As seen on The Hearty Soul, around 5.4 million American citizens have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. According to estimates, this number is expected to rise to 16 million by 2050. Unfortunately, projections also indicate that in the next 20 years, this mental illness will affect one in every four Americans, which is more than the current prevalence of diabetes and obesity.
Taking into consideration that the treatments for this illness are only few and are rarely effective, prevention and early diagnosis are pivotal. Also, some researchers from Florida are investigating the power of coconut oil in fighting off Alzheimer’s. A research is being conducted at the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute. Let us learn more about it.
Coconut Oil & Its Power to Address Alzheimer’s
The participants in the study, as explained on The Hearty Soul, are 65 patients who have been diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s and the goal is to test the impact of coconut oil on the illness in comparison to a placebo. The lead of the research, Dr. Newport, believes to have the needed results within a year.
Interestingly, her husband has been fighting this illness for years now and although there is no firm clinical data showing the properties of coconut oil in preventing and treating dementia, he experienced improvements after he started taking 4 tsp of coconut on the daily.
She explains that coconut oil gave him the opportunity to read again and his memory significantly bettered. Before coconut oil, none of the meds he was taking were giving positive results. He was unable to tie his shoes on his own and walked with an odd gait before coconut oil treatment.
Coconut Oil: An Excellent Brain Food?
The body can transform two types of fuel into energy, that is, sugar/carbs or fat. When it converts fat, it produces ketones and it transforms glucose from sugar into energy. The main sources of ketone bodies are medium-chain triglycerides which are present in coconut oil.
These triglycerides are fats which are processed differently than the long-chain ones. Normally, triglycerides are mixed with bile which is released from the gallbladder before it is dissolved in the digestive system. On the other hand, medium chain ones gostraight into the liver and the oil is transformed into ketones and the bile is bypassed. The liver then secretes the ketones into the blood and consequently, they are taken to the brain and used as fuel.
Though the brain can run on glucose, ketone bodies may be able to restore and renew neurons and nerve function, even after damage. The body treats the medium-chain triglycerides as carbohydrates, not as fat. As a result, the ketone energy goes into the blood without causing insulin spikes which are common when carbs enter the blood. Hence, coconut oil is a fat with an effect of a carb in regards to brain fuel.
The Recommended Dosage
According to Dr. Newport, over two tbsp of coconut oil will supply one with the 20 grams of medium-chain triglycerides which are considered as preventive measure or treatment against neurological illnesses.
Although additional research on coconut oil is necessary, there is no reason why you should not add it to your daily diet, especially if you have been struggling with brain degeneration. Take it with food to avoid upset stomach and begin with a tsp per day and then gradually elevate the dosage to reach 4 tbsp.