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Axona Treatment: Using MCTs To Compensate Brain Energy Supply

Posted by Josephchong in Food on March 2nd, 2020

 

The use of medical foods to meet certain specific nutritional requirement of certain diseases has been going on for a long time now. Many of these treatments, like the axona treatment, have become quite popular. Axona is used as a medical food in the treatment of certain neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s, dementia etc. While it cannot be used as a substitute for the prescription medicines that patients with these diseases consume regularly, its use as a dietary supplement has seen some good results.

In Alzheimer’s the brain starts to lose its cognitive faculties primarily because of reduction in the supply of energy and the abnormal deposition of proteins around the brain cells. One of these protein deposits known as amyloid tends to form plaques while the other protein or tau forms tangles inside the brain cells. Consequently, gaps start developing between neurons and neurotransmitters are unable to function properly. This results in the shrinkage of certain areas of the brain thereby hampering its functioning. Thus Alzheimer’s patients start experiencing loss of vision and start having problems with the use of language. The memory loss and depression starts at a later stage of Alzheimer’s.

It has been seen that these patients have an abnormally high level of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. The brain of patients with Alzheimer’s is also unable to process glucose molecules and thereby suffer from insufficient energy. Axona treatment hopes to rectify the same in people suffering from mild to moderate Alzheimer’s by providing them with an alternate source of energy which:

Are readily available within the body and

Which the brain cells are also able to process easily.

This alternate energy is supplied by ketones readily available in the liver of humans. Axona is primarily made up of Medium chain triglycerides. More than 95% of Axona is made up of the semi-synthetic Caprylic Triglyceride, an MCT which has been generally recognized by the FDA as safe for human consumption. This MCT gets converted into ketone bodies and travels to the brain where it can be processed to increase the energy level in the brain. This treatment, however, delays the progression of the disease. It does not cure it altogether and hence it is used in patients to provide them with some relief from the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.

It has also been seen that even when the brain is normally able to process glucose, taking Axona increases the ketone levels in the body. Alzheimer’s patients who take Axona regularly might experience some weight loss. This is primarily because fatty acids or Medium chain triglycerides present in Axona get converted into ketones and get effectively used as an alternative source of energy for the brain.

Axona is also administered orally after consultation with the concerned doctors and the patients should initially start with a graduated dose of the same for the first 7 days at least. Once the body becomes accustomed to the same, the dosage can be increased to 1 full packet or 40gms per day. Since there is a slight chance that Axona might interact with the other medications currently being given to the patient, the oral use of the same should be done strictly under medical supervision.

 

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