October 21, 2011

Can this oil treat Alzheimer’s
disease and other brain disorders?

You may have heard reports lately about an oil that can stop Alzheimer’s disease. My friend and colleague Frank Shallenberger, MD wrote about the power of coconut oil to halt and even reverse this terrible disease. But does it really work?

If you ask Dr. Mary Newport, the answer is a resounding yes. She was the subject of Dr. Shallenberger’s report. She claims that feeding her husband coconut oil dramatically helped his Alzheimer’s – in just one day. “It was like switching a light bulb on,” he said.

Dr. Newport adds: “Further, this is a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), drug-resistant epilepsy, brittle type-1 diabetes, and type-2 diabetes, where there is insulin resistance.”

Some of this I know is true. I’ve had hands-on success with this type of treatment reversing epilepsy in children. Science has proved that about one-third of children with seizures can completely control their seizures if they go on a “ketogenic” diet. This diet is largely devoid of starches and encourages energy production via fat in the diet. Combustion of fats creates a lot of ketone bodies, which your body easily uses for energy.

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These ketone bodies may help the brain recover after a loss of oxygen, regardless of age. They may help your heart recover after an acute attack. And they may shrink cancerous tumors.

I’ve been reading many interesting pieces on the health benefits of fatty acids in coconut oil. I’m ecstatic about what Dr. Newport and her husband report. Do I think this is a total panacea for chronic degenerative neurological conditions?

No, not at all. It’s quite possible that Mr. Newport had impaired energy production that aggravated his condition. And the coconut oil was able to circumvent this impairment. Dementia has many causes – and not all cases will have this particular impairment.

So what should you do?

First, let me say that I’m not ready at this time to recommend coconut oil as a staple to the normal person’s diet. Why? I’m not ready yet to tell everyone to add raw oil to their diet, as it adds “empty calories.” Yes, you might get a benefit from the ketone bodies. But you might cause another problem. You could further deplete the real nutrients that a whole food (such as raw coconut) would contain, and suffer some other problem in the long run.

Additionally, I’ve noticed many people who consume coconut oil are rather heavy. Remember, I’ve warned about oil and weight. You might get certain benefits from the oil, but if you put on weight, you might get other problems. God made the whole coconut, a wonder food you can enjoy. He did not make coconut oil separate. So, I personally won’t be including it (the oil) in my diet. Instead, eat the raw coconut. You’ll get the oil and all the other nutrients it contains.

However, if you have Alzheimer’s disease or other degenerative neurological diseases (including Parkinson’s, MS, ALS, or traumatic brain injury), coconut oil is sure worth a try. If I had one of these conditions, I would try it myself! Consider Dr. Newport’s recommendation of two tablespoons daily. Please be sure to take it with food, as the raw oil might be tough on your stomach.

If you want to try coconut oil, there are plenty of other fine brands in health food stores and many grocery stores. Just make sure it’s organic virgin coconut oil. If you find the overwhelming desire to cook food in oil, coconut oil may be the best. It’s more resistant to heat, since it has saturated fatty acids. Just keep the flame low, and use as little as you can (unless you are using it for therapeutic reasons).

Dr. Newport says that she has received reports from others using it with success. If you try it, please be kind enough to send me a message about results either way. If it works, I want to spread the word. Thanks!




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