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Diet Can Trump the Alzheimer’s Gene ApoE

Back in the 1990s, a major susceptibility gene was discovered for Alzheimer’s, called ApoE4. If we have one ApoE4 gene, either from our mom or dad, like about 15 percent of the U.S. population does, our risk of getting Alzheimer’s is tripled. If we’re like the 1-in-50 folks who have ApoE4 genes from both parents, we may be at nine times the risk. But there are ways to minimize that risk, which is the focus of my video The Alzheimer’s Gene: Controlling ApoE.

The highest frequency of ApoE4 in the world is in Nigeria, but Nigerians also have some of the lowest Alzheimer’s rates. To understand this paradox, one has to understand the role of ApoE. What does the ApoE gene do? ApoE is “the principal cholesterol carrier in the brain.” So, the Nigerians’ diet appeared to have trumped their genes, with their low cholesterol levels from their low intake of animal fat from living off of mainly grains and vegetables.

Indeed, Nigerians have high ApoE4, but Alzheimer’s is a rarity, thanks, perhaps, to low cholesterol levels, which any of us can achieve by eating healthfully. These findings suggest that “long-term changes in plasma cholesterol…can lead to changes in brain ApoE expression.”

Just because we may have been dealt some bad genetic cards doesn’t mean we can’t reshuffle the deck with diet.

We cannot change our genetic makeup, but we can “reduce or prevent high cholesterol.” In a study of a thousand people for more than 20 years, ApoE4 doubled the odds of Alzheimer’s, but high cholesterol nearly tripled the threat. So, the “risk for Alzheimer disease from treatable factors—elevated total cholesterol level and blood pressure—appears to be greater” than that from the dreaded Alzheimer’s susceptibility gene. In fact, projecting from their data, controlling lifestyle factors could reduce a person’s risk for Alzheimer’s disease from nine or ten times the odds down to just two—even if they have the double barrel ApoE4 gene from both parents.

“People tend to have a fatalistic view toward developing Alzheimer disease,” as though it’s going to happen if it’s going to happen, but such a view has been undermined. We just need to emphasize the need for preventing and treating high blood pressure and cholesterol in the first place to reduce our risks for heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease, and, “as a result, potentially enhance quantity and quality of life….Of equal importance, these data should be comforting to anyone interested in attempting to reduce the risk for and future burden of Alzheimer disease.”


So what are these dietary changes that help lower our risk? See some of my latest videos on preventing Alzheimer’s disease:

If you’d like to learn more about the exciting world of epigenetics and this concept of switching genes on and off, see BRCA Breast Cancer Genes and Soy and Cancer Reversal Through Diet?.

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:

Discuss

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.


84 responses to “Diet Can Trump the Alzheimer’s Gene ApoE

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  1. The fatalistic view used to be the reality they dealt with.

    When I was a young person, my relatives mother died from it and she had to make decisions about whether to have children.

    She processed it and thought things might be different by the time she reached the age to be vulnerable.

    She had children and before any of them got married, she lost her career and then life to the disease and her kids are starting to get married and they are deciding whether to have children.

  2. Interesting.

    This analysis is consistent with the results of a systematic review and meta analysis of studies looking at statin use and the risk of dementia and mild cognitive impairment,which was published a few months ago in Nature Statins of course famously reduce cholesterol.

    ‘In conclusion, our meta-analysis suggests that the use of statins may reduce the risk of all-type dementia, AD, and MCI, but not of incident VaD’
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-24248-8

  3. Life expectancy is about 54 years in Nigeria. Does this gene kick in at any particular age?
    (I am a vegan because I believe the science, decry violence, and I feel worse on animal products)

    1. Studies which have shown that Nigerians has low rates of Alzheimer’s compared to eg African Americans do control for age. eg

      ‘The age-adjusted prevalence rates of dementia (2.29%) and Alzheimer’s disease (1.41%) in the Ibadan sample were significantly lower than those in the Indianapolis sample, both in the community-dwelling subjects alone (4.82% and 3.69%, respectively) and in the combined nursing home and community samples (8.24% and 6.24%, respectively).’
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7573588

      That said ‘The prevalence rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease increased consistently with advancing age in both study groups’

    2. Exactly.
      This is such an elephant that I don’t know how Dr.G has missed seeing it in the room unless it was on purpose.

      Even early-onset AD does not come until someone is in their late 50s-early 60s.

