Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Dementia is a devastating condition affecting upwards of 10,000,000 Americans, with—5 million having Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Dementia can be triggered by numerous causes including Alzheimer's, multi infarct dementia, and nutritional deficiencies. Treatment currently is geared towards giving the two barely helpful (but very profitable) medications, Aricept and Namenda, and beyond this; little is usually done.

    Not because other treatments are not very helpful. But rather because they are so low cost that no one shows the data to your doctor. Well meaning as your doctor is. Wondering if this is so? Ask yours if they've seen the studies we discuss below. If not, they may want to explore why, as it will blow their minds to realize just how much Big Pharma controls their education! Fortunately, A LOT can be done to prevent or slow Alzheimer's and dementia. In fact, repeated autopsy studies have shown that 30–50 percent of those diagnosed with Alzheimer's NEVER has the slightest bit of the illness. Instead, they had other potentially reversible causes of their dementia!

    SO in addition to using your brain, here are my top 7 tips! I have organized them using the pneumonic "DEMENTIA." The good news? These can also help optimize and maintain brain power in most people.

    1. DRUGS—Get people off unneeded ones. Anticholinergic (AC) Meds (benadryl, tricyclic antidepressants, incontinence meds) are especially problematic. Risk for cognitive impairment was increased by 50 percent in adults receiving at least three mild ACs for more than 90 days and by 100 percent in those receiving one or more severe ACs for more than 60 days. Acid Blockers like omeprazole are also associated with a 44 percent increased risk of dementia. Blood pressure pills can be protective however, especially Beta Blockers (like Inderal) and ACE Inhibitors.

    2. EMOTIONS—Depression, Anxiety and Sleep. Natural remedies can be especially helpful here, without the worsening often caused by the medications. For example, a special form of Curcumin (called Curamed 500 mg 2 x day) was more effective for depression that antidepressants in two six week head on studies (and see nutrition below). For both anxiety and sleep, a special component of Echinacea (called AnxioCalm by Terry Naturally) can be very helpful with no side effects. Terrific ZZZZ, Revitalizing Sleep Formula, and a special melatonin (Dual Spectrum 5 mg by Natures Bounty) can also be very helpful.

    3. METABOLIC—This means optimizing bioidentical hormone levels. For example:

    A. Low normal thyroid levels were associated with a 240 percent higher risk of dementia in women. Borderline elevated thyroid had as much as a 800 percent higher risk in men.

    B.–Every 50 percent increase in free testosterone in the bloodstream was associated with a 26 percent decrease in the risk of developing Alzheimer's.

    C.–Men who went on to develop Alzheimer's disease had about half the free testosterone in their bloodstreams as men who did not.

    4. EARS AND EYES—Have vision and eye exams to optimize function.

    5. NUTRITION—Optimize key areas of nutrition. Begin with good common sense and a whole food diet, low in gluten:

    A. Optimize folate, B12 and B Vitamins. Check a Vitamin B12 level (keep over 540) and homocysteine level (keep under nine). Better yet, simply take a high potency vitamin powder (I use the Energy Revitalization System), which supplies virtually all the needed nutrients in optimal amounts in one low cost drink. Research in the recent issue of JAMA Psychiatrysupports this. “The recent VITACOG study, in which 271 individuals older than 70 years who had mild cognitive impairment received supplementation with high-dose folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12, confirmed what other studies showed. They lost less brain compared to people who had normal homocysteine and normal vitamin levels, meaning that those with high levels of homocysteine or with clinical or biochemical vitamin deficiency can benefit from supplementation.”

    B. Take a special highly absorbed form of Curcumin called CuraMed. Take 750 mg 2 x day (it would take 14–600 caps a day of other forms to get the same effect, so brand matters). The prevalence of Alzheimer's in India is 70 percent lower than in the US, and this has been traced to the curcumin in the diet, which shows promise in many neurodegenerative conditions, including also Parkinson's.

    C. Explore ketogenic diets, coconut oil, etc.

    6. TUMORS AND OTHER BRAIN ISSUES—Dementia is a very good reason to get a CT scan or head MRI.

    7. INFECTIONS & ANEMIA and other overt medical problems. Dementia means it's time to get a thorough checkup from both the neurologist and your holistic physician (see www.ABIHM. org to find one).

    With these common sense research proven tips, you can often prevent, and even reverse, dementia!

  • Dear Readers,

    Welcome to the Spring and the April 2017 issue of TotalHealth Online.

    We begin with an article by Hannah Hunt, Senior Analyst, American Wind Energy Association on, "Wind Power Grows America's Economy And Keeps Our Air Clean." Letting us know the value of the wind industry in employment numbers, its reach across 50 states, and the environmental impact.

