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Medium Chain Triglycerides And Alzheimer’s Disease

Mct Oil: A Potential Alzheimers Treatment

Mary Newport – Medium Chain Triglycerides and Ketones: An Alternative Fuel for Alzheimer’s

One of the most promising uses for MCT oil is for treating dementia and Alzheimers disease.

Some experts now consider Alzheimers a type of diabetes of the brain when brain cells lose their ability to absorb glucose, their main source of energy, they subsequently die.

PET scans show that areas of the brain affected by Alzheimers readily take up ketones as an alternative fuel source.

While ketogenic diets can be useful for dementia and Alzheimers patients, it is notoriously difficult to get them to change their eating habits.

The use of supplemental MCT oil can provide a partial solution.

As a veteran neonatal physician, she was familiar with the use of MCT oil to feed newborns.

When her husband developed early-onset Alzheimers, she fed him a mix of MCT oil and coconut oil to fuel his brain.

She has since written a comprehensive second book, The Complete Book of Ketones: A Practical Guide to Ketogenic Diets and Ketone Supplements.

Prescription Mct Oil For Alzheimers Patients

Alzheimers patients and their caretakers may understandably be concerned about using any supplement that hasnt been recommended by their doctor.

If that is your situation, talk to your doctor about the prescription-only medical food Axona which contains a proprietary formulation of medium-chain triglycerides.

It was created to help manage mild to moderate symptoms of Alzheimers disease.

Benefits Of Mct Oil For Other Brain Disorders

MCT oil shows great potential for treating a wide range of mood and neurological disorders.

Heres a look at what the research shows so far.

A ketogenic diet plus MCT oil supplementation holds promise for treating autism.

MCTs can be helpful for depression.

Researchers have deemed coconut oil an antidepressant functional food due to its unique combination of MCTs and antioxidants.

Mild cognitive impairment is an intermediate stage of mental decline that occurs before a diagnosis of dementia is made.

When MCT oil was given to adults with mild cognitive impairment, they experienced significant improvement in memory recall within 90 minutes of taking their first dose.

Note that this study has often been cited by supplement manufacturers as evidence that MCT oil will increase mental performance in everyone.

This is not necessarily the case.

Currently, theres minimal scientific evidence that MCT oil increases mental performance in healthy adults.


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How Mct Oil Nourishes The Brain

The brain cannot store energy, so it needs a constant and steady energy stream thats normally supplied by blood glucose.

Fortunately, theres a backup energy source for the times when blood sugar level gets low.

When needed, your liver can break down stored body fat to produce ketones.

Ketones readily cross the blood-brain barrier to provide instant energy to the brain.

” When MCT oil was given to adults with mild cognitive impairment, they experienced significant improvement in memory recall within 90 minutes of taking their first dose.

And while you can provide ketones for your brain by eating a very high-fat, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet, you dont have to.

The medium-chain fats in MCT oil raise the blood level of ketones, thus providing a convenient workaround.

MCT Oils Brain Benefits

There are a few proven ways MCT oil benefits the brain.

Taking MCT oil has been found to increase brain energy by 8 to 9%.

MCTs can delay brain aging by promoting the repair of brain cell damage, especially when combined with a high-fat diet.

MCT oil can help optimize intestinal flora which is surprisingly important to brain health.

Your good gut bacteria produce dozens of neurotransmitters, brain chemicals used by brain cells to communicate with each other.

Notably, two important feel-good neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine are created mainly in your intestines.

Good bacteria also reduce brain inflammation, now thought to be a possible root cause of depression.

Mct May Stimulate The Release Of Hunger Hormones

Optimizing diagnosis and management in mild

While MCTs may increase the release of hormones that help you feel fuller longer, they may also stimulate the release of hunger hormones in some people .

A study involving people with anorexia found that MCTs increased the release of two hormones that stimulate appetite: ghrelin and neuropeptide Y .

People who took more than 6 grams of MCTs per day produced more of these hormones than those who had less than 1 gram per day.

However, its unclear whether the increase in these hormones actually causes you to eat more.

