Coconut Oil (MCTs are the active ingredient) may help Alzheimer’s and Memory

From Dr. Newport's report: her husband's ability to draw improved on Coconut Oil

Mary Newport, MD, a Neonatologist for 29 yrs, reports  on her husband’s RAPID and PROFOUND improvement after taking coconut oil (MCTs).

. . . . .

We started my Mom, who has late stage Alzheimer’s on coconut oil.  She has improved SO MUCH. She actually called me by my name and counted to 10 and she is so alert. And you can tell she feels so much better. May seem like small things to someone not being around Alzheimers but it is HUGE!                     Linda

NOTE: it may be the MCTs in the coconut oil – you can buy pure MCT – coconut oil has a lot of saturated fat – read below for more info.

Coconut Oil and Medium Chain Triglycerides may improve Alzheimer’s

In the videos above, Mary Newport, MD, discusses ketone bodies. Ketones are produced when our bodies burn FAT FOR FUEL.

Her husband had a profound and rapid improvement after taking coconut oil.

What improvements did he have?

Memory

Speech

Ability to jog

Reads and remembers what he read

More focus

MRI has been stable for the 2 years he has been on coconut oil – no brain shrinkage

The Alzheimer’s Brain is Starving for Energy  (Glucose and Insulin Problems)

The brain will begin to shrink if it doesn’t have enough insulin or glucose for fuel.  This happens in Alzheimer’s.

Ketone Bodies are the “other” brain fuel

MCTs – medium chain triglycerides – create ketones when eaten. COCONUT OIL contains about 66% MCTs.

KEY: True prevention would identify those at risk and treat EARLY.

Neurological decline may be TRIGGERED by a brain that can no longer use GLUCOSE as fuel.  Brain cells starve.

The brain cells die slowly. The brain shrinks. MCTs may be preventive for those with this METABOLIC DEFECT. This is a SLOW process that begins decades before symptoms occur. Once symptoms occur it may be TOO LATE.

KEY: If these cells had ketone bod­ies FOR FUEL, they could potentially stay alive and continue to function. HER ARTICLE

How much Coconut Oil (or MCTs) do you need ?

How Much MCT?

20 grams of MCT a day, according to Dr. Newport, is the recommended dose. (Others recommend 20-40 grams a day of MCTs – 1 to 2 tablespoons of MCT oil a day – see below)

How Much Coconut Oil?

Since coconut oil is about 66% MCT, this equates to 35 mL = 2 tablespoons = 7 teaspoons.

Preventive and Therapeutic Dose

35 mL is the dose to help prevent degenerative neurological diseases, and in established Alzheimer’s.

Start slowly and take with food, as some people tolerate fats differently.

Take the MCT or Coconut Oil in the morning. It takes 3 hours to get the effect of the ketones.

Further Details Regarding Ketogenic Diets, MCTs, and Coconut Oil for Memory and Alzheimer’s

As our brains age they BURN glucose for energy less efficiently – ketones are the “other” fuel

Research at Northwestern Medical school showed that a drop in glucose metabolism occurs many years before symptoms of dementia.  In 2009, Robert Vassar discovered the TRIGGER may be a loss of ENERGY SUPPLY.

Improving blood flow, and using the alternative fuel called ketones may help prevent the chain of events leading to dementia.

Ketones may have a NEUROPROTECTIVE EFFECT, breathing new life into brain cells.

In 2008, published in “Neurotherapeutics”, researchers showed in animals that many brain diseases improved with ketones:

Alzheimer’s

Parkinson’s

Traumatic brain injury

Stroke (vascular dementia)

Lewy Body Dementia

The problem with coconut oil – too much saturated fat?

Coconut oil is 72% saturated fat!

Some people may not tolerate the high amounts of lauric, myristic, palmitic, and stearic fat.

Pure MCT, which is caprylic and capric fats, are the active ingredient, and thus may be a more targeted choice.

High levels of SATURATED FAT have led the FDA and the AMA to conclude their may be serious health risks.

Although saturated fats have been overly demonized, one has to consider the overall diet and each person’s genetics regarding ability to handle higher fats in the diet.

