This is a response I wrote to an article that was on the front page of our local paper last year. Several people have been sharing it from my personal feed lately so I thought it would be good to repost here.
I have never written to any news publication but today I had to.
This article was in the local paper today. It seemed fitting as I have been ranting like a lunatic about this very issue for months or more. The article was in regards to the growing elderly population and the increasing number of cases of dementia and Alzheimers cases. Having a grandfather and uncle suffer from these diseases I am very familiar with the struggles. All they did was talk about how we need to prepare care programs for them and how we need to find out what causes it.
We already know and there have been hundreds of studies showing why. This is my letter to the editor.
I have never even considered writing to an editor before regarding an article in any publication but after reading todays front page I felt I had to address this.
Having a grandfather that suffered his last months with this disease as well as my uncle currently battling a severe case of Alzheimers I am all to familiar with the struggles the many affected families face.
While I absolutely love the fact that this was addressed in the article, what I find deplorable is that in this day we are still talking about what to do to better handle people suffering and that we still need research to determine the cause. I have been researching what causes this disease heavily for almost a year and it has become very evident to me there are some very simple factors that are contributing to this and while age makes us more susceptible to these disorders, it is not the major factor.
My grandfather was 94 years old before he finally went into a home. This was mostly due to the passing of his wife. Until she passed he was taking care of her and the household just fine. One day in particular I remember speaking to him and he was complaining about his back. I asked if this was normal and he replied “No, I was playing around on the 4 wheeler and went over a little jump and landed too hard.” He was 92 years old. No signs of dementia at all. After his wife passed he felt it was too difficult to manage on his own. It was very shortly after his entry to the facility that we started to notice a quick decline in his faculties. It progressed so rapidly that it was kind of shocking. We just assumed it was nature taking its course. Soon he didn’t even know who we were. He passed away not knowing he faces that were there with him in his final days.
Only recently, since completing my certification is sports nutrition and researching the science behind diet and its effect on disease, did I start to see the big picture. Then after spending a week in the hospital with my wife and seeing what they would bring her to eat at every meal did it start to become more clear. In the months that followed I would dig deeper into the causes of dementia and Alzheimers. I stumbled on a book called The Alzheimer’s Antidote. It was absolutely mind blowing. It connected all the dots.
These diseases are not a disease of age but of diet. The whole problem with the people that are affected by these terrible afflictions is that they cannot properly utilize glucose in the brain. Alzheimer’s is actually being referred to now by many experts as “Type 3 Diabetes” because it is a problem of metabolizing glucose for fuel in the receptors of the brain causing them to be malnourished. This causes them to shrink and when the synapses shrink they cannot properly send signals across them. Think of a spark plug in a cars engine. If the gap is just right the spark is hot and the engine runs well but if the gap becomes too large the electricity cannot properly jump the gap and the engine sputters. It is the same with the synapses of the brain. These disorders are simply an electrical misfire of the brain.
When I looked at the food that was being served in the homes and hospitals it was very apparent to me why our elderly are declining so quickly. The foods served are almost exclusively carbohydrate and severely lack in healthy fats. Our body requires fat to absorb vital minerals and vitamins. Our brains are comprised mostly of fat and even our sex hormones are derived from fats. If the issue with these disorders is a problem of metabolizing glucose, then why on earth would we be feeding people a diet that is primarily carbohydrate. Carbohydrate is converted directly to glucose in the body and the brain will try and fuel with this preferentially but if an affected persons brain cannot metabolize it, what will it use for fuel? Nothing. It will starve and the cells start to shrink and die. Thus the onset of dementia and Alzheimers.
In addition, I think about the poor woman in the story. My first and probably a safe guess is that she is either pre-diabetic or already a type 2 diabetic. My next guess is that she is on statin drug for controlling cholesterol. First, diabetes is a disease of glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. This is a precursor to dementia and Alzheimers for the most part. Again this comes down to a problem with diet and not age specifically. All very controllable and reversible. On to statins. They have been shown to increase risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, and a host of other issues. They are being given to people far too easily without ever being really needed. Especially in the elderly. Having higher cholesterol in your later life has been shown n study after studu to be protective of brain function and shows a decreased risk of all cause mortality. There is virtually dozens of studies showing they do absolutely nothing for preventative care and very little for post cardiac event care either. I am 39 years old and a 6 year crossfit athlete and because my LDL cholesterol was slightly elevated I was offered a statin with no other risk factors. I won’t continue down this path for now as I could write 10 pages on this subject alone and am currently working on a study with a prominent researcher in the Cholesterol field that may go a long way towards changing the way statins are prescribed. I’ll just get back to the issue at hand.
So in summary;
1. These disorders are due to poor metabolism of glucose for fuel in the brain.
2. We continue to feed these people the fuel that they cannot use to fuel their brains
3. We are perplexed when the cells shrink and die even though we are starving them for fuel.
4. We exacerbate the issue with the carbohydrate laden foods we serve them in care facilities.
5. We give them drugs to lower an arbitrary number that has no causal relationship to cardiac issues but actually pushes them closer to dementia and Alzheimers.
6. We look at ways to care for them after they have it rather than ways to stop it from happening even though it is right in front of us already.
So am I just ranting or do I have a hypothesis on how to correct it? I do have such a thing.
There is an alternate fuel to glucose that the brain is very happy to use. It is called ketones. They are produced by the body in the absence of substantial carbohydrate. It is a natural state that infants are born in and continue to be in while breast feeding. It was the way our ancestors survived for thousands of years when they got their food from being hunter gatherers rather than going to grocery store for bread and pasta.
The state in which I speak of is called ketosis and has been used to treat neurological disorders like epilepsy for over a hundred years. It can also be used to treat and reverse Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimers, dementia and a host of other metabolic disorders. All it requires is a dietary change that includes eating real food like meat, eggs, fish, cheese, nuts, seeds and non starchy veggies. How hard does this sound? Not at all!
I now this sounds ideological but it isn’t. I suggest anyone suffering with this disease read the book “The Alzheimer’s Antidote” by Amy Berger. It may change yours or your loved ones life forever. Please note that I do not have any affiliation with the author but the book is too important to not speak about. I hope this letter does more than make it to your inbox and deleted as it has such an important message that so many have heard and used already to save themselves from this terrible plight.
Jack McAnespy Pn1, CF-L1″