Coconut oil and Alzheimers disease prevention, worth a try.

I came across a very important article some time ago and filed it for future reference, but I have decided to make it available on my blog to help promote the research done by Dr Mary Newport.   It is a well written personal experience, by a woman desperate to help her beloved husband who was well advanced with the disease.  Being a scholar herself, she began to research the scientific literature to see if there was any basis for the claim that coconut oil is beneficial in treating and improving the out come.

At the time  she was trying to enroll him in clinical trials, and one of the tests involved drawing a clock.  Here is his first drawing before taking the coconut oil.

coconut oil

She began giving him 1 tablespoon  to 2 tablespoons per day and after 3 weeks this is the clock he drew.  This is a massive improvement.

coconut oil

Here is the 3rd clock a drew 3 weeks later.

coconut oil

I recommend reading the full article by Dr Mary Newport, as she explains very well how it produces valuable ketones  for brain function, and at the end of her article has many references from scientific journals to help anyone wanting to investigate further.  In the article she encouraged others to copy and spread her article.

It is also important to avoid artificial fats and oils that have been heat treated, as these oils generate free radicals that damage the membranes of cells not only in the brain but also through out the body.  The safe fats are butter, ghee, coconut oil, cream, animal fats and cold pressed oils such as olive oil.

Here is a list of her references.


1. “Ketone bodies, potential therapeutic uses,” RL Veech, B Chance, Y Kashiwaya, HA Lardy, GC Cahill, Jr., IUBMB Life, 2001, Vol. 51 No.4, 241-247

2. “Ketoacids? Good Medicine?” George F. Cahill, Jr., Richard L. Veech, Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association,Vol. 114, 2003.

3. “The therapaeutic implications of ketone bodies: the effects of ketone bodies in pathological conditions: ketosis, ketogenic diet, redox states, insulin resistance, and mitochondrial metabolism,” Richard L. Veech, Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 70 (2004) 309-319.

4. “Diminished glucose transport and phosphorylation in Alzheimer’s Disease determined by dynamic FDG-PET,” M Piert,, The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Vol.37 No.2, February 1996, 201-208.

5. “Glucose metabolism in early onset versus late onset Alzheimer’s Disease: an SPM analysis of 120 patients,” EJ Kim, et. al., Brain, 2005,Vol. 128, 1790-1801.

6. “Cerebral glucose metabolism in Parkinson’s disease with and without dementia,” RF Peppard,, Archives of Neurology, Vol. 49 No.12,December 1992.

7. “Cortical and subcortical glucose consumption measured by PET in patients with Huntington’s disease,” Brain, October 1990, Vol 113, part 5, 1405-23.

8. “Reduced glucose metabolism in the frontal cortex and basal ganglia of multiple sclerosis patients with fatigue: a 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography study,” U Roelcke, et. al., Neurology, 1997, Vol. 48, Issue 6, 1566-1571.

9. “ALS-linked Cu/Zn-SOD mutation impairs cerebral synaptic glucose and glutamate transport and exacerbates ischemic brain injury,” Z Guo, et. al., Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow Metabolism, March 2000, Vol. 20 No. 3, 463-8.

10. “Combinations of medium chain triglycerides and therapeutic agents for the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases resulting from reduced neuronal metabolism,” United States Patent 20080009467, Inventor Samuel T. Henderson, Accera, Inc., Broomfield,Colorado (Ketasyn).

11. Nutrient analysis of coconut oil (vegetable), NDB No: 04047 – .

12. “Lipids in (human) milk and the first steps in their digestion,” M Hamosh, et. al., Pediatrics, 1985, Vol. 75, 146-150.

13. “Nutritional factors and serum lipid levels,” EH Ahrens, American Journal of Medicine, 1957, vol. 23, 928 (used hydrogenated coconut oil).

14. “Trans fatty acids and coronary artery disease,” NEJM, 1999, Vol. 340, 1994-1998.

15. “Effect of mixed fat formula feeding on serum cholesterol level in man,” SA Hashim, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1959, Vol. 7, 30-34.

16. “Modified-fat dietary management of the young male with coronary disease: a five-year report,” JL Bierenbaum, JAMA, 1967, Vol. 202, 1119-1123.

17. “Cholesterol, coconuts and diet in Polynesian atolls-a natural experiment; the Pukapuka and Toklau island studies,” IA Prior, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1981, Vol. 34, 1552-1561.

18. “Changes in cerebral blood flow and carbohydrate metabolism during acute hyperketonemia,” S.G. Hasselbalch,, Am J Physiol, 1996,Vol. 270, E746-51.

19. “Effect of hyperketonemia and hyperlacticacidemia on symptoms, cognitive dysfunction, and counterregulatory hormone responses during hypogly­cemia in normal humans,” T. Veneman, et. al., Diabetes 43:1311-7 (1994).

20. “D-b-Hydroxybutyrate protects neurons in models of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease,” Y Kashiwaya, et. al. including RL Veech, PNAS, May 9, 2000, Vol. 97 No. 10, 5440-5444.

21. “High carbohydrate diets and Alzheimer’s disease,” Samuel T. Henderson, Medical Hypotheses, 2004, Vol 62, 689-700 (Another article of interest).

22. “Effects of b-Hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults,” MA Reger, ST Henderson, et. al., Neurobiology of Aging, 2004,Vol. 25, 311-314.

23. “Breastfeeding, infant formula supplementation, and Autistic Disorder: the results of a parent survey,” ST Schultz, et. al., International Breastfeeding Journal, 2006, Vol. 1 No. 16.

Other Important Resources

“Ketones: Metabolism’s Ugly Duckling,” TB VanItallie, TH Nufert, Nutrition Reviews, Vol 61, No 10, 327-341.

“Fuel Metabolism in Starvation,” GF Cahill, Jr., Annual Reviews in Nutrition, 2006, 26:1-22.

“Ketone Bodies as a Therapeutic for Alzheimer’s Disease,” ST Henderson, Journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, Vol 5, 470-480, July 2008.

About Julie

Nutritionist working in the Brisbane area Queensland Australia.
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