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Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients

In 1901, Auguste was taken to an insane asylum in Frankfurt, Germany, by her husband. She was described as a delusional, forgetful, disoriented woman who “could not carry out her homemaking duties.” She was seen by a Dr. Alzheimer and was to become the case that made his a household name.

On autopsy, he described the plaques and tangles in her brain that would go on to characterize the disease, but in the excitement of discovering a new entity, a clue may have been overlooked. He described arteriosclerotic changes—hardening of the arteries—within her brain.

We typically think of atherosclerosis in the heart, but atherosclerosis involves virtually the entire human organism—our entire vascular tree. One of the most poignant examples of this systemic nature is the link between coronary artery disease, degenerative brain disease, and dementia.

Back in the 1970s, the concept of “cardiogenic dementia” was proposed—dementia generated from the cardiovascular system. Since the aging brain is highly sensitive to lack of oxygen and since heart problems are so common, it was easy to imagine that’s how dementia could result. Now we have a substantial body of evidence that strongly associates atherosclerotic vascular disease with the number one cause of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease. Autopsy studies, for example, have shown that individuals with Alzheimer’s have significantly more atherosclerotic narrowing of the arteries within their brain.

In my Alzheimer’s and Atherosclerosis of the Brain video, you can see what cerebral arteries should look like—open and clean, allowing blood to flow—versus what atherosclerosis in our brain arteries looks like—clogged with fat and cholesterol, closing off the arteries, and restricting blood flow to our brain. It’s really a remarkable compelling comparison—I encourage you to check it out.

What kind of brain arteries do you want in your head?

The normal amount of blood circulating within our brains is about a quart a minute, but we lose about a half-percent a year; by age 65 we may be down 15-20%. This doesn’t necessarily affect brain function since we have a built-in buffer. However, this age-related decline in cerebral blood flow can become critical to brain cell survival if an additional burden further lowers flow. This reduction of blood flow can starve the brain of oxygen, cause silent little mini-strokes and brain atrophy, the cumulative effects of which appear to play a pivotal role in accelerating and augmenting the development and evolution of Alzheimer’s disease.

As shown in Alzheimer’s and Atherosclerosis of the Brain, you can see the vast difference in the amount of atherosclerosis in the arteries that specifically supply blood to critical memory and learning centers of the brain of healthy, non-demented controls compared to those with Alzheimer’s disease. In light of such findings, some have even suggested the disease be reclassified as vascular disorder.

This is good news, though, because atherosclerosis is potentially reversible. These findings were confirmed in two larger studies of more than 1,000 autopsies each, which found the same thing. Atherosclerosis in the brain is significantly more frequent and severe in those with Alzheimer’s disease.

This suggests that strategies proven to delay the progression of artery disease like plant-based diets may be useful for preventing or treating Alzheimer’s disease. Of course, autopsy studies are a little late for that, so to assess the impact of intracranial arterial narrowing on the progression from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer’s disease, researchers followed 400 people with cognitive impairment for four years using CT angiography—special CAT scans that evaluate the amount of brain artery blockage. The cognition of those with the least atherosclerosis in their heads remained pretty stable over the years, but those with more cholesterol buildup got worse and those with the most blockage rapidly declined. The ability to carry on the activities of daily living was also affected, and the progression to Alzheimer’s disease was doubled. An inefficient blood supply to the brain has very grave consequences on brain function.

But does treatment of vascular risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol actually make a difference? We didn’t know, until a recent study of 300 patients with Alzheimer’s. Those with all their vascular risk factors treated showed significantly less decline and slowed progression of their disease, compared with those who went untreated.

It’s been said that the “goal of medicine is to provide patients with hope and when there is no hope, to offer understanding.” Well, for the first time in the history of this disorder, we have the chance to provide Alzheimer’s patients with hope.

If this information sounds familiar, it’s because I featured it in my 2014 year-in-review presentation From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food.

For more on this disease, check out Alzheimer’s May Start Decades Before Diagnosis, Cholesterol & Alzheimer’s Disease, and The Alzheimer’s Gene: Controlling ApoE.

Lifestyle medicine is critical for our body and mind. See:

In fact, started because I saw how lifestyle medicine extended my grandmother’s life far beyond what her doctors expected. See the story in my Introductory Videos.

Blood flow is also important for other critical organs, as I discuss in my videos Cholesterol and Female Sexual Dysfunction and Survival of the Firmest: Erectile Dysfunction and Death.

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

112 responses to “Hope for Alzheimer’s Patients

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  1. …and by “treatment” in the study done with 300 Alzheimers patients, does that mean traditional medicine? It seems like you’ve glossed over the fact that switching to a plant-based diet WILL definitely help to clear the arteries. What am I missing?

    1. I think there are other treatments than just a normal WFPB diet.

      And while being plant based, I don’t think beet root juice would be considered normal WFPB. But I have read and personally believe that BR juice is a proper treatment for the associated cause of Alzheimer’s described in the blog post.

      Can’t lay my hands on the reference at the moment, but it made perfect sense when I read that BR juice opens up the vascular system via its role in producing Nitric Oxide, which opens up the vascular system.

      The thing that caused me to adopt this regimen was the statement that the BR juice, via the Nitric Oxide production, caused small capillaries in the brain to get oxygen to parts of the brain that had gone dormant from lack of oxygen.

      The resulting oxygen infusion re-awakened those sleeping parts and brought them back into their assigned brain activities.

      Also, dark chocolate is another precursor of NO so I supplement throughout the day by eating a bit of that.

      And I don’t worry about getting fat from eating the supposedly fattening chocolate because I have the good sense to allow it to replace something else I might be eating rather than just adding it on top of everything.

      For me this isn’t the end-all, do-all for preventing or possibly reversing AD (I don’t think I have it but other than being autopsied, I don’t think we can know for sure ‘-)… but I do think it is an important step in that process.

        1. Thanks for the point Susan and I see in the Dr’s notes he had a very in depth series on Beet Root some years ago. I hope to check those out to see if I’ve missed anything I should know.

          As for the gardener thing, I think I may have left the impression of a green thumb where it is more like a greenish-brown one… that is, my success rate is such if I were living off what I grow, I would either get better at it or starve. So, arugala?… no.

          I am pretty good at growing watermelons though and I’m going to concentrate on getting some of those started early. I’m hoping to be otherwise engaged during the 2018 growing season and a little water every so often with normal rainfall should mean I’m free to do other things.

          A side note… I’m thinking I may be pretty good at growing bamboo. I’ve set out 4 clumps and all four of them are still alive. ‘-)

      1. Lonie, how much beet juice is recommended in ounces?  Do you put fresh beets in your smoothie or do you purchase beet juice?  Does it matter if they are raw or cooked?  Thanks.

        1. Hi Watercress,

          The research I initially saw (some years ago) was mostly interested in athletic performance and had a set amount that sounded something like a shot of around 4 oz. IIRC. I think the other research for getting the brain oxygenated was in the same neighborhood, but like I say, that was a long time ago.

          For me personally, I keep a 32 oz. bottle of organic beet juice in the fridge and drink a mouthful from the bottle when I think of it and I usually hold it in my mouth for a half-minute or so but probably isn’t necessary. That usually means when I get up in the morning and again before retiring for the night… additionally once during the day when I think to do it. I like to keep the NOx working to maintain elasticity in my blood vessels.

          I’m sure the smoothie way would work well but I just don’t mess with smoothies. I get much of the same things from taking many supplements and get much higher amounts in some cases as supplements are concentrated either of the extracted good thing or as concentrated dried whole product.

          For me though, the organic beet root drink is the best way to go as it gives me what I want with little or no fuss. I buy it by the case (of 12) from Lucky Vitamin. A 32 oz bottle will last about a week so approx. 8 or 9 dollars per week, depending on if I catch it on sale.

          1. Lonie, While I make roasted beets on occasion, the task of cutting up beets every day is not very appealing. So your idea of the juice would work for me. Either I can add it to my smoothie or drink it plain on the days that I have oatmeal. Thank you for your suggestion and also your source.

            1. FYI, the drinking it plain has what I describe as an “earthy” taste to it. Eventually though, it begins to taste sweet and thirst quenching.

              I took that changeover to tasting sweet as being a sign that I had reset my “sweet” spot… meaning that I had become more normal in the amount of sweetness that was satisfying.

        1. That’s something similar to what I often do. But I use a large mug and tablespoons of cocoa as base to add other supplements into… the result being that I have a heavy liquid that I pour about a third of the cup into a tall glass and further add almond milk to.

          The things I add often make it difficult to drink but over the course of a day I usually get it down. The heavy liquid cocoa in a mug gives me a 3 day easily fixed nutritional base to pour from.

          But for the times I just want some hot cocoa, I put about 1 tbsp of Raw Organic Cocoa in a mug and add hot distilled water and then add some Lo Han Sweetener (monk fruit) to the mix and simply enjoy… and maybe with an oatmeal cookie or ginger snap or two.

