The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is on a microscopic level with the discovery of beta amyloid plaques. These are toxic and cause the nerves to become tangled. Axons become dead and form an inflammatory response. This neural inflammation leads to the progressive degeneration. The only hallmark you might see visually upon inspection is atrophy. You’ll see why in a few minutes why I mentioned this.
Our biological evolution reveals that we have been on a ketogenic diet for about 3 million years. Our ancestors on the sub Saharan planes were in a feast or famine mode all the time. The excess calories that we ingested were turned into triglycerides by our liver and deposited as fat. When the famine came our bodies would now utilize the deposited fat. It utilizes the fat when the hormone Ghrelin tells us we are hungry. The hormone leptin is what tells us that we are satiated. When we are hungry there is a biological cascade in our liver that converts the fat to ketone bodies. Ketone bodies are an alternative source of fuel. Ketone bodies are a more efficient fuel than carbohydrates. They generate more energy. Additionally, when utilized by our mitochondria they produce less free radicals that can damage us. When we are unable to get glucose, we break down the fat, the ketone bodies enter into the Krebs cycle, which is what makes ATP, our energy currency. When this happens we get more energy and less free radicals. This would be analogous to putting the cheap gasoline in your car’s tank as opposed to putting in the superior blend. The fuel that we put into our bodies determines how our engine is going to run. The best fuel for a human being is high-fat low carbohydrate diet, with a half a gram to gram of protein for each kilogram of lean body mass. With the ketogenic diet there is much less inflammation in our bodies. Chronic low grade Inflammation is the route of all disease in humans and it is a big factor in Alzheimer’s. Keep in mind while all cells in our body are a fat sandwich because of the structure of their membranes, the brain is actually 75% fat. When a brain is made out of incredibly inferior dangerous fats what do you think the probability would be that it might not work right? Now combine that with a very greedy pharmaceutical industry that insists on lowering your cholesterol to the point that we have an Alzheimer’s epidemic and if you were able to see this connection, you would be guilty of having common sense. One way to reverse the affects of Alzheimer’s would to be to ignore the advice that our government has provided us with for over 40 years with regards to eating fats.
While we’re on the subject of our brains, there’s a thing called grain brain and it is grains that are causing a lot of people symptoms of brain fog which is becoming quite a common complaint in a doctors office. What does the USDA food pyramid tell you to eat much more of? Grains. The ketogenic diet eliminates brain fog. When we are hungry our senses become more acute. If we go back to evolution on the savanna planes of Africa, when it was time to hunt you needed to be more alert. You see better, you hear better, you smell better, because it is necessary for our survival. The ketone bodies are a better fuel for the brain and it allows the brain to function at a higher level.
What has happened over the past 3 million years is now not happening. However, what is happening now, starts at birth. Kids are given juice, which is really almost all sugar. They are given formula which is derived from carbohydrates. Sugar is an addiction. It is probably more addictive than cocaine in terms of creating a desire for more of it. Sometimes we think we are eating healthy by eating yogurt, but it usually has about 6 teaspoons of sugar in it. In the 70s the low fat high carbohydrate craze took over and the food industry has made billions of dollars. If you go to the grocery store and examine what people have in their baskets at the checkout line you’ll see most of it to be health destroying products. When we consume these products our insulin levels spike to drive more sugar into our cells and we become insulin resistant, which is a first step to diabetes. But first, we deposit more fat, which becomes inflammatory and that makes us hungry all the time because it affects our leptin hormones which tell us we are satiated. This in turn causes more cravings for sugar.
It is extremely difficult to break this habit. Many people in my office when I had one, tell me that they are tired, irritable, and depressed. All these complaints are related in a major way to diet. To break the cycle takes 2 to 4 weeks. A withdrawal will take place. However, life becomes much more worth living once you get off the junk food.
When we have high insulin levels, which develop insulin resistance our brain cells are starved for energy because it cannot enter through the receptors on the membrane. Eventually the cells shrink up and die. It makes sense that medium chain triglycerides such as coconut oil would have a therapeutic effect. They go to the intestinal lining quickly because they bypass the gallbladder and its bile. In the liver, MCT’s, medium chain triglycerides, such as coconut oil are processed into ketone bodies. These are helpful in degenerative brain diseases. Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, are not curable at this time. However, ketones have been proven to be beneficial in alleviating some of the symptoms. MS patients are known to be very deficient in vitamin D. It is an inflammatory disease that causes the myelin, the insulation around the nerve fibers to dry up and die. Immuno excitatory toxicity is related to multiple sclerosis because the body is fighting against itself. One such excitatory toxin is glutamate. MSG is a common food additive. That is not a good thing.
