The Link Between Diabetes And Dementia
Cellular activity in the body, including the brain, is fueled by a type of sugar known as glucose. Brain scans of seniors with Alzheimers disease indicate that, as the disease progresses, certain areas of the brain begin to have trouble metabolizing sugar. This issue is similar to the problem that diabetics have when their bodies can no longer produce or utilize the insulin necessary to ferry glucose into their cells.
The results of an increasing number of scientific studies have begun to highlight the connection between diabetes and Alzheimers. The link has become so strong that some medical professionals have even gone so far as to dub Alzheimers disease Type III diabetes.
According to the National Institutes of Health , diabetics who dont keep their blood sugar levels in check can experience a certain amount of cognitive impairment. Japanese researchers discovered that people with diabetes have an overall increased risk of developing dementia, regardless of whether their blood glucose levels are well managed or not. Interestingly, scientists from the University of Washington School of Medicine have found that people with mild Alzheimers disease experience a minor memory boost after receiving insulin.
Alzheimers: Diabetes Of The Brain
What does the ability of MCTs to fuel the brain without insulin have to do with Alzheimers?
As we age, our brains become less able to process glucose as brain fuel.
Brain cells become insulin-resistant.
The brain cells of patients with Alzheimers have lost the ability to take up the glucose they need, and those cells subsequently die.
This has led to the theory that Alzheimers is actually a type of diabetes diabetes of the brain.
Its sometimes referred to as type 3 diabetes.
But coconut oil bypasses glucose metabolism, delivering energy directly to the brain cells that need it.
Using PET scans, it can be seen that the areas of the brain affected by Alzheimers readily use ketones as an alternative fuel source.
This is very exciting news!
Note:Dementia and Alzheimers disease are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same condition. Dementia is a general term that describes a set of symptoms. There are over 100 diseases that can cause dementia Alzheimers is just one of them.
Giving Coconut Oil A Chance
Its important to keep in mind that anecdotal evidence of coconut oils benefits for Alzheimers patients has not yet been studied in-depth or confirmed by researchers. Therefore, many doctors dont mention coconut oil as a possible therapeutic option for people experiencing cognitive impairment.
A lack of physician backing doesnt mean that caregivers should immediately write off coconut oil. However, in the same way that the advantages of coconut oil have not been verified, scientists have not ruled out any drawbacks or consequences of its use in foods or as a complementary therapy for AD.
Coconut oil comes in liquid, solid and pill forms. Dietitians typically recommend solid varieties because they undergo far less processing. Saturated fats like coconut oil are naturally solid at room temperature, but refining practices can be used to make it maintain a liquid form. Unfortunately, some health benefits are lost in this process. Look for products that are labeled as extra virgin, unrefined and/or cold-pressed, and stay away from those that have been deodorized or bleached using high heat and chemicals.
Read Also: Senility Vs Dementia
Coconut Oils Benefits To Alzheimers Ignored In Ny Times Attack Says Dr Leslie Norins Of Mci911com
Cardiologists overlook coconut oil’s benefits to brain
Newswise Hey Jane, you ignored the brain, quips Leslie Norins, MD, PhD, CEO of MCI911.com, the informational website for seniors coping with mild cognitive impairment , often a harbinger of Alzheimers disease . Hes referring to a column by eminent health writer Jane Brody, in Science Times, a weekly section of the New York Times. She lambasts coconut oil for containing fatty acids that some cardiac gurus feel are bad for the heart.
She reported that Dr. Frank Sacks, nutrition and cardiovascular disease specialist at Harvards T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told her that for preparing an editorial he . .could find nothing in the scientific literature to support advertising claims that coconut oil has some beneficial effects.
Ms. Brody and these heart experts should come out of their silos, says Dr. Norins. The heart is not the only important organ in the body the brain is critical too. Yet the word brain does not appear once in the Brody column or the Sacks editorial.
Why is this omission important? Dr. Norins says there is a growing number of reports in reputable scientific journals that coconut oil, and particularly certain medium-chain triglycerides it contains, seems to aid cognition in many patients with MCI or Alzheimers disease.
Also, he says, We are making available a helpful sampling of references on the potential of coconut oil, especially its MCT , to aid MCI and AD.
The Stigma Against Saturated Fat
The steady increase in aging Americans over the coming decades threatens to cripple an already dysfunctional health care system. Researchers and public officials are calling for advancements in dementia care, and every major drug company is invested in developing curative and/or preventative treatments for Alzheimers disease and other types of dementia. So, why does it seem like no one is talking about coconut oil as a potential solution?
Dr. Dean feels that many people are hesitant to give coconut oil serious consideration because it is high in saturated fat. Coconut oil is often lumped into the same category as artery-clogging foods, such as butter, beef, lard and full fat dairy products. Saturated fatty acids have been tied to elevated cholesterol and heart disease, but Dr. Dean maintains that just because something contains saturated fat doesnt necessarily mean its bad for you. All of these traditional foods and oils have benefits, she says. The body and the brain, need a variety of oils and fats to function properly.
