When most people hear “dementia”, they think “memory loss”. Of course, losing your memory is a major and devastating element of having any kind of dementia, but people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease also suffer from a wide variety of cognitive impairments, which make conversation, problem-solving, and everyday tasks very difficult for themselves and their loved ones.

 Unfortunately, the reality is that many forms of dementia aren’t yet treatable, so prevention is extremely important- especially if Alzheimer’s disease or dementia runs in the family. Luckily, scientists have uncovered the promising effects of a natural ingredient, pointing to better dementia prevention and improved cognitive function even after a diagnosis.

Study: Medium-Chain Triglycerides and Alzheimer’s Disease

15 Alzheimer’s disease patients and 5 people with amnestic cognitive impairment participated in a 2004 research study. Researchers tested the effects of 40 mL of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT’s) after fasting from 8 pm the night before. They compared MCT effects with a placebo group.

Results showed that consuming MCT led to improved cognitive function 90 minutes afterwards, including paragraph recall. Those who had consumed the MCT’s performed better in a variety of memory and recall tests. A blood test also showed beta-hydroxybutyrate levels increased 7.7 times. Beta-hydroxybutyrate works to protect the brain from toxins and helps preserve neurons.

Not only was MCT fast-acting and improved cognitive function in people diagnosed with a form of dementia, it works to help protect the brain from threatening toxins. Luckily, it’s possible to get the benefits of MCT’s  through a familiar natural ingredient.

Can Coconut Oil Help Prevent Dementia?

Anyone concerned about consuming oils on a regular basis should know that medium chain triglycerides, such as those found in coconut oil, has been shown to have a beneficial impact on weight loss, unlike other types of oils. Coconut oil contains about 62% medium chain triglycerides and is a great natural source for MCT’s. Many people also choose to purchase pure MCT oil from natural health stores.

In order to completely replicate the study’s results, someone diagnosed with dementia would have to consume about 4 tablespoons of coconut oil every day. At first glance, this may seem unmanageable, but by cooking with coconut oil instead of olive or vegetable oils,  adding it to smoothies,  or even mixing it into your coffee, it’s a completely realistic amount. Even with a smaller dosage, a healthy adult can likely see positive improvement in their cognitive function and trust that they’re helping to prevent debilitating dementia.

If you suspect that you or someone you love is showing signs of dementia, see your doctor right away! There are several causes of memory loss which are reversible, such as sleep disorders, thyroid diseases, or vitamin deficiencies. Talk to your doctor about ruling out these underlying health issues first.

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