    For a short summary we quote from Dallas Clouatre's, PhD, article, "Aging And The Mitochondria,"—"Although the importance of the mitochondria as a central point of health has been accepted for decades, over the last few years the understanding of the mechanisms involved has changed significantly. Twenty or ten years ago, antioxidants and the free radical theory of aging largely dominated thinking. Today, the importance of mitochondrial biology linking basic aspects of aging and the pathogenesis of agerelated diseases remains strong, yet the emphasis has changed. The focus has moved to mitochondrial biogenesis and turnover, energy sensing, apoptosis, senescence, and calcium dynamics."

    Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, states in, "The Food—Mood Connection" that the Standard American Diet is causing widespread nutritional deficiencies, along with an epidemic of anxiety and depression. In addition to a diet including fish, meats, and fruits and vegetables, he shares with readers the key nutrients, "which I take myself each day to turbocharge energy and optimize health, while also leaving me being a calm, happy soul."

    Elson Haas, MD, presents, "Ten Tips For A Healthy Spring." The Five Keys to Staying Healthy—your Nutrition, Exercise, Stress, Sleep and Attitude. He suggests focusing on those five keys—those areas of your life that need improvement. Haas is also an advocate of Detoxification and through his books has addressed this topic.

    Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, RH(AHG), in "Heartburn & Indigestion," addresses the frequently occurring symptoms of diarrhea, heartburn, abdominal cramps and pain, gas distress, and nausea. Included is a list of primary and secondary supplements, which may offer relief if you suffer from the symptoms mentioned above.

    Gloria Gilbère, CDP, DAHom, PhD, shares her recipe for "Green Banana Soup (Repe Lojano)." She explains being located in Ecuador they use plantains but if they are unavailable bananas will do. Gilbère includes all the health benefits of the ingredients and we hope all this information will give you the motivation to try her recipes.

    Charles Bens, PhD, in "The Early Diagnosis And Treatment of Alzheimer's," contributes information on things for Prevention, Detection and a New Treatment. It's engaging.

    In Pet Care, Shawn Messonnier, DVM, contributes Part 4 of the four part series on cancer. This month's article focuses on, "Antioxidants and Conventional Therapies." Pet owners will find this information helpful.

    Best in health,

    TWIP The Wellness Imperative People

    Click here to read the full April issue.

    Click here to read the full April issue.

  • In mid-2012, Nestlé Health Science acquired a stake in Accera®, the U.S. maker of Axona®, a medical food targeted at people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. Aside from the fact that the purchase shows that Nestlé is placing a strategic bet on the future direction of medical food demand, this acquisition also is interesting for its potential validation of a tropical oil that alternately has been damned and praised for its role in health: coconut oil.

    On the one hand, there are those who still maintain that coconut oil, a source of more saturated fat than butter, lard or beef tallow, is the devil incarnate for brain and heart health. On the other hand, current science is in the process of validating the high regard that the coconut oil enjoys in the Ayurvedic and Chinese traditions of healing.

    Indeed, coconut oil bears a striking overlap in its metabolic implications, in this case for Alzheimer’s disease, with medical foods designed to provide the brain alternate fuel sources. A nice introduction to this topic is Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure? by Mary Newport, MD.

    The scientific backtracking regarding coconut oil recently was put in a nutshell in a New York Times interview of Thomas Brenna, a professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University.1 Dr. Brenna observed that coconut oil’s bad reputation for cardiovascular health rested mostly on partially hydrogenated coconut oil, oil designed specifically to raise cholesterol levels in the rabbits being used in experiments. Virgin coconut oil differs dramatically in a large number of ways from the trans-fat laden partially hydrogenated item. Even the health dangers of the saturated aspect of coconut oil currently are being debated. As Dr. Brenna remarks in the interview, “I think we in the nutrition field are beginning to say that saturated fats are not so bad, and the evidence that said they were is not so strong.”

    Coconut Oil—A “Good” Saturated Fat
    Coconut oil is saturated (it is solid up to 76° F), consisting of 86.5 percent saturated fatty acids and 5.8 percent monounsaturated fatty acids.2 Lauric acid makes up approximately 46 percent of coconut oil and generally is considered to be the villain in terms of serum cholesterol. However, in clinical trials, the effects of dietary supplementation with coconut oil usually have been found to be either no effect or a small increase in LDL cholesterol and a significant increase in HDL cholesterol, meaning that the ratio—and cardiovascular risk—improves with supplementation.3,4

    Moreover, extra virgin coconut oil consists mostly of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), with 50 percent being lauric acid. Medium-chain fatty acids have been used for many years for special health purposes. They have attracted attention as part of a healthful diet because they are absorbed and transported directly into the liver via the portal vein and thereafter metabolized rapidly by beta-oxidation, thus increasing diet-induced thermogenesis.5

    One derivative of coconut MCFA is medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil, which is 75 percent caprylic and 25 percent capric acids, fatty acids very similar to lauric acid and present in virgin coconut oil in smaller amounts. MCT oil often is found in the hospital nutrient mixtures for bedridden patients who are dependent upon intravenous nutrition. These fats were developed in part because they do not require the action of bile for digestion, but rather are absorbed directly through the walls of the small intestine and transported to the liver to be used immediately as fuel.

