A chance discovery by a pediatrician researching her husband’s mental illness has brought hope and relief for people (and their families) who suffer from Alzheimer’s. Dr. Mary Newport was searching for something to help her husband Steve who had been diagnosed with this devastating disease. In 2008 she discovered research showing memory improvement in Alzheimer’s patients with medium chain triglycerides (MCT). As a neonatology specialist, Newport knew about MCT as an ingredient in most baby formulas, especially for premature newborns, because it is so easily digested. She learned that MCT oil has been used for decades by bodybuilders for energy and to increase muscle mass and that coconut oil is 60% MCT.
One of the problems with Alzheimer’s (and some other neurological disorders like Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and ALS) is that the insulin receptors in the brain cell walls malfunction. This prevents glucose, the brain’s primary fuel, from entering the cells which then die of starvation. Fortunately an alternative fuel, ketones, can also cross the blood-brain barrier to supply the brain cells with needed fuel. This normally occurs when carbohydrates are unavailable (during a famine or low carb diet) and the body begins to burn stored fat. Exercise also increases ketones. MCT is metabolized in the liver to ketones which enter the blood stream.
The day after taking his first dose of coconut oil, Steve’s Alzheimer’s screening test improved 4 points. He continued to improve over the following weeks and months as long as he had his coconut oil. Even his taste returned. And Mary decided to share her discovery with the world. When she failed to interest Alzheimer’s researchers in her findings, she took her story to the media, on her website coconutketones.com and blog coconutketones.blogspot.com, and in her 2011 book “Alzheimer’s Disease – What If There Was a Cure?” Here is an interview with Dr Newport from October 2009 and a more recent one on CBN from January 2012. More on this topic in next week’s column.
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.