Monday, April 16, 2018

Dementia and Alzheimer's

A few days ago I received a request from a friend to share what I know about these diseases.  I have been researching them for years.  By publishing my thoughts here my friend can refer to them easily AND it may help others in the same position.  It also helps me consolidate what I know.

I have to emphasize that what is written here is purely MY OPINION and should not replace advice from a medical professional.  

This is what I am doing
 to mitigate the chance that I might get one of these diseases.  

Before I go into what I've learned in my research, I need to mention The Bredesen Protocol.  It's a new therapy, published in August 2017, which claims to both prevent and cure cognitive decline.  My friend alerted me to it (it was news to me) and asked me to investigate.  I did, and I was pleasantly surprised.  At first glance, Dr. Bredesen appeared to address all the things I had learned in my research! 

According to this video on The Bredesen Protocol, there is now SCIENCE supporting the nutritional and lifestyle advice that naturopathic/functional/restorative medicine doctors have been advocating FOR YEARS!   

If you aren't familiar with the terms, naturopathic, functional and restorative doctors don't treat symptoms they look for the cause and work to eliminate it.  They make their money by curing you. 

Here's a cartoon from one of my favorite restorative doctors, Dr. Peter D'Adamo:

You will need to find a naturopathic/functional/restorative doctor to overcome cognitive decline.  The drugs that allopathic doctors use are prohibitively expensive, have debilitating side effects, and they don't work.  My mother took Aricept and Namenda for years, to the tune of $4000/month, and she still died early from dementia.  There ARE other more effective options....

I reviewed The Bredesen Protocol HERE.  This is an EXCELLENT protocol if you know you do not have heavy metal toxicity, chemical toxicity, or an MTHFR snp.  Bredesen admits that it is very hard to test for heavy metals.  I explain MTHFR below.  It's a known precursor for cognitive decline.


Most of us have heard that Alzheimer's disease is characterized by amyloid plaque in the brain.  Dr. Bredesen explains that this plaque is your body's way of protecting you from the three main causes of the disease. You don't want to remove this plaque until you remove the reason it's there.

You can 'get' Alzheimer's from one or more of the following conditions:
1. inflammation/glycotoxicity (glucose/insulin imbalance),
2. endocrine problems, and
3. toxins/infections.  

In order to design a treatment plan, multiple lab tests are done to determine your current levels of the markers for these conditions. 

Using the results of the tests, the Bredesen Protocol designs a program to first normalize and then OPTIMIZE your health.  If you enjoy optimal health, you can't 'get' Alzheimer's. 

This is where my prior research comes into play.  If you read my review of The Bredesen Protocol you know I think his program is worth following except that he doesn't address lectins, MTHFR snps, and heavy metal/chemical detox.   

Here's why this is a problem:

While Dr. Bredesen does explain the amino acid homocysteine and how vitamins B6 and B12 keep it low he does not mention MTHFR (MethyleneTetraHydroFolate Reductase) which, among many other things, is responsible for creating the type of folate essential for the conversion of homocysteine to methionine.  High levels of (unconverted) homocysteine are a marker for cognitive decline.

MethyleneTetraHydroFolate Reductase (MTHFR) is both an enzyme and a gene and is crucial to the body for many reasons. Mutations in this gene (SNPs) result in decreased activity of the enzyme, which causes issues with methylation, leading to the disruption of important and essential bodily functions – which include the ability to eliminate toxins properly. (There are other genes related to methylation which must also be tested, too many to list here.)

Here's a quote from this interview with Chris Kresser:
The reactions that occur when one molecule passes a methyl group to another make things like creatine, carnitine, CoQ10, phosphatidylcholine, melatonin, and tons of other really important substances in the body.

Methylation controls sulfur metabolism, which balances the need for methyl groups, glutathione to control oxidative stress, and other sulfur metabolites like cysteine, taurine, and sulfate.  Methylation influences the production of ATP, which is the fundamental energy unit of the cell.  If the cell can’t produce ATP, then there’s going to be inadequate energy in the body, nothing will work well, and you get a breakdown or an impairment of your mitochondrial function.  This is something that can affect pretty much every tissue and organ system in the body because it’s working on the most fundamental processes within the body.

