According a recent book, coconut oil reduces the symptoms of Alzheimer's. Is this to good to be true? We think it is, but let's look at the science that attempts to explain how coconut oil might improve the symptoms of Alzheimer's.
It has been proposed that ketones may help treat various neurological diseases. Ketones are the byproducts of the breakdown of fat in the body. Small amounts are normal, but in cases of severe fasts, uncontrolled diabetes or a very low carbohydrate diet abnormal amounts of ketones accumulate in the blood. This is a very serious medical condition and requires urgent and vigorous treatment.
So what does this have to with Alzheimer's disease? Dr. Mary Newport, a pediatrician, wrote a book about improving Alzheimer's symptoms with coconut oil and another medium chain triglyceride MCT. The book is based on her research to improve the condition of her husband whose health was rapidly declining. Her theory, based upon her library research, was that coconut oil would raise the level of ketones in his body. Ketones in turn were a possible way to reverse or improve his neurological condition.
Dr. Newport began feeding her husband coconut oil and MCT. She reported that this improved his memory, improved his depression and reduced his walking problems. A followup MRI showed that his brain had stopped shrinking. Was it the coconut oil?
We love personal reports like this and we are impressed by the improvement in her husband's condition. Better yet the treatment did not require drugs that were either expensive or having the possibility of serious side effects. Unfortunately it will take a number of controlled studies to prove whether there is some substance in the treatment.
Of course you can try it on a family member or on yourself if you are so inclined. Otherwise we recommend that you follow the advice of the Harry Nilsson song. "Put The Lime in The Coconut" drink it all up, and call the doctor in the morning.
Monday, April 27, 2015
Sunday, April 26, 2015
The American Heart Association has proposed specific guidelines for sugar consumption. Most women should consume no more than 25 grams (about 6 teaspoons) of added sugar a day; most men no more than 37.5 grams (about 9 teaspoons) a day. This translates to no more than 100 calories of added sugar for women and no more than 150 calories for men.
Think about this. That is precious little sugar and it is so easy to exceed these limits. In factost Americans do exceed them, frequently by alot. For example a 16 ounce bottle of soda has about 44 grams (11 teaspoons) of added sugar. How many sodas do you drink a day? Even foods like yogurt and baked beans may be loaded with extra sugar, beyond the sugar naturally in them.
If you are serious about reducing your sugar intake you need to act like a detective and examine the labels on the foods that you eat. Here are a some examples of added sugar in beverages and foods.
Beverages (8 oz) Added Sugar (G)
Tea, instant, sugar sweetened 21
Cranberry juice cocktail 20
Soy milk, chocolate 10
Candies, caramel, 2.5 oz package 36
Milk chocolate candy bar 19
Vanilla pudding 4 oz 19
Canned baked beans 1 cup 15
Glazed doughnut 1.4 oz 14
If it feels to you as though you are in sugar trouble, you are not alone. Most of us are. If you are really serious about wanting to improve your health, lose weight or just plain feel better you must pay attention to the sugar trail., and greatly reduce the amount of added sugar that you consume.It will not be easy to do this since most of us are addicted to the sugar high. In the next blog we will discuss common sense actions that will give you a jump start toward defeating the sugar siren.