The coconut tree (Cocos nucifera) is aptly called ‘the tree of life’ because of the great value in every part of the plant. Coconut oil is the most prestigious among the numerous values from every part of this mysterious plant. The consumption of coconut oil is booming all over the world currently as more and more health benefits are being discovered.
Research has shown that the saturated fat in coconut oil, especially virgin coconut oil is not the same as the saturated fat in other oils. The discovery that coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs) has led to the exploration of its nutritional and therapeutic benefits.
MCFAs are generated from the digestion of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are readily capable of forming ketone bodies than other triglycerides. These ketone bodies are a competent energy sources for the brain especially those with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease characterized clinically by accelerated shortfalls in memory and behavioural changes.
In a clinical trial conducted in the region of Ribera (Valencia) patients who received coconut oil recorded cognitive improvement after the intervention. The prospective, longitudinal, qualitative and experimental study involved 44 patients of Alzheimer’s disease. Half of the subjects received during 21 days 40 ml of coconut oil daily divided between breakfast (20 ml) and food (20 ml). Before and after evaluation of coconut oil the subjects were evaluated through cognitive test Mini-Mental State Examination to determine possible changes. The result of the clinical trial indicated that coconut oil appears to improve cognitive abilities of Alzheimer’s patients, with different intensity depending on the cognitive area.
This research is implies that there is more scientific evidence to support the health benefits of coconut oil, especially virgin coconut oil in the elderly. In addition to immune system support, weight management and prevention of heart diseases, there is another reason why the elderly should be taking coconut oil regularly. The prevention and management of Alzheimer’s disease is a reason why every elderly person needs to virgin coconut oil regularly.