Don’t Miss: Where To Buy Jelly Drops For Dementia Patients
Coconut Oil For Alzheimers: How To Use
Alzheimers is a condition in which there is memory loss and caused problems with thinking, memory and behavior. The symptoms develop slowly and worsen over time. It mainly affects people who are 65 years or older, but can also be seen in younger adults as well. A lot of microscopic changes happen in the brain long before the first sign of memory loss appears. Let us read to know how effective is coconut oil for alzheimers.
The Relationship Between Mct In Coconut Oil Alzheimers And Dementia
As mentioned above, using glucose as the brains main fuel source is inefficient in those with Alzheimers disease.
Fortunately, we can also use ketones as a back-up fuel source for the brain. A trait that likely evolved to keep our ancestors going when glucose were not easy to come by.
Converting stored fat into ketones is actually the reason humans can survive many days, even weeks, without food.
For those with the disease, it appears this back-up ketone system kicks into gear. Because of this, researchers are wondering if additional ketones might help fuel the brain cells deprived of glucose, hopefully reducing symptoms .
In order to produce ketones, we need to consume medium-length fats known as medium chain triglycerides . Coconut oil is a whopping 65% MCT, the highest percentage of any food on the planet.
Thus, if additional MCT can help with Alzheimers disease, coconut oil should deservedly be in the spotlight.
Summary: Ketones are a natural way to fuel the brain when it can no longer use glucose. Researchers believe additional ketones could help improve symptoms in Alzheimers sufferers. Ketones are produced from medium chain triglycerides, of which coconut oil has the highest percentage of any food.
Read Also: What Is The Color For Dementia Awareness
Myth Busting: Why Coconut Oil Is Not A Cure For Alzheimers Disease
Circulating on health blogs and twitter posts are claims that coconut oil is the new secret to longevity, cardiovascular health, luminous skin, and enhanced memory. Claims that coconut oil could be considered a dietary antidote to the onset of Alzheimers disease compelled us to weigh in with what has and has not been shown to be the impact on brain health when incorporating coconut oil in the diet.
Coconut oil has hit the mainstream as a replacement for olive oil. Even the extraction process of the oil itself conjures up images of island vacations and coconut palm trees. Despite this alluring imagery, there is only limited evidence evaluating the health effects of coconut oil and no support for the use of coconut oil for prevention or treatment of Alzheimers disease.
For more information on types of fat and unsaturated fats to incorporate in your diet instead of coconut oil, please see this article from the Nutrition Source at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health:
Coconut Oil For Alzheimers And Dementia: The Evidence
Coconut oil and the MCTs it contains are effective for Alzheimers and dementia. Adding coconut oil to your diet has protective benefits for brain health.
In the past few years, the health reputation of coconut oil has undergone a total reversal from unhealthy fat to superfood.
In countries of Asia and the South Pacific, where coconut is called the tree of life, it never went out of fashion.
Now, the rest of the world is finally coming around!
As a treatment for Alzheimers disease and dementia, however, the potential use of coconut oil is still up for debate.
There is convincing, but anecdotal, evidence that coconut oil can halt and even reverse the progression of degenerative brain diseases.
But can this claim withstand scientific scrutiny?
And, are there neuroprotective benefits for including coconut oil in your diet anyway?
You May Like: Dementia Ribbon
How To Use Coconut Oil For Alzheimers Disease
- Start with small quantities. Mix one tablespoon into each meal and increase the amount daily. One tablespoon morning, afternoon and night.
- Work towards a proper dosage. The most common recommendation is three tablespoons per meal and two more before going to sleep.
- Distribute it throughout the day. Its peak effect is 2 hours after eating.
- Slip a tablespoon of coconut oil into your hot drinks.
- Beef, chicken, fish or eggs taste great when coconut oil is the primary cooking oil.
- Use it in baking
- Make spreads and dips of coconut oil.
- Coconut oil can help Alzheimer because 60% of it is made of MCT . Try a 50-50 mixture of MCT oil and coconut oil.
Adverse Effects Of Ketones
There is a paucity of data on the adverse effects of ketone administration in the literature. A study has reported significant rise in the mean blood cholesterol level to over 2500 mg/l following a prolonged intake of a KD. This effect, in turn, may be atherogenic, leading to lipid deposition in blood vessels. Some researchers have observed dilated cardiomyopathy in patients on the KD, due to the toxic effects of elevated plasma NEFA. Further, an increased incidence in nephrolithiasis as well as increases in serum uric acid levels has been reported. Some side effects are common following administration of ketone bodies, such as dehydration and hypoglycaemia. However, growth retardation, obesity, nutrient deficiency, decreased bone density, hepatic failure and immune dysfunction are also observed, but not frequently.
Hiraide et al. reported a significant increase in pH and Na concentrations following the administration of a 20 % solution of Na -hydroxyl butyrate to severe trauma patients. Also, reduction in glucose cerebral metabolism and the increase in cerebral blood flow were observed by Hasselbalch et al. during the administration of intravenous BHB. The long-term consequences of these deviations are not yet known.
