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Coconut Oil


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#1 miracleseeker

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 10:20 AM

Hi K,

 

What do you know about this for improving the mind?  Do you think it's worth trying?  I've read some popular posting by a woman who gave this to her husband with alzheimer's and he was doing much better.  Quite frankly I'm more interested in natural foods for healing then evil meds that causes side effects.



#2 Kathrynne Holden, MS

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 05:59 PM

I'm extremely interested in that topic; I have read and noted that same article, and it has spurred some research on use of coconut oil for cognition. However, the only human study so far was on college students; the rest are animal studies. It has been studied with regard to diabetes, heart disease and atherosclerosis, and it appears to improve health.

Whether it improves cognition, or is protective for those with PD, remains to be seen; however,I know of no reason to think moderate consumption of coconut oil would be harmful, and we may eventually learn that it is beneficial. You might consider starting with a teaspoon per day, and if it's accepted, work up to one or two tablespoonfuls daily. Let us know the results.


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#3 noah

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 06:16 PM

What kind of coconut oil would one get.? I thought coconut oil was a sat fat and one to avoid. What kind of store would carry this?

#4 Kathrynne Holden, MS

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 06:24 PM

You would want to look for 'virgin coconut oil.' Yes, it is a saturated fat; however, a) saturated fat has been under study lately and it has been determined not to be quite the bad guy that was previously thought; and B) it is composed of a different kind of saturated fat, called 'medium chain triglycerides' (MCTs). MCTs are digested quite differently, and can be beneficial -- some tube feedings use MCTs, for example.

 

Many large grocery stores now carry virgin coconut oil; and most health food stores. I've even seen it in Sam's Club.


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#5 New normal

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 03:40 PM

Shortly after dx w/PD, I started taking coconut oil. I take two tablespoons per day. I use the virgin semi solid. I melt it and drink it. It improves my tremors and muscle stiffness significantly. I notice improvement cognitively as well. I am able to reduce levodopa/carbidopa by 1/2. I am not a medical professional , and offer this info as anecdotal basis only.
Dx'd 6/13. Age: 67 mono therapy carbidopa/l dopa 50/200 4x daily
Normal DaT scan, normal MRI

#6 Kathrynne Holden, MS

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 06:05 PM

Thank you for your contribution. Many people have questions regarding use of coconut oil, and I have encountered very few with first-hand experience. I continue to hope for good research on this topic, applicable to PD; meantime, I appreciate comments from those with personal knowledge.


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#7 miracleseeker

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 04:06 PM

i just got back from Ralphs and saw coconut oil on the shelves where the cooking oil is displayed.  A small jar was $8.  WOW!  How long will that last if I were to give that to my mom at 2 tablespoon per day.  I don't even know if it will work and not upset her stomach and let's say it does work some but when will it start working? 



#8 noah

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 05:10 PM

How would you suggest starting it? Would you drink it add it to food ect? Are you aware of any side effects?


As always thank you for your help

#9 Kathrynne Holden, MS

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 05:33 PM

I can't help wondering why it is so expensive, as coconuts are plentiful and renewable. Plus, it's desirable to use "virgin coconut oil" for its processing method. I have seen it much less expensive at Costco and Sam's Club, if either of those are available to you.

 

With your mom's background, if you do try it, I would not start at two tablespoons a day, but more like a teaspoon or two, just to see if there is any unfavorable reaction. If not, you could gradually work up to two tablespoons daily. Also, if there is improvement, I would not expect instant results. It probably took time for your mom to reach her present state, and it's unlikely she would reverse immediately.

 

All that being said, if you wish to improve her weight as well as cognition, this could help (assuming she tolerates it). You could melt it and blend into a smoothie along with peanut butter or fruits. Then, if she tolerates it, you could gradually increase the amount, and note whether there are any positive changes. I sure wish that might be the case.


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#10 miracleseeker

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:15 PM

I could blend in into her oatmeal if she can tolerate it.  She always loved anything with coconut flavors even coconut juice straight from the coconut itself.

I will look into Coscos and see.  The bag lady at the market mentioned a friend's husband improved from Don Francisco chocolates.  She might have mistaken the brand because I couldn't find it and I do not see how chocolates could help with the brain other than make it addicted to the chocolates. haha

 

Another lady mentioned some Spanish sounding herb that would help..  Well everyone has a remedy.  The one I heard a lot about before was Huperzine A.  I don't even know where to find it. 



#11 noah

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 05:54 PM

Do u know is there a better time to take it as it relates to all the other meds?
I am thinking of trying it but all those extra calories!

#12 Kathrynne Holden, MS

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 06:55 PM

Noah, I would start with just a teaspoon for awhile, and see if you like it. You can cook with it, take it straight from the spoon, blend it into smoothies, however seems best. I haven't heard of any adverse effects; I just wish there were more human studies demonstrating effectiveness.

 

To answer your second question, it should not interfere with any PD medications -- unless you take a very large amount. Fats normally take longer to clear the stomach than carbohydrates and protein foods, so it conceivably could could stay in the stomach for awhile; then, if you took PD medications they might not be able to clear the stomach until the coconut oil had passed through. I don't know this for a fact, just speculating.


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#13 Kathrynne Holden, MS

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 06:15 PM

Miracleseeker, if she likes the flavor of coconut, then blending coconut oil into her oatmeal could be a good way to offer it to her. I'm sorry to say I haven't heard anything about chocolates, I would absolutely post it here if I do, though!

