Mary Newport, MD author of The Coconut Oil and Low Carb Solution, educates us on how diet and the use of high energy foods can nourish and protect our brain. She started her research on her own husband who had early onset Alzheimers. His decline stsrted when he was 51 and resulted in an inability to do even the simplist of tasks. In her quest to help him she discovered a drug that comtained medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil and decided to try coconut oil which contains MCT instead of the pharmaceutical version. She new that this type of oil is partly converted in the liver to ketones, an alternative fuel for brain cells. She added 2 tbsp. of coconut oil to her husbands diet which led to a dramatic response/improvement in his cognitive abilities. She then went on to share her results with others who had the same result in most cases. To learn more from Dr. Newport check out www.coconutketones.com.
So now that we are informed, how do we add Coconut Oil or MCT oil into our diet? Here are some suggestions for use:
1. Coconut oil contains lactic acid which has anti-macrobial properties whereas in MCT it has been removed. MCT oil is tasteless and odourless. There is a suggestion that Alzheimers may be caused by bacteria so if this turns out to be a factor coconut oil itself would be more beneficial. To date improvement has been seen with both types of oil. A combination of the two, 4 parts MCT with 1 part coconut oil, seems to have the best results.
2. Consistency is key. Consume everyday, several times a day.
3. Coconut oil in combination with a low ccarbohydrate diet, or keto diet, is more successful as Alzheimers is now know as diabetes of the brain. Getting rid of sugar is key.
4. Coconut oil is easily available in grocery stores. It does not matter whether you buy refined or organic (although they may have more nutrient value) but never buy partially hydrogenated oil as it will contain harmful transfats. Read the label.
5. Shelf life of coconut oil is long, at least 2 years at room temperature. No need to refridgerate.
6. Also coconut oil can be heated up to about 350 degrees or smoking level and is unaffected by microwaving.
7. It is recommended to start slowly ingesting coconut oil as it can lead to indigestion or even sudden diarrhea.
8. It is totally acceptable to work up to 3 to 6 tablespoons a day to achieve ketosis.
9. A fun food idea is to use it in your coffee or tea, often referred to as a bullet coffee, or use in salad dressings, or to fry your eggs or vegetables in.
10. Coconut oil improves our absorption of magnesium and calcium so is helpful to prevent osteoporosis. This is important for those who don't eat dairy or are lactose intolerant.
Coconut oil has many health benefits. Those who are more likely to benefit from using it are those who have or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases and those who have pre-diabetes or have type 1 or 2 diabetes, people who are bipolar disease, memory issues or brain fog but all of us at all ages can benefit from this healthy fat as it boost our immune system, helps us control weight, lowers cholesterol and moisturizes our skin.
Susanne Jakubowski is a holistic nutritionist, yoga teacher, Thai Yoga Therapist, and cancer survivor.