Coconut oil may improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease

Credit: Tijana Drndarski / Unsplash

A team of scientists from the Catholic University of Valencia in Spain recently conducted a study to examine the potential cognitive benefits of a Mediterranean diet enriched with coconut oil in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s is a common neurodegenerative disorder, and new treatments are urgently needed.

The Mediterranean diet is a dietary pattern that is inspired by the traditional eating habits of people who live near the Mediterranean Sea.

It emphasizes the consumption of foods such as olive oil, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fish, while limiting the intake of non-fish meat.

This dietary pattern has been linked to various health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Coconut oil, which is derived from the meat, milk, and wick of the coconut palm fruit, is a rich source of saturated fat.

It has been previously found to have potential health benefits, including improved fat burning, reduced hunger, and even seizure reduction.

In the current study, the researchers hypothesized that ketone bodies obtained from coconut oil could provide a direct source of cellular energy and may be a potential alternative treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

To test this hypothesis, the team enrolled 44 patients with Alzheimer’s disease and divided them into two groups.

One group followed a coconut oil-enriched Mediterranean diet for 21 days, while the other group served as the control.

The researchers assessed the cognitive function of the participants before and after the intervention.

They found that the participants who followed the coconut oil-enriched Mediterranean diet exhibited improved recall of personal experiences, concepts, and knowledge, as well as improved time perception.

These cognitive improvements were more evident in women with mild-moderate severity of Alzheimer’s disease, although other improvements were also observed in men and those with severe Alzheimer’s disease.

While the study has limitations, such as the small sample size and potential differences in the effects of coconut oil on men and women and those with different severities of Alzheimer’s disease, it provides promising evidence that a coconut oil-enriched Mediterranean diet may have cognitive benefits for patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

The study was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and was conducted by José Enrique de la Rubia Ortí et al.

If you care about brain health, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and Choline may play a critical role in treating Alzheimer’s.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about diabetes drug that may also help prevent Alzheimer’s, and this stuff in your nose may trigger Alzheimer’s disease.

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