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to Reverse Alzheimers

The Only Way

by Dr. David Williams

The Only Way to Reverse Alzheimers .................... 1 Chapter 1: Niacinamide Reverses Memory Loss .... 2
Benefit From Taking It Now ................................. 2 The Best $30 Youll Ever Spend ........................... 2 Other Benefits of Niacinamide ............................. 3 Additional Therapeutic Uses ....................... 5 Getting the Most for Your Money ......................... 6

Chapter 5: Protect Your Brain From Chemical Assault ................................................. 18

Minimizing Exposure ......................................... 18 Elimination of Existing Toxins .......................... 19 Getting the Lead (and Other Metals) Out ........... 19 Aluminums Link to Alzheimers ....................... 20 Mercury Is Also Linked to Alzheimers .............. 22 How to Replenish Your Silicon Levels ........ 22 EPA Guidelines for CFL Cleanup .............. 24 This Is Your Brain on Drugs ............................... 25

Chapter 2: Nutritional Solutions for Preventing Alzheimers .......................................... 6

A Berry Good Solution ........................................ 6 Curcumin/Turmeric .............................................. 7 Omega-3 Fatty AcidsDHA ................................ 8 Acetyl-L-Carnitine ............................................... 8 Alpha Lipoic Acid ................................................ 9 B Vitamins May Offer Some Protection ............... 9 The Memory-Boosting Miracle From Ancient China ........................................... 10 Resveratrol......................................................... 11 Good Cholesterol Makes a Healthy Brain........................................... 11

Chapter 6: Build Up Your Brain............................. 27

Build a Cognitive Reserve .............................. 27 Help Grow New Brain Cells ............................... 27 Use It or Lose It ...................................... 28 Big Brain Benefit ............................................... 28 Stress Is a Memory Killer ......................... 29

Chapter 7: Other Ways to Improve Your Memory ........................................................ 30

The Importance of Blood Flow to the Brain ........................................................ 30 Lecithin for Synapses and Memory Lapses.................................................. 33 Broccoli and Your Brain ..................................... 34 Your Adrenal Glands: Key Memory Minders ............................................... 35 Iron Out Wrinkles in Short-Term Memory ................................................... 35

Chapter 3: Is It Alzheimers? ................................ 12

Testing for Alzheimers ...................................... 13 Alzheimers Imposters ....................................... 13 Iodine Deficiency Test............................... 14

Chapter 4: The Link Between Blood Sugar and Alzheimers ................................................... 15

The Diabetes-Alzheimers Connection ............... 15 Sugar Is Slow Suicide ........................................ 16 Vitamin E Safety: Why You Shouldnt Worry ....................................... 16

Appendix A: Memory Quiz

The Only Way to Reverse Alzheimers

lzheimers is a scary disease. It seems to come without warning, and, worst of all, until now theres been no cure. Currently the best one can hope for is to slow its progression with various medications, supplements, and changes in diet and lifestyle. Named after the German psychiatrist who discovered it, Alzheimers is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks nerve cells in the brain and leads to a disruption of memory, thinking, and normal behavior. In Alzheimers, waxy clumps of protein fragments called beta-amyloid plaques form around and inside nerve cellsbreaking vital connections and leading to nerve destruction. Although some individuals live with the disease for 20 years or more, the average person with Alzheimers lives only eight years following diagnosis.

Being impaired from Alzheimers can be an individuals worst nightmarenot to mention that of the persons family. With Alzheimers, the patients mind seems to have completely vanished from an otherwise healthy body. The individual becomes the total responsibility of family members or other caregivers. Its a situation we would all like to avoid. Sadly, there seems to be little coordinated effort to organize a program to actually prevent Alzheimers and other brain diseases, even though research indicates these problems are preventable for the most part. Contrary to popular belief, brain disease and degeneration are not inevitable consequences of aging. In fact, theres really no such thing as senile dementia. Research has shown that, just as with every other disease or malfunction in the body, there are specific reasons for senility and other failings of the brain. Also, as with other diseases, research has shown that there are natural ways to prevent and treat Alzheimers and other brain impairments. In this report, youll learn that there are several steps you can take to protect yourself from Alzheimers and memory loss. The first chapter covers what I consider to be the most exciting breakthrough in the treatment and potential cure of Alzheimersa form of vitamin B3 called niacinamide. Next, Ill cover some other nutritional therapies for preventing and treating Alzheimers. Ill also tell you about the tests for diagnosing Alzheimers and some Alzheimers imposters that could be causing memory loss. In addition, Ill explain the diabetesAlzheimers connection and the role of environmental toxins and drugs in causing Alzheimers and other brain diseases. The last two chapters of this report describe ways to strengthen your brain and improve your memory.

Over 5 million Americans now have Alzheimers, and that number is expected to grow to over 14 million by 2050. Currently, 10 percent of Americans over age 65 and nearly half of those 85 or older have the disease. In addition, the number of Alzheimers cases worldwide is expected to quadruple by 2050, from the current 26.6 million to over 100 million. If the current trend continues, one out of every eight baby boomers in this country will develop Alzheimers. Being a baby boomer myself, those odds are pretty frightening. Why is the number of Alzheimers cases increasing at such a dramatic rate? Alzheimers appears to be one of the diseases linked to our civilized lifestyle. In less-developed areas of the world, like Africa, the disease is practically nonexistent, which leads one to suspect that exposure to environmental pollutants and the unnatural food products so prevalent in our diets today play a critical role in this and other modern diseases.

Chapter 1: Niacinamide Reverses Memory Loss

ver the years, Ive uncovered a considerable amount of research on natural solutions for preventing or slowing the progression of the disease, but only recently has there been research finding that the memory loss of Alzheimers can actually be restored. Specifically, its been discovered that nicotinamide (another term for niacinamide, an alkaline form of niacin or vitamin B3) can restore the memory loss caused by this dreadful disease. Researchers at the University of California at Irvine gave the human dose equivalent of 2,000 to 3,000 mg of niacinamide to mice with Alzheimers disease. After treating the mice for only four months, they discovered what should have been front-page news in every city in the world. Cognitively, they were cured, said Dr. Kim Green, one of the researchers. They performed as if theyd never developed the disease. (J Neurosci 08;28:1150011510) The researchers were obviously both surprised and excited about what they discovered. Rarely do you hear researchers using the word cured, but thats exactly what happened. At the end of the study, the diseased mice that were treated with niacinamide performed just as well in memory tests as healthy mice. The niacinamide not only protected their brains from further memory loss, it also restored lost memory function. Dr. Green said, The vitamin completely prevented cognitive decline associated with the disease, bringing them back to the level theyd be at if they didnt have the pathology. If this wasnt exciting enough, niacinamide also improved memory and behavior in the mice without Alzheimers. I probably shouldnt have been that surprised, but the reaction from the medical community and mainstream press actually shocked me. The Alzheimers organizations have practically ignored this study and continue to follow the party line that high doses of vitamins can be toxic and shouldnt be taken except under the supervision of a doctor. And practically every article I saw reporting on the research offers the same warning. This is total bull.

Benefit From Taking It Now

Millions of Alzheimers sufferers could benefit from high doses of niacinamide right now, and millions more could possibly prevent the disease by taking it. And 2,000 to 3,000 mg a day is totally harmless. There has never been a death reported from niacinamide supplementation. Thats probably because, as animal studies have shown, a toxic dose in humans would be somewhere around 375,000 mg a daynearly a pound. I do want to repeat that the above study was performed on animals, not humans, and its possible that the effects wouldnt be as profound on humans. The results of the study, however, were so impressive that the same research group immediately moved forward with a six-month clinical trial with Alzheimers patients. It will be a controlled trial where half the patients receive 1,500 mg of niacinamide twice a day and half receive a placebo. If I were predisposed to Alzheimers (meaning I had the genetic mutation for Alzheimers or had a family member with the disease), I would immediately start taking higher doses of niacinamide. And remember, the research also strongly suggests that it could improve memory in healthy individuals as well. When theres no accepted cure for Alzheimers disease, and the best that can be hoped for with other current therapies is to slow the diseases progression, I cant understand why there would be any hesitation in beginning niacinamide therapy. Its absolutely safe, and inexpensive as well. The authors of the above study reportedly purchased a years supply of the vitamin for $30.

The Best $30 Youll Ever Spend

Niacinamide has been one of my absolute favorite health supplements for years. A little over ten years ago I wrote about the work that Dr. William Kaufman performed in the mid- to late-1930s. I spoke with Dr. Kaufman on numerous occasions and kept in contact with both him and his research assistant, Charlotte (his wife), for years until he passed away at the age of 88 in 2000. He was a true pioneer in the treatment

of problems associated with deficiencies of niacinamide. He discovered that many of the physical and mental problems associated with normal aging are actually the result of inadequate amounts of niacinamide in the diet. With the help of his wife, Dr. Kaufman was meticulous at documenting the results he obtained using niacinamide, particularly in the areas of fatigue; muscle strength and working capacity; loss of balance; depression; and joint mobility and osteoarthritis. (See Other Benefits of Niacinamide below.) If he were still with us, Dr. Kaufman would surely be pleased to learn that his program could also be effective in the treatment of Alzheimers. While the above clinical trials plan on utilizing 1,500 mg of niacinamide twice daily, I wish the researchers would study Dr. Kaufmans work and his findings on dosing amounts. Dr. Kaufman had experience with over a thousand patient-years of niacinamide use and was well-versed in how to obtain its greatest benefits. In my conversations with Dr. Kaufman, he said that niacinamide, being a water-soluble vitamin, was absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and central nervous system. Body levels began to rise within 15 minutes of ingestion, and peaked after about 90 minutes; after three hours most of the vitamin had cleared the body. This is why he felt that for maximum effectiveness it was crucial to give numerous doses through the day (and the night for extremely severe arthritic conditions). He also determined that 250 mg was about the most the body could absorb at one time. Taking multiple doses of 250 mg is the best way to maintain effective levels. He adjusted the daily dosage to the severity of the condition being treated, generally from 1,500 to 4,000 mg a day. (When I spoke with Dr. Kaufman and his wife they had both been taking 250 mg every three waking hours [six doses] for a total of 1,500 mg a day for over 55 years. He felt this is the ideal maintenance dosage, which needs to be taken for life. Considering the ever-increasing rate of Alzheimers, arthritis, and various neurological diseases, I believe he was right.) Based on his observations and studies, it would appear that Alzheimers patients would achieve the best results if they took 250 mg every 1 hours (a total of 12 doses). I

highly recommend this niacinamide protocol for either preventing or treating Alzheimers.

Other Benefits of Niacinamide

As I mentioned earlier, Dr. Kaufman began studying the therapeutic effects of niacinamide in the mid- to late1930s. Dr. Kaufman discovered that inadequate amounts of niacinamide in the diet could be directly responsible for a long list of physical and mental problems such as: nervous system impairment resulting in depression, anxiety, and personality changes; impaired balance; overreaction to noise; abnormal skin sensations; yellow or brown skin pigmentation and excessive callus formation; liver enlargement and tenderness; excessive fatigue; arthritis and impaired joint mobility; poor muscle strength; and diminished work capacity. He collectively referred to these problems under the heading of aniacinamidosis. By the early 1940s, Dr. Kaufman had found that each of the above complaints could be readily corrected when patients were given the proper oral doses of niacinamide. Although some of these problems were corrected after manufacturers were required to enrich bread, flour, and cereal with niacinamide and other B vitamins, four problems that persisted after the enrichment program were: 1) fatigue, decreased muscle strength and work capacity, 2) loss of balance, 3) depression, and 4) impaired joint function. Heres what Dr. Kaufman found regarding niacinamides therapeutic effect on these problems:

Fatigue, Muscle Strength, and Working Capacity

To quickly and accurately measure the effect of niacinamide on fatigue, muscle strength, and working capacity, Dr. Kaufman monitored each patients hand strength with a gripmeter and one of those small handheld counting devices. He found that positive results attained in the small muscles in the hand were consistent with positive changes throughout the body. Specifically, Dr. Kaufman found that roughly 70% of patients who took 100 to 300 mg of niacinamide demonstrated a greater working capacity and less fatigue after only

30 minutes. Muscle strength also improved after 30 minutes in about 30% of the patients. Keep in mind that Dr. Kaufman made these initial findings by monitoring each patient in his office for an hour or longer after they took their very first dose of niacinamide. More pronounced improvement was observed as the patients continued on the therapy over a period of several months.

Dr. Kaufman noticed that states of depression related to niacinamide deficiencies are most commonly found in people over the age of 55. Granted, supplementing with niacinamide isnt a cure-all for depression or any other ailment, but in many cases it can lead to significant improvements. Niacinamide is somewhat unusual when compared to most other vitamins because it easily and quickly enters the central nervous system. It also has an affinity for the same neurological receptor sites that the benzodiazepine class of drugs is designed to affect. (Benzodiazepines are tranquilizing drugs, such as Xanax and Valium.) In effect, niacinamide acts as a mild natural tranquilizer, but is entirely safe and non-addictive. It is not at all uncommon to begin to experience relaxation and increased energy within five to 10 minutes of taking just 100 mg of niacinamide. As soon as blood levels of niacinamide begin to rise, the vitamins calming effect on the central nervous system becomes evident. Patients who suffer from long-term, deeper depression will generally respond within the first two weeks if niacinamide therapy is going to be of benefit.

Loss of Balance
There are three methods Dr. Kaufman used to check for a loss of balance. (If you intend to test yourself using any one of these methods, have someone standing nearby that can keep you from falling.) In general, the more tests you can pass, the greater your sense of balance. 1. Start by standing on one foot for a minimum of 15 seconds. 2. Next, stand on the same foot with your eyes closed for a minimum of 15 seconds. 3. Finally, while standing on the right foot, raise your left foot up and place your left heel one inch in front of the right knee cap. Keep your hands at your sides the entire time. If you can stand in that position with your eyes open for at least 15 seconds, then repeat the test with your eyes closed. Each of these tests should be done twice, once balancing on the right foot and once on the left. Being able to balance yourself properly depends on several things. One of these involves certain nerve fibers running up and down the spinal column that tell the brain the location and angle of each joint in your body. A deficiency of niacinamide has been shown to interfere with these pathways and affect your ability to stay balanced. Taking niacinamide can have a very positive effect on balance, and most people see gradual improvements over a period of several months. If you want to see if theres any immediate improvement, simply repeat Dr. Kaufmans balance tests 30 minutes after taking a dose of niacinamide. Even if you dont see a difference right away, stick with it as it may take up to three months of constant therapy to achieve noticeable progress.

Joint Mobility and Osteoarthritis

In my talks with Dr. Kaufman, he felt that his greatest contribution to the field of nutritional therapy involved his research on improving joint function. His work has helped thousands of people gain relief from joint pain and immobility. Considering that arthritis is one condition that will eventually affect us all (by the age of 40, 90% of the population have definite signs of it), this is truly a Godsend. Over several decades of practice, Dr. Kaufman documented hundreds of cases of patients who became more mobile and self-sufficient after long-term niacinamide therapy. His case histories, supplemented with photos, show people who were unable to raise their arms above shoulder level before treatment. After several months on niacinamide, they could easily raise them above their head. What makes these cases even more remarkable is that these patients also reported a decrease in joint pain and inflammation. Niacinamide is not considered an anti-inflammatory

compound or analgesic. Apparently, it is niacinamides ability to trigger actual repair of the joint surfaces that leads to the dramatic reduction in pain and inflammation. I want to mention, though, that niacinamide is not something that will work in every single case. Obviously, some joints have been damaged so severely that nothing will help. There are a few other circumstances I can think of that can interfere with niacinamides effectiveness in treating arthritis and other conditions.