My opinion is that a better program would be to take MCT oil and use other supplements that have been shown to have a benefit in cognitive decline (see below).

Newport also gives her husband numerous supplements, including omega-3 fatty acids, cinnamon, turmeric (curcumin), folic acid, vitamin B complex, L-carnitine, Coenzyme Q, Memory XL, liquid vitamin E with tocopherols, magnesium, D-ribose, and a multivitamins and minerals supplement.  Most of these supplements have been talked about on discussion forums as possible treatments for Alzheimer’s, and some of them have been or are in clinical trials.

Other Preventive Measures to Improve Brain Function

Avoid Sugar

Remember sugar is hidden in most packaged and boxed foods. Avoid fructose.  After eating sugar, HFCS, and any high glycemic junk food (not talking veggies here – they are “great carbs”) our immune system is weakened, and your arteries are inflamed for 5 hours!

Grains Convert to Sugar

Many grains either have hidden sugar in the ingredients, or the quickly convert to sugar.  Other hidden sugars are in breads, pastas, and most things that come in a package or box (eat real whole fresh food).

Alzheimer’s Is Being Called Type 3 Diabetes

Learn to keep your blood sugar low, and learn how to stay insulin sensitive.  Obesity and especially belly fat are signs of insulin resistance or pre-diabetes.

Exercise

Daily exercise is a wonderful prevention for neurological diseases.

B-Vitamins

B-vitamins like B12 and folate have been shown to be important.

Supplements

AlphaGPC (1200 mg a day) has been shown in human trials to improve recall, brain function, mood, and quality of life.

Vitamin D

Optimize vitamin D levels for all-around prevention of heart, brain, and autoimmune disease.

Omega-3 Fish Oil

Fish oil, especially DHA, is important for brain protection and function.

Avoid Anti-cholinergic Medicines

Studies show that these can dramatically increase memory impairment.  Anti-cholinergics are diphenydramine (Benadryl), which are found in many OTC sleep formulas, anti-depressants, etc.

15 Million People in the US Projected to Have Alzheimer’s in 2050

15 million people are projected to have Alzheimer's in the US in 2050

MCTs have far-reaching health benefits. Who could benefit?

Anyone who:

  • has had major surgery and needs to boost cellular energy
  • wants to enhance his/her athletic performance
  • wants to support healthy growth and development
  • wants to support cardiovascular health
  • wants to lose weight and keep it off
  • wants to support mental clarity

MCTs are good for your heart

It’s a misconception that all fat is bad for your heart.

Your heart needs fats to provide it with energy. Medium-chain fatty acids (medium-chain triglycerides) are metabolized more like carbohydrates than fats and researchers and practitioners are finding positive results from the clinical application of MCT therapy in the management of cardiac disease. Current experimental evidence supports the idea that the diseased heart is energy deficient and that MCTs can provide the stressed and deficient cells with an alternate energy source.

MCTs in weight loss – MCTs may decrease body fat and hunger

Studies indicate that because MCTs are metabolized more quickly, calories are burned up in the process. Most animal studies have also demonstrated that after several months of consuming MCTs, this greater energy expenditure results in less weight gain and a decrease in fat.

Both animal and human trials suggest that you get full faster when you ingest MCTs compared with long-chain triglycerides (LCTs), so you eat less. The best news is that this leads to lower body fat mass and could provide a healthy way to maintain desirable weight.5

Substituting moderate amounts of medium-chain triglycerides for other fats in a weight-loss program results in enhanced weight loss and a greater reduction in fat mass.

The key here is to not just add MCTs to your diet, but to substitute them for other fats in your diet.

• In one study, researchers compared single meals of 400 calories composed entirely of MCTs and of LCTs. The thermogenic effect of MCTs over six hours was three times greater than that of LCTs. Researchers concluded that substituting MCTs for LCTs would produce weight loss as long as the calorie intake remained the same.

• A study at the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, McGill University, Quebec, Canada measured the effects that a 28-day diet rich in MCTs versus a diet rich in LCTs had on 24 overweight men. At the end of the study the men who consumed the diet high in MCTs lost more upper body fat than the men who consumed the diet high in LCTs. There was also a trend toward greater loss of whole-body fat with the MCTs. The researchers concluded that MCTs could be an aid in the prevention of obesity because they help stimulate weight loss.

