Interviewer: Doctor, can you talk about any ongoing research or what the
potential of coconut oil with conjunction with Alzheimer's might be in the
years to come?
Mary T. Newport, MD: Yeah, yeah. Actually, there's a study that's going to
start at University of South Florida in Tampa. I'm fairly overjoyed about
this. It's at the Byrd Alzheimer Center. Basically where Steve started out
getting his diagnosis and where he tested for clinical trials. And they've
embraced this whole concept of looking at conditions that might be
treatable with keytones and Alzheimer's is one of them. So they are about
to embark on a study of coconut oil and people that have mild cognitive
impairment. These are people that can progress to Alzheimer's disease.
They're going to do a pilot study, I think it's... they're planning at
least 50 people in the study and they're going to look at, number one, is
there symptomatic improvement and, secondly, well, can it prevent
progression to Alzheimer's disease. So, this is a study that's primarily
aimed at prevention right now. So that's a start.
I'm aware of a couple of others. I think up in Maryland there's a group
that is planning a study, I don't know when or exactly how they're going
forward with it. The Axona, the medical food, which is basically the active
ingredient is a medium chain triglyceride oil. They have two larger studies
going on right now. One of them is a chart review. That's a multi-center
study and they're looking at patients who are taking Axona to see what
their outcome is. I think compared to people who have not been taking it.
Yeah, so, I think we're about to get some more information, but these
studies will take a couple of years again.
Dr. Newport: So, my own feeling about it is, people should not have to
wait. Coconut oil and MCT oil are available over the counter. If they have
somebody in their family with Alzheimer's, why not try it, you know for
them? Their brain is dying.
Doctors, many of them are so obsessed with the problem of cholesterol that
they tell their patients, "Do not take coconut oil." But these are people
who are dying of Alzheimer's disease. It's much more likely they'll die of
Alzheimer's disease before they have a heart attack from taking coconut oil
over a period of time. Some doctors won't recommend it to their patients
because they want to see clinical trials. These take years. And these
people will be long gone, you know, at that point. So, since it is just a
food, millions of people in the world use coconut oil as a staple in their
diet. I really don't see any harm in people at least having the opportunity
to know about it and decide for themselves if they want to try to, you
know, use coconut oil and see if they might get symptomatic relief.