Alzheimer’s disease cannot be confirmed unless through brain autopsy after death — so what one may label as the disease may very well be (senile) dementia! Though most dementia are ultimately Alzheimer’s, dementia by itself is a general decline in brain function while Alzheimer’s disease is a specific degenerative disease, with stages, from memory loss to eventual total loss of bodily function and mental capacity. This disease is as devastating as it sounds!
But what causes Alzheimer’s disease? Billions of damaged brain cells called neurons lose their ability to send and receive messages through transmission gaps called synapses. Among the main culprits for this malfunction are: iron and manganese. But not just any iron. When the iron-holder heme is not broken down to release bio-available iron for the brain, with an enzyme called ferrochelatase, then unbound iron accumulates — then stores in the brain.
But not just any manganese. When metallic manganese is not bio-available to the brain, it also stores, like a heap of garbage! When unbound iron and manganese form in the brain, this creates a massive magnetic attraction to bad things, such as heavy metals: mercury, aluminum, cadmium, and even fluoride. Your brain literally becomes a dumping site for heavy metals!
What ideally does the brain need to operate? Oxygen, from cholesterol made in the brain, by the brain. What does this create? Electricity! What activates electricity in the brain? Mainly carbon and copper. Speak to an electrician, and he’ll/she’ll know this for sure. But not just any copper. It must be bio-available copper. Bio-available copper is formed when retinol — from food based beta-carotene — activates a protein called ceruloplasmin, to become copper’s carrier protein. If there is no ceruloplasmin, then there is no bio-available copper. Same, if there is no heme or hemoglobin, then there is no bio-available iron.
When there is a short circuit with the electrical impulses in the brain, then there is no longer metabolic energy. It is now fire. The brain of someone with Alzheimer’s disease is on fire!
Allopathic medicine identifies Alzheimer’s as an incurable disease and by the manifestation of beta amyloid and tau (specifically neurofibrillary tangles) both surrounding and within brain neurons respectively. Both of these are types of proteins, that form either clumps of sticky “plaques” or “tangles” respectively. This science is beginning to recognize that these proteins are not the cause of Alzheimer’s, but rather the result of another malfunction that caused the need for them. Beta amyloid plaque and tau tangles may very well be protective mechanisms to slow down complete deterioration of neuron cells.
Currently, there are genetic tests to determine whether one may be susceptible to developing (late-onset) Alzheimer’s within their lifespan. Variations of genes known as alleles forming Apoe-2, Apoe-3 and Apoe-4 arrangements are the main players in determining one’s likelihood for risk factors. Of greatest concern is the appearance of the Apoe-4 gene. This increases risk factor more so than the others mentioned. Additionally, the appearance of Apoe-4 past down by each parent, thus creating a homozygous apoe-4, further increases Alzheimer’s risk. For example, an Apoe-4 gene by the father, and an Apoe-4 gene by the mother highly increases ones risk of developing the disease, whereas an Apoe-2 and Apoe-3 by same, significantly reduces the risk. But genetic indicators are not set in stone. Epigenetics — such as diet, clean air, positive thinking — can rearrange what may seem as a predestined genetic fate.
Alzheimer’s disease can be categorized into two groups: early-onset and late-onset. Early-onset tends to strike its victims around their mid forties or fifties. Late-onset tends to strike around those in their mid sixties. Furthermore, early onset can be more descriptively referred to as early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease (EOFAD) because of its genetic connection and family ties. Genetic researchers have so far identified the mutation of at least three genes — amyloid-β precursor protein (AβPP), presenilin-1 (PSEN1), and presenilin-2 (PSEN2) — that instigate the early onset of the disease, that affects perhaps only about 1% of the Alzheimer’s population. Late-onset is much more prevalent than early-onset. In fact, half of all people who attain the age of 85 within the United States will develop Alzheimer’s – late-onset.
The term late-onset Alzheimer’s disease may be deceiving. Late-onset AD, more descriptively categorized as late-onset sporadic AD (LOSAD) does not suddenly appear. It is a slow process that works invisibly, then manifests itself over time. In fact, for some people, Alzheimer’s disease may have been working its way while they were yet fetuses in their mothers’ wombs!
But what causes this degenerative disease — who or what are the main players in the game? Alzheimer’s is the excess oxidation of the brain — of the neurons that intricately is connected to brain function. It seems to me that a combination of factors are attributed to the development of the disease. The main ones are:
– Allopathic medicine
– Homocysteine dysregulation
– Insulin dysregulation
– Uncontrolled hypertension
– Mineral dysregulation from diet
– Cellular corruption from heavy metals
– Environmental toxins
Many people are taking medications prescribed by their doctors, for various reasons such as hypertension, diabetes, hemochromatosis, high cholesterol and depression. How many of these medications are toxic? All of them! Even the vitamin D and iron tablets one would think is harmless, are actually also toxic. There are many elderly people taking 5, 10 or 20 various medications everyday that it would have been better had they not taken anything at all. Even medicine meant to reduce a simple fever do more harm than good. Our bodies create fevers for a reason.
