Interviewer: So, Doctor, Alzheimer's has become such a big problem in this
country. You're an educated woman. You're a doctor. You do your research.
You find something that you think might start a spark or something, but it
had trouble catching on.
Dr. Newport: Yeah.
Interviewer: Why is that? Why weren't more people saying, "Hey, let's look
Dr. Newport: Right. I know I did everything I could think of to try to get
this information out. The medical food was still a year away from being out
on the marketing. It was available over-the-counter, I knew, as coconut
oil. Then I learned that MCT oil is available over-the-counter too. I just
bought it for $9 a bottle, a four pack on Amazon the other day. I mean,
that's a very inexpensive treatment and that's enough to last for months.
Dr. Newport: I started a letter-writing campaign and my sister, Angela,
suggested that the first one I write to is Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day
O'Connor. She was on the Alzheimer's study group. Her husband had
Alzheimer's at that point. That seemed like a very logical place to start.
I basically wrote her a letter relaying what I have told you, what I had
learned about this medical food and how it would work, and that it did
I realized my husband is only one case, but he's proof that this is
possible. That if he responded, other people would respond. What I
suggested was that this concept regarding this medical food needed to be
looked at urgently so that this information would get out to the masses,
the people, so that they could try this. They did have clinical trials.
They were relatively small trials. It wasn't just purely speculative.
They had a longer study with 152 people that, again, showed over a period
of months that there was improvement in roughly half the people that took
it. So, I felt like this is the best thing out there for Alzheimer's.
There's really nothing else that offers anybody hope. I just felt that they
needed their medical people to look at it. If it seemed reasonable, put it
on the fast track.
Dr. Newport: Do the clinical trials, whatever needs to be done.
Dr. Newport: But it being a food, what is the harm in people trying it in
the meantime. I basically got almost no response. The letter to her was
forwarded to the Alzheimer's Association, and they basically said, "Well,
we'll look at this and we'll get back with you." Then I didn't hear
anything. Six weeks or so later, I sent them another letter, but in the
meantime I wrote to politicians, media people, FOX, CNN, everybody just
trying to get somebody to pay some attention to this.
It was very frustrating because there are over 5 million people in the
United States suffering from this and almost 30 million worldwide. Coconut
oil is readily available and it's on the shelf. I remember seeing a
documentary that was put out by the Alzheimer's Association. I was watching
it and this man on there said, "For all we know, maybe there's something on
the shelf that could help people with Alzheimer's," and I'm screaming at
him, "There is, but nobody will listen to me."
Dr. Newport: So, it was very frustrating. The other thing, too, that I
learned fairly early on was that there was a ketone ester in development at
the NIH. It's the same ketone that your body produces when you consume the
medium change triglycerides or when you break down fat. Dr. Richard Veech
at the NIH has been working on this since the 1990s.
He came up with the formulation around 2006 that can be consumed and your
liver will convert it. Part of it's already ketone and the rest of it is
converted to ketone. (inaudible 00:04:07) blood/brain barrier. He showed
some of his studies that neurons of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's models,
there are more survivors if neurons are exposed to this ketone when they
put them into cultures.
So, it needed clinical testing, but he's basically being ignored. He
produces enough that would possibly take care of one or two people in his
lab. I mean, that's how much he can produce.
Dr. Newport: He needs funding for mass production and for clinical trials.
NIH and other sources just haven't come through for this. It's something
that's very promising and it's not just Alzheimer's. There are other
diseases that have a problem with insulin resistance or decreased glucose
uptake into cells. Parkinson's is one, Huntington's Chorea, M.S., diabetes
type I and II.
The organs, the eyes, the liver, the kidneys have a problem with insulin
resistance and ketones can address the problem in other organs as well as
the brain. People with diabetes are more likely to develop dementia. People
with traumatic brain injury, the brain loses the ability to use glucose
normally after an insult like that for a period of several days and that's
where a lot of the brain damage comes from that the apparatus to use
ketones is there.
So the ketone could provide alternative fuel for that. It's very
frustrating that there's something that promising in a lab here in the U.S.
Then, the lab is already funded by the NIH, but they just won't allow
enough funding to really look at it and do the clinical and push it along.
It seems urgent to me that something like that should be pushed along.