We received some information from one of our suppliers today and I wanted to share it with you. Many of you will already be aware of the benefits of coconut oil in skin care, in weight management and in hair care but there is evidence to suggest that coconut might have further positive effects on brain health. There is a lot of talk in the media suggesting that coconut oil can prevent or even treat Alzheimer’s disease. The claims have to do with ketones.
Ketones are produced in the body as it converts fat into energy. The primary source of energy for the brain is glucose. In Alzheimer’s disease, it’s believed that brain cells have difficulty processing glucose. Some researchers describe Alzheimer’s as a form of ‘diabetes of the brain’ where the brain effectively runs out of fuel. The theory is that ketones may provide an alternative fuel source to keep the brain nourished.
In the USA, a GP Dr Mary Newport was trying to find something to help her husband Steve who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Dr Newport recognised that ketones are metabolised in the liver after you eat medium chain triglycerides, found in coconut oil and she added coconut oil to her husband’s diet and monitored his symptoms.
She was shocked and surprised to witness a marked improvement in his motor skills, his emotional and cognitive response. She said: “He was not able to run. He was able to run again. He could not read for about a year and a half, but after two or three months he was able to read. Instead of being very sluggish, not talking very much in the morning, he would come out in the morning with energy, talkative, and joking.”
Dr Newport documented Steve’s progress in a book titled, Alzheimer’s Disease: What if there was a cure?
Some people are concerned about fats in the diet, and are scared to eat coconut oil because it is a saturated fat. Saturated fats from animals are considered bad for the heart, but the saturated fat in coconut oil is medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs have a beneficial role in the body promoting heart health, increased metabolism, with anti-fungal and other health-promoting properties. Coconut oil can be heated to high temperatures without creating dangerous trans-fats.
Just make sure you choose a raw, virgin, organic coconut oil. In other words a pure, non-hydrogenated source.
Always work with your GP or consultant when embarking on a new dietary regimen when taking prescribed medication or after diagnosis of a serious health condition.
For more information about nutritional support for cognitive function contact Technical Services at Viridian Nutrition, [email protected].
Nootropics is the term given to drugs, foods, food supplements and other elements that may help boost cognitive function, mental alertness, memory, concentration, academic prowess, brain power and overall intelligence.
A news feature on Radio Four recently discussed the use of “human enhancers” which it is believed, will become increasingly common in the next decade and we need to consider the moral, legal and practical ramifications, especially for the workplace. Professor Genevra Richardson, who chaired the working group which produced the report, explained that it is not known what the effects are if the performance-boosting drugs are taken long term.
It may shock or surprise parents, but one survey of Cambridge students found that 10 per cent admit to using cognitive enhancers to help with their work, while a study of American students put the figure at 16 per cent, according to the Daily Telegraph – many of these drugs have dangerous side-effects.
Nutritionists and dieticians know that diet, lifestyle and certain supplements can offer safe and effective cognitive improvement – without the potential side-effects.
Being overweight has implications in brain impairment, as free radicals are triggered and generate oxidative stress in the brain. A high adherence to the so-called Mediterranean diet has been associated with slower cognitive decline, with reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment conversion to Alzheimer’s disease and with reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease. There is some evidence that exercise can improve mental functioning amongst other benefits.
Anecdotally, taking a slow-carb breakfast and drinking water at regular intervals can boost concentration and improve test results.
In other research, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other supplements to help support cognitive function have generated considerable interest.
Brain health, mental performance, efficient thinking and speedy wit are all valued by employers and enhance potential for promotion. Phosphatidyl serine, acetyl l-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, L-theanine, ginkgo biloba, co-enzyme Q10, the B-complex vitamins, rhodiola rosea and essential fatty acids have all been researched in regards to mental performance and brain enhancement.
We sell coconut oil in the online shop:
Delivery is free in Ireland for orders over €50 euro.