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A member asked:

is there any science behind the "ketones for alzheimer's" concept? (will eating coconut oil help?) i am very anxious about alzheimer's disease. my mother, her sister and my cousin have all come down with it by their late eighties. every time i can't t

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Herbert Krob
Neurology 29 years experience
Ketones : Ketones are a family of organic molecules that are formed when fats are broken down. They can be used by the brain for energy when glucose, from carbohydrates, are in short supply. Diets that have almost no carbohydrate, in which the energy for the body is derived almost completely from fat, are called ketogenic. Ketogenic diets are very challenging to maintain. Ketogenic diets have been used for 80 years in the treatment of epilepsy. There is some evidence (on the weak side) supporting the role of the ketogenic diet in Alzheimer's disease and parkinson disease. Compared to the role of ketogenic diets, there is as good or better evidence to support the role of continued physical and mental activity, control of diabetes, control of obesity, and avoidance of bad habits like smoking in reducing the risk of dementia.
Dr. Ladislav Volicer
Geriatric Psychiatry 62 years experience
Possibly: There is an anecdotal evidence about coconut oil helping in alzheimer§s disease but no real research has been done. There is a medical diet called axona that is based on the same idea of providing ketones to the brain. A research study showed that it caused some improvement but only in apolipoprotein 4 negative people.
Dr. Ed Friedlander
Pathology 44 years experience
I'm sorry: One article in Br J Nutr 2011 from a Thai medical school that I'd never heard of, done on rats with a "theory" that I was not able to follow and results simply too good to be true. No follow up, and not reproduced by any other group. Anywhere in the world. Sorry.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016
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