Oil from coconuts that could lower your risk for dementia – expert

Alzheimers Research UK explain 'what is dementia?'

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Dementia is a devastating diagnosis for both the patient and their loved ones. Commonly associated with getting older, it is a group of symptoms associated with a decline in brain function. This can result in issues with memory, behaviour and mobility.

Currently there is no known cure for dementia, however, there are certain factors that can minimise your risk.

It is often cited that a healthy, balanced diet – such as a Mediterranean diet – could help keep your brain in good working condition for longer.

However, one expert recommended a specific type of oil that can be incorporated into your diet to boost cognitive function.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, resident nutrition expert from Goldster – Claudia le Feuvre – explained the benefits of MCT oil.

She said: “Studies show that taking MCT oil can increase brain energy, by up to nine percent.

“MCT oil is extracted from coconut oil and can be incorporated into your diet by adding a spoonful into your smoothies or replacing the olive oil on your salad dressings.

“Not only is MCT oil helpful for brain health, it is also a good source of energy and can help manage conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.”

What does the research say?

Her claims were backed by various research papers.

One study, published in Nutrition journal in 2013, trialled the use of MCT on eight adults over a four-week period.

More specifically they consumed an MCT supplement four times a day totalling 20 grams for one week, and 30 grams a day for three weeks.

It concluded: “This MCT supplementation protocol was mildly and safely ketogenic and had no side effects in healthy humans on their regular diet.

“This degree of ketonemia is estimated to contribute up to eight to nine percent of brain energy metabolism.”

A more recent study, published in Alzheimer’s and Dementia journal in 2022, analysed the used of MCT oil on 20 people with Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia.

On average the participants consumed 1.8 tablespoons (25 grams) of MCT oil a day.

Over the course of either six or 12 months, 80 percent of subjects showed “stabilisation or improvement in cognition”.

It was hypothesised that this was due to chemicals known as ketones, which can be found in MCT oil.

The study said: “Given the paucity of new therapeutic options for Alzheimer’s disease treatment, it is increasingly urgent to explore other therapeutic options.

“The expanding basic science and clinical research highlighting the physiological and clinical basis for efficacy of ketone supplementation, raises an intriguing and hopeful new therapeutic addition for Alzheimer’s disease dementia treatment.”

Common early symptoms of dementia include:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Finding it hard to carry out familiar daily tasks
  • Struggling to follow a conversation or find the right word
  • Being confused about time and place
  • Mood changes.

If you think you or someone you know has dementia you should arrange an appointment with a GP.

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