Natural Treatment For Alzheimer’s Disease

Most drugs that treat Alzheimer’s disease attempt to slow the progression of the disease, but never mention “improvement.” It seems there is hope for actual improvement with a natural remedy that cost just pennies per day and can be easily found at most health food stores. Some are even calling it a cure for Alzheimer’s.

Our brains rely on glucose as a primary energy source. If that glucose supply is reduced, it can cause cognitive decline. Researchers have learned that a decrease in glucose metabolism almost always occurs in Alzheimer’s patients, even years before they have obvious symptoms of the disease.

In a study published in the July 2008 edition of the medical journal “Neurotherapeutics”, researchers found that the brain is able to use ketones as an alternative source of energy. Under normal circumstances, the brain uses glucose to produce all it’s energy. As we age, our brains become less efficient at using glucose, especially in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Using ketones as a glucose substitute, the brain can actually produce more energy than by using glucose, even in aged and diseased brains.

Ketones are produced by the liver. Certain oils, such as MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil, can be converted to ketones by the liver. Scientists have used MCT oil to produce a prescription-only medical food called Axona, used to treat Alzheimer’s patients.

Fortunately, you can get similar benefits to Axona by taking virgin coconut oil, available at health food stores, food co-ops, many grocery stores and on the internet. Coconut oil is very inexpensive, and contains about 60 percent medium chain triglycerides.

Dr. Mary Newport had almost given up hope that her husband’s Alzheimer’s disease could be treated. She read about the promising medical studies using MCT, and decided to start him on a daily dose of coconut oil. He showed immediate improvement. After two years of coconut oil use, he has improved dramatically and is now able to jog again, read and remember what he read and gets distracted less. As Dr. Newport says, “I do believe that, overall, the use of coconut oil has taken us back in time at least two years. I don’t know if we will beat it, but we have at least gotten a reprieve from this disease.”

Dr. Frank Shallenberger has also used coconut oil therapy to treat his Alzheimer’s patients. He cautions that not everyone with Alzheimer’s will benefit, and some will respond better than others. He says, “In my experience, there will always be some degree of improvement and there will always be some degree of slowing down of the progression of the disease. If this treatment could be started early enough, it may be able to halt the progression of the disease.”

The recommended dose of coconut oil is two tablespoons, twice daily. The easiest way to take it is to dissolve the two tablespoons of oil in something warm, like hot water, coffee, tea or a hot breakfast cereal. It has a pleasant taste, and dissolves easily. To allow your body time to adjust to it, start with only one tablespoon in the morning for a week or so. After you get used to one tablespoon, try two tablespoons. If you become nauseated or develop diarrhea, reduce the dose for a week, then raise it again.

After taking two tablespoons for a while, add a second dose in the afternoon or evening, to get to the goal of two tablespoons, twice a day. Be sure to work with your doctor when you add this to your treatment plan, and never stop taking any medications without consulting with your doctor.

To learn more about coconut oil therapy, read Dr. Mary Newport’s paper, “What if there was a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and no one knew?” You’ll find it at: coconutketones.com At this same web site, you’ll also find video and audio interviews with Dr. Newport, as well as several links to more information about coconut oil and ketones.

Coconut oil does not contain any omega-3 fatty acids, another essential brain food, so be sure to eat some salmon or other cold water fatty fish twice a week, or take fish oil or flaxseed oil supplements. While no one can say, in the absence of extended medical studies, that coconut oil is a potential Alzheimer’s cure, it does offer hope and a chance to slow down the progression of this debilitating disease.

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