            1. I think that is a myth based on people hearing that pure water (that’s what distilled water is) acts as a solvent over time. That is, like unadulterated rain water, which people and animals have been drinking since… forever, the pH is a neutral 7.

              But as that distilled water hits the stomach, it immediately become a 6.0 acidic pH, just like any other water, possibly excluding calcareous water that is maybe 8.0 pH.

              I’m guessing that any water reaches the kidneys as a fluid that is mixed with the other nutrients of the stomach and the kidneys filter out many of the mixed nutrients and just goes to the bladder as normal pee.

              I’ve been drinking distilled water for over 10 years (probably more like 15) and along with my other healthy practices, my health has improved greatly.

              I bet the people of Flint Michigan wish they had been distilled water drinkers over the years.

              1. Thank you Lonie for stating your testimony on the use of distilled water.
                Tom, had sent me a link that says that distilled water is detrimental to one’s health. The study was a study done by the world health organization.
                Tom, warned me not to drink distilled water. I wonder how Tom will react when he reads that you have been drinking it for 10 years and experiencing good health. I still am drinking distilled water despite Tom’s dire warnings of how distilled water could destroy cells in the body. But, just to play it safe, I squeeze in a little lemon juice, and I add some liquid magnesium to the water so it is not 100 percent distilled. I wrote Tom about my work-around but he has not responded. The main thing is that I am not drinking polluted water. It’s funny that Dr. Greger never talks about drinking distilled water, because we consume just as much water as we do food. Water is just as essential as food is for our health, but he has never spoken pontifically about distilled water versus water coming out of the tap. Maybe, it’s to controversial for him to do so.

            2. I add lemon juice and liquid magnesium to my distilled water. I also add just a pinch of pink Himalayan salt to my distilled water. Adding these solutes to my water prevents leaching of minerals from my bones. Richard, I assume you are drinking tap water because you are afraid of distilled water.
              Are you not concerned about all of the pollutants in tap water. Here is a list of possible pollutants: lead from pipes, pharmaceuticals dumped into the sewage which is reclaimed by the water company, lack of or to small amounts of chlorine in the water allowing for microorganisms to contaminate the water, radioactive materials. Well Richard, the list could go on and on and on. There have been outbreaks of water borne diseases at various times even here in the United States because the water company failed to dump in enough chlorine. Dr. Eric Berg and Dr. Levy have YouTube videos that say that if you drink water that is extremely hard, that you will start to calcify your arteries and other tissues. I prefer drinking my “doctored up”
              distilled water over drinking water from the Hudson River….how about you Richard. Besides that, there are millions of people who drink distilled water around the world and enjoy wonderful health.

              1. I agree that anyone concerned about distilled water should follow your lead and use additives to make it more like other water, only safer as it does away with both gram negative and gram positive disease causing bacteria. Ionized water only kills one of these.

                I failed to mention that I too often use additives… that is, a couple of drops of Hydrogen Peroxide of around 10% strength in a one gallon sized glass container. I’ve recently been placing a magnesium metal rod (hole drilled in a cork to hold the rod in place) into the full gallon jugs to convert the distilled water into extra Hydrogen infused water.

                I turn this water into about 4 or 5 cups of tea per day and otherwise as a drink when washing down supplements, 3 or 4 times a day. And while I often drink the water straight on hot summer days, I feel no ill effects… only refreshment.

                Oh, and on rare occasions, I add soluble minerals in small amounts. I mainly do this when putting the water into my stainless steel lined boiler that I draw from to make hot tea due to the possibility that unlike my stomach, the stainless steel could be subject to leaching.

                Otherwise, I brew my tea in the distilled water as a cold brew.

                  1. When you’ve gone on record of having a goal of setting a new record for longevity, you are kinda forced to pay attention to anything that furthers that goal. ‘-)

                  2. I posted the below in another older comments section, but thought I would post it in this newer one for anyone interested.

                    I’m currently doing something similar with Niacin powder stirred into Hydrogenated distilled water (plus a drop or two or three of DMSO to increase absorption through the skin.)

                    I’m doing this to keep the skin as young as possible due to expectations of being in it a long time. After just a few treatments a few days apart, the skin has become smooth to the touch… and I mean youthfully smooth. I still have the lines but the feel to the touch is smooth, even where there are lines.

                    And I haven’t applied any lately because there has been about 4 days of cold where the temp hasn’t been above freezing, so I haven’t been out of my long johns at any time during this period.

                    O.K., I get it that places up North never get above freezing the entirety of winter, but here at the bottom of the middle U.S. that’s a big deal, especially when one doesn’t heat one’s house (most of it has been around 36 degrees-water pipes from water well frozen) except for the heat in one room from my water distiller which can raise the temp in that room from overnight lows in the 40s to 50s after a few gallons being run off.

                    I bring the above notation up because the cold can be brutal to skin, and even though I haven’t applied the Niacin solution in at least a week, the skin still feels smooth.

                    If perchance anyone decides to try this, try to avoid getting it into the eyes… I don’t think it is harmful but it may sting a bit.

  2. After surgery for breast cancer, my oncologist is recommending chemo. I’m wondering if “chemo brain” might be related to the effects of chemo on red blood cell count,

    1. I would check out all of the natural methods such as in “The Truth About Cancer” including plant and fungal medicines before chemo, which in itself is often carcinogenic.

    2. I am sorry that you are having to navigate cancer and its treatment. From personal experience I can appreciate the overwhelming amount of opinions on how to manage it, with difficulty verifying, and complete lack of good black and white choices.

      On subject of chemo brain I just watched a new amazon prime video offered documentary called “[ the science of (prolonged) fasting ]” that discusses historical studies on the effects it can have. The latter part of video discusses a USC professor lead team who have been studying its effects on limiting chemo side effects and also disease progression with or w/o chemo.

      As someone suggested to us when facing this challenge they said pick the things you feel right about, be willing to experiment if it feels right, and willing to accept your choices regardless of outcome. Short of scenarios where resection gets everything there doesn’t appear to be any statistically relevant way yet to tell what other paths, be they from the standard of care or alternative/complementary/integrative/functional medicine crowd, will be actual cure or mgmt. solutions for any given person. Testimonials fall short of being statistically significant and often when I reached out to people claiming something worked they inadvertently, due to lack of scientific thinking, leave out other details that may have been relevant.

      My hope is that dr. michael greger at some point produces some of his excellent short videos covering what he can make sense of using current clinical studies and meta analysis on the benefits of intermittent fasting, e.g. 16hrs fast / 8hrs eating, and prolonged fasting, e.g. 1-2 days or longer. Not sure how to submit requests for subjects to be covered by him other than article/video comments section.

      1. I am with you on the topic of intermittent fasting. I am WFBP and recently added two 24-hour fasts per week. I wish I would have done this 21 years ago when I had chemo for breast cancer.

      2. Dr. Greger already covered fasting in more than one video, I think.

        My recollection is that current research found no advantage to it.

        Perhaps more research is required.

          1. Longo’s research got me started fasting.

            I believe he was doing a study where people who fasted before undergoing chemo would come out of the chemo regimen with less illness from the chemo and even no hair loss if memory serves. Fasting alone could possibly starve the cancer as cancer cells rely on glucose to metastasize.

            A few days of fasting causes one to use up all available glucose and switch over to turning fat into Ketones which the body converts to using for fuel. With no glucose, the cancer starves.

            But this is taken strictly from my memory, so don’t take what I say as a reason to proceed thusly. But do research it if you or someone you know is in need of this information.

            1. No one should ever do chemo.  At least not the standard protocol.  It has a proven success rate of 4%.  And the side-effects are horrendous and permanent.

              Something like 80% of oncologists admit they would not prescribe chemo to themselves or a family member.  But they will prescribe it to a paying patient.

              Doctors get direct kickbacks for prescribing chemo.


              1. There is such a thing as insulin potentiated chemo…where insulin is given at the same time as the chemo…only much less is needed. The insulin tends to “open up” the cancer cells…since they use glucose.

                There are also herbs/supplements that help a lot…though many oncologists won’t approve.

                So far I haven’t had the need to actually make decisions as far as cancer…if the sh*t actually hit the fan…then it would get real.

                Currently know 2 people doing the chemo….both as far as I know doing the standard routine.

      1. Richard
        “Chemo has a documented 4% success rate.”

        This is likely nonsense. Chemotherapy success rates vary according to the type of cancer, the patient’s age, co-morbidities and various other factors.

        But even in elderly patients with co-morbidities, chemotherapy can offer significant benefits eg this leukemia study showed that

        “After adjusting for all covariates in the survival model, a 69% reduction in mortality was observed among patients treated with CA and a 53% reduction in mortality was observed among patients treated with AD, compared to those who did not receive any treatment ”

        Beast cancer is different of course, and age, genetics and cancer stage etc are relevant, but chemo can make a worthwhile difference
        “Five-year specific breast cancer survival was 46%, 51%, 82%, and 90% for women with no treatment, tamoxifen alone, mastectomy, and breast-conserving surgery plus adjuvant treatment, respectively.”

