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Can Coconut Oil Enhance Cognitive Function?

Coconut oil has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits, particularly in the realm of cognitive function. The oil’s unique composition, rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and saturated fatty acids (SFAs), makes it a perfect home remedy – if it works.

Because of this, more and more people are searching online about the potential role of coconut oil in enhancing brain function and potentially mitigating the effects of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Table of Contents

    What is Coconut Oil?

    Coconut oil is a white, semisolid fat or nearly colorless fatty oil extracted from coconuts, primarily used in foods and industrial applications such as cosmetics and detergent production. 

    According to, coconut oil is composed of approximately 90% saturated fats, made up of MCTs (such as lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid) as well as longer chain fatty acids that are harder to break down.

    Coconut Oil's Benefits for Cognitive Function

    can coconut oil enhance cognitive function

    One mechanism by which coconut oil may support cognitive function is through the production of ketones, which are an alternative energy source for the brain. In Alzheimer’s disease, the brain’s ability to use glucose as its primary energy source is impaired. 

    The MCTs in coconut oil are quickly broken down into ketones, which can provide an alternative energy source for brain cells. This theory suggests that coconut oil may help improve cognitive function in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease by providing a more efficient energy source for the brain.

    The other other mechanism is through the action of lauric acids, which provide neuroprotective effect on the brain. The following video provides a more detailed explanation as to how:

    Studies and Findings

    These following studies suggest that coconut oil may have a positive impact on cognitive function in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.

    One pilot study, published in 2018, examined the effects of a coconut oil-enriched Mediterranean diet on cognitive function in 44 individuals with mild-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. The results showed that the diet improved cognitive function, particularly in females with mild-moderate Alzheimer’s disease. This improvement was observed in various cognitive areas, including episodic, temporal orientation, and semantic memory.

    Another study published in 2017 assessed the cognitive impact of coconut oil on Alzheimer’s patients. The study found that coconut oil appears to improve cognitive abilities, with varying intensity depending on the cognitive area. This suggests that coconut oil may have a positive effect on different aspects of cognitive function, such as memory, language, and spatial abilities.

    These findings are promising, but it’s essential to note that more research is needed to fully understand the effects of coconut oil on Alzheimer’s disease and to determine its potential as a therapeutic approach. Additionally, while coconut oil may have benefits, it should not be considered a replacement for established treatments or a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

    Can Coconut Oil Cure Alzheimer’s?

    can coconut oil enhance cognitive function

    According to Reverse Brain Age, coconut oil has been touted as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease due to its unique fatty acid composition. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) present in coconut oil are quickly absorbed and metabolized by the body, which may contribute to their potential therapeutic effects.

    The MCTs in coconut oil could help improve cognitive function and memory by increasing the production of ketones, which are an alternative energy source for the brain. This could be particularly beneficial for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, where the brain’s ability to use glucose for energy is impaired.

    Additionally, coconut oil’s antioxidant properties may also contribute to its potential therapeutic effects in Alzheimer’s. Antioxidants help protect the brain from oxidative stress and inflammation, which are thought to play a role in the progression of Alzheimer’s.

    While coconut oil may not be a cure for Alzheimer’s, it could be a useful adjunct to traditional treatments. Incorporating coconut oil into one’s diet, particularly in the form of MCT oil, which is more easily absorbed and metabolized than regular coconut oil, may offer therapeutic benefits for individuals with the disease.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    can coconut oil enhance cognitive function

    Q: Is coconut oil a healthy choice for cooking?

    Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, which can increase cholesterol levels and potentially contribute to cardiovascular disease when consumed excessively. However, it can be a healthy choice when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.

    Q: Can coconut oil help with weight loss?

    A: Coconut oil's high calorie content and saturated fat composition make it less suitable for weight loss. Instead, it is recommended to focus on a balanced diet and regular exercise for sustainable weight management.

    Q: Is coconut oil suitable for people with high cholesterol?

    A: Due to its high saturated fat content, coconut oil may not be the best choice for individuals with high cholesterol. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating coconut oil into one's diet, especially if there are concerns about cholesterol levels.

    Q: Can coconut oil be used as a hair treatment?

    A: Coconut oil has been used as a hair treatment due to its moisturizing and nourishing properties. It can be applied to the hair and left on for several hours before washing to help lock in moisture and promote healthy hair growth.

    Q: Is coconut oil a good choice for skin care?

    A: Coconut oil's antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties make it a popular choice for skin care. It can be used to treat dry skin, acne, and other skin conditions. However, it is essential to perform a patch test before using coconut oil on the skin to ensure there are no adverse reactions.


    In summary, coconut oil’s unique composition makes it both able to produce ketones as well as protect the brain against inflammation. This makes coconut oil an intriguing candidate for supporting cognitive function, particularly in the context of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. While the existing evidence is promising, further research is necessary to fully elucidate the relationship between coconut oil and cognitive function.