    The special characteristics of coconut MCFA mean that the body prefers to burn it for fuel rather than to store it. You might say that the body treats coconut fatty acids more like it does carbohydrates, but without getting involved with insulin. Scientists know this because of experience with MCT oils. In my book Anti-Fat Nutrients (revised 4th edition, Basic Media), I discuss MCT oil at length. In seriously catabolic patients, MCT oil was found to help prevent the body from depleting lean and muscle tissues. Again, MCT fatty acids are not readily stored as body fat, but rather they are preferentially burned in the mitochondria of the cells to provide energy.6 For some athletes and bodybuilders, this quality has proved useful since excess training depletes the glycogen stores of the muscles, and continued training after that point can only take place partially through the break down of muscle protein for fuel.7 Coconut oil medium-chain fatty acids have properties similar to those of MCT oil, but not as pronounced.

    Does this mean that coconut oil can help dieters? Yes, as long as there are not too many expectations. Indeed, the nutrition author Ray Peat, PhD, has remarked that in the 1940s farmers attempted to use coconut oil for fattening their animals, but they found that it made them lean, active and hungry instead! The fatty acids found in coconut seem to promote the burning of fat for fuel and, as already noted, have a pronounced thermogenic effect. However, the thermogenic and fat-burning qualities of medium-chain fatty acids seem to be more significant for healthy subjects of normal weight and for those moderately overweight than for those who are clinically obese (fortunately, a category that excludes most of us). Moreover, medium-chain fatty acids serve to protect the body’s protein in the lean tissues during the use of low calorie and low carbohydrate diets.8

    Immune and Digestive Benefits
    Coconut oil has many other benefits. Two names are closely associated with the research in this area. These are Jon J. Kabara, PhD, one of the primary researchers into the benefits of lauric acid, and Mary G. Enig, PhD, the great researcher in the area of fats and one of the first (literally decades before the mainstream medical researchers) to point out the health dangers of trans-fatty acids.

    Dr. Enig was the keynote speaker in 2001 at the 36th Annual Conference of the Asian Pacific Coconut Community. There she gave her talk on the benefits of the coconut as a functional food. She noted that approximately 50 percent of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human body. Monolaurin is a monoglyceride used by the human metabolism to destroy lipid-coated (that is, fat-coated) viruses and a number of other undesirable organisms.

    Approximately 6–7 percent of the fatty acids in coconut fat are capric acid. Dr. Enig points out that capric acid is another medium-chain fatty acid that has a similar beneficial function when it is formed into monocaprin in the human or animal body. Monocaprin has beneficial effects similar to those found with monolaurin.

    The work of Dr. Jon Kabara and others shows that coconut oil components exert their health benefits in a way that is very safe to humans. In general, it is reported that the fatty acids and monoglycerides produce their inactivating effects by destabilizing the membrane that surrounds pathogens, for instance, by causing the disintegration of the virus envelope. Despite such sometimes quite potent actions against unwanted microbes, there is no evidence of any negative effect on probiotic organisms in the gastrointestinal tract.

    In his accessible, yet thoroughly researched book, The Healing Miracles of Coconut Oil (HealthWise), author Bruce Fife, ND, ranges across a number of health topics for which coconut oils has proven to be effective. He notes that coconut oil is so stable that it helps to preserve other oils, thereby reducing antioxidant requirements. Populations that eat large amounts of coconut and coconut products, such as the oil, are characterized by low rates of heart disease. Lauric acid and other medium-chain fatty acids are found in mother’s milk, where among other things, they improve the uptake by the baby of nutrients such as amino acids, calcium and magnesium. Similar effects upon nutrient assimilation have been found in the very ill and in the elderly. Moreover, these health benefits do not even take into account the long accepted uses of coconut oil to nourish the skin and the hair.

