Alzheimer's Research: Is Alzheimer's an unnecessary epidemic?

According to Alzheimer's research, every 71 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s disease. As more and more baby boomers enter old age, Alzheimer’s may well become the public health crisis of the 21st century. By the year 2050, it is estimated that as many as 16 million Americans will be afflicted.

Alzheimer’s is no different than other chronic disorder. It is something we have created with our modern diets and lifestyles. Since we have created it, we can uncreate it. The question to ask is: Why are these brain cells malfunctioning and what can be done to prevent and reverse it? There are many factors to consider.

Alzheimer’s is characterized by the formation of beta-amyloid peptides around brain cells. Beta-amyloid is the protein fragment considered by many experts to be the prime suspect triggering nerve cell degeneration in Alzheimer’s patients.

Research shows that when these naturally-produced beta-amyloid peptides accumulate, they cause high levels of destructive free radical activity. If beta-amyloid peptide accumulation creates damaging free radicals, it would be useful to understand why this happens so that we can prevent it.

A study in the May 2003 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers one explanation: It has to do with the deadly metabolic poison known as refined sugar. Eating sugar increases blood sugar levels, causing an increase in blood insulin.

The enzyme insulysin degrades insulin so as to restore normal insulin levels. However, this same enzyme also degrades beta-amyloid peptides in the brain. The researchers believe that regular refined sugar consumption creates chronically high insulin levels. High insulin uses up too much of the available insulysin capacity, thereby preventing the normal degradation of amyloid peptides and leading to an accumulation of these peptides that is found in Alzheimer’s.

Secondly, high homocysteine (a by-product of the metabolism of animal protein) levels generate brain-damaging free radicals. According to a study in a February 2002 New England Journal of Medicine, people with high levels of homocysteine have double the risk of Alzheimer’s compared to those with normal homocysteine.

Since B vitamins break down homocysteine, people who are deficient in B6, B12 and folic acid often develop high homocysteine levels. Supplemental B12 has been shown to completely reverse memory loss in some older people. B vitamins are critical to controlling homocysteine and B vitamins are depleted by eating refined sugar.


Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium deficiency also plays a vital role in the development of neurological symptoms and disorders. Low magnesium levels double the number of free radicals in the body. Most Americans are deficient in magnesium and magnesium is depleted by eating refined sugar.

Food Additives
Food additives in the form of flavor enhancers such as MSG, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, artificial colors and artificial flavors all damage brain cells and contribute to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s. These dangerous neurotoxins are found in all manner of processed foods, including breakfast cereals, sodas, hard candies and other packaged delights.

The Aluminum and Mercury Factor
Another factor is aluminum. A study by the University of California focused on a region in northwestern Italy that is known to have a high concentration of aluminum in its drinking water. In fact, some of this water contains 6 times the maximum amount of aluminum recommended by most environmental agencies.

The study concluded that this region of Italy had an above average death rate from Alzheimer’s and that even minute amounts of aluminum accelerated cellular death. A very many municipal water supplies in the U.S. contain aluminum – not to mention toothpaste tubes, cookware and food and beverages packaged in aluminum, including fruit juices, beer and sodas.

Adding fluoride to our drinking water and toothpaste compounds the problem. Flouride, a dangerous toxin in its own right, is known to enhance the absorption of aluminum when it forms aluminum fluoride., a powerful neurotoxin that is easily transported to the brain. Unfortunately, numerous processed foods including soups, breakfast cereals and sweets are made using tap water containing aluminum fluoride.

Mercury produces free radicals and poses a particularly high risk. A study in the April 2001 issue of the British journal, NeuroReport,, stated: “Seven of the characteristic markers that we look for to distinquish Alzheimer’s disease can be produced in normal brain tissues…by the addition of extremely low levels of mercury.” Alzheimer’s patients are known to have higher than average mercury levels, and Americans have 557 tons of mercury in their dental fillings!

Power of Antioxidants

Since Alzheimer’s results from free radical damage to the brain, the need to supply the body with antioxidant nutrients such as vitamins C and E is obvious. There is overwhelming evidence that antioxidants are highly protective in both prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s. For example, in a recent animal study, vitamin E was found to prevent beta-amyloid peptides from killing brain cells.


Diet
Begin with a good diet. Firstly, get the BIG Four out of your life: Refined sugar, white flour, processed oils and most milk products. Supplement with omega-3 fatty acids; people with the highest intake of fish oil have 70% less risk.

Adding the herb ginkgo biloba to all the above recommended supplements is highly recommended. Recent studies have shown ginkgo to be just as effective as prescription drugs in treating Alzheimer’s and, of course, without side effects.

  Recommended: One thing we recommend for anyone who has symptoms of Alzheimer's is to have a hair mineral analysis test done.

How can a hair analysis help one achieve better health? If we consider that diet is what we consume and nutrition is what we retain, then we can see that discovering what the body needs when it needs it is a valuable tool in creating health. A hair analysis can determine which essential minerals the body is needing more of and which toxic elements it needs to eliminate. It also provides valuable insight into the body's metaoblism and what dietary changes would be most helpful for recovery. Hair Analysis Report

In Conclusion
In summation: To prevent and arrest Alzheimer’s, one of the most important things anyone can do is stop eating refined sugar. Then get the mercury, fluoride, aluminum and all processed foods and oils out of your life. The combination of good food and supplemental omega-3 fats, B vitamins, magnesium and vitamins C and E will give you enormous protection.

Be sure to check out this excellent book written by Tom Warren: Beating Alzheimer's: A Step Towards Unlocking the Mysteries of Brain Diseases - He provides his own step by step guide to recovery

Click here to view our Alzheimer's page on stopping Memory Loss and Mental Decline.

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