Alzheimer’s disease could be one of the manifestations of too much toxic medicine. Simply reducing to eventually stopping these medications may set the path to healing for many people. Could it be said that the reason why so many elderly people develop Alzheimer’s is because of taking these medications? Healthy food and herbs have always been the way to good health and healing!
Homocysteine is a sulfur-containing, non-protein amino acid that can be recycled into methionine or cysteine during the methylation process. High homocysteine occurs when methylation is not operating properly. Homocysteine is necessary for life. The body makes it from the proteins we consume and from the sulfur contained in foods, such as vegetables. It’s an important building block for the processing of two very important compounds in our bodies: Sam-e (our body’s primary methyl donar) and glutathione (an important antioxidant). It must be balanced. Too low homocysteine is bad and too high of it is also bad.
An ideal homocysteine level according to various alternative studies suggest it can range from 5 to 8 umol/L. Even more ideal is a homocysteine level exactly at 7 umol/L. If your homocysteine level is 4 and below, it is too low, meaning enough protein, sulfur or B vitamins are not being metabolized. If it is above 8 –contrary to popular belief — then it may be too high. Most people have too high homocysteine levels.
Too high homocysteine comes from consuming too much protein, which go undigested and produce acids and store in membranes that it should not. Our stomachs’ acid is not as strong as carnivores, so we do not digest meat protein efficiently. Our bodies can only handle on average 1 to 3 ounces of animal protein per meal. Any excess may slowly wreak havoc on our metabolic and methylation pathway, leading to high homocysteine. High homocysteine damages the hippocampus of the brain. In fact, the hippocampus is often the first region of the brain attacked by Alzheimer’s.
Too much sulfur — also contained within these meat — along with certain other foods, such as onions, broccoli and garlic may do the same. These too should be avoided for a time until your homocysteine is in the normal range.
Furthermore, anything or any supplement that contains high sulfur should be handled with caution. These include supplemental glutathione and N-acetyl cysteine (NAC).
Our brain has insulin receptors and actually makes a lot of insulin on its own, independent of the insulin made by our pancreas and other areas. It also has a different purpose for this insulin than that made by the pancreas. While insulin in the pancreas is made for glucose utilization, insulin by the brain is produced to allow neurons to communicate with each other and to keep them reinvigorated and active. This may seem contradictory since most people with Alzheimer’s disease exhibit insulin resistance. However, this insulin resistance is associated with type two diabetes, caused when too much insulin in the blood causes our cells to resist insulin receptors from depositing glucose into these cells. But as previously stated, insulin in the brain is different, and is made by the brain, for a specific purpose.
Due to the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and the filtration mechanism the brain employs, the proper utilization of insulin is dependent, independently, on the food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink. It seems to me that a proper high brain insulin content depends on a low insulin level every else where in the body. In other words, if there is to be proper insulin secretions in the brain, then our whole-body function should be insulin-resistance free. Excess sugar and animal protein should thus be avoided.
Chronic high blood pressure will eventually wreak havoc on our blood vessel walls, making them lose elasticity and flexibility. This thus reduces the ultrafiltration mechanism the brain uses to obtain and recycle blood. The brain thus becomes starved of blood, oxygen and the nutrients contained within filtered serum.
Mineral dysregulation from diet
All minerals in the body use some type of specialized protein or system to transport them to the body tissues that need them most. For example, iron uses hemoglobin and heme to transport oxygen. Copper uses a protein called ceruloplasmin to transport it. If this protein is missing, then copper flips, and becomes rogue and toxic. Thus you have copper in the brain — but in the wrong form, no longer providing spark, but serving as a toxic metal.
Other minerals that may become toxic are: iron, manganese and fluoride. These then accumulate in the brain — not performing their regular functions, but rather as the function of toxins and heavy metals. Mineral dysregulation is almost always caused by a diet lacking in a complete and balanced mineral profile, offsetting the minerals that do exist.
Cellular corruption from heavy metals
To make matters worse, these dysregulated minerals start to attract other toxins, such as heavy metals, like mercury, aluminum and cadmium. These heavy metals are not easy to avoid. The simple act of inhaling air will cause these compounds to build up in one’s body, and ultimately, brain.
Then heavy metals then hijack our cells, taking the spot and replacing where nutritional minerals should be, and corrupting these cells. Some of these cells in return become benign or malignant, leading to inflammation, mucosal build-up; all the way up to tumor cells.
These dysregulated minerals become a magnet for pesticides and insecticides and other chemical impurities from food, air and water. To make matters worse, if our gallbladder is clogged and not producing enough bile, then this leads to constipation. Constipation causes the body to hold onto and build-up toxins it would have otherwise expelled from the body.
Preventing & Reversing Alzheimer’s
So what is the solution to preventing and reversing Alzheimer’s? It is not a quick fix. A strict protocol must be followed.
