Dr. Newport, medical director of the neonatal intensive care unit at Florida's Spring Hill Regional Hospital since 2003, noticed that Steve was struggling with daily tasks and in spite of taking longer to complete business tasks, he was making more and more mistakes. She told the Tampa Bay Times:
"There were big clues, and I knew that something was going on here. He didn't know the full ramifications of his decline — I hate to say it but that was the only blessing. I was watching my husband of 36 years simply fade away."
Steve admits he was not sure of what was occurring, saying:
"I didn't know what was happening to me. I was confused."
Dr. Newport scheduled an appointment for Steve with his primary care doctor who referred him to a specialist. The specialist administered what is known as "the clock test", a test in which the patient is told to draw the face of a clock from memory, but Steve could hardly remember what a clock looked like. The early onset Alzheimer's diagnosis that followed devastated them both.
Steve was placed on several different FDA-approved medicines which were meant to slow the progression of the disease, but he continued to decline. He also lost interest in food, lost 10 pounds in a month and gave up his favorite hobbies.
Dr. Newport recalled the research she did prior to Steve's first doctors appointment. She had found one treatment suggestion that talked about actually improving a patients condition. She said
"Most drugs talk about slowing the progression of the disease … but you never hear the word 'improvement.' Right then I knew I had to find out more."
She did more research on MCT, the treatment suggestion shown to improve the condition. MCT stands for Medium-chain triglycerides oil, which is also called "Fractionated Coconut Oil". According to the University of Louisville
, the medium chain fatty acids are handled differently by the body than the long chain, making it easier to digest in the stomach and intestine.
According to Dr. Arturo Volpe
, our brain cannot burn fat for energy. As the brain loses the ability to burn sugar it quickly becomes starved for energy and begins to die. However, even if the brain cannot burn fat for energy, it can utilize ketones as an energy source.
Ketones are produced by the body naturally when someone follows a low-carb diet. However, not everyone is willing to stick with such a diet. The alternative is eating coconut oil, which aids the body in producing ketone used by the brain. Coconut oil is rich in the MCT's that Dr. Newport read about, and it is rapidly converted to ketones within the body. There is an alternative form available which is called MCT oil, which is derived from coconut oil. The advantage of the MCT oil is that it is basically tasteless and has a higher concentration of MCT's, so you can consumer smaller amounts and get the same results.
Alliance for Natural Health
says a dose of 4 teaspoons has shown to be effective in preventing and reversing Alzheimer's. Clinicaltrials.gov
reports that a study showed
"daily dosing of subjects with Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil will change cognition scores measured at baseline to the end of week 24 using cognative testing results."
In a study conducted by Dr. Richard L. Veech's called Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids,
"administration of ketone bodies...would therefore seem a reasonable potential therapy in Alzheimer’s disease."
Dr. Newport bought coconut oil on the way home from the first appointment with the specialist. She gave the coconut oil to Steve the next morning prior to going to a second appointment. Steve scored four points higher on the tests than the previous day. Dr. Newport told the Tamp Bay Times:
"It was like the oil kicked in and he could think clearly again. "We were ecstatic."
Steve began taking the coconut oil daily, and by the fifth day, there was a "tremendous improvement."
A blog journal posted by Dr. Newport says she gave Steve just over 2 tablespoons (7 teaspoons) of coconut oil with breakfast and he showed "very significant improvement". She then began giving the same amount at all three meals. After six month, the improvement continued and was sustained. The entire blog journal can be seen here
In this video, Dr. Veech speaks with Steve and Dr. Newport about the improvements in his condition since he began taking the coconut oil.