An estimated 5.4 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and that number is expected to increase exponentially as baby boomer generation enters their golden years. I became concerned with this when my grandmother had this, then my father fell victim of it. My concern led to research, and I want to share what I discovered.
Today’s senior citizens living in the United States are generally referred to as the “Baby Boomers.” They were born after WWII starting around 1946 through the first years of the 1960s.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 2013 came to the conclusion that Baby Boomers are sicker than their parents’ generation, in spite of advances in medicine and longer life spans. “Despite their longer life expectancy over previous generations, U.S. baby boomers have higher rates of chronic disease, more disability and lower self-rated health than members of the previous generation at the same age,” wrote the study’s authors, led by Dr. Dana E. King, professor and chair of family medicine at West Virginia University in Morgantown. 
Alzheimer’s Disease is a Modern Epidemic Plaguing SeniorsAlzheimer’s Disease is increasing at an alarming rate among the elderly population in the United States today. The statistics are staggering. According to the Alzheimer’s Association :
There are no Drugs that Cure Alzheimer’s DiseaseThe official statement from the medical establishment is: “Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s.” 
Pharmaceutical companies desperately want to develop an Alzheimer’s drug, since the market is so huge. Attempts to develop a drug have been a huge failure so far, however.
Melissa Healy of the LA Times reported on the most recent failures of Big Pharma to develop Alzheimer’s drugs earlier in 2014:
Two biological therapies designed to improve the clearance of sticky plaques from the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease have failed to slow the steady loss of cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate forms of the degenerative disorder.
In late clinical-trial findings published [recently] in the New England Journal of Medicine, the monoclonal antibodies known as solanezumab and bapineuzumab were shown ineffective at changing the downward cognitive trajectory of Alzheimer’s patients. 
These recent failures follow a long list of drug failures in the pharmaceutical industry’s attempt to develop drugs to treat Alzheimer’s Disease. Drug companies Pfizer and Medivation abandoned their Alzheimer’s drug dimebon in January 2012, because the drug not only did not help patients in trials, but it made patients worse. The expensive drug had already reached phase III trials. 
'Old People' are a Huge Market for Pharmaceutical Drugs
Today’s senior citizens living in managed care facilities are taking an average of over 30 different prescription drugs! The pharmaceutical industry has good reason to target seniors, as they represent the most lucrative market for pharmaceutical drugs in the history of mankind. In the history of drug marketing, the single most successful drug to ever hit the market was a drug targeted at seniors: Lipitor, the statin drug designed to lower cholesterol levels.
Today, about one out of every four Americans over the age of 55 is taking a statin drug (Statins Fry Your Brain and Scramble Your Memory Like an Egg). So this age group is a very lucrative market for the pharmaceutical companies, who would desperately like to have an Alzheimer’s drug or vaccine be approved for sale.
Are Pharmaceutical Drugs a Leading Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease?A recent study just published in the British Medical Journal reports that taking benzodiazepines, common drugs prescribed for anti-anxiety and insomnia, are associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Common benzodiazepines include: Valium (diazepam), Ativan (lorazepam), Xanax (alprazolam) and Klonopin (clonazepam). The authors of the study reported in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that the use of benzodiazepines for three months or more was associated with a 51% increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. 
In an accompanying commentary written by Zosia Kmietowicz, it was pointed out that in 2012 the American Geriatrics Society had updated its list of inappropriate drugs for older people to include benzodiazepines, precisely because of their unwanted cognitive side effects. Yet almost half of the elderly population continues to be prescribed these dangerous medications, and are continuing to take them. 
In another article appearing with the BMJ study, Michael McCarthy discusses another study just published in JAMA Internal Medicine. This study shows that more than half of patients with advanced dementia in US nursing homes are prescribed medicines of questionable benefit. 
In 2011, Dr. Stephanie Seneff published research looking at the effects of a low-fat diet and statin drugs in relation to Alzheimer’s Disease. This research noticed a strong correlation between insulin resistance in the brain and early Alzheimer’s Disease.
The study’s main conclusions regarding the early causes of Alzheimer’s Disease centered around the transport of cholesterol from the blood stream to the brain. The research stated that there is mounting evidence which suggests that a defect in cholesterol metabolism in the brain may play an important role in Alzheimer’s Disease. A nice summary of the brain’s dependency on cholesterol is given:
The brain represents only 2% of the body’s total mass, but contains 25% of the total cholesterol. Cholesterol is required everywhere in the brain as an antioxidant, an electrical insulator (in order to prevent ion leakage), as a structural scaffold for the neural network, and a functional component of all membranes. Cholesterol is also utilized in the wrapping and synaptic delivery of the neurotransmitters. It also plays an important role in the formation and functioning of synapses in the brain. 
