Snake oil? Another crazy story flying around on the Internet? This one seems to get lots of activity and then die down for a while—only to come back stronger. There are plenty of stories on popular websites and forum discussions claiming that coconut oil has been found to be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Some say it’s an outright cure, while other say it helps to greatly diminish the symptoms. Is there any truth to these claims? Unfortunately, right now the best answer you can get is, perhaps.

Fake News

To be sure, not a single medical authority has made the claim that coconut oil has been scientifically proven to treat the symptoms or cure Alzheimer’s disease. It is not endorsed as a treatment or cure by the American Medical Association.

It’s easy to go online and find stories by people or about patients with claims of improvement while taking coconut oil. These stories may even be true; however, the cases have not been verified. The results and improvements may have been because of other factors.

More Research is Needed

The encouraging news is that a growing amount of anecdotal evidence has caused scientists to undertake studies that will find out how and why coconut oil may help brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. The studies are already underway, but they will take some time.

But Meanwhile…?

Most people at this point just want to know if it’s safe to take coconut oil—either because they’re a caregiver to a senior with Alzheimer’s disease, or because they simply want to prevent the possibility of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

Nutritionists will tell you that generally, coconut oil in moderate amounts is a safe supplement for adults of any age. It has a high saturated fat content and a unique combination of fatty acids. It sounds like that’s a lot of fat, but these are medium chain triglycerides.

It’s extremely important to check with a medical professional before adding coconut oil as a supplement to anyone’s diet—but especially for seniors—because you’ll want to make sure the coconut oil doesn’t interfere with any medications or existing medical conditions.

Many people find the sweet oil (it tastes like coconut) is easy to add to a cup of coffee or any breakfast beverage. Coconut oil can be used as a substitute for just about any oil—but keep in mind that it is decidedly sweeter.

Many of coconut oil’s extremely healthy effects have already proven by science. You can read more about that here. Even if it turns out not to help with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s still a healthy choice you can discuss with your medical professional.