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there is cause for optimism given the current research and new functional approaches to treating dementia

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that dementia accounted for more deaths in England and Wales than heart disease last year.

Dementia, including Alzheimer’s, made up 11.6% of all deaths in 2015 – a figure close to 62,000. In the last five years, the mortality rate for the condition has more than doubled.

But the research is encouraging...

The ONS has cited improved detection and diagnosis, as well as an ageing population, as factors. A change in the rules for determining the underlying cause of deaths may also have played a part.

Although the news is stark, multiple studies have shown that dementia is not untreatable. In fact, research into neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s has built up a head of steam in recent years, with various remedial methods coming under the spotlight.

Ketones – the brain’s alternative fuel...

One topic which represents a promising area of research concerns ketones. But first, some elementary neurology might be necessary. In those suffering from cognitive decline, including dementia, the uptake of glucose by the brain is reduced. Because the human brain relies almost entirely on glucose as an energy substrate, this creates a major problem. The solution, according to an increasing body of study, is to substitute glucose with ketone bodies. Ketones are the brain’s primary alternative fuel, and unlike glucose, ketone uptake appears to be normal in those battling cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

Ketone bodies, which include acetone, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate, are typically produced from fat stores when glucose is in short supply, as in the case of prolonged fasting. This is just one reason for the continued popularity of low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diets.

The power of MCTs...

Among the well-documented studies into the effect of ketones on those with dementia is a 2004 paper in the Neurobiology of Aging. The case found that acute administration of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) improved memory performance in Alzheimer patients. Moreover, the extent of memory improvement was positively correlated with plasma levels of beta-hydroxybutyrate produced by oxidation of the MCTs.

Given beta-hydroxybutyrate’s role in memory improvement, it stands to reason that the ketogenic diet – which elevates beta-hydroxybutyrate levels – would also prove successful in improving memory function.

“The third type of diabetes”...

Dr. Thomas Janossy is a pioneer in the field of natural detoxification and anti-ageing. He believes ketones are vital to combating the deteriorating effects of dementia.

“The ketones produce more ATPs,” he explains. “So, even sluggish neurons that are not functioning properly, once they get ketones over glucose, that circumvents the pathway. The ketones don’t need insulin. Actually I would mention that it’s widely known that Alzheimer’s disease is also called third type of diabetes, because of the problems with the insulin.”

Diet was also a major factor in a 2014 trial by UCLA and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Of the ten participants, which comprised individuals suffering from cognitive problems, nine showed improvement in memory retention.

Supplementing the ketogenic diet...

If you’re embarking on a ketogenic diet, supplementing with MCT oil – a product derived from coconut oil and palm kernel oil – can be very helpful. Indeed, it has been credited with enhancing the production of ketone bodies. What’s more, the human body is extremely efficient at metabolising and digesting MCTs, which also engender a whole host of ancillary health benefits.

Cause for optimism...

The news from the ONS is a concern – but there is cause for optimism given the current research and new functional approaches to treating dementia. And incorporating MCT oil into your diet is probably the easiest – and most effective – change you can make.

To find out more about how supplements such as MCT oil can aid your health, check out our website www.water-for-health.co.uk, or contact us on +44 (0) 1764 662111.

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