They point to several studies showing that there is a lack of cholesterol in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients which is so vital for several functions, and also note that other studies show this cholesterol deficiency in dementia and Parkinson’s disease as well. In contrast, high cholesterol levels are positively correlated with longevity in people over 85 years old, and in some cases has been shown to be associated with better memory function and reduced dementia. 
In 2012, another study looked at the effects of statin cholesterol-lowering drugs on Alzheimer’s patients. The patients in the study had their statin medication stopped for six weeks, and then restarted. The results showed that during the six weeks when their statins were stopped, the basic brain function of the individuals improved. When the drugs were restarted, brain function got worse again. 
So if statin cholesterol-lowering drugs are part of the problem in causing Alzheimer’s Disease, should we really depend upon pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs to cure Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s Disease is a Type 3 DiabetesAs Dr. Stephanie Seneff noted in her work (referenced above), there is a strong correlation between insulin resistance in the brain and Alzheimer’s. This observation corresponds with what other studies have discovered about Alzheimer’s Disease and insulin resistance. As early as 2008 researchers were beginning to classify Alzheimer’s Disease as a “type 3” diabetes. 
Similar research was published in 2012 at Rhode Island Hospital by Suzanne de la Monte, M.D. Dr. Monte found a link between brain insulin resistance and two other key mediators of neuronal injury that help Alzheimer’s Disease to progress, lending further evidence that Alzheimer’s is a type 3 diabetes. 
Type 3 diabetes, much like type 2 diabetes, can be controlled by lifestyle and diet. The primary cause of type 2 and type 3 diabetes today is a diet too high in refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates are what have primarily replaced healthy saturated fats in modern times, after saturated fats were wrongly condemned as unhealthy in the 1970s.
Here in 2014 researchers are recommending that diabetes management begin with restricting carbohydrates through diet, rather than drugs.  Diabetes drugs have a terrible track record in the U.S., with some being pulled off the market due to serious side effects.  A recent study published by JAMA concluded that insulin may do more harm than good in treating type 2 diabetes, and even potentially accelerate death. 
For some people, coconut oil has proven to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and may have even prevented it (or reversed Alzheimer's Disease).
One of those people is Steve Newport, whose Alzheimer’s has slowed considerably. Some of his symptoms even reversed, thanks to the unlikely treatment prescribed by his wife, Dr. Mary Newport, a physician who runs a neonatology ward at a Tampa, Fla., hospital (see video below).
You will see that Alzheimer's is considered Type 3 Diabetes. So keep in mind: 'Does what you eat affect Alzheimer's ~ your health'.
Why Does Coconut Oil Work in Treating Alzheimer’s?The first thing we should make clear is that not everyone who tries coconut oil with dementia or Alzheimer’s sees the same results.
However, if we look at Alzheimer’s Disease as a “type 3″ diabetes and as an insulin resistance problem, coconut oil makes a lot of sense, as does a ketogenic high-fat diet. Coconut oil is known as a rich source of ketone energy, supplying an alternate form of energy to the brain. In fact, pharmaceutical companies are currently trying to develop drugs that mimic the same “ketonic” effect that can be achieved via a high-fat diet in order to treat Alzheimer’s. 
Also, if the brain is being starved of cholesterol, coconut oil might provide benefits by increasing HDL cholesterol levels. A study appearing in the American Journal of Cardiology in February 2011 showed that the higher men’s HDL cholesterol levels, the longer they lived and the more likely it was that they would reach the age of 85. 
Today, the ketogenic diet principles of a high-fat low-carb diet are becoming popular once again. The ketogenic principles can be seen in recent diet fads, such as the Atkins Diet and the Paleo Diet. Since the original name was the ketogenic diet, and because some of the fad diets do differ on some points, I will continue to use the term ketogenic diet.
(NOTE: Pili Nuts are known as a Ketogenic Diet and Paleo Diet Superfood)
With the rise of diabetes, and recognizing that many modern diseases can be linked to an overconsumption of refined carbohydrates, particularly in the form of refined sugars, the ketogenic diet is being used and studied with diseases linked to insulin resistance, and this includes Alzheimer’s.
Here is an excellent video with a round table discussion with 5 medical doctors and two nutritionists discussing the low-carb high-fat diet and coconut oil in relation to treating Alzheimer’s Disease, and the absurdity of current Alzheimer’s expenditures in the health care system that threatens to bankrupt our country. One of the doctors has worked in nursing homes for over 35 years. 