    Benefits for Brain Health?
    Let’s return to Nestlé Health Science acquired a stake in Accera, the U.S. maker of Axona, a medical food targeted at people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. The basic argument for this medicinal food is that in Alzheimer’s disease, the brain is starved for energy because it has a reduced ability to metabolize glucose. Reduced energy means reduced levels of cognition and memory. Fortunately, there is an alternative to glucose known as ketone bodies. Axona is a proprietary formulation of caprylic triglyceride that is converted by the liver into ketone bodies.

    Recall that coconut oil is a good source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), the fatty acids that are converted in the liver to ketones. Ketones can provide energy to cells without the need for insulin. This is important for several reasons, not the least being that Alzheimer’s is related to insulin resistance and the attempt to get glucose to the brain with a high carbohydrate diet is counterproductive.9 Moreover, access to ketones may more generally promote neurologic health—several neurologic conditions have shown promising results with ketogenic diets. Ketogenic diets may help treat difficult cases of epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease as well as other neurological disorders, indeed perhaps improve cognition and health in general.

    The use of coconut oil with the conditions above at this point is promising, but hardly proven. Moreover, there are not yet much in the way of set rules or recommendations. Dr. Newport was giving her husband as much as 11 tablespoonsful per day, with four to eight tablespoonsful seeming to be a regular recommendation. At 115 calories per tablespoon, a coconut oil supplemented diet should not otherwise continue to be the standard American diet built upon a foundation of refined carbohydrates. Those wanting to add serious amounts of coconut oil to their everyday diets, as opposed to merely switching to it as a cooking oil, might find it useful to explore high protein/low carbohydrate options more generally. The chief warning to those who would try such diets is that Paleolithic-type diets need to include plenty of vegetables and reasonable amounts of whole fruit (avoiding fruit juice).

    Summing Up
    In his book, Bruce Fife asks the rhetorical questions, “If there was [sic] an oil you could use for your daily cooking needs that helped protect you from heart disease...other degenerative conditions, improved your digestion, strengthened your immune system, protected you from infectious diseases, and helped you lose excess weight, would you be interested?” Surely this is a good question. Aside from the record of traditional use, numerous research papers and United States Patents argue for the health-promoting benefits of coconut oil. Now that organic coconut oil/extra virgin coconut oil is readily available in health food stores, perhaps it is time for health-conscious shoppers to give it a try.

    References

    1. Melissa Clark, “Once a Villain, Coconut Oil Charms the Health Food World.” New York Times March 1, 2011.
    2. “Nutrient database, Release 24” (http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/) . United States Department of Agriculture. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov
    3. Assunção ML, Ferreira HS, dos Santos AF, Cabral CR Jr, Florêncio TM. Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity. Lipids. 2009 Jul;44(7):593-601.
    4. Mensink RP, Zock PL, Kester AD, Katan MB. Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 May;77(5):1146-55.
    5. Aoyama T, Nosaka N, Kasai M. Research on the nutritional characteristics of medium-chain fatty acids. J Med Invest. 2007 Aug;54(3-4):385-8.
    6. Babayan VK. Medium chain triglycerides and structured lipids. Lipids 1987 Jun;22(6):417-20.
    7. Nosaka N, Suzuki Y, Nagatoishi A, Kasai M, Wu J, Taguchi M. Effect of ingestion of medium-chain triacylglycerols on moderate-and high-intensity exercise in recreational athletes. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2009 Apr;55(2):120-5.
    8. Dias VC, et al. Effects of medium-chain triglyceride feeding on energy balance in adult humans. Metabolism 1990;39:887-891.
    9. Seneff S, Wainwright G, Mascitelli L. Nutrition and Alzheimer’s disease: the detrimental role of a high carbohydrate diet. Eur J Intern Med. 2011 Apr;22(2):134-40.
  • You don't get alarmed when you you lose your keys, but what if you constantly forget what you were trying to say a few seconds ago. Full blown dementia and Alzheimer's disease is disabling and difficult on family members. Today I am offering suggestions from my Functional Medicine standpoint which should protect your brain and help you regain memory molecules.

    Eliminate harmful foods. We know that certain foods and additives can slow down brain function, or harm your cells. We know them as excitotoxins because they 'excite' or vibrate your cell to death. So it's better for your brain cells to eliminate artificial sweeteners, colors and preservatives. This pretty much means no more junk food or sugar substitutes. Animal studies prove the presence of brain damage in mice that ate junk food for only 9 months. I bet some of you have been eating this stuff for decades.

    Eliminate drugs that mess with your mind. First on the list is alcohol. Yep, you didn't know alcohol was a "drug"? Well, it can kill your brain cells over time. The more hangovers, the worse for you. Also, antihistamines (allergy medicine) can leave you with morning brain fog and cognitive fatigue. In particular, diphenhydramine, or any drug with that ingredient in it, will leave you a little messed up in the morning. Drugs that end in "PM" sometimes have this ingredient in it.

