The Anecdote that Ignited the Coconut Oil Explosion
Her husband had shown signs of early-onset Alzheimer's in 2001. He was diagnosed with AD a few years later. In May 2008, he was being tested as a candidate for a clinical trial on a new treatment for AD. But Dr. Newport had seen some research concerning AD-treated rats, ketones and medium-change triglycerides (MCTs), which are present in coconut oil.
Her husband had gotten a low score (14) in a preliminary AD test, which was so low that it would have disqualified him for the trial. The next morning she mixed a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil with his breakfast oatmeal. He retook the test later that day and surprised everyone by scoring 18.
She also reported major positive changes in his mood, memory, conversation, etc.
Dr. Newport published several articles in Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg newpapers later in 2008 about her husband's experience with coconut oil. Interest in coconut oil as a cure for Alzheimer's grew when an online article appeared on the Alliance for Natural Health's website in October, 2010. Then the rocket took off with the January 2012 video by Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network touting the efficacy of coconut oil for Alzheimer's.
The Bottom Line
I hope coconut oil continues to help Mr. Newport. He looked and sounded good when he spoke up on the third of the Lightburn interview videos. That's great!
But all indications are that his experience with coconut oil is very unique, more so even than mine with 5-HTP.
The first CBN video had over 5 million viewers. The other coconut-oil-Alzheimer's videos had viewers ranging from a few thousand to over 200,000. Dr. Newport published a book -- Alzheimer's Disease: What If There Was A Cure? -- which has sold well. She also has a blog, Coconut Oil, Ketones and Alzheimer's. Google "Dr. Newport, coconut oil" and you'll find several pages of links to her videos, interviews, and articles. Her most frequent comment is, "Why not try it? What have you got to lose?" She never mentions the possibility that her husband's experience might be unique.
With hype like this, you assume that coconut oil has been tried by thousands of people with Alzheimer's and their caregivers. With what result?
Dr. Newport says she's received some 250 letters and messages, many reporting some favorable experience with coconut oil. That's a tiny response in light of all the hype and the many people who must have tried it. The powerful placebo effect probably explains most of those positive responses, since the yearning for improvement is so very strong in patients and caregivers. I'll simply quote the succinct comment by the Alzheimer's Association:
The coconut oil promise has been around for more than three years. If the administration of coconut oil was, indeed, beneficial, it would be shouted from every mountaintop.As you no doubt have guessed by now, I get very angry that Dr. Newport, Pat Roberston, Ken Lightburn, and a host of other coconut oil hucksters are making money by unconscionably raising the hopes of people with Alzheimer's and their desperate caregivers for promised relief that never arrives.