        Some credible resources on breast cancer and chemotherapy are:

        It is probably prudent to assume that all “alternative health” claims on cancer are false unless very, very good evidence tht can be presented. Beware of testimonials. They are very poor forms of evidence even if genuine.

    3. I teach Qi Gong at the Cancer Wellness Center in Northbrook Illinois most participants are dealing with side effects of Chemo and radiation. Yes look into “The Truth About Cancer” and Integrative medical centers like Oasis of Hope Hospital and Dr Robert J Rowen Ozone therapy

  3. In connection with Alzheimer’s have been following to work being done in Israel using Hyperbaric oxygen therapy and it’s impact on getting oxygen to the brain?

    1. Also, hydrogen peroxide IV (1/2 liter) has shown success in clearing arteries and veins which in turn increases blood to the brain. I’ve been using it for several years multi-times/year and at 75 experience NO alz symptoms.

  4. Surprised that Dr Greger ignores the exciting work by Dr Dale Bredesen in actualing reversing AD, which no other program has achieved. In addtion to intermittent fasting, solid sleep, exercise and supplements a very low glycemic diet with little or no grains, lots of vegetables and meat, fish and dairy in limited amounts does the trick.

    1. Perhaps not ‘no other program’.

      I’ve just started hearing about something called MMS. My skepticism remains high. But the number of testimonials is mounting. …

      And has nothing good to say about it. That’s an indication in my book that more research is warranted.

      Best of health to everyone!

      1. MMS is a potion that has no scientific evidence of benefit to support its use. Is that correct?

        I am a bit cynical about products that only have testimonials to support them. Some enterprising souls seem to manufacture testimonials to promote sales. There is a “clinic” in South Africa that writes fake testimonials for its products and regularly attempts to post them on on this and other health related sites. In other cases, the testimonials may be genuine but survivor bias might be involved – a few people might survive on an alternative treatment and attribute their survival to that treatment. However, for obvious reasons, we never hear from the ones who also chose that treatment but didn’t survive. This is why we need good quality evidence of benefit.

    2. Dr DB’s study in 2014 consisted of three patients. Has he done a followup?

      Seems most of the recommendations make sense. Vit B12, sleep exercise rest meditation. In isolation I think each individual action has had some positive production in study to mediate the issue. He does include fish and fish oil which I would say is questionable due to the potential of contaminates.

      Why are so many insistent on fish oil since the likely fat component benefit is able to be provided by non fish source? Many I hear of in the same vein always specify fish oil….I wonder why as some state its component feature is the reason for preference the fat components. Do they not know the fish get it from algae?

      1. hi ron, re people suggesting fish oil rather than what we know to be the preferred source of omega 3 , algae, in some areas fish oil is accessible. In this area algae sourced omega 3 is prohibitively expensive ranging from $32 to over 40 per month. It ain’t happening.. not when there is b12 and vit d to consider as well . Ground flax is reasonable, chia seed is pricier, fish is ridiculous, but fish oil is affordable. I don’t use it – just sayin’

        1. yes Susan I can see your point, the money. Individually for us.

          But why do the “experts” who are seemingly not so expert, invariably not even mention that a more healthy alternative is quite available. I mean we all who watch youtube have phones and are on things and can access amazon and such..

          But it is never mentioned. I actually have watched and waited listening and reading things just to see that mentioned. If fish oil is mentioned it is only fish oil that is mentioned.
          This doc he seems to have resources. Why use fish oil and not algae based oil derivative? Most of these type suggestions from these types they seem quite reasonable. Often .

          Fish how can a doc advocate fish or such like products knowing the gross contamination of the oceans and the consequent gross contamination of fish the higher up the food chain we go. And who can vouch for the purity of the oil itself…who knows where people may buy a thing once advocated for.

          They are supposed to firstly do no harm. A bit of a rant I know not directed towards you but it just seems irresponsible. There has to be some agenda involved in it to my take. Some nefarious money making scheme or pay off the questioning side of me says..

          They overtly lie so much in this thing of diet and such I trust almost none of them. So I look for corruption everywhere perhaps it is that I find it everywhere as I look so much for it:)…perhaps..

  5. Much better than Bredesen in my opinion is the book by Dean and Ayesha Sherzai, also focusing on lifestyle factors to reduce risk or reverse Alzheimer’s disease. Their NEURO plan involves plant-based Nutrition, Exercise, Unwind (dealing with stress), Restore (sleep), and Optimize (engaging the brain in challenging activity). The book is well-referenced scientifically, easy to follow, and an interesting read. I also read Bredesen’s and yes, it offers hope, but also very complicated protocols involving lots of expensive testing and supplements. If it were me, I would start with the recommendations in the Sherzai’s book, and only if no improvement, then check out the Bredesen protocol.

    Neither book was available when Dr. Greger posted his Alzheimer’s videos in 2014.

  6. Dr. Greger, Thank you!
    I work as a public health nurse visiting families coping with frail family members, many in various stages of cognitive impairmment, dementia of various diagnoses, Alzheimer’s, and functional decline.Your article that “treating atherschlerosis of the brain” is a way to slow decline is so very hopeful. This perspective needs to spread far and wide in the medical community. Of course, this will also please all the physicians who believe everyone needs a statin to age well. But your succinct articles, citing evidence that otherwise might never be heard, supports all our efforts to get “crochety old people” to include more vegetables and fruits in everyday diet. Thank you!

  7. I was “exposed” to WFPB living on 8/3/2017 and readily adopted it along with my wife. We cleaned the pantry and fridge and digest at least 2 videos daily of Drs. Greger, McDougall, Davis and others. I am 64 and have lost 35 lbs., walk 3 miles daily, and stopped BP meds of 7 years (working to get the BP down from 145/75 with WFPB and exercise and daily beet juice) feel great and more mentally alert. I’m very hopeful for a friend with AD who is going WFPB, hoping for reversal. His MD offers no other hope.

  8. My antidotal comment has the consideration of what qualifies as Alzheime’rs generally expanding. To also my personal opinion, perhaps not substantiated in the real, with attempts at funding from the public to charities and science study groups.

    If so…….can it be we cannot really qualify a distinction between what was thought to be classical Alzheimers and those suffering from decreased blow flow due to arterial blood flow stoppage by various sources such as narrowing and possibly minute stroke activity?
    Are the two now exactly equal or are we treating two different issues which have a commonality but in the real are differing. We know all Alzheimers patients in a terminal state have narrowed cerebral arteries as described but are all that have the same degree of cerebral artery narrowing classical Alzheimers? Functionally do not both present as very similar if not equal.

    If they are differing in some manner does this serve to confound the scientific study? Can we qualify this distinction only upon autopsy? Or is it a proven they are equal one and the same. As such studying and then treating both would have a exactly equal result.
    Or as my presumptive assumption suggests has classical Alzheimers definition been expanded to include those which were not once thought to be as Alzheimers?.

    Not firmly holding this point but just to inject it for my education into the discussion.

  9. I am a 66 year old male Australian. I practised as a naturopathic primary healthcare physician for over 30 years. My studies included German Ophthalmological Phenomena. Their research included what they called a Senile Pupil Border. This is the iris’ basal layer of brain tissue seen under a microscope.

    I found a direct correlation with this sign and Alzheimer’s. The interesting thing that captured my attention was… This fine grey ring around the pupillary margin was supposed to indicate the function of the stomach tissue. Patients who had taken aluminium antacids for many years for their digestive problems developed this grey ring. Aluminium hydroxide was a popular remedy for reflux, reducing the stomach’s acid secretions. The stomach’s tissue plays an important role in releasing B12 intrinsic factor which requires a high acid ph. B12 complex plays an essential role in maintaining healthy brain tissue. I came to believe that maintaining a healthy digestive acid level was important in preventing Alzheimer’s. Red wine, cider vinegar and coffee all increase stomach acid levels. Stomach ulcers are normally the result of too little and too strong an acid – not too much. Most of my patients who suffered from anaemia were all large meat eaters.

    1. I am relatively certain that is a valid observation which proves out the specific described. However to the contention I offer, I know of one football player who presented in his eighties with Alzheimer like symptoms. For all intents and purposes he was thought to have alzheimers. He was quite famous, but also famously suffered a concussive injury of a significant sort while in the middle of his career. But due to the recent scope of concussive injury syndrome present in virtually all Ex football players of professional status his brain was examined for CTE, and found quite conclusively to be present. I know of a person who has alcohol related B vitamin deficiency brain damage who presents also as Alzheimers. I have seen peoples who present with severe dementia that one could reasonably conclude is related to cerebral blood flow, as they also suffer from severe cardio related hypoxia issues. I know of one person who was a retired welder who was thought to have alzheimers. But peoples familiar with welding know the fumes are known with prolonged exposure to present a person with Alzheimer like symptoms. Sometimes with great variance but sometimes not.
      None of these described are though of as classical alzheimers.