Additional Therapeutic Uses

Research from around the world seems to be supporting Dr. Kaufmans ideas about the many benefits of niacinamide. The actions of niacinamide may help prevent diabetes and cancer. Niacinamide has also been found to be beneficial in the treatment of stroke. Niacinamide can prevent the autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. When taken early enough, it can even help repair damaged pancreatic cells and prevent the onset of diabetes. (Br J Clin Pract 92;46(3):177 179) Newer research has shown that much of the damage to the pancreas is caused by the breakage of DNA strands in pancreatic cells, and that adequate amounts of niacinamide in the tissues can prevent these breaks. (Diabetes 95;44:152155) Additionally, adequate levels of niacinamide in the body have been shown to be a very crucial factor in helping the body repair already-damaged DNA strands, and this in turn helps prevent the formation of cancer. DNA strands constantly provide the blueprints for new cells that are needed to replace those that become damaged or die. If the DNA strands are damaged, these new cells form abnormally and can become malignant. (J Am Coll Nutr 92;11(5):Abst 95) Niacinamide also appears to be useful in the early treatment of stroke. In one study, administering niacinamide to rats within two hours after the onset of a stroke was shown to reduce the infarction or tissue death caused by lack of blood supply. Niacinamide was shown to reduce damage in arterial occlusion or blockage by enhancing an enzyme that increases concentrations of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the cells basic unit of energy) and by inhibiting cell death. (Neurosci Lett 99;259(1):2124) increased to 250 mg every hour for 16 hours, for a total of 4,000 mg a day.) It is important to note here that the intervals mentioned above must be adhered to, and not just the daily dosage amounts. For example, taking 500 mg three times a day

Adequate protein is necessary for joint repair. Cartilage

is high in protein, and without an adequate intake of protein, repair cant take place. That is why I suggest you take a whey protein powder supplement if you suffer from arthritis.

All the B vitamins work in conjunction with each other.

Therefore, you can expect better results if you take niacinamide along with a good multivitamin containing a broad balance of B vitamins.

Dont expect a joint to heal properly if it is continually

being traumatized by repetitive use or abuse. Arthritis in the knee joint wont heal, for example, if one continues to jog or bang on a carpet stretcher (if that happens to be your line of work). Additionally, obesity creates constant trauma to the weight-bearing joints. One way to minimize routine joint pressure is by wearing shoes with thick, shockabsorbing soles.

How to Take Niacinamide for These Problems

To prevent and treat fatigue, loss of balance, and moderate joint dysfunction, the recommended dosage of niacinamide is 250 mg every three hours for six dosages. This adds up to a total of 1,500 mg of niacinamide a day, taken over an 18-hour period. As I mentioned earlier, this is the dosage schedule Dr. Kaufman and his wife had been on for over 55 years. For severe joint dysfunction, the recommended dosage is 250 mg every two hours for eight dosages. This adds up to a total of 2,000 mg a day, taken over a 16-hour period. If joint dysfunction is extremely severe, the recommended dosage is 250 mg every 1 hours for 10 doses, making a total of 2,500 mg a day. (In these cases the dosage may be even

works out to 1,500 mg, but the effects will not be nearly as effective as taking 250 mg every three hours. Dr. Kaufmans protocols are designed to keep blood levels consistent throughout the day.

800-824-4491) and Jarrow Formulas ( or 310-204-6936). Another point Id like to make about niacinamide products concerns the time-released niacinamide supplements that a few companies have come out with to make it easier to take high doses of niacinamide. The problem with these time-released products is that they can possibly cause liver problems, so you would need to get periodic tests to monitor liver function. I dont recommend taking these products. (Taking straight niacinamide using Dr. Kaufmans protocol outlined above has never caused any liver problems or other side effects. Apparently, the carefully balanced blood levels make it easy for both the liver and the kidneys to deal with the higher levels of niacinamide.) At this point I cant say for certain that niacinamide in high doses will completely reverse memory loss in humans the way it did in mice. But considering its safety, availability, and cost, niacinamide is certainly worth a tryparticularly since no other viable options are currently available. In the above study with mice, it didnt just improve the problem, it proved to be a cure. (See for yourself whether niacinamide improves your memory by taking the self-test on page 37 both before and a few weeks after you start taking the supplements.) The worst-case scenario would be that someone wastes $20 or $30 while improving their sense of balance, any existing arthritis, mobility problems, fatigue, and muscle weakness and lowering their risk of cancer. Wouldnt it be nice if all failed treatment programs had such side effects.

Getting the Most for Your Money

There are a couple of other points you need to keep in mind about niacinamide. First, it isnt a cure-all. Niacinamide can work miracles, but it doesnt happen overnight. Although Dr. Kaufmans patients often began to experience subtle improvements in the first few hours or days, the more serious cases could take a year or even longer to resolve. He also felt a proper diet and exercise were in order. He also added other supplements when needed, like a good multi-vitamin/mineral that contained a broad balance of the other B vitamins along with vitamins A and D. I have found that higher dosages of niacinamide work even better when combined with 50 mg of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) daily. Second, I utilized Dr. Kaufmans protocols for several years and saw some amazing improvements, however, I saw even better responses after switching to a product without preservatives. Dr. Kaufman found that many niacinamide products contain preservatives, a fact I hadnt been aware of. Im sure there are other sources, but Freeda Vitamins is an excellent source of 250 mg preservative-free niacinamide tablets. You can order the product at www.freedavitamins. com or 800-777-3737. Other sources of niacinamide include Swanson Health Products ( or

Chapter 2: Nutritional Solutions for Preventing Alzheimers

lthough niacinamide appears to be the only nutrient that can actually reverse the memory loss caused by Alzheimers, there are several nutrients that have been found helpful in preventing the disease or slowing its progression. This chapter covers these nutrients. Eating foods that contain these nutrients and taking a few nutritional supplements may seem like too simple a solution for a disease that baffles even the most learned medical experts. But as our foods become more processed and adulterated, I believe a return to simple,

whole, natural foods and nutritional supplements is the key to protecting you from Alzheimers.

A Berry Good Solution

Theres been a lot of press lately on the antioxidant properties of blueberries, and Im sure in the very near future well begin to see similar attributes associated with raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, strawberries, et cetera. Research indicates that in animal studies, regular consumption of

blueberries can prevent age-related memory problems. (Nutr Neurosci 04;7(2):7583) In another study, researchers with the Department of Agriculture at Tufts University tested the effects of blueberry supplementation on older animals. Their results were so impressive they included the following statement in the summary of their research report: Our data indicate for the first time that it may be possible to overcome genetic predisposition to Alzheimers disease through diet. Im astounded that something this important wasnt reported by the mainstream media. This one simple suggestion may have the power to save thousands of individuals and their families the intense suffering and sadness caused by this horrible disease. (Nutr Neurosci 03;6(3):153162) One recent discovery is that blueberries contain a compound called pterostilbene. As more people learn of this discovery, I suspect youll begin to read more about the amazing properties of pterostilbene in the next few years. Many of its effects are similar to those caused by the compound resveratrol, which is found in red wine. Like resveratrol, pterostilbene has strong antioxidant capabilities, is a potent cancer-preventive agent, and helps protect the heart and cardiovascular system. But pterostilbene also has a unique capability not associated with resveratrol. Pterostilbene appears to be a very potent agent against diabetes. It may be possible that other types of berries contain pterostilbene, but so far blueberries seem to be the primary source. Pterostilbene is also found in darker grapes, but not in red wine as it doesnt seem to survive the winemaking process. Theres a product in Ayurvedic medicine called Drakshasava that has been prescribed as a heart tonic for hundreds of years. Its not that well known in this country and difficult to find. French researchers analyzed the product a few years ago, and found it contained both resveratrol and pterostilbene, which we now know inhibit platelet aggregation and increase the good HDL form of cholesterol. The fact that ancient healers were able to determine the benefits of such products never ceases to amaze me. (J Ethnopharmacol 99;68(1-3):7176) I cant stress highly enough the importance of adding blueberries to your diet, and when fresh berries arent available, you can use concentrated berry powder. In fact, Ive found a blueberry powder called Nutri-Fruit that concentrates an amazing amount of pterostilbene into a teaspoon.

I sprinkle the powder on yogurt, on fruit salad, and in teas. I also love to eat a spoonful directly out of the container. (It may make my tongue and mouth look like a kid whos just finished a Popsicle, but it tastes great and sure freshens my breath.) You can order Nutri-Fruit Blueberry by calling 866-3437848 or at

If youve ever eaten Indian food, youll never forget the color, smell, and taste of curry. This flavoring is actually a combination of spices, one of which is turmeric (Curcuma longa). The compound curcumin is responsible for the yellowish-orange color and distinctive smell of turmeric. Curcumin is more than just a simple pigment, however. It is a very potent medicinal remedy with a wide variety of uses. Turmeric is one of the primary spices of Indian culture the average daily adult intake in India is estimated at 400 mg. It has also been widely used in Ayurvedic medicine. In light of research finding that the curcumin in turmeric can lower risk of Alzheimers, it should come as no surprise that India has one of the lowest rates of Alzheimers in the world. (Only one percent of the elderly in India suffer from Alzheimers, compared to nearly half of those over age 85 in the US.) Studies have shown that when either turmeric or curcumin was added to the diets of animals bred to develop Alzheimers, the brain damage was significantly lessened. One theory is that Alzheimers is caused by inflammation in the brain. Some time ago, it was found that the regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could also decrease the Alzheimers risk, but the long-term side effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding and liver and kidney damage, werent a good trade-off. Researchers at the University of California found that the amyloid plaques that develop in the brains of Alzheimers patients were reduced by over 40 percent in animals fed curcumin. Additionally, there was less inflammation and free-radical damage in the brain. (J Neurosci 01;21(21):83708377) More recently, researchers found that when mice susceptible to Alzheimers were fed curcumin at a dosage equivalent to that consumed daily by individuals in India (derived from turmeric in their curry), they had roughly half as many waxy brain plaques as the mice not fed curcumin. While the

protein fragments still form in the presence of curcumin, it appears that the spice component blocks them from combining into waxy clumps. (J Biol Chem 05;280(7):58925901)

Research suggests that the progression of Alzheimers disease can be slowed by increasing acetyl-L-carnitine in the diet. Researchers studied 130 Alzheimers patients from ten hospitals for one year. Sixty-three were given supplemental acetyl-L-carnitine, and 67 were given a placebo. Both groups worsened, but those in the treated group had a slower rate of deterioration. Those on acetyl-L-carnitine had better logical intelligence, verbal critical abilities, long-term verbal memory, and selective attention; and no significant side effects were observed. (Neurology 91;41(11):17261732) This study suggests that Alzheimers patients dont produce adequate amounts of acetyl-L-carnitine. Acetyl-L-carnitine is available in supplement form. I recommend starting with 500 mg per day, working up to 2,000 mg per day. You can find acetyl-L-carnitine supplements in health food stores or order them from Jo Mar Laboratories (800-538-4545 or There are also natural ways to help your body produce acetyl-L-carnitine. The process of creating acetyl-L-carnitine begins with the transformation of the amino acid lysine by the liver. To create and use this compound, your body needs a healthy liver, sufficient lysine, and adequate amounts of certain nutrients.

Omega-3 Fatty AcidsDHA

Key components for proper brain function are the omega-3 fatty acids EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). In Alzheimers, waxy clumps of protein fragments called beta-amyloid plaques form around and inside nerve cellsbreaking vital connections and causing nerve destruction. Research indicates that the DHA can have a dramatic effect in preventing the formation of those clumps. Mice on a DHA-rich diet were found to have only about 30 percent of the amount of waxy plaque formation in their brains, compared to mice given little or no DHA in their diet. (J Neurosci 05;25(12):30323040) I strongly suggest that you eat foods containing EPA and especially DHA at least twice a week. Particularly good sources are salmon, sardines, and tuna. I eat them all, but consider sardines one of the best bargains when it comes to improving brain health and increasing your cognitive reserve. Sardines are not only good sources of essential fatty acids; they are one of the richest sources of nucleotidesthe sub-units or building blocks from which your body creates RNA and DNA. And, among dozens of other positive attributes, they help stimulate the production of neurotransmitters in the brain. One of the best steps you can implement to protect your brain from Alzheimers is to eat two tins of sardines a week. I recommend Blue Galleon sardines, available from Mountain Home Nutritionals (www.drdavidwilliams. com or 800-888-1415). (The finding that the omega-3 fatty acid DHA in fish can prevent the formation of these plaques was by the same researchers who found that the curcumin in turmeric blocks the plaques from combining into waxy clumps. Based on these studies, perhaps it would be smart to incorporate some curried fish dishes into your diet.)

A Healthy Liver
The liver is your largest internal organ, and it performs some of the most complex chemical tasks. One of its primary roles is to detoxify the pesticides, pollutants, alcohol, and medications that produce a constant stream of harmful byproducts. If liver function is normal, acetyl-L-carnitine levels can be increased by eating lysine-rich foods: cottage cheese, dark-meat chicken (the leg contains five times more than the breast), fish, peanuts, pumpkin and squash seeds, lima beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans, and instant skim milk. You can also take L-lysine supplements. Recommended dosages are 5001,000 mg daily, taken before meals. You can find L-lysine in health food stores or order it from Jo Mar Laboratories (800-538-4545 or www.

An Unhealthy Liver
When the liver is not healthy, it starts to degenerate and disrupt many vital functions, including the conversion of lysine. Fortunately, a natural extract from the seeds of the milk thistle plant has been shown to trigger the regeneration of liver cells. (Wien Klin Wochenschr 80;92(19):678683) (Arzneimittelforschung 73;23:161) A 70-percent extract of the herb Silybum marianum, known as silymarin, appears to be most effective. No toxicity problems and only minor temporary side effects (headaches or stomach upset during the first few days on the extract) have been reported. Improved liver function often occurs in as little as two weeks, and restoration of full enzyme activity may occur in the first 30 days. Recommended dosages range from 150 to 300 mg taken three times daily. Silymarin extract should be taken as long as positive results are experienced or as long as a doctor feels its necessary. Several companies market standardized silymarin extracts. Enzymatic Therapy Inc. makes an excellent product called Silybin Advanced. Its available in health food stores, or you can order it from Enzymatic Therapy at 800-783-2286 or

their condition stabilized and they did not experience the additional loss of cognitive function that was expected. I dont know of any drug therapy that can totally halt the progressive loss of mental function in Alzheimers the way alpha lipoic acid did in this study. (Arch Gerontol Geriatr 01;32:275282) It has no side effects, and is widely available in health food stores or you can order it from the Vitamin Shoppe at 866-293-3367 or

B Vitamins May Offer Some Protection

Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid
Back in 1988, researchers at the University of Oxford in England began to take annual blood samples and brain scans of hundreds of patients during their search for clues on the various causes of senile dementia (memory impairment and loss of judgment associated with aging). Analysis of the blood samples revealed that individuals with blood levels of vitamin B12 in the lower third of the normal range were over four times as likely to develop Alzheimers disease compared to those in the upper level. In addition, individuals with blood levels of folic acid in the lower third of the normal range were three times as likely to develop Alzheimers disease compared to those in the upper level. At first, researchers thought that the lower levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid might be because those individuals who developed the disease were failing to eat a proper diet. But if that were the case, the blood levels would have fallen gradually over the years as the disease developedand that didnt happen. Instead, the blood levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid remained constant, which supports the idea that low levels may be a cause of the disease. (Arch Neurol 98;55(11):14491455) What I found most surprising about this study was that the blood levels of patients with the increased risk of developing Alzheimers were still within the so-called normal range. Ive always believed we need to take a closer look at what is considered normal by modern medicine. Because of an obsolete RDA recommendation, people may continue to suffer from problems that can usually be corrected quite easily with simple supplement and dietary changes.

