Alzheimer, Alzheimer's disease, Brain, brain function, brain tissue, Coconut, Coconut oil, dementia, Disease, health, ketone, Mary Newport, medicine, memory behaviour, natural remedies, northwest university, Steve, tissue death
Alzheimer’s and Diabetes
There is always a steady stream of research being done on Alzheimer’s disease: an incurable type of dementia that affects memory, behaviour, and usually results in early death.  So, why is it recently being nicknamed type 3 diabetes?
“When the body refuses to make insulin, the condition is called type 1 diabetes; when the body mismanages the hormone, it’s known as type 2. Now, scientists report new evidence linking insulin to a disorder of the brain: when the brain prevents the hormone from acting properly, the ensuing chemical imbalance may help trigger Alzheimer’s disease. The correlation is so strong that some researchers are calling Alzheimer’s disease “type 3″ diabetes.” –Time
The human brain is fed by glucose, or sugar. (This is one of the reasons I have such a huge beef with Atkin’s-type diets: you NEED carbs.) A recent study by Northwest University concluded that in the instance of insulin shortage (which the brain needs to properly break down glucose), one of the first things to be affected is memory. Huh. Are there any alternatives that the brain can use besides glucose, you ask? Well, looks like there might be!
What Does Coconut Oil Have to Do With It?
Ketones are a compound that can be used as an alternate source of energy for the brain in the absence of glucose, and coconut oil is a known source of ketones. Ketones can theoretically be used to synapse function in the brain, thereby restoring brain function. Once brain tissue dies, it cannot be brought back. But ketones can help to restore brain function before any tissue death occurs. Interesting, right?
Now, there are always a ton of declarations concerning which foods may be killing us, which ones should be eaten voraciously for better health, and which ones are only food-like substances, and therefore should technically be avoided. We all are privy to television and newspaper reports that allege the amazing benefits or the disastrous effects that certain foods have on our bodies.
Should we drop everything and take to heart all that we hear about these foods? Certainly not! That would be exhausting. Usually I’m pretty skeptical when I hear something crazy-sounding, like “coconut oil may hold the key to curing Alzheimer’s!” I ask myself who is making such a claim, who is backing the claim, and what studies have been done to prove that the claim is real and not just a really great idea? (‘Cause most are just really spectacular theories.)
What Are the Studies Saying?
Basically, studies are indicating that we’re going to have to take all this coconut oil/ketone talk with a grain of salt. While there haven’t been any studies to definitively prove that consuming coconut oil will provide the brain with ketones needed to help stop or reverse Alzheimer’s, there ARE several individuals who have been sharing personal success stories via the web.
Dr. Mary Newport is one such person, who accidentally stumbled upon the powers of coconut oil when (some might say successfully) attempting to treat her husband for Alzheimer’s. She has written about her experiences with her husband, Steve:
“He is a very different person than he was a year ago and perhaps even two or three years ago. He has serious atrophy of his brain and will never be “normal,” but 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. My sister Lois told a lady she works with about the coconut oil and Steve’s response to it. Her father began to give this to her mother, who has Alzheimer’s and she has had a similar response, with more alertness, conversation and sense of humor. ” 
Although there is no clear evidence as of yet to absolutely prove the miraculous benefits that coconut oil may hold in regards to curing Alzheimer’s disease, we need to ask ourselves: why should we wait? There are countless natural remedies that work well for tons of different ailments that are not “officially” recognized. These types of remedies, of course, are my favourite. If you know someone who suffers from Alzheimer’s, I can’t imagine there being any harm in treating them with coconut oil, but I’m definitely going to put the disclaimer out there to first check with their physician or naturopath. Good luck!