Unproven remedy to prevent Alzheimer's can lead to other health conditions

A post claiming that coconut oil can be efficient in preventing Alzheimer’s is being widely shared on social media. Taking a teaspoon of coconut oil every day prevents Alzheimer’s, the post claims.

By Sunanda Naik  Published on  9 Oct 2022 12:00 PM GMT
Unproven remedy to prevent Alzheimers can lead to other health conditions

Hyderabad: A post claiming that coconut oil can be efficient in preventing Alzheimer's is being widely shared on social media. Taking a teaspoon of coconut oil every day prevents Alzheimer's, the post claims.

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurologic disorder that causes the brain to shrink and brain cells to die.

So, can coconut oil do any wonder here? Let's see what researches and studies say.

FACT CHECK

Can coconut oil help prevent Alzheimer's disease?

According to Alzheimer's Research UK, so far research has been inconclusive so there's little evidence to prove if coconut oil can be of any help. It also added, "…sadly these claims can't be verified, and need to be treated with caution. In fact, it's best to be wary about any claims around coconut oil or other foods or supplements: as well as no proven benefits, there are potential harms."

The risk here is that coconut oil is extremely fatty. Research by the World Health Organisation advises against consuming high amounts of coconut oil due to its high levels of saturated fat which could, in turn, lead to high cholesterol levels.

Research published on Pubmed, titled "How does coconut oil affect cognitive performance in Alzheimer patients" concluded by saying, "Coconut oil appears to improve cognitive abilities of Alzheimer's patients, with different intensity depending on the cognitive area."

But there are no conclusive evidence to prove that coconut oil can be effective in preventing or curing Alzheimer's.

Again, there is currently not enough experimental evidence to back up these claims.

Alzheimer's Society says "the claim is based on the theory that the brain cells of people with Alzheimer's disease are unable to use glucose to produce energy properly, and so the nerve cells "starve"."

Some believe coconut oil may act as an alternative energy source for the brain. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to know whether this is the case, it added.

There is some evidence to suggest that fats like coconut oil could indirectly result in higher levels of a protein called acetylcholinesterase.

Is there a cure for Alzheimer's?

According to NHS, there's currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease. "But there is medicine available that can temporarily reduce the symptoms," it said.

It is evident that coconut oil is not a remedy for Alzheimer's prevention. Hence, the claim is false.

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