Vitamins Are Important, too

Vitamins C, B6 (pyridoxine), B3 (niacin), and B5 (pantothenic acid), iron, and the essential unsaturated fatty acids are also required for producing acetyl-L-carnitine. I learned from an unpublished study that 50 percent of a group of patients thought to have Alzheimers were only deficient in one or more B vitamins! And as little as 200 mg of vitamin C has been shown to raise carnitine levels. (Nutr Rep Int 87;37:941)

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Research suggests that alpha lipoic acid could be an important nutrient in the treatment of Alzheimers. Eight men and one woman, average age 67, who were diagnosed with Alzheimers disease, were given 600 mg of alpha lipoic acid daily for almost a year. Each was evaluated using the Alzheimers Disease Assessment Scale (ADAS-cog) and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). During the study

A more recent Swedish study revealed the connection between a genetic predisposition for developing Alzheimers and deficiencies in vitamin B12 and folic acid. The study found that in a group of 167 healthy older individuals (average age 83), 28 carried a gene mutation found to increase the risk of dementia, and 54 did not. Researchers were unable to determine the status of the other 85. Further examination revealed that previously undiagnosed deficiencies of vitamin B12 and folic acid had a far more detrimental effect in those with the genetic fault and significantly increased their risk of developing Alzheimers disease. (Neuropsychology 04;18(2):362370) Deficiencies in vitamin B12 and folic acid are not just a matter of your diet. More often than not, these deficiencies are caused by medication. Numerous medications deplete vitamin B12, folic acid, or both. Some of the more common culprits include anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antidiabetic agents, anti-cholesterol medications, and diuretics. Based on the research, its obvious you should make sure youre getting enough vitamin B12 and folic acid. I recommend supplementing with at least 400 mcg of folic acid and 100 mcg of B12especially if youre on medication.

One study in Chicago selected 815 individuals without Alzheimers disease, monitored clinical changes, and assessed their dietary niacin intake. After an average of four years, 131 in this group developed Alzheimers disease. Adjusting for all the important risk factors for the disease, the study found that those with the lowest niacin intake (an average of 12.6 mg per day) were 80 percent more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimers than those with the highest intake (22.4 mg per day). And even among those who didnt develop Alzheimers, the cognitive decline in those with the highest niacin intake was almost 44 percent of those with the lowest intake. (J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 04;75:10931099) There is obviously a very strong connection between a lack of niacin and Alzheimers. It just so happens that niacin and the other B vitamins are found in whole grains, which have largely been replaced by refined grain products. Other food sources of niacin are liver, fish, peanuts, and some mushrooms, which are not generally favorite foods of the general public. My dad is sharp as a tack and in his 80s, and its probably no coincidence that he just happens to love peanuts. He keeps a huge jar by his favorite chair. I also recommend taking a niacin supplement. A good dose for prevention would be anywhere from 200 to 1,000 mg a day, taken in divided doses. In the beginning, youre likely to experience niacin flush symptomsa tingling, hot sensation with redness on the face, chest, and arms. While the flushing might be a little unnerving initially, it is temporary (10 to 20 minutes). It can be minimized by starting out with smaller doses and gradually increasing them and, as your body gets used to it, the flushing will generally subside altogether. And, if youre a little strange like me, you might actually learn to like it.

Another B vitamin that plays an important role in preventing Alzheimers is niacin, a form of vitamin B3. In Chapter 1, I told you about niacinamide, the alkaline form of vitamin B3. Niacin differs from niacinamide in that niacin dilates blood vessels and causes a flushing sensation, whereas niacinamide does not have this flushing effect. A couple of years ago, a subscriber concerned about developing Alzheimers wrote to me asking if she should use nicotine patches to prevent the disease, in light of research indicating that cigarette smokers are 50 percent less likely to develop Alzheimers than nonsmokers. I told her I didnt think smoking or using nicotine patches was the answer when there was a much safer alternative. Niacin, which is also called nicotinic acid, is a close cousin of nicotine, which is contained in cigarettes. Both niacin and nicotine stimulate the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is needed primarily to facilitate the transmission of nerve impulses. But rather than use nicotine to increase acetylcholine, you can use niacin.

The Memory-Boosting Miracle From Ancient China

A large number of the so-called new supplements available today arent really new at all. They are based on the natural medicines used for centuries by traditional healers. Such is the case with huperzine A. Huperzine A is actually a derivative of a Chinese tea brewed from club moss. (In Chinese the plant is called Shen Jin Cao.) For centuries traditional healers in China have claimed that drinking club moss tea would improve memory

and failing mental capacity. Over the years, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai have been working to isolate the active components in the tea. Huperzine A is a direct result of this work. Only very small tests have been performed on Huperzine A in this country; however, it has been tested on hundreds of patients in China. In one double-blind study of 103 Alzheimers patients who received either huperzine A or a placebo twice daily for 8 weeks, 60 percent of the treated patients showed improvements in memory and brain function compared to 36 percent of the placebo group. (Zhongguo Yao Li Xue Bao 95;16:391395) Although huperzine A doesnt cure the disease or stop the destruction of brain cells, it alleviates many of the symptoms associated with Alzheimers by balancing abnormal brain chemistry. Basically, huperzine A inhibits an enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential to mental function. While no one knows the total side effects of huperzine A, we do know that club moss tea has been used safely for centuries. Club moss (Shen Jin Cao) is not very easy to locate unless you live near an area with a large Chinese population or influence. In case you cant find it locally, we have located an Internet supplier. However, this company will only sell to health professionals, pharmacies, or health food stores. If you want to obtain the herb please ask your doctor or local health food store to order it for you. For information, contact the Mayway Corporation ( or 800-262-9929). Huperzine A is more readily available from a number of Internet retailers. I recommend huperzine A from Smart Nutrition ( or 858-270-7907).

Good Cholesterol Makes a Healthy Brain

One way in which niacin may help prevent memory loss and Alzheimers is through its ability to raise HDL, the good form of cholesterol. Researchers with the Veterans Administration discovered how niacin is able to do this. Apparently niacin blocks the liver from removing HDL from the blood, allowing the body to maintain higher HDL levels. (J Lipid Res 08;49:11951201) Researchers in the UK and France subsequently released another piece of the puzzle. HDL cholesterol levels were measured along with shortterm memory in 3,673 individuals (one quarter being women) between 1995 and 1997 and again between 2002 and 2004. Those individuals whose HDL levels decreased during the five years between tests had a 61 percent increased risk of declining ability to remember words. (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 08;28:15561562) Memory loss during middle age is one of the signs of Alzheimers. (Its also a sign of other forms of early dementia.) In Alzheimers patients, betaamyloid plaques form in the brain and interrupt nerve transmissions. HDL cholesterol is instrumental in helping to slow down this process. HDL has numerous other positive functions, one of which is to stop LDL cholesterol deposits from forming in arteries and causing blockages. These studies give us both the mechanism and more solid data to show just how helpful niacin can be. Alzheimers and other forms of dementia are frightening and debilitating diseases. Niacin is an extremely inexpensive way to combat them, and this is exactly the type of answer the pharmaceutical companies would rather the public not know. One of the easiest methods of raising/maintaining higher HDL levels is by taking niacin. cause brain cells to die. Researchers have tested dozens of antioxidants to see if any would have an effect on the plaques. Resveratrol had a profound effect. While it doesnt appear that resveratrol can prevent the plaques from forming, it activates a natural protein-eating

Along with the supplements and dietary changes Ive recommended above, one of the best things you can do to protect against Alzheimers is start taking resveratrolan extract from grape skins and grape vines. Researchers have learned that resveratrol appears to be a powerful substance for both the prevention and treatment of the disease. As I explained earlier, in Alzheimers patients, amyloid peptides bind together into plaques that embed themselves between brain cells. The peptides and plaques are toxic and

compound within the brain. These compounds called proteasomes break up and remove the plaques. (The proteasomes are able to distinguish between proteins that should be present, such as neurotransmitters, and those that shouldnt.) Further research found that resveratrol delivers a second punch to the disease as well, by actually neutralizing the brain cellkilling effects of the plaques. (Brain Res Rev 06;52:316326) (J Biol Chem 05;280:3737737382) (J Neurochem 06;96:305313) (Br J Pharmacol 00:131:711720) While the researchers I spoke with were elated with their findings, in their published reports they cautioned that resveratrol needs to be researched far more extensively before it can be recommended for use with Alzheimers disease. However, I wouldnt hesitate to recommend using resveratrol in Alzheimers patients now. In fact, it could be

something that might very well benefit others with memory loss, dementia, and other brain-related problems. Resveratrol is found primarily in red wine (ironically, grape juice is not a good source). To get the amount of resveratrol shown to be effective, 25 mg daily, youd need to drink several glasses of red wine. A better solution may be to try a resveratrol supplement, such as Resvert from ( or 866-285-1998) or Longevinex from Resveratrol Partners ( or 866-405-4000). I take a form of resveratrol every day, and I highly recommend you do the same to protect yourself from Alzheimers. To borrow one of my dads phrases, its cheap insurance and thats becoming a very rare commodity these days.

Chapter 3: Is It Alzheimers?

lzheimers disease has gotten so much publicity over the years that everyone over 60 with a poor memory wonders if theyre developing the disease. While Alzheimers may be the most common cause of memory loss, its not the only cause. Unfortunately, Alzheimers is frequently misdiagnosed. One study found that over half of those diagnosed with Alzheimers had other conditions that caused their memory loss. In the study, of the 200 patients diagnosed with Alzheimers, only 85 actually had the disease. In-depth examinations revealed that 103 patients had conditions that were more easily treated. The list of underlying illnesses included severe depression, alcohol-induced dementia, vitamin B12 deficiency, hypothyroidism, kidney failure, high blood calcium levels, nerve or brain tumors, toxicity from medication, mineral imbalances, and stroke. Another shocking aspect of this study revealed that many of the so-called Alzheimers patients had seen as many as three different doctors, and all of the doctors had diagnosed Alzheimers. Many of the patients were already assigned to nursing homes. On the brighter side, after proper treatment, many of the patients were able to return to normal lives.

There could be several reasons for the possible misdiagnosis of Alzheimers. One of them relates to expense and insurance coverage. In-hospital evaluations utilizing CAT scans and other expensive diagnostic tools were needed to help determine the correct underlying problems in this study. Another reason may be that doctors are caught up in the Alzheimers craze and dont spend the time and effort to search for other causes of the problem. Many of the illnesses I mentioned above have very distinct laboratory and/or clinical characteristics that distinguish them from Alzheimers. My purpose here is not to point the finger or blame anyone. Instead, you need to be aware of the strong possibility of being misdiagnosed for certain health problems. Many times a diagnosis is made by comparing your symptoms to those associated with a particular disease. But just because you start to have memory lapses or impairment of your sense of smell doesnt automatically mean you have Alzheimers. A closer look could reveal any number of problems as the cause of your impaired memory. Before we examine some other problems that may mimic Alzheimers, lets take a look at how Alzheimers is diagnosed.

Testing for Alzheimers

Standard tests. The standard medical evaluation for Alzheimers includes a medical history and physical examination, along with laboratory tests, radiology, and neuropsychological testing. The biggest challenge with testing for Alzheimers is that there is no definitive biological marker for the disease that is more accurate than a proper clinical examination. The laboratory tests used in a standard workup are used primarily to rule out other causes of memory loss such as nutritional deficiencies, metabolic disorders, infections, and drug use. Here are some of the laboratory tests that may be used:

does not definitively diagnose dementia, it does assess cognitive status. Nonstandard tests. There are also some nonstandard tests that are primarily used in investigational studies. These tests are either still in the experimental stages or too invasive or expensive to be used as part of a standard workup for Alzheimers. As I mentioned earlier, there is no biological marker for Alzheimers that has been identified that can replace a clinical exam, but research is ongoing to find a more definitive diagnostic test and a test for detecting Alzheimers before symptoms appear. Nonstandard, investigational tests include genetic tests, a high-resolution MRI, functional brain imaging with a PET scan, an EEG to measure brain wave activity, a cerebrospinal fluid test, and blood tests. One of these tests, the cerebrospinal fluid test, may be useful in the early detection of Alzheimers. In one clinical study, the test, which measures proteins in the spinal fluid, was found to be 87% accurate in predicting Alzheimers in patients with early cognitive impairment but before full dementia symptoms appeared. The study also found that the test was 95% accurate in ruling out Alzheimers in those tested.

Urinalysis Blood count for anemia, infection Serum electrolyte levels to investigate metabolic

Serum chemistry panel, including liver function tests Thyroid panel Serum vitamin B12 levels Neurosyphilis serology Serum toxicology for drug use Screens for connective tissue disease HIV
Radiological tests to examine the brain are not considered part of a standard workup, but they are frequently ordered to help rule out conditions such as a brain tumor, tissue damage from stroke, and hydrocephalus. The most common brain imaging test used is an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). An MRI can reveal brain tissue loss patterns characteristic of Alzheimers and can help rule out other forms of dementia. Research has found that an MRI can detect changes in the brain that predict the development of Alzheimers. Neuropsychological tests are used to evaluate a patients cognitive status as well as emotional, psychological, motor, and sensory functions. These tests must be performed for a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimers, and they are helpful for ruling out other forms of dementia. Neuropsychological tests are also used to document progression of Alzheimers. The most commonly used neuropsychological test is the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE). Although the MMSE

Alzheimers Imposters
In addition to the conditions I listed at the beginning of this chapter, two conditions that are often misdiagnosed as dementia or Alzheimers are iodine deficiency and normal pressure hydrocephalus.