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Beneficial Role Of Mcts In Cognitive Function

In older people, brain glucose metabolism deteriorates regionally years before the onset of cognitive decline, but plasma glucose remains normal or somewhat elevated. Hence, during aging, hypoglycemia and hypoinsulinemia which are the normal stimuli for ketogenesis are less activated even though the brain is not receiving sufficient glucose, so it experiences a chronic metabolic demand that is unmet. Our present results suggest that a ketogenic intervention could, at least in principle, correct or bypass this brain glucose hypometabolism.

It is taken for granted in the Alzheimers research world but less well appreciated among the general public that a primary hallmark of the Alzheimers brain is a dramatic reduction in cerebral glucose metabolism. This energy deficit is specific to glucose, and its been well-established that in mild cognitive impairment and mild-to-moderate Alzheimers disease , brain uptake and metabolism of ketones is not impaired. Since ketones can serve as an alternative fuel substrate to glucose in most body tissues but especially in the brain, and since the brain takes up ketones in direct proportion to their plasma level, its reasonable that interventions that raise plasma ketone levels may have a beneficial impact on cognitive function.

Popular Uses For Mct Oil

MCT oil is mostly sold as a supplement to aid weight loss or improve athletic performance.

Its popular with bodybuilders and endurance athletes who use it to increase energy, decrease body fat, and increase lean muscle mass.

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But the scientific evidence to support these benefits of MCT oil is mixed.

And taking enough MCT oil to reap these benefits is not always practical.

For example, its thought that to experience any significant weight loss, youd have to eat half your daily calories in MCT oil!

And taking MCT oil for physical performance presents a dilemma since the amount of MCT oil needed to increase endurance is generally enough to cause diarrhea.

However, one area where MCT oil shows great promise is as a supplement to support brain health and function.

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Mct Oil Could Potentially Promote Weight Loss

Current research is mixed on this issue, but there are some potential reasons why MCT oil may be beneficial for weight loss.

MCT oil has been shown to increase the release of two hormones that can promote the feeling of fullness in the body: peptide YY and leptin .

One study found that people taking 2 tablespoons of MCT oil as part of their breakfast ended up eating less food for lunch compared to those taking coconut oil .

The same study also found a lower rise in triglycerides and glucose with MCT oil, which may also influence the feeling of fullness.

Additionally, some older studies showed that taking MCT oil could help reduce body weight and waist circumference. Researchers reported that it could help prevent obesity .

Note that some of these studies dont take other factors into account, such as activity levels and other calorie consumption. More research is needed.

MCT oil has about 10% fewer calories than long-chain triglycerides , which are found in foods such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados .

MCTs can also be converted into ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fat when carbohydrate intake is low.

If youre following a ketogenic diet, which is very low in carbs yet high in fat, taking MCT oil could possibly help you stay in the fat-burning state known as ketosis .


MCT oil may support weight loss by increasing fullness, fat loss, ketone production, and by improving your gut environment. More research is needed to determine its efficacy.

Mct Could Help Manage Blood Sugar Levels

Therapeutic Intervention in early Alzheimers Disease with Medium Chain Triglycerides

MCT oil may also have benefits for those with diabetes . MCTs have been shown to reduce fat storage and increase fat burning, which can aid in managing the condition .

One small, older study of 40 people with diabetes found that those who consumed MCT oil daily saw reductions in body weight, waist circumference, and insulin resistance, compared to those taking corn oil containing LCTs .

Another study found that when 10 people with diabetes were injected with insulin, they needed 30% less sugar to maintain normal blood sugar levels when they consumed MCTs, compared to LCTs .

However, the same study did not find any effect of MCTs on reducing fasting blood sugar levels .

Therefore, other factors such as timing and the amount of food eaten may influence the effects of MCT oil.


MCT oil could potentially help manage diabetes by reducing fat storage and increasing fat burning. It may also help manage blood sugar.

