There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Current Alzheimer’s treatments cannot stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, but they can temporarily slow the worsening of symptoms. After decades of research and billions of dollars spent by pharmaceutical companies, there is still no cure.
I read volumes of material on this disease after Sarah was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I wanted to educate myself so I could better understand this disease and to look for a way to help her. There are many articles on vitamins, supplements and many alternative treatments. Nothing struck me as promising until I came across a book written by a physician who only lived 35 miles north of where we lived in Florida. The title of the book is, “Alzheimers’ Disease–What if there was a cure?” by Mary T. Newport, M.D. Her husband was in his early 50’s when he was diagnosed with “early onset Alzheimer’s disease” and she did extensive research in trying to help her husband.
One of the “damaging effects” of Alzheimer’s is the formation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles that contribute to the degradation of the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain and the subsequent symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The current research has found no way to remove either the plaques or the tangles.
The second “effect” of Alzheimer’s is the problem of insulin deficiency and insulin resistance in the brain. Some researchers even call this “type 3 diabetes.” Glucose is the primary fuel for our cells and insulin is required to allow glucose to enter our cells. Brain cells die if the glucose cannot fuel the cells because of insulin resistance.
Our brains have the ability to use certain alternative fuels if glucose is not available. During starvation, we begin to tap into our stores of fat and release fatty acids, some of which are converted to ketone bodies. Ketone bodies do not require insulin to enter the cell, but rather are transported into the cell by a much simpler mechanism than glucose. Instead of starving yourself, an easier and more pleasant way to provide ketones is to consume foods that contain medium-chain fatty acids. And finally, this brings me to the discussion of coconut oil.
Coconut oil is nearly 60 percent medium-chain fatty acids. When you eat coconut oil the medium-chain fatty acids are partially metabolized in the liver to ketones and enter the bloodstream. Ketones readily cross the blood/brain barrier and can be used by the brain cells as fuel. And, ketones are a more potent fuel than an equivalent amount of glucose.
Finally, a book that made sense to me from a scientific and practical viewpoint. I read her book and digested the information. The overview I have provided is just a small portion of her research into coconut oil. Dr. Newport’s book goes into very extensive explanations of ketone bodies and how they work. It also is a detailed account of her husband’s Alzheimer’s journey.
I read this book a couple of years ago, but had a hard time getting the coconut oil into any food Sarah would eat. I would use the coconut oil when I would scramble eggs for Sarah or fry other foods. Dr. Newport put coconut oil in her husband’s oatmeal, cereal or yogurt. Sarah never liked any of these foods. Thus, my dilemma. Until my daughter-in-law, Michelle, found a recipe for chocolate that is made with coconut oil. And, who does not like chocolate?
I initially gave Sarah a small amount of chocolate made with coconut oil on a daily basis. My goal and hope was to increase the daily amount as Dr. Newport did with her husband. A side effect of too much coconut oil is diarrhea. I would not have an issue with this if Sarah was mobile, but she is bedridden. So, I started to give her the chocolate every other day. Now, I give it to her based on how her body is functioning.
I saw an improvement in Sarah within a week of starting the chocolate made with coconut oil. I saw an increase in alertness and interaction with me and other family members. Other aspects of her personality stopped declining and have stabilized, ie, her listening comprehension and her sense of humor.
All of her improvements have stabilized. I am amazed on a daily basis on her interactions with me. Of course, she still forgets my name or who I am at least a half-dozen times a day, but any improvement is a Blessing. I don’t know how long the effect will last, but EVERY DAY COUNTS.
1 cup Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Raw Honey
3/4 to 1 cup Cocoa Powder
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Salt
Warm the coconut oil in the microwave (coconut oil will transform from the solid form to a liquid one at temperatures above 75 degrees F ). This usually takes about 1 minute. Add the Honey and mix. I just use a whisk instead of a mixer so there is less to clean-up when you are done. Add the Vanilla Extract, salt and then the Cocoa Powder. Whisk until well blended and smooth. Pour the mixture into a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place in the freezer for about 1/2 to 1 hour. Break the chocolate into large pieces, put into a freezer bag and store in the freezer. Take out as needed. The chocolate will soften quickly so you can eat it as soon as you take it out of the freezer. Sometimes I add 1/2 cup of peanut butter if I want to increase Sarah’s protein intake. Yum.
Original Recipe link: https://agelesswomanliving.com/chocolate-bliss-truffles/
Two types of coconut oil are on the market: unrefined and refined. The label for unrefined coconut oil normally reads “virgin” or “extra virgin,” may read “raw,” and most often also reads “organic.” The unrefined oils are usually pressed from freshly harvested coconuts and usually are not exposed to high levels of heat. Refined coconut oil is made from dried coconut flesh and may pick up mold or off-flavors in the drying process so it needs to be refined to be palatable. I use the brand “Tropical Life” which is unrefined, extra virgin, organic, expeller pressed and with no trans or hydrogenated fats. I buy my coconut oil at Walmart.
Any treatment has risks and benefits so make sure you check with your physician or pharmacist before starting this dietary intervention.
Again, I do not know how long this improvement in Sarah’s Alzheimer’s will last, but I know that each day we have together is a Blessing.
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, NIV.