Home

Is Alzheimer’s Disease Type 3 Diabetes?

2 Comments


Recently there have been a growing awareness that high blood sugar – even if not diabetic – may be linked to various forms of Dementia including both Alzheimer’s Disease and Vascular Dementia.

This Article from The Atlantic discusses the possible linkage.

longitudinal study, published Thursday in the journal Diabetologia, followed 5,189 people over 10 years and found that people with high blood sugar had a faster rate of cognitive decline than those with normal blood sugar—whether or not their blood-sugar level technically made them diabetic. In other words, the higher the blood sugar, the faster the cognitive decline.

In a 2012 study, Roberts broke nearly 1,000 people down into four groups based on how much of their diet came from carbohydrates. The group that ate the most carbs had an 80 percent higher chance of developing mild cognitive impairment—a pit stop on the way to dementia—than those who ate the smallest amount of carbs.’

The whole issue of high blood sugar, pre-diabetes and diabetes have a multitude of effects on the brain. It may also lead to Vascular Dementia.

… [T]here are several theories out there to explain the connection between high blood sugar and dementia. Diabetes can also weaken the blood vessels, which increases the likelihood that you’ll have ministrokes in the brain, causing various forms of dementia. A high intake of simple sugars can make cells, including those in the brain, insulin resistant, which could cause the brain cells to die. 

I wonder – since Ketones are an alternate source of energy for the brain – will a Ketogenic diet help slow down Dementia?

Sugar linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

Leave a comment


There have been a multitude of Articles and references within the Low Carb world linking Sugar to Alzheimer’s Disease. Many of the Authors refer to AD as Type 3 Diabetes.

Until recently there was no direct link established.

The following article appeared on Medicalxpress: Sugar’s ‘tipping point’ link to Alzheimer’s disease revealed.

For the first time a “tipping point” molecular link between the blood sugar glucose and Alzheimer’s disease has been established by scientists, who have shown that excess glucose damages a vital enzyme involved with inflammation response to the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

The underlying Study was published online in Scientific Reports on February 23, 2017.

So the myth that your brain only thrives on glucose has one more nail in its coffin.

One more reason to pass on Sugar.

Use It or Lose It

2 Comments


Use It or Lose It.” That applies to so many aspects of our lives.

I came face to face with that fact when I was prevented from exercising for close to 5-6 months. The first 3 months – from doing almost anything. The next 2-3 months from being super cautious.

Now they are telling me – I also got stupider. Check out this article entitled
Use it or lose it: Study shows that stopping exercise decreases brain blood flow.

Dr. J. Carson Smith, associate professor of kinesiology and lead author of the study, which is published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience in August 2016. “In rodents, the hippocampus responds to exercise training by increasing the growth of new blood vessels and new neurons, and in older people, exercise can help protect the hippocampus from shrinking. So, it is significant that people who stopped exercising for only 10 days showed a decrease in in brain regions that are important for maintaining brain health.”

Unlike me – the study used Master Athletes, “defined as people between the ages of 50 and 80 (average age was 61) who have at least 15 years history of participating in and who have recently competed in an endurance event.”

At least in this highly selective group “if you do stop exercising for 10 days, just as you will quickly lose your cardiovascular fitness, you will also experience a decrease in blood brain flow.”

I do not doubt that exercise helps keep our bodies – including our brains in top condition. I also do not doubt that individuals who are dependent upon (addicted to) high intensity exercise show a significant loss when they stop for even 10 days.

Their must have entailed at least four hours of high intensity endurance training each week. On average, they were running ~36 miles (59 km) each week or the equivalent of a 10K run a day!

What I would be more interested in knowing is the impact on the rest of us. How much of what kind of exercise do we need to do to keep our brains functioning? 

Ketones and Alzheimer’s Disease

Leave a comment


There are a constant flow of articles which speak to the ameliorative effect of eating a LCHG – Ketogenic diet. A recent Article: Ketones to combat Alzheimer’s disease, July 7, 2016 by Emilie Reas, Plos Blogs posits that Ketones provide a positive impact on those with early mild to moderate AD.

Just like our muscles, the brain requires energy to function properly. But unlike muscle cells, neurons have the unique capacity to metabolize as an alternative fuel source when glucose is in short supply, for instance during fasting or on a . In the 1920s scientists discovered that a promoting ketogenesis controlled epilepsy, and ketosis remains one of the most effective treatments for the condition. This raised the possibility that ketones may also be neuroprotective against other diseases that stem from aberrant neural metabolism, such as AD. Since then, research has confirmed that ketones do in fact alter brain metabolism in ways that reduce neuropathology and relieve behavioral symptoms.