      The point being… of any study of 300 how many peoples were actually screened to determine if what they are symptomatic of is the real issue of Alzheimers? Could ten percent affected to the positive in a behavioral study on diet be suffering from cerebral hypoxia or some other issue which presents as classical alzheimers but is only really symptomatic of that? Or perhaps are all those with classical Alzheimer indeed suffering from a form of cerebral hypoxia related disorder?

      Without a autopsy do we really know the football players family ten years ago before CTE as in the limelight they would assume of course this was certainly alzheimers.
      But is alzheimers CTE…seems not. Symptomatically they may present equally however.
      So is the corresponding treatment the same for classical alzheimers and CTE….they present symptomatically very much the same, but I suspect not. Am I wrong in this?
      Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    2. I am not sure that I follow this.

      Are you referring to the corneal arcus/arcus senilis? As far as I know, it does not contain “brain tissue”.

      As for an association you say you found with Alzheimer’s, other people have found associations between arcus senilis and high cholesterol and heart disease, “however, after adjustment for age and gender at 4 years (HRs 1.07 and 1.01, respectively) and 8 years (HRs 1.18 and 1.17, respectively) of follow-up (p >0.05 for all). In conclusion, corneal arcus predicted CVD and CAD in the community-based Framingham Heart Study cohort because of the strong association of corneal arcus with increasing age. To date, this is the largest and lengthiest population-based cohort study examining the direct association between corneal arcus and CVD and CAD.”

      Since Alzheimer’s, like cardiovascular disease, is also associated with increasing age, this might explain the link.

  10. Kahl Read – I’m unclear on your conclusion. Are you saying more stomach acid (possibly with the help of red wine, cider vinegar and coffee) are better than less? Or is less acid better? Which provides the “healthy digestive acid level”?

    I think you are speculating more of these are better, but not positive.


  11. A few misleading things:

    – Plaque and tangles are consequences of Alzheimer’s and not the cause. Big Pharma has succeeded making drugs to eliminate plaque and tangle but Alzheimer’s remains.

    – Cholesterol and eating saturated fat have nothing to do with Alzheimer’s (and CHD) but it is inflammation that causes atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s.

    – The only correct thing is this blog is that Alzheimer’s is irreversible. The solution is more than plant foods but it needs fish oil, CoQ10, magnesium and a number of things. This was proven in a trial at USC.

    Saturated fat and cholesterol of course have nothing to do with the cure.

    1. Oh dear, Jerry. You are still on your “damn the facts, it’s my opinions that determine what is true” crusade.

      Of course, saturated fat and cholesterol play a role in CHD and Alzheimer’s

      “Several lines of evidence provide support for the hypothesis that high saturated or trans fatty acids increase the risk of dementia and high polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fatty acids decrease risk. Dietary fat composition is an important factor in blood brain barrier (BBB) function and the blood cholesterol profile. Cholesterol and BBB function are involved in the neuropathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and the primary genetic risk factor for AD, APOE-ε4, is involved in cholesterol transport. The epidemiological literature is seemingly inconsistent on this topic but many studies are difficult to interpret because of analytic techniques that ignored negative confounding by other fatty acids which likely resulted in null findings. The studies that appropriately adjust for confounding by other fats support the dietary fat composition hypothesis.”

      Why would any rational, informed person choose to believe the cranks and internet marketers and people like you who claim that the mountains of evidence demonstrating the roles of saturated fat and cholesterol in chronic disease, have all been “faked” and are “bogus”? For 70 years all around the world. Your claims are just bizarre,

      Get with the science and the evidence, Jerry.

  12. “Two thumbs up” to you, Jean Meyers! After having read the earlier comments, I had consulted The Alzheimer Solution, and was about to post the page # in their [Doctors Dean & Ayesha Shirzai’s] book] & the published studies that they reference regarding cardiovascular disease & the brain. Thanks for noting that book, which also concludes with some tasty, all plant-based recipes. Dr. Bredesen’s book is not one I’ve read; shall order it from the library.

  13. No offense Jerry but I beg to differ.
    There is a complex relationship well studied in the framework of most common heart disease between injury/ inflammation plaque formation and constriction and inability for dilation pf coronary arteries.
    I suggest Dr Gregers videos on heart disease is a good primer. It is far to complex a study to do it justice in a blog response.

    I suspect there is also a relationship to Alzheimers but it does to a extend depend on how one qualifies Alzheimers. I would say the jury is still out but a whole foods plant based diet is certainly the best recommendation as far as to diet for such a person so afflicted.
    How could it hurt? And it may possibly slow the progression.

  14. Great blog, and right on track according to my own personal understanding. Also, I think, Dr Greger, you are a great educator, but there is just one thing I cannot understand in the treatment of this topic (and many others)—and that is, how much the studies have completely ignored the ‘elephant in the room’ for so long, which is simply the subtle energy channels of the body, so well described in other systems of medicine such as the Chinese system. Especially when discussing Alzheimers, there are different types of channels: the nerves, the blood vessels, and of course the meridians or energy channels. Don’t you think?

    1. Whole plant foods certainly helps reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s but it is not everything. This blog talks about reversing Alzheimer’s once someone has it and it requires more than just eat plant foods or otherwise no vegan has Alzheimer’s. And plenty of vegans with low cholesterol have Alzheimer’s. It’s the inflammation that is one of the cause and this has nothing to do with level of cholesterol.

      1. Vegans can have low levels of B-12. It is thought three B vitamins are responsible in general terms for mediation of inflammation in this context. Now most vegans have sufficient levels but in the past that was not always the case.
        As to cognition, we decrease our ability to synthesize certain oils as we age. A supplement of DHA EPA may be a good idea for vegans.AS brain size retention is related to our ability to make this successful process. Brains erode in size as we age. And size is somewhat related to deficiency of cognition. Prior to old age the consumption of flax seeds or something of similar oil constituency suffices.
        Keep in mind most meat eaters have similar deficiencies. Alzheimers is certainly not conspicuous amongst vegan populations.

        1. Hello Ron, wanted to follow up on your point about old age and the decreased ability to synthesize oils. As someone who is old chronologically but healthy and physically very active, I take only flax, Chia, and nuts. Are you saying I should be taking fish oil as well? What other DHA EPA should be consumed? Or are you saying I should be doubling up on the former? I haven’t recalled that Dr. Greger prescribed different dosages for us “oldies.”

          1. Hi W. No, sorry to be unclear. We have a ability when younger to convert from Flax and some other things these essential oils. As we age it decreases.

            Fish oil by my read has the potential of too many contaminants to be used with consistency.
            WE just do not know what any particular lot of fish oil in that regard may contain. As a natural substance it lacks the regulatory status of drugs.So we depend on the processor for assurance. In todays corporate environment as we see with even large well respected companies like Johnson and Johnson that trust is often misplaced.

            The oceans are just to polluted. Even farmed fish have some problems with purity and quality. So I do not trust them at all. Alll fish seem to have some pollutant or other in them.
            Luckily algae based supplements are available. The problem is they do cost more.
            Of course all people age differently. But by my read past the age of 65 we should take this if not consuming fish or fish oil. These oils help protect from brain matter loss so I would say it is a essential. The loss itself does not cause dementia but it may lower cognitive ability over time.
            Loss may still occur but at a lower rate.Some advise on taking them earlier perhaps as early as the late forties. If I had the money to spend and did not mind taking them I probably that age. But certainly we have a marked decrease in that conversion ability by age 65..

            I get around the price issue by taking half the recommended dose and continuing to supplement with ground flax seeds. I have a active lifestyle so perhaps as with max heart rate resting heart rate, retention of eye sight and some other things that point to physiological aging I am still converting this as normal. But perhaps not..
            We are all a experiement of one.

            Hope that clarifies my statements.

            1. Ron, what brand algae product do you recommend? I would consider taking it. I used to take a fish oil called “Nordic Naturals” harvested off the coast of Norway I believe.  They claimed they did extensive testing for purity, etc.  This was before the toxic nature of fish was so widely known.  This is oil in a dark glass jar that had to be kept in the refrigerator (not capsules).  I stopped taking it when I came under the spell of the WFPB gurus. Thanks, Watercress

              1. I have been buying fish oil that has been certified by IFOS for many years. Is there any proof that this certification by a third-party independent company is inadequate to protect one’s health?

                1. Herb most commonly a certification of authenticity of a supplement would mean it is what it says it is. In other words that it is not soybean oil being sold as fish oil or some other substance.

                  Now as to contaminants it depends on what they tested for. It is very difficult for a lab to test for all known contaminants as there are thousands that abide in our natural environment and hence in animals and fish.
                  A lab could test for most common contaminants of fish oil mercury and such, perhaps there are ten or so that would be most common. Perhaps they test for those. Does that disallow all potential contaminants metals heavy metals arsnic PCB’s et al….well no how could it?

                  PCB’s in very minute amounts to my understanding is the most found contaminant. In trace amounts is that harmful…I’d guess no. But do we want them added to our diet since we already have them present in us due to pollution…given my druthers I’d say not. .

