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.”
Coconut oil and dementia
There is currently a lack of evidence to show that coconut oil plays any role in preventing or treating dementia or its symptoms.
Does coconut oil help prevent dementia?
There have been some claims that coconut oil could be used as a treatment, or even a cure, for Alzheimer's disease. However, there is currently not enough experimental evidence to back up these claims.
The claim is based on the theory that the brain cells of people with Alzheimer's disease are unable to use glucose to produce energy properly, and so the nerve cells 'starve'.
Some believe coconut oil may act as an alternative energy source for the brain. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to know whether this is the case.
Is there any evidence behind the coconut oil claims?
A clinical trial into the potential effects of coconut oil was being conducted in the US.
Unfortunately this trial had to be discontinued in 2017. There were not enough people enrolled on the trial for researchers to fully understand whether coconut oil has any benefit for people affected by dementia.
There is some evidence to suggest that fats like coconut oil could indirectly result in higher levels of a protein called acetylcholinesterase.
Researchers have found that the level of acetylcholinesterase is higher in people with Alzheimer's disease and current treatments aim to lower the level of this protein.