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According to them, the brain usually depends on glucose for most of its needs. However, Alzheimer’s patients’ brains cannot take up glucose properly.
Given that coconut oil is composed of medium-chain fatty acids, the body can quickly break these down into an alternative source of brain fuel: ketones. The body transports the ketones, which are readily absorbed by the brain to cells that are deprived of glucose to restore normal brain function and prevent brain damage.
While some experts may not have strong objections to the use of coconut oil to treat Alzheimer’s disease, they point out that there is little scientific evidence proving that coconut oil treats or even reverses Alzheimer’s disease.
Currently, only a few studies suggest that coconut oil is beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients. Plus, no studies examine the other components of coconut oil that might be harmful to Alzheimer’s patients.
Therefore, some experts cannot fully support the theory that coconut oil is a cure for or that it can treat Alzheimer’s disease. They call for more research on this topic.
Opinion in favor of taking coconut oil to treat Alzheimer’s disease:
Many medical experts and nutritionists support using coconut oil to treat Alzheimer’s disease. This is because it provides the brain with an alternative energy source if the body cannot metabolize glucose efficiently to maintain normal brain functions.
They claim that coconut oil is an efficient source of alternate energy because it does not need to be digested by the body. It is mostly composed of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that can rapidly be broken down into ketones. Ketones are molecules that can be used as energy when the body breaks down fats if carbohydrates or glucose are unavailable.
Ketones are sent directly to the liver and transported to the brain to be used as energy. Ketones also cross the brain-blood barrier quickly and don’t need insulin to transport them to brain cells that need them.
Several studies show that coconut oil is beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients. The 2017 study, “How does coconut oil affect cognitive performance in Alzheimer patients?” observed that Alzheimer patients who took coconut oil had better cognitive abilities compared to those who did not take coconut oil.
Opinion against taking coconut oil to treat Alzheimer’s disease:
Some experts believe that coconut oil does not treat or cure Alzheimer’s disease and might even be harmful to Alzheimer’s patients. Although they are not also against moderate coconut oil consumption, they argue that coconut oil should not be championed as a cure for Alzheimer’s disease without sufficient scientific research to support its benefits.
The Alzheimer’s Society in the UK argues that there is “currently a lack of evidence to show that coconut oil plays any role in preventing or treating dementia or its symptoms.”
The Alzheimer’s Society in the UK also points out that “fats like coconut oil could indirectly result in higher levels of a protein called acetylcholinesterase,” and people with Alzheimer’s disease have high levels of acetylcholinesterase in their brains already.
This protein is associated with the increased presence of beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain, which cause brain damage. So, coconut oil may be harmful to Alzheimer’s patients.
Before they jump to any conclusions, healthcare experts call for more standardized research on this topic to determine how effective coconut oil is in treating Alzheimer’s disease.