Epigenetic factors are the things that we do to ourselves. It has nothing to do with the genes that we are born with. Genes make about 100,000 different proteins when they are instructed to. What acts upon the genes to begin their work is called epigenetic factors. Epi means above and this case it means not what the gene is internally programed to do but what is influencing the gene from its environment. Diet, physical activity, environmental factors like smoking and drinking, toxins in our air and water and stress are the epigenetic factors. Stress is a very important epigenetic factor. Chronic long-term stress is the hormone cortisol remaining elevated. This hormone literally destroys brain cells. MRIs of patients under chronic stress have atrophied hippocampal regions. The hippocampus is related to memory. These patients when given opportunities to eliminate the bad epi genetics in their life have demonstrated on post MRIs to have improved the size of their hippocampus. This was once known to be absolutely impossible. The most effective way to make brain cells come back to life is a good diet and exercise along with no stress.
When we are eating a high carb diet, the inflammatory process that results from consuming these carbs in turn results with feeling fatigue or sluggishness, depressed, irritable, impulsive, and anger control issues. A high-fat low carbohydrate diet can mitigate many of these problems. Again, this is the exact opposite of the diet that we’ve been programmed to eat. Epigenetic factors are completely under control of our choice. Our genes are not our destiny. It is possible to function at a higher level in your 70s than in your 40s if you control your epigenetic factors.
On average diets work for one third of the people that try it. One third of the harmed by it. And one third received no benefits. What scientists have discovered is that it’s not about not eating fat although, the quality of our food matters quite a bit. It took a long time for scientists to figure that out. 1986 to be precise. In 1990 the CDC recorded most states in America as having approximately 10 to 14% of the population as obese. By 2000 half the country was about 20% obese and the other half up to 25% obese. By 2010 the country was from 25% to more than 30% obese. The percentage of people becoming obese in America has gone up dramatically every decade from the time that we were told to eat polyunsaturated cheap vegetable oil and more carbohydrates.
Another scientific discovery was that children exercise more when they have playgrounds. It shouldn’t require a $7 million grant to figure that out, but apparently it did. Scientists don’t seem to have common sense and cannot make the connection between an environment and the people that have to live in it. What people are doing is important and often it is what the environment provides what will determine what people are doing.
In the early 1990s, the world-famous heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey was telling his colleagues that the people he was operating on had normal cholesterol levels. He insisted that the coronaries were not because of cholesterol or saturated fats as he would eat his cheese sandwich. He knew back then all the experts were wrong and knew that heart disease was not caused by cholesterol.
The woman’s health initiative had many components to the study, not just about hormones. They had over 87,000 people in the dietary study. One hypothesis was trying to figure why Japanese women in Japan did not get breast cancer, but do when they moved to the United States. That means it was not their genes it was their diet. Because Japanese women do not consume much fat they decided to put thousands of women on a low-fat diet. However, they were not put on a Japanese diet. They were not eating fish and seaweed, they were eating American food. They were not looking at what type of fats were being consumed. When the fats are reduced carbohydrates were increased. This American diet had no effect on breast cancer. With the study of that size even small changes would be significant yet it wasn’t. 87,000 women studied and the recommendations from Ancel Keys which is what the country was following had absolutely no effect on reducing breast cancer.
A study on animals revealed that tumors grew faster with the low fat high carbohydrate diet as compared to the animals on a high-fat low carbohydrate diet. Ketones are an alternative fuel to glucose. While glucose comes from carbohydrates ketones are made from fat. When you are eating excess calories from carbohydrates the process of generating ketones from fats cannot occur. When eating too many carbohydrates you are epi genetically affecting your metabolism. Our ancestors went without food regularly and that would cause our body to have to burn our fat as fuel. This was normal and helped us get to where we are, which is the top of the food chain. Unfortunately the foods we eat are now killing us as we claim we are number one.
It was an important evolutionary step in the development of the human brain to be able to break down ketones, which are great brain fuel. The human brain is much larger versus percent of body weight than most other animals. The brain requires a lot of energy. While the brain makes up about 2% of our body weight it is using 20% of our energy supply. Our ancestors didn’t have the problem that we have, which is having excess food all the time. They had long periods of time where glucose was not available to feed their brain. They would break their fat down to ketones for that vital fuel, which just happened to be much better for them than glucose. Ketones are the only other fuel that the brain can use besides glucose. We needed the ability to break down our fat in order for our brains to have grown to where they are now. Even today’s textbooks will say that glucose is the only fuel for the brain, but they’ve known about ketones since 1960.
Stay tuned for part 3. We are going to see a lot more about this theme, that we have been purposely sabotaged.