Iodine Deficiency
The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that iodine deficiency is the worlds most prevalent cause of brain disease. According to the WHO, 13 percent of the worlds population, or 740 million people, have a deficiency and 30 percent of the remainder are at risk. Theyve found that iodine-deficient individuals forfeit 15 IQ points, and 50 million individuals now have iodine-deficient brain damage. The WHOs answer to the problem is making iodized salt a universally consumed product. It is the most cost-effective method to get more iodine in the diet and has helped reverse the problem in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, solving the iodine-deficiency problem in this country isnt

so easy. While most Americans have used iodized salt for decades, we have other factors that complicate matters. One of the primary causative factors of iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism that has been overlooked in this country is iodine blockers in our food, and chemicals like fluoride and chlorine. Certain foods are iodine blockers. When eaten in excess or at times when iodine levels are low, thyroid function will be impaired. These foods include: cabbage, turnips, kale, broccoli, rutabaga, mustard greens, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and peanuts. These really arent much of an issue, however, because cooking inactivates the problem compounds in these foods. The most serious food culprit is soybeans. We now have soy-based infant formulas, soy milk and cheese, processed soybeans in the form of textured vegetable protein, and soybean oil in margarines and salad dressings, all of which can interfere with iodines absorption and assimilation. Chlorine and fluoride are other serious iodine blockers. Most of the chlorine we encounter comes from treated municipal drinking water, which has always been a concern of mine. And while about 55 percent of those in the US now drink fluoridated water, dont assume its not a problem just because your own water supply isnt fluoridated. Fluoridated water is used in the production of dozens of foods and beverages. Since fluoride content is unregulated in bottled water, you may find it there. Fluoride can be found in drugs, vitamins, supplements, juices, soft drinks, toothpastes, dental treatments, wheat flour processed with fluoride, and the fluoridated water contained in processed foods. I dont have room to address all the horrendous problems documented to occur with fluoride consumption, but some are increased chromosome damage, increased cancer rates, side effects from interactions with prescription and over-the-counter medications, and neurological problems. Also, thousands of studies have demonstrated that the symptoms of fluoride poisoning are identical to that of thyroid dysfunction due to iodine deficiency. Fluoride molecules compete with the uptake of iodine and drastically slow the production of essential thyroid hormones, even at the very low concentration of 1 part per million, the dilution recommended for fluoridation in the water supply. Dont drink fluoridated water. In fact, unless you have your

own private, tested, uncontaminated well or other water source, I highly recommend drinking distilled water. In addition to eliminating or significantly reducing iodine blockers, dealing with hypothyroidism also usually requires iodine supplementation. Theres a simple self-test to determine if youre iodine deficient (see box below for this test). If youre iodine deficient, the iodine supplement I recommend is a liquid iodine product called Iosol by TPCS. Iosol can often be found in larger health food stores or ordered from TPCS (800-838-8727 or or Sullivan Creek Distributing ( or 888-406-4066). (Note: Never ingest antiseptic or topical iodine. Iosol is the only form of iodine I recommend for internal use.)

Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus

The first symptoms of Alzheimers are often memory loss and confusion. Knowing the initial symptoms and how they differ from another condition called normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) could be the key to saving a loved ones life. We know that NPH is rarer than Alzheimers, but there are no good estimates of how many people actually

Iodine Deficiency Test

This self-test is not 100 percent accurate, but its easy to do, inexpensive, and works very well as a screening tool. Dip a cotton swab or ball into USP tincture of iodine. You can purchase this form of iodine at any drugstore. (Keep in mind that tincture of iodine is not to be used internally. It is poison. It can only be used externally.) Paint a 2-inch circle of iodine on a soft area of skin such as your stomach or the inner part of your thigh or arm. Wait and watch. If the yellowish stain disappears in less than an hour, your body is lacking in iodine. If the stain remains for more than four hours, it is an indication your iodine levels may be adequate.

have the problem. It can go unreported or get misdiagnosed as either dementia or Alzheimers. NPH is a condition in which spinal fluid builds up in the brain and creates pressureresulting in neurological problems. The first symptoms generally associated with NPH are the feeling of ones feet being glued to the floor, resulting in a shuffle when walking; urinary incontinence; and mild memory loss. Unlike Alzheimers, severe memory loss and confusion appear later in NPH. And unlike Parkinsons, NPH normally isnt associated with tremors. Unfortunately, because of misdiagnosis it generally takes between 7 to 9 years before its discovered that an individual actually has NPH and not Alzheimers. However, it can be detected through the use of brain scans or through a spinal tap. In contrast to the challenge of treating Alzheimers,

NPH can be treated successfully by draining the extra fluid surrounding the brain. The Hydrocephalus Association feels that as many as 375,000 individuals diagnosed with Alzheimers may actually be suffering from treatable NPH. If you know of someone diagnosed with Alzheimers, make sure his or her doctor has ruled out NPH. Because of a misdiagnosis, some patients have suffered for as long as 20 years with the belief that they had Alzheimers disease. And during that period, they gradually begin to suffer from the same type of symptomssuch as losing their memory or their ability to walk or speak, and experiencing progressive dementia. Once the pressure on the brain is relieved, their whole symptom picture improves and they begin to recover. For more information on NPH, contact the Hydrocephalus Association at or call 888-598-3789.

Chapter 4: The Link Between Blood Sugar and Alzheimers

inflammatory arthritic conditions, cardiovascular disease, and possibly even Alzheimers. More recent research reveals that Alzheimers disease may be another form of diabetes. A study from Brown University involved the autopsy of the brain tissue of 45 patients diagnosed with varying degrees of Alzheimers. The tissue was compared to that of individuals with no history of the disease. In every case researchers found insulinrelated abnormalities normally associated with advanced stages of diabetes. When all the findings were compiled and analyzed, the researchers felt that Alzheimers is possibly a new form of diabetes and began to refer to it as type 3 diabetes. If the researchers are correct, it would explain why the incidence of Alzheimers has increased, along with that of type 2 diabetes, over the last couple of decades. The incidence of type 2 diabetes has risen by more than 33 percent in just the last decade. (J Alzheimers Dis 06;9(1):1333) This should be a resounding wake-up call for everyone to take their diet and blood sugar levels seriously. I personally have been adding cinnamon powder to my morning

s I mentioned at the beginning of this report, the number of individuals with Alzheimers has risen dramatically in the past few decades. So has the number of individuals with type 2 diabetes. This may be no mere coincidence when you consider that high blood sugar levels are thought to play a role in the development of Alzheimers.

The DiabetesAlzheimers Connection

Ive long recommended the use of cinnamon to help stabilize blood sugar and prevent or delay type 2 diabetes. Years ago, Dr. Richard Anderson explained to me how a polyphenol in cinnamon called methylhydroxy chalcone polymer (MHCP) can improve the glucose metabolism in fat cells by as much as twentyfold. Since Dr. Andersons discovery of cinnamons effects on blood sugar, additional studies have been undertaken that so far support cinnamons ability to reduce inflammation. I wouldnt be the least bit surprised to discover over the next few years that cinnamon can also be used to help prevent

protein shakes for some time now (about teaspoon or roughly 500 mg).

glycation (or the Maillard reaction). During the next five or 10 years, I suspect you will begin to see more emphasis being placed on the harmful health effects of glycation. But if youre concerned about preventing health problems such as Alzheimers, as well as heart and artery disease, cataract formation, vision loss, and aging in general, glycation is something that you should know about now, not 10 years from now. In simplest terms, glycation refers to the combination of a sugar and a protein molecule. Most everyone has seen the effects of glycation in the kitchen. During baking, sugar whether it be white table sugar (sucrose), fruit sugar (fructose), or milk sugar (lactose)combines with certain amino acids in the grain proteins of flour. The chemical reaction that takes place causes loaves of bread and pastries to turn

Sugar Is Slow Suicide

Research has revealed that the consumption of fructose, sucrose, and all the other forms of sugar could turn out to be one of the biggest hidden threats to our overall health and may contribute to the development of Alzheimers. When the early pioneers sounded the warning against sugar, it seems they knew exactly what they were talking about.

Glycation Speeds Up AgeRelated Diseases

One of the major problems stemming from sugar consumption has to do with a chemical process called

Vitamin E Safety: Why You Shouldnt Worry

Not long ago, a meta-analysis study (sounds impressive when they say it that way, doesnt it?) caused an uproar because it indicated that patients taking high doses of vitamin E may have an increased mortality risk. I dont buy it. First of all, a meta-analysis study just means they looked over some former vitamin E studiesthey didnt do a new study. In this case, they chose to look at 19 former studies in which they saw a statistically insignificant increase in mortality risk. They didnt look at the over 6,000 studies that have shown the cardiovascular benefits of vitamin E supplements. Basically, they found that the average death rate in the control groups was 1,022 deaths for every 10,000 patients, but that the average death rate among those taking high doses of vitamin E was 1,061 for every 10,000 patients (an increase of 39 out of 10,000). What the news media didnt report was that the rate was 1,006 deaths for every 10,000 patients taking lower doses of vitamin E (a decrease of 16 out of 10,000). Both the increase and the decrease in this analysis are statistically insignificant. At the very worst, they might indicate that vitamin E has no effect one way or the other. But I dont buy that either. I still believe that vitamin E supplementation is needed to maintain good heart and eye health. And supplementing with vitamin E along with vitamin C has been shown to lower risk of developing Alzheimers. In fact, there are three things about the study that Id like to comment on. First, Id rather put my support behind the over 6,000 studies that show a cardiovascular benefit over the 19 studies that show that there might be a slight risk. Second, the study looked at the effect of large doses of vitamin E as a treatment on diseased patients, not as a preventive measure on healthy individuals. Finally, and what I think might be very important, the study doesnt indicate whether the patients were taking synthetic vitamin E or natural vitamin E. I have always maintained that not all vitamin E is created equaland the type you take can make all the difference in the benefits you receive. Natural vitamin E comes from food sources, but synthetic vitamin E is derived from petrochemicalsand Ive never recommended putting petrochemicals in your body. (Natural vitamin E is called d-alpha tocopherol, while the synthetic version is dl-alpha tocopherol.) I still recommend taking a comprehensive daily multi-nutrient with 300 to 600 IU of natural vitamin E each day.

brown. The same reaction also occurs when meats are glazed and coffee is roasted. Glycation also occurs in the body when the sugar in your blood (glucose) combines with the amino acids tryptophan, lysine, and arginine. During this reactive process, certain byproducts are created and released within the body. The byproducts are known scientifically as advanced glycation endproducts. And in terms of what advanced glycation endproducts do inside the body, their acronym says it all: AGE.

To Understand How AGEs Work, Imagine Cooking an Egg...

AGEs are now thought to accumulate in your body and remain there throughout your entire lifetime. The formation of these endproducts is accelerated when you have lower levels of antioxidants in your system and when your kidneys are weak or malfunctioning. More importantly, extremely large numbers of AGEs are also created when blood sugar levels are high. This helps explain why diabetics always seem to have abnormally high levels of AGEs. To help get a better picture in your mind about AGEs, visualize the clear, runny portion of a raw egg. This part of the egg is mostly protein. An amazing chemical reaction takes place when you heat this clear portion of the egg. It quickly and permanently transforms from a runny, clear liquid to a solid, rubbery white mass.

smallest blood vessels are the hardest hit, such as those in the back of the eye, the kidney, and the brain. These areas require a constant supply of glucose to meet their high energy requirements. As a result, they have the highest degree of glycation of any tissue in the body. Animal studies have confirmed that damage occurs to areas like the eyes when diets high in sugar are consumed. In particular, we now know that the cloudiness that begins to develop in the lens of the eye (more commonly known as cataracts) is a result of glycation. The increasing incidence of cataracts in this country is no doubt linked to our ever-increasing sugar consumption. Researchers also now believe that glycation lies at the heart of the alteration of proteins in the brain that causes Alzheimers disease. (Metabolism 80;29:12471252) (J Nutr 98;128:14421449) What all this boils down to is that refined sugars speed up the aging process and accelerate the formation of what we commonly call age-related diseases. If you are diabetic, youre well aware of the importance of monitoring sugar intake. For those of you who are not diabetic, here are some steps you can take to help keep your own blood sugar levels in the healthy range.

How to Guard Against Glycation and the AGEing Process

1. The most obvious step is to cut back on your intake of refined sugar. Im not just talking about the white granules we all keep out on the counter. Sugars of all types are being added to just about every processed food imaginable, even unsweet things like ravioli and soup. Because these sugars undergo glycation during processing, theyre every bit as harmful as table sugarand likely even more so! In general, the easiest way to cut back on refined sugars is to read food labels and make sure sugarsuch as sucrose, dextrose, fructose, maltose, and lactoseis not one of the first four or five ingredients on the label. Unfortunately, the most popular sugar among manufacturers these days is high-fructose corn syrup, which also appears to be the most active in triggering the glycation process and the formation of AGEs. Steer clear of that ingredient as much as possible.

Now Imagine the Same Hardening Process in Your Heart, Eyes, and Brain
Proteins similar to those in the egg are found throughout your body. Proteins, after all, are the bodys building blocks. They are used in the construction of enzymes, blood vessels, muscles, nerve fibers, organ tissue, and just about every other body part. When glycation occurs and AGEs form, these proteins are changed forever. Just like the changes to the egg, the process is irreversible. The long-term health consequences of this protein-altering process can be disastrous. For example, when proteins in blood vessels undergo glycation, you get stiffer, less flexible arteries, which lead to higher blood pressure, plaque formation, blood flow blockages, heart and artery disease, stroke, and heart attack. The

Also, if you do choose to buy processed foods, opt for those that have at least a few grams of fiber. This will help slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream. 2. Use stevia to sweeten beverages and baked goods. Ive written at length about this natural substance in Alternatives. Unlike sugar, stevia doesnt trigger glycation or spikes in blood sugar. In fact, its now used in South America to help stabilize blood sugar in diabetics. And unlike artificial sweeteners, stevia has no aftertaste, side effects, or connection to cancer. Stevia is readily available in many health food stores, although you likely wont find it alongside sugar or other sweeteners. The Food & Drug Administration has approved the importation and sale of stevia as a dietary supplement, but not as a sweetener. All this means is that youll need to look in the supplement aisle. You should find it in both powder and liquid extract forms. Most people find the liquid extract closer to sugar in taste and easier to use. (One in particular that Ive used is made by Body Ecology and four drops of the liquid equals one teaspoon of sugar.) If you have trouble finding stevia in your area, you can contact Body Ecology ( or 800-511-2660).

3. I would also recommend that you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. As I mentioned earlier, eating unprocessed fruits high in fructose doesnt appear to cause the problems associated with glycation and AGEs. As is usually the case in nature, fruits have built in co-factors such as fiber, antioxidants, and minerals that help prevent such problems. So go for the pineapple, not the pineapple upside-down cake. 4. You can slow the aging process and dramatically improve your health by maintaining high antioxidant levels. Eating more produce as I recommended above is an excellent start, and you should also use a high-quality daily supplement to ensure adequate and consistent levels of these nutrients. In a recent Johns Hopkins University study, out of 4,740 people over the age of 65, those who supplemented their diets with vitamins C and E had a 64% lower risk of developing Alzheimers. The recommended dosages, based on the study, are 5001,500 mg of vitamin C and 4001,000 IU of vitamin E. Vitamin B6 and alpha lipoic acid have also been shown to be particularly beneficial in combating the effects of glycation.

Chapter 5: Protect Your Brain From Chemical Assault

he more we learn about the brain, the more we understand just how closely its connected to our immediate environment, lifestyle, and health habits. As I said at the beginning of this report, one of the major factors contributing to the dramatic increase in Alzheimers and other brain diseases has been exposure to environmental toxins, particularly toxic metals such as aluminum and mercury. Another contributing factor that has been largely overlooked is the use of drugs. In this chapter, Ill explain what you can do to protect your brain from these chemicals and toxins.

and commercial chemicals to diseases of the brain, including Alzheimers. Organophosphate-containing pesticides, herbicides, solvents, and plasticizers destroy acetylcholine, which as I told you in Chapter 2 facilitates transmission of nerve impulses in the brain. If you want to see what a case of Alzheimers disease looks like in fast motion, watch a bug after spraying it with pesticide. These chemicals are nerve agents that irreversibly inactivate acetylcholinesterase, which is essential to the production of the acetylcholine. Pesticides and these other organophosphate-containing products kill by attacking the nervous system of insectsand of humans as well. Neurological assault from chemicals is a complex, ongoing process. Their effects can be cumulative and may take years to manifest in symptoms or full-blown disease.