• In another study, in which the consumption of MCTs were found to promote weight loss when compared to the long chain triglycerides in olive oil, is an interesting one. In the 16-week study 31 overweight patients consumed 10 grams per day of either olive oil or medium-chain triglyceride oil in muffins. In addition, women consumed another 8 grams per day of their assigned oil and men consumed an additional 14 grams per day.

All subjects participated in weekly weight-loss counseling sessions that stressed consumption of a low-energy-intensity diet, encouraged healthy eating patterns, and set a target energy intake of 1,500 calories a day for the women and 1,800 calories a day for the men.

At 16 weeks, the MCT group had lost significantly more weight: an average of 3.2 kg, or 3.8% of their baseline body weight, compared with 1.7% in the olive oil group. The MCT group also had a 1.5% decrease in total fat mass as measured by a CT scan, including a reduction in trunk fat mass in intra-abdominal fat; fat mass was unchanged in the comparison group.
There was no difference between the two groups in terms of change in waist circumference, lipid levels or fasting glucose or insulin levels.

Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCTs):  The fat that makes you lose fat

In one study, MCTs significantly lowered plasma triglycerides versus LCTs.

When 20 healthy men ingested a single dose of either 71 g of MCT oil or canola oil blood samples showed that triglyceride levels increased 47% after ingesting canola oil. But triglyceride values decreased 15% after ingesting MCT oil, which is consistent with several other studies involving short- and longer-term feeding with MCT oil. The effect of long-term usage of MCT oil on triglycerides is yet to be established.

* These statements have not been reviewed by the US Food and Drug Administration.  This information is for educational purposes only, and is not meant to treat, diagnose, or prevent any illness or disease. Please see your health care provider before you make any changes in your health program.

References

St-Onge, MP, Bosarge, A. Weight-loss diet that includes consumption of medium-chain triacylglycerol oil leads to a greater rate of weight and fat mass loss than does olive oil. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 87, No. 3, 621-626, March 2008

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/87/3/621

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC). Your Digestive System and How it Works.

http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/yrdd/

Labarthe F, Gélinas R, Des Rosiers C. Medium-chain fatty acids as metabolic therapy in cardiac disease. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther.2008 Apr;22(2):97-106

Calabrese C, Myer S, Munson S, et al. A cross-over study of the effect of a single oral feeding of medium chain triglyceride oil vs. canola oil on post-ingestion plasma triglyceride levels in healthy men. Altern Med Rev 1999 Feb.;4:23-28

St-Onge, Mp, Jones, PJH. Physicological Effects of Medium-chain triglycerides: Potential agents in the prevention of obesity. The Journal of Nutrition. 132:329-332, 2002

http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/132/3/329

Seaton, T.B., et al. 1986. Thermic effect of medium-chain and long-chain triglycerides in man. Am. J. of Clin. Nutr. 44:630

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/44/5/630

St-Onge MP, Ross R, Parsons WD, Jones PJ. Medium-chain triglycerides increase energy expenditure and decrease adiposity in overweight men.Obes Res. 2003 Mar;11(3):395-402

Jancin, Bruce. “Medium-chain triglycerides promote weight loss.(Endocrinology).” Internal Medicine News. International Medical News Group. 2008. HighBeam Research. 27 Jul. 2010

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-181545906.html

Reger MA, Henderson ST, Hale C, Cholerton B, Baker LD, Watson GS, Hyde K, Chapman D, Craft S. Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults. Neurobiol Aging. 2004 Mar;25(3):311-4

Studzinski CM, MacKay WA, Beckett TL, Henderson ST, Murphy MP, Sullivan PG, Burnham WM. Induction of ketosis may improve mitochondrial function and decrease steady-state amyloid-beta precursor protein (APP) levels in the aged dog.Brain Res. 2008 Aug 21;1226:209-17. Epub 2008 Jun 11

St-Onge MP, Ross R, Parsons WD, Jones PJ. Medium-chain triglycerides increase energy expenditure and decrease adiposity in overweight men. Obes Res. 2003 Mar;11(3):395-402