      1. aribadabar: I have copied my note below here as this is the proper place to reply to your comment to your ad hominem attack on Dr. Greger (who I do not always agree with, by the way).

        Before you accuse Dr. Greger of spinning the facts, why don’t you spend some time actually investigating them? I did. Took a few minutes. Check out http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/alzheimers-dementia/by-country/

        as well as the per country world rankings.

        The WHO world rankings are “age-adjusted rate estimates” as of 2017, a critical point Tom pointed out. Do you think those who study these issues are simpletons?

        Had you bothered to look, you would have discovered that e.g. the US is ranked #8 in the world, and Nigeria #90, in death rates from Alzheimer’s/Dementia. (By the way, Finland is #1.) The US also does much worse in death from CHD (#130 vs #90) and hypertension (#130 vs #79).

        Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding – smaller numbers are worse than larger ones when it comes to rankings of mortality.

        1. This is known as early-onset Alzheimer’s. It is not common – up to 5% of people with Alzheimer’s have this form – and it appears to be associated with certain genetic mutations.

  4. Please check data. My reading of information is
    “According to the latest WHO data published in 2017 life expectancy in Nigeria is: Male 53.4, female 55.6 and total life expectancy is 54.5 which gives Nigeria a World Life Expectancy ranking of 177.”

    Might this indicate that they die many years before first symptoms appear?

      1. Before you accuse Dr. Greger of spinning the facts, why don’t you spend some time actually investigating them? I did. Took a few minutes. Check out http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/alzheimers-dementia/by-country/

        as well as the per country world rankings.

        The WHO world rankings are “age-adjusted rate estimates” as of 2017, a critical point Tom pointed out. Do you think those who study these issues are simpletons?

        Had you bothered to look, you would have discovered that e.g. the US is ranked #8 in the world, and Nigeria #90, in death rates from Alzheimer’s/Dementia. (By the way, Finland is #1.) The US also does much worse in death from CHD (#130 vs #90) and hypertension (#130 vs #90).

        Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding – smaller numbers are worse than larger ones when it comes to rankings of mortality.

    1. The question is, what effective infant mortality has on the life expectancy statistics, i.e. what is the life expectancy and Alzheimer’s risk of those living to adulthood.

    1. Did you read the actual paper this summary came from? If so, please link to it so we can read the design. The devil is usually in the details.

        1. Sorry ambrosia, I didn’t see you response. Thanks for posting the NF video on the subject. There’s one on breast cancer, too.

    2. Not necessarily, Greg. There are some cancers (like breast cancer) & other diseases that feed off of cholesterol. So if one’s cholesterol sudden drops, it could be an indication that some disease is feeding off of it. The lower cholesterol is not the cause of the disease, it’s merely a marker, sending up a red flag.

      This happens a lot with the elderly. Their cholesterol may drop because they’ve developed some other disease that’s feeding on the cholesterol. But that hasn’t stopped the sat fat brigade from using it to say that having high cholesterol is good & low is bad. High cholesterol won’t keep you from getting breast cancer or some other disease. There’s nothing protective about it.

      Please don’t take my word for it. NF has some info on this, but I’m doing this on my phone, so it’s awkward & time consuming to locate the videos or blogs or other studies on the subject. I can do it when get home, but maybe someone else could do it in the meantime? Tom? This has your name written all over it. So to speak.

    3. Greg

      No. High cholesterol in the elderly is not a good thing.

      It is normal in Westernised societies like the US for cholesterol to rise with age ….. “As we age, cholesterol levels tend to rise.” This is presumably the result of the cumulative effect of poor diet and poor lifestyle choices.
      https://www.healthline.com/health/high-cholesterol/levels-by-age#adults

      The question then is why do some older people have low cholesterol? In most cases it is not because they have genetically low cholesterol or have a healthy diet and lifestyle. It is more probable that it is the result of disease and injury.

      The fact is that older people are more likely to develop Alzheimers, cancer, liver disease, chronic infections and heart attacks, than younger people. They are also more likely to experience falls and undergo surgery. All these things cause cholesterol to decline.

      There is no evidence that low cholesterol causes disease, injury or increased mortality in older people.
      There is evidence that disease, trauma and even death itself cause cholesterol to decline to low(er) levels. This is the most likely reason why simplistic association studies appear to show that high cholesterol is protective.