Methylation, in particular, though, seems to affect certain systems more than others.   It affects detoxification.  As I mentioned, methylation is required to produce glutathione, which is one of the major molecules in a detoxification cycle, but if you don’t methylate properly, you won’t be able to detoxify properly, so what this can lead to is a higher susceptibility to heavy metal toxicity and toxicity from any source like pesticides, other environmental toxins and pollutants, mold toxicity, toxicity from lipopolysaccharide or any other bacterial or pathogen-based toxin – so just in a general, an increased susceptibility to toxic overload because the body is not able to detoxify properly.
EVERY MTHFR website I visited listed Alzheimer's as a symptom of MTHFR snps.  Why Bredesen doesn't address them is beyond me.

An estimated 50% of the population may have inherited one copy of allele C677T (heterozygous C/T) while up to 25% may have inherited two copies (homozygous T/T).   Individuals homozygous for C677T have at least a 50-60% reduction in MTHFR activity.  I feel this is too large a percentage to ignore.

Bredesen's solution to elevated homocysteine is to supplement with B vitamins but this is neither effective nor desirable if you have MTHFR snps because they don't work and can make the problem worse.

Whether you have an MTHFR snp or not, all of us have been exposed to heavy metals because we cannot avoid them(We also all have other chemicals in our bodies because we cannot avoid them, either.)   In addition...we all have glyphosate (Round-up) in our bodies even if we eat 100% organic because it's in everything including the air we breathe (and because even organic corn and soy, which is fed to all the animals we eat, is contaminated with glyphosate due to drift).  To make matters worse, we all have aluminum in our bodies because it, too, is in the air due to cloud seeding and the need to prevent air disasters

Unfortunately, glyphosate and mercury impact our ability to eliminate all toxins which can contribute to both inflammation and endocrine problems (causes 1 and 2 above):
Mercury prevents us from utilizing zinc, and our detox pathways need zinc.

Glyphosate chelates (binds) minerals, like zinc and selenium, and prevents them from being absorbed.  Selenium is a potent binder for mercury. 

Aluminum binds with glyphosate which means we have to detox both of them simultaneously.  But, if we have mercury, we have trouble detoxing other metals.

Do you see the circular nature of this problem?   Glyphosate and mercury tie up zinc which compromises our detox pathways.  We can't get rid of glyphosate without also detoxing aluminum, and we can't do that as long as we have mercury.  We must get rid of mercury...and all the other toxins it has caused us to accumulate.

(If you have any MTHFR snps, you must address them first or you will not be able to detox mercury.)

If you don't have an MTHFR snp, and you've lived a life that limited your exposure to a plethora of toxins, perhaps you don't need to be concerned about this.    Your body may have been able to eliminate the toxins you were exposed to, as it is designed to do.  But, since I haven't spent most of my life in a valley in the Rockies or a remote village in South America foraging for my food, I know I have toxins in my body that need to be purged.

So, referring back to the three causes Dr. Bredesen has identified,  *I* am going to address the toxins part of the trifecta first and hope that eliminates the other two.    

Here's what *I* plan to do:

The plan described below is based on the research I've done and the knowledge I have about what I've been exposed to in my food, the air I breathe, and what I put on my body.  We've been eating 90% organic for almost 10 years, and eliminated toxic home and personal care products years ago as well.  If you have a life-long exposure to these things, you should not attempt to detox without professional help.   Everything I'm doing up to that point is "safe".  You should do it, to!

I had all my amalgam tooth fillings removed years ago.  (If you still have even one please have them removed by a mercury-safe dentist.  You are flooding your body with mercury every time you chew!)  You should never attempt to detox with intact amalgam tooth fillings - you'll kill yourself.

