Monday, February 13, 2012
Coconut Oil Can Help Heal Alzheimer’s disease.
"Coconut Oil has had a poor press over the years. This was mainly due to a campaign planned to promote the benefits of Soya, and like in so many publicity related conflicts the facts gave way to fictional commercial interests. Now, a Florida physician has written a book demonstrating the benefits of coconut oil. Hopefully, this will dispel many of the half truths that have surrounded this oil for far too long!
Dr. Mary Newport runs a neo-natal ward in a Florida hospital but her interest in the coconut began not in her work environment but in her home. Her husband, Steve, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease after a poor showing on the traditional clock test used to signal the disease. Patients are asked to draw a clock showing a numbered face and hands capable of demonstrating time. Steve performed so poorly that he was described as having severe symptoms. He had been withdrawing both socially and emotionally during the two years prior to diagnosis. It had also been difficult for him to read and he found he could no longer run. Mary was scared when she witnessed what was happening to her husband. So she set about studying Alzheimer’ s and was determined to find a way to help improve her husband’s failing health.
She explored the disease and found that it was best described as a diabetes of the brain. The culprit she discovered is the hormone insulin, manufactured by the beta islet cells of the pancreas. In the case of Alzheimer’s, because of the insulin problem, the brain cells stop accepting glucose. Glucose is the principal brain food, and when cells begin to starve they start to die. When this occurs, there is an alternative food that remains acceptable, and this is ketones. Insulin, a storage hormone, sweeps glucose into the liver where it changes to glycogen and is stored as an energy source. This means when the sugar supply expires, the liver changes fats to ketones. This is one reason that people who fast on a Detox program lose weight. They stop eating, so glucose dries up and then the body has to start burning its own fat deposits as an alternative fuel.
Dr. Newport found that long chain fatty acids like coconut oil provided the necessary fats for the ketone process to happen. She then started adding pure, non-hydrogenated coconut oil to her husband's diet and was astonished to see an improvement in just two short weeks. It was then he re-did the clock test and the result was noticeably better. He also became more talkative and less emotionally detached. After a month, he was able to run again, and the ability to read came back to him, too. She was so delighted with the results that she decided to write: “Alzheimer’s Disease; What If There Was A Cure?”, and share this new knowledge with other people. She received an encouraging response with feedback messages flooding in from family members awestruck with the improvements they were seeing in their loved ones.
Another issue raised its head. When the campaign to denigrate fats as harmful to heart health emerged, the cholesterol myth began to appear. Anything that raised cholesterol was dammed and outed as harmful. Even in the writing of this short article I have experienced such a response whilst talking to a physician from Europe. There are two types of cholesterol that are named after their transportation systems. One is LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein, and the other is HDL that translates to High Density Lipoprotein. LDL is said to be harmful and HDL is described as being healthful. Coconut oil aligns itself with HDL, thus is by definition healthy fat.
According to Dr. Beverly Teter of the University of Maryland, coconut oil improves the overall cholesterol factor in the body. She also found that it helped diminish the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, as well as Schizophrenia and acted as an antibiotic which can kill viruses. Conventional antibiotics don’t destroy viruses although frequently they are mis-prescribed to do just that. Dr. Teter tells us that coconut oil helps boost the immune system, and it is this, that is the body’s defense system responsible for killing harmful pathogens.
Thankfully, finest quality extra virgin coconut oil is easily available. Make sure you buy the crystal clear variety, which is slightly sweet to taste. The brown version often used for massage is heat treated and frequently rancid. Be sure to add a spoonful to your shakes or smoothies, pour it over vegetables in place of butter or just drink it from the bottle. In Thailand, it will be liquid, but in cooler climes it solidifies. Don’t worry; it’s still the same product."
This article by Alister Bredee first appeared in the Samui Gazette of 8th February 2012