Coconut Oil, Ketones and Alzheimer's

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

D-ribose update

Since I wrote about it in my blog, I have found an article from 1971 showing that D-ribose is taken up by the brain rather quickly in rats. ("Metabolism of D-Ribose in Rat Tissues," MK Gaitonde, T Arnfred, Journal of Neurochemistry, Vol 18 Issue 10, P 1971-1987.) I also found a book written by Paul Addis,PhD, "The Health Benefits of Ribose," written in 2007 in which he mentions the possibility that D-ribose could be beneficial in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, but not proven yet. I have tried with no luck so far to contact him. In cardiac patients, Dr. Sinatra says that the effects of these supplements can be evident within a few days.

People frequently ask me how Steve is doing and I am happy to report that he is actually doing quite well these days. His speech seems to be flowing better and I am not seeing any physical symptoms. He tells me he feels great, not even a hint of depression, which was a serious problem before we started coconut oil. He is still a long way from having anything resembling a normal memory, but has recovered in so many other ways.


  • Bruce Ames has done many studies with the combo acetyl-L-carnitine and R-lipoic acid with aging rodents to make their mitochondria act younger. The R-lipoic appears to make AL-carnitine work better.

    By Anonymous Richard A., At November 25, 2009 at 8:34 PM  

  • You know, Dr. Newport, your description of Steve is similar to my husband's almost six-month progress on coconut oil. He is happy, adjusting to retirement, and using me as his memory and even joking about it.He loves to garden now also and takes responsibility for fixing things around the house.

    By Blogger NewKidontheBlogg, At November 26, 2009 at 4:43 AM  

  • Dr.Newport, I read this about D-Ribose and was wondering if you had any thoughts that D-Ribose may actually be harmful for Alzheimer's patients?
    D-ribose in cells and human serum participates in glycation of proteins resulting in advanced glycation end products (AGEs) that affect cell metabolism and induce cell death. However, the mechanism by which D-ribose-glycated proteins induce cell death is still unclear.

    Here, we incubated D-ribose with bovine serum albumin (BSA) and observed changes in the intensity of fluorescence at 410 nm and 425 nm to monitor the formation of D-ribose-glycated BSA. Comparing glycation of BSA with xylose (a control for furanose), glucose and fructose (controls for pyranose), the rate of glycation with D-ribose was the most rapid. Protein intrinsic fluorescence (335 nm), Nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) assays and Western blotting with anti-AGEs showed that glycation of BSA incubated with D-ribose occurred faster than for the other reducing sugars. Protein intrinsic fluorescence showed marked conformational changes when BSA was incubated with D-ribose. Importantly, observations with atomic force microscopy showed that D-ribose-glycated BSA appeared in globular polymers. Furthermore, a fluorescent assay with Thioflavin T (ThT) showed a remarkable increase in fluorescence at 485 nm in the presence of D-ribose-glycated BSA. However, ThT fluorescence did not show the same marked increase in the presence of xylose or glucose. This suggests that glycation with D-ribose induced BSA to aggregate into globular amyloid-like deposits. As observed by Hoechst 33258 staining, 3-(4, 5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) and cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8) assay, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity assay, flow cytometry using Annexin V and Propidium Iodide staining and reactive oxygen species (ROS) measurements, the amyloid-like aggregation of glycated BSA induced apoptosis in the neurotypic cell line SH-SY5Y.

    Glycation with D-ribose induces BSA to misfold rapidly and form globular amyloid-like aggregations which play an important role in cytotoxicity to neural cells.


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    By Anonymous jellybeans, At November 28, 2009 at 4:01 PM  

  • This article does bother me, however, when I asked someone who should know (a researcher), he pointed out to me that everything is toxic at some level, and in this study the testing was done in a relatively artificial process "in a dish" so to speak using cow (bovine) serum albumin, and may not actually reflect at all what is occurring in the brain. But if this actually happens in the brain when exposed to D-ribose, we certainly wouldn't want to use it. On the other hand, ribose is made naturally made inside of each cell in mitochondria. There are many questions that need to be answered about it, and if someone is concerned that D-ribose may do more harm than good, they should not use it at all.

    By Blogger Dr. Mary Newport, At December 2, 2009 at 5:52 PM  

  • Hi,

    I would like to know if other people have been doing the coconut oil / MCT oil regiment too. My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. My mother started him with coconut oil (1 tablespoon) in the morning and 2 teaspoons of MCT oil in the evening. Actually, this past week the dosage has increased by 1 teaspoon for the MCT oil. Anyway, we haven't seen any improvement but we are still giving it to him thinking that it may slow the progress. He has been on this for only 1 and a half months, but recently the doctor had to increase his medication and we fear that the increase may or may not work. I am just curious to hear more stories about this.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At March 10, 2010 at 7:29 PM  

  • Annon,
    In December of 2008 my husband scored 22/30 on his memory test. January of 2010 he scored 24/30. So he is progressing in terms of memory. The difference? Coconut oil started last summer. Two out of three meals I give him coconut oil. For breakfast I put it in oatmeal or spread it on a bagel before the cream cheese. For lunch I spread it on two slices of bread before the mustard and mayonnaise and lunch meat. When I can it goes in a casserole for dinner. But at least he is getting coconut oil for breakfast and lunch. He still has short-term memory, but at least doesn't appear to be getting any worse.

    By Blogger NewKidontheBlogg, At March 11, 2010 at 2:06 AM  

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