Coconut Oil is Brain Food
If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or one of these other degenerative neurologic diseases, consider trying coconut oil.
All About Coconut Oil
Excerpts from “COCONUT OIL DIETARY GUIDELINES AND SUGGESTIONS”
By Mary T. Newport, MD – Updated September 2009
Using Coconut Oil in the Diet
*Use coconut oil in place of any solid or liquid oil, in both baking and cooking on the stove.
*For stove top cooking, Keep cooking temperature to under 350
*Add a little olive or peanut oil to raise smoking point.
*Use in place of butter or margarine on food.
*Straight with a spoon,yet many people find it more pleasant to take with food.NUTRIENT CONTENT OF COCONUT117-120 calories per tablespoon similar to other oils.Coconut oil contains 57-60% medium chain triglycerides. These are absorbed directly without the need for digestive enzymes. The liver metabalizes part of the coconut oil in to keytones. These keytones can be used by most cells in the body for energy and this portion of them is not stored as fat.How much fat is in coconut oil?
Coconut oil is about 86% saturated fat and contains no cholesterol.
Since most of which is the medium chain fats, these are metabolized differently than animal saturated fats.
As long as the coconut oil is non-hydrogenated, it contains no transfat.
Saturated fat has the advantage that there is nowhere on the molecule for free radicals or oxidants to attach.
6% of the oil is monounsaturated and 2% polyunsaturated.
Small amounts of phytosterols are found in coconut oil.
One of the components in phytosterols is “statins”, used for lowering cholesterol.
Coconut oil contains omega-6 fatty acids but no omega-3 fatty acid, so this must be taken in addition to coconut oil.
All of the essential fatty acids required can be gotten by using just coconut oil and omega-3 fatty acids.If using coconut oil as your primary oil, the only other oil you would need is an omega-3 fatty acid.
Eating salmon twice a week, or taking fish oil or flax oil capsules, 2-3 per day is all that is needed on top of the coconut oil.
Other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are ground flax meal,
chia (a fine grain), walnut oil and walnuts.
Lauric acid is a medium chain triglyceride that makes up almost half of the coconut oil. Scientific studies show that lauric acid has antimicrobial properties and may inhibit growth of certain bacteria, fungus/yeast, viruses and protozoa.
It is one of the components of human breast milk that prevents infection in a newborn.
WHAT KIND OF COCONUT OIL SHOULD I USE?
* Use non-hydrogenated oils only, with no transfat.
– oils that are hydrogenated or superheated change the chemical structure of the fats.
* The coconut oil called “virgin,” will have a stronger coconut aroma. The “organic,” or “unrefined,” products are generally more expensive than “refined,” or “RBD” (refined, bleached and deodorized) coconut oil.
There is no taste to coconut oil.
*All forms have about the same nutrient with about 57-60% MCT oil (medium chain triglycerides.)
*Coconut oil in capsules is an expensive way to take the oil.
Each capsule contains only 1 gram of oil, whereas the oil is 14 grams per tablespoon.
WHY DOES THE COCONUT OIL LOOK “CLOUDY?”
Coconut oil is a clear or slightly yellow liquid above 76 degrees but becomes solid at 76 degrees and below.
Oil kept below 76 degrees will turn milky white in appearance and harden.
WHAT OTHER COCONUT PRODUCTS CONTAIN
Coconut milk is a combination of the oil and the water from the coconut with most of the calories coming from the oil.
Look for brands with 10 to 13 grams of fat in 2 ounces. Look in the grocery store’s Asian section. Some brands are less expensive but are
diluted with water.
Coconut cream is mostly coconut milk and sometimes has added sugar.
Flaked or grated coconut can be purchase unsweetened or sweetened.
It is a very good source of coconut oil and fiber and has about 15 grams oil and 3 grams fiber in ¼ cup.
Frozen or canned coconut meat usually has a lot of added sugar and not much oil per serving.
A fresh coconut can be cut up into pieces and eaten raw. A 2″ x 2″ piece has about 160 calories with 15 grams of oil and 4 grams of fiber.
The component in coconut oil called MCT Oil (medium chain triglycerides) can be purchased separately in higher concentration.
This stays liquid at room temperature.
Coconut water does not usually contain coconut oil, but has other health benefits (especially when turned in to coconut water Kefir).
The electrolyte composition is similar to human plasma and is useful to prevent or treat dehydration.
HOW SHOULD I STORE COCONUT PRODUCTS?
* Extremely stable with a shelf life of at least two years when stored at room temperature.
* Oil does not need to be refrigerated. It becomes hard when cold.
* To store oil in the refrigerator, measure out 1 – 2 TBSP into sections of an ice cube tray.
-it easily pops out of the tray.
* The milk is mostly coconut oil and can be substituted for the oil often.
(Make your own milk from shredded coconut by blending 1 cup coconut with 4-5 cups water. Strain through cheesecloth.)
* Keep coconut milk refrigerated after making or after opening a can- store for a few days only.
* Grated or flaked coconut can be stored at room temperature for a few weeks, but may last longer if stored in a refrigerator.
* A freshly cut up coconut can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or freezer for a couple of weeks.
(be aware ‘fresh’ coconuts are usually treated with chemicals- is why they stay white after shipping.)
WHO SHOULD TRY COCONUT OIL
People who have a neuro-degenerative diseases involving decreased glucose uptake in neurons could benefit from taking
higher amounts of coconut and/or MCT oil. Thus will produce keytones which may be used by brain cells as energy.
These diseases include Alzheimer’s and other dementias, Parkinson’s, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s), multiple sclerosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy,
autism, Down’s syndrome, and Huntington’s chorea.
Keytones can also serve as an alternative fuel for other cells in the body that are insulin resistant or cannot transport glucose.
This could potentially lessen the effects of diabetes I or II on the brain and other organs.
If you are at risk due to family history, consider making this dietary change.
If your loved one is in assisted living, the doctor may be willing to prescribe coconut oil to be given at each meal, increasing gradually.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I TAKE?
Note do not take too much too fast. Otherwise you may experience indigestion, cramping or diarrhea.
Take with food and start with 1 teaspoon coconut oil or MCT oil per meal.
Increasing amount slowly as tolerated over a week or longer.
If diarrhea develops drop back to the previous level.
For most people, the goal would be to increase gradually to 4-6 tablespoons a day,
depending on the size of the person, spread over 2-4 meals.
Mixing MCT oil and coconut oil could provide higher levels and a steady level of keytones. One formula is to mix 16 ounces MCT
oil plus 12 ounces coconut oil in a quart jar and increase slowly as tolerated, starting with 1 teaspoon. This mixture will stay liquid
at room temperature.
WHAT ABOUT CHILDREN?
Children with Down’s syndrome and some children with autism show decreased glucose uptake in parts of the brain.
Give a child about ¼ teaspoon of coconut oil for every 10 pounds that the child weighs, 2 or 3 times a day.
Coconut milk – 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons per 10 pounds weight can be added to the diet 2 or 3 times a day.
-Note: Do not add honey for children under 1 year old due to risk of infection.