According to Dr. Mary Newport, consuming coconut oil provides ketone bodies to the body which are an alternative brain fuel. Dr. Newport says that coconut oil can even fight neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and if her theory is right, it could be a groundbreaking medical discovery.
Dr. Newport’s husband Steve was suffering from progressive dementia for 5 years, and an MRI supported a diagnosis of early Alzheimer’s disease. “For 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,” she recalls.
Dr. Newport said that her husband had no short-term memory whatsoever, but the information was locked somewhere in his brain. She felt that there was something wrong with his diet. He received a therapy of prescription medications that were supposed to slow down the onset of the disease, but instead he became depressed and his condition got worse. Steve forgot nearly anything he knew, but remained in great physical condition thanks to working every day in his garden.
Several studies on ketone bodies and medium-chain triglycerides suggest that they can treat Alzheimer’s disease. MCTs are a potential treatment for Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, as well as multiple sclerosis, drug-resistant epilepsy and diabetes. “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,” Dr. Newport says.
Our body cells may be able to use ketone bodies as an alternative fuel. They don’t circulate in the body unless you’ve been starving for a few days or you’re on a low-carb diet. Here’s what Dr. Newport says on the subject of ketone bodies: “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.”