Coconut Oil, Ketones and Alzheimer's

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Coming February 19, 2019:

The Complete Book of Ketones:
A Practical Guide to Ketogenic Diets and Ketone Supplements
By Mary T. Newport, M.D.

A comprehensive look at ketones and nutritional ketosis:

                  •The role of ketones in evolution.
                  •What ketones are and what they do.
                  •Interviews with the pioneers and rising stars of ketone research elucidating the history of the ketogenic diet, the origins of the idea of ketones as an alternative fuel for the brain and therapeutic applications of the diet.
                  •The full spectrum of the ketogenic diet with step-by-step instructions for how to achieve nutritional ketosis.
                  •Exogenous ketone supplements, and other ketogenic strategies, such as fasting and exercise.
                  •A full list of resources and mouth-watering recipes round out the book and truly make this the complete book of ketones.

From Turner Publishing—Pre-orders from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indie Bound
Shipping February 19, 2019

Go to Amazon to Pre-Order:

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Regain Your Brain/Awakening From Alzheimer's

Another opportunity to watch this FREE 12-day online series.  Received great reviews - a great resource on the aging brain and lifestyle changes you can implement to slow down this process and hopefully avoid dementia altogether.
“With a better brain, everything in your life is better…”
Watch as the world’s leading experts in brain health and neuroscience share their most effective breakthroughs and discoveries in this groundbreaking series.
Join hundreds of thousands of people and watch the series trailer here:
Link Title: Regain You Brain - Awakening from Alzheimer's - Sept 21 to Oct 1, 2018
Link Description: Get a sneak peek at this exclusive, free 12-day online event.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


AWAKENING FROM ALZHEIMER'S INTERNET SERIES (FREE) CONTINUES THROUGH October 2 and all episodes will be repeated from October 6 through October 8, 2017 (free)
Dr. Mary Newport is one of the speakers for this event. Other speakers include Dr. Dominic D'Agostino and Dr. Angela Poff from University of South Florida ketone labs, and Dr. Dale Bredesen who recently published is protocol that has put people with Alzheimer's back to work in The End of Alzheimer's...and many other outstanding speakers.
12 days, 14 doctors, 1 purpose…
Watch as the world’s leading experts in Alzheimer’s and dementia share their most effective breakthroughs and discoveries after decades of grueling research in this groundbreaking series.
Join hundreds of thousands of people and watch the series trailer here ►
Watch the Series Trailer - Get a sneak peek at this exclusive 12-day web series. All episodes will be repeated for free October 6 through 8, 2017.
Watch the Video
Discover How to Reduce Your Risk, Restore Your Health, and Reverse the Effects of Alzheimer’s and Dementia Get Free Access to Watch the Awakening from Alzheimer’s Video Event September 21-October 2, 2017 🔒Your Email is Safe –…

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Awakening From Alzheimer's Series

This is a very helpful and informative FREE web series currently in progress with a new episode each 24 hours. The entire series will be repeated on October 6 through 9. I am one of the speakers. Other featured speakers are Dr. Dale Bredesen, who has a studied protocol for Alzheimer's that has put some people in the earlier stages back to work, Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist whose neurosurgeon father suffered from Alzheimer's, and has written excellent books on the microbiome and effect of gluten on Alzheimer's and other disorders.  Dr. Dominic D'Agostino and Dr. Angela Poff, who study many aspect of ketones including cancer, and many more...

Watch as the world’s leading experts in Alzheimer’s and dementia share their most effective breakthroughs and discoveries after decades of grueling research in this groundbreaking series.
Join hundreds of thousands of people and watch the series trailer here ►

