Fighting Alzheimer's with Diet, by


posted by Edward Casanova | Nov 28, 2019

As I previously discussed in my last post, going down the spiral of forgetfulness can be a harsh process not only for the patient with Alzheimer’s but the family as well.

Before jumping into the dietary strategies that you can start applying right now to slow down the progression of this disease, it’s important to know its potential causes or risk factors.

Also, as found in a Dr. T Colin Campbell post , written by Dean & Ayesha Sherzai, MD

This disease is Alzheimer’s and it is a tsunami that will overtake our healthcare system in less than 20 years. Today, it is the most expensive disease, costing at least $400 billion annually, not to mention a source of profound emotional burden and suffering to both the family and the community. It is also the fastest-growing epidemic, with an 87% rise in prevalence and mortality during the last decade [1]

Potential causes

Alzheimer’s disease is strongly related to dementia and depression .

Dementia causes not only disability and dependency for individuals affected by the disorder, but can also have a profoundly detrimental effect on family and other carers, who are at high risk of developing depression and anxiety disorders.

The brain structure can be altered by an inadequate nutrient intake such as lots of saturated fats, imbalance Omega-3 and 6, etc.

A ketogenic diet, which is abnormally high in fats and low in carbs, has shown that it does have a temporary effect on brain cells due to its alternative energy, but that effect is short-lived and believed to have long-term damaging effects because of a dysregulation of fats and glucose metabolism, resulting in inflammation and immune dysregulation [2, 3]

To make things worse, behavioral problems or psychosis due to dementia are often treated with antipsychotics, but this is not usually recommended, as there is little benefit with an increased risk of early death [4], as well a mess up with your sleeping patterns increasing the necessity for constant daytime napping .

Taking a look across multiple countries you can find a similar pattern linking Alzheimer’s disease with high meat consumption, eggs, and high-fat dairy. [5]

What about genetics?

There was a particular case that defied the odds according to this study by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) in which a woman with a gene mutation called Presenilin 1 (PSEN1) E280A (known to elevate to 99.9% the risk of developing early-onset Alzheimer's disease) didn’t develop it until her 70’s, compared to her relatives developing it at their 40’s, because of a APOE3ch variant.

But that’s just a needle in a haystack. Even if controlling our genetic make-up with CRISPR may seem attractive, why not go towards a more sustainable and enjoyable approach.

Protect yourself and fight back with a plant-based diet

So, leaving aside the fact that genetics can often deal us a bad deck of cards, it seems that diet plays an important role in its development stages.

Apart from engaging in social activities and daily moderate aerobic exercise in order to slow down and maybe reverse cortical and hippocampal volumes (brain size), we should be aware of what we put in our mouths as well. [6]

I know it’s harder, especially because temptations are at every corner, but practice makes perfect.

We already know that Alzheimer patients have shown clogged arteries both in their brains and their hearts, meaning a lower oxygen supply plus other complications, and guess what causes the clogging of arteries…nothing more than a daily dose of animal products. [7, 8]

According to Dr. Greger’s post :

Here are the arteries from Alzheimer’s patients, clogged nearly completely shut with atherosclerotic plaque packed with fat and cholesterol. With CT scans, you can follow this “intracranial artery stenosis”—this brain-artery clogging—over time, and follow the “progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease.” Those who only had low-grade stenosis were pretty stable over time in terms of their cognitive function and ability to dress themselves and other activities of daily living, whereas those with more clogging started slipping over the years, and those who started out with the most brain atherosclerosis rapidly went downhill and were twice as likely to progress to full-blown Alzheimer’s. [9]

Even modern medicine is having a hard time dealing with it:

"Current trials of Alzheimer's drugs targeting proteins have failed despite billions of dollars being invested. Based on the emerging strong links between mitochondrial dysfunction and Alzheimer's pathology, it might be better to adopt a preventative strategy by targeting metabolic defects, especially mitochondrial defects, directly and early, well before protein aggregates are even present," said Assistant Professor Gruber.

On the other size, the role of the gut microbiota may also affect the accumulation of amyloid-β fibrils in the brain [10]. Animal products have been shown not to be gut-friendly because of the high acidity levels they cause after consumption.

A Mediterranean diet (mostly composed of whole grains, legumes, nuts, and little to no meat except for occasional fish and dairy) has shown potential benefits to reduce the likelihood of developing AD.

So why not start reducing our animal food intake or go all-in while slowly transitioning to a whole food plant-based diet. [11]

Yes, the supplement industry has tried high choline supplementation showing promising results in the prevention of AD [12], but why not go to a safer and more nutrient-packed source such as Brussel sprouts, nuts and green leafy vegetables?

What do you think?

Thanks for reading. If you liked this post, upvote and share it with your friends. Feel free to curate it, as long as you include the original authors, and follow me for more fitness wisdom.

Next: A Slow and Painful Path to Forgetfulness

Have an epic one!
  1. Alzheimer’s Association. (2017). 2017 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Alzheimer’s & Dementia, 13(4), 325-373.
  2. Foster, G. D., Wyatt, H. R., Hill, J. O., Makris, A. P., Rosenbaum, D. L., Brill, C., … & Zemel, B. (2010). Weight and metabolic outcomes after 2 years on a low-carbohydrate versus low-fat diet: A randomized trial. Annals of internal medicine, 153(3), 147-157
  3. Brinkworth, G. D., Noakes, M., Buckley, J. D., Keogh, J. B., & Clifton, P. M. (2009). Long-term effects of a very-low-carbohydrate weight loss diet compared with an isocaloric low-fat diet after 12 mo. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 90(1), 23-32
  4. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. "Low-dose antipsychotics in people with dementia". National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  5. Grant WB. Using multicountry ecological and observational studies to determine dietary risk factors for Alzheimer's Disease. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016;35(5):476-489.
  6. Takashi Tarumi, Heidi Rossetti, Binu P. Thomas, Thomas Harris, Benjamin Y. Tseng, Marcel Turner, Ciwen Wang, Zohre German, Kristin Martin-Cook, Ann M. Stowe, Kyle B. Womack, Dana Mathews, Diana R. Kerwin, Linda Hynan, Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, Hanzhang Lu, C. Munro Cullum, Rong Zhang. Exercise Training in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment: A One-Year Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.3233/JAD-181175
  7. Lathe R, Sapronova A, Kotelevtsev Y. Atherosclerosis and Alzheimer--diseases with a common cause? Inflammation, oxysterols, vasculature. BMC Geriatr. 2014;14:36.
  8. Pallebage-Gamarallage M, Takechi R, Lam V, Elahy M, Mamo J. Pharmacological modulation of dietary lipid-induced cerebral capillary dysfunction: Considerations for reducing risk for Alzheimer's disease. Crit Rev Clin Lab Sci. 2016;53(3):166-183.
  9. Zhu J, Wang Y, Li J, Deng J, Zhou H. Intracranial artery stenosis and progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer disease. Neurology. 2014;82(10):842-849.
  10. Pistollato, F., Cano, S. S., Elio, I., Vergara, M. M., Giampieri, F., & Battino, M. (2016). Role of gut microbiota and nutrients in amyloid formation and pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease. Nutrition Reviews, 74(10), 624–634.
  11. Shah, R. (2013). The role of nutrition and diet in Alzheimer disease: A systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. Elsevier Inc.

This is a curated post made from different sources. The health information here is provided as a resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes, nor intended to be medical education, nor creating any client-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Always do your own research and consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions, for guidance about a specific medical condition or fitness purposes. Edward Casanova shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.

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