Younger-Onset Archives

Coconut Oil and Alzheimer’s Disease

Back in July 2008, Dr. Mary Newport wrote a case study, “What if there was a Cure for Alzheimer’s Disease and no one Knew?” However, last month it was brought to our attention again when did an interview with Dr. Newport (see video below). In her case study, she writes about ketone bodies which serve as fuel for your brain that your body makes when you ingest coconut oil. This may prove to be highly beneficial in fighting Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Several people sent me e-mail about this interview and since then I’ve been researching various Web sites as well as checking out local retail outlets for coconut oil. Health food stores and specialty supermarkets carry coconut oil in capsule form, although you may be able to find some health food stores carrying the actual oil (I was pleased to find it in a health food store in my area). However, with experts recommending between two and three tablespoons of coconut oil daily for prevention of AD and up to five tablespoons for AD and with each capsule having only about 500 to 1000 mg of oil (each tablespoon is equal to about 15 grams), you would need at least 15 capsules to get one tablespoon. Taking 45 to 75 capsules a day would be quite costly and ill advised.

One of the top producers of coconut oil is the Philippines so I visited a local Filipino market in southern California that was recommended by a Filipino acquaintance who uses coconut oil. It is recommended that you start slowly, and thus far I’ve used about a teaspoon in my morning oatmeal. (I’m trying to get used to greasy oatmeal). I’ve also tried substituting the olive oil in my salad with the coconut oil (the taste did not agree with me). Finally, I substituted one tablespoon of coconut oil for butter and syrup on my pancakes and that was by far the tastiest option. But since I don’t eat pancakes every day, I continued to experiment and now I find that adding coconut oil to a small amount of coffee or tea works well.

Bruce Fife, ND, author of Stop Alzheimer’s Now!: How to Prevent & Reverse Dementia, Parkinson’s, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis & Other Neurodegenerative Disorders cautions that proper diet is also a necessary component. Simply adding coconut oil to the diet will produce disappointing results. He says that the fundamental problem associated with Alzheimer’s disease is the inability of the brain to effectively utilize glucose, or blood sugar, to produce energy. The brain then needs another source of energy and this comes in the form of ketone bodies produced in the liver. Medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) like coconut oil are converted into ketones in the body.

There are different methods of producing coconut oil. According to Tropical Traditions, a producer of coconut oil, “Virgin Coconut Oil can only be achieved by using fresh coconut meat or what is called non-copra. Chemicals and high heating are not used in further refining, since the natural, pure coconut oil is very stable with a shelf life of several years. There are currently two main processes of manufacturing Virgin Coconut Oil:

1. Quick drying of fresh coconut meat which is then used to press out the oil. Using this method, the coconut meat is quick dried, and the oil is then pressed out via mechanical means. This is the most common type of “Virgin” or “Extra Virgin” (see below) coconut oil sold in the market today that you will find in stores. It is mass-produced.

2. Wet-milling. With this method the oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat without drying first. “Coconut milk” is expressed first by pressing. The oil is then further separated from the water. Methods which can be used to separate the oil from the water include boiling, fermentation, refrigeration, enzymes and mechanical centrifuge.

Currently there is no known medication to prevent or stop Alzheimer’s disease. Coconut oil offers hope for this disease affecting 5.4 million Americans. Should you decide to try it, let me know how you’re ingesting it.

The Alzheimer’s Association issued this today and I received it in an e-mail. If you did not receive it, I am reproducing it here. It is indeed breaking news: Major Advocacy Victory for People with Younger-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) announced today they have added early-onset/younger onset Alzheimer’s to the list of conditions under its Compassionate Allowance Initiative, giving those with the disease expedited access to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The Alzheimer’s Association, a longtime advocate for those with early-onset Alzheimer’s, has played an integral role in this movement to reduce the length of disability decision process.

Sign our Thank You Card to SSA.

This is a victory for individuals with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and is a direct result of the hard work done by Alzheimer’s Association advocates. Since 2003, the Alzheimer’s Association has been working on behalf of individuals with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease to improve the Social Security disability process. Learn more about our advocacy work.

Many people with early-onset Alzheimer’s or other dementias have faced challenges when applying for Social Security benefits. Individuals are often initially denied but usually win benefits on appeal, a process which can take several years.

Last summer SSA hosted a hearing in Chicago to examine access to social security disability benefits for people with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias through its Compassionate Allowances Initiative.

Over 70 advocates with Alzheimer’s disease, their families and caregivers attended the hearing to hear testimony from people living with Alzheimer’s as well as medical experts. I was honored to be able to testify as well. Since that hearing, over 600 advocates from across the country submitted written testimony and personal stories of their experiences and challenges

Alzheimer’s Association advocates helped SSA understand the impact of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease on individuals and their families and helped influence their decision to add early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias to their list of Compassionate Allowances. Without advocates just like YOU, this wouldn’t have been possible.

Please join us in thanking the SSA for their decision.

Thank you for using your VOICE.


Harry Johns
President and CEO

PS: Many of you know others who have been affected by this disease. Please forward this message onto them so they can join us in thanking SSA and learn more.

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