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017


There is a tiny worm that may tell us a big story about ketones. Called Caenorhabditis elegans, or C. elegans for short, this is a transparent free-living nematode (roundworm) less than 1/8 inch long (1 mm) that moves like a snake. The worm lives only about 2 to 3 weeks and emits a blue fluorescence when it dies.  It is one of the simplest organisms that has a nervous system, consisting of 302 neurons (brain cells) and has been used extensively since 1963 in medical research.  Every type of cell in this worm has been thoroughly studied and its entire genome has been mapped out.  C.elegans is a regular passenger on space flights and on the space station and actually survived the space shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003.  It has been used to study conditions like nicotine addiction, effects of zero gravity on muscle atrophy, sleep and aging. 
So, what does this have to do with ketones?  A recent research study using C.elegans strongly suggests that ketones extend lifespan and have anti-aging effects.  As we age, our cells deteriorate, often leading to chronic medical conditions and brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Dietary restriction of calories slows the process of aging down and increases the lifespan of many organisms including primates and C.elegans. Dietary restriction is known to increase ketone levels and this could at least partly explain its effects on prolonging life.  Researchers in the anti-aging field look for substances that mimic dietary restriction and lead to longer lifespan and delay the onset of diseases of aging.  It turns out that the ketone betahydroxybutyrate, found in ketone salts (marketed by the Pruvit company), is one of those anti-aging substances. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) found in coconut oil, palm kernel oil and MCT oil, partly convert to betahydroxybutyrate as well.
In 2015, researchers at the University of South Florida published their study in which they found that high levels of D-betahydroxybutyrate extended the lifespan of C.elegans by 26% and that this effect was likely due, at least in part, to suppressing certain enzymes involved in inflammation and damage from reactive oxygen species. They then studied the effects of betahydroxybutyrate on models of the worm that were engineered to represent Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.  They further found that betahydroxybutyrate delayed the onset of signs of Alzheimer’s in the worm by 15% and also delayed the formation of clumps of the abnormal protein found in Parkinson’s disease by 35%.    The bottom line here is that betahydroxybutyrate prolonged the lifespan and was found to protect brain cells in the worm.
In an article published in 2017, Dr. Richard L. Veech and his associates at the National Institutes of Health further explain how these findings in C.elegans might be translated to prolonging human lifespan and delaying effects of aging on the brain.  The likely ketone effects involved include anti-inflammatory effects, reduction of damage from reactive oxygen species, and reducing levels of glucose and insulin.  My summary here is just a simple explanation for the very technical, complicated biochemistry involved.
We gigantic humans share many of the same chemical pathways as C. elegans, including those studied in the University of South Florida experiments. Do ketones have anti-aging effects?  Based on the latest information from studying this little worm, the answer to this question appears to be yes!


Edwards C, J Canfield, N Copes, et al. D-beta-hydroxybutyrate extends lifespan in C. elegans. Aging Vol. 6 No. 8 (2014):1-24.
Edwards C, N Copes, PC Bradshaw. D-beta-hydroxybutyrate: an anti-aging ketone body. Oncotarget Vol. 6 No. 6 (2015): 3477-8.

Veech RL, PC Bradshaw, K Clarke, et al. Ketone bodies mimic the life span extending properties of caloric restriction. IUBMB Life Vol. 69 No. 5 (2017):305-314.

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Thursday, July 6, 2017


The media has irresponsibly taken viral a fragment of information purporting that coconut oil may be bad for your heart from an article published in the medical journal "Circulation" 2017, 135:e1-24, as a presidential advisory committee report from the AHA, "Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease". The coconut oil industry on the other side of the world, mainly comprised of small farmers who grow and sell their coconuts, is reeling from the effects of this latest careless media campaign. They have only recently been recovering from the previous advisory put forth by the AHA.

There are some serious problems with the conclusions of the advisory committee. The four "core studies" this committee relied on were all conducted in the 1950s, were relatively small groups of "men only" in three of the four studies, were conducted in populations that almost certainly were not consuming coconut oil on any regular basis, and were studies comparing diets with ANIMAL saturated fats to diets with polyunsaturated fats. Animal and human fat is well known to store hormones, pesticides, antibiotics and other environmental substances, which could be factors in heart disease, whereas vegetable fats such as coconut oil would not be so likely to contain these potentially harmful substances.

