Conquering Alzheimer’s with Coconut
By Bruce Fife, ND
Smith sensed something was wrong. Her mind seemed to go into a fog at
times. She would fumble for words, forget appointments, and often
stopped abruptly in mid-sentence, forgetting what she was about to say.
She was a productive worker and was one of the top sales consultants for
BB&T bank in Washington, D.C. But brain fog made it increasingly
difficult for her to sell bank services to corporate clients and her
productivity began to wane.
thought it was stress,” Smith says. So after struggling for a couple of
years with this problem she decided to take the summer off, hoping the
break would help clear the fog. Yet, when she returned to work her
mental clarity wasn’t any better, if anything it was worse. In two short
years she went from being one of the bank’s top producers to the bottom
of the pack.
consulted with a neurologist and was diagnosed with the beginning stages
of Alzheimer’s disease. “I was stunned,” says Smith. She was only 51.
She had no family history of the disease or any reason to think she
would ever have to deal with this type of illness. She was physically
active, jogged regularly, and otherwise appeared to be in good health.
Smith was forced to retire before the end of the year and now collects
Alzheimer’s is second only to cancer as American’s greatest health fear.
This fear is well deserved. Alzheimer’s is a frightening disease
characterized by failing memory, erratic behaviors and loss of bodily
functions. It slowly takes away a person’s identity and their ability to
think, eat, talk, and walk.
cases of Alzheimer’s surface after the age of 60. But in a small number
of people, like Smith, it occurs in their 40s or 50s. This is called
early-onset Alzheimer’s. The idea of getting Alzheimer’s is frightening
enough, but getting hit with it in the prime of life is totally
devastating. Of the 5.3 million people in the US who have been diagnosed
with Alzheimer’s, over half a million have early-onset Alzheimer’s.
Another 590,000 people age 55 to 64 have mild cognitive impairment,
which is a precursor to Alzheimer’s.
when it’s diagnosed, Alzheimer’s destroys the brain and leads to the
same symptoms: memory loss, poor judgment, confusion, disorientation,
agitation, and ultimately the loss of the ability to speak or take care
no cure. Doctors don’t have a clue how to stop or even prevent this
destructive disease. They aren’t even sure what causes it. Fortunately,
however, there is a way to both prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s. It
doesn’t require drugs, surgeries, radiation, or high tech medical
devices. The solution involves coconut ketones—a high energy brain food.
fundamental problem associated with Alzheimer’s disease is the inability
of the brain to effectively utilize glucose, or blood sugar, to produce
energy. This defect in energy conversion starves the brain cells and
weakens their ability to withstand stress. The brain rapidly ages and
degenerates into dementia.
solution to the problem is to restore the brain’s ability to produce the
energy it needs to resist stresses that harm the brain, enable it to
repair damage, and stimulate growth of new cells.
is the primary source of energy used by all the cells in the body. We
get glucose from the carbohydrate in our foods. When food is not eaten
for a time, such as between meals, during sleep, or when fasting, blood
glucose levels fall. To maintain the energy needed by the cells, fatty
acids (fat molecules) are released from our fat cells. Like glucose,
fatty acids can be burned to produce energy. This process works well for
the body, but not the brain. The brain cannot use these fatty acids to
satisfy its energy needs.
blood glucose levels fall, the brain needs another source of energy to
function and to survive. This alternative fuel source comes in the form
of ketone bodies or ketones. Ketones are a special type of high-energy
fuel produced in the liver specifically to nourish the brain. Ketones
are produced from fat stored in the liver. Under normal conditions, only
a small amount of ketones circulate in our blood, but as blood glucose
levels go down, ketone production steps up. This way the brain has a
continual supply of either glucose or ketones to rely on.
Alzheimer’s disease, brain cells have difficulty metabolizing glucose,
the brain’s principal source of energy. Ketones bypass this defect in
glucose energy metabolism. If enough ketones are available on a
continual basis, they could satisfy almost all of brain’s energy needs.
However, ketones are only produced when carbohydrate consumption is very
low; this normally happens when little no food is being consumed, such
as when fasting.