 

Huperzine A is under study for Alzheimer's disease; Dr. Weil has some information: http://www.drweil.co...ory-Remedy.html

 

I imagine good health food stores would carry it, or you could get it online at iherb.com or Vitacost; but your mom has not responded well to so many approaches that I wonder whether this would be helpful for her. But will continue to keep my fingers crossed!


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#14 miracleseeker

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 01:37 PM

Well my mom has been taking it for the 3 days now.  It is very OILY and gross.  So far nothing worth mentioning to report. 



#15 Kathrynne Holden, MS

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 06:22 PM

Well, I wouldn't expect any changes so soon. Unlike medications, which usually work very quickly, foods and herbs generally work in a supportive fashion, and take considerable time to show effects. Hopefully, she will like it and it will help her regain some weight in time. If she also experiences health benefits, that will be a bonus. Plus, it will likely take time to work up to the ideal amount that's best for her. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


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#16 miracleseeker

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 08:23 AM

Supposedly there is a lot of calories from it but I have read it can help people lose weight?  Which is it?  Also it is not the unhealthy saturated fat right?  I did some digging and Mary Newport's husband suffered a stroke or had seizures last Nov.  Dr. Newport was the woman who gave the oil to her husband that I read about.  Now I'm wondering if this is causing more harm than good?  I am only giving my mom at most 2 tablespoon a day.  It's just too greasy to take anymore.



#17 Kathrynne Holden, MS

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 06:15 PM

As always, you're asking great questions with the intent of helping your mother. But, as so often happens, there aren't black-and-white answers. Although coconut oil is under study (for a number of conditions besides dementia), we don't have evidence at this time that it can cure or relieve Alzheimer's disease; and if it did, there are other forms of dementia that would still be an unknown, needing research. Anecdotally, it appears that Steve Newport took coconut oil, had several years of improvement, then suffered a setback. Was this due because of taking coconut oil, or to an underlying condition? This is not known.

 

Regarding your other questions, indeed, coconut oil has some limited use in weight control, as it is not metabolized the same way as long-chain fats; but I wouldn't bank too heavily on this aspect unless under a doctor's supervision. Next, all pure fats contain from about 110 to 120 calories per tablespoon and coconut oil has about the same -- 116 calories per tablespoon.

 

Twelve of its 14 grams of fat are saturated. However, 1) saturated fats have come under review as not being associated with heart disease after all; and 2) the particular fat in coconut oil is "medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)," a completely different form that is used in ketogenic diets to prevent seizures, and is also used in some tube feeding formulas. I doubt that moderate amounts of coconut oil are harmful, although individuals vary a great deal in their response to any food. Whether it will help, though, cannot be determined. I believe I'd stir it into her oatmeal or a smoothie, I'm sure it is oily and distasteful to take by the spoonful. But as she has lost so many teeth and can't chew as well as she used to, this may be a way to help her maintain weight. I will be keeping my fingers crossed that she likes and accepts it and that it is helpful for her.


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#18 miracleseeker

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 09:38 PM

My mom wear partials so she can eat anything now but despite having a big appetite and she eats a ton of food daily she's not gaining any weight.   I'm still continuing the coconut oil and I have not seen any improvements in her.  If anything she seems constipated now.  It's been almost a week and every day I look for a sign of awakening from her but nothing yet.  Thanks for listening.

 

By the way the Benadryl worked.  My mom was very calm during the dental procedure which lasted just an hour.  She had 2 fillings done with no anesthesia and she ate lunch right after without any effort.  That I am very thankful for.  I just wish I knew how to bullet proof her mouth so we would never have to deal this again.

 



#19 noah

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 09:32 AM

Do you think coconut milk would have the same benefits

#20 Kathrynne Holden, MS

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 06:03 PM

Miracleseeker, so very glad to know the Benadryl worked for your mom, that's the best news I've heard in quite awhile! And so happy that she has partial dentures and improved ability to chew, it should help immensely in providing good meals for her.

 

It does happen sometimes that a person eats plenty of food, seemingly, but yet does not gain weight. I doubt the coconut oil has anything to do with that. I would continue what you're doing, maybe make smoothies with the coconut oil, peanut butter, and chocolate syrup (it seems to me she liked all three of those) with milk or soy milk if she doesn't tolerate cow's milk. You should be able to make one, divide it up into portions, freeze it, and then thaw out a portion for an in-between meal snack. You could also add malted milk powder for extra calories.

 

As I wrote earlier, I would not expect very fast effects, if at all, from coconut oil. There just isn't enough research to even know whether it is effective for folks with PD. Plus there are different kinds of dementia, and if it is in fact effective for Alzheimer's, it still could be that she experiences a different form. At any rate, despite what apparently worked for Mr. Newport, he was younger, and perhaps less advanced, and that alone could make a difference. I would just continue, increasing the amount if she tolerates it, and give it a few months for a fair trial.

 

Regarding constipation, Benefiber is often helpful, because you can stir it into mashed potato, baked beans, as well as beverages, for extra fiber. Otherwise, has her doctor suggested Miralax for her? This is designed to help people with slowed peristalsis of the colon, as happens with PD.

 

You are doing a fantastic job of caregiving, as always, and deserve a medal. I wish I could help more, I certainly would if I could.


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