    Exercise. One very fast way to increase brain-derived neurotropic factor or BDNF. The more BDNF you have, the stronger and tighter the connections are between your brain cells. This means less brain fog, sharper memory, better focus and heightened alertness. Supplements raise BDNF, but exercise does it rapidly and for free. Get moving!

    DMAE. Dimethylaminoethanol. Our brain makes it and it occurs naturally in sardines and anchovies. Yum! You can also get supplements. It's iffy as to whether it increases your acetylcholine, a memory hormone, but some people claim benefit.

    SOD. That stands for Superoxide Dismutase, and it's an enzyme that we have when we are born. The SOD enzyme is responsible for putting out the fire in your body, more specifically reducing ROS (reactive oxygen species) commonly termed free radicals. SOD is a strong antioxidant, and it reduces amyloid plaque deposits associated with Alzheimer's disease. Some people (like me) don't have enough SOD enzymes, mine are genetically cramped, so I take SOD supplements. Luckily, we are not our SNPs, so having an SOD mutation doesn't necessarily mean you will develop cognitive dysfunction.

    Vinpocetine. I love this herb. It increases cerebral blood flow and is well-studied. One Hungarian study literally concluded, "vinpocetine treatment can be recommended for patients with mild cognitive impairment."

    Theobromine. Similar to caffeine this is found in small amounts in coffee, chocolate, carob and tea. It stimulates your vagus nerve to increase oxygen flow to your brain to improve mood and energy. If you would like more brain boosters, go to my website (suzycohen.com) and read the longer version of this article.

  • Dear Readers,

    Welcome to the January 2019 issue of TotalHealth Magazine. We wish everyone a Healthy Happy New Year and peace the world over.

    Charles K. Bens, PhD, “Do You Believe Alzheimer’s Disease Is Preventable And Reversible?” Bens reports that (of the participants) ninety percent of patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s were able to reverse their symptoms significantly using a protocol very similar to the one contained in this comprehensive article. This includes being able to return to work and see improvement in all tests used to detect dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Two years later these people showed continuous improvement even though many had reduced their use of many of the elements in the protocol.

    Smarten Up This New Year By Training Your Brain,” by Daryl Jones, PhD. This is a timely article as we bring in the New Year with our New Year resolutions. The difference between Dr. Jones and the majority of us is that he turned his failed resolution into success. Jones is a top rated neuroscientist. “The beautiful thing is, if you begin with exercise, you’ll soon start to see that your diet also improves as your cravings change, and with improvements in fitness and diet, your sleep improves too. It’s kind of like a three for one deal.” Read his article it is an inspiration for all and will benefit your brain.

    Why Bitter Foods Equal Better Weight Loss,” by Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS. Long-time weight loss, detox, and anti-aging expert shares information from her new book “Radical Metabolism.” This article discusses what bitter foods are and their place in human anatomy. Coffee lovers will be thrilled with Gittleman’s article—she does recommend moderation.

    Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, in “An Introduction To Hemp, CBD & Phytocannabinoids.” It gives readers a primer on the definition, the difference between the three, how they are grown, manufactured, and the medical benefits available. We all need to be educated on the subject.

    We don’t often have two articles so close in a subject by two of our respected authors. “Marijuana And CBD Oil For Pain, A Powerful New Tool,” by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD gives us a doctor’s view of the benefits for patients in pain and beyond. Editorial note: Think of the possibility of solving the opioid crisis.

    Gloria Gilbère, CDP, DAHom, PhD, offers “The Protein Perfect Veggie Pattie.” These patties are baked rather than fried but you can fry them, just make sure it’s a healthy oil like coconut or avocado for best health benefits and flavor. The ingredients include lentils which are used almost daily by South Americans in their cuisine.

    Shawn Messonnier, DVM, this month brings us “Ringworm In Pets.” Puppies and kittens have the most susceptibility to having ringworm. The disease is highly contagious between pets and may be easily transmitted between infected pets and their owners. Owners should note that most cases of ringworm in people are not caused by exposure to pets, however.

    Thanks to you our readers, the authors and advertisers who have all supported TotalHealth during the 2018 year.

    Best in health,

    TWIP—The Wellness Imperative People

    Click here to read the full January 2019 issue.

    Click here to read the full January 2019 issue.

    Website: JoneScientific.com

  • A blend of choline, uridine, and docohexaenoic acid (DHA) serves as precursor to lipid molecules essential for forming and maintaining membranes of brain cells, thereby helping to avert the loss of synapses—connections between brain cells that can lead to memory loss and other cognitive impairments.

