Coconut Oil – Showing Benefits in Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a prevalent neurodegenerative disorder, particularly affecting women, and the search for new therapies is ongoing. Coconut oil, rich in ketone bodies, emerges as a promising non-pharmacological alternative for AD patients.

Understanding the Science Behind Coconut Oil

The Role of Ketone Bodies

Ketone bodies, derived from coconut oil, serve as a direct source of energy for brain cells. This is crucial in Alzheimer’s disease, where brain cells struggle to utilize glucose for energy.

Coconut Oil in Diet

Incorporating coconut oil into a Mediterranean diet has shown the potential to improve cognitive functions in AD patients. This combination provides a balanced and healthy approach to diet modification.

Clinical Evidence of Coconut Oil’s Efficacy

A study published on PubMed revealed that an isocaloric coconut oil-enriched Mediterranean diet improved cognitive functions in AD patients. The study highlighted:

Cognitive FunctionImprovement Noted
Episodic Memory (1)Yes
Temporal Orientation (2)Yes
Semantic Memory (3)Yes
Note: The benefits were more evident in women and in mild to moderate stages of the disease.


Real-Life Impacts of Coconut Oil on Alzheimer’s Patients

Noticeable Improvements

Patients and caregivers have reported noticeable improvements in memory and daily functioning after incorporating coconut oil into their diets.

Long-Term Benefits

While more research is needed, the long-term use of coconut oil could potentially slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, offering a better quality of life for patients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is coconut oil safe for all Alzheimer’s patients?

While generally safe, it’s always best to consult with your healthcare professional or nutritional therapist before making any dietary changes.

Can coconut oil cure Alzheimer’s disease?

The potential benefits of coconut oil for Alzheimer’s disease are linked to its high content of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). When metabolising MCTs, they produce ketones, which can be used as an alternative energy source for brain cells. Some research suggests that brain cells in people with Alzheimer’s may lose the ability to use glucose for energy efficiently, and ketones might provide an alternative energy source that these cells can more readily use. Coconut oil may help in managing symptoms and improving cognitive functions.

How much coconut oil should be included in the diet?

For someone consuming 2,000 calories a day, this would mean no more than 120 calories from saturated fats, which equates to about 13 grams or approximately 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. However, dietary needs can vary based on individual health conditions, preferences, and overall lifestyle.


Coconut oil presents a beacon of hope in the management of Alzheimer’s disease. Its ability to improve cognitive functions, especially in the early to moderate stages, offers a non-pharmacological option worth considering. For more information on Alzheimer’s and diet, visit Cambridge University’s research on the subject.

(1) Episodic memory refers to our ability to recall specific events from our past. It’s like having a personal diary in our mind, where we store memories of things we’ve experienced, places we’ve visited, and the emotions we felt during those times. This type of memory allows us to travel back in time mentally and relive moments from our lives.


Imagine you’re walking through a park and suddenly, the smell of freshly cut grass hits you. Instantly, you’re transported back to your childhood summers spent at your grandparents’ house in the countryside. You can vividly remember the laughter, the warmth of the sun on your skin, and the joy of running around in their vast garden.

This journey back to a specific moment in your past, triggered by a familiar scent, is a perfect example of episodic memory in action. It’s not just recalling the fact that you used to visit your grandparents; it’s reliving the experience with all its associated details and emotions.

This type of memory is fundamental to our sense of self, as it forms the narrative of our life story, enriching our identity with personal experiences and emotions. Temporal orientation is our ability to understand and place ourselves in time. It involves knowing the current date, day of the week, season, and even time. This skill helps us to organise our daily lives and plan for the future.

(2) Temporal orientation is our ability to understand and place ourselves in time. It involves knowing the current date, day of the week, season, and even the time of day. This skill helps us to organise our daily lives and plan for the future.


Imagine you wake up one morning, slightly disoriented, and for a moment, you can’t remember if it’s a weekday or the weekend. You quickly glance at your calendar and realise it’s Saturday. This sudden awareness and ability to orient yourself in time, understanding that it’s the weekend and perhaps you don’t have to rush to work, is an example of temporal orientation in action. It’s not just about knowing the date or day but also understanding what that means in the context of your life and routine.

Temporal orientation is crucial for our daily functioning, allowing us to keep track of appointments, remember important events, and maintain a sense of routine and normalcy in our lives.

(3) Semantic memory refers to our understanding of general facts and information about the world. It’s like a mental encyclopaedia, storing knowledge that isn’t tied to specific personal experiences. This includes things like knowing what a cat is, understanding the concept of gravity, or recalling that Paris is the capital of France.


Imagine you’re playing a quiz game with friends. A question pops up: “What is the largest planet in our solar system?” Without hesitation, you answer, “Jupiter.” This ability to recall factual information that you’ve learned over time, not linked to a personal experience but part of your general knowledge, is an example of semantic memory in action. It’s not about remembering the first time you learned about Jupiter; it’s about knowing the fact itself.

Semantic memory is essential for our interaction with the world. It allows us to understand concepts, communicate effectively, and engage in various intellectual activities.

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