      I’ll post some links to a selection of studies showing that disease and trauma often cause cholesterol to decline. In some long latency diseases like Alzheimer’, cancer etc, this can occur more than a decade before a formal diagnosis is made. The last time I did that though, the entire post went off into an ‘awaiting moderation’ limbo never to be seen again, so it might be safer to use a second post for this.

      1. Yeah, I was only able to post a very short list of available studies and even that is now “awaiting moderation”

        I have no idea if or when it will appear. Sorry.

    4. Hmmm. The system won’t let me post them. Perhaps a partial copy and paste might succeed …..

      certain illnesses, especially cancer, lower cholesterol levels by decreasing the liver’s ability to produce cholesterol and that having a low cholesterol in spite of an unhealthy (high) cholesterol-promoting diet could be an early sign of an undiagnosed cancer. The types of cancers that have been reported to cause low cholesterol levels include lung, liver, lymphatic and hematopoietic cancer, the same cancers associated with low cholesterol in this study.2
      http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/cancer-do-low-cholesterol-levels-cause-cancer.html

      ALCOHOLISM http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1530-0277.2001.tb02315.x/abstract;jsessionid=3F486E4FA729E8B8F5A869B21DA86F52.f03t03
      ALZHEIMERS https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17210816
      INFECTIONS https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK326741/
      CANCER http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/92/9/2396.full

      http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/92/9/2365.full
      TRAUMA “Hypocholesterolemia is an important observation following trauma. In a study of critically ill trauma patients, mean cholesterol levels were significantly lower (119 ± 44 mg/dl) than expected values (201 ± 17 mg/dl). In patients who died, final cholesterol levels fell by 33% versus a 28% increase in survivors. Cholesterol levels were also adversely affected by infection or organ system dysfunction.”
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC374382/
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22607822
      HEART ATTACKS
      http://journal.chestnet.org/article/S0012-3692(16)35525-8/pdf
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26233997

      If low cholesterol caused cancer, statin drugs which lower cholesterol would be associated with higher rates of cancer. They aren’t.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22607822

      1. To add to Tom’s and other excellent comments on cholesterol levels..perhaps they hit on it and I missed it…..cholesterol lowering can also be a effect of simple loss of body weight.
        With lower weight the tendency is for existent cholesterol reading to go down.

        Point being very many factors may be present affecting cholesterol levels and making a absolute direct line….well low cholesterol is bad in elderly and high cholesterol is good does not service science well.
        Peoples with disease processes which are active to include A, tend to get lower in body weight and then cholesterol levels trend lower as well. The end result of many disease processes is death. So as result the lowest cholesterol level one may have in elderly life may be just before death at lowest body weight and showing as low cholesterol by study as indicative of mortality.

        Cholesterol level has a naturally present confounding element within it that meat and dairy industry is prone to exploit.

        1. Yes, quite right Ron. Weight loss can cause cholesterol to decline. So can malnourishment,

          Loss of appetite is apparently common in the elderly and can lead to both weight loss and malnourishment. This impaired sppetite may often be the result of underlying disease which again might explain the apparent protective effect of high cholesterol in older people
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4589891/

    5. Yes it is or at least the levels that send certain people rushing off screaming to drug companies to statinate them. If there is any dementia benefits to native Nigerians it is probably there lower inflamatory diet. I do grow tired of this cholesterol propoganda but then again I am not a shareholder in any drug companies

    1. A low life expectancy does not necessarily mean that very few get old. It can often mean unfortunately that many die in childhood say between 0-5 years old.

    2. No.. The rates of Alzheimer’s are adjusted for age The comparative Alzheimer’s rates are ‘age standardised’ in the statistical jargon to avoid this precise problem.

    3. Tony M,
      You’re citing the life expectancy data including infant mortality, rather than the relevant age-adjusted mortality statistics by disease.

      Check out http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/alzheimers-dementia/by-country/

      as well as the per country world rankings.

      The WHO world rankings are “age-adjusted rate estimates” as of 2017. Note that the US is ranked #8 in the world, and Nigeria #90, in death rates from Alzheimer’s/Dementia. (By the way, Finland is #1.) The US also does much worse than Nigeria in death from CHD (#130 vs #90) and hypertension (#130 vs #79).

  5. Sure hoping somebody here can address the life expectancy issue in Nigeria. If everyone there dies before they are old enough to get symptoms, than this claim would be on par with the Eskimo diet not causing heart disease, which is rather disturbing. Since high infant mortality skews total life expectancy #s, would there be a way to find out if there actually is a population of people in Nigeria, say over 70, to base this claim on?