The authors do not mention whether age and smoking were controlled for in these studies; smoking, which was very prevalent in the 1950s compared to the 2010's is a major contributor to heart disease. The raw numbers of how many people in each group had cardiac events was not presented, making the summaries difficult to evaluate. The clincher in this article is that they state on page e13, under the section on coconut oil, "Clinical trials that compared direct effects on CVD [cardiovascular disease] of coconut oil and other dietary oils have not been reported." They rely on studies of individual saturated fatty acids that show a miniscule increase in LDL (so called "bad") cholesterol but rationalize away a similar small increase in HDL (so called "good") cholesterol and an improved LDL to HDL ratio. For example, lauric acid (50% of coconut oil) resulted in a less than 1 mg/dl point increase in both LDL and HDL cholesterol, with typical LDL values ranging from less than 100 to 160 mg/dl. Could a change of less than 1 mg/dl really have that much impact?

In addition, the problem here is that natural fats such as coconut oil and even lard do not come as individual fatty acids but rather as combinations of many fatty acids with different properties, which may balance each other out. Completely ignored in this report are the saturated fats in coconut oil known as medium chain triglycerides that could balance out the longer chain fats. Coconut oil also contains some mono- and polyunsaturated fats, tauted as healthy by this committee. One of the most important details that the AHA is missing here is that 70% of the saturated fats in coconut oil are medium chain triglycerides (C6 through C12) which are either converted to ketones or burned immediately as fuel by muscle and other organs and not stored as fat. Lauric acid has some properties of medium chain and longer chain fatty acids. Ketones come from breakdown of fat and provide an alternative fuel to the brain and most other organs during starvation or fasting or to cells that are insulin resistant. In a recent study conducted in Japan, lauric acid was found to potently stimulate ketone production in astrocytes in cultures; astrocytes are brain cells that nourish other brain cells. By comparison, butter, lard and animal fat contain minimal medium chain triglycerides and medium chains are not found in soybean, olive, corn, safflower and most other oils. There are hundreds of studies of potential benefits of coconut oil; for example, lauric acid, which makes up about 50% of coconut oil, is antimicrobial - there are numerous studies showing that lauric acid kills many bacteria, viruses, fungi like candida and protozoa. Lauric acid is not found in any significant amount in soybean, corn, canola and olive oils.

A few small cholesterol studies looking at coconut oil were conducted decades ago in animals or a few men over short term and used hydrogenated coconut oil - any hydrogenated oil will increase cholesterol. Also, the diets were deficient in omega-3 fatty acids which can also increase cholesterol levels. There are studies of entire populations for whom coconut oil provides 1/3 to 2/3 of the diet showing that they were of normal height and weight, had normal blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels at all ages.

The committee surmises that people who eat saturated fats likely have other bad eating habits without any proof. These days, many, if not most, of the people who embrace coconut oil are likely embracing healthier foods as well and a healthier lifestyle in general and eating fish and/or taking omega-3 fats, which weren’t on the radar in the 1950s when the so-called “core studies” for this report were conducted.

The folks in the AHA and other organizations who perpetuate these myths about coconut oil need to really do their homework and learn more about medium chain triglycerides and study the other beneficial effects of coconut oil, which they choose to ignore. The point that some people may benefit from eating more polyunsaturated fat in place of animal fat may be very valid. However, coconut oil is not animal fat and, nevertheless, the bottom line that came out of their lengthy report is that “coconut oil is bad for your heart”, which has now been perpetuated by media who jumped on this conclusion that is not even based on direct research of coconut oil and heart disease. This message has gone viral worldwide. The impact of this could take a devastating toll on the economies of countries that produce coconut oil, mostly made up of individual farmers and their families trying to make a living. These economies were devastated in the 1960s and have been slowly recovering from the initial similar AHA statement on saturated fats in 1961 based on the same four “core studies". It is irresponsible and unconscionable for this advisory committee to make such sweeping claims without direct proof that coconut oil causes heart disease.

The AHA advisory committee should consider the negative impact their report has already had on the communities on the other side of the world, and issue a clarification that there is no direct proof that coconut oil has a negative effect on the heart. Then the committee needs to figure out how to make the clarification statement go viral.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017


While my highest priority is to increase awareness of ketones as alternative fuel for the brain for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases, reducing sugar in the diet can help support that. Also, there are very many people dealing with being overweight to obese and/or with type 2 diabetes, which increases the risk of developing dementia later in life. So embracing a low carb ketogenic lifestyle could go a long way to reducing the risk and improve health overall.