Minimizing Exposure
I cant overstress the importance of avoiding contact with, and inhalation of, pesticides, herbicides, and toxic chemicals. Studies continue to link these household, farm,

You can take several steps to help minimize your chemical exposure. (For specifics on minimizing your exposure to aluminum and mercury, see those sections below.) Grow your own garden, when possible, or eat organically grown foods and hormone-free meat products. Avoid using amalgam dental fillings. Drink clean, pure water. I continue to recommend distilled water for drinking. Besides air, water is the only thing you ingest every single day of your life. Even the smallest amounts of chemicals or toxic metals can pose problems after a lifetime of accumulation. Whenever possible, avoid and/or minimize the use of drugs and vaccinations. Practically all drugs influence brain chemistry either directly or indirectly by altering hormonal, mineral, or metabolic pathways elsewhere in the body. And drugs come with their own list of toxic side effects. Using drugs in combination and/or on a long-term basis can multiply their toxic effects, many of which you may not be aware of until the damage has been done. (For more on the impact of drugs on the brain, see page 25.)

The other primary organ for toxin elimination is the skin. The use of saunas, along with an inexpensive vitaminniacin (100 mg three times a day)is one of the best methods to increase the ability of your skin to eliminate toxins.

Getting the Lead (and Other Metals) Out

Our current environment, food supply, and water supply expose all of us to a certain amount of unavoidable toxins that influence brain function over time. In addition to trying to minimize this exposure, it is necessary that we also increase the amount of natural chelators in our diet. (Chelating agents are chemical compounds, natural or synthetic, that bond to a metal ion and form a stable complex that can then be harmlessly carried out of the body.) Chelation is particularly helpful in the removal of toxic metalssuch as mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel, arsenic, and aluminum. There are plenty of natural chelators, including vitamin C and sulfur-containing amino acids such as methionine and cysteine. For either amino acid, take one gram a day. Amino acids are available from Jo Mar Labs (800-538-4545 or I recommend that you include these items in your everyday nutritional regimen in the form of supplements and things like protein shakes and spirulinabased products. Herbs and foods that work as chelators include cilantro (also known as coriander), yellow dock root, and chlorella. Cilantro is probably the best known of these. It effectively removes mercury, lead, and aluminum. You can just sprinkle some on your food every day, or even juice it, but perhaps the easiest and tastiest way to use the herb would be as the main ingredient in a pesto sauce. The basic recipe is simply a clove of garlic, a cup of fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 6 tablespoons of olive oil mixed in a blender. You can add nuts or spices to taste. Yellow dock root is a specific chelator for aluminum. Make a tea by pouring one cup of boiling water over one teaspoon of the root material, available from Penn Herb (800523-9971 or, and add honey or lemon to taste. Drink 34 cups daily.

Elimination of Existing Toxins

After taking efforts to minimize your exposure to factors that can cause brain disease, you need to look to eliminate any disease-causing toxins already in your system. First and foremost you must get the organs of elimination working as efficiently as possible. The colon is first on the list, though its probably the last location most people would associate with preventing brain disease. Chronic constipation keeps your body from eliminating toxic waste and excess hormones. The continual release and absorption of degraded proteins and rancid fats into your bloodstream exposes you to noxious compounds that can disrupt nervous function as well as place unnecessary burdens on other elimination organssuch as the liver and kidneys. There are several methods for improving your bodys ability to eliminate waste. Some of the most common are increasing your intake of water, high-fiber foods, and fermented foods, along with using probiotics and stool softeners. You could also see your doctor for colonic irrigation.

Chlorella is a single-celled plant. Its cell walls bind with toxins in the digestive tract and carry them out. Take 1520 grams a day (34 teaspoons) for chelation. You may want to start slowly and work up, because chlorella works on your digestion, too. Intravenous chelation treatment, although controversial, is an effective and safe method of removing many of these toxins. The fact that it isnt covered by insuranceor accepted by conventional medical practitionershas resulted in its limited use. Many doctors, then, have resorted to prescription oral chelators like DMSA, which is very effective at removing mercury deposits. (More natural chelators for removing mercury are discussed in detail below.) A flood of nonprescription oral chelators has recently hit the market, but research to promote their use is grossly lacking, in my opinion. However, there is one nonprescription chelation product that I feel has merit. It is a suppository called Detoxamin and is sold by World Health Products (877-656-4553 or They sell a box of 30 suppositories (which is supposed to be equal to 10 IV chelation treatments) for about $220 a box. A less drastic method of removing toxic metals safely from the body involves the process of using mineral antagonists. The various cells in your body are constantly being repaired and replaced. Out of necessity, your body uses what raw materials are available at the time to build these new cells and repair their internal workings. For example, cells in your arteries require zinc to help make them stronger yet remain flexible. However, if zinc is deficient in the diet, the toxic metal cadmium can be used instead, if its available. The chemical structures of zinc and cadmium are such that the substitute can be made and the body will continue to functionthough far less effectively. Heres a list of the known mineral antagonists: Mineral Calcium Zinc Sulfur/Molybdenum Selenium Toxic Metal Lead Cadmium Copper Mercury

Aluminums Link to Alzheimers

Researchers have long speculated that accumulation of aluminum in the brain is one of the causative factors of Alzheimers, but this theory has always been a controversial one. Numerous studies have found that populations with higher amounts of aluminum in their drinking water also experience an increased risk of developing Alzheimers disease. Some authorities have had a difficult time accepting this statistic because drinking water usually represents a very small percentage of ones overall exposure to aluminum. After all, aluminum is the worlds most abundant metal. It is ever-present in our food supply, even to a greater extent than in our drinking water. However, there is research that helps explain why the aluminum in our water and air should be cause for greatest concern. Of the 10 to 100 mg of aluminum we get daily in our food, very little gets absorbed into our systems. During the digestive process, the aluminum salts in food chemically combine with phosphates in the gastrointestinal tract and pass harmlessly out of the body. Even still, its best not to make matters worse by cooking with aluminum. On the other hand, the aluminum that we inhale is immediately absorbed. Olfactory nerves in the nasal cavity lead directly to the brain. Scientists have shown that aluminum, certain drugs, and viruses can be found in brain tissue within an hour of being inhaled. This is the very reason that I am strongly against spray-on antiperspirants. (If you check the active ingredient in most antiperspirants, youll find it to be aluminum chlorhydrate.)

Fluoridated Drinking Water Makes Matters Worse

In addition to the aluminum that enters the body through food and inhalation, the aluminum in your drinking water poses a very significant risk. Although most drinking water only contains minute amounts of aluminum, research has found that fluoride in the water enhances the bioavailability of aluminum. In other words, fluoride, at the same levels now used to fluoridate drinking water, causes more aluminum to be absorbed and cross the blood-brain barrier, where its deposited in the brain. The combination of fluoride and aluminum has been shown to cause the

By ensuring that you get a steady and constant supply of necessary minerals and nutrients, and by avoiding environmental exposure to toxic metals, your body can replace any toxic building blocks as it repairs and rebuilds.

same pathological changes in the brain tissue that are found in Alzheimers patients. (Brain Res 98;784:284298) Ive said it many, many times in the past. Besides the air you breathe, water is the only thing you put into your body every single day of your life. Even minute levels of contaminants in your drinking water can accumulate in your system over time and cause major problems. Aluminum, especially when there is fluoride in the water, tends to accumulate in the lungs, liver, thyroid, bones, and brain. As the number of cases of Alzheimers continues to grow, the connection between aluminum and the disease seems to strengthen. I cant help but think that contaminated drinking water will soon be acknowledged as one of the causative factors.

products. You can make your own baking powder by combining 2 cups each of arrowroot flour and cream of tartar with 1 cup of potassium bicarbonate from your local drugstore. After sifting it together, you should store it in a closed jar. 4. Avoid aluminum-containing antacids, diarrhea medicines, and douches. Antacids that contain aluminum hydroxide, such as Amphojel and Mylanta, could cause a buildup of aluminum. Although you may absorb only a fraction of the amount, two tablespoons of Amphojel contains 665 mg of aluminum. 5. Switch from spray deodorants to either roll-ons, sticks or alternatives you can find in health food stores. Youll avoid inhaling aluminum-containing fumes. (Many people have switched to the deodorant crystals, but chemical analysis has shown these also contain aluminum.) 6. Make sure youre getting enough calcium either in the diet or through supplementation. Calcium hampers aluminums absorption by the body. 7. Drink distilled water if possible. Aluminum sulfate is widely used in the process of purifying water in this country. When added to the water it works as a coagulant to attract suspended particles, which can later be filtered out. Unfortunately some of the dissolved aluminum will remain in the water. (Post filtration aluminum levels are rarely, if ever, checked since the Environmental Protection Agency doesnt have any enforceable standards on aluminum levels in drinking water.) Aluminum is naturally abundant in the soil. And I realize that it would be impossible to avoid it altogether. Even still, any steps you can take to minimize your ingestion of aluminum will only improve your chances of avoiding diseases like Alzheimers.

Minimizing Your Exposure to Aluminum

Because aluminum is so abundant in our environment, its impossible to avoid it completely. However, I recommend taking the following steps to minimize your exposure and protect yourself: 1. Minimize your consumption of acidic beverages packaged in aluminum cans or those cardboard juice containers if theyre lined with aluminum. Researchers who analyzed 106 containers with 52 different beverages found that the most acidic beveragesnon-cola drinks such as fruit juices and juice-type drinkspackaged in aluminum cans had the highest aluminum content, followed by colas, and then beer (the pH of beer is such that aluminum containers pose little problem). (Med J Aust 92;156(9):604605) Also keep in mind that many products contain citric acid, which not only dissolves aluminum, but also increases its absorption in the intestinal tract. 2. Dont use aluminum cooking utensils or cookware. One study at the University of Ruhuna in Sri Lanka showed that fluoridated water containing one part per million of aluminum leeched nearly 200 parts per million when boiled for 10 minutes in an aluminum pot. Switch to stainless steel, glass, porcelain-coated or iron cookware. 3. Read food labels closely. Aluminum is frequently added to items like pancake batter, cake mix, nondairy creamers, baking powder, and even salt to keep them from clumping together. Avoid or minimize your use of these

Silicon Deters Aluminum

To protect yourself from aluminum exposure, I also recommend increasing your intake of the mineral silicon. Research suggests that a silicon deficiency might exist in significant portions of the human population, and that this mineral may be a very important factor in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimers. Researchers have found that silicon reduces the accumulation of aluminum in the body. When researchers added

silicon to aluminum-laced water supplies, it prevented the aluminum from being absorbed. It also caused an increase in the excretion of aluminum in urine and lowered aluminum concentrations in the brain, liver, bone, spleen, and kidneys. (Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord 98; 12(2):8387) (J Inorg Biochem 98;69(3):171176) (Lancet 93;342:211212) (Chem Toxic 93;31(9)679685) For more on how to increase your intake of silicon, see box below.

occurring substance on earth. (Plutonium is said to be the most toxic.) Mercury is recognized as one of the most hazardous substances in our food and water, and has been linked to everything from mental impairment in our children to heart disease in adults, and is a possible contributor to the growing epidemic of Alzheimers. (Neuroreport 01;12(4):733737) Mercury contamination isnt something new; its just the awareness of it that has resurfaced in light of recent legislation phasing out use of incandescent light bulbs in favor of compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). While CFLs are more energy efficient, the average fluorescent light contains about 20 mg of mercury. (Some of the newer CFLs contain only about 4 mg of mercury, an amount that would just cover the tip of a ball-point pen.) This may not sound like much mercury, but consider the fact that it takes only a single gram to contaminate a 2-acre pond of water. Currently, about

Mercury Is Also Linked to Alzheimers

Another metal that is detrimental to brain health is mercury. The dangers of mercury contamination are well known and documented. Mercury is the second most toxic naturally

How to Replenish Your Silicon Levels

Silicon is one of the most abundant minerals on the planet, but there are very few foods that contain enough to supply the amounts your body needs. Ground cornmeal, oats, oat straw tea, and horsetail or shavegrass tea are some of the best sources. And while you probably wont find it listed anywhere, beer is a good source. Except for possibly beer (and maybe the cornbread we Southerners eat), the other items arent very popular, so its easy to see why we might not be getting adequate amounts of silicon in our diet. Here are some recommendations for getting more beneficial silicon into your diet: Eat oats or oatmeal. Oats are extremely nutritious and a quick way to replenish silicon, as well as other trace minerals. Oats have been shown to be beneficial in lowering cholesterol, healing ulcers, calming gallbladders, relaxing the nervous system, improving skin and circulation problems, and restoring thyroid, pancreas, and reproductive gland function. Horsetail or shavegrass tea can help replenish silicon levels. This tea can be found in health food stores. Drink one to two cups per day. Check your multi-vitamin/mineral complex to see if it contains silicon. If it does, it will usually be listed as powder from horsetail.

A good maintenance dosage is 25 mg per day. If your daily nutrient doesnt contain silicon, take a silicon supplement. Jarrow Formulas makes an excellent silicon supplement called BioSil. It is a stabilized form of orthosilicic acid, which quickly raises serum silicon levels. The recommended dosage is six drops a day (three drops in the morning and three in the evening). This acid form of silicon is easily assimilated, but it tastes pretty nasty. Most people put the drops in either fruit or vegetable juice. Jarrow Formulas can be found in many health food stores. For a list of online retailers or local stores that carry BioSil, contact Jarrow Formulas (800-726-0886 or Silicea, a homeopathic cell salt that comes in tiny pill form and quickly melts in your mouth, is another way to replenish silicon. I would suggest taking six tablets, three times a day, for a total of 18 a day. You cant overdose on these cell salts, and they are very inexpensive. Standard Homeopathic markets them in bottles that contain 1,000 tablets for around $12. Look for them in health food stores or you can go online to the Vitamin Shoppe (866-293-3367 or

800 million fluorescent lamps are being produced yearly to replace those that burn out. Thats enough mercury to contaminate nearly 20 million acres of water. To prevent this contamination, a few states (California, Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan) have passed laws making it illegal to throw fluorescent bulbs in the trash. There are also companies that specialize in recycling these bulbs, for a charge of anywhere from $2 to $4 per bulb (for information see or call 303-952-1020). Through recycling, over 99 percent of the mercury can be reclaimed and kept out of the environment. Thats not the case, however, when a bulb gets broken. When a fluorescent bulb breaks in your home, enough mercury vapor is released that the place should be considered a hazardous waste site, to be decontaminated by experts. Obviously, that never happens. In fact, most people arent even aware that breathing the released vapors or coming into contact with the broken bulb are dangerous. The EPA is. Not only did the EPA provide a special exemption to even sell mercurycontaining fluorescent lamps to the public, they also have very specific guidelines for cleaning up a broken bulb. (See box on page 24.) All of the recycling efforts are highly commendable, but I still think were going to see a very significant increase in mercury pollution for several years to come. And along with that were going to see increases in childhood mental deficiencies and cases of Alzheimers and other unexplained neurological diseases. Dont get me wrongI think widespread use of fluorescent bulbs has a place in solving our energy and environmental concerns. However, I do have a problem with their potential for contamination. The public is being told that the bulbs are an integral part of reducing our energy consumption and a way to help prevent global warming, but theyre not being told about the dangers involved and how to deal with them. I worry this is going to be another situation where 10 or 15 years down the road someone finally realizes that tens of thousands of individuals have suffered or died needlessly from increased mercury exposure.