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Role Of Medium Chain Triglycerides In The

Role of Medium Chain Triglycerides in the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Alzheimers Disease Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen , Unfortunately, Background, to said patient at a level to produce an improvement in cognitive ability.BACKGROUND:In Alzheimers disease , 2018: NCT02679222: Comparing the KD of coconut oil and different medium-chain triglycerides: Different MCT supplements: Healthy adults: Canada: December, to said patient at a level to produce an improvement in cognitive ability.Medium Chain Triglycerides Medium Chain Triglycerides Evidence Summary Rationale exists for the use of MCTs for general cognitive health,Mediumchain triglycerides given in the early stage of mildtomoderate Alzheimers disease enhance memory function, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, doi: 10.1177/1533317513518650.Cited by: 26Background: Previous clinical and animal studies suggested that medium-chain triglycerides might be an alternative energy substrate for the brain and might benefit patients with AlzheimersIn a preferred embodiment the administration of triglycerides or fatty acids with chain lengths between 5 and 12

Triglycerides Synthesised From Coconut Oil

Standard medium-chain triglycerides are produced by hydrolysing coconut oil and esterifying the fatty acids shorter than lauric acid with glycerol the resulting triglycerides are rich primarily in caprylic and capric acids. The exclusion of LA reflects the fact that this fatty acid has high commercial value as a precursor for antibacterial pharmaceuticals and other worthwhile compounds. Coconut oil is one of the richest available sources of LAconstituting about half of its total fatty acid contentand so is used to produce LA the shorter chain fats are hence by-products of this process and then are used for production of MCTs. As contrasted with coconut oil, standard MCTs are consistently fluid at room temperature their utility for cooking applications, however, is limited by their low smoke point, which makes them unsuitable for use in frying.

Recently, however, manufacturers have started to produce a novel type of MCT that contains a high fraction of LAtypically 30%. A tablespoon of this MCTcontaining 14g of fatis said to contain 12g of medium-chain fatty acids and 1g of unsaturates . Hence, the content of longer chain saturated fatty acids is extremely low and of questionable physiological significance.

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What Is Mct Oil

MCT oil is a nutritional supplement that consists of naturally occurring fats called medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs.

The best food source of MCTs, by far, is coconut oil, but they can also be found in palm oil and high-fat dairy products like cheese and butter.

The difference between medium-chain triglycerides and either long or short-chain triglycerides is the number of carbon atoms in each molecule.

Compared to the long-chain triglycerides found in other vegetable oils, MCTs are smaller and, consequently, more readily absorbed and metabolized qualities that make them a good source of fuel for the brain.

MCTs are unique among fats in that they dont require bile salts for digestion or extra energy for absorption, use, or storage.

Ketogenic Medium Chain Triglycerides Increase Brain Energy


Background: In Alzheimers disease , Juntendo University, Search for more papers by this author.A medium-chain triglyceride intervention for patients with Alzheimers disease: MCT in milk vs sunflower oil in milk: Alzheimers disease: Canada: February, 2014 Jan 9 PubMed, Department of Psychiatry, Juntendo University, 2014 Aug 29:409-14, Tokyo, Some consider medical researchers to consider Alzheimers disease to be a form of diabetes , Aspects of CO digestion and metabolism that may influence Cited by: 8What are Medium-Chain Triglycerides? Medium-chain triglycerides, 2016: NCT02709356

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How The Ketoflex Diet Works

What is a good dementia diet? A good dementia diet is the KetoFLEX diet. In fact, its one of the best diets you can follow if you want to improve cognition and prevent or reverse cognitive decline.

The KetoFLEX diet was developed by renowned Alzheimers expert Dr. Dale Bredesen. KetoFLEX is based on decades of research into the best ways to reverse cognitive impairment and prevent cognitive decline.

On the KetoFLEX diet, patients eat primarily plant-based whole foods. Youll focus on eating a rainbow of darkly-colored vegetables and low-glycemic fruit. As much of the produce as possible should be locally and organically grown.

Youll also eat healthy fats on the KetoFLEX diet. These include virgin coconut oil , extra virgin olive oil, whole avocados, avocado oil, seeds, and nuts. Fats will help your body go into ketosis, and theyll help keep you feeling full, too.