Until about thirty years ago, if you wanted to lose weight, the doctor would likely tell you to cut down on sweets and starchy foods. Then along came the concept of the “low fat diet” based on, what has turned out to be, flawed research.  Rates of obesity and diabetes in the USA and many other countries have been steadily climbing ever since. Added sugar in the diet has increased from about 6 pounds per person per year in the early 1800’s to more than 130 pounds now for the average person in the USA. That is a lot of extra sugar! For most people, eating a low fat diet turns into eating a high carbohydrate (sugar) diet, and eating too much sugar is a big problem for many reasons (which will be the subject of another blog post). When you eat sugary foods, your body will crave more sugar.

So the simplest way to think of a low carb diet is to…cut down on sweets and starchy foods!  These include the obvious sweets like candy, pies and cakes, added sugars (including agave and honey), starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn and peas, rice and other grains, anything made with wheat or rice flour (breads, pasta, pastries, crackers, cookies, cereals, pancakes, muffins), fruit juices and most fruits. Berries such as blueberries and strawberries are relatively low in sugar, so would be good choices in limited amounts.  Aiming for less than 50 grams per day is reasonable and will support ketosis for most people.  Dropping to less than 20 grams per day for the first 2 or 3 weeks can hasten fat burning.  You can accomplish this by getting most of your carbs from vegetables and perhaps choosing ¼ to ½ cup of berries or a slice of whole grain bread or ¼ cup of whole grain rice per day as part of a meal.  See Carb Chart below.

Your body needs a certain amount of protein to maintain muscle and other lean tissues, especially while on a fat losing diet, but if you eat too much protein, some of it may be converted to sugar. Our goal is to lose fat, not muscle.  The best way to accomplish this is to adopt a ketogenic diet, which is a diet that raises levels of ketones.  This is a diet that is low in carbs and higher in fat, with just enough protein to maintain our muscle mass.  With a ketogenic diet, we switch from mainly burning glucose (sugar) for fuel to burning fat, and do not have to tap into muscle so much to compensate for eating fewer calories. 

Supplementing with ketone salts, can enhance fat burning by raising ketone levels even more. Ketones lower glucose levels, which lowers insulin levels (insulin puts and keeps fat on our bodies), and ketones also stimulate fat burning.

A reasonable amount of protein per day for most people is ½ gram for each pound that you weigh. So that would be 75 grams of protein for someone who weighs 150 pounds. 75 grams of protein provides about 300 calories. A couch potato might need less and an athlete or body builder might need up to twice as much.  See Protein Chart below.  Think of 3 ounces of meat or fish as about the size of a deck of cards.

One very important part of ketogenic/low carb dieting often overlooked is eating enough fat, which will help keep ketone levels elevated and promote burning fat as our primary fuel.  Medium chain triglycerides are converted by the liver to ketones, so ketone levels can be enhanced by adding MCT oil and coconut oil, which is 60% MCTs to the diet.  Some other sources of healthy fats include olive oil, olives, avocados, nuts and nut butters or milks.  If you like cow or goat milk and milk products like yogurt or soft cheeses, choose full fat versions, which contain some MCTs, and look for no added sugar.  A reasonable goal is to aim for between 60 and 100 grams of fat per day, which equates to 540 to 900 calories per day – the higher the percent of fat as the total calories in the diet, the higher you can expect your ketone levels to be.  A tablespoon of oil contains about 14 grams of fat, one large avocado has 27 grams of fat and an ounce of nuts (a small handful) has about 10 to 15 grams. Check package labels for milk and milk products.

And don’t forget your vegetables!  Vegetables contain carbohydrates but most are high in important fiber and they are a great source of many vitamins and other important nutrients. Eliminate or minimize the starchy vegetables like white and sweet potatoes, corn and peas. Include at least two cups of leafy green vegetables (1-2 grams of carbs total) and several servings per day of various colors of other fresh veges such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peppers, onions, tomatoes, squash. Most of these vegetables contain 2 to 4 grams of non-fiber carbs per one-half to one cup servings. Frozen veges are nearly as good as fresh as far as providing nutrients. Organic is even better.

