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Coconut Oil and Alzheimer's Disease

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Ellyn





Joined: 16 Jul 2000
Posts: 4780
Coconut Oil and Alzheimer's Disease PostTue Oct 05, 2010 9:34 pm  Reply with quote  

http://www.anh-usa.org/coconut-oil-and-alzheimer%e2%80%99s-disease/

Coconut Oil and Alzheimer's Disease

Alliance for Natural Health
October 5, 2010

How worried should drug companies be about supplements eating into their monopoly profits? A lot—as this story will show. Please share it with anyone you know who is suffering from Alzheimer’s or is worried about it.

Of course, just about everyone worries about Alzheimer’s. It currently afflicts 5.2 million people in the US and is the seventh leading cause of death. The cost of treating it is estimated at $148 billion.

Mary Newport, MD, has been medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Spring Hill Regional Hospital in Florida since it opened in 2003. About the same time the unit opened, her husband Steve, then 53, began showing signs of progressive dementia, later diagnosed as Alzheimer’s Disease. “Many days, often for several days in a row, he was in a fog; couldn’t find a spoon or remember how to get water out of the refrigerator,” she said.

They started him on Alzheimer’s drugs—Aricept, Namenda, Exelon—but his disease worsened steadily. (It should be noted that the latest research shows that the various Alzheimer’s drugs, like Aricept, have proven disappointing, with little real benefit and often distressing side effects.) When Dr. Newport couldn’t get her husband into a drug trial for a new Alzheimer’s medication, she started researching the mechanism behind Alzheimer’s.

She discovered that with Alzheimer’s disease, certain brain cells may have difficulty utilizing glucose (made from the carbohydrates we eat), the brain’s principal source of energy. Without fuel, these precious neurons may begin to die. There is an alternative energy source for brain cells—fats known as ketones. If deprived of carbohydrates, the body produces ketones naturally.

But this is the hard way to do it—who wants to cut carbohydrates out of the diet completely? Another way to produce ketones is by consuming oils that have medium-chain triglycerides. When MCT oil is digested, the liver converts it into ketones. In the first few weeks of life, ketones provide about 25 percent of the energy newborn babies need to survive.

Dr. Newport learned that the ingredient in the drug trial which was showing so much promise was simply MCT oil derived from coconut oil or palm kernel oil, and that a dose of 20 grams (about 20 ml or 4 teaspoons) was used to produce these results. When MCT oil is metabolized, the ketones which the body creates may, according to the latest research, not only protect against the incidence of Alzheimer’s, but may actually reverse it. Moreover, this is also a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), drug-resistant epilepsy, brittle type I diabetes, and type II (insulin-resistant) diabetes.

So Mr. Newport, not being able to get into the drug trial, started taking the coconut oil twice a day. At this point, he could barely remember how to draw a clock. Two weeks after adding coconut oil to his diet, his drawing improved. After 37 days, Steve’s drawing gained even more clarity. The oil seemed to “lift the fog,” and in the first sixty days, Dr. Newport saw remarkable changes in him: every morning he was alert and happy, talkative, making jokes. His gait was “still a little weird,” but his tremor was no longer very noticeable. He was able to concentrate on things that he wanted to do around the house and in the yard and stay on task, whereas before coconut oil he was easily distractible and rarely accomplished anything unless he was directly supervised.

Over the next year, the dementia continued to reverse itself: he is able to run again, his reading comprehension has improved dramatically, and his short-term memory is improving—he often brings up events that happened days to weeks earlier and relays telephone conversations with accurate detail. A recent MRI shows that the brain atrophy has been completely halted.

Let’s take a moment to consider what actually happened here. Synthetic (patentable) Alzheimer’s drugs have failed. A drug company reluctantly decides to put a non-patentable natural substance (medium-chain triglycerides derived from coconut or palm) through an FDA trial. It works. But, darn it, a smart doctor figures out that a natural food can be substituted for the super-expensive drug. Not only that, the ketones from natural coconut oil last in the body longer than the drug version—eight hours instead of three hours. This is enough to make a drug company start worrying about its future. What if this natural health idea really catches on? Goodbye to monopoly profits!

Coconut oil can be found in many health food stores and even some grocery stores. One large chain sells a non-hydrogenated (no trans-fat) brand of coconut oil in a one-liter size (nearly 32 ounces) for about $7. It can be purchased in quantities as small as a pint and up to five gallons online. It is important to use coconut oil that is non-hydrogenated and contains no trans-fat. We would also strongly encourage the use of virgin oil (chemicals used to extract non-virgin oil are potentially dangerous, and better still, virgin organic, still quite reasonably priced.)

For more information, see Dr. Newport’s website. Sadly, you will not find any information on ketones, or the use of coconut oil or MCT oil, on the Alzheimer’s Association website.