    Choline can be found in meats, nuts and eggs, and omega-3 fatty acids are found in a variety of sources, including fish, eggs, flaxseed and meat from grass-fed animals. Uridine is produced by the liver and kidney, and is present in some foods as a component of RNA. Docohexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid, best known for its role in promoting cardiovascular health. Richard Wurtman, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues submit that these three nutrients are precursors to the lipid molecules that, along with specific proteins, make up brain-cell membranes, which form synapses. To be effective, all three precursors must be administered together. The researchers followed 259 patients for six months. Patients, whether taking the nutrient blend or a placebo, improved their verbal-memory performance for the first three months, but the placebo patients deteriorated during the following three months, whereas the nutrient blend patients continued to improve. Further, electroencephalography (EEG) studies revealed changes in brain-activity patterns throughout the study: as the trial went on, the brains of patients receiving the nutrient blend started to shift from patterns typical of dementia to more normal patterns. Because EEG patterns reflect synaptic activity, the researchers submit that synaptic function increased following treatment with the nutrient blend.

    References:

    1. Philip Scheltens, Jos W.R. Twisk, Rafael Blesa, Elio Scarpini, Christine A.F. von Arnim, Richard J. Wurtman, et al. “Efficacy of Souvenaid in Mild Alzheimer’s Disease: Results from a Randomized, Controlled Trial.” J Alzheimer’s Dis., Volume 31, Number 1, July 2012, Pages 225–36.
  • Phosphatidylserine (PS) is quite literally a “brain nutrient.” As a matter of fact, this phospholipid is an integral component in the structure of the brain and spinal cord, and is active at cell membranes (including synaptic membrane zones). A significant amount of published clinical research has demonstrated that PS supplementation supports various cognitive parameters in adults and in children.1

    Age-related memory impairment
    Kato-Kataoka et al2 conducted a double-blind, randomized controlled study to investigate the effects of PS on the cognitive functions of elderly Japanese subjects with memory complaints. Seventy-eight elderly people with mild cognitive impairment (50–69 years old) were randomly allocated to take PS (100 mg, 300 mg/day) or placebo for six months. In the subjects with relatively low score at baseline, the memory scores in PS treated groups were significantly increased against the baseline, while those of the placebo group remained unchanged. And the memory improvements in PS treated groups were mostly attributed to the increase in delayed verbal recall, a memory ability attenuated in the earliest stage of dementia.

  • WELCOME TO 2019! IT’S A BRAND NEW YEAR AND A BRAND NEW YOU…OR NOT.

    Personally, I have given up making any kind of New Year’s resolutions. I tried this once, full of naive motivation, determination and a sense of go-get-it pride. Years ago, I set a New Year’s goal of running outdoors every morning before heading into my London, UK research laboratory to work on brain studies as a Neuroscience Ph.D. student. I was going to get fit again! I even bought new running shoes and headphones for my new motivational music.

    The first morning out in the fresh air, it rained…a lot. I got wet and out-of-breath in three minutes, with the morning rush hour air burning my lungs and nose. Standing at the corner of Camden High Street near the World’s End pub, I considered turning around and briskly walking home, or maybe heading into the pub for a greasy morning breakfast. I must have attempted that same run three more miserable times, before soon accepting defeat by the end of the month.

    So why did I fail? My brain, like yours, works on a reward system — the mesolimbic dopamine system. We do something we like and our brain gives us a buzz of feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters like dopamine, but also adrenaline, oxytocin, and others. Then we do that thing again and get more of those feel-good hormones. The more we do it, the more certain the reward becomes and the stronger the reward pathway. We develop a habit through reward.

    The problem with setting new goals is that our brains are wired to like old habits. Running out in the cold January air didn’t feel as good as an extra cozy hour in bed that morning. In order for new and seemingly painful resolutions to become old and feel-good habits, we have to break through the pain barrier and teach our brains that these activities are in fact good, and they do in fact feel good, too. For many of us, this may seem impossible. But it’s really not.

    A few years after my first running failure, I cheated my brain.

    On a whim, I signed up for the London Marathon…all 26.2 miles of it. I made a big fuss and show on social media, asking for donations for my selected cancer charity, and telling the world I was going to do it. Sure enough, the donations started rolling in. Oh, oh! No turning back now. I began training because I had to. And yes, those first six weeks of running were awful.

    But as my brain began to learn that my health was improving and I was, in fact, feeling better, it gave me more of those feel-good neurotransmitters, got on board with what I was doing and motivated me to keep going. Don’t stop, keep going, have some more dopamine! I was soon hooked. My hate became my habit, and just eight months after my spontaneous decision to run the London Marathon, I proudly completed all 26.2 miles.

