Alzheimer’s Dementia: Shining the Spotlight on Coconut Oil & Ketones

Coconuts and Coconut Oil

Hello to Those Who Have Seen the Light on Alzheimer’s Dementia

As an early adopter of the low carb lifestyle, you are aglow with better health while most others are still in the dark. They are blindly following the health care “experts” down the road toward heart disease, obesity, arthritis, and diabetes.

Now you can add to that list: Alzheimer’s Disease.

In the past few years, scientists have discovered that a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia is insulin resistance. In fact, some researchers are now referring to Alzheimer’s Disease as type 3 diabetes, an illness that affects only the brain. People who suffer from this condition are unable to accept glucose into their brain cells (neurons) and as a result, those cells starve.

There is a simple, natural treatment for this – ketones derived from coconut oil.

Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 29-Ounce JarDo you know the mental lucidity that comes to you on about the fourth day of doing a very low carb diet? This happens because your brain begins to run on ketones for fuel – instead of glucose.

Just imagine if we could impart a fraction of that ketone clarity to people with dementia. I’ve seen how coconut oil can bring people who have lived in mental isolation and darkness back into the world of sociability and light.

I want to enlighten the millions of Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers throughout the world regarding the benefits of using coconut oil to feed their brains. What follows is a detailed explanation of how scientists believe ketogenic diets work, and how ketones are putting the sparkle back in the eyes of dementia patients.

The Alzheimer's Coconut Connection Campaign
The Alzheimer’s Coconut Connection Campaign

My passion is getting this information to the people who desperately need it, through a simple, layman-friendly, freely distributed short video. My husband Keith (a video producer) and I are raising money on a crowdfunding site to make such a video. Our Indiegogo campaign has a short time left to raise the funds we need to make this happen. You can find it at:

The above site contains a great deal of information, so even if you don’t plan to donate, it’s worth looking at. Okay, I promise – the sales pitch is over. Here’s the science of how this works.

Insulin Resistance and Alzheimer’s Dementia

Many of you may be familiar with insulin resistance. This is the condition that leads to type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome and metabolic syndrome (the trifecta of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and central obesity).

Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas in response to rising blood sugar, usually from eating carbohydrates. It acts as a sort of key to allow glucose (blood sugar) to travel through cell membranes and provide energy for each cell in the body. When an individual takes in too many carbs (especially simple, refined carbs) the pancreas releases way more insulin than is needed. The bloodstream is flooded with keys all attempting to fit in the locks (insulin receptors) on the cell membranes. With all of these keys repeatedly jamming up against them, the receptors shut down and don’t allow any of the insulin molecules to do their job. Glucose cannot enter the cells and continues floating around in the bloodstream, unused, causing damage to many systems in the body.

Insulin is also involved with a specialized type of cell membrane called the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The BBB lines the tiny capillaries which supply blood to the brain. This barrier protects the brain from harmful substances, essentially keeping the body circulation and the brain circulation separate. The BBB has receptors that regulate the flow of insulin through it. When there is too much insulin in the bloodstream, this membrane becomes resistant and shuts down, depriving the brain of insulin molecules. Therefore, the higher the level of insulin in the body, the lower the level of insulin in the brain. At the same time, glucose passes freely through the BBB, flooding the brain. Without enough insulin in the brain, neurons are unable to accept that glucose. High circulating levels of glucose in the brain are thought to be responsible for the neuron damage found in many patients with dementia. Their brains are not getting enough nourishment to function and repair themselves, so their brains actually shrink.

This is a dire situation. But there may be a solution. Ketones are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and provide energy to neurons without the need for insulin to facilitate their passage.

Alzheimer’s Dementia: Ketones as Fuel

There are three situations in which our bodies can make ketones: when we are experiencing starvation, when we are eating less than 15 grams of carbohydrates per day and when we ingest medium-chain triglycerides.