Reload your body with nutrients:-
Studies have noted patients with age-related Alzheimer’s have lower levels of vitamin K2 than those with normal cognitive function. For example, sulfatide — a molecule/lipid abundant in the brain, acting as an essential component of the myelin sheaths, and involved in neuronal cell differentiation — is significantly reduced when K2 is lacking. The more the K2, the more and better the sulfatide level.
Adequate levels of this vitamin may also reduce overall inflammation (including of the brain) and improve insulin sensitivity. This also helps improve blood circulation and filtration, thus preventing heart related issues, such as strokes and cardiac embolism. The combination of all this ultimately benefits neuron cells and cognitive function. Overall so, it appears that increased intake of K2 in the diet is beneficial for brain function and in preventing degenerative disease.
The best source of K2 is found in its MK-7 isoform from a Japanese fermented soybean product, natto, or in the bacteria that makes natto.
Vitamin K2 is most abundant in the brain in the isoform MK-4. While food products that contain MK-7 can and do convert to MK-4, other direct dietary sources of MK-4 can be found in pasture-raised (grass-fed) animal products, most notably goose liver (paste) and hard cheeses.
Magnesium is involved in thousands of enzymatic processes. As with vitamin K2, magnesium also reduces inflammation throughout the body and improves circulatory function.
Dark leafy greens, magnesium glycinate or malate, cacao and mineral water: these all contain bioavailable magnesium.
We need absorbable copper:
Copper is the spark plug mineral of the body, including the brain. Without copper, there is no electricity, or life.
Grass-fed/grass-finished organic liver (one ounce per day), organic bee pollen, acerola, amla, Atlantic oysters (1 per day) — these all contain bioavailable copper.
We need the B vitamins:
The B vitamins are essential for reducing high homocysteine. We also lose B vitamins when we are stressed, while simultaneously accumulating an abundance of the unwanted unbound iron.
B vitamins: B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin or nadh), B5 (pantethine), B6 ( P5P), B9 (folate), and B12 (cobalamin). Organic bee pollen or RNA/DNA (from brewer’s yeast) contain natural B vitamins. Grass-fed/grass-finished butter contains natural vitamin B12. Even beef liver contains many B vitamins.
We need detoxification:
Detoxification is the process of removing foreign and natural substances, such as debris, toxins, heavy metals and other by-products that are not useful — but even harmful — to the body. These toxins and other things could come from cigarette smoking, alcohol, food additives, unclean water, medications and even the air we breathe. Our liver, kidneys, lungs and skin are the main organs of detoxification, but when they become overwhelmed, external support may be necessary. The detoxification recommendations below I list are quite reasonable and necessary, and should not produce any harsh withdrawal symptoms:
Drink more spring water to flush out excess toxins.
Move your bowels everyday: Vitamin B1 (50mg), triphala, magnesium oxide or shatavari helps with this.
Get rid of excess, unbound iron by using IP-6 on an empty stomach. A second option is to donate 1 liter of blood every year.
Modified citrus pectin will bind to and eliminate excess toxins that our blood, liver or lymphatic system is overwhelmed by.
Practicing occasional intermittent fasting is also a form of detoxification. It allows the body, especially the liver, to repair itself from breaks in eating and digestion — even through such cellular repair processes as autophagy and mitophagy. These breaks from eating any food could range anywhere from 14 hour to 24 hours — or more.
Sleep is one of the greatest detoxification methods for the brain. During deep sleep, the liver literally takes blood fluid — more specifically, cerebrospinal fluid — especially from the back of the brain, filters it, then sends it back to the brain. Deep sleep does not extend beyond midnight. So try to get to sleep starting from 10pm to optimally 6am: 8 hours of sleep.
Herbs that may be helpful:
Ashwagandha – There are limited studies suggesting that ashwagandha may protect neurons.
Turmeric (with coconut oil, for better absorption.) – Limited studies suggest turmeric may reduce the brain’s need for developing excess amyloid plaque.
Supplements that may be helpful:
Ubiquinol (with PQQ for better absorption) – this molecule may have an indirect connection in preventing or reversing Alzheimer’s by its ability to aid in normalizing blood pressure. Hypertension is one factor that influences the advancement of Alzheimer’s. So anything that normalizes blood pressure would be an added bonus. Think pomegranate. Think also hawthorn flower.
Choline – This molecule substantially aids in cognitive health and in reducing fatty liver. Mostly found in egg yolk, choline turns into its more absorbable form, acetylcholine, when introduced into the body. Choline, too, may reduce high homocysteine levels, thus bestowing the benefits of normal homocysteine levels.
Alpha-GPC 45 – is a cholinergic compound — meaning, exhibiting actions of acetylcholine — that aids in restoring cellular membrane that was damaged due to choline loss. Alzheimer’s disease dramatically decreases choline. I cautiously say this compound used short term may aid in restoring some aspects lost by Alzheimer’s disease, as per limited studies. However, if you become aware of any adverse reaction, like headaches, then discontinue use.