that there is a lack of cholesterol in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients which is so vital for several functions, and also note that other studies show this cholesterol deficiency in dementia and Parkinson’s disease as well. 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.
In 2012, another study looked at the effects of statin cholesterol-lowering drugs on Alzheimer’s patients. The patients in the study had their statin medication stopped for six weeks, and then restarted. The results showed that during the six weeks when their statins were stopped, the basic brain function of the individuals improved. When the drugs were restarted, brain function got worse again. (Study here.)
So if statin cholesterol-lowering drugs are part of the problem in causing Alzheimer’s Disease, can we really expect that pharmaceutical companies will be able to develop drugs to cure Alzheimer’s?
Coconut Oil is More Successful than Drugs in Treating Alzheimer’s DiseaseI realize that to make a statement that coconut oil is more successful than drugs in treating Alzheimer’s Disease is not much of a statement at all, if drugs are one of the primary problems. Quitting pharmaceutical drugs altogether and doing nothing else is probably better than taking drugs to treat Alzheimer’s.
The anecdotal evidence of the success in stopping, and even reversing, Alzheimer’s in some people using coconut oil, however, is so remarkable, that it is foolish to discount what this simple dietary oil can do. After all, it is a fact that Alzheimer’s drugs have been a huge failure until now.
There is currently one trial ongoing looking at the effects of coconut oil on Alzheimer’s Disease. It was started in 2013 at the University of South 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. The funding reportedly came from a private foundation, as there is obviously no interest or government funds available to research coconut oil, since it would not bring any profit to pharmaceutical companies with their billions of dollars in revenue and government tax-payer funded research dollars at stake. Read more about the study here.
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 huge improvement, and in some cases a full reversal, of the disease after starting with coconut oil. Here is a partial list of testimonials that we have published here at Health Impact News:
- Coconut Oil Lifts Brain Fog and Stops Memory Loss for 65 Year Old Women
- Film to be Made of Father’s Recovery from Alzheimer’s with 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 Reverses the Effects of Alzheimer’s in 50 Year Old Woman
- Alzheimer’s and Coconut Oil: How coconut oil gave me back my brain
- Woman with Dementia Sees Improved Memory and Better Conversation Skills after Starting Coconut Oil
- Coconut Oil Gave my Grandma Back to Us!
However, if we look at Alzheimer’s Disease as a “type 3″ diabetes and an insulin resistance problem, coconut oil makes a lot of sense, as does a ketogenic high-fat diet. Coconut oil is known as a rich source of ketone energy, supplying an alternate form of energy to the brain. In fact, pharmaceutical companies are currently trying to develop drugs that mimic the same “ketonic” effect that can be achieved via a high-fat diet. (See: Study: Coconut Oil Could Prevent Neurodegeneration in Diseases like Alzheimer’s)
To learn more about the ketogenic diet, insulin resistance, coconut oil, and treating Alzheimer’s disease, watch this very informative round table discussion with 5 medical doctors, science author Gary Taubes, and nutritionist Robb Wolf: