Alzheimer’s disease is becoming a modern day epidemic. Today, it affects roughly 26 million people worldwide. But by the year 2050, this number is expected to quadruple!
What has changed in the human experience over the last hundred years to make a ‘new’ disease like Alzheimer’s spiral out of control? Is it faulty genes? Is it evolution? Is it bad Karma?
There’s no simple answer, but drug makers have certainly tried their best to create a miracle drug that will cure this baffling disease. Unfortunately, the three major drugs on the market today don’t offer much hope to families with loved ones suffering through ‘the long goodbye.’
Thankfully, you don’t have to wait for some miracle drug that will probably never appear. I’m convinced, now more than ever, that…
Alzheimer’s disease is directly related to our modern diet.
While some genetic predisposition cannot be ignored, there are things you can do to counteract the effects of the modern diet and prevent this epidemic from ever crossing your doorstep. Here are a few proactive steps you can take right now to protect yourself:
STEP #1: CUT OUT THE ALUMINUM
In several studies since the 1980s, scientists have found a link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease. It seems that aluminum builds up in our system over time and can contribute to the formation of plagues and tangles in the brain, two of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
In my opinion, you should avoid any kind of product containing aluminum.
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Aluminum is found in cooking utensils, antiperspirants, snack bags, baking powder, buffered aspirin, antacids, toothpaste, tap water, and—of course—soda cans.
If a senior is already showing signs of Alzheimer’s, I would recommend getting a hair test. If the results come back high in aluminum, one detox remedy worth trying is homeopathic Ipecac. Take it at 6x the normal strength.
For the rest of us, stay away from aluminum personal care and consumable products. Avoid using antiperspirants. Check the ingredients in your toothpaste. And ban the soda cans from your house!
STEP #2: TAKE YOUR VITAMINS, ESPECIALLY VITAMIN B
Besides following a super-smart diet (rich in fruits and vegetables; low in refined sugar and flour; no processed foods or additives; organic meats only), adequate vitamin intake can give you added protection against Alzheimer’s disease.
Start by choosing a high quality multivitamin. You also may want to consider adding a vitamin B complex to your regimen. In most cases, 25 mg of vitamin B is enough. (The B complex includes 8 different water-soluble vitamins that must get replenished daily.)
But if you’re really concerned about Alzheimer’s disease, new research suggests it may be essential to up your intake of B3.
Common vitamin B3 prevents memory loss in mice with Alzheimer’s
B3 is a powerful vitamin. In my experience, I’ve seen great success in treating arthritis with B3.
Plus, a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, showed that vitamin B3 supplements boosted the cognitive function of mice with Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers at the University of California at Irvine added nicotinamide (a form of vitamin B3) to the drinking water given to mice with Alzheimer‘s disease. They discovered that B3 lowered levels of a harmful protein that leads to the development of tangles, one of two brain lesions associated with Alzheimer‘s disease.
The vitamin also helped to keep neurons alive that carry information to the brain. In Alzheimer’s patients, these neurons typically die and the patient experiences cognitive decline.
Scientists tested the rodents’ short-term and long-term memory over time using mazes and object-recognition tasks. Following the B3 treatments, the Alzheimer‘s mice performed as well as normal mice on these tests. Untreated Alzheimer‘s mice experienced memory loss.
Interestingly (though not surprisingly to us nutritionists), normal mice not afflicted with Alzheimer’s got a mental boost from the B3.
According to Professor Frank LaFerla, a scientist for the study: "…Not only is it good for Alzheimer‘s disease, but if normal people take it, some aspects of their memory might improve."
Dr. LaFerla is right on target. But, once again—like most lab scientists—he’s a little late coming to the party. Nutritionists have been talking about the B3-memory link for literally decades.
Pioneering nutritionists Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., talked about vitamin B’s role in preventing Alzheimer’s in the 1950s! Imagine if we as a culture had started taking his advice back then!
If you are going to add B3 to your regimen—and you should—be sure to consult first with your doctor for proper dosages. Too much of certain forms of B-3 can cause nausea and vomiting in sensitive individuals.
STEP 3: DRINK MORE WATER
In addition to upping B3, Dr. Hoffer taught us that drinking more water is a vital step in fighting Alzheimer’s disease. It will help your body naturally flush away any unwanted aluminum and other toxins.
But all water isn’t created equal.
Always strive to drink filtered water only. If you install a water purifier to filter your drinking water, make sure it’s the highest quality possible. The best filters should remove nearly all the aluminum and fluoride.
If you must drink bottled water, look for natural spring water with the most milligrams (mg) of magnesium in it. This will indicate the water comes from a deep source in the ground. I obviously don’t work for a water company, but I’ve found that Evian™ Spring Water is the purest. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive.
Drinking plenty of water is sure to help flush toxins from any senior’s system, but it’s probably not enough. That leads me to STEP 4.
STEP 4: DETOXIFY WITH VITAMIN C
One simple way to start cleansing your system is to take more vitamin C. We all need more of it, and this is a gentle solution for seniors at risk for Alzheimer’s.
Immediately start taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C (in capsule form) at least two times a day. This will help your body flush out toxins and repair any cell damage that’s already occurred.
So why isn’t vitamin B, water, and a healthy diet prescribed for people with or at risk for Alzheimer’s?
One clear reason is the lack of knowledge. Most folks I talk to don’t really know the facts about how to prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s with good nutrition. Instead, they’re duped into buying the garbage that Big Pharma puts out there. If it’s on TV or in a magazine with a big glossy ad and the FDA approves the drug, it’s got to work, right?
The top three Alzheimer’s drugs on the market haven’t been proven to slow the progression of this disease one iota. Not one iota!
In fact, one independent study in the UK showed that patients taking the drug Aricept had virtually the same timeline for decline as patients taking a placebo (43% taking Aricept ended up in an institution after 3 years, versus 44% taking the placebo).
I still scratch my head as to why doctors continue to prescribe those drugs. The better option is to prevent the disease altogether and take your health into your own hands.
As a final note, there’s a new human clinical trial underway studying the effect of B3 for Alzheimer’s patients at UC Irvine. If you or a family member is interested in learning more, call Beatriz Yanez at 949-824-5733 or visit http://www.uci.edu/uci/features/feature_nicotinamide_081104.php