Many professionals are now calling Alzheimer’s ‘type 3 diabetes’. To visualise what is happening inside the brain over a sustained period of too many sugary drinks, cakes, pasties and in fact all ultra-processed CARBS, imagine the limescale that builds up over time inside a kettle where the water supply is hard. Inside the brain, the Westernised diet leads to a build-up of plaque.
Alzheimer’s is a horrible debilitating disease. My good friend Chris’ father was a rocket scientist, and not in the hypothetical sense – a real life rocket scientist. Sadly, he was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This disease of the brain can truly affect anyone. Over the past five years, my mother has started to repeat herself many times during the same conversation and often can’t remember what we talked about two minutes earlier. As a result, I have spent many hours researching this ruthless degenerative disease of the brain. While we still don’t know exactly what triggers Alzheimer’s, Dr Shivapour, who is a Professor of Neurology at the University of Iowa, believes that, “Too many physicians do not understand the critical role nutrition plays in brain health”. What many scientists are starting to suggest is that regular eating and not allowing the body to self-detox (autophagy) might be a contributing factor. So intermittent fasting might be a way to prevent the disease from occurring, or at the very least delay its onset. Recent research has shown that many people suffering from Alzheimer’s and many other brain disorders have a very low level of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), and once again diet – in particular ensuring sufficient levels of omega 3, intermittent fasting and exercise – are all recommended to boost BDNF.
Without doubt, of the mass of research papers I have studied, the one recurring belief that seems to now crop up in almost every single white paper on Alzheimer’s, is that there is a direct correlation between high blood sugar levels and this awful debilitating disease. In a study of more than 2,000 individuals with an average age of 76, the University of Washington measured the sugar levels of participants over a period of seven years. They found that there is a direct correlation between blood sugar levels and the onset of dementia. Put simply, if we eat too many CARBS and other sugars, our chance of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and many more neurological dysfunctions, not to mention cancer and diabetes, increase dramatically.
On the flip side of the coin, there is now plenty of research that suggests that those of us in our more senior years that consume healthy oils such as coconut, olive and avocado oil, plus those that eat plenty of organic nuts and seeds, are less likely to suffer neurological diseases than those that eat lots of CARBS and other sugars and avoid fat. Let me make this very clear, my mother was a huge believer in low-fat everything since it was heavily promoted as a health benefit some 40 years ago, and now she will remind me five times in as many minutes that the hospital I was born has been pulled down.
Alzheimer’s and dementia are caused by inflammation in the brain, which is caused by the brain becoming insensitive to insulin. This is so similar to type 2 diabetes - where the liver becomes insensitive to insulin, leading to many other cells locking the door as well. As mentioned above, many researchers and scientists are now referring to Alzheimer’s as type 3 diabetes. But what happens if we change our body from a sugar- burning furnace into a ketone lean machine? Dr Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, tells how research has uncovered that in some patients suffering from mild Alzheimer’s can increase in ketones led to an improvement in cognitive function. When you think about it, this makes complete sense. Just like cancer growths begin to stagnate with the absence of sugar, the development of type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s must be disturbed if insulin is reduced by the body changing its fuel supply to ketones.
But why does Alzheimer’s creep up on people? It turns out that, while the brain is always quick to inform us about problems in all other regions of the body, it doesn’t possess any pain receptors in its own backyard. Many researchers are now citing excess sugar and gluten as the most likely root cause of Alzheimer’s. Yes, that right – this disease of the brain begins in the gut. Excess sugar molecules in our bloodstream can bind with protein molecules or fatty acids molecules, creating new molecules that can best be described as deformed or irregular. You might have heard of AGE and wondered what they are. AGE stands for Advanced Glycation End products, and this is simply the name given to these proteins or fatty acid molecules that become glued (glycated) as a result of exposure to sugar. The body doesn’t recognise AGEs as being normal, so creates inflammation as a response. And as we don’t have pain sensors in the brain itself, AGEs can play havoc before we witness any symptoms. Let me say
it one more time. Now that scientists have recognised that Alzheimer’s relates to an overload of sugar in the bloodstream, many now refer to the disease as type 3 diabetes.
If you are worried about neurological diseases, or know someone who appears to be showing signs of dementia, please purchase a book titled Alzheimer’s Disease: What if There Was a Cure? It’s passionately written by Dr Mary Newport, whose husband was diagnosed with the disease and who through several steps, primarily removing starchy white CARBS from his diet and encouraging ketosis through the use of my beloved coconut oil, managed to reverse her husband’s condition. To make it absolutely clear, let me repeat it one more time: elevated blood sugar dramatically increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, as it does many other diseases.