                  Dr Greger did a very good video on supplements and their authenticity. Really any supplement is a bit of a roll of the dice. But to my opinion that roll already has a bit of a kicker in it as we know things like PCB’s are present in fish and hence likely fish oil. Who knows what substances the fish in a place in China if a farm is where they are harvested from are being fed. Is it from Japan? Is trace radioactive element being tested for. Seems and is remote but you never know.

                  Is there any proof of your specific …of course not. Who would fund such a study?
                  Studies are performed by and only by funded sources. Governments may fund studies if it is to the common good to do so. The supplement industry is a optionally endeavored one. People generally do not have to take supplements. So if there was a public health issue the solution is simply to stop taking them.

                  Senator Orin Hatch years ago incited legislation which stripped the ability of government to strictly regulate supplements inb the US.. Since then it has been a wild west type atmosphere in the industry. The amount of fraud going on is outrageous.
                  At this point in time I would say it is more a question of did they look for fraud in any particular area then is it present.
                  Fish oil may be exceptional in this but I personally doubt it.
                  Algae based DHA EPA probably is as well. Again it is a bit of a roll of the dice sans personal examination and study which few of us can endeavor.
                  I feel a bit safer with algae based oils as they are not known to be probably contaminated at source but really a potential exist with everything.

                  Algae will probably not contain even trace amounts of PCB’s but I cannot say absolutely not. Check to see if your third party.certifier are certifying free for all contaminants or just suspected contaminants, or as mentioned are they just certifying it is what it is said to be. .
                  . My guess is the later but I would not rule out that they may test for some.


                  1. To show how badly regulated the industry is a antidotal observation, though I am not saying this is where anyone fish oil supplements are coming from. Just to context the potential in the industry itself.

                    I heard a ex amateur martial artist, a very good one with no science backround nor manufacturing backround nor any particular qualification whatsoever talk the other day about problems he was running into with vitamins and their purity for the items he personally was involved in. They were not cleaning the vats out properly in China which was where he had contracted for supply. So the stuff was being contaminated.

                    This specific is not my issue. My issue is a guy, he is a very personable guy with some intelligence is having a hand in the manufacture and sales of a thing he knows absolutely nothing about. he has zero qualification in.

                    This is most obvious in the fitness industry with fitness names and such that start to endeavor their own line of supplements. Some actually will do what is called the manufacture themselves.
                    But variants can be found in all areas. There is lots of money to be made in the supplement game with little in the way of regulation.
                    It goes wrong they declare bankruptcy.It goes right they make money.

                    Johnson and Johnson a corporate trusted name was just found to be selling substances they knew for years to be cancer causing. Who can be trusted in todays corporate environment.

                    1. The supplement industry in the modern day snake oil salesman.

                      Humans survived for thousands of years without taking a single

                      supplement. But, today most people think they need a supplement.

                      Even Tom takes vitamin C supplements.

              2. W I personally use spectrum vegan epa dha but mainly as it is a known company and I can buy it in the local supermarket. Anyone can make supplements really. So I don’t trust off brands.

                But really I am no authority on what brands to buy. Creatine I have researched pretty completely not EPA DHA .
                If I ran across a company offering this in a months supply dose much lower than 20 USD I would research it very carefully as 20USD seems to be about the norm.

                1. Good for you John. So supplements are snake oil. And we’ve survived without them for thousands of years. Wow.

                  As if surviving was near enough.

                  The best of the supplements are the endogenous ones. (Like Vitamin C.) The ones we already have in our systems, but often have less and less as we age.

                  Perhaps nature intended for us to wither as we age. But why should we go along, when supplements are available and cheap. Why shouldn’t we bolster our systems in our forties and beyond to act more like our twenties? Less sickness, more strength and vitality.

                  I know the drug companies are against it, since it means it’s harder for them to sell us their poisonous drugs. But that’s just too bad!

                  They keep saying supplements are snake oil, when we all know that THEY are the real snake oil marketers.

                  1. Richard I think some supplementation is necessary like vit B-12 but keep in mind that some of the supplement companies are owned by drug companies.

                    Some supplements are absolute trash like most creatine other than one particular of German manufacture, all grossly contaminated. And it appears most of the Chinese medicine formulations.

                    Many singular substances such as lycopene do not seem to be effective at all separate from their normal natural associates..

                    And quite often it is found supplements are contaminated with this or that. Foods and teas can be as well, but it is advised to proceed with extreme caution in this area.
                    Dr Greger has videos on supplements and one on Creatine to add substance to my claims.

                    I supplement and pretty much have for years. But I also keep a eye on the safety and patency of where I get them from and also only supplement on a as needed basis. I use creatine produced by one manufacturer out of Germany who has proven to be contaminate free. The rest, generally what they all take in America it is absolutely contaminated with things..
                    Senator Orin Hatch through legislation changed the supplement environment years ago. Basically he removed much of the prior regulatory ability of the federal government in this regard.
                    And by far and large they do not seem to be able to self regulate.
                    Things as mundane as nutritional yeast seem to have potential contamination problems and as per Dr Gregers inquiries it seems only a few are testing to remedy the problem. Also shown in video.

                    Milk Thistle per another example, to my dim recollection also mentioned in another video basically all the supplements were contaminated by fungus as it is usually harvested wet. And the fungus directly contradicts the liver benefit people go to milk thistle for.

                    So it really is buyer beware. Basically unregulated capitalism, which may sound good in theory but in actuality leaves us like as not a day late and pound short.
                    They don’t need perhaps to be regulated as well as drugs but this present situation is absurd. It will take however a mass death by supplement before any change occurs as happened back in the day with drugs..

                    1. Thanks Ron,

                      I certainly didn’t mean to suggest the unbridled acceptance of all supplements.  Or buying them from unknown sources.

                      There are reputable companies producing supplements.  And there are independent labs verifying them.  It’s not quite as wild-west-ish as some suggest.  Exogenous supplements like your Milk Thistle example require increased scrutiny, for sure.

                      There is plenty of actionable research regarding supplements, and many don’t make the grade at all, regardless of source.  But some of the ones that do can be very beneficial.

                      I fully appreciate all the hard work Dr. Greger and his team put into their research, writings and videos.  They are a wonderful foundation for diet and food as medicine.  But I think there is actually research that they skip over regarding supplements because they WANT food to be the answer.  And it isn’t always in my opinion.  But that won’t keep me from referring to their body of work first whenever I have a question about health, diet and related matters.

      2. Jerry
        ” It’s the inflammation that is one of the cause and this has nothing to do with level of cholesterol.”

        This may be an article of faith for you but it is untrue. There is plenty of evidence that high cholesterol promotes inflammation eg
        “Hypercholesterolaemia leads to cholesterol accumulation in macrophages and other immune cells, which promotes inflammatory responses, including augmentation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signalling, inflammasome activation, and the production of monocytes and neutrophils in the bone marrow and spleen. On a cellular level, activation of TLR signalling leads to decreased cholesterol efflux, which results in further cholesterol accumulation and the amplification of inflammatory responses. Although cholesterol accumulation through the promotion of inflammatory responses probably has beneficial effects in the response to infections, it worsens diseases that are associated with chronic metabolic inflammation, including atherosclerosis and obesity. ”

        This might explain why high cholesterol in midlife is associated with increased risk for Alzheimer’s in later life

        “”An association between cholesterol and the development of AD was suggested in the early 1990s and ever since, an increasing amount of research has confirmed that there is a link between cholesterol and the development of AD. A high cholesterol levels in mid-life is a risk for AD and statins, i.e., cholesterol-lowering drugs, reduce this risk.”

        There’s also quite a bit of evidence that cholesterol itself plays a role in the development of Alzheimer’s. It is not the only factor of course but it is a factor

        “Mounting evidence indicates that cholesterol actively participates in AD pathogenesis. ”

        You also wrote “it requires more than just eat plant foods or otherwise no vegan has Alzheimer’s. And plenty of vegans with low cholesterol have Alzheimer’s.”
        I don’t know whether you do this deliberately but you never seem to acknowledge that there is a difference between vegans and people eating a WFPB diet, even 100% vegetarian WFPB diets. Vegans do not necessarily eat a WFPB diet. There are plenty of junk food vegans out there I am told.

        Also do you have any evidence for your claim that there of plenty of vegans with Alzheimer’s? There is very little evidence on this that I have been able to find although the evidence seems to suggest that people eating lots of animal foods have higher risk

        However, people with Alzheimer’s probably do have low cholesterol. That is because Alzheimer’s lowers cholesterol (as do a number of other diseases and traumas)

        Cholesterol levels in men with dementia and, in particular, those with Alzheimer disease had declined at least 15 years before the diagnosis and remained lower than cholesterol levels in men without dementia throughout that period. The difference in slopes was robust to adjustment for potential confounding factors, including vascular risk factors, weight change, alcohol intake, and use of lipid-lowering agents.
        A decline in serum total cholesterol levels may be associated with early stages in the development of dementia.”

