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High Carb Alzheimer’s

High Carb Alzheimer’s

Thanks to high-carb evangelism, we now have a type 3 diabetes

We all know about the 2 types of diabetes, right? There is type 1 where someone is unable to produce adequate insulin to take care of glucose metabolism. Then there is type 2 where someone is insulin resistant, and there cells no longer want to take up glucose even with insulin around.

But is there a third kind? Yes, I am talking about a type 3 diabetes. Is that a real thing or am I just making stuff up? Spend 5 seconds on Google by typing in “type 3 diabetes”, and I promise you will soon realize this is not made up thing. It is a very serious issue that not many people know about.

 

Alzheimer's disease is now being called type 3 diabetes


Unfortunately, too many of us know the deep troubles of Alzheimer’s disease. As people get older it seems natural that Alzheimer’s will kick in. But is it really “natural”, and does it have to happen?

That is the real question: does it have to happen? The truth is that no, it doesn’t have to. Just like with most diseases, there is something that triggers it on which means there is something we can do to prevent it. We just need the correct understanding of the cause. That is what we are doing today while looking at a scientific journal article on this very topic.

Summary

A high-carb diet will lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic diseases like heart disease. But is it possible to get diabetes in your brain? Of course it is! It is the natural progression of the disease. There is a very strong correlation and similarity between the two diseases.[1][2] Alzheimer’s disease comes about when there is impaired glucose metabolism in the brain.

Researchers from the US and Europe set out to unpack the truth of Alzheimer’s. They looked at the evidence available and came to the conclusion that Alzheimer’s arises out of a high carbohydrate diet.[3] We have the file uploaded for you to read for yourself and find out what the science actually says. [Click here for the article.]

Seneff S, Wainwright G, Mascitelli L. (2011). Nutrition and Alzheimer’s disease: The detrimental role of a high carbohydrate diet. European Journal of Internal Medicine 22(2): 134-140.


From reading the article, these were the most salients facts I found:

  • Beta amyloid plaque is a protective response, not the root cause.
    • It redirects metabolism to things other than glucose (like ketones).
  • Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) interfere with the distribution of fat and cholesterol to your brain.
    • Fructose generates 10 times as many AGEs as glucose.
  • The way to prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s is by incorporating more fat and cholesterol into your diet.
    • Defficiency of fat and cholesterol in cerebrospinal fluid is always present.

Alzheimer’s is a disease marked by impaired glucose metabolism, so don’t you think it would be a good idea for people with this disease to avoid carbohydrate consumption? Seems logical..

Beta amyloid and Alzheimer’s

You may have heard of beta amyloid (β-amyloid) before, but you might not know exactly what it is or what it does. Doctors will sometimes reverse the name and call it amyloid beta, but it is all the same thing. It is a peptide (protein building block) that gets deposited on your brain cells, tissues and other neurons.

This β-amyloid is the plaque that builds up on your brain, and this has been assumed to be the main cause for Alzheimer’s.[4] After all, it does make sense. If there is plaque build-up on your brain, you will likely suffocate it and prevent energy from coming in. Then that would lead to cell death and eventually widespread malfunctions and dementia.

 

Beta amyloid plaque is prevalent in Alzheimer patients


But really, this is a matter of root cause. Does the deposition β-amyloid of actually cause impaired metabolism, or is it there as a response to impaired metabolism? There is a huge distinction between these two because if we get it wrong, then we are focused on the “fixing” the wrong thing.

The researchers for today’s article believe that β-amyloid deposition is a response. But not just any kind of response, a protective response. That’s right. Although this stuff seems to worsen the Alzheimer’s condition, it actually comes to fix it.

Evidence that β-amyloid is protective

They came to this conclusion after following a certain developing drug. Because people thought the plaque on the brain was the problem, they focused on stopping it. They developed a drug that stopped the synthesis of β-amyloid peptides. If your body doesn’t make β-amyloid, then there is no plaque to deposit on your brain.

But do you know what happened during clinical trials? Patients actually got worse! Their Alzheimer’s accelerated forward. Yep, when people lacked β-amyloid, their cognitive deterioration ramped up much more than the control groups. As a result, the testing stopped in 2010. The drug was a bust.

Clearly there is more to β-amyloid than we thought before. Because the condition gets worse when you take it away, it must play a vital role in preventing further deterioration. The researchers of the article believe so, and this was one of their reasons.

Additionally, the saw that β-amyloid actually redirects metabolic pathways of the brain. It prevents the uptake of glucose, and it sends the brain cells to “eat” different things (like ketones). It may do that because it knows the cells can’t properly take in glucose, so there is no point in allowing the brain to eat it. So it forces the brain to eat other things.

However, when those other things aren’t available and you overstuff yourself with carbohydrates, then there is nothing the β-amyloid can do. It comes on heavier, crystallizes, and then turns into the hard substance we see as plaque. Thus your brain eventually starts to die off.

Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs)

These are somewhat of a hot topic, so you probably have heard of them before. When carbohydrates change form and become AGEs, they interfere with other processes. Also, excessive carbohydrate alone will also damage proteins and other things in your body to form more AGEs.

These AGEs (whether straight from your diet or a result of a bad diet) are responsible for inflammation and oxidative stress.[5] They are bad in any context, and they are strongly associated with metabolic diseases. However, these also have a very specific role in causing Alzheimer’s – yet another metabolic disease.

 

AGEs lead to oxidative stress and inflammation


They interfere with the fat delivery system: lipoproteins and apolipoproteins (i.e. LDL and ApoE). These are pretty fancy words, but just think of them as boats delivering fat and cholesterol to parts of the body. If those are impaired through AGEs, then all parts of your body will be affected. Do you know what that includes? Your brain!

If your brain is deprived of fat and cholesterol, it will start to malfunction. They are necessary ingredients for a healthy brain. In fact, cholesterol comes in to heal lesions.[6] So, if you mess with the process that brings these necessities, then you are going to cause more problems.

Oxidative damage and mitochondrial defects result. Because of that, your brain is not able to metabolize glucose properly, and it shifts to metabolize other substrates with the deposition of β-amyloid.

Root cause analysis

So the real root cause seems to be these advanced glycation end-products. They interfere with so many bodily processes, one of which leads to Alzheimer’s. And it turns out that fructose is by far your worst enemy for this. The researchers suggest that fructose is 10 times as reactive as glucose in generating AGEs. (Check other blog post on the dangers of fructose if you are interested in learning more about its specific role.)

Okay, so if AGEs are the real problem causing Alzheimer’s, then getting rid of them should help. Does that make sense? If you get rid of AGEs from your diet, then we would expect your risk or presence of Alzheimer’s to lower – if it were the true root cause.

High fat diet is the answer

Guess what. It does! Getting rid of processed carbohydrates through a ketogenic diet has been shown time and time again to help with Alzheimer’s risk factors. This kind of diet is extremely neuroprotective (and probably largely due to these reasons).[7] It reduces the amount of β-amyloid on the brain.[8] While β-amyloid is not the root cause, it would be a natural result for its presence to decease if there were no AGEs to cause damage.

If your brain is struggling to metabolize glucose, why would we keep trying to feed it that? That is the exact reason why a ketogenic diet works best to reverse the disease. Because you will be a fat burning machine and converting much of that into ketones, your brain will readily take that up and not even bother trying to break glucose down.

 

A high fat ketogenic diet is the answer to preventing and reversing Alzheimer's


The conclusion is simple. If you want to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, then you will reduce your intake and generation of AGEs by avoiding processed carbohydrates. If you want to reverse Alzheimer’s, then you will immediately start a ketogenic diet to allow those alternative fuels to get to your brain.

A ketogenic diet is the real answer to fix all of your neurological problems.

Summary

  • Beta amyloid plaque is a protective response, not the root cause.
    • It redirects metabolism to things other than glucose (like ketones).
  • Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) interfere with the distribution of fat and cholesterol to your brain.
    • Fructose generates 10 times as many AGEs as glucose.
  • The way to prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s is by incorporating more fat and cholesterol into your diet.
    • Defficiency of fat and cholesterol in cerebrospinal fluid is always present.

References:

[1] Janson J, Laedtke T, Parisi JE, O’Brien P, Petersen RC, Butler PC. (2004). Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Alzheimer Disease. Diabetes 53(2): 474-481.

[2] Sims-Robinson C, Kim B, Rosko A, Feldman EL. (2010). How does diabetes accelerate Alzheimer’s disease pathology?. Nature Reviews Neurology 6: 551-559.

[3] Seneff S, Wainwright G, Mascitelli L. (2011). Nutrition and Alzheimer’s disease: The detrimental role of a high carbohydrate diet. European Journal of Internal Medicine 22(2): 134-140.

[4] Murphy MP, LeVine H. (2010). Alzheimer’s Disease and the β-Amyloid Peptide. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 19(1): 311

[5] Uribarri J, Woodrugg S, Goodman S, Cai W, Chen X, Pyzik R, Yong A, Striker GE, Vlassara. (2013). Advanced Glycation End Products in Foods and a Practical Guide to Their Reduction in the Diet. Journal of American Dietetic Association 110(6): 911-916.

[6] Berghoff SA, Gerndt N, Winchenbach J, et al. (2017). Dietary cholesterol promotes repair of demyelinated lesions in the adult brainNature Communications 8: 14214.

[7] Gasior M, Rogawski MA, Hartman A. (2006). Neuroprotective and disease-modifying effects of the ketogenic diet. Behavioural Pharmacology 17(5-6): 431-439.

[8] Van der Auwera I, Wera S, Van Leuven F, Henderson ST. (2005). A ketogenic diet reduces amyloid beat 40 and 42 in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Nutrition & Metabolism 2: 28.

One Response

  1. […] A few weeks ago, I had a blog post about using the ketogenic diet for Alzheimer’s (check it out here), and we talked about the implications of brain protection by following a ketogenic […]

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