  6. You are possibly the greatest gift any of us could get with you work and nutritionfacts.org Thank you .
    As so many others now start writing books and blogs and posting videos it is becoming more and more obvious that you and what you reach is the real gold as it’s all rooted in facts , science and right motivation again you are the real deal and I am so grateful for all you have taught me .

  7. There is certainly an association between low cholesterol in old age and increased Alzheimer’s risk. In middle aged and younger people though, high blood cholesterol levels appear to increase Alzheimer’s risk.

    However, what these claims about a protective effect of high cholesterol in older people, ignore is the evidence that Alzheimer’s Disease itself may cause cholesterol to decline often many, many years before clinical symptoms of the disease occur.

    ‘Results 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.

    Conclusion A decline in serum total cholesterol levels may be associated with early stages in the development of dementia.’
    https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/fullarticle/793179

    Since old people are more likely to have Alzheimer’s than younger people, and high cholesterol is ‘normal’ in old age in Westernised countries, it is no surprise that old people with declining low cholesterol are at greater risk of Alzheimer’s. Note that people with stable low cholesterol levels are not at greater risk Note particularly the finding that ‘Cholesterol levels in men with dementia and, in particular, those with Alzheimer disease had declined at least 15 years before the diagnosis’

    I would also suggest that the Grain Brain book is sensationalist nonsense that distorts the scientific evidence (mainly by carefully omitting all the evidence that refutes its claims) by a doctor with a history of publishing books designed to make money by pressing all sorts of ‘alternative health’ buttons. And selling miracle supplements for that matter.
    https://www.thecut.com/2015/06/problem-with-the-grain-brain-doctor.html

    Be very careful of alternative health claims. They usually ignore key scientific information . Whether this is done deliberately with an intent to fill the wallets of the practitioners concerned or the authors are appallingly ignorant of matters about which they claim superior knowledge/expertise, I do not know.

    1. Tom have the studies that point to this..” There is certainly an association between low cholesterol in old age and increased Alzheimer’s risk.”

      Accounted for the loss of body weight that the progression of A usually involves?
      Early stage A, the forgetting to eat in a unsupervised environment is very common. When full care ensues then of course meals are provided.

      I know some study does recommend a possible metabolic component to A which reduces C, but I wonder if this is overstated.

        1. No I have no personal dog in the fight…I had my cholesterol level tested once about 30 years ago and completely forget the number only that it was good ;)

          Never again I suspect it is to easy to read things into it. I can see it now…results…oh great numbers no worry of heart attack…but wait…I may have alzheimers…what’s a mother to do?

          High BP high Resting HR other symptoms presenting, shortness of breath this or that… then a cholesterol check as I see it with no other history.
          But each to their own….I am not pushing this just curious if it has been tested thoroughly. It seems out of whack.

          1. To posit a example…if it was self reported weight in study a person with A may be inclined to report a past weight as opposed to a present weight..just saying.
            The brain uses many compensatory mechanism to accommodate these changes and a thought that the present is the past is not uncommon. I have a close relative who for all intents and purposes is stuck in a world of 1980 or so. Ask him and he would self report that weight though he is grossly morbidly obese now. The inverse could be the case as well.

            1. Peoples consistant with low cholesterol levels throughout their lives consistently present with very low or nonexistent a rates…It just seems so contradictory.

              1. I don’t see anything contradictory about it myself.

                High cholesterol (and high blood pressure) in early and mid life may increase risk for Alzheimer’s in later life. Whether this is directly causal or the diet/lifestyle that raises cholesterol levels, also increases Alzheimer’s risk I don’t know. That is,.high blood cholesterol may be a causal mechanism or it may just be a marker for other processes which are causal.

                Also, many diseeases and injuries cause cholesterol to decline. Alzheimers is not unique in this.

                If your cholesterol is low as a result of a healthy diet/lifestyle, or statins, then you probably have reduced risk of Alzheimer’s. If your cholesterol is declining for no apparent good reason, then it may indicate some early disease state. Ditto for weight loss. Both can happen together of course – some cancers cause both cholesterol and weight to decline in affected individuals. This may also be true of Alzheimer’s.

                However, it may be like heart disease – multipe factors affect risk both postively and negtively. Cholesterol is unlikely to be the sole cause/factor in Alzheimer’s just like it appers not to be the sole cause/factor in heart disease. Important yes but not the only thing.