Also Check: Diet Coke And Dementia
Personal History Leads Physician To Coconut Oil For Dementia Relief
Related tags:, , nootropics
Dr Mary Newport, MD, gave a presentation about the effects of coconut in helping ameliorate the cognitive decline caused by Alzheimers disease at the recent Expo West trade show. It was a difficult personal experience brought Dr May Newport, MD, to her discoveries. Her late husband started to develop signs of early onset Alzheimers disease a number of years when he was only 51.
What Should I Do If I Have Questions About Coconut Oil And Dementia
If you have a question about coconut oil and dementia, wed suggest discussing it with your GP. Coconut oil is a popular topic within our online community forum. Visit Talking Point to connect with other people affected by dementia, and share your thoughts and experiences.
Understanding risk factors
Don’t Miss: Smelling Farts Dementia
Coconut Oil And Bloodbrain Barrier
The bloodbrain barrier is a brain endothelial structure of the fully differentiated neurovascular system that protects the brain from foreign substances. It is noted that more than 98 % of all small-molecule drugs, and approximately 100 % of all large-molecule drugs or genes, do not cross the BBB. Thus, it is very difficult to develop effective new neurotherapeutics for AD that permeate the BBB. However, there is literature that indicates that circulating D–3hydroxybutyrate ketone body, which is formed out of MCFA, crosses the BBB and enters the mitochondria where it is metabolised to AcAc and converted to acetyl-CoA, which enters into the Krebs cycle. One in vivo study with mice has identified the capacity of caprylic acid, a constituent of coconut oil, to cross the BBB. This study indicates that as a result of crossing the BBB, caprylic acid demonstrated anti-convulsant and a neuroprotective effect.
Coconut Oil Protects The Brain Against Aging
High-fat diets, especially ones that include the MCTs found in coconut oil, can delay brain aging.
Coconut oil possesses antioxidant properties that are important for maintaining a healthy brain.
Antioxidants neutralize damaging free radicals, unattached oxygen molecules that damage cells and hasten their demise.
Every cell in the body is affected by free radical, or oxidative, damage, but brain cells are particularly vulnerable since they use a disproportionate amount of oxygen.
Our Brain PowerUp Guide is yours free when you subscribe to our world-class information on brain health & performance.
This is key because brain inflammation is a contributing factor to depression.
Read Also: What Color Is The Alzheimer’s Ribbon
Coconut Oil Reverses Dementia In 100 Year Old Woman
Preparing meals for seniors should include coconut oil.
In 2010 my mother, then 98 years old, became very depressed after the death of my father and brother. She was on Lexapro for the depression and It took almost 8 months for her to feel better. Unfortunately, the experience brought on severe dementia.
She fell and broke her hip January 2011 and recently after her 100th birthday she was hospitalized for gall stones. Each visit to the hospital increased the symptoms of dementia and delirium. She seldom had a night of uninterrupted sleep, she repeatedly asked the same questions, she forgot some of the names of her children, she obsessed about a bone growing in her mouth , and the list goes on and on of hallucinations and delusions.
A friend recently emailed me a video of Dr. Newport and her research of coconut oil on Alzheimers. After viewing it I went out to buy some coconut oil. I figured if it helps Alzheimers patients, it should help someone with dementia.
I put the coconut oil in her oatmeal and cook all her meals with it. I am very pleased with the changes in her. Of course at 100 I dont expect her to suddenly act like a 90 year old. My mom is a very healthy woman with no serious diseases. Im so glad to see that now she can have conversations with friends and family.
Read the Full Forum Conversation Here:
A Holistic Guide to Geriatric Care eBook
Protects Against Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress occurs when there are higher levels of free radicals in your body than can be neutralized by antioxidants. Free radicals cause damage to cells, which over time can lead to chronic diseases like Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid that has been shown to reduce oxidative stress in animal studies. This means it may help prevent brain degeneration and other neurological disorders associated with oxidative stress.
Don’t Miss: Alzheimer’s And Dementia Ribbon
Coconut Oil And Alzheimer’s
Alzheimers disease afflicts over five million people is the United States. It is a devastating disease that usually affects people sixty years and older, but can afflict people as young as thirty. Alzheimers disease is a progressive brain disease that slowly robs the person of their memories, ability to think, and eventually their ability to complete simple tasks. In recent years, coconut oil for Alzheimers disease is proving to help slow the progression of the disease and in some cases, to help cure it, especially if used during the early stages of the disease. Coconut oil and Alzheimers disease is being researched more and more, and studies are showing favorable results.
Coconut Oil Dosages For Brain Health
A daily intake of 2-3 tablespoons is all you need for general brain benefits.
However, Dr. Mary Newport recommends 4-6 tablespoons per day of a combination of coconut oil and MCT oil to treat serious neurological disorders.
We recommend that you include coconut oil in your diet rather than taking it by the spoonful like medicine.
Most people find this unpleasant and quickly get tired of taking it this way.
And skip coconut oil capsules.
This is an expensive, highly inefficient way to get therapeutic amounts of coconut oil.
Depending on the capsules size, you would need to take at least 12 capsules to get one tablespoon of oil.
Read Also: Do Dementia Patients Tell The Truth