Testing for Mercury Toxicity

Mercury contamination is so severe in our waterways nowadays that many are thought to be contaminated forever. Sadly, most of the unwitting public will also be contaminated permanently. Its not an exaggeration to say that every individual in this country probably has detectable levels of mercury in their system. There are ways to check mercury levels in your body, but none are foolproofand theres a considerable amount of controversy over which methods work the best. The most well-known test for mercury toxicity is hair analysis. Many doctors are of the opinion that hair analysis isnt reliable, but thats not the case. It can be a great tool if you know how to use it. Individuals who are mercury toxic will, in most cases, have normal readings for mercury not only in hair tests but also in blood and urine tests. To determine if mercury toxicity exists, one has to look for the biochemical aberrations that mercury causesnot just for the mercury itself. This is far too complicated to explain here, but theres one book all doctors should have in their offices that explains in detail how to interpret these tests. The best reference guide available is the book Hair Test Interpretation: Finding Hidden Toxicities by Andrew Cutler. Cutler also recommends specific lab tests like the Hair Elements test from Doctors Data in Chicago at www. or 800-323-2784; or Direct Lab Services at or 800-908-0000. Its imperative that you do all you can to reduce your direct exposure to mercury. Just as important, youll want to implement a diet and supplement plan that will continuously help remove mercury from your body.

Sulfur Helps Remove Mercury

Nature provides various substances that help remove mercury and other heavy metals. Mercury has a strong affinity for sulfur. As such, theres a long list of vegetables and fruits with high sulfur contents that can help remove mercury from the body. These foods do have their limitations, however. With continued exposure, your bodys natural defenses can easily be overwhelmed. For most of us, mercury will enter our body either through our intestinal tract (water, food, or amalgam tooth

fillings) or through our respiratory tract (vapor from pollution or a broken fluorescent bulb). With our food and water supplies so widely contaminated, it will be difficult to avoid mercury completely. This is where a diet high in sulfur-rich vegetables, fruits, and other foods can help. These foods can bind with the mercury while its still transiting the intestinal tract and carry it out of your body. Youll find a partial list of high-sulfur foods below. I think Ive discussed each of these at one time or another through the years. Unfortunately, they dont receive the attention or research they deserveand probably never will. Most have strong antioxidant capability and are rich in various bioflavonoids. We now know they also have the added benefit of being able to lock on to mercury and prevent its absorption into the body. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, chard, and watercress Other vegetables: asparagus, avocado, parsley, red peppers, and tomatoes Nearly all grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds Root vegetables such as carrots, radishes, turnips, garlic, and onions (but not potatoes) Fruits: blueberries, cherries, and grapes Animal products: cheese, egg yolks, meat

EPA Guidelines for CFL Cleanup

Open a window if there is one, and leave the room for at least 15 minutes (and restrict access to others). Remove all you can without using a vacuum: Wearing disposable rubber gloves, scoop up everything you can, including the powder, using stiff paper or cardboard. Use sticky tape such as duct tape to pick up the remaining small pieces and powder. Wipe the area clean with a damp paper towel or disposable wet wipe. Place all cleanup materials into a plastic bag and seal it. If your area allows it, dispose of the bag in an outdoor trash receptacle. (They dont give any suggestions for final disposal if your local government doesnt allow you to put CFLs in the trash.) Vacuum the area where the bulb was broken, then remove the collector bag or wipe out the canister. Put the debris in a plastic bag, seal it, then put it in a second bag. Dispose as above. Given the EPAs inconsistent track record, at this point its hard to tell whether theyre being alarmist or conservative. Regardless, a broken bulb is something you need to take seriously. Once mercury is removed from tissues or brain cells, it enters the bloodstream and is carried to the liver where its mixed with bile and dumped into the intestinal tract. Ideally, from there it should travel out of the body in the feces. However, if the natural systems are overwhelmed some of the mercury simply gets reabsorbed and redistributed throughout the body. For this reason its imperative that, if you use alpha lipoic acid to remove mercury from your body, you maintain constant levels of the supplement in your body for periods long enough that the mercury has time to be escorted out of your body and not reabsorbed. Thats why detoxing with alpha lipoic acid requires taking doses faithfully every 3 hours. Alpha lipoic acid dumps smaller quantities of mercury into the system, making it easier to compensate for this extra

Based on the widespread contamination levels were seeing today, I would highly recommend adding several of these items to your diet every day. It wasnt that long ago that I reported the discovery that cilantro was an effective chelator of mercury. If the research money were available, Im sure wed find other vegetables that could provide similar protection.

The Next Step in Mercury Detox

In addition to eating high-sulfur foods, I recommend a few supplements for mercury detoxification. One particular supplement that has been shown to remove or chelate body stores of mercury is alpha lipoic acidthe same nutrient found helpful in stabilizing Alzheimers patients that I told you about in Chapter 2. Alpha lipoic acid has the unique ability to remove mercury from inside cells and the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Although it may not be as strong or work as quickly as prescription chelating agents, there are benefits from working at a slower pace.

toxic release. The reabsorption of mercury can be further minimized or avoided through a higher intake of the sulfurrich foods mentioned above. These help chelate or lock onto the mercury in the intestinal tract and move it out of the system. In addition to the high-sulfur foods, other known intestinal chelators are the blue-green algae spirulina and chlorella, aloe gel, and various calcium bentonite clays. Ive seen a short mercury detox program using alpha lipoic acid work wonders for many people. The program consists of taking to mg of alpha lipoic acid per every pound of body weight, every 3 hours for 3 days and 2 nights. (The time can be stretched to every 4 hours during the night to avoid interrupting sleep as much and then returning to every 3 hours during daytime.) This would translate to 20 to 80 mg of alpha lipoic acid every 3 hours for a person who weighs 160 pounds. If one wants to repeat the program they can wait for 11 days following the initial 3 days and 2 nights before starting again. Everyone reacts differently, so dosages often have to be adjusted depending on how one feels. Its generally better to use the lower dosages to begin with and work with a doctor familiar with this program.

For example, detoxifying after the removal of dental amalgam fillings would require a far more involved program. And even the short detox programs I mention above are not recommended if you have dental amalgam fillings. You dont want to be mobilizing and pulling mercury out of your fillings. If you have serious mercury toxicity I would highly recommend working with your doctor or other specialist trained in that area.)

This Is Your Brain on Drugs

In the research on the causes of memory loss, dementia, cognitive decline, and Alzheimers, one area that has gotten very little attention is the dramatic increase in both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Thanks to a report presented at the 2008 American Academy of Neurology annual meeting, maybe that will change. Dr. Jack Tsao, a professor of neurology, has found that the class of drugs called anticholinergics could be one of the culprits. He and his group began analyzing the data from an ongoing study involving 870 Catholic nuns and clergy members. The average age in the study group was 75 and their medications and any changes in their cognitive function had been monitored for about 8 years. Dr. Tsao discovered that those individuals taking anticholinergic drugs saw their rate of cognitive function decline 1.5 times faster than those individuals not taking these drugs. (AAN 60th Annual Meeting Abstract S51.001, presented April 17, 2008) Anticholinergic drugs block or impede the action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. In a nutshell, among other functions, if you block acetylcholine you block muscle contractions. Its surprising just how many commonly used drugs fall into this category. It would probably take several pages just to list them all, so instead Ill just briefly mention a few conditions and a few of the drugs used to treat them. (Again, please keep in mind that this is not anywhere near a complete list, and even the safety warnings that come with most drugs wont define them as being anticholinergic. If you take any medication, ask your pharmacist if it is anticholinergic.) Asthma, bronchial spasms Elixophyllin, Theo-24) (Atrovent, Spiriva,

Detox Help From the Sea

Another short-term detox product I really like is algin a nondigestible fiber from brown seaweeds like kelp. When it absorbs water it expands into a gel, providing a bulk laxative effect. It also binds to various toxins like mercury, cadmium, and even radioactive materials. Its readily available and relatively inexpensive. Natures Sunshine makes an algin product that can be found in health food stores and through the mail. I recommend taking 2 capsules with each meal for a couple of days before beginning the detox program using alpha lipoic acid described above and continuing during the program and for 5 days afterward. Mercury accumulation now occurs throughout our lives. I think a simple mercury detox once every year or so could make a significant impact on ones overall health and longevity. (Note: The suggestions and ideas Ive presented here will benefit the large majority of individuals, but they arent adequate for dealing with severe toxicity. Severe mercury toxicity can require very stringent monitoring to correct.

Bladder overactivity, spasms (Detrol, Ditropan, Enablex, Sanctura)

Gastrointestinal or stomach cramps, spasms (Hyospaz, hyoscyamine) Diarrhea (Lofene, Logen, Lomotil) Pain, inflammation (Codeine or any of the dozens of medications that contain codeine, OxyContin, Oxydose, Roxidocone) Anxiety disorders, panic attacks, seizures, muscle spasm (alprazolam, diazepam) Fluid retention, high blood pressure, heart failure (Lasix, Capoten) Allergies, allergic reactions, arthritis (prednisone, Sterapred) Motion sickness (Scopace) Parkinsons disease (Cogentin, Akineton, Norflex) If you take any form of medication its important to understand there are side effects. It may come as a shock to many people that many of the side effects may not be discovered for years, if not decades, after a drug has been given the blessing of the FDA. When it comes to side effects, the pharmaceutical companies and the FDA are hoping the public will forget that it was drug use that caused these problems in the first place. In that respect, I guess destroying peoples memory and cognitive function works to their advantage.

The manufacturers of statin drugs list over 130 possible side effects. Muscle pain, tenderness, and weakness are just a few of the primary ones. Although the manufacturers fail to acknowledge it, based on what Ive heard directly from many users and/or their written accounts, it certainly appears to me that these neuromuscular degeneration problems could be from the disruption of cholesterol production. Cholesterol is an insulator for nerve fibers, and its also a primary component in the structure of cell walls. When either the coating or the cell walls themselves begin to break down, disrupting transmission of impulses in the brain, you start to see distinct changes in an individuals ability to function. The symptoms are those associated with neurological disease or damage, so it shouldnt come as any surprise that among statin users were seeing more cases being diagnosed as mini strokes (TIAs), senility, chronic fatigue, depression and, in more progressed cases, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrigs disease). Studies have shown that statins increase the incidence of memory loss, inability to concentrate, impaired judgment, confusion, disorientation, irrational thinking, and other signs of dementia and senility. This alone should be enough to scare anyone away from taking statins. Based on the evidence now available, 100 percent of statin users can expect a decrease in cognitive function. (Am J Med 04;117:823829) If you know of someone who still takes statin drugs (which is now practically anyone who has been diagnosed with a cardiovascular or high cholesterol problem), please warn them of the associated problems. Any sign of unexplained muscle weakness, cramps, twitching, slurred speech, difficulty in walking or motor skills, nerve pain, depression, memory loss, et cetera, could be just the tip of the iceberg. There are individuals in wheelchairs being diagnosed with ALS who can now trace their problems back to statin drug use. Dont let it happen to you or to someone you love.

Drugs That Get on Your Nerves

Another class of drugs that has been found to impair brain function is cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. The dangers of statins are well known by now. Among the long list of their negative effects, one of the more serious and debilitating effects, nerve degeneration, may be receiving the least attention. In the ever-present, ill-considered quest to lower cholesterol levels, were starting to see more and more cases of what certainly appears to be degeneration of nerve and muscle cell membranes.


Chapter 6: Build Up Your Brain

ne of the first signs of getting older seems to be a failing memory. Although a certain degree of forgetfulness and memory difficulty is normal, several steps can be taken at any age to help protect and preserve your brain function. When you begin to understand the influences your lifestyle and health habits have on your brain and adjust those accordingly, youll see that the brain will react much like your heart and other organs in your body. In simpler terms, the tools and techniques are currently available to prevent brain disease. Some may seem obvious while others arent so well known. In this chapter, Ill focus on ways you can fortify and strengthen your brain.

When there is an assault to the brain, a cognitive reserve allows messages to be re-routed through alternative networks and pathways. In essence, the more neuronal networks you have, the more damage to the brain you can sustain without exhibiting the signs of mental decline. In speaking to the researchers who are studying cognitive reserve, two comments were made that stuck in my mind. First, based on his lifelong work, one researcher told me the bad news is that everyone will eventually get Alzheimers if they live long enough. Second, the good news was that everyone has the ability to increase their cognitive reserve, regardless of age, and it is the most powerful tool we have to prevent the progression of the disease.

Build a Cognitive Reserve

One of the best methods of fending off the symptoms of dementia and brain damage is to build up a cognitive reserve. Let me explain. Individuals who live intellectually stimulating lives and who are better educated are somehow better protected against the factors that trigger mental decline. And the protection is not just limited to advancing age, but also problems normally associated with stroke, head injuries, toxic poisoning, excess alcohol, HIV, Parkinsons, and Alzheimers. It appears that increased mental stimulation whether it comes from a career, reading, doing crosswords, or whateverhelps build up this cognitive reserve. Cognitive reserve isnt something youre born with. Its dynamic and changes with time. You can increase your cognitive reserve at any point in your life. MRI studies show that the brain builds up alternative and additional nerve pathways when it is challenged by a new problem. Until this discovery, scientists were unable to explain why some individuals were able to recover from a stroke while others with almost identical damage were left incapacitated. And, while Alzheimers disease totally destroys the lives of most individuals, some who are afflicted with the disease live an almost completely normal life right to the end. In fact, in many cases, the only time Alzheimers is discovered is during an autopsy.

Help Grow New Brain Cells

You might have learned or heard that everyone is born with a set amount of brain cells, and when those cells die they are never replaced. Research is challenging that theory. Many scientists have been focusing their research efforts on the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with learning and memory. They have found several factors that promote new brain cell growth: Estrogen is believed to increase neurogenesis (new nerve cell formation). Since estrogen can increase the risk of certain types of cancer, I certainly wouldnt recommend taking it for that reason. However, the phytoestrogens in soy make soy products a safe alternative. Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that mimic estrogen in the body but dont cause the adverse effects triggered by excess estrogen. Exercising; socializing; and stimulating, interesting surroundings can double the number of new nerve cells formed. The neurotransmitter serotoninlong associated with stabilizing moodalso increases the number of brain cells formed. There are two ways to increase serotonin levels. One is with SSRI drugs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors); the other is L-tryptophan. I dont recommend SSRIs because I have too many concerns about their side effects. This leads me to tryptophan.

