Can Nestlé Milkshakes Treat Alzheimer's?

Nestlé invests in a dementia-fighting powder that can be mixed into milkshakes

If you’ve ever searched for a way to justify drinking a milkshake, you can now claim that you are taking measures to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Nestlé, which calls itself "the world’s foremost health, nutrition, and wellness company" (and coincidentally makes the most delicious chocolate chip cookies) bought a stake in Accera, "a company that makes milkshakes for Alzheimer’s patients."

This rationalization may be a bit of a stretch, as it seems the dementia-fighting ingredient is a powdered additive called Axona merely disguised in a milkshake. According to the company, these shakes can allegedly "slow down cognitive decline," and are already given to 30,000 American patients. Axona uses ketones, fats that are derived from coconut oil, which Nestlé claims can serve as an alternative fuel source to the glucose that Alzheimer’s patients cannot utilize.

Of course, when it sounds too good to be true — it usually is. This controversial (and expensive, the shakes run $70 to $90 for a 30-day supply) treatment has caused quite a stir in the medial world. Doctors in the field have debated Axona’s usefulness in treating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The long-term effectiveness of the shakes has not been proven; while it has not found to be unsafe, without the proper medial evidence many doctors have declared it to be a worthless treatment option.

Regardless, Richard Isaacson, a neurologist at the University of Miami School of Medicine (who also happens to be a paid consultant for Accera), is going to continue to give the patients their frozen, creamy medicine. "I don't want to give patients false hope, but I want to give them options," Isaacson told ABC News. "I want to do anything and everything I can for them. As long as it's safe, I'm still going to try it."