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Functional Medicine

The Reversibility of Alzheimers Disease

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In December of 2015 my grandmother died of Alzheimers after a long journey, which was not only hard for her, but for the whole family. Alzheimer sucks. It sucks hard. It might not be physically painful, and most symptoms are easy to ignore, but the thought of having no way out, the thought of the slow decline, the thought the person fading away, that is almost unbearable for everybody involved. But maybe there is way out. Maybe Alzheimers is not a one-way street.
 
 
 
 
It is almost like Medicine and Medical Sciences have given up on Alzheimers. Between 2000 and 2010 a total 244 experimental trials were run on potential drugs, but only one drug got approved in 2003. And since 2003 there was not a single new drug introduced for the treatment of Alzheimers. There are only two drugs in total for the treatment of Alzheimers. They do not heal, they only slow the cognitive decline. As one Alzheimer patient put it : „Who would want this disease to progress even slower??“. 
 
But we know now that Alzheimer is NOT an unpreventable destiny, and it is also possible to reverse the disease. The healing just has nothing to do with pharmaceutical drugs. I will show you the concept and the exact protocol behind the UCLA project that used the principles of Functional Medicine to reverse Alzheimers in 9 out 10 patients.
 
 
 
 

 

The Amyloid Trap

 
Since the 1980’s it was clear to medical researchers that Alzheimers is a disease where protein plaques form in the brain. These amyloid-beta molecules were the villains in the Alzheimer story and all research around Alzheimers focusses on getting rid of this Amyloid-Beta. We tried substances that block Amyloid synthesis, developed substances that broke down amyloid and tested these on mice, and on humans. With great success! These drugs were very effective at reducing the amount of Amyloid-Beta in the brain. But they did not change anything about the well-being of the patients. They still had Alzheimers. And many times it even got worse. Because saying that Alzheimers is caused by Amyloid-Beta is like saying that cancer is caused by a lump of cells. It only tells you WHAT Alzheimers is, not WHY Alzheimers is. Cancer is a lump of cells, but the WHY is a lot more complicated. Alzheimers basically is Amyloid-Beta associated atrophy, but the WHY is a lot more interesting.
 
 
 

Asking „WHY?“

 
So we know WHAT Alzheimers was about. It was about Amyloid Placque formation. But sometimes it makes sense to stop and ask „WHY?“. So WHY did Amyloid-Beta form in the first place?? It turns out that Amyloid-Beta formation is a very natural defence mechanism by our brain against threats. And to break it down very simply the brain is afraid of three main threats : Inflammation, lack of nutrients and Toxic Burden. 
So when the brain perceives that it is under attack by either inflammation, lack of nutrients and/or toxic burden the defence mechanism kicks in. This is very important, because without this defence mechanism inflammation, lack of nutrients or toxic burden might kill the brain where it is most important. It would be terrible if the brains weakest link was at our breathing center, or where our heart beat is controlled. Even areas that control movement, kidney function, or vision are highly important for bare survival. Our brain tries to protect these. So when the brain perceives a threat the defence mechanism starts producing Amyloid-Beta, mainly in the hippocampus region, and this Amyloid-Beta starts sacrificing brain cells. And of course it starts with the „least“ important brain cells first. The least important are recent memories. Lets be honest, which brain cells do you rather lose? The ones responsible for remembering whats on your shopping list, or the ones that control your gait or your vision?
 
 
So by asking „WHY?“ research on Alzheimers has made huge steps in the last years. Theoretically. Because okay we know now that when the brain perceives Inflammation, Lack of nutrients or Toxins, that it starts accumulating Amyloid-Beta. But what do we do to stop it? No, no, no that is the completely wrong question. We do NOT want to stop this defence mechanism. If we did the Inflammation, Lack of Nutrients, or Toxins would take over our brain. Thats what happened when we tried the drugs to remove the Amyloid-Beta and the patients got worse, remember? We should not stop the defence mechanism. We should stop the intruders!
 