Putting It All together -  
Get rid of tempting high carb foods from your home.  Plan out your meals for several days at a time and shop for the foods you will need. Keep a record of what you are eating to keep you honest and help you find problems and tweak the diet if you aren’t losing weight. Get a good book that will give you total calorie and gram counts for carbs, fat and protein. Find your favorite foods and write them down for easy reference.  There are also great books and websites available now to support ketogenic dieting with tasty recipes for meals, snacks and some amazing desserts.

Consider adding coconut oil and/or MCT oil to coffee or tea in the morning to get off to a ketogenic start. Pruvit KetoKreme is a delicious and easy way to accomplish this.

Use a ketone salt supplement, such as Pruvit KetoMax or Keto//OS, to increase ketone levels. Ketones have been shown in studies to promote fat burning and suppress appetite as well. Drink plenty of water 8 to 10 glasses per day.

Eat only when you are hungry and stop when you begin to feel full. Think mainly protein, vegetables, and oil for your meals.  Consider low carb snacks once or twice a day such as cheese, nuts, coconut milk or almond milk, or veges with cream cheese or high fat dip.

You might not need to count calories to be successful, but if you do, aim for between 1250 and 1600 calories per day depending on how big you are.  If you are starting out at more than 250 to 300 pounds, you might even lose weight on 1800 to 2000 calories per day. As you lose weight you can adjust the calories downward to keep losing.

Aim for 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day, mainly as vegetables, ½ gram of protein per day for each pound that you weigh (or more if you are an active athlete), and 60 to 90 grams of fat per day.
Go one step further and add exercise to your plan.  A recent study by Dr. Stephen Cunnane and associates reported that 30 minutes of walking three days per week can triple ketone uptake in the brain!  

For more information on ketones and a link to research ketone salts, please see my website at  

3 ounces of cooked beef,  pork, poultry, lamb or tuna
1 cup cottage cheese or ricotta
3 ounces of most fish (except tuna and cod) or lobster
1 cup boiled green soybeans         
3 ounces cod, crab or shrimp  OR 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons peanut or almond butter
1 ounce hard cheese
1 egg  OR 8 ounces of milk OR 1 ounce soft cheese, such as brie or blue cheese OR 1 to 1 ½ ounces nuts OR ½ cup most beans
2 or less
½ cup most cooked vegetables or 1 cup leafy green vegetables
1/3 cup undiluted coconut milk or 1 ounce grated coconut
2 slices of bacon
Nearly all fruits, 1 medium or typical serving

 PER SERVING (minus fiber)
½  medium white potato (flesh and skin)
½ cup cooked whole wheat egg noodles or pasta
½ cup most beans (except green string beans)
½ cup  long grain brown or white rice, cooked
½ large (6 ½” diameter) whole wheat pita
½ medium whole grain bagel (3” diameter for whole bagel)
3 cups popcorn OR ¼ cup granola OR ½ medium sweet potato
½ medium banana OR 4 ounces orange juice
½ cup regular cream of wheat, prepared
1 medium orange OR ½ cup baked potato, flesh only
1 x 4” pancake
1 slice whole wheat bread (1 oz)
1/4 cup long grain brown rice, cooked OR ½ medium pear
1/4 cup cooked corn OR 1 medium peach OR ½ medium apple
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup halved strawberries
½ cup raspberries OR ½ cup ricotta or cottage cheese
1 medium apricot, ½ cup raspberries, 1 medium avocado
4 asparagus spears
1 ounce almonds, peanuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts, macadamias
½ cup cooked broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, green or string beans, or turnips, chopped bell or sweet peppers
1 cup boiled, chopped kale or other “greens”
1 cup chopped cucumber or celery
1 tablespoon catsup or sweet relish
1 cup of most lettuces, spinach, other leafy greens and cabbages
1 medium carrot or radish
1 cup cooked yellow or zucchini squash
1 ounce pecans or pistachios
1 tablespoon mayonnaise, mustard, dill relish, vinegar

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