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Old 10-25-2008, 11:20 PM   #1
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Coconut Oil for ADD??

I have read that using virgin coconut oil will help ADD.

Has anyone with ADD used it and if so did they see any positive results?

To use it you need to start off slowly like a teaspoon daily before a meal to make sure that you are not sensitive to using this oil. And work up to 3 1/2 half tablespoons daily -- the theraptic dose for adults.

As you may know if you are not use to intaking much oil in your diet-- too much can cause diarrhea.

Harry

 
Old 10-26-2008, 03:55 PM   #2
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Re: Coconut Oil for ADD??

I starting taking Coconut Oil MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) for another health reason, and I found a side benefit of taking it was a slight improvement to my ADD condition. It seems to stablize blood sugar levels, and provide plenty of fuel for mental cognition.

LD

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Old 10-26-2008, 10:08 PM   #3
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Re: Coconut Oil for ADD??

I'm not going to take a stance on whether this oil will help with ADHD or not, though I tend to be dubious of unproven panaceas.

It's important to consider that consuming 3.5 tablespoons of coconut oil represents 49 grams of fat, 42g of which is saturated fat. This amounts to 73.5% of your daily recommended fat intake, and 203% of your recommended saturated fat intake.

All that said, if you do decide to take coconut oil in hopes of controlling your ADHD, do your best to ensure that it's cold pressed and sold in opaque bottles, as biologically active fats go rancid very quickly in the presence of oxygen, heat or light.

 
Old 10-27-2008, 02:20 PM   #4
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Re: Coconut Oil for ADD??

Medium chain Triglyceride Virgin coconut oil is indeed saturated fat, but it is not processed in the body the same way as animal fat sourced long chain saturated fat is.

It is far more likely to be burned as energy rather than to be stored as fat as would be the case with long chain saturated fats. It is body fat storage that increases the risk of rising levels of triglycerides and cholesterol.

There are many demonstrated benefits associated with the consumption of coconut oil, including:

Weight loss
Body fat loss
Athletic endurance enhancement
Anti-fungal and anti-viral properties
Overall good health

I have anecdotally experienced each of these benefits myself.

I think that 3.5 tablespoons is probably a bit much (I take about the equivalent of about 1 tablespoon daily myself).

In any case, the real limiting factor could be the intestinal discomfort of consuming that much coconut oil.

LD


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Old 10-28-2008, 07:08 AM   #5
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Re: Coconut Oil for ADD??

I haven't tried coconut oil, and would be interested in hearing about studies with ADDers. And I'm glad that conanld reports positive results with it. Heaven knows we need some good news about treating our ADD symptoms!

And thanks, Harry, for posing a question for us to ponder!

I've been reading a lot about the use of other oils (such as Omega-3) for the help of ADD symptoms, and all this discussion about specific oils raises some questions for me.

We hear that the "modern western diet" has skewed the proportions of the fats that our pre-industrial ancestors used to get from their diet. So therefore we should take supplements (of coconut oil or Omega-3 oil, or some combination of oils).

My first question has to do with the definition of the "modern western diet". It seems to me that ADDers, like everyone else in the western world, eat a wide variety of diets -- some are vegetarians or vegans, some eat a lot of meat, some eat their recommended fruits and veggies, some put catsup on their hotdogs and call it their veggie for the day, some eat organic produce, some get most of their diets courtesy of fast-food establishments. So, just how do scientists who recommend coconut oil or Omega-3 oils actually know that this is the ingredient that is missing from my diet?

My second question regards the skewed balance of fats that the "modern western diet" is supposed to have. How do they know that this prescribed amount of this specific oil will bring my fat proportions back into balance? Wouldn't it make more sense for me to alter my diet to include lots more veggies, moderate amounts of fruits and whole grains and beans/lentils, small amounts of lean meats and fish and plant oils (perhaps including coconut oil)? That way my proportions of various fats become more in balance with the way my ancestors ate, and less unbalanced with Omega-6 and trans-fats and other less helpful fats.

My third question regards where these scientists get their ideas from. Have any of them looked at populations where there is a lot of coconut oil in the diet (Hawaii? South Sea islands? Southern Asia?) and compared the proportion of ADD in the populations of those who eat a lot of coconut oil and those who don't?

I recognize that coconut oil -- in its less processed state rather than heavily processed in convenience foods -- can be a part of a healthy diet. I just have problems with the idea of its use as a supplement. If it does indeed have properties that are of benefit to ADDers, then it seems to me that it could be used to replace some of the fats in a healthy home-cooked diet, so that the high caloric contact of any fat doesn't lead to weight gain. Adding supplements of healthy fats to a diet of heavily processed foods is, in my opinion, not going to be an adequate subsitute for the unbalanced nutrition in that diet.

Just my two cents, and I look forward to hearing from others about their experiences and their ideas about the use of coconut oil for the symtoms of ADD.

--Rheanna

 
Old 10-28-2008, 10:33 AM   #6
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Re: Coconut Oil for ADD??