 
 

The 3 subtypes of Alzheimers

 
HOT Alzheimers – The Inflammation triggered Alzheimers
This form is Alzheimers is triggered by chronic systemic inflammation. It often runs in families, because the ApoE4 genetic variant is a risk factor (I will address the ApoE4 genetic issue at the bottom of this post). This form of Alzheimer is dominated by memory decline, while speech, calculation, and recognition are only affected very late in the disease. Patients with HOT Alzheimers will often show increase blood markers of CRP, IL-6, TNF-a, and Insulin Resistance. This is the type of Alzheimers, which responds best to the protocol I will show you later.
 
COLD Alzheimers – The Nutrient-Deficiency Alzheimers
In this form of Alzheimers inflammation is not present. It starts because support for brain synapses is dried up. Brain synapses need a healthy dose of hormones (thyroid hormones, adrenal hormones, oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone, pregenenolone, and Vitamin D). If any of these hormone levels is suboptimal because of a hormonal dysfunction the brain synapses will suffer and the Amyloid-Defence mechanism will kick in. This type responds a little slower to the protocol as you can imagine, because this time it is not about reducing inflammation, which is a fairly quick process, but it is about getting other hormonal systems back to function, which is a more complicated process. 
 
TOXIC Alzheimers – The Toxic Burden Alzheimers
This type of Alzheimers strikes at a relatively young age. It can begin in the late 40’s and is dominated -in contrast to the other forms- by difficulties with numbers or organisation. If the patient loses memories the progression is not from short-term to long-term. The patient can lose long-term memories first, or he can even lose procedural memories of how to play chess, or how to arrange the dinner table.
This is the most difficult form to treat and I will not address the treatment of this type in this article, as the treatment of the underlying causes (mold, chronic bacterial infections, heavy metal toxicity) deserves extra articles for their complexity.
 
 
 

Treating Alzheimers

 
So modern treatment of Alzheimers HAS to be individualised. Alzheimers is NOT a single disease. It has at least 36 contributing  factors, which can be broken down into the three general causative types of Alzheimers I just presented. An individualised treatment approach has to address the underlying causes. The individualised treatment approach has to address the underlying inflammation, the underlying nutrient deficiencies and the underlying toxicities.
This is the exact protocol that was used to reverse Alzheimer symptoms in 9 out of 10 patients at a recent study at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA).
 
 
 
If you could follow me up until here let me repeat the most crucial messages that you should have taken away so far :
– Alzheimer cannot be treated by just removing Amyloid-Beta plaques. They are a SIGN of the disease. They are NOT the disease
– To treat Alzheimers we need to improve the health of our whole system. We need to address inflammation in our body, we need to address nutrient deficiencies, and we need to address toxicities. 
– This is not woo-woo pseudo-scientific “your body will heal by yourself” talk. This real biochemistry, real science and it is founded in mechanistically very sound scientific insights. 
– Healing Alzheimers does work not with a single pill. It will only work with a complex restructuring of what we eat, how we move, and how we live our lives. If are looking for a pill against Alzheimers you will not find that. But if you are looking for a cure, you might find it here. (In the final chapter I will explain exactly the 52 biochemical pathways that a single pill would have to address.)
 
In the next parts I will show you what we need to actually DO to put our body in the best position to prevent or reverse Alzheimers. I try to save all the very technical biochemistry for the final chapter of this article. 
 
 

Level 1 : The common ground

Exercise :
What all patients with Alzheimers did is start exercising (moderate exercise for at least 150 minutes per week). I will address the biochemical rationale and importance of this later in the part „Biochemistry of Alzheimer Treatment“.
 
Food : 
They all ate a food plan, which is rich in fats, rich in vegetables, rich in protein, rich in minerals and vitamins and rich in phytonutrients. They were advised to eat 1gram of protein per kg of bodyweight. So for a 70kg person that means 70g of protein. They were advised to eat a lot of plants, but restrict their consumption of starchy vegetables like potatoes, rice, wheat, corn, or flour. 
They were advised to keep at least 12 hour fasting period between dinner and breakfast. Again, I will go into all the details of WHY all these interventions work, in the part „Biochemistry of Alzheimer Treatment“.
Patients were advised to eat especially many „detoxifying“ plants like broccoli, cabbage, cilantro, kale, Brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, avocados, artichokes, beets, garlic, ginger, lemons, olive oil and seaweed.
Patients were advised to see Fish and Meat as a condiment, and not as a main course. 
 
