Four Tablespoons of This "Brain Food" May Prevent Alzheimer's
Four Tablespoons of This "Brain Food" May Prevent Alzheimer's
-- Dr. Mary Newport documents a case study for the treatment of Alzheimer's.
Dr. Mary Newport writes about ketone bodies, an alternative fuel for your brain which your body makes when digesting coconut oil, and how coconut oil may offer profound benefits in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.
If her theory is accurate, this could be one of the greatest natural health discoveries in a long time. Backing up her claims is the remarkable recovery of her own husband.
Bear in mind however that contrary to Dr. Newport, I personally do NOT support using drugs to treat Alzheimer's, and based on his condition believe enrolling him in a vaccine study is completely contraindicated and ill advised.
That said, I believe Dr. Newport may have stumbled upon a powerful natural strategy to help prevent and treat Alzheimer's, and that's what I want to address here.
"Brain Starvation" is a Hallmark of Alzheimer's Disease
One of the primary fuels your brain needs is glucose, which is converted into energy.
The mechanism for glucose uptake in your brain has only recently begun to be studied, and what has been learned is that your brain actually manufactures its own insulin to convert glucose in your blood stream into the food it needs to survive.
As you may already know, diabetes is the condition where your body's response to insulin is weakened until your body eventually stops producing the insulin necessary to regulate blood sugar, and your body's ability to regulate (or process) blood sugar into energy becomes essentially broken.
Now, when your brain's production of insulin decreases, your brain literally begins to starve, as it's deprived of the glucose-converted energy it needs to function normally.
This is what happens to Alzheimer's patients -- portions of their brain start to atrophy, or starve, leading to impaired functioning and eventual loss of memory, speech, movement and personality.
In effect, your brain can begin to atrophy from starvation if it becomes insulin resistant and loses its ability to convert glucose into energy.
It is now also known that diabetics have a 65 percent increased risk of also being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and there appears to be a potent link between the two diseases, even though the exact mechanisms have yet to be determined.
It seems quite clear however that both are related to insulin resistance – in your body, and in your brain.
Alternate Brain Food Can Stop Brain Atrophy in its Tracks
Fortunately, your brain is able to run on more than one type of energy supply, and this is where coconut oil enters the picture.
There's another substance that can feed your brain and prevent brain atrophy. It may even restore and renew neuron and nerve function in your brain after damage has set in.
The substance in question is called ketone bodies, or ketoacids.
Ketones are what your body produces when it converts fat (as opposed to glucose) into energy. And a primary source of ketone bodies are the medium chain triglycerides (MCT) found in coconut oil!
Coconut oil contains about 66 percent MCTs.
The benefits of ketone bodies may also extend to a number of other health conditions, according to Dr. Newport:
"Further, this is a potential treatment for Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), drug resistant epilepsy, brittle type I diabetes, and diabetes type II, where there is insulin resistance.
Ketone bodies may help the brain recover after a loss of oxygen in newborns through adults, may help the heart recover after an acute attack, and may shrink cancerous tumors."
Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) are fats that are not processed by your body in the same manner as long chain triglycerides. Normally, a fat taken into your body must be mixed with bile released from your gallbladder before it can be broken down in your digestive system.
But medium chain triglycerides go directly to your liver, which naturally converts the oil into ketones, bypassing the bile entirely. Your liver then immediately releases the ketones into your bloodstream where they are transported to your brain to be used as fuel.
In fact, ketones appear to be the preferred source of brain food in patients affected by diabetes or Alzheimer's.
"In Alzheimer's disease, the neurons in certain areas of the brain are unable to take in glucose due to insulin resistance and slowly die off, a process that appears to happen one or more decades before the symptoms become apparent," Dr. Newport states in her article.
"If these cells had access to ketone bodies, they could potentially stay alive and continue to function."
The Ketonic Diet – Why Avoiding Grains Also Protects against Neurodegeneration
Another way to increase ketone production in your body is by restricting carbohydrates.
This is what happens when you go on a high fat, high protein, low carbohydrate diet: Your body begins to run on fats instead of carbohydrates, and the name for this is ketosis.
This is also why you don't starve to death when you restrict food for weeks at a time, because your body is able to convert stored fat into ketones that are used as fuel instead of glucose.
Consuming medium chain triglycerides such as coconut oil is a better option, however, because the ketones produced by ketosis are not concentrated in your bloodstream, but are instead mostly excreted in your urine.
MCTs and Alzheimer's Research
The mechanism of this MCT-ketone metabolism appears to be that your body treats MCTs as a carbohydrate and not a fat. This allows the ketone energy to hit your blood stream without the normal insulin spike associated with carbohydrates entering your bloodstream.
So in effect coconut oil is a fat that acts like a carbohydrate when it comes to brain fuel.
Therapeutic levels of MCTs have been studied at 20 grams per day. According to Dr. Newport's calculations, just over two tablespoons of coconut oil (about 35 ml or 7 level teaspoons) would supply you with the equivalent of 20 grams of MCT, which is indicated as either a preventative measure against degenerative neurological diseases, or as a treatment for an already established case.
Remember though that people tolerate coconut oil differently, and you may have to start slowly and build up to these therapeutic levels. My recommendation is to start with one teaspoon, taken with food in the mornings. Gradually add more coconut oil every few days until you are able to tolerate four tablespoons.
Coconut oil is best taken with food, to avoid upsetting your stomach.
Final Thoughts on Combating Alzheimer's with Coconut Oil
The damage done to your brain from the wrong foods and from unbalanced insulin and leptin levels actually begins decades before you show any of the telltale signs of Alzheimer's. So it's vitally important to make healthy decisions now, before you unwittingly do decades of damage to your brain and nerves that you may not be able to reverse.
If you undertake a coconut oil or MCTs therapy protocol, be sure to start slow with the oil, and always take it with food to minimize stomach discomfort. If it takes you a few weeks to work up to the four tablespoons of coconut oil required for a therapeutic dose, that's normal. Not everyone can tolerate so much coconut oil in a single dose right from the start.
The coconut oil or MCTs should also be taken in the morning, as it takes a minimum of three hours for the oil to convert to ketones and reach your brain. Repeating the dose of four tablespoons of coconut oil twice a day may be beneficial for those already suffering from pre-Alzheimer's or Alzheimer's conditions.
With 15 million cases of Alzheimer's predicted in the United States by the year 2050, you can help ensure you are not one of the victims of this tragic disease by taking steps now to take charge of your health.
Further reading: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/20838.php