      1. Ron Well, certainly the Honolulu Aisa study I cited above controlled for ‘weight change’ – and use of cholesterol lowering drugs for that matter.

        Whether cholesterol levels are directly causal I don’t know but high blood cholesterol levels in younger people are associated with higher risk for Alzheimer’s. On the other hand, declining cholesterol levels in older people are associated with and may be a symptom of subclinical Alzheimer’s. However, other things like cancer, hepatitis, infections and injury can also cause cholesterol to decline. If I recall correctly, many of these studies also did control for weight loss and statin use.

        I also recall reading a paper some years ago which stated that the aetiology of Alzheimers involved changes to the body’s cholesterol homeostaisis mechanism – it is a disease that doesn’t just affect the brain it seems.

        My internet connnection has now slowed to one byte a minute i think so I can’t give you reference for that.

    2. Imagine how bad their dementia would have been if there cholesterol had not plummeted over those fifteen years, doesnt bare thinking about

  8. The people I know who have died from it developed symptoms in their mid 40’s.

    It took ten or fifteen years, before they were out of their minds.

    But they already prepared their families and chose their medical care when the symptoms began, because they knew.

  9. I thought my dog was going to die around three in the morning. I thought that he was bleeding out again. I gave him a Yunnan Baiyao and some peanut butter flavored hemp oil and he did not move even one muscle, but he slowly asked for food and I put the bowl in front of him, but he didn’t move toward it, but when I moved it toward him, he ate every bite. That makes it better than when we carried him in the vet.

    About fifteen minutes later, he seemed to want to get up and I tried to help him and he moved ten feet and slunk down to the floor again.

    Fifteen minutes after that, he stood up and went outside and went to the bathroom and then explored the whole yard.

    I suddenly like Yunnan Baiyao very much.
    Plus, it kills the types of Cancer he has.

    It will be a miracle if he lives through this, but Yunnan Baiyao just got five stars from me for tonight.

    If it actually kills his Cancer I will end up handing it to everybody.

    1. It is so sad dogs go so early. They are so good by all rights they should go long after we do always.

      But very glad to hear you are not putting the dog down. I think that is very bad to do as we do not put down family members in pain. Though that is typical here, in places such as India that is rare.
      I am pressured very firmly by family to put dogs down when they are sickening with their impending death.
      I simply will not do it though it can be very messy and painful. They go in their sleep unattended but it is rare.
      And I hope your dog does recover and has many more years.

      1. Thanks Ron,

        Today, he was back to his old self. He is making it clear that he wants more food and wants to come to work with me.

        I keep telling him that I pinkie promised the vet not to bring him to work, but that after he is healed it will be back to normal.

        I love the Yunnan Baiyao.

        I give it to him and celebrate that he might not bleed out and that it also kills the stupid cancer.

        I feel like I have a genuine shot at this.

        The vet is officially not talking to me right now, because he didn’t want me to do any of this, but I have a waggy-tailed smiling-eyed doggy and the vet doesn’t want me to try to do anything at all to try to save his life and that ain’t gonna happen.

        1. I am so glad there is a “might not bleed out” OTC GMP substance.

          I don’t even have to get sad.

          He is doing pretty well and made me laugh in a way that he was so weak he couldn’t get to his food dish, but he was like, “I can’t exactly stand up right now, but could you please bring that dish a little closer to me?” Then, the first thing he did after coming back inside a half hour later is start asking, “Can I have a little bit more of that low glycemic index vegan canned food?”

          He has always gotten excited about food.

          He loves the peanut butter hemp oil so much, but that came in too small a bottle. I am not using hemp to kill Cancer, I am using it to calm him down during the collapsed from internal bleeding times.

          1. I am going to confess that I did wrestle between whether to heal him having him go Keto versus WFPB. I know I prefer having him live WFPB with me and I like that his body is producing Butyrate and that we have a good gut bacteria household and that I don’t have to decide whether to feed him raw meat or canned gunk.

            The thing is, they both work and in some ways it would be easy to just cut out all the grains and give him mostly meat for a few months and I saw their ultra sounds and understand their mechanisms. They healed a dog with my dog’s exact cancer. I pondered that carefully.

            I did however also find people who failed using Keto and I also found a few people who healed their dog through a vegan diet

            Every few days I re-watch T. Colin Campbell to reaffirm that I am choosing properly.

            The biggest advantage to Vegan is that he is not in pain. Even when he couldn’t get up or walk, he was not looking unhappy or in pain at all. Just totally incapable of getting up.