Ketogenesis – the human body makes energy from its own fat stores

The first method, ketogenesis, is a built-in mechanism whereby the human body can make energy from its own fat stores. This happens when the body has been deprived of food for more than three or four days. Once the stores of glycogen in the liver have been used up (these are turned into glucose during those first three days of starvation), the body turns to its stores of fat. These fat molecules (triglycerides) are transported to the liver where some of them are broken down into ketone bodies, which are then released into the bloodstream. They then travel to all parts of the body, including the brain, to provide energy at the cellular level. This adaptation has enabled our species to survive even through times of famine. Pretty neat system… if you’re starving.

The Ketogenic Diet

The second way ketones can be generated is through a high fat, low carb, adequate-protein diet – sound familiar? This “ketogenic” diet was often prescribed for epileptic patients before the advent of anti-seizure medications. Each meal had to be precisely balanced to deliver the right proportion of nutrients: 90 percent of calories from fat, 8 percent from protein (just enough to prevent muscle wasting) and only 2 percent from carbohydrates. Very strict, indeed.

Although people with Alzheimer’s Disease or Alzheimer’s Dementia would probably benefit from a ketogenic diet (or starvation, for that matter), it would be unrealistic to expect your 85-year-old grandmother to adopt a drastic new diet or even to give up her morning oatmeal ritual. But, we can tweak it a little – simply by adding a spoonful of coconut oil to her favorite breakfast each day.

Alzheimer’s Dementia: Coconut Oil and Ketones

The third and easiest way for our bodies to make ketones is by consuming medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are a special type of saturated fat found in many foods, including human breast milk, infant formulas, palm kernel oil, and full-fat cow and goat dairy products. The food with the highest concentration of MCTs by far is coconut oil – it is comprised of 60% MCTs.

Unlike long-chain triglycerides (found in most other fats and oils), medium-chain triglycerides are absorbed easily from your intestines (they don’t even require bile or enzymes for digestion), are transported directly to the liver and there can be converted into ketones. Once in the bloodstream, ketones can travel directly to feed your brain.

It doesn’t take much coconut oil to make a big difference.

It is recommended that you start at 1 – 2 teaspoons per day and gradually increase to 2 1/2 Tablespoons per day for maximum effect. Minor side effects are experienced by some – mostly gastrointestinal upset or occasional diarrhea. This is primarily due to the “die-off” of yeast or candida in your gut. Yet another benefit of coconut oil – it’s antifungal!

So, what are you waiting for – go get some coconut oil and feed your brain! (Of course, as with any dietary supplement, it’s best to check with your doctor before starting.)

While I was researching coconut oil and Alzheimer’s treatment and prevention, I found the following books extremely helpful.

Alzheimer’s Disease – What If There Was a Cure?

Alzheimer's Disease: What If There Was a Cure?: The Story of Ketones

Alzheimer’s Disease – What If There Was a Cure? by Mary T. Newport, MD

This is a firsthand account of Dr. Newport’s efforts to help her husband Steve who suffers from early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Their remarkable story is one of many testimonials to the effectiveness of coconut oil as a treatment for Alzheimer’s Dementia. The book also contains great discussions of the science behind ketone therapy, and best of all, wonderful recipes! I’m grateful and honored that Dr. Newport has agreed to be interviewed for our video.

Stop Alzheimer’s Now!

Stop Alzheimer's Now, Second Edition

Stop Alzheimer’s Now! by Bruce Fife, ND

Dr. Fife has long extolled the beneficial properties of coconut oil in his many books. His latest work is a well-researched, easy-to-understand explanation of the causes of neurodegenerative diseases and how nutritional therapy, including coconut oil, can help reverse them. It’s a great read!

Our video is not meant to replace these books, but is our own contribution to this growing alternative movement.

We all know somebody who has the unrelenting task of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease or who is starting to slip into the shadows of dementia themselves. Please reach out to them and share this life-altering information.

I especially wish to thank Dana Carpender, my Low Carb Guru, who taught me that it isn’t always easy to fight the medical establishment, but it sure is worth it – not only to assure my own good health but to influence the health of others for the better.

In my next article I will share some easy ways to incorporate coconut oil into your diet; how best to cook with it and some of my own recipes.


Vicki Cash, RN, BSN is a Registered Nurse and long-time low carber, and as such has more than usual insight into the health benefits of carb restriction and ketogenic diets.

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