Foods that support gut health are another important part of the KetoFLEX diet. Youll eat prebiotic and probiotic foods, including foods with a lot of resistant starch. These foods help you cultivate healthy microbiota in your gut, and these bacteria keep your brain and body balanced.

This science-backed diet is mildly ketogenic . Traditional keto diets require you to eat almost no carbohydrates, which is incredibly difficult for most people. The KetoFLEX diet allows you to eat healthy carbohydrates from non-starchy vegetables, so its easier to stick to the plan.

Coconut Oil And Mct Oil For Dementia

Coconut oil is composed predominantly of medium chain triglycerides . MCT oil is an easy way to get large concentrations of certain MCT. It usually contains C8, C10 or a combination of the two. The theory behind MCT potentially improving cognition is based on ketone bodies produced by metabolized coconut oil. Neurons in the brain use these ketone bodies for fuel, thus improving cognitive function.

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Potential Of Coconut Oil And Medium Chain Triglycerides In The Prevention And Treatment Of Alzheimers Disease

Brain glucose hypometabolism is a major early hallmark of AD.

CO is a rich source of MCT, and ketone bodies arise from MCT metabolism.

Ketone bodies serve as an alternative energy source for the glucose-deficient brain.

CO, MCT and their derivatives show evidence of neuroprotective properties.

CO, MCT and their derivatives show evidence of influencing AD related risk factors.

Beginning With A Low Dose And Emulsification May Reduce Side Effects

The 15 Benefits of MCT Oil (Medium Chain Triglyceride) Dr.Berg

MCTs are safe at doses up to 1 g/kg . However, common side effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea do occur. If an individual is not accustomed to MCTs, then there is a significant possibility that they will experience side effects. For instance, three out of seven participants in Freund and Weinsier’s study experienced abdominal discomfort and diarrhea after consuming 25 mL of MCTs . To counter this, Courchesne-Loyer et al. recommend starting with 5 g of MCTs in the morning . Emulsification may also reduce the side effects of MCTs , but adding glucose to coconut oil or C8 does not reduce adverse effects such as nausea and upset stomach .

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Mct Oil Vs Coconut Oil: How They Compare

Depending on the brand you use, MCT oil can contain up to 18 times more MCTs per serving than coconut oil.

But since MCTs are isolated from coconut oil by a process called fractionation, they do not contain the same nutrients as coconut oil, a healthy traditional food.

Notably, MCT oil does not contain lauric acid, a compound found in abundance in coconut oil.

Lauric acid is antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal, making it responsible for many of coconut oils health properties.

Both MCT oil and coconut oil bring their own unique set of benefits to the table, but theres no reason you have to choose between them.

You can add coconut oil to your diet and take supplemental MCT oil.

In fact, whether or not you decide to take supplemental MCT oil, I urge you to minimize your consumption of highly processed vegetable oils like canola, sunflower, and soy oil.

These supposedly healthy oils have been a health disaster.

Instead, use coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil two brain-healthy oils that should be stocked in every kitchen.

Ketones And Alzheimers Disease

Our brains get most of their energy from glucose, a simple sugar. Neurons take up glucose and use it to power all of the work they do, including the signaling within the brain.

Alzheimers disease changes how neurons both absorb and use glucose. The changes that come with Alzheimers make it harder for neurons to get the energy they need. Neurons are unable to function correctly and eventually die without energy.

There is growing evidence that changes in how glucose is brought into and used in the neuron may causecognitive impairmentand Alzheimers. In fact, neurons may start to use glucose abnormally years or decades before Alzheimers symptoms appear.

Although our brains prefer to use glucose for energy, they have another option if enough glucose isnt available. Neurons can also use ketone bodies as an alternative energy source.

Ketone production happens when the body doesnt have enough carbohydrates to keep producing glucose. The liver switches over to making ketones from fatty acids. Those ketones are then carried in the blood to the brain to be used as an alternative fuel.

Ketones can provide neurons with the energy they need, even in patients with Alzheimers. Even though neurons cant use glucose correctly, they can still use ketones as a source of energy. This is why dementia and Alzheimers patients see symptoms improve with a ketogenic diet.

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