  10. In 2016 after taking the e-Cornell course on WFPB Nutrition I was converted, and as a devout believer I’ve been spreading the word. On one such occasion it was Dr. Barnard’s videos on Alzheimer’s related issues that helped convert a friend of mine who had just lost her dad to the dreaded disease. I had shared my information with her and encouraged her to join us in WFPBN. She was an easy convert having been a vegetarian so the next step came easily. But.. there’s always a but… 6 weeks into the WFPBN she started having allergic reactions, first mild and within 2 weeks of that more severe, and continued in a severe way. She’s been in and out of the doctor’s office and tests, upon tests.. (meanwhile I’ve been feeling guilty for having encouraged her) in the end just two weeks ago she was diagnosed as having a histamine allergy! She is rather sad about this all, and although her dietary changes were ever so slight, just dropping dairy and eggs, she is puzzled as to why this manifested itself now. Any thoughts? and can she slowly reintroduce and follow a WFPB lifestyle once again?

    1. Hello Picapica, and thanks for your comments. It’s great to see other people who encourage their friends to take better food choices :)

      As your friend might know by now, allergic reactions happens to people who were already predisposed or sensitezed to the allergen, so, I think that this might have happened sooner or later.

      It’s important that she follows the advice of her doctor, as some individuals can be more prone to severe allergic reactions, as anaphilaxis, wich is something she needs to avoid as it’s a condition that can threat her life.

      There’re new advances in allergy treatments, one of them is giving the allergen in small quantities to the individual, and gradually increasing it until the food/allergen is tolerated again, but this is not something you can do at home, again, it needs to be done under medical supervision, in case a severe reaction occurs.

      You can check this journal for more info:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5839887/

      https://www.healthline.com/health/low-histamine-diet#foods-to-avoid

      https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/allergies/

      Hope this helps!

        1. Hello Picapica,

          It can be something like she is eating too much Tempeh.

          She should keep a food diary.

          She might be able to tweak the quantity of a few foods.

  11. I am not very hopeful when it comes to *not* getting AD, in spite of whatever diet I follow. I tend to have everything my father did (astigmatism, flat feet, tendency to gain weight), and he got AD. Yes, it’s true he was very overweight most of his life and was a smoker. His mother – who was also a smoker, but only mildly overweight – had the beginnings of AD, but, mercifully, passed away from an MI before it went any further. My total cholesterol is about 230, but my HDL and LDL are both about 100, so the doctors don’t worry. I feel I am doomed.

    1. Hi Julie,

      Don’t feel doomed.

      There is already so much information out there about how to decrease the risks. Low fat WFPB already accomplishes so much. Watch your supplements – get your B12, Omega 3, D3. Check your homocysteine levels.

      Watch the heavy metals. Watch the baked goods and stay a million miles away from cheese. Drinking water with silica in it for a few months can lower your aluminum levels, which lowers your risk and so can eating WFPB. Dr. Greger recently did a toxicity video.

      Make sure your insulin and blood glucose are under control. Low fat WFPB helps with that and so can Intermittent fasting.

      Get exercise and get enough sleep at night, because that is when the janitors in the brain clean up.

      Dr. Bredesen said that he found about 60-something things he would call risk factors, but he had good results by turning around enough of them.

      Lowering cholesterol is one. Dr. Greger has videos on fiber and cholesterol, a handful of nuts and cholesterol, amla and cholesterol, four brazil nuts once per month…. I am not sure what other videos…. there might be a flaxseed one. I can’t remember whether flaxseed was cholesterol or BP.

      Anyway, make a check list.

      Start with

      Homocysteine
      B-12
      Omega 3 to 6 ratio
      Copper to Zinc ratio (you might need to take zinc and get rid of supplements with copper and iron)
      Lowering Ammonia in the brain
      Healing the gut (brain gut connection)
      Lowering cholesterol
      Balancing blood sugar
      Getting rid of saturated fats and refined carbs to clean out the pancreas to have insulin and Blood glucose be proper.

      Those are the list I started with.

      I lost my mind about 7 years ago, I think. Got it back. Got rid of hallucinations several weeks ago with silica water for a few months. Before that, I worked on getting my blood sugar under control and managing for Diabetes with diet (Dr Barnard is who I listened to for that) Got my homocysteine under control – I wasn’t supplementing and wasn’t eating fruits and vegetables. All that has changed.

