Q: My husband, whos been on medication for early Alzheimers, went to the emergency room for an unrelated ailment, and the ER doctor told him he should stop taking his Alzheimers drugs and switch to coconut oil. Is this good advice?


Answer :You should never stop taking any medication without checking with your own physician. As for coconut oil, its touted as a source of caprylic acid, which the body breaks down into ketone bodies thought to provide an alternative energy source for brain cells that have lost their ability to use glucose (sugar) as a result of Alzheimers. Glucose is the brains chief energy source, and imaging studies show reduced glucose use in brain regions affected by Alzheimers. Small clinical studies of an experimental treatment based on capryilic acid were initially promising (most participants were also taking FDA-approved Alzheimers drugs). But the manufacturer opted to skip larger followup trials and instead market its product as a medical food. The Alzheimers Association Medical and Scientific Advisory Council has expressed concern that there is not enough evidence to assess the potential benefit of medical foods for Alzheimers disease.

According to the Alzheimers Association www.alz.org, Some people with Alzheimers and their caregivers have turned to coconut oil as a less expensive, over-the-counter source of caprylic acid. A few people have reported that coconut oil helped the person with Alzheimers, but theres never been any clinical testing of coconut oil for Alzheimers, and theres no scientific evidence that it helps.


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