Potential of coconut oil and medium chain triglycerides in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Pratishtha Chatterjee, Malika Fernando, Binosha Fernando, Cintia B. Dias, Tejal Shah, Renuka Silva, Shehan Williams, Steve Pedrini, Heidi Hillebrandt, Kathryn Goozee, Edward Barin, Hamid R. Sohrabi, Manohar Garg, Stephen Cunnane, Ralph N. Martins*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. Currently, there is no effective medication for the prevention or treatment of AD. This has led to the search for alternative therapeutic strategies. Coconut oil(CO) has a unique fatty acid composition that is rich in medium chain fatty acids(MCFA), a major portion of which directly reaches the liver via the portal vein, thereby bypassing the lymphatic system. Given that brain glucose hypometabolism is a major early hallmark of AD, detectable well before the onset of symptoms, ketone bodies from MCFA metabolism can potentially serve as an alternative energy source to compensate for lack of glucose utilisation in the brain. Additionally, neuroprotective antioxidant properties of CO have been attributed to its polyphenolic content. This review discusses how the metabolism of CO and MCFA may aid in compensating the glucose hypometabolism observed in the AD brain. Furthermore, we present the current evidence of the neuroprotective properties of CO on cognition, amyloid-β pathogenicity, inflammation and oxidative stress. The current review addresses the influence of CO/MCFA on other chronic disorders that are risk factors for AD, and addresses existing gaps in the literature regarding the use of CO/MCFA as a potential treatment for AD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111209
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Early online date15 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid-β
  • Cerebral glucose hypometabolism
  • Coconut oil
  • Medium chain triglycerides


Dive into the research topics of 'Potential of coconut oil and medium chain triglycerides in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this