Don’t wait until you develop Alzheimer’s disease – prevent it!
On June 7th, 2021, the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “conditionally” approved Aducanumab (Aduhelm), an amyloid beta-directed monoclonal antibody which treats Alzheimer’s disease by removing BetaAmyloid from the brain.
Aducanumab is the first new Alzheimer’s drug since 2003, and the first potentially disease-modifying agent.
Aducanumab treatment costs US $65,000 per year.
The approval is surprising, because:
(1) Of (only) two trials, one showed no benefit from the drug.
(2) One third of drug recipients developed brain swelling and other side effects.
(3) Only 9% of patients’ Alzheimer’s improved.
(4) The drug does not produce a cure, because it only removes Amyloid present in the brain – it does not prevent the accumulation of more amyloid.
(5) Several previous Amyloid-removing drugs had no beneficial effect on Alzheimers patients.
SO MAYBE THE BEST SUGGESTION IS, LOOK AFTER YOURSELF.
Don’t wait for a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, because by the time it’s diagnosed, half of your brain power is gone and cannot be rebuilt.
Instead, do your best to prevent Alzheimer’s by attention to and maintenance of your Hormone, Mineral and Vitamin balance.
The point is that while we do not have scientific proof that optimal hormone balance will prevent Alzheimer’s, balancing does no harm, provides many other benefits and should be done anyway.
YOU CAN DO A LOT TO PREVENT ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
In managing aging generally and to prevent Alzheimer’s in particular, try to ensure that the hormonal milieu in which your body functions is optimal for cell maintenance and efficiency. Remember: if your hormones are unbalanced, the nutrients you take will not work as well.
(1) Balance your neurosteroid hormones, DHEA, Testosterone, Oestradiol and Progesterone, to provide a “level base” for all your cells AND to support your brain’s supply of Allopregnanolone, for its nightly cleanup.
(2) Balance the thyroid hormones, to guarantee a good supply of T3 hormone, which is necessary for the efficient function of every cell:
Your functional medicine physician can check T3 and reverse T3: if the T3/rT3 ratio is less than 20, he or she can correct the problem with a prescription for slow-release triiodothyronine.
(3) AVOID foods containing High Fructose Corn Syrup; see “Drop Acid“, by Dr David Perlmutter and take his advice regarding diet as far as you can.
(4) however, don’t expect your diet to supply your body with the vitamins, amino acids and minerals which it needs to run itself as it should.
(5) Check my recommendations, below and read the book which they are based on, ‘the end of Alzheimer’s“, by Dr. Dale Bredesen, .
REGARDING DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS
The list is from “The end of Alzheimer’s”, by Dale Bredesen, modified by me.
Items marked with * are important: those marked ** are advised for everyone.
ESSENTIAL VITAMINS, AMINO ACIDS AND MINERALS for Alzheimer’s prevention:
Acetyl L-Carnitine**, 500 mg …….. works with CoQ10, maintains mitochondria, heart, muscles, brain and nerves.
Chromium Picolinate*, 25 µg ……… if your diet includes cruciferous vegetables, you probably don’t need chromium.
Citicholine*, 250 mg twice daily ….. Helps the brain, assists the adrenals. Do not take if you have PCOS or diabetes.
Co Q10**, or Ubiquinol, 200 mg …. Supports mitochondria. Destroyed by statins. If you are taking statins, you must take Co Q10.
Magnesium Threonate **, 200–400 mg, the best Magnesium salt, for brain care and all muscle, including heart and bowel, not just skeletal, muscles. Melatonin**, 1–10 mg, available as drops, tablets. Sublingual is probably best…. Melatonin, our second best antioxidant, has recently been attacked: look it up !
Methyl Tetrahydrofolate (MTHF, Vit. B9, not “Folic acid”)** 1–5 mg. Start w.1mg.
NAC (N-acetylcysteine), 600–1800 mg**. It boosts glutathione, the most important antioxidant. Nicotinamide riboside (Vit. B3)**, 100 mg ….. Anti-inflammatory. It helps heart and kidneys.