Supplements : 
Patients used MCT Oil to satisfy their „carb cravings“. They were advised to use probiotics to help gut function.
Patients were advised to supplement all nutrients for which the blood profiles were not optimal : Vitamin B1, Pantothenic Acid, B6, B12, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Zinc.
Also for all patients : Resveratrol 100mg, Nicotinamide ribosome 100mg, Citicoline 250mg (2x/day), Acetyl-L-carnitine 500mg, Ubiquinol 100mg, Polyquinoline quinone 10-20mg, Omega-3 fatty acids
Furthermore a series of herbs was used on an individual basis including Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Gotu Kola.  
 
Sleep :
All patients were coached and provided with individualised nutritional support to improve sleep quantity and sleep quality. 
 
 

Level 2 : The Individualization

The next level of individualisation happens at identifying biochemical root causes of Alzheimers. A series of lab markers can identify many of the root causes of Alzheimers. When any of these are identified an individual nutrition, supplementation and exercise program can address these issues.
 
 
The ApoE4 Gene Variant
The first thing everybody with cognitive decline should check, or everybody really, is what variant of the ApoE gene one has. Evolutionary up until about 220.000 years almost all humans had the ApoE4 variant of the ApoE gene. This variant increases general inflammation in the body. This was necessary for the lifestyles and environments 220.000 years ago. Then through random mutation the ApoE3 variant emerged, which has a much lesser tendency for inflammatory processes. Today MOST people on planet earth have two copies of the ApoE3 variant. One from mom and one from dad. This puts them at an about 9 percent risk of developing Alzheimers. Around 25% of people have 1 copy of each. An ApoE3 from mom, and an ApoE4 from dad for example. Statistically now they are at a 30% risk for Alzheimers. Some even have two copies of ApoE4. They are at a risk of over 50% for developing Alzheimers. But remember : Genetics might load the gun, but environment and lifestyle pulls the trigger. So with the strategies in this article, we can make sure that we are on the better end of the statistical spectrum. If we have two ApoE3’s we might genetically be at a low risk, but if we ignore ALL informations in this article wer are at well above 9% risk. And if we carry two ApoE4’s we might be at a high baseline risk, but if we live an Anti-Alzheimer Lifestyle we put ourselves at WELL below 30% risk (no research foundation for this exact number). Genes are not our destiny. They might give us a head start or a disadvantage, but the race is still to be run.
 
 
 
Cholesterol and Blood Lipids
Your cholesterol should be above 150. Yes, ABOVE 150. If it is lower your Alzheimers risk is increased. oxLDL should be below 60 U/l. 
 
Homocysteine
Homocysteine is not only a key player in Alzheimers, but also in cardiovascular disease and many other diseases. Thats because Homocysteine is a major player in inflammation and is also a marker of nutrient deficiencies. 
We synthesise Homocysteine from the amino acid Methionine, which can be found in nuts, beef, turkey, pork, eggs, beans, and fish. This happens only briefly, though. We quickly cycle Homocysteine back to methionine and cysteine, which are important detoxifying amino acids. BUT, we can only convert Homocysteine to methionine and cysteine under the presence of Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, folate and betaine. So if we are deficient in these nutrients we accumulate Homocysteine. 
Reducing Homocysteine by reducing methionine in the diet is not smart, because 1) that ignores the underlying deficiency of B12, B6, folate and betaine, and 2) that reduces our bodies ability to detoxify via the sulfur-donating properties of cysteine.
In Short : No Meat, No Detox. No Vitamins, No Detox. No Detox, No Brain Function. More Meat and More Vitamins => Less Homocysteine. Less Homocysteine => More Brain Function. The further our homocysteine levels are above 6, the faster our hippocampus will atrophy.
 
