Sunday, September 27, 2009

Using Coconut Oil to aid in ALS


My name is Chris Proudfoot. I recently read an interesting blog from a Dr. Mary Newport, who
had her husband start using coconut oil in April of 2009 to aid in improving his condition
with Alzheimer's. I'm brand new to the blogging world, but if you are reading this post and care
to delve further into Dr. Newport's site you may visit:
To see his progress click on the icon she has listed that says April 2009 Update: Steve's Current Status, Regimen andLatest on Ketone Research

Well, to give you the Clifford's notes version of their story, he is improving quite a bit. Prior to reading her information, a friend of my father and stepmother's sent an article stating that there are
some Dr's that are advising patients with some of the major neurological type of diseases
(Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, multiple sclerosis and amytrophic lateral sclerosis also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) to try taking 2 1/2 table spoons of Coconut Oil daily.
It turns out the Coconut Oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCT) which in laments good stuff! I'm not a Dr., so feel free to read up on the MCT benefits on your own.

So, I wrote to Dr. Newport and told her I was thinking of giving this a try for ALS. I was diagnosed with a form of ALS in May of 2008, but I first discovered early signs approximately the summer time of 2007. She suggested that I start a blog and keep a journal of my progress. So, that's exactly what I'm doing right now.

I plan to update as I see fit. I'm guessing probably a few times a week.

Basic background. I am 37 years old. Born April 3rd, 1972 in Dallas Texas. U.S. Army 1991-1994. Stationed in Germany for duration. I currently live in Phoenix Arizona with my wife Julie and our kitties. I have one younger brother Dan who lives Washington DC with his wife Estelle and their kitties. My mother Helga lives just outside Phoenix in a city
called Fountain Hills with her 3 doggies. She is leading a group in my name for the annual ALS walk in Tempe, AZ on 10/11/2009. I'm not trying to solicit for help but if you feel like contributing...I won't stop you :-)

My father George and his wife Anne live in Cary North Carolina. Her daughter Lisa and son in law Brian live a 10 minute car drive away. They have a daughter Megan who will turn 10 in November. I just got back yesterday from visiting the Cary, NC crew. I had a great time! My Mother in-law Ann Marie and her son Jeffrey live in Tucson Arizona. We try to go down there about once a month to visit. I have many aunts, uncles, cousins, steps, and friends who are all wonderful and have given me tremendous support as well. Even though you are not named here, just know how much I appreciate all of you.

Health background: I have been fairly active my whole life. In my 20's and right up to Summer 2007 I was regularly in Basketball leagues. Not trying to toot my own horn, but I was quite athletic. In some of the league's I averaged 15 rebounds a game and the 2nd highest rebounder was at around 10 1/2 boards.
My hustle and tenacity is what made me successful. I could run and jump like the wind blows, but was only a mediocre shooter. They called me "the worm" in one league cause I gobbled up boards like Dennis Rodman. The reason I'm giving you this back ground is because it was key to discovering there was something wrong with me. In the summer of 07 I started playing pick up games at the gym and noticed my leaping ability was a bit off. I thought..."hmm..that's odd". Then a few times I would back pedal on defense and couldn't get my legs to shuffle back fast enough and I'd fall down. I simply thought I was not working out enough. I thought I needed to do more leg presses and calf raises to build up my leg strength. I was 35 after all, so it seemed plausible that old age was creeping in. I did hit the weights and this did not seem to help.

To fast forward a bit, my condition turned into jogging irregularly, to walking with a slight limp, to eventually my left foot dragging and stomping with each step. After numerous tests to rule everything else out, it was narrowed it down to ALS.

My current stage: I can still walk, albeit very slowly and with the aid of a cane. I have difficulty buttoning, and have lost most of the use out of my thumbs. I use my teeth to open things like cereal bags or anything sealed. I can no longer do a "normal" push up, but I can squeeze out a few from my knees. Not to offend the ladies, but some may refer to this as girl push ups. I feel a crunching in my shoulder sockets at times when I move my arms and I read this can be typical. It feels like if I tried to throw a baseball hard that my arm would separate separate from my shoulder. I currently fall on average of about once a week. Fortunately, most of the falls have been indoors and on the carpet. No broken bones or anything. Just lots of bruises. My balance is really off and I am worse after sitting or lying down for a while. It feels as if I'm just stiff all the time. I still have a decent grip, and I seem to be progressing a lot slower than most. I am very thankful for that.

Ok, I may divulge further into health stuff in further posts, but let's get back to my original intention. I bought some Coconut Oil (store brand of Sunflower), which is a local health store. It does not specifically say MCT on the bottle, so I wrote to Dr. Newport asking if there's a difference. I was just anxious to try so I bought some. I will inform you if the brand changes. She suggested a few such as Now MCT Oil or Premium MCT Gold. I most likely will order one of these in the next day or so but I was just so excited that I wanted to have "something" to use until the mail order MCT comes in.

I imagine my journals will not be this lengthy every time. I just figured a little background would help. Plus, I like to give props to my family and friends. If anyone has questions, feel free to reply.

Ok....Day 1. (today)

Well, I mixed in 2 1/2 tablespoons of the Coconut Oil in some Oatmeal about 2 hours ago. I heard this was how Dr. Newport's husband Steve takes it. She warned me that something may "happen" within 1/2 an hour. So...45 minutes later I did have a movement. I know this may be gross to some, but's going to be a good health indicator. If anyone watches Dr. Oz you know how much he talks about #2.

I do feel like I have more energy as I'm typing right now. Who knows if it's all or partial psycho somatic but hey, so far so good!

What sign of improvement will I be looking for? Well, I think Julie will be a good second set of eyes to help document. I often get really tired, so I imagine my fatigue factor will be an indicator. I'm going to see how long it takes me to stand up. Gosh, if I ever do a regular push up that will be a HUGE sign something good is going on. I'm sure as the days go on, I'll think of things that I left out as far as health challenges. Maybe I'll say "hey...I don't remember being able to do that before". If any revelations happen, I will be sure to fill you all in.

I know some of this stuff in the blog is not the most pleasant, so I'd like to end with a bit of humor. I love Jack Handy quotes. Here's one of my favorites: "If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.”

Let's see what happens in the coming days, weeks, months. I look forward to my new Coconut/MCT journey, and I hope you do as well.