        1. Excellent comment TG.
          Just playing devils advocate here but what I did not see mentioned as a possible confounding element in that study mentioned in the last paragraph….did they allow for a change in food preference due to perhaps a change in taste or smell patterns as a potential.
          Thinking perhaps such a change may be a first indicator and the result being a change which then involves a change in eating habits..Which is productive of lower cholesterol results,.but may not result in weight change as a variable.

          Seems without a study of the specific diets engaged they are to a extend shooting in the dark on that one..and making a presumptive conclusion. Certainly they could not have studied taste or smell difference 15 years prior to any other overt symptoms presentation.

          Did they even ask the subjects if their diets had changed…seems they would have mentioned it if they had. Am I missing something?

          1. Hi Ron

            Good point. No I don’t believe they did. And yes you are right, Alzheimer’s does affect taste/smell/hearing and appetite I believe.

            However, they did control for weight change which is a crude proxy for appetite change. And, although it is still controversial, there is evidence that cholesterol itself is involved somehow in the genesis of Alzheimer’s


            “Several studies that explored the association between lipids and/or lipid-lowering treatment and AD indicate a harmful effect of dyslipidemia on AD risk. The findings are supported by genetic linkage and association studies that have clearly identified several genes involved in cholesterol metabolism or transport as AD susceptibility genes, including apolipoprotein E (APOE), apolipoprotein J (APOJ, CLU), ATP-binding cassette subfamily A member 7(ABCA7), and sortilin-related receptor (SORL1). Functional cell biology studies further support a critical involvement of lipid raft cholesterol in the modulation of Aβ precursor protein processing by β-secretase and γ-secretase resulting in altered Aβ production.”

    2. Brian Ursich, You may have a good idea about other areas of health, but Dr Greger calls his site Nutrition Facts because nutrition is his subject. It’s a huge subject, and he, with a lot of help, can barely cover the research as it is. He almost always sticks to the subject of nutrition and leaves other health areas to those who teach about them.

  15. From MIT:

    APOE-4: The Clue to Why Low Fat Diet and Statins
    may Cause Alzheimer’s

    It also cause autism.

    “Healthy living” is after all not that healthy if you do the wrong way.

    “Something in our current lifestyle is increasing the likelihood that we will succumb to Alzheimer’s. My belief is that two major contributors are our current obsession with low-fat diet, combined with the ever expanding use of statin drugs. I have argued elsewhere that low-fat diet may be a major factor in the alarming increase in autism and adhd in children. I have also argued that the obesity epidemic and the associated metabolic syndrome can be traced to excessive low-fat diet. Statins are likely contributing to an increase in many serious health issues besides Alzheimer’s, such as sepsis, heart failure, fetal damage, and cancer, as I have argued here. I believe the trends will only get worse in the future, unless we substantially alter our current view of “healthy living.”

    1. Jerry Alzheimers is a growing problem in America and in some select other countries.

      Americans by no means on average follow a low fat diet.Statins have very many negative side effects, some of which are validated in study, but I am unaware of published scientific study correlating them with Alzheimers. Temporary cognitive decline perhaps. Keep in mind dietary recommendations for fat consumption are by no means the average consumed issues in America.
      Perhaps one study showing statins use corresponding to alzheimers is out there but I don’t know of it and as such cannot study it to see if it is valid.

      1. Americans got hit with two whammies. First of all, the low fat diet causes Alzheimer’s to start with. And then the obsession and wrong theories about low fat cause them to take statins to make cholesterol lower when it is already low, or when it is high due to inflammation but make it low means nothing when one has inflammation. Statin causes the heart muscle to weaken and cause Alzheimer’s.

        We are a sick nation because of this 70 year old theory. This is more harmful than smoking marijuana. At least smoking marijuana gives people pleasure while killing them. Eating low fat and taking statin just make people miserable and kill them also.

        1. Well Jerry the last survey I saw had americans on fat consumption being about in the middle of 30 odd developed nations. Germany comes in second on fat and sugar consumption. Americans lead the pack on sugar. But Germans being in second on fat and sugar are known as a fit nation with lower BMI than most other EU nations.

          If Alzheimers was presented by a low fat diet seemingly vegans would be my any study the most indicative of this. As by any measure I would guess on average a vegan eats less fat than your typical American. Not all but most.But they are not more by proportion vegans with Alzheimers seemingly.
          And vegans by study are the lowest BMI of any American grouping of peoples

          it could be as simple as body weight. That we seem to have a good standing in and/or lack of exercise. I do think we lead the pack in that. But likely it is a combined effect..

        2. Jerry

          Why do you keep making such claims? It is easy to understand why you don’t present evidence for these claims – there isn’t any. But why insult our intelligence by making such false statements in the first place? Yes, the internet health “entrepeneurs”, cranks and conspiracy nuts you seem to favour make this claim but why not look to the evidence for guidance instead of to the unsupported opinions of hucksters and crackpots?

          Take this latest whopper you are trying to foist on people …. “the low fat diet causes Alzheimer’s”.There is no evidence that low fat diets promote dementia in general or AD in particular.

          The people selling high fat diet plans,books and lifestyles have to to manufacture reasons why low fat diets might promote cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s, and why their high fat diets might be protective. Otherwise, their business model is toast. So they loudly and repetitively make this claim all over the internet. Perhaps they think if they make the claim often enough and loudly enough, people will actually believe them despite the lack of evidence and in the face of substantial evidence to the contrary..

          There is, though, some evidence that polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats might have a protective effect (at least relative to saturated fats and trans fats) eg

          “The Chicago study reported the strongest evidence of an association. High intake of saturated fat doubled the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and even moderate intake of trans fat increased the risk by 2 to 3 times.[20] By contrast, higher intake of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats was associated with lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease”

          However, even with unsaturated fats, some recent studies have found unsaturated fats associated with Alzheimer’s disease progression.

          1. What a mouthful if words. Instead of addressing what are in the article I posted, it is just a blind copy and paste of 70 years old “research”. Do you copy and save your canned reply in a file so that you can blast out to give the resemblance that you know something? What a pity. I am glad to know that you have hurt yourself with your obsession of low fat and cholesterol and the use of statins. Soon you will get Alzheimer’s according to this article. I guess that karma paid. But I wish that you just hurt yourself instead of others.

            1. Stop attacking Tom, your karma may turn against you for your hateful words.
              Tom knows more about nutrition than 99 percent of the people on this planet.
              We whole plant food folks on this forum have improved our health. Many of us have fragile health conditions because of our history of eating the standard american diet, but since all of us have switched over to a whole plant food diet our health has improved. We don’t get worse like you claim we do, but we get better. As for you, be careful eating those steaks, pork chops, lobsters, shrimps, glasses of milk, cups of yogurt, slices of cheese, ice creams, and so on. It would be interesting to watch you eat at Golden Corral, or Red Lobster, or Out Back steak house. I bet you even chomp down on a Big Mac once in a while don’t you? Of course what is a Big Mac without french fiies and a coke.

        3. Why do you persist in repeating these absurd claims about low fat diets and statins?

          All the evidence suggests that low fat diets prolong life and statins reduce morality and adverse events.

    2. Jerry

      This is not from MIT as such. It is an essay by Stephanie Seneff, a computer scientist at MIT. She is well known for her “alternative” views on a number of health issues.

      And if she or you think that Americans have been eating low fat diets in recent years, I can only suggest that you need to get out more. American diets are about 34% fat

      The World Health Organization advises that “Evidence indicates that total fat should not exceed 30% of total energy intake”

      Americans are clearly neither eating a low fat diet nor obsessed by it. Seneff’s opinions are worthless.

      1. America eats the wrong fat, i.e. rancid vegetable oil or processed fat. And that’s the problem.

        The rest of the world used to eat the right fat, i.e. saturated fat, until they get into the low fat and vegetable oil hype of the U.S. and they all get sick and use statin too.

        1. Jerry we were sold a bill of goods on marijuana for years and years. Same on Tobacco, And now we are sold a bill of goods on meat and dairy.

          It is not big asparagus putting up billboards I see on my way into town each day but the dairy industry. I do not see big celery with bumper stickers telling me to eat celery but do see bumper stickers telling me meat it the thing to eat. And I was told in grade school the perfect food for human was not human breast milk but a egg..

          WE can have poor diets on any variant of diet. But take the time here to read the topics by Dr. Greger and his staff on cardio issues to see the logic behind the preference for a whole foods plant based diet,

          Watch a bunch of those videos and then consider it. You have exercised your rational aspect to see through the deception of the anti marijuana thing. All you need to do is give this here on this site a try…watch the videos on select topics you question.
          You are being lied to not only by the antiimarijuana crowd and their sponsors.. Big Dairy and meat are way way more important in the scheme of things by those who would sell you things to enable profit..

          They want you confused and will keep you confused…..It is their intention and aim. So then in your confusion you buy what you like which is what they sell…What you like however and what they sell is not good for you.
          Watch study and see if what I say is true….make up your own mind in this. Don’t let them make it up for you, nor me.

          You must make the effort and study.

          1. A new video on talcum powder just up. The company knew subsequent to litigational result as a proven, it caused cancer before various attempts by marketing to sell more of the product..They knew it would kill, it is a proven. And they tried to then sell more of it.

