Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Larissa DeDea, PharmD recently presented a scholarly article in the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants Can Coconut Oil Replace Caprylidene for Alzheimer Disease? . It was published in the August 7, 2012 issue of the journal. In the article, Dr. DeDea examines whether there are any benefits to using coconut oil to restore the mental functioning of patients with Alzheimer Disease.

Dr. DeDea compares coconut oil to Axona, a pharmaceutical with coconut oil derivatives.

Coconut oil had been determined to induce ketosis, the biochemical process that occurs after the consumption of certain fatty acids that results in the body producing glucose, the primary food for the human brain.

Axona, manufactured by Accera, Inc. is currently the subject of a study by the National Institutes for Health (NIH), to determine its ability to remedy Alzheimer’s  Disease in patients by  inducing ketosis with a proprietary blend of coconut oil derived fatty acids.


  • Dr. DeDea notes that only 1 patient study has been conducted which demonstrates that coconut oil reverses Alzheimer Disease or even alleviates the condition’s symptoms.
  • The idea that coconut oil reverses Alzheimer Disease is very persistent in the American culture because of that 1 study.
  • Also, Axona just like straight coconut oil can cause an upset stomach, sometimes severe.
  • Axona is a very expensive prescription just as coconut oil is probably the most expensive cooking oil at the health food store or grocer.
Dr. DeDea’s work opens the door to some very basic questions about coconut oil and Axona that the American scientific, food and financial industries should answer.

scientific, food and financial INDUSTRY Questions

  1. Why is there only 1 accepted study of coconut oil, a product that is produced internationally and has been consumed by literally millions of people over many millennia?  It stands to reason that there would be a viable patient population to study.  Have there in fact been studies conducted but which are not accepted by the American scientific community?
  2. Why haven't there been any studies of the effectiveness of coconut oil in the treatment of reversible forms of dementia?
  3. Is the fact that both the pharmaceutical Axona and straight coconut oil cause stomach upset, sometimes severe,  a hint or clue to how both could be more effectual?
  4. Why haven't  coconut butter or coconut flakes been studied?
  5. Is a process comparable to the nixtmalization of corn needed for the human body to utilize straight coconut oil?  Native Americans treated corn with lime, alkaline calcium carbonate, to release nutrients for human consumption. Throughout tropical latitudes, there are cultural traditions that call for coconut to be consumed with lime, the citrus fruit. There are even songs about the marriage of coconut with lime slices.
  6. Is it high cooking heat that releases the coconut component that is effective for Alzheimer Disease?  In most tropical cultures that use coconut oil, the oil isn’t drank straight  or poured over cooked foods like in America but instead it is used as a cooking oil heated to very high temperatures.
  7. What is the market basis for coconut oil costing about $10 for a small jar and Axona’s $114 monthly prescription price? Coconut oil is a seed oil. Millions of tons of it are annually produced worldwide, in many different tropical countries. 
  8. Why is coconut oil still such a novelty at most large grocery stores and thus unavailable to millions of American consumers, despite the fact that the promise of coconut oil benefits has gone viral on the internet?

In Conclusion

The last question about coconut oil benefits for health is:  Why are American consumers who happen to be patients, left to their own devices to figure-out if a seed oil that is commonly used in tropical countries could inexpensively remedy their infirmities.


 I am not a scientist or doctor.

Resources and references: 

Dr. Bruce Fife, Coconut Research Center, Colorado, USA
Axona NIH government study by invitation only. Clinical Trial Identifier:  NCT01538212
Accera, Inc. links for additional information on Axona
Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary
Pat Thomas for THE COCONUT LOVERS MOJO until next time…

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