A Milkshake for Alzheimer's?

Contributed by: Dennis Fortier, President, Medical Care Corporation

The story of a milkshake that could aid metabolism and improve cognition for Alzheimer's patients has gotten a fair amount of press, including this piece in the Wall Street Journal.  Here are a few facts to consider:

  • The product is called Axona and is marketed as a "medical food", a category that does not require FDA approval.
  • In the key clinical study, patients taking Axona had slightly improved cognition after 45 days, but not after 90 days.
  • The group that showed the most improvement was the group with no known genetic disposition to Alzheimer's disease.
  • The "experts" have fulfilled their duties as consumer advocates and pointed out all of the reasons why the limited data is not scientifically conclusive.
While I agree that there is limited data, and that patients should be cautious when interpreting the manufacturer's claims about efficacy, I think we also need to be careful not to bury novel hypotheses before they are proven incorrect.  Remember, lack of proof that something works is not the same as proof that it does not work.  In this case, the jury is still out.

The bottom line on this is that it probably has little or no beneficial effect.  However, any resourceful person with Alzheimer's disease, who is looking for every possible means of maintaining their cognitive health, might want to check it out.  There doesn't appear to be any major health-related downside and, given how little we understand about Alzheimer's disease, it might be worth the effort for some.


  1. Suggestion: Why not enjoy fruit smoothies (even throw in some Kale for a green powerhouse) with coconut oil included. Or, I think one could even do a chocolate shake with coconut oil, and coconut oil is real food, helps fat-soluble nutrients cross membranes even with fat metabolism disorders (like Hashimoto's), lowers cholesterol, and has helped some regain cognition lost to Alzheimer's....likely because it is an excellent natural source of medium chain triglycerides.

  2. Saw major improvement in physical symptoms (incontinence and shuffling gait) within weeks of taking Axona. Memory improvement was negligible.

  3. The problem with coconut oil in a cold smoothie is it clumps up. Not very easy to drink. I'd much rather have my coconut oil in my morning chai (yum ) and have the fruit and veg smoothie a few hours later.

  4. Quite useful information, much thanks for this post