Vitamins 
For aforementioned reasons Vitamin B12 should be above 500ng/ml, Vitamin B6 should be 60-100nmol/L, and folate 10-25ng/ml. 
Vitamin E (a-tocopherol) should be 12-20mcg/ml, Vitamin B1 (TPP in red blood cells) = 100-150ng/ml of packed cells. 
To prevent Alzheimers a Vitamin D blood level of 50-80 ng/ml is necessary. I wrote a big article on Vitamin D3 and how to dose it optimally to perform and also to prevent many different diseases, including Alzheimers. 
 
 
Insulin Resistance
I recently wrote a blog post about Insulin Resistance. In there I explained the mechanics behind it, and why it is bad. To measure your Insulin Resistance you can use HbA1c blood markers. HbA1c is a measure of many percent of our red blood cells are caramelised by sugar. The value should be below 5,6%.
 
 
Inflammation
Inflammation can be measured via several routes. As inflammation is not a single entity we need several measures to have picture emerge. hs-CRP should be under 0,9 mg/dL. The ratio of Albumin to Globulin should be at least 1.8. The Omega-6/Omega-3 Index, which is a measure of Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acids in our red blood cells should be less then 3.
IL-6 should be below 3pg/ml and TNF-a should be below 6pg/ml. If any of these is elevated that means there inflammation raging. It can be from a current infection, but if that is not the case it is highly likely that there is a chronic infection. This can be caused by a disturbed blood-gut barrier (Leaky Gut Syndrome), food allergies or toxic load.
 
Leaky Gut
This can be evaluated by a very well known doctor for Functional Medicine for example. There is no single blood test to evaluate it. The combination of a lactulose:mannitol test and/or a zonulin test in stool and serum, transglutaminase antibodies, as well as an IgG4 food allergy panel can be good pointers.
 
Hormone Function
Alzheimers is in parts caused by dried up synapses because of a lack of hormonal activation. This can happen when key hormones are not in adequate supply. 
 
Thyroid
Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) should be at 0.4-2.0 microIU/l. fT3 should be 3.2-4.2/pg/ml, fT at 1.3-1.8pg/ml and the ratio of fT3 to reverse T3 should be at least 20.
 
Sex hormones 
Females : Estradiol should be 50-250pg/ml, Progesterone 1-20ng/ml, Males : testosterone 500-1000ng/dL, free Testosterone = 6.5-15ng/dL, 
 
Other Steroid Hormones
Morning Cortisol = 10-18mcg/dL, pregnenolone = 50-100ng/dL, DHEA-S = 350-430 mcg/dL (women) or 400-500mcg/dL (men).
 
Zinc & Magnesium
Red Blood Cell Zinc should be between 12-14mg/L because Zinc it is heavily involved in cognition. It reduces our sensitivity to heavy metal toxicity and also balances the excess copper most of us have. Magnesium is a key nutrient for brain function and most of us are heavily deficient. I found that Magnesium is one of the nutrients we very often have to supplement, because our soils are Magnesium depleted. Therefore our plants and animals are as well. A good supplement for brain function is Magnesium-Threonate. Our Red Blood Cell Levels of Magnesium should be between 5.2-6.5mg/dL.
 
Selenium and Glutathione
These two are powerful anti-inflammatories and are also heavily involved in detoxification. Serum Selenium should be at 110-150ng/ml and glutathione (GSH) at 5.0-5.5 micromolar/l. If GSH is measured in Red Blood Cells the value should be 1.200-1.900mmol/l. 
 
Testing all of these at once can be expensive. I recommend a baseline evaluation of cholesterol, homocysteine, Vitamin D, HbA1c, hs-CRP, IL-6, fT3/4, RBC Magnesium, RBC Zinc, Glutathione, and DHEA-S and go more into detail from there.
 
Adressing any of these issues is a large article for itself. But the key message stands, that Alzheimers is natural defence mechanism against any of these underlying issues. These issues themselves are the results of diet and lifestyle, and can also be improved via modifications in diet and lifestyle. 
 
