Mary Newport is an MD (neonatal care practitioner), whose husband Steve was diagnosed with alzheimer’s aged 58 in 2003.

The underlying biochemistry behind her advocacy of virgin coconut oil as the best means of delivering ketones, is clear and well supported scientifically. It is clearer and more credible than
the “scientific” explanations behind the Memory Healer Program; though the wholefood diet she advocates is almost exactly the diet which the Memory Healer Program provides. This is mainly wholefoods, with raw salads & veg as a priority, some protein, and as few sugars & carbohydrates and as little processed or refined food as possible.

This is why that diet, with the addition of daily intake of coconut oil, is working so well for my Mum.

Basically what happens in Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia & Parkinson’s Disease, is that the glucose (from carbohydrates) which is the normal fuel for the brain cells, (and all the cells in the body), can no longer get across the blood-brain barrier, so the brain cells are deprived and start to die. Hence the MRI Brain scans of advanced Alzheimer’s sufferers show brain shrinkage, and areas of destruction of brain cells, as well as the plaques & tangles associated with the brain being starved of fuel. The reason for the failure of the transport of fuel (glucose) to the brain, is lack of insulin or a resistance to insulin in the mitochondria in the brain cells. The brain requires massive supplies of energy to continue to function properly. The tiny mitochondria in the brain cells normally process this energy.

The body has a natural way of dealing with this problem on a temporary basis, by producing ketones, which seems to be a fuel which can pass through the blood brain barrier without needing the insulin transporter, and therefore fuel the brain cells. Normally we only produce ketones when we are starved for 48 hours or more. As soon as we eat again, the ketones levels drop and we go back to processing carbs to make glucose, with the insulin produced in the pancreas to transport the glucose. But where the latter process is not happening, as in Az sufferers, then ketones which the body can quickly synthesize from virgin unrefined coconut oil, come to the rescue, and allow the brain cells to be fueled, and new cells to grow and replace the dead or damaged ones.

The best available source of ketones is virgin unrefined coconut oil and other coconut based products, as well as MCT Oils from palm oil or coconut oil, or synthesized forms of these powerful fatty acids. Coconut Oil is a medium chain fatty acid (ie MCT), and it is a saturated fat, but it will not raise LDL cholesterol levels, and is not harmful to the diet. In fact, it has other great benefits in addition to supplying the ketones needed for Alzheimer’s sufferers. It has anti-oxidants, vitamins, fights infections, especially fungal problems, and herpes simplex problems and it boosts the immune system. It is good for the skin and hair; and is an excellent preventative health supplement.

Because the effects of Ketones are short term, they must be replaced daily to ensure the brain cells are being fuelled. Hence the need to take the Coconut oil every day. Dr. Newport incorporated moderate doses into Steve’s meals, 3 times a day. He showed remarkable improvements, and only had setbacks when other illnesses or meds taken for them, prevented the taking of, or absorption of the ketones in the coconut oil.

This does mean that the subtitle of her book is rather misleading, because there is no permanent cure for Alzheimer’s. If you stop producing the ketones ie stop taking the coconut oil, then you deteriorate again, as your brain is not being fuelled properly. But we can say that the symptoms can be arrested, and the sufferer can lead a fairly normal life.

Here is a passage from the publisher’s blurb, which is not very clear, but it does get some of the background to the Newport’s story across…..

This is an this updated second edition Dr. Newport, a neonatal practitioner, continues the story of Steve's progress and provides the most recent research on such topics as possible causes of Alzheimer's due to the herpes simplex virus and nitrosamine substances and how infection, inflammation and genetic makeup may affect an individual's response to fatty acid therapy. Among many other updates, she details the latest clinical trials aimed at removing beta amyloid that accumulates in the Alzheimer's brain.

Dr. Newport's story of Steve's Reprieve from Alzheimer's provides a real breakthrough for carers eager to learn about readily available fatty acids in foods that may reverse the ravages of this dreaded disease. Changes in loved ones may take many forms, including improved memory, return of personality, resumption of activities and social interaction and relief from certain physical symptoms.

Carers of those who suffer from Alzheimer's disease are searching desperately for hope, relief and a cure. They will find all that in this book that summaries Dr. Newport's research and Steve's reprieve, the importance of medium-chain fatty acids and how Alzheimer's patients can make the transition to a healthy diet rich in these vital fats

Dr. Newport has become an ardent advocate for ketone ester research, with FDA approval her final goal.