L-tryptophan is one of the few natural products I know that will increase serotonin levels.

nerve impulses in the brain and nervous system, through the formation of neurotransmitters. Until the fall of 1989, L-tryptophan was considered to be one of the safest and most powerful natural medicines for treating a long list of psychiatric conditions. Then reports surfaced that some individuals taking L-tryptophan were developing a condition called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome. The problem was traced to a batch of contaminated products produced by the Japanese manufacturer Showa Denko. The FDA didnt just remove the contaminated batches of the amino acid, however. They recalled all L-tryptophan sold for human consumption, destroyed it, and banned all future sales. In 1994, the FDA ban was lifted, but skittish manufacturers were slow to reintroduce L-tryptophan. It wasnt until 2001 that companies began carrying it once again, and now its readily available from quite a few sources. You can get L-tryptophan in your diet, but its hard to get the amounts your nervous system needs. Foods with higher L-tryptophan content include wheat germ, oat flakes, eggs, cottage cheese, avocados, pork, salted anchovies, Swiss and Parmesan cheeses, and almonds. Fortunately, you can buy pharmaceutical-grade L-tryptophan from the Vitamin Lady (800-213-4906 or Suggested dosages for L-tryptophan vary. In adults, it takes at least 12 grams to change blood levels. Take B6 (50100 mg) and niacinamide (100200 mg) with L-tryptophan to enhance its effects.

The L-Tryptophan Story

Tryptophan is considered an essential amino acid. That means your body doesnt manufacture it, so you have to get it from your diet. Tryptophan has numerous roles in the body, but the most notable is facilitating the transmission of

Use It or Lose It
Youve undoubtedly heard the saying, Use it or lose it. Well, its particularly true when it comes to the brainwhich needs mental exercise to stay healthy. Of course, learning a new skill or language gives the brain a workout and greatly improves function. The same goes for writing, reading, teaching, and even working crossword puzzles. Additionally, reading on a wide variety of subjects activates the brain in ways that arent fully understood. One hundred to three hundred years ago, it was thought that reading compresses time by allowing readers to experience the feelings and actions that are presented in the writing. According to this view, avid readers experience far more than what they otherwise would in a lifetime. A more recent view is that, when we read, we each derive our own ideas about the meaning of what weve read based on the unique experiences and ideas that each of us has acquired during our lives. According to this view, the creative ideas produced by your brain as you read are a result of the differences between what you are reading in contrast to your personal experiences and ideas. I know this view can be technical (and gets even more so if you really study it), but basically its saying that its impossible to have ideas without languageand thats why reading is so important. If youre a newsletter subscriber, Im probably preaching to the choir about the importance of reading, but whats clear is that copious amounts of reading can and should be a key component in maintaining your mental well-being.

Big Brain Benefit

Research over the past few years has shown that one significant predictor of mental function is change in brain size. As you get older, your brain tends to shrink, at a rate of at least one half of one percent per year. This shrinkage occurs throughout the brain, and begins by age 30. Theres a solid connection between this shrinkage and a decline in cognitive abilities; in patients with only mild cognitive impairment the rate of shrinkage can be closer to two percent per year. No matter what size an individuals brain is to begin with, as it shrinks one begins to see declines in memory, concentration, and other measures of cognitive function. (Neurology 08;70:18361841) (Radiology 08;248:590598)

This decline in brain size isnt inevitable. Evidence points to nutritional deficiencies and inactivity as the primary causes. Fortunately, it appears that it is possible to halt the process, and even to reverse any brain shrinkage that has occurred.

Stress Is a Memory Killer

Serotonin has a relaxing, de-stressing effect on the body, which probably contributes to its ability to foster the growth of new memory cells. Stress hormones, or corticosteroids, produced in the adrenal glands not only stop the birth of nerve cells, they shorten their survival times. It has now been demonstrated that these corticosteroids are one of the reasons, if not the major reason, for memory impairment in our later years. The nerve cells needed to form memories of recent events are formed in the hippocampus. In the presence of stress hormones, they stop dividing. Stress in younger people has been shown to temporarily impair memory. And research has found that corticosteroid levels are up to three times higher in the elderly when compared to younger adults. What all this means is that the capacity to grow new brain cells still exists in old age, but stress hormones block them from being formed. As you would expect, the pharmaceutical companies are now chomping at the bit to develop new drugs to block the effects of stress hormones in the brain. You can accomplish the same thing right now, however, without having to resort to drugs. Stress management through meditation and relaxation procedures has been proven to reduce the levels of stress hormones. It should certainly be looked at more seriously, considering the fact that your memory and ability to learn is at stake. Research at the Gifu University in Japan has revealed that chewing can improve memory by reducing the release of stress hormones. While the complete mechanism hasnt been worked out, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has demonstrated that the hippocampus, which helps control blood levels of stress hormones, is stimulated during chewing. The Japanese researchers found that when teeth were missing or in a state of disrepair, older individuals chewed less, which subsequently led to an increase in stress hormone levels. Good dental health and the ability to chew properly appear to be important factors in preserving our memory as we age. (Behav Brain Res 00;108(2):145155)

The BodyBrain Connection

A review of several studies has confirmed the connection between physical activity and cognitive function. That is, the more physically fit a person is, the better their brain function is likely to be. Further, improving cardiovascular fitness was shown to improve cognitive skills. The benefits apply across various areas of function, including motor skills, attention, and processing speed. The reviewers questioned whether an aerobic type of activity was necessary, or whether the participants could see the same kinds of gains with any physical activity. (Cochrane Database Syst Rev 08 Apr 16;(2):CD005381) Researchers from the University of Illinois appear to have provided an explanation. In a study of 59 patients, one group met three times a week for 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic activity, such as walking, swimming, or cycling. The other group was also physically active, spending their time on stretching and toning activities. The researchers found that not only did brain volume relate directly to cardiovascular fitness level, but that aerobic activity could increase the volume of all parts of the brainwhile other types of physical activity did not. (J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 03;58:M176M180) (J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 06;61:11661170) In addition, there is evidence pointing to a connection between body size and brain size. Researchers at Kent State University in Ohio compared body mass index and brain volume in 201 healthy people between the ages of 17 and 79. They found that, regardless of age or other characteristics, the more overweight a person was, the smaller their brain tended to be. (Int J Neurosci 08;118:15821593)

Vitamin B12 Slows Brain Shrinkage

Nutrition also obviously plays a role in brain health. In Chapter 2, I told you how vitamin B12 deficiencies were associated with developing Alzheimers. More recently, researchers at Oxford University in England have found that

low levels of vitamin B12 were associated with advanced brain shrinkage. In the study, 107 adults without any cognitive impairment were followed for five years. Annually during that period, each subject had their blood tested to assess the level of B12, and received an MRI to measure any change in brain volume. Those in the lowest third of B12 level were six times as likely to have accelerated brain shrinkage as those in the highest third. (Neurology 08;71:826832) Beyond age 50 or so, individuals are less able to assimilate the vitamin B12 that they take in through their diets. This reduction is due primarily to the conditions necessary for good digestion of B12. The first condition is an adequate supply of hydrochloric acid. The second necessary condition is an adequate supply of a compound known as intrinsic factor, which is secreted by cells lining the stomach and transports B12 through the wall of the small intestine into the bloodstream. When a B12 deficiency advances far enough, it creates a condition known as pernicious anemia. Outright symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, and pins-and-needles sensations in the hands and feet. A deficiency in B12 is also known to cause dementia, and the neurological changes can appear long before other signs. While pernicious anemia occurs in only two to three percent of the population, the

incidence of B12 deficiency among older adults may be as high as 30 percent. (Arch Neurol 90;47:10081012) Correcting a deficiency in vitamin B12 is a straightforward matter. If youre having trouble making use of the B12 that you do get from your diet, then you need to find a way to bypass the digestive system and get the vitamin directly into your bloodstream. For years, I recommended getting monthly injections of B12 from a knowledgeable doctor. Using this method, the vitamin is able to pass directly from muscle tissue into the bloodstream. I still believe that this method is effective, but it does require an initial visit to the doctor then monthly visits thereafter. Another solution is sublingual B12. In this formulation, you just place the tablet directly under your tongue. As it dissolves, the B12 passes into the bloodstream through the mucous membranes of your gums. Sublingual vitamin B12 is available anywhere other vitamins are sold. Look for a product that provides 1,000 mcg daily. To sum up, engaging in aerobic activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and correcting a vitamin B12 deficiency can go a long way toward preserving your brain size and even reversing any brain shrinkage that has already occurred.

Chapter 7: Other Ways to Improve Your Memory

experiencing circulation problems, regardless of whether the symptoms are in your legs or heart, rest assured that the small arteries supplying the brain are also starting to clog and impede blood flow. Since the changes often arent associated with any pain or noticeable sensation, it might be easy to attribute memory loss or some of the other problems I mentioned to just getting older. In reality you can help prevent and/or reverse these problems by improving your circulation. It should go without saying that proper circulation can trigger new brain cell formation and ensure the proper nutrients and building materials are present when needed. One of the quickest ways to improve circulation is to engage in regular exercise. There are also two supplements that can help boost blood flow to the brain: Padma and ginkgo.

n addition to building up your brain, other ways you can protect yourself from memory loss and boost your memory include improving your circulation, increasing your intake of lecithin and butyrate, and supporting your adrenal glands.

The Importance of Blood Flow to the Brain

For some reason, most people fail to associate gradual memory loss, intellectual deficiencies, and other impairments to brain function with a lack of blood flow to the brain. The connection only becomes obvious following a stroke. Despite the impression you might get from most doctors, atherosclerosis is a systemic problem. If youre

Exercise Doesnt Have to Be That Complicated

Exercise is one of the simplest ways to improve circulation. But many people never get started on a regular exercise program because either they dont know what they should be doing or gearing up for the right activity seems like too much trouble. Fortunately, exercising to protect your brain isnt that complicated. Research has found that simply walking every two or three days can make a very dramatic difference in helping to maintain normal brain function and the development of new brain cells. If youre looking to preserve your mental capabilities, then walking could be the answer. In two separate studies, researchers found that after several months of regular walking, older adults showed an increase in blood flow to the brain, which resulted in improved learning, memory, and attention ability. (Proc Natl Acad Sci 04;101(9):33163321) (Brain Behav Immun 04:18(3):214220) Participants in the studies gradually built up to walking at a moderate pace, three times a week for 45 minutes each. At the end of 6 months, their brain activity was similar to that of highly fit seniors. Another group who limited their activity to stretching and toning exercises showed very little, if any, improvement in their brain activity. Dont be intimidated or get confused about all the various exercise programs being touted today. Most of these are passing fads anyway. If you dont participate in a regular exercise program, then its time to start walking.

In a Polish study at the Neurology Department of Regional Hospital in Zyrardow, Poland, 35 people with known cerebral atherosclerosis were treated with Padma. The individuals ranged in age from 33 to 72 years, and suffered from one or more of the problems mentioned above. Nine had evidence of blockage in the carotid artery that feeds the brain, and 14 had experienced one or more transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) or silent strokes in the last two years. They were all given Padma for a total of three months at a dosage of 6 tablets a day for the first six weeks, and thereafter 4 tablets a day. Practically all showed remarkable improvements. Twenty-five reported immediate improvement in memory and the alleviation of emotional instability. In five of the nine patients with suspected blockages of the carotid artery, associated symptoms regressed almost completely, and in two other patients symptoms were greatly improved. None of those with a history of TIAs experienced any more such incidents. When this study was presented at a symposium in Poland, one of the neurologists commented that he knew of no substance other than Padma that can make the cerebral circulation so elastic.

Padma Basic
Padma Inc. of Switzerland has been making the formula under the name Padma 28 for the last 30 years. It is called 28 because it was based on the 28th formula in an ancient textbook of Tibetan medicine. A few years ago, the product Padma Basic from Padma Inc. became available in the US. It is the same product, except for very small amounts of one ingredient, aconite, which Padma 28 contains. There have been some questions as to the safety of aconite, so it isnt allowed in the US product. Tests have shown that removing the aconite doesnt appreciably change the beneficial effects of the product. Padma Basic contains the following herbs: Allspice (Pimenta dioica) Bengal Quince (Aegle marmelos) Calendula (Calendula officinalis) Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris)

An Ancient Formula for Boosting Memory

Padma was derived from an ancient Tibetan formula known as Gabur, or the camphor formula. Over the last couple of decades, research from both Europe and Israel continues to suggest that Padma is extremely helpful in increasing longevity and improving health. Its primary action is the improvement of circulation, which has numerous benefits throughout the bodyincluding increasing pain-free walking distance in those with poor circulation in the extremities, relieving angina pain, and improving mental function. Its this last benefit that I want to focus on.

Costus (Saussurea lappa) English Plantain (Plantago spp.) Gingerlily (Hedychium spicatum) Golden cinquefoil (Potentilla aurea) Heartleaved Sida (Sida cordifolia) Iceland moss (Cetraria islandica) Knotgrass (Polygonum aviculare) Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) Margosa (Azadirachta indica) Red Sandalwood (Pterocarpus sandalinus) Tropical Almond (Terminalia chebula) Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) Natural Camphor Calcium Sulfate These herbs are sourced from around the world and rigorously tested throughout the production process to ensure product effectiveness. The herbs are tested for identity, purity, and potency by chemical fingerprinting using high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography (GC), and thin layer chromatography (TLC). Test batches of each herb are also sampled by trained tasters to check for astringency. We recognize only four tastes: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. In addition to our four, Tibetan medicine includes astringent and hot. Padma Basic is packaged to have a five-year shelf life and is free of pesticides and contaminants. Research has repeatedly shown that it has no side effects or interactions with other medications. (It is still recommended, however, that it be taken 30 minutes before meals, and that other medications be taken at another time.) Dosages vary depending on age and condition. For adults, 6 tablets a day (2 tablets taken three times a day before meals) are recommended during the treatment phase of a problem. Once the problem has been resolved over a matter of weeks or months, you can generally taper back to a maintenance dose of 1 or 2 tablets a day. You can visit a health care professional to get Padma Basic, or purchase it yourself from EcoNugenics at 800308-5518 or

Ginkgo: Time Tested and Proven

You may have already heard of the herb ginkgo for improving memory, but it bears mentioning again. Much like Padma, ginkgo is very effective at improving memory by increasing blood flow to the brain. A double-blind study out of Austria tested the effects of ginkgo extract on memory and brain function in 48 patients ages 51 to 79 years. Half of the patients took 40 mg of the herb three times daily and the others took a placebo. After 57 days, patients taking the ginkgo showed improved memory skills. (Pharmacopsychiatry 95;2894:134142) In Germany, where ginkgo is classified as a prescription item, doctors routinely recommend the herb over all other medications for dementia. They have found that its safer and less costly, and achieves results equal to any drug therapy. (Pharmacopsychiatry 96;29(4):150155) It has long been believed that once a patient begins to experience memory loss, it is generally a permanent and degenerative situation. New research indicates that ginkgo can still improve memory problems if the patients condition hasnt deteriorated too far. Researchers reported on a year-long study involving 327 patients suffering from either Alzheimers disease or multiinfarct dementia. Part of the group was given 120 mg a day of ginkgo, and the others were given a placebo. Evaluations were made at 12, 26, and 52 weeks. At the end of 52 weeks, 27 percent of those patients on ginkgo showed a four-point improvement in cognitive performance, which is roughly equivalent to a six-month delay in the progression of Alzheimers disease. (JAMA 97:278:13271332) You may have heard of the JAMA study reporting that ginkgo doesnt help with memory. Thats certainly what the results showed. The researchers gave either ginkgo or a placebo to 203 healthy participants for six weeks, then compared performance on tests of memory and thinking with pre-test performance. There was no significant difference between the groups. The question is, what were they looking for? Ginkgo has never been recommended for creating a supermemory, which is what youd get if it improved the memory of people without memory problems. Instead, ginkgo is useful for restoring memory in people who have noticed

problems. If youre taking ginkgo, or considering it, dont let this study change your mind. (JAMA 02;288:835840) Ginkgo capsules are readily available, and certainly worth a try in Alzheimers patients. Make sure whatever ginkgo you choose has been standardized to contain 24 percent of the flavonoid glycosides. A good daily dosage is 10 mg. Enzymatic Therapy has a standardized product, available at or by calling 800-783-2286.