Obviously, fasting is not a practical long-term solution. However, if
carbohydrate consumption is very low, a person can get all the calories
and nutrients he or she needs from protein and fat. This type of diet is
known as a ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet has been used
therapeutically for over 90 years to treat another brain
disorder—epilepsy. Years ago it was discovered that fasting, consuming
nothing but water, for several weeks at a time could significantly
alleviate, and in many cases, completely cure epilepsy. The reason for
this is that during a fast, ketones supply the brain with a more
efficient source of energy than glucose, stimulating the healing and
growth of brain cells. Researchers reasoned that if they could prolong
the effects of fasting for more than a few weeks, say for a year or so,
it would allow more time for the healing process and thus increase the
cure rate. Of course, you could not place someone on a fast for a year,
so they devised a diet that mimicked the metabolic effects of fasting
while providing all the nutrients needed to maintain good health. The
result was the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet proved to be
enormously successful even against very severe drug-resistance cases of
ketogenic diet has proven to be useful in correcting the brain defects
associated with epilepsy, researchers began to wonder if it could also
treat other brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s.
studies with neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease,
ALS, Huntington’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and stroke have shown
that the ketogenic diet can provide symptomatic relief to a broad range
of brain disorders.1-4 Animal models of Alzheimer’s have also
responded well to ketone therapy. In animal studies ketones are shown to
reduce the amount of Alzheimer’s-like plaque that forms in the brain and
improve performance on visual-spatial memory tasks, increase the ability
of learning tasks, and improve performance in short-term memory.5-6
classic ketogenic diet carbohydrate intake must be kept very low (around
2 percent of calories) in order to stimulate the liver to convert fat
into ketones. Carbohydrate ordinarily accounts for about 60 percent of
our daily calories. When this is dropped to only 2 percent, the void
must be filled by other energy producing nutrients—either fat or
protein. In the ketogenic diet fat is used to replace the carbohydrate
in order to supply the needed building blocks for ketone production.
Although the ketogenic diet shows great promise in treating Alzheimer’s
and other neurodegenerative diseases, producing palatable meals
consisting of 90 percent fat is a challenge.
Fortunately there are certain fats, namely medium chain triglycerides (MCTs),
that are converted into ketones in the body regardless of blood glucose
levels or the amount of carbohydrate in the diet. When MCTs are
consumed, a portion will be converted into ketones regardless of what
other foods are eaten. Therefore, most any type of diet can be
transformed into a ketogenic diet by the addition of an adequate amount
addition of MCTs into the diet can produce very positive effects on the
brain, providing a new tool in which to fight Alzheimer’s. In clinical
studies MCTs have produced better results in Alzheimer’s patients than
any other treatment currently known.
study for instance, Alzheimer’s patients consumed a beverage containing
MCTs or a beverage without MCTs. Those who drank the beverage with the
MCTs scored significantly better on cognitive tests.7
study was remarkable for the reason that it produced improvement in
cogitative function after a single dose of MCTs. No Alzheimer’s drug or
treatment has ever come close to achieving results like this. Based on
this and similar studies, a new drug consisting of only MCTs has been
approved by the FDA for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
drugs aren’t really necessary. They are expensive and require a
prescription. Any source of MCTs can work just as well. The normal way
we get MCTs is in the diet. However, there are few good natural dietary
sources of MCTs. By far the largest natural source is found in coconut
oil. Coconut oil is composed predominately of MCTs, amounting to about
63 percent of the total. Coconut oil is the source of the MCTs used in
Alzheimer’s studies and to produce pharmaceuticals. 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 and can be used for the
treatment of Alzheimer’s.
Newport, MD proved that coconut oil alone or in combination with MCT oil
can effectively stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and reverse
the symptoms. Her husband Steve, suffered from the disease for nearly
six years before he began taking coconut oil. The results were immediate
and dramatic. Prior to taking coconut oil he was starting to enter the
severe stages of Alzheimer’s.
