Coconut Oil in Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease

Coconut Oil in Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease

TAKE-HOME MESSAGE

  • Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a complex  disease  that  progresses  over  many  years,  such  as diabetes,  heart  disease  and  other  chronic
  • A number of factors may increase or decrease an individual’s chances of developing the AD, including age, genetics, environment, lifestyle and metabolic diseases.
  • Coconut may be beneficial in the treatment of obesity, dyslipidemia, elevated LDL, insulin resistance and hypertension – these are the risk factors for CVD, type 2 diabetes and also for AD

Abstract

Coconut Oil in Prevention of Alzheimer’s DiseaseCoconut, Cocos nucifera L., is a tree that is cultivated to provide a large number of products, although it is mainly grown for its nutritional and medicinal values. Coconut oil, derived from the coconut fruit, has been recognised historically as containing high levels of saturated fat; however, closer scrutiny suggests that coconut should be regarded more favourably. Unlike most other dietary fats that are high in long-chain fatty acids, coconut oil comprises medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA). MCFA are unique in that they are easily absorbed and metabolised by the liver, and can be converted to ketones. Ketone bodies are an important alternative energy source in the brain, and may be beneficial to people developing or already with memory impairment, as in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Coconut is classified as a highly  nutritious  ‘functional  food’.  It  is  rich  in  dietary  fibre,  vitamins  and  minerals;  however,  notably,  evidence  is  mounting  to support the concept that coconut may be beneficial in the treatment of obesity, dyslipidaemia, elevated LDL, insulin resistance and hypertension – these are the risk factors for CVD and type 2 diabetes, and also for AD. In addition, phenolic compounds and hormones (cytokinins) found in coconut may assist in preventing the aggregation of amyloid-b peptide, potentially inhibiting a key step in the pathogenesis of AD. The purpose of the present review was to explore the literature related to coconut, outlining the known mechanistic physiology, and to discuss the potential role of coconut supplementation as a therapeutic option in the prevention and management of AD.

Citation

WM Fernando, Ian Martins, KG Gooze, Charles Brennan, Vijay Jayasena, RN Martins.The role of dietary coconut for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease: Potential mechanisms of action. The British journal of nutrition (Impact Factor: 3.45). 05/2015; Epub ahead of print(01):1-14. DOI: 10.1017/S0007114515001452

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