Nutrition experts praise coconut fat as a super food that improves brain function, boosts energy and burns the body’s excess fat. Plus, research is finding that a diet high in coconut fat also may delay brain cells from aging. A study headed by the Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Copenhagen and the National Institutes of Health reports that mice consuming a high-fat diet show an ability to stave off symptoms of an aging brain.
The researchers fed test mice coconut oil replete with healthful medium-chain fatty acids. The mice lacked the ability to repair portions of their DNA, a defect similar to Cockayne syndrome in children. The Cockayne disorder prematurely ages children who then die typically by age 10-12. The study mice on the high-fat diet exhibited fewer symptoms of aging including loss of hearing and weight.
The findings may potentially help patients with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease postpone symptoms of accelerated brain aging. The human brain relies on a continual supply of fuel from sugars or the breakdown of fats into sugar in a process that produces ketones. The study supports the data that a diet high in coconut oil or similar fats will give brain cells the extra fuel they need to strengthen and repair instead of maturing too quickly.
The study is promising for improved brain health and adds to the widespread benefits of coconut fat overall. Rich in healthy saturated fats, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and lauric acid, coconut oil also is known to kill viruses, bacteria and fungi that cause infections. A number of dietary studies conclude that coconut oil also can raise the good HDL cholesterol and protect against heart disease.
If coconut oil could slow brain aging, how likely would you be to use it in your diet?
An award-winning journalist who has documented stories in nearly 20 countries, Beth Lueders is an author, writer and speaker who frequently reports on diverse topics, including aging and health issues for both U.S. and international corporation