      Got a gym membership, because my dog didn’t walk fast enough for it to be called exercise.

      Sleep is still the thing I haven’t started working on, and I haven’t lowered stress either, but I also did get blue light blocking glasses for wearing in front of the computer screen, so I don’t keep having cortisol all day and night.

      I don’t claim that those are all the answers, but those are the answers, which helped me so much.

    2. To add to the already excellent comments offered….
      Both of my parents became demented in old age. Both became legally blind and there is incidence on my fathers side of dementia in his father and on my mothers side with MS. My brother has to have all his socks labeled in the drawer and has for many years and he is but a bit older than me.

      I changed early in life became vegan, 30 years ago really . I ran just now about 40 minutes or so in 95 heat 7200 ft altitude and am looking around at something else to do as I am getting antsy. I lifted yesterday 360 max partial squat from the down position as focus lift in a 2 hour work out.
      Mind brain….I was under severe life and death stress, I mean real life and death, not some office thing of stress years earlier, and that affected things as it is expected they do. Now I have no stress..remembering lines of numbers and such..much better than in my prime and under extreme stress. Remembering past I remember it all. First kid in my class to go into what they called back then catatonic coma due to drug abuse…..so I had other reasons to lead me to cognitive defect as well.
      So I became not them.
      They made fun of me as to diet. But I stuck with it exercise and diet, and they are now all gone or not here mentally. So it is sad but I had to become not them and did.

      So I think it may be done. Not wanting to be them I became not them. But it required will and perseverance and study. It will happen then. There is no doubt.
      No worry on my side now I think. Old I don’t even wear glasses, driving exam eye test this year done.

  12. Today, while re-watching the sweet potatoes video, I ended up looking up Kunitz Type Trypsin Inhibitors and Protease Inhibitors and realized that almost all of the foods I am giving to my dog fit in those categories.

    I didn’t do that on purpose. Though I was doing the whole super food process combined with the low glycemic index process.

    I just found it interesting.

    I ended up seeing a chart on the Regulation of matrix metalloproteinases and that seems like a good thing to know about.

    Anyway, I like all of the simple science I can get in bite-sized portions here.

    Not sure I am capable of all of the big science word learning yet, but I love looking at the pathways and the words down at the bottom of regulation of matrix metalloproteinases all were ones that meant something to me in this whole cancer fight.

      1. Thanks Nancy.

        He is such a special dog. He was being trained to be a seeing eye dog, but had hip problems. He has ministered to person after person in my family and I am so indebted to this sweet guy. He is always happy and is always friendly. I have never seen him fight with any animal or person. My relative with a brain tumor got confused and threw him down the stairs when he was a pup and this ridiculously happy and emotionally sensitive dog came up the stairs and climbed into bed with him and warmed his feet. I can’t even tell you how many times he made dying people laugh with his silly sweet personality or how he knew when to just be there for people.

        I don’t know if I can save him, because of the bleeding out part, but I feel like I can get rid of the Cancer, and I am just hoping to have the 120 days the Keto people had to try it.

  13. Okay, I rewatched T. Colin Campbell and listened to Dr. McDougall’s anti-flaxseed oil arguments again and I am taking my dog off the oil, even though I was using the oil to get the turmeric and ginger and wormwood in.

    Flaxseed oil and Hempseed oil are the only fats I was using and I was trying to stay to low levels, but Dr. McDougall said: https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2002nl/jun/healthmythsomega3goodfats.htm

    And I am still trying to undo the Keto logic versus WFPB logic confusion.

    My dog’s vet and I sat down and talked about everything I am doing and once he heard all the studies, he was so supportive again. He would prefer me doing Keto maybe, because of the 120 day healing, but he understands that there is more than one way to do the process and he ended up saying, “Go for it. Get it all and give him a shot.” He also said that my dog had the biggest tumor he had ever seen and that I need to be prepared if his spleen or liver ruptures, but, in the meantime, it is seeing if I can shrink the tumor(s) before then.

    I was so happy, because I love him and he didn’t argue or put me down or make fun of me about it (like everybody else does) and he didn’t do the whole “You have to kill him faster” thing the hospitals did with my mother and uncle and grandmother. He said he was so happy when he saw my dog, because he is thriving and met him at the door wagging his tail. I am even happier about that, because when my grandmother and mother and uncle said they weren’t in pain and liked being alive, the medical people said, “They have…. cancer, brain cancer, dementia…. and don’t know what they are talking about and they are trying to please you and just are saying what you want to hear and they are just staying alive for your sake and you have to tell them it is okay to let go…. etc.)