Rheanna,

You are absolutely right. The right way to fix imbalance in fats is to change the diet, not to take a supplement.

The problem is, one is a little behavior change, the other is a major lifestyle change that means going to a fair bit of trouble sometimes. Guess which one more people will stick with?

 
Old 10-29-2008, 05:44 AM   #7
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Re: Coconut Oil for ADD??

I too believe that a proper diet is an essential part of the package, but that is not the point that I was trying to communicate.

The problem is that some specific nutrients such as Medium Chain Triglycerides are not easily found in sufficient quantities in western diets no matter what you eat, unless you consume coconuts throughout the day.

Some foods are indeed known as super foods. Another one that I like is organic Spirulina (free of heavy metals etc).

The health and beauty of the Polynesian people is world-renowned. They make coconuts (and hence raw coconut oil) a significant portion of their diet.

The native Polynesians are remarkedly free of disease of any kind relative to western populations.

LD

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Originally Posted by janewhite1 View Post
Rheanna,

You are absolutely right. The right way to fix imbalance in fats is to change the diet, not to take a supplement.

The problem is, one is a little behavior change, the other is a major lifestyle change that means going to a fair bit of trouble sometimes. Guess which one more people will stick with?

 
Old 10-29-2008, 03:51 PM   #8
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Re: Coconut Oil for ADD??

Conanld makes a good point. There are certain foods that are very difficult to find in the Western world (such as wild meats) and others that are difficult to avoid (such as corn-fed beef)

A cow is designed to eat mostly grass, not grain. Not only is corn-fed beef much higher in fat, but the proportions of different types of fat found in grass-fed beef are completely different, and many of the most harmful ones are present in much smaller quantities. In essence, a raw steak is already processed and altered food. Still, the only way to raise the quantity of beef presently consumed in the Western world is to feed them grain, so, we continue the practice.

<puts away soap box>

Still, I suspect that the whole coconut (when available) might be even better than the oil alone. And if you do start taking any type of oil supplement, you might need to cut fat and calories somewhere else in your day.

Conanld, glad it's working for you.

 
Old 10-30-2008, 06:30 AM   #9
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Re: Coconut Oil for ADD??

I absolutely agree. The coconut oil approach is in a sense somewhat of a compromise driven by a need for some degree of convenience. (Raw coconuts are difficult to open for example.)

Assuming that:

(1) A person has done their research on a supplement that they are considering taking, and that....

(2) They are also somewhat familiar with their own biochemistry, and that....

(3) They are aware of any potential drug interaction issues,

Then I believe a little bit of experimentation with novel supplements can be quite beneficial.

The key is to always start out with the low end of the recommended dosage, and then over time raise the dosage levels if need be as you test for it's efficacy. This can be tricky if someone is taking a lot of supplements, but with enough dedication, the impact of any given supplement can be ascertained.

In my particular case, if I do not experience some obvious and tangible benefit from taking an extraneous supplement, then I cease taking it. Just because the literature may claim that something works doesn't necessarily make it so for every individual.

There was quite a fanfare over the herb ginko biloba for example. This supplement never seemed to do anything for me, and in fact actually seemed to have a down side to it, so I quit using it. Now this doesn't necessarily mean that it wouldn't work for someone else. It just didn't work for me.

It is also fair for me to mention that from a dietary perspective, I have already eliminated red meats and the vast majority of processed foods from my own diet. This provides me with an increased dietary safety net.

On the other hand, anyone who is a "meat and potatos" type of person, or someone who has a "sweet tooth", probably should not consume any more fat via a supplement without first removing other fats (and processed sugars) from their diet.

A one for one substitution of MCT fats for long chain saturated animal fats could be quite beneficial to a person's health and well being.

LD

Quote:
Originally Posted by janewhite1 View Post

Still, I suspect that the whole coconut (when available) might be even better than the oil alone. And if you do start taking any type of oil supplement, you might need to cut fat and calories somewhere else in your day.

Conanld, glad it's working for you.

 
Old 10-30-2008, 08:12 AM   #10
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Re: Coconut Oil for ADD??

conanld,

May I ask how you feel that your ADD symptoms are improved with the addition of coconut oil in your diet? That is, what changes have you noted?

--Rheanna

 
Old 10-31-2008, 12:15 PM   #11
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Re: Coconut Oil for ADD??

Just a little bit clearer mental focus while taking the coconut oil supplements, plus a longer duration focus without getting tired and distracted.

It is a subtle thing, but I started taking it for an entirely different reason completely unaware of it's potential with respect to ADD. The fact that I happened to notice a tangible benefit in my ADD symptoms, suggests to me that there is less probability of a placebo effect in my case, because I wasn't expecting any benefit from coconut oil in that particular area.

LD

Quote:
Originally Posted by rheanna View Post
conanld,

May I ask how you feel that your ADD symptoms are improved with the addition of coconut oil in your diet? That is, what changes have you noted?

--Rheanna

 
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