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Lisa Gustavson

Blueberries and coconut oil

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Can people who have a history of kidney stones eat blueberries w/o increasing risk of recurrence?

And does coconut oil have a neuroprotective effect? -- is it worth a try even if the evidence isn't in?

Many, many thanks to Kathrynne.

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There isn't complete agreement on whether to restrict oxalate-containing foods for those with a history of oxalate kidney stones. However, it is pretty generally accepted that such foods, including blueberries, do not pose a problem and in fact may bind with calcium and help to prevent stone formation.

 

However, there are other types of stones, such as uric acid stones, and your doctor will need to work with you to determine whether dietary restrictions are needed.

 

Regarding coconut oil, I haven't seen any research specific to Parkinson's disease. There are some studies indicating in might improve memory and learning and thus be of use in Alzheimer's disease; but the research is animal-based, not on humans. Researchers have long been concerned because it is a saturated fat, and saturated fats have been thought to cause heart disease. More recent study, however, has not found a strong connection between saturated fats and heart disease; further, coconut oil is a "medium-chain triglyceride," which has different properties than other saturated fats.

 

My own thinking is that the various parts of coconut have been used for centuries in tropical countries, and are highly regarded for health. Whether it 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, in time, learn that it has unrealized benefits.

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HI Ms. Holden,

What is the difference between Cocunut milk and coconut oil?

What would you consider moderate coconut oil consumption for a PD patient?

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Coconut oil is a solid fat, about as solid as butter, extracted from the coconut meat.

 

Coconut milk is a liquid, also derived from the coconut meat but much lower in fat.

 

Moderate consumption would be around 2-4 teaspoons per day. If you omit other sources of fat, such as butter, then you might increase by another 2-3 teaspoons. I would not increase too much -- although it is a beneficial fat, so is extra-virgin olive oil, yet both are still high in calories.

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