no longer take care of himself. He required supervision to complete many
day-to-day activities such as replacing a light bulb, vacuuming, doing a
load of laundry, washing dishes, and dressing appropriately. He was
easily distracted when attempting such tasks, and never got around to
completing them. He was no longer able to use a computer keyboard or
calculate or perform basic arithmetic. He often wore just one sock or
shoe and misplaced the others. He was unable to read because words
seemed to move about the page erratically, he had difficulty spelling
simple words, such as “out” and “put” and had trouble recalling many
common words when speaking. He also had physical difficulties as well,
including a moderate hand tremor that interfered with eating and a jaw
tremor that was most apparent while speaking. He walked slowly with an
abnormal gait which involved pulling each foot up higher than usual with
each step. An MRI showed significant loss of brain mass particularly in
the areas involved in memory and cognitive abilities. Drugs such as
Aricept, Namenda, and Exelon proved to be of no help.
starting the coconut oil, his scores on Alzheimer’s rating scales
improved dramatically. Within just a couple of weeks his score on the
Mini Mental Status Exam, a standard test for Alzheimer’s, went from a
low of 12 out of 30 to 18. A very significant improvement, which is
unheard of since Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that doesn’t get
better over time. It always gets worse. His score continued to
improve, elevating him from moderately severe up to a mild stage of
memory has improved dramatically. He can recall events that happened
days or weeks earlier and relays telephone conversations accurately. He
is more focused when performing tasks and is able to complete household
and gardening chores with minimal to no supervision. He now wears both
shoes and socks and keeps the pairs of shoes together. His ability to
initiate and continue a conversation has improved and his sense of humor
has returned. He has regained his ability to read and the ability to
type. His facial tremor is gone with minimal to no hand tremor. He walks
with a normal gait and can run for the first time in more than a year.
improved so significantly that he now volunteers twice a week at the
hospital where his wife works, helping in the warehouse and delivering
supplies. He is pleased with his job and enjoys the people with whom he
works. He continues to improve. With a smile on his face he exclaims
“I’ve got my life back.”
Alzheimer’s patients who are incorporating coconut oil into their diets
are experiencing similar improvements. There is now a safe and effective
treatment for Alzheimer’s disease—coconut ketones. Dr. Newport coined
the term coconut ketones to describe the use of MCTs, and
specifically coconut oil, to elevate blood levels of ketones, as opposed
to the conversion of body fat into ketones which results from fasting or
severe carbohydrate restriction.
have imagined that such a simple dietary intervention could produce such
a remarkable effect on brain health? The simple of act of adding coconut
oil into the diet can both prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease. For
treatment purposes a total of 5 tablespoons (74 ml) a day taken with
meals is recommended. Add a portion of the coconut oil to each of the
three meals consumed during the day. For prevention, take 2-3
tablespoons (30-44 ml) daily.
can develop Alzheimer’s disease at any time. You need not wait until
symptoms surface before you start to do something about it. The old
saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is definitely
true when it comes to neurodegeneration. You can stop Alzheimer’s
disease before it has a chance of taking over your life. Adding coconut
oil into your daily life can provide that protection.
adding coconut oil into the diet can have a remarkable effect on brain
health, coconut ketones alone is not the complete solution. Diet also
affects brain health. What you eat can either enhance the effectiveness
of ketone therapy or interfere with it. An improper diet can sabotage
the beneficial effects produced by coconut ketones. This explains why
some Alzheimer’s patients who have simply add coconut oil without making
any other changes to their diets have experienced only modest
improvement. Some foods and food additives promote neurodegeneration.
diet for the brain isn’t necessarily the typical high-carb, low-fat diet
recommended by weight loss gurus and fashion magazines. It’s a
therapeutic diet low in carbohydrate, rich in healthy fats, and
nutritionally balanced to enhance brain health.
coconut ketones with a proper diet can stop Alzheimer’s dead in its
tracks and bring about substantial improvement. The book
Alzheimer’s Now! provides details on how to use coconut oil along
with a proper diet to successfully combat Alzheimer’s and other
Alzheimer’s be cured? The program outlined in this book is designed to
provide the brain with all the nutrients necessary to quiet chronic
inflammation, stop free-radical destruction, energize the brain cells,
and stimulate repair and growth of new brain cells; thus allowing the
brain to heal itself. With coconut ketones and a proper diet we can
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5. Van der Auwera, I., et al. A ketogenic
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6. Costantini, L.C., et al. Hypometabolism
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