Namely, she claims that ketone bodies, which are produced in the body during the digestion of coconut oil, can serve as alternative brain fuel. She also maintains that this oil offers numerous benefits in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
She actually fought with this disease by herself, as her husband Steve suffered from progressive dementia for over 5 years his mid-50s. After this time, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s after the MRI scan he did. Dr. Newport retells her experience in her case-study:
“Many days, often for several days in a row, he was in a fog; couldn’t find a spoon or remember how to get water out of the refrigerator… One day I would ask if a certain call came that I was expecting and he would say ‘No.’ Two days later he would remember the message from so-and-so from a couple of days earlier and what they said.”
What she noticed was that Steve had no short-term memory, but the information was still filed in his brain. Hence, she suspected that this was a diet-related issue.
Steve started taking medication to treat the disease, but he, in turn, became underweight, depressed, forgot how to cook, how to use a calculator, and do even the simplest operations during the day.
She had a gut feeling that his diet had something to do with it. Yet, he remained in a healthy physical condition and spent his days working in his garage or garden.
Dr. Newport started exploring several studies about the potential use of medium chain triglycerides or ketone bodies in the prevention and treatment Alzheimer’s disease into details.
Research has shown that medium-chain triglycerides are also effective in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, Huntington’s disease, and drug-resistant epilepsy. She provides an explanation:
“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. Children with drug-resistant epilepsy sometimes respond to an extremely low carbohydrate ketogenic diet.”
In the case of a lack of glucose, the cells in the body might use ketone bodies as an alternative fuel. Unless the body has been starving for a couple of days or the patient is on a low-carb diet, ketone bodies do not normally circulate in the body.
Dr. Newport adds:
“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… if these cells had access to ketone bodies, they could potentially stay alive and continue to function.”
Due to these findings, she started giving her husband a dose of coconut oil on a daily basis, and after only 60 days, Steve became much happier and alert. Also, the tremor he has developed was gone, and he became talkative, he was no longer distracted and started making jokes. To ensure there is a constant circulation of ketone bodies, he received 2 tablespoons of coconut oil twice a day.
After a year of this treatment, Steve became a completely different person. He still had difficulties in finding some words but started recognizing his relatives and friends, became an active participant in conversations, became much more positive, and has more animated facial expressions.
Dr. Newport comments:
“For now, we are very pleased with where he is at and should coconut oil stop or slow down the progress of his disease, it will be worth every drop that he takes.”