 
 

Biochemical Rationale of Alzheimer Treatment

 
For those of you who interested in the details of what triggers the Amyloid Placque formation we can dive a little deeper into the physiology of that. Most of that centers around the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP). Because naturally when we are looking for reasons why Amyloid Plaques are building up in the brain the first instinct is to ask „Well, where does that Amyloid-Beta stuff come from“. And it is basically a derivative of APP. APP can broken down into 6 different particles. 4 of them cause Alzheimers, and 2 of them protect AGAINST Alzheimers. Crazy, hu? This APP has the potential to CAUSE Alzheimers and to PROTECT us from Alzheimers? Well, yeah, it all depends HOW APP is being broken down.
 
 

Cutting up APP

 
There are two fundamentally different ways APP can be cut up. If you use Option 1, the resultant substances are sAPP-alpha and alpha-CTF. These are protective AGAINST Alzheimers. But if you cut APP with Option 2, then the resultant substances are leading to Alzheimers, including Amyloid-Beta. 
 
What triggers APP to be cut either way? Well there are triggers that lead to APP being cut via Option 1 (a-cleavage) and there triggers that lead to APP being cut via Option 2 (ß-cleavage)
 
One of the most potent triggers for APP to being cut via Option 2 is Amyloid-Beta. Yes, you heard that right. Option 2 produces Amyloid-Beta, but Amyloid-Beta is also one of the most potent triggers to cut APP via Option 2. This is nasty, because it is a positive feedback loop. 
 
In total there are at least 52 discovered factors that lead to APP being cut the not so good Option 2. We have to eliminate most of these factors to treat Alzheimers. Sounds like an impossible task? Not so much, because most factors are related to some of the most basic habits of living a fulfilling life. Good Food, Good Movement and staying away from Toxins.
 
So to repeat. APP is a natural compound in our brain. If it is cut via Option 1, then our brains will stay healthy. If it is cut via Option 2, Amyloid-Beta will form in our brains and we get Alzheimers Dementia. Our Lifestyle and Environment determines whether APP will be cut via Option 1 or via Option 2.
 
 
 

 

The 52 contributing factors to ß-cleavage and thereby Amyloid formation and Alzheimers

Here is what we need to do to prevent or reverse Alzheimers in a biochemical language. For some factors I wrote down some practical strategies for you that achieve that goal. This is what we need to do to make sure that APP is being cut via the good Option 1 : 
 
  • Reduce caspase-6 cleavage
  • Reduce caspase-3 cleavage
  • Increase neprilysin
  • Increase Insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE)
  • Increase microglial clearance of Aß
  • Increase autophagy
  • Increase brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)
  • Increase nerve growth factor (NGF)
  • Increase netrin-1
  • Increase activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP)
  • Increase vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)
  • Reduce Homocysteine
  • Increase protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) activity
  • Reduce phospho-tau
  • Increase phagocytosis index
  • Increase Insulin Sensitivity
  • Enhance leptin sensitivity
  • Improve axoplasmic transport
  • Enhance mitochondrial function and biogenesis
  • Reduce oxidative damage and optimise reactive oxygen species (ROS) production
  • Enhance cholinergic neurotransmission
  • Increase cholinergic neurotransmission
  • Increase synaptoblastic signalling
  • Reduce synaptoclastic signalling
  • Improve long-term potentiation (LTP)
  • Optimize estradiol
  • Optimize progesterone
  • Optimize E2:P (estradiol to progresterone ratio)
  • Optimize free T3
  • Optimize free T4
  • Optimize thyriod-stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • Optimize pregnenolone
  • Optimize testosterone
  • Optimize cortisol
  • Optimize dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
  • Optimize Insulin secretion and signalling
  • Activate peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-y)
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Increase resolvins
  • Enhance detoxification
  • Improve vascularization
  • Increase cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)
  • Increase glutathione
  • Provide synaptic components
  • Optimize all metals
  • Increase gamma-amino-butyric-acid (GABA)
  • Increase Vitamin D signalling
  • Increase silent information regulator T1 (SirT1)
  • Reduce nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-kB)
  • Increase telomere length
  • Reduce glial scarring
  • Enhance stem-cell-mediated brain repair
 