In addition to converting to a ketogenic diet – one that severely limits carbs and results in the body switching to Ketones as its main fuel source – Medium Chain Triglycerides found in coconut oil, coconut milk as well as butter produce Ketones even in the presence of glucose. 

A 63 year-old man with advanced AD began consuming coconut oil and medium chain triglycerides, both known to increase . After just 2.5 months, his score on the Mini Mental State Exam, a test of global cognitive function, increased from an extremely low 12 to 20 (out of a max 30). After two years, his cognitive ability and daily living functions both improved and his MRI showed no further brain atrophy.

Aside from these natural MCT foods there is a medical food – Axona – also designed to do the same thing as MCT oil – produce ketones in the presence of glucose.

DOES IT WORK?

I have become the caregiver for a woman with mild to moderate AD. Her symptoms first started in her mid to late 60’s and were exacerbated by a severe stroke at 68yo. The stroke significantly effected her short term and working memory. She had already been eating a LCHF diet. Once she was discharged from rehab she came under the care of a  neurologist who specializes in AD and related conditions. 

Naturally, she was prescribed Aricept® (donepezil) and  Namenda XR®. The Doctor also prescribed Axona.

Since I am aware of the theoretical benefits of MCT oil and related foods, we added coconut oil to the mix for cooking. The Axona can cause vomiting – it is not easy to keep down at first. We concocted a shake of Axona mixed with coconut milk and flavored with low sugar chocolate syrup.

I can not say with certainty that all of these interventions have worked or even slowed down the progress of the disease. Her progress has not been as impressive as the 63yo man identified above.

Should we throw our hands up and not spend the $85.00 a month on the Axona? Should she go back to eating more carbs?

Not on my watch.

Blood Sugar Levels, Diabetes and Alzheimer

Leave a comment


A recent Article in Medical X press stated that Scientists have found a new link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s:  The research is published in the May 4, 2015 The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

While many earlier studies have pointed to diabetes as a possible contributor to Alzheimer’s, the new study – in mice – shows that elevated glucose in the blood can rapidly increase levels of , a key component of brain plaques in Alzheimer’s patients. The buildup of plaques is thought to be an early driver of the complex set of changes that Alzheimer’s causes in the brain.

***

The researchers also are investigating how changes caused by increased glucose levels affect the ability of regions to network with each other and complete cognitive tasks.

Meanwhile another Article in Medical X press found that “Low sugar uptake in brain appears to exacerbate Alzheimer’s disease.”

A deficiency in the protein responsible for moving glucose across the brain’s protective blood-brain barrier appears to intensify the neurodegenerative effects of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new mouse study from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC).

***

Glucose is the brain’s main energy source, and GLUT1 helps move it across the blood-brain barrier, a cellular layer that prevents entry of blood and pathogens into the brain. Previous research has shown diminished glucose uptake in the brain among individuals at genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease, with a positive family history, and/or who develop the disease but show mild or no cognitive impairment. {Emphasis added.}

Are we confused yet?  Too much glucose can exacerbate the build up of plaque while the inability of delivering glucose to the brain intensifies the degenerative effects of Alzheimer;s disease.

Sounds like a double edge sword which can be blunted by a Ketogenic diet.  Then you reduce the bodies dependency on and reaction to glucose, while Ketones provide an alternate source of energy for the brain.  A win-win situation.

5 Signs You Should be Eating More Fat.

2 Comments


The Tide may be turning – but it rolls in and out.  For each positive story there are a multitude of stories continuing the Myths that Low Carb eating is just not healthy.

Spotted this one on Yahoo: 5 Signs You Should Be Eating More Carbs by Sarah Klein,Senior Editor, Health & Fitness; Certified Personal Trainer,Posted May 23, 2014.  Bluntly this article is filled with half-truths and down right falsehoods.  Another example of a Personal Trainer exceeding their training and knowledge base.

Some comments – I apologize up front if the tone of this post is less than kind – but I’m seeing RED.  It is impossible for me to respond to every single falsehood – so just a few.

1. You have bad breath.

The aim of low-carb diets, of course, is to burn the body’s stores of fat for energy instead of carbs, …

HALF TRUTH:  The real aim of low-carb diet is health.  Weight loss is just one aspect.  The aim of any weight loss diet is to “burn the body’s stores of fat.

When the body burns fat, it does so by a process called Ketosis, which releases chemicals called ketones. Ketones, unfortunately, have a less than pleasant smell, and are often released through the breath.