I have a SWAMI, which is a personalized genotype diet plan that identifies the food lectins problematic for my genotype.  I avoid those foods whenever possible.  Dr. Bredesen's diet eliminates ALL lectins, even those which aren't a problem for certain blood types.

If you don't have a SWAMI you should get one as it will give you more food choices!  Use this video to fill out the questionnaire. You can fill out the secretor question after you've had your genome decoded.  I had my saliva tested for secretor status when I got my SWAMI years ago.

Having already done the two things mentioned above, I am now going to do the following:

FIRST, I'm having my genome decoded by 23-and-me and  If you do this, make sure you get the health+ancestry version of 23-and-me.  If you've already had your genome decoded by 23-and-me and the file type is V4 you will not need data.  Unfortunately, 23-and-me changed their result set and it's no longer complete.

SECOND, I will send the results to Opus 23 (Opus 23 needs both sets of results, Dr. Bredesen uses only 23-And-Me)
If I have any MTHFR snps Opus23 will recommend ways to overcome them.  One of the things the MTHFR genes control are methylation pathways - the body's toxin removal processes - and these MUST be working properly before I start mobilizing toxins.
If I have the APOE4 geneOpus23 will recommend ways to overcome it taking my other snps into account.

In Feb 2016 Opus23 cost $385.
In Feb 2018 the price had gone up to $550
If you're going to do this, don't delay!
THIRD, after following OPUS23 recommendations, when I know my methylation pathways are working, I will start detoxing heavy metals and chemicals using the products and protocols described in this Klinghardt video and this Klinghardt pdf.  Dr. Klinghardt is a world renowned restorative practitioner who has contributed significantly to our understanding of metal toxicity and how to eliminate toxins which is why I chose his protocol.
I could order blood tests to determine which metals I need to detox; but, according to Dr. Klinghardt, we ALL have heavy metals because they are everywhere, and it's hard to test for them because your body sequesters them so they may not show up in blood, urine, or hair analyses.  Based on my life to this point, I assume I have them and need to get rid of them.
Listed below are the steps I plan to take:
Press HERE for part one - WHY DETOX

Press HERE for part two - HOW TO DETOX - the preliminary steps.

Press HERE for part three - HOW TO DETOX - mobilizing toxins.

Press HERE for part four - HOW TO DETOX - other considerations.
Press HERE for part five - HOW TO DETOX - synopsis.

 (UPDATE:  After reading over the material hundreds of times, trying to get these pages both accurate and easy to read,  I've decide to start lining my gut with binders even though I haven't yet done all the other steps.  This should trap any new toxins I ingest/inhale before they can be added to whatever is already in my body.  It should make detoxing easier once I get to the 'mobilizing' stage.  Below is the complete list of binders, I crossed out the ones I'm not going to take until I start mobilizing:

The clinoptilolite should be taken away from food so I take it in-between meals.
I take the silica in-between meals to bind aluminum and help detox glyphosate.
I put the mineral drops into the RO water and antioxidant tea I drink every day.
I take chlorella before each meal, 12 tablets.

If I were taking charcoal I would take it in-between meals as it binds with vitamins and beneficial minerals. You should not take charcoal long-term so I will use that only when I mobilize.

If I were taking clay capsules I would take them in-between meals with warm water.
I have decided to take clay-epsom-salt baths once a week instead of the capsules.

I still plan to do the program outlined above once I get my results.

I will follow those parts of Dr. Bredesen's diet that agree with my SWAMI, and will add the daily 12-hour fast.  I already take most of the supplements he recommends and will add the few I don't.)

FOURTH, when I have finished detoxing, order the lab tests recommended by Dr. Bredesen and work to optimize the results.  At this point I will have eliminated heavy metals and other toxins like glyphosate so any inflammation and endocrine problems should have resolved themselves.  If not, I will need to find a functional/restorative doctor to help with this, preferably a Klinghardt practitioner.

(If you follow the Bredesen Protocol diet, make sure you also follow the lectin advice that both SWAMI and Opus23 provide.)

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