A recent article suggests that a Ketogenic diet may help Alzheimer’s disease. To read the article click here.
ß-Amyloid (A-ß), a small, fibrillogenic peptide, is found in people who suffer Alzheimer’s disease and also in the skeletal muscle cells in those diagnosed with Sporadic Inclusion Body Myositis (s-IBM). It is believed that anything that prevents ß-Amyloid accumulation in the brain may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. I may be leaping too far forward here but I wonder if it would have the same effect on s-IBM patients?
What is a Ketogenic diet you ask? According to Wikipedia, the Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fuelling brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. To read the article click here.
You can find more information about the diet, including recipes at The Charlie Foundation, click here.
The subject of coconut oil slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and by extension s-IBM, has come up at several Colorado KIT meetings. The theory being that coconut oil is high in ketones and can provide an alternative energy source to glucose-starved brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The popularity of this remedy probably goes back to a video on the Christian Broadcasting Network purporting its benefits.
On a cautionary note, coconut oil, if the refined kind or cooked, is high in saturated fats and can be detrimental to the cardio-vascular system. I found this article, click here, on the Cure Alzheimer’s web-site on using coconut oil to combat the disease.
As with any diet, please consult your physician and/or your nutritionist if this is right for you.