If you’ve got a family member battling Alzheimer’s, you’re probably always on the lookout for new and proven treatments that can in any way improve the quality of the life of your loved one. Meet Dr. Mary Newport. An MD herself, she successfully treated and bettered her husband Steve’s Alzheimer’s disease with an unexpected ingredient that’s probably in your kitchen, on your dresser, or easily available at the nearest Walmart.
Dr. Newport grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, attended Xavier University for pre-medicine, and graduated from the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine in 1978.
She logged the health of her husband Steve (an Alzheimer’s sufferer) on her website, CoconutKetones.com, and subsequently treated him with coconut oil. She gave her husband four teaspoons a day and saw improvements in his memory over the next several months.
Yes, coconut oil and ketones helped Steve battle Alzheimer’s for seven long years of which, two were remarkably better, while the others had their highs and lows.
However, it was a case that was compelling enough to warrant the first clinical trials of its kind to test Dr. Newport’s theory. The research will be carried out at the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute in Florida, USA.
There are two types of fuel that our body can convert into energy. The main fuel our body uses for energy is carbohydrates. The alternative fuel comes from fat and ketones which are produced by our body when it converts fat (as opposed to glucose) into energy.
Note that a primary source of ketone bodies are the medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), which are naturally found in coconut oil (around 66%).
Now, while fat is normally mixed with your bile before it is broken down by your gut, MCTs go to your liver where they are converted into ketones, bypassing the bile completely. Your liver then sends the ketones to your bloodstream, which help transport the ketones to your brain as fuel.
Coconut oil has long been espoused in tropical countries as a prominent beauty aid. It’s also used to add pizzazz and flavour to culinary dishes, and credited for being able to preserve food that might otherwise go rancid in the heat.
But, even with all that coconut oil’s got going for it, the staple had recently fallen off the radar in the West in the wake of a worldwide fear that saturated fat is a biomarker for atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Indeed, the oil has often been called into question by the traditional medical community for raising HDL cholesterol levels. And that’s what makes Dr. Newport’s claims even more interesting for Alzheimer’s sufferers, who may be desperate for an alternative cure.
It’s important to note that coconut oil has some unique qualities as a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT). So while it is not particularly rich in any micronutrients, although it does have trace amounts of a few, it’s little wonder that its role in curing Alzheimer’s may have fallen on cynical ears.
According to a 2011 report by the Alzheimer’s Association, currently in the US, around 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. If Dr. Newport’s theory proves true, it could be monumental for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.
Interestingly, Dr. Newport is not the only one vouching for the health benefits of coconut oil for Alzheimer’s. Dave Asprey of BulletproofCoffee.com has achieved great success by exploiting the health benefits of drinking mould-free coffee, blended together with butter and MCTs found in coconut oil. Coined as the ‘bulletproof coffee’, his health drink makes the case that ketosis from the coffee combined with intermittent fasting ‘makes your brain work efficiently’. Asprey’s claim may not be so far off the mark in the light of the clinical trials soon to be done in Florida, on coconut ketones and degenerative diseases, which may be available within a year.
In fact, the benefits of coconut oil may not to restricted to Alzheimer’s alone. In his book, Stop Alzheimer’s Now, Dr. Bruce Fife says that ketone science may indeed prove to be a breakthrough cure for other degenerative diseases too.