    The vet said, “He is thriving. He is interested in food and people and exploring outside. He is wagging his tail and smiling and giving affection and wanting affection…” and the human beings were doing all of that, too and saying, “Yum” when they got their favorite foods and they were holding hands with us and laughing and for some reason medical model looks at charts instead of in the eyes of the people and listens through stethoscopes and can’t hear the words the person actually says.

    What a good day this was.

    I know he still is in grave danger and omega 3’s could make him bleed out faster. I will still use the flax seed, but the oil is going out.

  14. “ApoE is “the principal cholesterol carrier in the brain.”

    I didn’t know that genes carry anything in the body. This must be a ground-breaking discovery, worth the Nobel Prize. Wow!

    1. No one stated the ApoE gene carries cholesterol. The protein coded for by the ApoE gene is called ApoE. ApoE carries cholesterol.

      Dr. Ben

        1. George: does Dr. G say the “ApoE gene” is the carrier? Or does he say “ApoE” is the carrier?

          Dr. Ben

        2. “APOE” is ambiguous between the gene and the protein coded by the gene.
          The context disambiguates it – cholesterol carriers are lipoproteins, so that’s the intended meaning. However, since the sentence preceding mentions specifically “APOE gene”, the APOE reference in the next sentence might be taken to refer back to “APOE gene” by someone not familiar with the topic.

  15. Thank you for this valuable information. I admire your work, and have subscribed for years.
    One request: please do not use “trump” as a verb.

  16. Newsweek with the lead story that statins “protect from” Alzheimer’s — which is the exact opposite of the truth about statins and Alzheimer’s.

    The only relationship between high cholesterol and Alzheimer’s the authors could find was if they looked back 30 years. What they’re not saying is that, in the intervening years, cholesterol levels fell for those who later developed Alzheimer’s. While no one has said exactly why their levels might have fallen, statin drugs are a good bet.

    Here’s the only thing that the article above has to say about statin drugs:

    “Information on lipid-lowering treatments, which have been suggested to decrease dementia risk, was not available for this study.”

    You can be sure that, if there was any inkling that the statins might have helped, these researchers would have been allowed access to those statin treatment data.

    1. The only two placebo-controlled studies mentioned in that article were “underway” at the time. Interestingly enough, the media have kept mum on one of these studies: “S5-01-05: Multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of Simvastatin to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” Alzheimer’s Association International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, Volume 4, Issue 4, Supplement 1, July 2008, Page T200, now that it’s done. I wonder why?? Unfortunately, there’s not even an abstract available in the public domain for this study.

  17. Since 1960 the incidence rate of Alzheimers has rocketed. This is not solely due to people living longer as can be seen by the rates of increase. Fractures for example have increased with increased average ages but only at an expected linear rate. The increase in Alzheimers is exponential. Now what two things spring to mind that correspond with those dates. I would suggest Statin use and low fat dietary recommendations. One thing for sure we did not all have LDL cholesterol levels at 1.8 mmol (as per an average statin user) before 1960.

    1. Mark,
      Obesity rates and predominance of eating highly processed food (i.e. junk food) have also shot up since the 60s, including the many decades of eating lots of transfats (I still recall my mother, who was health conscious, switching us to margarine when I was young. I don’t trust statins and would not take them in part b/c of the possible connection to dementia, but there are plenty of possible explanations, none of which are mutually exclusive.

      1. I totally agree, my main point is that Cholesterol levels are not high or even on the list of contributors to Alzheimers.

  18. Taken from Stephanie Senner’s excellent article

    An intuitive explanation for why high cholesterol at an early age might be correlated with Alzheimer’s risk has to do with apoE-4. People with that allele are known to have high cholesterol early in life

    ( I.L. Notkola, R. Sulkava, J. Pekkanen, T. Erkinjuntti, C. Ehnholm, P. Kivinen, J. Tuomilehto, and A. Nissinen, “Serum total cholesterol, apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele, and Alzheimer’s disease,” Neuroepidemiology (1998) Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 14-20)

    Possibly this is a protective strategy on the part of the body. The apoE-4 allele is likely defective in the task of importing cholesterol into the astrocytes, and therefore an increase in the bioavailability of cholesterol in blood serum would help to offset this deficit. Taking a statin would be the last thing a person in that situation would want to do.

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