 
Reduce caspase-6 cleavage & Reduce caspase-3 cleavage
Intracellular Zinc depletion was found to increase caspase activity. Zinc supplementation or more zinc in the diet will help reduce caspase cleavage. 
Exercise reduces caspase activity. Reducing inflammation reduces caspase activity. Inflammation is reduced by healing the gut (Leaky Gut Syndrome), eating less sugar, gluten and alcohol. Daily exercise will reduce chronic inflammation. So do Omega-3 fats found in Fish and Meat. They will reduce inflammation, but also directly reduce caspase activity.
 
Increase neprilysin
Neprilysin is associated with reduced body fat. The more neprilysin, the less body fat. Exercise was found to increase neprilysin activity. Green Tea was also found to increase neprilysin activity. 
Do not take one of the new ARNi blood pressure medications. These function via Neprilysin inhibition. Here is a quote from a long term study on neprilysin inhibition : “Chronic neprilysin inhibition might have a (negative) effect on angio-oedema, bronchial reactivity, inflammation, and cancer, and might predispose to polyneuropathy. Additionally, inhibition of neprilysin metabolism of amyloid-β peptides might have a (negative) effect on Alzheimer disease, age-related macular degeneration, and cerebral amyloid angiopathy„
Not good. Blood pressure can and must be managed differently.
 
Increase Insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE)
DHA/EPA Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to increase IDE. Zinc was found to play a role in IDE activity. Green Tea increases IDE activity. 
 
Increase microglial clearance of Aß
Microglia are the waste management system of our brain. The take of removing unnecessary stuff. We want these to be active, but not overactive. We do not want them to remove everything after all. Chronic Stress was found to reduce microglial activation. If we are constantly stressed our microglia do not remove the unnecessary stuff from our brain (read : Amyloid-Beta). A case where microglia can be over-active is traumatic brain injury (TBI). This overactivity leads to inflammation and disruption of the blood-brain barrier. Omega-3 fatty acids were shown to have a positive effect on balancing microglial activation and Aß clearance. Again, exercise was also shown to improve microglial clearance of Aß and stabilising the blood-brain barrier.
 
Increase autophagy
Autophagy is a programmed cell death when the cell is sick or injured. It clears unnecessary components or whole cells. It is the natural recycling in our body. Increased autophagy was found to increase life-span and be a contributor to healing in almost ANY disease. The easiest way to increase autophagy is caloric restriction. Eating less is the best way to trigger autophagy. Especially fasting is a powerful trigger of autophagy. A fasting period of at least 12 hours is necessary to trigger relevant autophagy. So if we eat a late dinner and then an early snack for breakfast, we rarely get 12 hours of „no food“. If we eat an early dinner and a late breakfast, that is one way to induce autophagy. Another way can be to have 1 day of fasting per week. 
 
 
Increase brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)
The best way to increase BDNF is exercise. There are many studies showing the positive effects of exercise on increasing BDNF. BDNF plays a major role in depression. It was found that almost all depressive patients have low BDNF levels. Fasting was shown to have a positive effect on BDNF. Omega-3 fatty acids also improve BDNF levels in the brain.
 
Increase nerve growth factor (NGF)
NGF plays a big role in neurogeneration and also in the clearance of Amyloid-Beta. Currently researchers work on intranasal applications of NGF for Alzheimers and Parkinsons Patients, but also for patients with severe trauma to the spinal chord. Intranasal application bypasses the blood-brain barrier and is therefore more effective than intravenous application. The current problem is that NGF also increases sensitivity to pain, which makes some of the current nasal sprays very painful. But they are working on a modulated NGF which is non-painful.
A natural way to increase NGF is to increase our production of butyrate. Butyrate is produced by our gut bacteria and is a powerful stimulant of NGF. Our gut bacteria need a lot of plant material (fibre) to synthesise butyrate. A lot of green leafy vegetables will spike butyrate and NGF production.
Also Yoga and aerobic exercise were found to increase NGF. Vitamin D was shown to be able to increase NGF levels in the brain 2-3 fold.
 