    I had completed my New Year’s resolution, several years later. Action determines outcome, intentions do not. So, if you’ve set a New Year, New You resolution, just do it, and do it, and do it. Set your goal and go at it with accountability. Teach your brain that this is a good thing and soon your brain will reward you with a new, healthy habit.

    As my health improved, so did my concentration, focus, and willpower at work. Spending days upon days sitting in a dark room and staring down a microscope at Mad-Cow-disease—infected brain cells—can get a little exhausting. But with my new legs and lungs, I had more energy in the laboratory, more excitement for my discoveries and more love for Neuroscience. I was alive again!

    Fast forward a decade and my work life is still very enjoyable and I still work out daily. I’ve had the privilege of leading laboratory and human studies at Mayo Clinic, and I’ve been fortunate enough to launch my own Neuroscience business, Jonescientific. I wholly believe exercise and diet are a huge part of that success story and that’s why my new business is focused on the things I’ve personally benefited from—exercise and diet. Our aim for Jonescientific is to educate on how to boost your brain health. We’ve also created a new, first-of-its-kind memory and cognition supplement, called Sophrosyne Brain. It takes the best of nature and combines it into a pill that has shown to clearly help improve memory, cognitive functioning and overall brain health.

    Dr. Daryl Jones Jonescientific

    While at Mayo Clinic studying Alzheimer’s disease, I’d often get asked, ‘What can I do to help protect my brain?’ My top three answers were always sleep, exercise, and diet.

    Published scientific research suggests these three things are the most important in protecting your brain from the horrific onslaughts of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. And so I urge you, if you do make a New Year’s resolution this year, pick these, and start with exercise! The beautiful thing is, if you begin with exercise, you’ll soon start to see that your diet also improves as your cravings change, and with improvements in fitness and diet, your sleep improves too. It’s kind of like a three for one deal. A review of the scientific literature published in The Lancet found that over a third of the cases of dementia might have been prevented through such lifestyle changes.1

    Another study including 1,145 people at higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease found that aerobic exercise around three times per week for 45 minutes per session improved cognition and delayed cognitive decline, when compared to subjects who did not exercise.2 It is believed that improved cardiovascular health from aerobic exercise plays an integral role in preventing cognitive decline. Healthy heart, healthy brain!

    People who closely follow the Mediterranean diet—which is a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes, whole grains, and fish—appear to be most protected from Alzheimer’s disease. Many scientific studies have shown the brain benefits of this diet. One of the most recent was a study of 1,865 Greek participants with a mean age of 73 years. This study found those who more closely followed the Mediterranean diet were most protected from cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.3

    This kind of diet is rich in brain-protective nutrients such as curcumin. Curcumin is the principle curcuminoid of turmeric, a member of the ginger family. Curcumin exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity, which can help protect the brain against the damage of inflammation and free radicals. An exciting study published by UCLA scientists in 2018 found that 180 mg per day of a bioavailable form of curcumin significantly improved memory over an 18-month period.4

    This study was even more exciting because the scientists also showed that those who took 180 mg of curcumin had a decrease in the amounts of amyloid and tau in brain regions involved in memory and learning.

    Amyloid and tau are the harmful proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease that begin to accumulate as we age. Thus, this one ingredient is capable of reducing Alzheimer’sassociated proteins and improve memory and attention in adults. As a result, our new brain health supplement, Sophrosyne Brain, contains 180 mg of curcumin per serving. Our formula also contains Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha), a type of shrub that has also been shown to reduce levels of Alzheimer’s-associated proteins in the brain. It does this by enhancing low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein in the liver and flushing harmful proteins out of the brain and into the body, where they can be excreted.5

    As well as diet, good sleep is critical for a healthy brain. There is a fascinating brain disease, which is similar to Mad Cow disease, called Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI). This disorder is extremely rare and usually affects entire members of a single family due to genetic inheritance. As the disease begins to induce degeneration of the brain, patients begin to develop severe insomnia. This is because the degeneration in FFI is particularly striking in two areas of the brain responsible for healthy sleep patterns—the hypothalamus and the brainstem. Worryingly, just one night of sleep deprivation was found to significantly increase amyloid, the protein involved in Alzheimer's disease, thus sleep deprivation may increase the risk of developing full-blown Alzheimer's.6

    Good sleep is essential for the body to clear the brain of any build-up of such harmful proteins that might have occurred during the day. Some consumers of Sophrosyne Brain have reported improved sleeping patterns. Others have reported having more memorable dreams. This is because Sophrosyne Brain contains my favorite herb, Bacopa monnieri. At least four human clinical trials have shown improvements in both memory and cognition with Bacopa monnieri. A 2008 study showed that 300 mg per day over 12 weeks improved cognition and reduced anxiety.7 What's fascinating is that Bacopa acts as an acetyl-cholinesterase inhibitor. Physicians prescribe acetylcholinesterase inhibitors to patients with Alzheimer's disease, in order to increase the levels of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter involved in memory and cognition, but also sleep. During sleep, our brains transition from slow-wave sleep to REM sleep. Fluctuating levels of acetylcholine are essential for memories to be processed, downloaded and stored during this process. Thus, as well as supporting cognition, it appears that Bacopa monnieri supports good sleep by modulating levels of acetylcholine.

    So whatever you do this year, I hope that you will consider incorporating aerobic exercise, a healthy diet, and good sleeping habits. You may not be quite ready to sign up for a full marathon, but sign up for something! Start with a one-mile fun run or family swim, and log on to jonescientific.com to learn more about Sophrosyne Brain and the proven ingredients behind it.

    Here's to a brain-new year and a brain-new you!

    References

    1. Livingtson, G. et al., Dementia prevention, intervention, and care. The Lancet. Volume 390, Issue 10113, Pages 2673–2734. 2017.
    2. Panza, G., et al., Can Exercise Improve Cognitive Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease? Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Volume 66, Pages 487–95. 2018.
    3. Anastasiou C., et al., Mediterranean Diet and cognitive health: initial results from the Hellenic longitudinal investigation of ageing and diet. PLoS One. Volume 12, Issue 8. 2017.
    4. Small, G., et al., Memory and Brain Amyloid and Tau Effects of a Bioavailable Form of Curcumin in Non-Demented Adults: A Double-Blind Placebo Controlled 18-Month Study. American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. Volume 26, Issue 3. Pages 266–77. 2018.
    5. Shokri-Kojori, E., et al., B-amyloid accumulation in the human brain after one night of sleep deprivation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. Issue 115, Volume 17. Pages 4482–88.
    6. IBID.
    7. Calabrese, C., et al., Effects of a standardized Bacopa monnieri extract on cognitive performance, anxiety, and depression in the elderly: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine. Volume 14, Number 6. Pages 707–13. 2008.
  • If you ask people what illness they fear most in old age a surprisingly large number will say just one word, Alzheimer's. And yet, if you ask them what they are doing to avoid this dreaded illness a vast majority will give another one word answer, nothing. That is both shocking and surprising because there is actually quite a lot a person can do to prevent Alzheimer's disease. A good starting point is a book by David Perlmutter, MD, entitled Brain Recovery.com. Dr. Perlmutter is a well-known neurologist who specializes in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's and many other difficult brain related illnesses. Here are some ideas from Dr. Perlmutter and other scientists and doctors.

    PREVENTION
    • Avoid electromagnetic radiation—EMR disrupts brain cell communication, which prevents brain cells from protecting themselves.
    • Avoid aluminum—Aluminum is a known neurotoxin often found in drinking water and antiperspirants.
    • Avoid high homocysteine levels—Homocysteine is an inflammation protein caused by a deficiency in vitamin B6, B12, folic acid and enzymes.
    • Avoid inflammation—Another blood marker for inflammation is C-reactive protein caused by the lack of sleep, stress, hormone imbalance and eating too many processed or animal foods and not enough vegetables and fruits.
    • Avoid acetaminophen—Acetaminophen is found in many prescription drugs and has been shown to harm brain cells and reduce glutathione levels.
    • Improve nutritional intake—Eat a vegetarian diet with high levels of Omega 3 rich fish included.

    Nutritional supplements can help prevent Alzheimer's.

    DETECTION
    Existing diagnostic tests for Alzheimer's do not detect this illness soon enough to do any good, in most cases. A new test reported in the Journal of Neurological Sciences, from studies done at the University of Florida, used the ability to smell peanut butter as an early detection tool. According to these scientists the left nostril will have less smell detection ability than the right nostril in people who will eventually develop Alzheimer's.

    A NEW TREATMENT
    Scientists at the National Brain Research Centre in Manesar, India have discovered that Honokiol, a Japanese natural medicine derived from the bark of the magnolia tree, slows the inflammation associated with Alzheimer's. Honokiol has antiinflammatory and anti-oxidant capabilities, and is thought to be over 1000 times more powerful than vitamin E. It is also used by many integrated doctors to treat asthma, anxiety, weight gain, intestinal issues and even cancer.

blockquote.article-intro { color: #333333; font-family: "Roboto","Helvetica Neue",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 1.5; }