            Food…. think of the thing we must do at least three times a day….how much profit can be made if this thing is controlled and pushed to profit aim…by corporations which in general do not give a flying capital F on weather you live or die.

            There is no big celery lobby no big asparagus lobby. There firmly is a big dairy and big meat lobby. And the consequence of their misinformation is indeed the statins you rightly complain against.
            They take your money going in as they sell you meat and dairy and going out as they sell you their statins….yes they are in reality one and the same. You are what they eat.

            You must educate yourself of be eaten. Just give this guy this site a try. I have vetted him and his group personally, they met the test. I know where his money comes from and have also vetted his principal money suppliers fully.. Overall they mean good. Few can say that nowadays.. There is no smoking gun here. It is real stuff. Not perfect but real.
            I vouch for him and his site.

            1. I agree with you Ron. I have looked around the health and

              nutritional world a lot in the last 60 years. And, I am standing

              with Dr. Greger. Also, Dr. Esselstyn, Ornish, Joel Fuhrman,

              and some others. But, I think Dr. Greger has the most effective

              organization to bring truth to the world.

              1. Agree John, it is the organization the work that must entail many volunteers contributing. I can’t imagine he could by any means do all this research himself.

                Those you mention, just seem like the work of one. Really one cannot compare to 20 or so regardless of the degree of artistry. Of course they have a lot to say and like Esselstyn they have done groundbreaking research, but really it has not translated to a change in major view. I think Dr. Greger’s work is starting to do that. Could be the times are creating that or the medium, probably both but this seems to be growing.

                Hard to find things in this todays world which are black or white as opposed to shades of grey. But here is one right before us and there are clearly, to my view those positioning things which harm and other positioning things which help.
                It is difficult to be in such times but also a bit refreshing. Slap in the face type refreshing.
                Things of a black and white sort of distinction to my experience invariably end well..
                As did the tobacco fight.. .

        2. Make up your mind Jerry. Is it low fat diets or “wrong” fat diets that you are complaining about?

          And your so-called right fat is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease, dementia and certain cancers as the evidence clearly shows.

          Your claims about what the rest of the world used to eat and now eats are completely false as far as I know. This is why neither Seneff nor you provide any evidence to support your claims.
          You and she just invent your own “facts” to support your opinions. The rest of the world hasn’t going down the low fat route – this is an absurd claim. As is the clim tht vereybody used to eat lots of saturated fat.

          “This study uses unique official data to document nutritional changes in the 1949–1992 period …….. Consumption of animal-source foods, half of which were pork and pork products, tripled from 30.0 to 103.0 g d−1. The proportion of energy intake from fat tripled from 7.6% to 22.5%, and that from carbohydrates decreased from 83.0% to 65.8% over the same period.”

          “Our data suggest that Chinese children have been undergoing a rapid nutrition transition to a high-fat diet.”

          Food supply data showa that Americans are eating more saturated fat now than they did before WW1 but less fibre and fewer carbohydrates despite eating significantly more calories in total. in addition to high fat diets, overfeeding and low carb diets might well be contributing factors to America’s high obesity, diabetes and heart diseases rates.

          As for “right” and “wrong” fats, the evidence on this is pretty conclusive. Trans fats and saturated fats are unhealthy while polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are healthy – at least relative to trans and saturated fats.

          Personally, I can see no good reason to consume vegetable oils at all unless you live in an impoverished community where the threat of starvation is ever-present and oils are a cheap way of getting sufficient calories. In such circumstances, the “healthy” option is simply to eat sufficient calories, whatever the source of them

          The point though is that neither you nor Seneff appear to have any regard whatsoever for the actual facts. You just inveent your own. They are so much more convenient for your claims after all.

  16. Hopefully in the new year NFO/ Dr Greger will find a way to better moderate comments. It should be obvious from the information provided and cited studies along with the many related documentaries and interviews Dr Greger does he’s a strong proponent and researcher of a Plant Based Whole Food Diet. Even just a couple of years ago the comments were a source of great ideas and info supporting this. I can see why many of the former regular readers/ moderators (MDs, researchers, etc) seem to have left or don’t engage in anymore. I’m still a huge supporter and have two copies of HNTD and have sent many to this site and Dr Gs books, videos, documentaries etc to get onto onto plant based eating. Thx Dr G you’ve made a huge difference in my and my husband’s health and nearly 50 I feel too good to turn back. Sadly it was too late for others we loved.

  17. Dr. Greger forgot to mention in this article that plaque not only consists of FAT and CHOLESTEROL, but also plaque has CALCIUM. Here is a link about coronary plaque calcium.

    We know that ingesting dietary cholesterol from eggs and other foods increase the risk of plaque build up everywhere in our body: coronary arteries, aorta, carotids, and brain arteries. And, we know that ingesting fatty foods like fatty meats, and “maybe” even to many avocados….I said maybe. Well, fatty meats for sure will increase the risk for plaque formation. But nobody seems to have any idea where the calcium comes from to add to the mixture of plaque. Some people think that the ingestion of calcium supplements, extremely hard water, the drinking of milk, the eating of cheese, yogurt can elevate the calcium in the body. Others on this forum disagree and do not offer any conjecture where the calcium comes from….and are just happy to disagree and let it go at that. But, I think we need to take a really hard look at this calcium issue because it is a part of plaque formation. You just can’t look at the FAT and CHOLESTEROL components and figure you can solve that with simply eating a whole plant food diet. What if hard water, what if calcium supplements, what if dairy products elevated the amount of calcium in our body to created plaque, calcium kidney stones, calcium bone spurs, calcium gall bladder stones, and arteries in the brain that are plugged up. what if? Again, I always err on the side of caution. I drink distilled water, but I condition it first with drops of magnesium, lemon juice, and some other juices. The main thing for me is that the water has NO POLLUTION IN IT. I avoid dairy products like the plague. I get my calcium from spinach, arugula, kale and other green leafy vegetables….I would NEVER take a calcium supplement.

    1. You are completely wrong about cholesterol just like you are wrong about medical marijuana. The bad cholesterol theory do more harm to humanity than ISIS and it’s worse because the enemy cannot be defeated.

      1. The only person who is completely wrong about cholesterol here, Jerry, is you.

        “Consistent evidence from numerous and multiple different types of clinical and genetic studies unequivocally establishes that LDL causes ASCVD.”

        It is people like you who state with complete certainty that the 70 years worth of evidence – from all around the world identifying dietary saturated fat and blood cholesterol levels as risk factors -is “faked” who are responsible for encouraging people to risk shortening their lives and damaging their by eating unhealthy diets and avoid effective therapies.

        1. To compliment your excellent comments TG.
          I will add a antidotal one which as so qualified may have limited relevance.

          Years and years ago my profession necessitated a group living arrangement with other generally young fit males. We cooked slept and generally recreated together.
          The studs of the organization came into the Atkins type diet informational stream popular in media at the time..Many 20 or so, adopted his regiment to great initial result. It was not classical Atkins but had a degree of nuance to it, but in core was Atkins.

          Well one major proponent while jogging to stay fit a necessity in the profession, died full arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest he fell over when sitting on a curb after his run. Most called for a full investigation, how why did this happen? Toxins exposures all was bandied about. Well they did a full autopsy he was in his early forties and sadly left behind a wife and two young young kids. Of course it was simply coronary artery disease. . . .
          Regardless of all the calling for this or that every one of the 20 or so dropped the diet immediately. It took in the end only that one event. Those of us who did not follow this diet did indeed see it suspect for people to be continually eating large slabs of bacon and such on a daily basis. It just seemed unhealthy. But really they did loose a lot of weight to the man. But that incident is what it took.

          Atkins as we know died relatively young, old but not that old, with advanced cardiac artery disease may have died of a stroke but in any event was under 6 feet and weighted I think it was 267 when he died. He was apparently being treated for the disease for many years prior to his death..
          I think his group is still around in some form.
          Now with some addition of fruits and veggies we have the keto thing, which is basically Atkins redue, and slightly more healthy.

          But just last week a major blogger had a guest who was a MD offering a meat only diet on his show. I say was as a person with the same name as his has reportedly lost his license to practice medicine in one state, but who is really to say this is that person. I don’t have the time nor resources to state that unequivocally. But this blogger his site has in excess of a million daily followers.He the doc stated very unreal things such as glucose necessitating vit C intake.. Without sugar to his line of thinking scurvy would seeming not exist on a all meat diet he seems to be saying.. He is pretty buff big shoulders obviously lifts. If only the Brit sailors knew they never would have had to eat all those limes ::)

          Misinformation in this area costs lives. Real lives that we do not see in media nor necessarily in translatable statistics..
          I have not investigated that particular blogger game. He has and probably still does sell supplements personally. Is involved a lot in hunting perhaps there is some money game there, I don’t know. The Doc or ex Doc, don’t know also. Think he sells his program on line for a fee. There is a game there always is.