Omega-3*, 1g. A good diet includes enough omega-3, but for “brain building”, take 2g.
Pyrroloquinoline quinone, (“PQQ”) 20 mg** supports mitochondria & cognition.
Resveratrol**, 100 mg: Resveratrol has been credited with life extension. Drinking red wine does not provide sufficient resveratrol.
Selenium, 200-400 µg, (2 Brazil nuts) for thyroid function and to prevent autoimmune disease.
Trimethyl glycine (betaine)*, 500 mg, 2x/day, produces SAMe. Anti-inflammatory, anti-homocysteine.
Zinc**, 40 mg: do not add copper, unless instructed to do so by your Healthcare provider.
Some combination of the following vitamins will help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease (most of these are present in a normal diet, so if you are healthy and eat well, there is no need to adhere closely to the dosages noted below).
Vitamin B complex: take a VBCo pill once or twice daily. Vitamin B preparations, made by many different manufacturers, are more or less equal: pick one based on how closely its ingredients match the list below:
Vitamin B1* (Thiamine), 50 mg……
Vitamin B2*(Riboflavin ):…… from food: supplementation not usually necessary.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)* 100 mg ; from food – supplementation not usually necessary.
Vitamin B6*: P5P (Pyridoxal 5 Phosphate), 2 mg ……. too much B6 is toxic.
Vitamin B9, MethylTetraHydroFolate, MTHF: essential brain antioxidant.
Vitamin B12: Normal blood level =138-652. Optimal = >650…….Rx methylcobalamin, or Adenosyl Cobalamin 1 mg. Most of us don’t need it.
Vitamin C**, 2–3 g (Linus Pauling used to recommend 9 g per day).
Vitamin D3**, 3000+ iu: ask for a test – take enough to produce a blood level of 100-200 nmol/L.
Vitamin E, Max. 800 units: too much Vit. E slows blood clotting.
Vitamin K2**, 100 mg: from “leafy greens”. It works against blood thinners.
BOTANICALS (discuss with your Naturopath, Herbalist or health food person): Curcumin, 500 mg daily. Ashwaghanda, 500 mg twice daily (calming, reduces amyloid). Bacopa Monieri, 250 mg, twice daily (improves cholinergic neurotransmitter systems).
Gotu kola, 500 mg twice daily (improves alertness).
Lion’s mane, 500 mg (increases nerve growth factor).
Rhodiola, 200 mg (antianxiety).
Shankhpushpi (“skullcap”), 2 caps (enhances branching of neurons).
Guggul, 300 mg with meals (absorbs toxins in the bowel).
Black cumin:? Dosage (antiallergic, immune booster, antioxidant, ? Bactericidal for H. pylori).
THIS LIST IS HUGE.
Maybe you only need a small selection.
Discuss it with a Functional Medicine MD, Naturopath or Herbalist.
Ask your pharmacist or health food store for products with combinations of nutrients.
ADDENDUM, regarding MTHF:
MethylTetraHydroFolate, MTHF, is too complicated for me to attempt to explain in detail, so let’s put it this way:
MTHF, Vitamin B9, is present in many foods, so only a few people need to take it.
Working with Vitamin B12, B9 is essential for making several very important amino acids and proteins, but particularly, it is used to make Methionine.
Methionine is very important in our metabolism and it is destroyed by inflammation and oxidation.
As Methionine is used up it is converted to Homocysteine, so we can see who needs MTHF by testing the blood for Homocysteine.
If Homocysteine is high, we know that the person needs extra MTHF, to recycle their homocysteine back to methionine (using an enzyme called methionine synthase ). ***
We can’t live without MTHF, but a small percentage of us are genetically unable to process large amounts: my suggestion is that we should routinely take 1mg daily and increase our dose if a Homocysteine test shows that we need more.
*** From Wikipedia:
“Levomefolic acid is generated by methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) from 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate (MTHF) and used to recycle homocysteine back to methionine by methionine synthase (MS)”