As if coconut oil didn’t offer enough health benefits, at the recent Wise Traditions Conference I learned another reason to include plenty of coconut products in your diet. According to Dr. Bruce Fife, leading coconut expert, coconut oil can prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Turns out this isn’t super recent news, but I, for one, had never encountered it before. As someone with a family history of dementia (possibly caused by Alzheimer’s disease), I have to say that I am enormously excited about this new development.
Coconut Oil May Also Reverse Already Present Alzheimer’s Disease
Dr. Fife also asserted that coconut oil can reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms in someone who has already developed the disease. This is remarkable because currently-available Alzheimer’s medications can only slow the progression of the disease. No medication is able to halt or reverse symptoms. Coconut oil, however, can. (Don’t you love how powerful food can be?)
Why Coconut Oil Can Prevent and Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease
Healthy brains have two options for fuel: glucose or ketones, a high-energy fuel produced by the liver. Alzheimer’s brains are damaged in such a way that they can no longer utilize glucose for fuel. These brains can, however, still run off of ketones. While normally ketones are only produced during fasting or when carbohydrate consumption is very low, supplementing an Alzheimer’s patient’s diet with a food source of ketones can provide constant fuel for the brain without the need for glucose. One of the best food sources of ketones is coconut oil.
Diet Matters, Too
Of course, Dr. Fife points out that combining coconut oil with an otherwise substandard diet may not produce many benefits. He recommends a “therapeutic diet low in carbohydrate, rich in healthy fats, and nutritionally balanced to enhance brain health.” Personally I’d advocate following a real food, Weston A. Price-type diet, the main principles of which can be found here.
How Much Coconut Oil Do You Need?
According to Dr. Fife, one to three tablespoons of coconut oil per day will help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Five to six tablespoons of coconut oil per day are recommended to reverse Alzheimer’s in people who have already developed the disease.
If you’re taking more than a tablespoon or two, you will probably want to space out your dosage over the course of the day. Eating too much coconut oil at once can result in intestinal upset. (Something I’ve experienced personally!) Tolerance seems to vary, so you may want to start with an especially small amount if you’re new to coconut oil.
Virgin vs. Refined Coconut Oil
As I explained in my post about how to use coconut oil, virgin coconut oil and refined coconut oil have different properties and lend themselves to different uses. For preventing and reversing Alzheimer’s, either type of coconut oil can be used, as it is the fatty acids present in both types that are responsible for coconut oil’s protective effects.
Whichever oil you choose, just be sure to buy a high-quality version, as low-quality coconut oil may be rancid or improperly processed.
Wondering How to Eat All that Coconut Oil?
For starters, read how to use coconut oil. I’m not sure that we’re getting enough with my current methods, though, so I’m also trying to come up with more ways to eat coconut oil as a snack. (I am not very fond of it straight, but that is also certainly an option if you can stomach it.) I’ll keep you posted!
Want to Read More About Preventing or Reversing Alzheimer’s Disease?
This article from the Coconut Research Center (Fife’s website) gives some more information on what I wrote above. For more extensive info, check out Dr. Fife’s book Stop Alzheimer’s Now!. The book also covers preventing and treating other neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s, ALS and multiple sclerosis.
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