Coconut oil is renowned for its many endless health benefits. While it is typically used for moisturizing, dental care, and as a delicious cooking oil, Dr. Newport believes it to also be good for enhanced cognition.
Dr. Mary Newport’s theory surrounds the idea that the digestion of coconut oil causes the production of ketones. Ketones, in her opinion, could be an alternative fuel for the brain, which could benefit those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Newport’s husband Steve began having problems with progressive dementia in his mid-50’s. Sadly, eventually, an MRI provoked diagnoses for Alzheimer’s disease.
In Newport’s own words, “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.”
Despite his diagnoses, Steve was still able to hold information in his brain, even in moments when he had no short-term memory. Mary believed his diet to have something to do with it.
In Mary’s research regarding ketones, or medium chain triglycerides, she found that they had been listed as a potential treatment for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.
Mary began thinking, “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.”
This prompted Dr. Newport to begin supplying her husband with a regimen of coconut oil, in order to see if it helped him at all. According to Mary, he became more aware and happy. He was more himself again and even had less intense tremors.
One year later, of two tablespoons of coconut oil, twice per day, Mary states that Steve has completely changed for the better. While he does continue to struggle to some extent, he is able to recognize his family and participate in socializing. “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.”