ChiroACCESS Article



Breakthrough in Alzheimer’s and Dementia?



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ChiroACCESS Editorial Staff

  

ChiroACCESS



Published on

February 3, 2012

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Coconut oil, once thought to be harmful due to elevating cholesterol levels, actually has numerous positive influences on human health.  While pure non hydrogenated coconut oil does in fact raise cholesterol levels it is the good (HDL) cholesterol that is influenced.  Although there is little evidence at this point to support it, some leading researchers believe that Alzheimer’s, dementia and possible ALS, ADHD and other central nervous system impairments can be helped with the use of pure coconut oil.

Glucose is the primary nutritional source for brain cells.  Some conditions impair the body’s ability to utilize glucose and as a consequence brain cells do not function optimally and will ultimately die.  Recent research along with antidotal testimonials suggest that the median chain triglycerides can provide a source of ketone to brain cells that acts as an alternative to glucose.  Some patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia have seen improvement in cognitive, emotional and physical function with the use of pure coconut oil.

View a video report on coconut here.

Note:  These mini-reviews are designed as updates and direct the reader to the full text of current research.  The abstracts presented here are no substitute for reading and critically reviewing the full text of the original research.  Where permitted we will direct the reader to that full text.

Coconut (Cocos nucifera L.: Arecaceae): in health promotion and disease prevention.  [Link]

Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2011 Mar;4(3):241-7. Epub 2011 Apr 12.

DebMandal M, Mandal S.
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, KPC Medical College and Hospital, Jadavpur, Kolkata-700 032, India.

Coconut, Cocos nucifera L., is a tree that is cultivated for its multiple utilities, mainly for its nutritional and medicinal values. The various products of coconut include tender coconut water, copra, coconut oil, raw kernel, coconut cake, coconut toddy, coconut shell and wood based products, coconut leaves, coir pith etc. Its all parts are used in someway or another in the daily life of the people in the traditional coconut growing areas. It is the unique source of various natural products for the development of medicines against various diseases and also for the development of industrial products. The parts of its fruit like coconut kernel and tender coconut water have numerous medicinal properties such as antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, antidermatophytic, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective, immunostimulant. Coconut water and coconut kernel contain microminerals and nutrients, which are essential to human health, and hence coconut is used as food by the peoples in the globe, mainly in the tropical countries. The coconut palm is, therefore, eulogised as 'Kalpavriksha' (the all giving tree) in Indian classics, and thus the current review describes the facts and phenomena related to its use in health and disease prevention.


Formulation, stability, and administration of parenteral nutrition with new lipid emulsions.  [Link]

Nutr Clin Pract. 2009 Oct-Nov;24(5):616-25.

Hardy G, Puzovic M.
Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, Boyle Crescent, Auckland PB 92019, New Zealand. g.hardy@auckland.ac.nz

Intravenous lipid emulsions (IVLE) are an important source of energy and essential fatty acids and their incorporation into pediatric and adult parenteral nutrition (PN) regimens has revolutionized nutrition therapy. However, their clinical use has not been without risk, and will continue to remain so because of the intravenous route of administration. Pharmaceutical and microbiological concerns are centered around the methods of compounding all-in-one (AIO) admixtures, but these can be largely minimized with today's technologies and advanced understanding of aseptic principles. Modern lipid products, based on olive, coconut, and/or fish oils, have demonstrable formulation and clinical benefits over traditional soybean and safflower IVLE and, when combined in the new multi-chamber bags, can also offer improvements in stability and safety. This review outlines the rationale for different lipid formulations in PN admixtures, reviews the factors influencing stability and efficacy of lipid-based AIO regimens and evaluates some technologies for minimizing peroxidation and maximizing stability of AIO admixtures.


The antimicrobial activity of liposomal lauric acids against Propionibacterium acnes.  [Link]

Biomaterials. 2009 Oct;30(30):6035-40. Epub 2009 Aug 8.

Yang D, Pornpattananangkul D, Nakatsuji T, Chan M, Carson D, Huang CM, Zhang L.
Department of Nanoengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.

This study evaluated the antimicrobial activity of lauric acid (LA) and its liposomal derivatives against Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), the bacterium that promotes inflammatory acne. First, the antimicrobial study of three free fatty acids (lauric acid, palmitic acid and oleic acid) demonstrated that LA gives the strongest bactericidal activity against P. acnes. However, a setback of using LA as a potential treatment for inflammatory acne is its poor water solubility. Then the LA was incorporated into a liposome formulation to aid its delivery to P. acnes. It was demonstrated that the antimicrobial activity of LA was not only well maintained in its liposomal derivatives but also enhanced at low LA concentration. In addition, the antimicrobial activity of LA-loaded liposomes (LipoLA) mainly depended on the LA loading concentration per single liposomes. Further study found that the LipoLA could fuse with the membranes of P. acnes and release the carried LA directly into the bacterial membranes, thereby killing the bacteria effectively. Since LA is a natural compound that is the main acid in coconut oil and also resides in human breast milk and liposomes have been successfully and widely applied as a drug delivery vehicle in the clinic, the LipoLA developed in this work holds great potential of becoming an innate, safe and effective therapeutic medication for acne vulgaris and other P. acnes associated diseases.


Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity.  [Link]

Lipids. 2009 Jul;44(7):593-601. Epub 2009 May 13.

Assunção ML, Ferreira HS, dos Santos AF, Cabral CR Jr, Florêncio TM.
Faculdade de Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Alagoas, Maceió, AL 57072-970, Brazil.

The effects of dietary supplementation with coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting waist circumferences (WC) >88 cm (abdominal obesity) were investigated. The randomised, double-blind, clinical trial involved 40 women aged 20-40 years. Groups received daily dietary supplements comprising 30 mL of either soy bean oil (group S; n = 20) or coconut oil (group C; n = 20) over a 12-week period, during which all subjects were instructed to follow a balanced hypocaloric diet and to walk for 50 min per day. Data were collected 1 week before (T1) and 1 week after (T2) dietary intervention. Energy intake and amount of carbohydrate ingested by both groups diminished over the trial, whereas the consumption of protein and fibre increased and lipid ingestion remained unchanged. At T1 there were no differences in biochemical or anthropometric characteristics between the groups, whereas at T2 group C presented a higher level of HDL (48.7 +/- 2.4 vs. 45.00 +/- 5.6; P = 0.01) and a lower LDL:HDL ratio (2.41 +/- 0.8 vs. 3.1 +/- 0.8; P = 0.04). Reductions in BMI were observed in both groups at T2 (P < 0.05), but only group C exhibited a reduction in WC (P = 0.005). Group S presented an increase (P < 0.05) in total cholesterol, LDL and LDL:HDL ratio, whilst HDL diminished (P = 0.03). Such alterations were not observed in group C. It appears that dietetic supplementation with coconut oil does not cause dyslipidemia and seems to promote a reduction in abdominal obesity.


Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis.  [Link]

Dermatitis. 2008 Nov-Dec;19(6):308-15.

Verallo-Rowell VM, Dillague KM, Syah-Tjundawan BS.
Skin and Cancer Foundation, Pasig, Philippines. vmvrmd@gmail.com

BACKGROUND: Atopic dermatitis (AD) skin is dry and readily colonized by Staphylococcus aureus (SA). Coconut and olive oils are traditionally used to moisturize and treat skin infections.

OBJECTIVE: To compare virgin coconut oil (VCO) and virgin olive oil (VOO) in moisturizing dryness and removing SA from colonized AD skin.

METHODS: This was a double-blind controlled trial in two outpatient dermatology clinics with adult AD patients who were diagnosed by history, pattern, evolution, and skin lesions and who were randomized to apply VCO or VOO twice daily at two noninfected sites. SA cultures, photography, and objective-SCORAD severity index (O-SSI) scoring were done at baseline and after 4 weeks.

RESULTS: Twenty-six subjects each received VCO or VOO. Of those on VCO, 20 were positive for SA colonies at baseline versus 12 on VOO. Post intervention, only 1 (5%) VCO subject remained positive versus 6 (50%) of those on VOO. Relative risk for VCO was 0.10, significantly superior to that for VOO (10:1, p = .0028; 95% CI, 0.01-0.73); thus, the number needed to treat was 2.2. For the O-SSI, the difference was not significant at baseline (p = .15) but was significantly different post treatment (p = .004); this was reduced for both oils (p < .005) but was greater with VCO.

CONCLUSION: VCO and monolaurin's O-SSI reduction and in vitro broad-spectrum activity against SA (given clinical validity here), fungi, and viruses may be useful in the proactive treatment of AD colonization.


Effects of a saturated fat and high cholesterol diet on memory and hippocampal morphology in the middle-aged rat.  [Link]

J Alzheimers Dis. 2008 Jun;14(2):133-45.

Granholm AC, Bimonte-Nelson HA, Moore AB, Nelson ME, Freeman LR, Sambamurti K.
Department of Neurosciences and the Center on Aging, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA. granholm@musc.edu

Diets rich in cholesterol and/or saturated fats have been shown to be detrimental to cognitive performance. Therefore, we fed a cholesterol (2%) and saturated fat (hydrogenated coconut oil, Sat Fat 10%) diet to 16-month old rats for 8 weeks to explore the effects on the working memory performance of middle-aged rats. Lipid profiles revealed elevated plasma triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL, and LDL for the Sat-Fat group as compared to an iso-caloric control diet (12% soybean oil). Weight gain and food consumption were similar in both groups. Sat-Fat treated rats committed more working memory errors in the water radial arm maze, especially at higher memory loads. Cholesterol, amyloid-beta peptide of 40 (Abeta40) or 42 (Abeta42) residues, and nerve growth factor in cortical regions was unaffected, but hippocampal Map-2 staining was reduced in rats fed a Sat-Fat diet, indicating a loss of dendritic integrity. Map-2 reduction correlated with memory errors. Microglial activation, indicating inflammation and/or gliosis, was also observed in the hippocampus of Sat-Fat fed rats. These data suggest that saturated fat, hydrogenated fat and cholesterol can profoundly impair memory and hippocampal morphology.
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