          One on line blogger claiming to be vegan is always spouting antivegan nonsense like low protein in such diets which is clearly hogwash discounted about 20 years ago in study…..what is her game…who really knows. A industry plant in the community as I read it but who really knows. Veganism is not a plant based whole foods diet but this thing veganism it is called is posing a real threat to them as I read it the powers that be.

          And on and on it goes…if only it was just the money the consequence of this thing….but it leads to pain suffering and death at times…so sad.

          Thought I’d add that a true story. .

  18. Well some study has shown if deficient in calcium the body goes to the muscles for supplying essentials blood levels and such. Internally I think vit K assists in calcium remediation.

    Does excess calcium cause the problem with plaque….I think it does not. Dairy may have many elements within in that cause plaque formation such as fat and saturated fat.
    Women who drink more milk seem to have more problems with fractures which would suppose the milk is not providing calcium to the body.

    Almonds seem to be correlated to proper calcium levels in the body and good bone health to my dim recollection, not milk.

    1. Ron, it is a scientific fact that plaque consists of fat, cholesterol, and calcium. If excess calcium is not a contributing factor in plaque formation, then how does the calcium form within plaque? You do agree that plaque has a calcium component do you not?

      1. Sure but what presupposes excess. Muscles are seemingly robbed of calcium to provide calcium to I assume, perform electrolyte balancing functions. Would this not perhaps serve under the same purview. A bodily essential function that the body serves first.

        If it was not as this then those with higher calcium intakes would show in study to be first in plaque formation and thus cardiac events. But that seems not the case. Saturated fat has a correlative function in that regard in multiple studies without bias.
        Calcium certainly may show as such but only in study to my knowledge if not separated from dairy.. But as shown with hip fracture incidence in elderly women dairy corresponds with hip fractures not the inverse. So calcium which milk certainly contains seems incidental to calcium absorbtion.

        The missing component to my opinion is the mileau of calcium absorbtion. What causes a body to assimilate calcium given a equal amount. And how is some given to plaque formation and some to bone and muscle health.
        Point being it leads me to this is not a question of amount of calcium the determinate of plaque formation. We can show clear scientific study good science in multiple studies which shows fat in dairy and meat saturated fat does cause plaque formation. Calcium isolated from dairy, I don’t think so.

        1. Ron, I think you hit the nail on the head. It is not the quantity of calcium or the

          type such as organic versus inorganic calcium, BUT, it is the mechanism in

          which calcium is absorbed, and the mechanism in which calcium is directed

          to certain tissues or withdrawn from certain tissues. So, to the best of my

          knowledge, K2 is one of the main molecules that regulate calcium. But, also,

          the parathyroid glands regulate calcium. If the parathyroid glands are not

          getting the correct nutrients or maybe they slow down with age….then

          the parathyroid gland may play a part in calcium formation in plaque. It seems

          the older a person becomes the more risk they are at in accumulating

          calcium along with fat and cholesterol in their arteries. So, do aging parathyroid

          glands play a role in plaque formation. Do nutrient starving parathyroid glands

          play a part in calcium plaque formation. So, I always try to err on the side

          of caution. So, I eat natto, and mieso to make sure I get plenty of K2.

          I follow a strict whole plant food diet to make sure my parathyroid glands are

          doing the best they can for whatever I can provide them. However, on the

          flip side of the coin, I read about an experiment on mice where one group of

          mice were fed regular animal feed but with really hard water that had a huge

          amount of calcium. The other group of mice were fed the same animal food,

          but were given distilled water to drink. The mice drinking the hard water quickly

          developed calcification in their arteries. Nobody knows the answer to this

          question about calcification. Again, I err on the side of caution and drink

          distilled water that I fortify with magnesium, lemon juice, and whatever I can

          find on hand in the pantry. Plus, I drink my pollution free water with my

          food so that I am not ingesting pure unadulterated distilled water. I know that

          there are some on this forum that think that drinking distilled water will damage you.

          But, it is safe to drink if you make a cocktail out of it. The main thing is that

          you are not drinking ground water, city water, or water coming directly out of

          the Thames River in London.

          1. Well it makes perfect sense to me John. And I conduct myself accordingly in similar matters. I drink boatloads of hibiscus tea and don’t give a fig about the teeth enamel potential problem, I love hot chili as well and consume it about every meal on average., Nor the potential of perhaps inadvertently consuming in excess some mineral or other.
            I take creatine regularly as I have found a German sourced provider who screens for contaminants but the line on creatine is don’t take it as it is generally contaminated.

            But I don’t give a whole lot of weight to animal studies. You may be 100 percent right in that. I am no qualifier in that.

            If you do give weight to those studies and have a varied plant based diet how reasonably could one say distilled water harms….I think the idea it could harm is absurd.
            So I agree it could be a very reasonable way to act.
            We consume so much to my opinion on plant based diets all things are diluted to a extend. I find myself eating boatloads of food as well with no problems of weight whatsoever. The bad if I am consuming it by my rational is mixed in with the good. Far more good than bad.

            Personally I have extreme hard water from my well and do not drink it…My thinking is….. if it is so hard what else is in it…but the result is the same.
            My calcium in the main is supplemented by vegan plant milks. I also would not drink them to excess. Why should I is my thinking. We get planty of calcium likely from plants. But also do not avoid it.

            So makes sense to me and I am generally to my opinion considered sensible, though others may disagree with that at times ;).

            1. Ron, I am with you on creatine. I remember Dr. Greger had a video on creatine and

              he said that it might not be such a bad idea for vegans or whole plant food people to

              consider creatine because since we don’t eat meat we may be low on creatine, but then…

              he turns around and quotes a medical doctor who says that creatine is contaminated.

              However, like you I have found a German source for PURE creatine and I take it

              every once in awhile. I take it about once a week….I figure it couldn’t hurt me that

              much because most body builders consume creatine like it was candy and they do not

              drop over dead. It might hurt them long term, but they take all kinds of wierd stuff

              including steroids. HOWEVER, There are videos on youtube showing all of the body builders who

              have died in their 30’s and 40’s. But, they died primarily from steroid use, and constantly

              dehydrating their bodies for show time. Also, there are videos on YouTube showing

              a whole line of professional wrestlers who died in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s from

              steroid use. It is really sobering when you look at this line up of athletes who have

              keeled over from their use of steroids. But, many of them also use cocaine.
              Mike Tyson

              has admitted that he would always use cocaine before a fight because it made him

              feel confident, happy, and make him feel like superman. But, because I don’t eat

              meat, I think I need a little creatine here and there.

              1. Sure John. It is also known to increase cognitive function mostly just in vegetarian subjects.

                I always felt Tyson was roided to the gills but it is personal opinion. I see after a arrest and conviction most conditions of release and parole require drug tests. So I see his inability to take roids as the long term reason for his gradual decline. That is a illegal drug sans a prescription.
                Some steroids provide the same psyche boost. A MMA fighter was just found positive for one of those after his title match a month ago. Tyson never admitted to steroids but how can one guess he would take coke but not steroids?
                All the body builders are dying from drugs roids testosterone and human growth hormone. One who just died a bit ago had 70 times the normal prescriptive dosage for low test levels. His heart was twice the size of a normal heart. And he had evidence of severe coronary narrowing which likely led to his heart attack at age 26.

                Creatine is pretty well tested and the problems are likely to two issues the contaminates and or dehydration. All things have some risk. That is low low risk as I read it.

      2. Some people with Alzheimer’s have no plaque. Other people with plaque have no Alzheimer’s. It is just that people with Alzheimer’s are likely to have plaque. It is a consequence and not the cause.

        Look up for yourself the FDA drugs that remove the plaque. Do they cure Alzheimer’s? No, of course.

        1. High dose statins have been found to reduce existent plaque but only moderately. 6.8 percent with a study done on Lipitore and only in 60 to 70 percent of patients.

          And statins have at high dose the potential of severe side effects to include but not limited to liver damage.
          Generally drugs will limit the advancement of plaque formation by lowering overall blood cholesterol level with also providing what some think is a more favorable ratio of bad to good cholesterol.
          Generally then the intention is not to remove the plaque but to stop additional plaque formation..New drugs appear all the time and some may claim this or that but with the statins it is really a question of at what price to other organs.

          Using them to treat Alzheimers…perhaps some have even done this but considering the necessity for constant blood work to determiin liver status and the potential for other problems which a decreased cognitive person could not report on by symptom recognition, would to my opinion be very suspect.. .

    1. AS I read it Joanie I take treatments to mean those normally prescribed to tread cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Those treatments are drug treatments but they are always proceeded by dietary and lifestyle intervention. Those treated do better than those not. So this reaffirms alzheimers as perhaps a plaque formative related disease.
      Before or perhaps concurrent with putting you on drugs a doc will tell you to eat better eat less saturated fat cut down on salt and exercise.
      So those are also considered treatments.
      But I take treatments to include both or all.

  19. Research shows that statins are contributing to Alzheimer’s, please clarify your treatment for cardiovascular disease with the 300 patients referenced in this publication

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