help them line up. I did not ask him to try to put in a time, the next part of that test.
Steve has not been able to type for at least two years, but he feels that he can picture the position of the letters on the keyboard. At this point he is afraid to sit down and try
Clock #1 - The day before starting coconut oil.
Clock #2 - Two weeks after starting coconut oil.
Clock #3 - Thirty-seven days after starting coconut oil.
to type, worried that he will be discouraged if it doesn’t come back right away. We are considering trying occupational therapy to see if he can relearn some of the skills he has lost. I cannot explain why he has improved, except that perhaps the 10 and 12 carbon
chains are important, or the APOE4 people in the Ketasyn studies were not taking omega-3 fatty ac- ids. We eat salmon at least twice a week and take fish oil supplements twice a day and have for at least the past two years.
I have been researching on the internet ev- erything I can find about coconut oil, MCT oil, fatty acids, ketone bodies, fatty acid composition of breast milk, ketones and various disease states. When I researched ketone bodies, I came across the name of Dr. Richard Veech of the National Institutes of Health. I contacted him to ask ques- tions about all of this and he very kindly spoke with me and emailed me articles he had written on the subject. I have had numerous questions and ideas, and he has continued to provide me with answers and more papers to read. I am thinking not only about people with neurodegenerative diseases like my husband, but also the sick and premature newborns that I take care of, and potential uses for those at both ends of the spectrum of life and everyone in between. I wonder about autism and whether something very important is missing in infant formulas and in the diets of women who are breastfeeding. 23
Beta-hydroxybutyrate is the primary ketone body that is the end product of fatty acid metabo- lism and appears to protect neurons when glucose is not available. 20 Dr. Veech can make an ester form of beta-hydroxybutyrate in his lab from MCT oil that can be taken orally and converted to energy by neurons and other cells. Potentially, higher lev- els of ketone bodies could be obtained by ingest- ing beta-hydroxybutyrate directly. He has done studies on animals, but needs to produce this in quantity to be able to do human studies. He could start testing this year, if only he had the funding. He needs $15 million to build a plant to produce his beta-hydroxybutyrate. That is a lot of money, but not so much if you consider that it is $1.00 for every person that is expected to have Alzheimer’s disease by the year 2050.
We visited Cincinnati at the end of June and all of my family and Steve’s family noticed a very sig- nificant difference in how he interacted with them socially compared to a year ago. Instead of looking lost, he was involved and interested in what they had to say. He recognized relatives (brothers-in- law, nieces and nephews) by name immediately that were unfamiliar to him a year ago. His facial expression was more animated. He participated actively in conversations, understood jokes im- mediately and even came up with his own humor- ous comments. He still had difficulty finding some words, but he was talking in sentences and even stringing sentences together. In the morning he would come to the kitchen and ask me to walk the “big hill” with him before breakfast to get some ex- ercise. He is a very different person than he was a year ago and perhaps even two or three years ago. He has serious atrophy of his brain and will never be “normal,” but for now we are very pleased with where he is at and, should coconut oil stop or slow down the progress of his disease, it will be worth every drop that he takes.
My sister Lois told a lady she works with about the coconut oil and Steve’s response to it. Her fa- ther began to give this to her mother, who has Al- zheimer’s and she has had a similar response, with more alertness, conversation and sense of humor.
On July 9, 2008, Steve had blood samples drawn at various times before and following break- fast and dinner. He received 35 ml of coconut oil at each of those meals. He did not receive any other coconut oil or other coconut products during the rest of that day. Normally, he receives more coco- nut oil than that on the average day. Steve’s ketone body levels began to increase after breakfast over 3 hours, but at relatively low levels, dropped again before dinner and were steadily rising about 3 hours after dinner. We do not know when his levels peaked because we did not draw any further levels thereafter. Dr. Veech stated that it is surprising that Steve would improve with these relatively low lev- els of ketones. This study reaffirms his belief that it is necessary to go forward with the production and testing of his ketone body b-hydroxy butyrate esters, since considerably higher levels of ketone bodies, timed and controlled could be achieved, and more ketones would be available for the neu- rons to use, and therefore greater improvement could be expected.
It is urgent that funding become available to move forward for the sake of the millions who currently suffer, and will in the future suffer, from Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s chorea, multiple scle- rosis, ALS, type I and type II diabetes, as well as any number of other conditions that involve a defect in transport of glucose into neurons and other cells.
Until Dr. Veech’s beta-hydroxybutyrate is test- ed and available for use, a simple dietary change to coconut oil could make a difference for people who believe they are at risk and for those who already have one of these diseases.
To duplicate the dose of MCT taken in the Ketasyn study, about 7 level teaspoons should be taken at one time, once a day, which should circu- late ketone bodies for about 24 hours. I do not know if it is necessary to take this much at one time or if the dosage could be spread out over the course of the day. Studies obviously need to be done to determine this. We actually give this amount to Steve at least twice a day to make sure that there are no periods without ketone bodies circulating. Many days he receives at least 50% more than this. The amounts we are taking would not be excessive in areas of the world where coconut is a staple. If a person can tolerate more, or can work up to tol- erating more, it may be a good idea to do so. As an alternative, one could take 4 teaspoons of MCT oil once or twice a day, or more often as tolerated.
Some people may experience a sense of “fullness” or even have diarrhea after taking this much to start, but this problem can be reduced by starting with one or two teaspoons and increasing over a week or so to the full amount. We put it in oatmeal, combine it with salad dressings, use it to cook with, and put it on anything that one would normally put butter on, such as potatoes, sweet po- tatoes, rice, pasta or noodles. Coconut ice cream can be purchased at Asian stores, contains coconut oil and is the most pleasant way I can think of to make ketone bodies. Likewise, coconut milk is a combination of coconut oil and coconut water and can be found in the Asian and condensed milk sec- tions of many grocery stores. It is a pleasant substi- tute for milk, and can be added instead of milk, for example, to make scrambled eggs, French toast,