Truthfully, the results have been somewhat mixed. If there was any improvement at all, it appeared to be in slowing the progression or onset of the diseases rather than in treating them. When it comes to improving memory lapses, however, it appears that regular use of lecithin can be beneficial. For example, when a group of older individuals took two tablespoons of lecithin daily for five weeks, they exhibited fewer memory lapses and improved memory skills. (Res Soc Work Pract 94;4:349358) In another study involving college students, high doses of lecithin (the equivalent of about 10 tablespoons daily) significantly improved short-term memory skills within 90 minutes of consumption. (Clin Neuropharm 93;16(6):540549) With the inability to patent lecithin, its widespread availability, and its low cost, theres really not much financial incentive for anyone to perform large, long-term studies. The big players (such as pharmaceutical companies and government-sponsored researchers) will probably never spend enough time or energy on lecithin to learn just how beneficial it can be.

Lecithin for Synapses and Memory Lapses

For years, Ive written about the numerous benefits derived from taking lecithin. One of these benefits is improving memory. Lecithin is actually a combination of compounds called phospholipids. Roughly 23 percent of lecithin consists of the phospholipid group called the phosphatidyl-cholines (PCs), with choline making up about 13 percent of the total PC weight. I mention this mainly because the PCs and choline are generally considered to be the active portion of lecithin, and most of the research material focuses on these substances. For practical purposes, though, were really talking about lecithin. Just how does lecithin help improve memory? Ill try not to get too technical here, but you might have learned in biology class that your nerves communicate with each other through junctions called synapses. The nerves meet at these synapses, where a chemical neurotransmitter called acetylcholine is often used to transmit nerve impulses. These synapses are especially numerous in the brain. To make acetylcholine, nerve cells require choline. While nerve cells can actually synthesize choline from other compounds or break their own cell membranes down into choline, their best source of choline is direct from the bloodstream. Studies have consistently shown that by taking lecithin orally, you can increase blood plasma levels of cholinewhich also causes acetylcholine levels in the brain to increase. (Science 83;221(4611):614620) (Gastroenterology 92;102:13631370) When it comes to using lecithin to help improve nerve transmissions in the brain, most of the studies have involved patients with Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease.

Make Sure Youre Getting Enough Lecithin

Since we can get lecithin in food, most traditional nutritionists have never given much attention to the need for supplemental lecithin in our diet. Lecithin, however, is mainly found in the high-cholesterol, high-fat foods. Some of the richest common food sources of lecithin are fatty beef steak, beef liver, and eggsitems that have become unpopular over the last 20 years. With the decreased consumption, it stands to reason that many of us would be consuming less lecithin and choline. As a result, I believe supplementing with lecithin granules is essential. For daily maintenance purposes, I recommend one tablespoon of lecithin granules (about 2 grams) a day. I recommend keeping the granules in the refrigerator to avoid any problems with rancidity. Fresh lecithin should have a clean, nutty smell and taste. I know some people who just swallow the granules. Although I like the nutty taste, they stick to my mouth and teeth, and I find them hard to swallow. I put them in the blender with my protein shake each morning.

Its important to keep in mind that the fat-like components in lecithin are much like vitamin E and other fat-soluble vitamins. In many instances, it can take months for the body to build up a reserve of these compounds and realize their full effects. In other words, if you want to experience the full benefits of lecithin, you will need to take it consistently on a full-time basis. Granules are available from health stores or online from Bronson Laboratories ( or 800-235-3200). Lecithin can also be purchased in liquid or softgel form, but the granular form is more economical.

from dementia, and maybe even from Alzheimers and other degenerative problems.

Increasing Your Butyrate Levels

Its easy to increase butyrate levels through either the diet or supplementation. For most of us, a change in diet is all thats necessary. We just need to eat more high-fiber foods (nuts, seeds, bran, oats, whole wheat products, and practically all vegetables and fruits, especially unpeeled and raw). For even better results, consume more of the cruciferous vegetables. These are high in sulfur, and the sulfurcontaining compound that works like butyrate is called sulforaphane. The richest sources are broccoli sprouts and broccoli, but sulforaphane is also present in the other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. The compound is released with chewing, but in the case of broccoli you can maximize the amount released by steaming it lightly for about 3 to 4 minutes until it is crisp-tender. In addition to helping preserve and restore your memory, sulforaphane is one of the most powerful anticancer compounds ever found in food. (As Ive mentioned before, I make my own sauerkraut and I recommend you do the same if possible. Sulforaphane and butyric acid are just two of the many beneficial components of true live sauerkraut.)

Broccoli and Your Brain

We often use the term lost when referring to ones memory. Based on a study at MIT, however, it appears that we dont really lose our memory; rather, it can become inaccessible due to either nerve damage or, more commonly, a chemical derangement that impairs the transmission of nerve impulses within the brain. (Ill tell that to my wife the next time I misplace the car keys.) The study involving mice found what could be one of the keys to recovering memory and enhancing our ability to learn. (It has been accepted for some time now that the mechanisms for learning and memory in mice are much the same as those in humans.) The research was quite detailed and complicated, but the one pearl that can be extracted from the work has to do with the compound butyrate (or butyric acid). Butyrate is a fatty acid thats produced in your colon when beneficial bacteria ferment dietary fiber. In the study, mice with genetically severe nervous system degeneration were treated by increasing the level of butyrate in their body, and then compared to untreated mice. While the nervous systems of the untreated mice continued to deteriorate, those given butyrate not only regained their memory, but also exhibited significantly greater brain activity and capacity for learning. (Nature 07;447:178182) This research could turn out to be a major breakthrough in the treatment of degenerative nerve diseases that are becoming so common in our society. Although butyrate doesnt appear to repair or regenerate neural pathways, it appears to help re-establish pathways through existing neurons. This could be a true godsend for individuals suffering

Hitting the (Supplement) Bottle

For individuals who are already suffering from noticeable memory or dementia problems, supplements that contain butyrate and/or sulforaphane can be added along with the dietary changes. Not too many companies market butyrate products. One of most readily available is called Butyrex by T.E. Neesby. One of the least expensive sources I found is a company called Jigsaw Health, which sells a 250-count bottle for just under $30. Its more than a months supply if you take 2 capsules with each meal. After a month or two most people can begin to taper off to a smaller maintenance dose of a capsule or two daily. They can be contacted at or by calling 866-601-5800.

I should tell you that Butyrex has a really offensive odor. The word butyrate is derived from the Greek word for butter. Butter contains about 2 percent to 3 percent butyrate, and when butter goes rancid butyrate is what gives it the foul smell. The same goes for rancid Parmesan cheese. While were speaking of unpleasantries, butyric acid also contributes to the distinctive smell associated with vomit. You can lessen the smell of Butyrex by keeping it stored in the freezer. Sulforaphane supplements generally come in the form of broccoli sprout powders. There are several on the market, available in practically any health food store. Jarrow makes an excellent product, and Id just recommend following the directions that come with each product since the potencies vary somewhat. Its a lot less expensive, though, to develop a taste for broccoli. Another method of increasing your levels of butyrate is by consuming gum arabic (also called gum acacia). This is the natural gum produced in the Middle East that you see commonly used as a stabilizer in ice cream, chewing gum, and gummy candies. One small study using seven patients showed that you can double butyrate levels in only 8 weeks with a dosage of 25 grams a day. (Kidney Int 06;69(2):257265) At the above dosage gum arabic wouldnt be that inexpensive, but significant increases in butyrate levels could be obtained over a longer period of time using a dose of 510 grams of the powder per day. In bulk, it sells for less than $10 a pound (454 grams). I get mine from a company called Liberty Natural Products at or 800-289-8427.

Iron Out Wrinkles in ShortTerm Memory

Researchers in Texas have linked deficiencies of iron to short-term memory loss. Studies at the University of Texas Medical Branch have shown that iron-deficient women can dramatically improve their short-term memory of verbal information by taking 30 mg of iron daily, and that supplementing the diet of zinc-deficient women with 30 mg of zinc could improve their ability to associate word pairs. Many authorities now believe that iron deficiencies are the most prevalent worldwide nutritional deficiency. Estimates are that almost 10 percent of women of reproductive age in this country are deficient. Men and children are not immune to the problem, but constant dieting and blood loss during the menstrual cycle place an added burden on females. If you notice that your spouse (male or female) doesnt seem to remember all the ideas you try to share, maybe he or she has an iron deficiency. (After all, we both know theres no way it could be from lack of interest!) several things occur. It causes blood vessels to constrict and makes the heart pump faster and harder. It increases the metabolic rate by as much as 100 percent above normal. Epinephrine causes fat cells to release additional fatty acids that can quickly be converted to energy. (Free fatty acids in the blood can increase 10- to 15-fold!) It also triggers the immediate release of glucose (blood sugar) from both the liver and the muscles. Research now shows it is epinephrines ability to influence blood glucose levels that makes it such an important memory enhancer.

Your Adrenal Glands: Key Memory Minders

Ive always tried to stress the importance of making sure your adrenal glands are functioning properly. These tiny endocrine glands sit on top of the kidneys and produce a wide variety of hormones that control dozens of body functions. Research suggests that epinephrine, one of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands, may be one of the most potent memory enhancers in the body. Epinephrine is more commonly referred to as adrenaline. When epinephrine is released into the bloodstream,

The Link Between Epinephrine and Memory

After conducting studies on both animals and humans, Dr. Paul Gold from the University of Virginia has concluded that the formation of memory for a particular experience is related to the amount of epinephrine released at the time.

Its well known that as we get older our adrenal glands generally release less epinephrine and we begin to experience memory shortfalls. Dr. Gold has shown, in both animals and humans, that these age-related memory problems are often corrected or greatly improved with the administration of epinephrine. When older animals were given the epinephrine their adrenals were no longer producing, their memory was restored to the same level as that associated with young animals. After the positive results obtained in animals, Dr. Gold began to work with a group of patients suffering from either Alzheimers or memory problems brought on by brain damage. However, rather than use epinephrine (which would increase blood glucose levels) he simply had the patients drink a glass of lemonade, containing either 25 grams of glucose or a placebo (saccharin), immediately prior to a learning experience. He found that the glucose definitely enhanced the patients memories of the experience, and the benefits were long-lasting. When tested after ingesting glucose, the Alzheimers patients had actually doubled their memory scores. Some very important information can be learned from this study. It gives us some viable methods of enhancing, improving, or regaining our memory skills. (Consuming drinks spiked with glucose is not one of them, however! This would simply be treating a symptom instead of the cause of the problem. When you treat a symptom, without addressing the root of the problem, you only end up creating additional problems down the road.)

to take a good adrenal glandular supplement. The best Ive ever used is called Drenamin made by Standard Process Laboratories. Standard Process products are primarily sold through doctors, but you can also purchase them directly from Total Health Discount Vitamins at 800-283-2833 or The normally recommended dosage for Drenamin is to chew one tablet, three times daily. Ive found better results from breaking the tablets in half and chewing half a tablet, six times a day on an empty stomach. Often, improvement will be seen in the first day or two; and as long as a proper diet is followed, the problem will be resolved within a month. Boosting adrenal function also requires eliminating mental, physical, and chemical stressors. Emotional stress, sugar, alcohol, and tobacco all place an unnecessary burden on the adrenals. (Five or ten years from now well probably read that an excess of these items has been linked to agerelated memory loss!) Finally, you must have adequate circulation to the brain. All the epinephrine and glucose in the world wont do much good if it cant reach your brain. As I mentioned earlier, in addition to Padma and/or ginkgo, one of the quickest ways to improve circulation everywhere in the body is exercise. A consistent walking program can make a world of difference. * * * As you can see, there are many things you can do to help prevent, treat, and, in the case of niacinamide, even reverse the memory loss caused by Alzheimers and other brain diseases. Although Alzheimers and memory loss are becoming increasingly common, they are not inevitable as you get older. There are several natural solutions for protecting and preserving your memory. By following the recommendations Ive outlined in this report, you can beat the odds and avoid the nightmare of Alzheimers or other brain impairments that destroy your memory and your life.

Strengthening Your Adrenals

To reverse declining production of epinephrine, you need to strengthen your adrenal glands through nutritional support. This is especially true if you already exhibit any of the classical characteristics of weakened adrenals, including lightheadedness upon standing, moodiness or headaches when a meal is skipped, depression, and fatigue. One of the quickest methods to strengthen the adrenals is

Publishers note: Dr. Williams works closely with Mountain Home Nutritionals, developing his unique formulations that supply many of the hard-to-find nutrients he recommends. The compensation he receives allows him to continue devoting his life to worldwide research and the development of innovative, effective health solutions.


Appendix A: Memory Quiz

Here is a before-and-after memory quiz game. The idea is, youll take the before part now, and the after part after youve been taking niacinamide for a few weeks, following my dosage instructions in this report. Even before those few weeks are up, youre going to notice more muscle strength and endurance, a better sense of balance, more joint mobility and less arthritic pain, and the absence of any depression. But best of all, youre going to have way more clarity and ability to concentrate. And this will all start to happen in the first few days. Note: This quiz will not tell you accurately if you have AD. That would require a clinical exam. (See my suggestions in Chapter 3.) This quiz will only tell you if your memory is getting better or worse.

Before Quiz
INSTRUCTIONS: Grab a pencil! Then look at these 8 names and faces for about 5 seconds each. Turn to the next page to see how many you remember.









After Quiz (Part 1)

DONT LOOK AT THESE NOW. This is the After part that youll take in a few weeks.
INSTRUCTIONS: As you did with the Before part, look at these 8 names and faces for about 5 seconds each. Turn to the next page and study the second set of pictures to see how many you remember.










Before Quiz


Please write in all the names you remember. When youre done, flip back to see how many you got. (One point per name.)

How Did You Do?

Your Age Up to 30 31-40 41-50 51-60 Typical Score 8 6-7 5 4 3 1-2


_______ _______


61-70 70+

Circle your Before score so you can easily compare it to your After score in a few weeks! Come back when youve followed my instructions on niacinamide for perhaps four weeks. At that time, you should notice an improvement in your score.


_______ _______


After Quiz (Part 2)

DONT LOOK AT THESE NOW. This is the After part that youll take in a few weeks.
As you did with the Before part, please write in all the names you remember. When youre done, flip back to see how many you got.









Scoring the After part: Again, give yourself a point for each correct name. Did your score improve by at least a point? If so, you just knocked ten years (more or less) off of your brain age! And youve hardly gotten started!

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