Coconut oil is not the only natural product that has the potential to turn Alzheimer’s around. We will cover some other ones, and drug industry efforts to steal some of them, in a future issue.
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Ellyn





Joined: 16 Jul 2000
Posts: 4780
More on Natural Substances to Combat Alzheimer's--and... PostThu Oct 21, 2010 2:08 am  Reply with quote  

More on Natural Substances to Combat Alzheimer’s—and Big Pharma’s Dirty Little Secret

October 19, 2010

Two weeks ago we told you how coconut oil is showing great promise in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. New studies show that other natural substances are also offering big breakthroughs, and the drug industry is trying to jump on the bandwagon with them too.

Fish oil reduces inflammation, including the inflammation associated with dementia. The DHA form of fish oil also converts into neuroprotectins, which, as the name suggests, protect our nerve tissue. A recent study suggests that the risk of Alzheimer’s may be reduced by a third if we consume this regularly. Another broad study suggested that the risk of all forms of dementia could be reduced by almost half with fish oil.

Nattokinase is an enzyme extracted from a fermented, cheese-like soy food called natto, which has been eaten in Japan for many years. Nattokinase has a well-documented ability to dissolve clots, so it plays a role in cardiovascular health. Now it is being studied for another set of abilities. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by brain deposits of a certain type of amyloid—a group of abnormal proteins that cause disorders in various organs. Getting rid of amyloids is one of the targets of Alzheimer’s disease research. A recent study shows that nattokinase removes amyloid plaque.

Other encouraging Alzheimer’s news comes from the University of California at Irvine, where a study recently showed that mice with cognitive impairment had dramatic improvement with niacinamide. Niacinamide is one of the water-soluble B-complex vitamins known as B-3. Niacin, or nicotinic acid, is another form. When an amide molecule attaches itself to niacin, it becomes niacinamide (also called nicotinamide). The body can convert niacinamide back into niacin but is unable to make niacinamide out of niacin. One major difference is that in doses exceeding 50 mg, niacin typically produces flushing of the skin, but niacinamide does not. Niacin and niacinamide also have different applications. In the niacinamide form, it reduces inflammation. Since many studies indicate that inflammation may trigger Alzheimer’s, researchers wondered if niacinamide would help Alzheimer’s.

Researchers gave mice the equivalent of a human dose of 2000 to 3000 milligrams of niacinamide, and the results were shocking. “Cognitively, they were cured,” said Dr. Kim Green, the head of the study. “The vitamin completely prevented cognitive decline associated with the disease, bringing them back to the level they’d be at if they didn’t have the pathology.” Niacinamide also improved memory in mice without Alzheimer’s.

Pioneering integrative physician and researcher Jonathan V. Wright, MD, notes that niacinamide has been widely used for a variety of purposes for more than 60 years, and its safety is well known. He reports that as far back as 1943, William Kaufman, PhD, MD, a psychiatrist and exceptionally thorough clinical researcher, showed that niacinamide deficiency causes impaired memory, easy distractibility, an inability to concentrate, mental fog, slowed thoughts, difficulty comprehending, unwarranted anxiety, a lack of initiative, being uncooperative or quarrelsome, etc. And he discovered that all of these symptoms—and many more—“disappeared or…improved considerably” with the use of niacinamide.

Niacinamide isn’t the only B vitamin that may help significantly with Alzheimer’s. A study from Oxford University found that fairly high dosages of three B vitamins (folic acid, B6 and B12) could reduce the rate of brain atrophy in patients with mild cognitive impairment—because these vitamins reduce homocysteine. (Other studies have found that TMG, or trimethylglycine, also controls homocysteine and is useful if the B vitamins are not enough.) Around 50% of people with mild cognitive impairment go on to develop Alzheimer’s.

But this study, widely trumpeted in the world press, wasn’t quite what it seemed. It was a study of B vitamins, yes, but it was at the same time a study of a patented drug. How could that be? Why was a drug company happy to see the curative role of B vitamins established? Here’s why: TrioBe Plus—the formulation of the B vitamin used in the study, is a patented drug, even though it is really just a blend of three ordinary vitamins and shouldn’t have received a patent. It is made by a Swedish drug company, Meda AB, based on a patent held by the chief researcher. As our colleagues at ANH-Int’l point out, the lead author of the research had to declare a conflict of interest because the patent for the use of these vitamins in this particular form is in his name. He will therefore personally gain massively if your local doctor starts to prescribe this to everyone who’s complaining about losing their car keys on a regular basis.

So the pharmaceutical industry is once again patenting and promoting a drug that’s not a drug, but is merely three forms of vitamin B you can get from any health food store. Supplements are not drugs—but drug companies are so unsuccessful in producing new drugs that they are looking greedily at supplements.

http://www.anh-usa.org/more-on-natural-substances-to-combat-alzheimers/
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