My Personal Conclusion:
I watched this and told my wife that it couldn’t hurt to try. Especially when we have thousands of coconuts growing on our farm amongst our Pili Nut trees (Pili Nuts is a known a low carb/high protein that many people eat when on a Diet for Diabetics).
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1. The Status of Baby Boomers’ Health in the United States, Dana E. King, MD, MS; Eric Matheson, MD, MS; Svetlana Chirina, MPH; Anoop Shankar, MD, PhD, MPH; Jordan Broman-Fulks – JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(5):385-386
2. Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures, alz.org
3. DEATHS FROM ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE MAY BE VASTLY UNDERREPORTED,ABC7Chicago.com.
4. Treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, alz.org
5. Two proposed Alzheimer’s drugs show disappointing results, LA Times, January 22, 2014
6. Pfizer, Medivation Pull Plug on Alzheimer’s Drug Dimebon, ABC News, January 17, 2012
7. Obama Spending Your Tax Dollars to Develop an Alzheimer’s Vaccine in Colombia,Health Impact News; Major step toward an Alzheimer’s vaccine, ScienceDaily
9. What do Keto Diet, Paleo Diet, Super Food & Pili Nuts have in Common?, Like Winning the Lottery, January 2018.
10. Benzodiazepine use and risk of Alzheimer’s disease: case-control study, British Medical Journal, August 2014
11. Benzodiazepines may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease, study finds, Zosia Kmietowicz, British Medical Journal, September 2014
12. Half of US patients with advanced dementia are prescribed drugs of questionable benefit, study finds, Michael McCarthy, British Medical Journal, September 2014
13. The Clue to Why Low Fat Diet and Statins may Cause Alzheimer’s, MIT.edu
14. Relation between high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and survival to age 85 years in men (from the VA normative aging study), Rahilly-Tierney, Spiro A , Vokonas P, Gaziano JM. – The American Journal of Cardiology 2011 Apr 15;107(8):1173-7.
15. The Effect of HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors on Cognition in Patients With Alzheimer’s Dementia: AProspective Withdrawal and Rechallenge Pilot Study, Kalpana P. Padala, MD, MS1,2; Prasad R. Padala, MD, MS; Dennis P. McNeilly, PsyD; Jenenne A. Geske, PhD; Dennis H. Sullivan, MD; and Jane F. Potter, MD – The American Journal of Geriatric Pharmacotherapy October 2012 Volume 10 Number 5 (.pdf here)
16. Alzheimer’s Disease Is Type 3 Diabetes–Evidence Reviewed, Suzanne M. de la Monte, M.D., M.P.H. and Jack R. Wands, M.D. – Journal Diabetes Science and Technology. Nov 2008; 2(6): 1101–1113
17. Rhode Island Hospital Study Finds Link Between Brain Insulin Resistance and Neuronal Stress in Worsening Alzheimer’s Disease, Rhodeislandhospital.org
18. Dietary Carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management. Critical review and evidence base, Richard David Feinman, PhD, et. Al. – Nutrition. June 2014
19. See: Dangerous Diabetes Drug Still on Market Despite Whistleblower Efforts atMercola.com and Is FDA About to Greenlight a Drug Banned in Other Countries? at Alliance for Natural Health.
20. Effect of Patients’ Risks and Preferences on Health Gains With Plasma Glucose Level Lowering in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Vijan S, Sussman JB, Yudkin JS, Hayward RA. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2014 Jun 30
21. U.S. study looks into the benefits of coconut oil on patients with Alzheimer’s – CTV News
22. Study: Coconut Oil Could Prevent Neurodegeneration in Diseases like Alzheimer’s –Health Impact News
23. Relation between high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and survival to age 85 years in men (from the VA normative aging study). Rahilly-Tierney CR, Spiro A 3rd, Vokonas P, Gaziano JM. American Journal Cardiology. 2011 Apr 15;107(8)
24. Epilepsy cured when parents stop all meds and use high fat diet only – Health Impact News
25. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease – Patty W Siri-Tarino, Qi Sun, Frank B Hu, and Ronald M Krauss – The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, November 25, 2009 (Full .pdf)
26. Dietary fats and health: dietary recommendations in the context of scientific evidence. – Lawrence GD. – Advanced Nutrition 2013 May 1;4(3):294-302.
27. Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Rajiv Chowdhury, MD, et. Al. – Annals of Internal Medicine – 18 March 2014, Vol 160, No. 6
28. Time Magazine: We Were Wrong About Saturated Fats, Health Impact News
29. 5 Medical Doctors with Gary Taubes and Robb Wolf Discuss Coconut Oil and Alzheimer’s Disease, Health Impact News
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