One final thought. In one of my favourite books ever written on health, The Orthomolecular Treatment of Chronic Disease, which carries the subtitle, ‘65 experts on therapeutic and preventative nutrition’, the collective opinion of the authors conclude on Alzheimer’s, “It has been known for over a century that aluminium is a neurotoxin. The uncomfortable truth that its widespread use is the major cause of Alzheimer’s is now unavoidable. For the sake of your brain, please go and throw out your aluminium foil and cooking pots.”
Dr Malcolm Kendrick
A recent study in Cambridge has shown that B vitamins, including folate, have significant benefits in reducing homocysteine (an amino acid found in the blood that is associated with disease) levels. If you give them in high doses, way above those currently recommended, they may delay or even prevent Alzheimer’s disease and reduce or prevent brain shrinkage.
Author Patrick Holford
Our brains are made of neurons, and they are made up of omega 3;
a specific kind called DHA. You get DHA from fish and fish oils; you do not get it from chia or flax seeds. So, if you are vegan, and you think you are getting enough, you are not because the kind you get in vegetables is alpha-linolenic acid. Only 0.05 per cent converts to DHA. DHA is over 90 per cent of the structural fat in the brain.
Now the omega 3 has to attach to things called phospholipids. They are very rich in fish and eggs. The attaching is done by a process called methylation, which is dependent on B vitamins. And you know that you are not good at methylation if you have a raised blood level of something called homocysteine. In America, National Institute of Health researchers have looked at the causes of Alzheimer’s, and they attribute 22% of the cause to raised homocysteine, lack of B vitamins and also 22% to a lack of seafood and low omega 3. Now at Oxford University, they took several hundred people with pre- Alzheimer’s and originally gave them high dose B vitamins. And by the way, the critical one is B12, because the older we get, we don’t absorb it so well. And some of that is to do with medication drugs, antacids. They also had a placebo group. But in the ones taking the B vitamins, they got a 53% reduction in their rate of brain shrinkage in one year. And virtually no further memory loss. But they then went back to the original blood samples and studied how much omega 3 was in the blood and then split the group into a third with the highest and a third with the lowest. Now the third with the lowest omega 3 did not get a benefit from the B vitamins, but the third with the highest omega 3 had 73% less brain shrinkage and no further memory loss.
The point is to build a brain you have got to have both Omega 3 and the B vitamins. We are now at a point where we are looking at something close to nine times less shrinkage of the Alzheimer’s area of the brain if you get your homocysteine levels down with B vitamins and have enough omega 3. And that is at least one-third of the total risk for Alzheimer’s. This is proven in studies and brain scans.
We have a charity website called www.foodforthebrain.org, where you can do a cognitive test online; over three hundred thousand people have already done the test, and if your results are not good then you should go and get your homocysteine levels tested by your doctor. If they turn out not to be good, then take B vitamins. And as B vitamins cost only around ten pence per day, if that was done across Europe, we have calculated that would save fifty billion euros in just five years. We could do it tomorrow. It’s terrible, and we knew this in 2010. Half a million people in Britain have now got Alzheimer’s, simply through ignoring this. The science is impeccable. And the simple reason why I believe it is not happening is because the drug companies can’t make any money out of it. In fact, one of the drug companies actually told Professor David Smith (Department of Pharmacology at Oxford University) that if B vitamins were a patentable drug, it would be a 20 billion a year thing!
Here is something that really is amazing. While we have, through our research and trials, got nearly up to 90% less brain shrinkage, the best drug is only 2%. We actually have 30% of people no longer with a clinical dementia rating. Best drug – nothing! The amount of money spent in Britain by the government and all of the research councils on prevention and research of Alzheimer’s since 1998 is less than 200 thousand pounds. Yet the amount of money spent by big pharmacies on Alzheimer’s, trying to develop a drug for Alzheimer’s, is 200 billion pounds.
Alzheimer’s is a preventable disease. Nobody needs to get Alzheimer’s. When people say the NHS needs more and more money, it doesn’t. What we need to do is to solve the underlying causes of the two disease that are costing the NHS the most, and they are dementia and diabetes, both of which are preventable and both of which can be solvable. Let me put it another way. More people have died in Britain over the past ten years, from diet-related preventable diseases, than died in Britain during world war two.