Reduce Homocysteine
Homocysteine is an amino acid that accumulates when we don’t have enough Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Zinc or Folate in our system, because these enzymes are needed to convert Homocysteine into Methionine. This process is called methylation. Limited methylation is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, infertility, Alzheimers, and other mental problems like ADHD and anxiety / bipolar disorder. Aside from nutrient deficiencies also a genetic mutation at the MTHFR gene locus can be responsible for elevated Homocysteine. In either case some strategies that improve Homocysteine levels aside from adequate Vitamin B12, B6 and Folate levels are reduced consumption of processed meats, consuming more organic vegetables, and, yeah you guessed it, exercise! Training daily improves Homocysteine levels, IF we have enough B12,B6,Folate,Magnesium and Zinc. 
 
Increase Insulin Sensitivity 
In my article „Reversing Diabetes“ you will find the exact protocol that was being used to reverse Insulin Resistance (-> Increase Insulin Sensitivity) in 94% of patients with a diagnosis of Type-2 Diabetes. The jist of it is, yes again, avoiding sugar and training. In the case of Insulin Resistance we have to consume less than 30g of carbohydrates per day to reverse Insulin Resistance (Increase Insulin Sensitivity).
 
Increase Glutathione
Glutathione is a powerful Anti-Oxidant („The mother of all Anti-Oxidants“) and has been researched  in over 117.000 peer-reviewed studies!  It is produces by every cell in the body and is responsible for detoxification in the liver, programmed cell death for sick cells (cancer prevention), regulating the inflammatory response, and is a key substance in the synthesis of about a third of ALL proteins in the body. 
With less glutathione we fell shitty all over and we will not be healthy. The primary strategy to improve Glutathione is to improve Homocysteine processing (Methylation) as Glutathione is synthesised from Homocysteine. If that doesn’t work we will have less Glutathione obviously. Other Good strategies to boost it are increased intake of sulfur-rich foods like Brokkoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Milk Thistle and/or NAC supplementation. 
 
Reduce NF-kB
NF-kB is a key protein in all inflammatory processes. Inflammation is great if you spike it hard for a couple of hours, but it should leave after. If it stays chronically its a problem. Diseases associated with chronic NF-kB activation are cancer, autoimmune disease, depression and anxiety. And of course Alzheimers. Acute spikes of NF-kB are good for nerve regeneration, memory, heart health, learning, and cognitive performance. So we need to spike it hard acutely, but keep it away chronically.
The best thing we can to to spike NF-kB acutely, but keep it away chronically is to exercise hard, and then recover in between by sleeping well, fasting one day a week (or 12-16 hours at night), eat a lot of berries, consume Omega-3 fatty acids, use Stevia, eat a lot cruciferous veggies (Brokkoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts), and we can supplement Curcumin, Zinc, Magnesium, or Boswellia, which have all been shown to reduce NF-kB chronically. 
 
 
You see there is a theme that continues through all biochemical pathways. A daily habit of intermittent fasting (either 1 day a week, or 12-16 hours at night), exercise (intense and aerobic), a lot of vegetables, some organic meat, and foods high in Magnesium, Zinc, B-Vitamins, and Omega-3 fatty acids will put our biochemistry in the best possible position to keep us healthy and performing at a high level. That is BIOFLOW!
 
I find it always SOOOOO incredibly interesting that there is almost always a clear scientific biochemical pathway that explains WHY exercise and food can be the best medicine. Hippokrates and Galen would be so proud of modern medicine. Now we have the evidence for what they were already recommending many hundred years ago.
 
If you want to dive even deeper into this topic check out the Book “End of Alzheimers” by Dr. Dale Bredesen!
 
May the FLOW be with you!
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Gerrit Keferstein, MD

Gerrit Keferstein is a Medical Doctor specialised in Performance & Functional Medicine. He is most known for his work on the optimisation of recovery and adaptation in elite athletes.

Tags : inflammationfunctional medicinealzheimersdementiacognitioncognitive performancecognitive declineglutathionehomocysteineApoE4

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