The brain is the central organ of the human nervous system, controlling most of the activities of the body, processing, integrating, and coordinating information. Brain activity is made possible by inter-connections of neurotransmitters in response to nerve impulses. Alzheimer’s disease destroys memory and other critical mental functions of the brain. There is no known cure for it, but various treatments help to alleviate the symptoms. One of the lesser known natural remedies is using coconut oil for Alzheimer’s disease. The ketones present in coconut oil improve the functioning of the brain.
- About Alzheimer’s
- Causes & Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
- Coconut oil for Alzheimer’s
- Usage of Coconut oil for Alzheimer’s
- Other Home Remedies for Alzheimer’s
What is Alzheimer’s disease?
Alzheimer’s disease(1) was discovered in 1901 and is named by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906. The characteristic trait of a person’s brain suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is the lack of energy source in the brain, wherein the brain cells begin degenerating and have trouble in metabolizing glucose. Famous people such as Charlton Heston and Ronald Reagan have helped in increasing awareness regarding the disease.
Various studies are being undertaken to look into the benefits of coconut oil for treating Alzheimer’s disease. It has been found that the ketones produced in the body after digesting coconut oil may provide an alternative way of keeping the brain nourished.
Stages of Alzheimer’s disease
Mild Alzheimer’s disease (early stage) –
In this stage, a person may function independently. The patient may feel they have some memory lapses, such as forgetting words, or the location of everyday objects. Although there is no way to prevent the onset of the disease, early diagnosis of the disease will allow the patient to find a way to live with the disease and plan for future actions.
Moderate Alzheimer’s disease (middle stage) –
This stage may last for several years and is mostly the longest stage. As the disease progresses, the patient will require higher levels of care. The damage sustained by the nerve cells in the brain may make it hard for the patient to express their thoughts and will pose difficulty in performing daily tasks. The person may forget events and their personal history during this stage.
Severe Alzheimer’s disease (last stage) –
This is the final stage of the disease, the patient will lose all of their ability to respond to their environment, they will not be able to hold conversations and will not be able to control their movements. The memory of the patient will continue to get worse, and their personalities will change. Patients in this stage need extensive care and help to perform daily tasks and activities.
Who does Alzheimer affect the most?
The disease mainly affects people over 65 years of age. After 65, the chances of developing Alzheimer’s are doubled every five years.
Causes of Alzheimer’s disease
- Aging is the most common risk factor for Alzheimer’s. It is caused by a combination of genetic, lifestyle and environmental factors.
- Age-related changes in the brain may harm nerve cells and contribute to Alzheimer’s.
- Low-fat diets have been a disaster for our brains. There are not a lot of ketones to provide energy to our brain; therefore ketogenic food is a must have in your daily diet.
- Various studies have shown that Alzheimer patients’ brains lack cholesterol in their brains, which is vital for different functions. Lack of glucose in the brain cells can lead to mental disturbances in people.
- Another point to be noted is that various studies have found that the levels of acetylcholinesterase are higher in people who have Alzheimer’s disease.
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What are the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease?
- Mental decline and memory loss
- Behavioral changes
- Mood swings
- Confusion with time or place
- Decreased judgment
- Challenges in planning or solving problems.
Coconut oil for Alzheimer’s disease
Coconut oil has been commonly used in ketogenic diets. The reason for this is that coconut oil is composed of high levels of fat and has no carbohydrates. This oil contains high levels of saturated fats, which healthy for our bodies and has different effects for our bodies than other types of oil we use in our diet. These fats can boost fat burning and provide your body and brain with quick energy. They also raise good HDL cholesterol in the blood. For best results on body and mind, health experts suggest the use of coconut oil(2). Coconut oil is heart-healthy oil, free of cholesterol and Trans fats, and also provides many benefits in addition to improving brain health. Health experts recommend coconut oil as an alternate energy source for the brain.
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In recent years, Virgin coconut oil is being hailed as an antidote for Alzheimer’s disease. On-going research may conclude about the qualities of coconut oil in treating this disease. A physician from Florida Dr. Mary Newport claims to have used it to treat her husband’s Alzheimer. Two weeks later she noted a dramatic improvement in all his activities.
Types of Coconut oil:
The best kind of Coconut oil is an organic virgin or extra virgin oil that is expeller pressed.
There are two types of coconut oil:-
Also called as pure or virgin coconut oil. It is made from fresh coconut meat, and the oil is never processed with chemicals. It is high in Phenolics.
It is made exclusively from dried coconut meat known as copra. It’s not a very pure form of oil as chemicals are mixed in it to refine.
Nutritional Content of Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains high levels of saturated fats and is made up of 99% fat. A tablespoon of coconut oil contains 13.6 grams of fat and contains 117 calories. Coconut does not contain any carbohydrates, cholesterol or protein. The oil does have traces of vitamin E, vitamin K, and iron.
Why should you use Coconut oil for Alzheimer’s disease?
All of us consume some form of oil in our diets on a regular basis. All oil fats are rich in energy, which our bodies turn into glucose. Different kinds of oils have different compositions and structures; they even function a bit differently from other types of oils. Coconut oil contains Caprylic acid, which is broken down to the ketone in our bodies and is used by the cells in our body for energy.
Our brain usually gets most of its energy from glucose. Coconut oil provides ketone bodies ultimately giving the brain the energy it needs to function correctly. 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 people with Alzheimer. Ketones produces from Medium chain triglycerides of which coconut oil has the highest percentage than any other food.
MCFA present in Coconut oil is unique in a way that they are easily absorbed and metabolized by the liver and can be converted to ketones.
Coconut oil is an alternative energy source capable of stopping the progressive neuronal death that occurs in this disease. Coconut oil, coconut water, and coconut cream as a dietary supplement can improve the symptoms of neurodegeneration.
It is widely available, non-toxic, and inexpensive. Consuming a good quantity in the daily diet is considered to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Coconut isis classified as highly nutritious ‘functional food’ that is rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, except Zinc.
Besides, phenolic compounds and hormones found in coconuts may assist in preventing toxic amyloid-beta peptide behavior and potentially inhibiting key steps in amyloid beta aggregation in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease.
How to use Coconut oil for Alzheimer’s 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 (medium chain triglycerides). Try a 50-50 mixture of MCT oil and coconut oil.
Dos and Don’ts
- Raw, cold pressed coconut oil is the best.
- Depending on the temperature of your room, it can be liquid or solid. You can warm it before use.
- Some people may be allergic to coconut oil consumption. So try a small quantity and look for any allergic reactions.
- Always inform your healthcare expert about any dietary changes such as adding coconut oil.
Other Home Remedies for Alzheimer’s
Coconut oil is the best, safe, natural and organic way of fighting Alzheimer’s disease. Natural methods have the least side-effects. As research progresses, the benefits of coconut oil for the brain will hopefully provide a cure in the future. Till then, using a natural, harmless remedy like coconut oil for Alzheimer’s disease will keep the brain healthy and active.