HALF TRUTH:  Maybe in the beginning on a super low carb diet – but my own experience here ameliorated after my major weight loss.

2. Your workouts are slipping.
When physically active people don’t get enough carbs, the body can resort to using protein for necessary muscle function, including muscle building, which is why carbs are often called “protein sparing”. Replenishing the body after workouts with the carbs burned during the workout can therefore speed recovery, better preparing you for tomorrow’s routine.

FALSE:  That may have some truth for a person not eating a consistent Low-Carb diet, but someone who has switched their body to burning dietary fats and stored fats – this is just an outright falsehood.  She fails to mention dietary fats and the change over that occurs.

3. You feel a little fuzzy.
Just like the body, the brain also relies on carbs, broken down into glucose, for energy. And when the brain doesn’t get the glucose it needs, it might not work to the best of its ability.

FALSE:  The Brain is a switch hitter and can actually function on Ketones alone.  As we age, our brains lose the ability to process glucose and can function better on Ketones.  Ask those neurologists prescribing a Ketogenic diet for the elderly and Alzheimer patients   Again – she ignores dietary fats and the switch over.

4. You’re cranky.
People following a low-carb plan consistently report feeling more irritable, stressed and fatigued, even when their diet results in weight loss.

HALF TRUTH: Once again she ignores the switch over and necessity of eating dietary fats.

5. You’re irregular.
“One of the primary places where you are going to see metabolic changes on any kind of diet is in your gastrointestinal tract,” … . Most likely, those changes will manifest in the form of constipation, likely due to the fiber low-carb dieters miss out on when they cut back on grains. Eating more high-fiber vegetables can help.

HALF TRUTH: So much of what I eat contains fiber.  5 plus servings of veggies along with flax seed, etc.  I’ve never been more regular.

OK – I got that off my chest.  Still I held back on a number of counter punches.  This author knows nothing about Ketogenic diets and got her info from WebMD.  Sad – just sad.

I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts

Leave a comment


I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts

Danny Kaye 

Down at an English fair, one evening I was there
When I heard a showman shouting underneath the flair

I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts
There they are, all standing in a row
Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head
Give them a twist a flick of the wrist
That’s what the showman said

I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts
Every ball you throw will make me rich
There stands my wife, the idol of me life
Singing roll a bowl a ball a penny a pitch

I remember that song and watching it in an old movie.  Never did I ever think of Coconuts as more than a treat.  My mother would every now and then buy a Coconut and we would have fun attempting to tap the Coconut and then drain and drink the liquid.  Then – we would fight to see who would be able to hit it with a hammer hard enough to crack it open. The meat was always a treat.  My wife and I  re-enacted this scene with our own children.

Never did I think of Coconuts as a health food.  But now – well now – it is a source of nourishment in our home.

We use SO unsweetened Coconut milk as an additive in many recipes.  A large jar of Virgin Organic Coconut oil sits by the stove, ready to use instead of vegetable oils.  We still use butter and olive oil where we want that taste.   Last night we coated chicken with a mixture of finely shredded coconut meat, dried onion flakes and Flax Seed Meal – then roasted it.  Great.

Why? Many reasons.  The easiest answer – it works well on a low carb diet – also on a Gluten Free or Paleo Diet. 

We don’t want to use vegetable oils – with the exception of Canola – in a limited amount.  The whole Omega 6-3 dispute.

For me – it is the MCTs – Medium Chained Triglycerides or Fatty Acids.  MCT’s produce Ketones in the presence of glucose. 

We are following – a Ketogenic Diet (TNT Plan A) which will produce Ketones.  Since Coconut oil and Coconut milk contain a substantial percentage of MCTs – eating these products will produce Ketones – so adding them to a Ketogenic diet enhances ketone production – what could be bad?  Weight Lifters have known this for ages.

Coconut products aid individuals with neurologic problems such as Alzheimer’s.  You do not need to have AD to benefit from Ketones – they are an alternate source of energy for your Brain – and are especially helpful for those (of us) who are aging since your brain loses its ability to utilize glucose efficiently.

Even Big Pharma is getting into the mix.   Axona is a Rx medical food that does the same thing – produces Ketones in the presence of Glucose – at a cost of $100.00 per month – without any – no – not any – insurance coverage.

Still the World according to the Media and their experts – denounce the use of coconut oil and Milk as an unhealthy fad.

Check out this Article:

I am not going to repeat everything stated in this article – it is excellent. Check it out.

Now – go out and buy a lovely bunch of coconuts.

Older Entries