Flashback Friday: Alzheimer’s & Atherosclerosis of the Brain

Flashback Friday: Alzheimer’s & Atherosclerosis of the Brain
4.75 (94.94%) 79 votes

Lack of adequate blood flow to the brain due to clogging of cerebral arteries may play a pivotal role in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s dementia.

Discuss
Republish

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 lost 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. And, 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 70s, 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.

And now, we have a substantial body of evidence that strongly associates atherosclerotic vascular disease with the #1 cause of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease. Autopsy studies, for example, have shown that individuals with AD have significantly more atherosclerotic narrowing of the arteries within their brain.

This is what our cerebral arteries should look like: open, clean, allowing blood to flow. This is what atherosclerosis in our brain arteries looks like. Clogged with fat and cholesterol, closing off the arteries, restricting blood flow to our brain. What kind of brain arteries do you want in your head?

Normal resting cerebral blood flow, the amount of blood flow circulating within our brains, is about a quart a minute. But we lose about half a percent a year, so by age 65 we may be down 15% to 20%. But this doesn’t necessarily affect brain function, as 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.

If you look at the amount of atherosclerosis in the arteries that specifically supply blood to critical memory and learning centers of the brain, this is the amount of severe atherosclerosis one sees in 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 a vascular disorder.

This is good news, though, because atherosclerosis is potentially reversible. These findings were confirmed in two larger studies—over 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 folks with cognitive impairment for four years using CT angiography, special CAT scans to 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. And, the same with the ability to carry on the activities of daily living. And, it doubled the progression to Alzheimer’s disease. 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 now. 300 patients with Alzheimer’s, and those with all their vascular risk factors treated showed significantly less decline, slower progression of their disease, than those who went untreated.

It is 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.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: gabort via pixabay. Image has been modified.

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 lost 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. And, 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 70s, 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.

And now, we have a substantial body of evidence that strongly associates atherosclerotic vascular disease with the #1 cause of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease. Autopsy studies, for example, have shown that individuals with AD have significantly more atherosclerotic narrowing of the arteries within their brain.

This is what our cerebral arteries should look like: open, clean, allowing blood to flow. This is what atherosclerosis in our brain arteries looks like. Clogged with fat and cholesterol, closing off the arteries, restricting blood flow to our brain. What kind of brain arteries do you want in your head?

Normal resting cerebral blood flow, the amount of blood flow circulating within our brains, is about a quart a minute. But we lose about half a percent a year, so by age 65 we may be down 15% to 20%. But this doesn’t necessarily affect brain function, as 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.

If you look at the amount of atherosclerosis in the arteries that specifically supply blood to critical memory and learning centers of the brain, this is the amount of severe atherosclerosis one sees in 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 a vascular disorder.

This is good news, though, because atherosclerosis is potentially reversible. These findings were confirmed in two larger studies—over 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 folks with cognitive impairment for four years using CT angiography, special CAT scans to 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. And, the same with the ability to carry on the activities of daily living. And, it doubled the progression to Alzheimer’s disease. 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 now. 300 patients with Alzheimer’s, and those with all their vascular risk factors treated showed significantly less decline, slower progression of their disease, than those who went untreated.

It is 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.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: gabort via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Doctor's Note

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

As I explained in my video, Alzheimer’s May Start Decades Before Diagnosis, it’s never too early to start eating and living a brain-healthy lifestyle.

Lifestyle medicine is critical for our body and mind:

Blood flow is also important for other critical organs: Cholesterol and Female Sexual Dysfunction and Survival of the Firmest: Erectile Dysfunction and Death

In 2018, I did a new video on the topic of diet and Alzheimer’s: Oxidized Cholesterol as a Cause of Alzheimer’s Disease. Also check out its follow-up, How to Reduce Cholesterol Oxidation.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

135 responses to “Flashback Friday: Alzheimer’s & Atherosclerosis of the Brain

Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

  1. For 5 years I visited a relative in the dementia unit section of an assisted living place in an upper class town.
    These were smart educated people with great careers and mostly all slim. They did not have heart attacks, then had dementia.
    Why would someone have atherosclerosis of the brain but not in the heart?
    I am sure most people in the 90 -105 age range have some aging in the arteries but they don’t have dementia.

    1. You are forgetting that not only is weight loss in the elderly common, it seems to be a feature of developing dementia (it is also common in some other chronic diseases like cancer).

      The fact that people institutionalised with dementia may be slim or have low cholesterol or low blood pressure now, is no guarantee that they were slim when the disease began and developed.

      ‘The weight loss theory
      A recent study has suggested that accelerated weight loss is a possible sign of dementia. Weight loss in the elderly is a common finding. However, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis studied 449 elderly patients and found that although all the subjects in the study lost weight, an accelerated weight loss of double the annual loss of weight predicted the onset of dementia in the following year.

      Another study also points to weight loss as a potential indicator of future dementia. A recent study at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, indicates that women may actually start losing weight as much as a decade before the onset of dementia. They found that women started losing weight at a more accelerated pace 10 years before they developed dementia.’
      https://mercyhealthsystem.org/service/memory-care/weight-loss-dementia/

    2. The manifestation of atherosclerosis can be different in different people. It would seem improbable that someone would simultaneously exhibit both heart attack and Alzheimer’s at the exact same time in some lockstep fashion. So perhaps problems in the heart were present but had not yet shown as overt symptoms.

      As the notable example of Jim Fixx demonstrates, people can appear to be superbly fit yet have circulatory system diseases we may associate with a lack of fitness.

      However, clearly there are things happening in the Alzheimer’s afflicted brain other than just fatty deposits. So the deposits may happen more in the brain rather than the heart due to other physical problems in the brain that cause something like inflammation which would facilitate fatty deposition.

      The good news is that we can at least do SOMETHING to potentially inhibit Alzheimer’s and it comes with the general dietary and fitness package shared by Dr. Greger.

      1. Yes but stroke is a cardiovascular disease too.

        And of course Alzheimer’s dementia isn’t the only game in town. The second most common dementia is vascular dementia Not only that but ‘mixed dementia’ where people have both is thought to be surprisingly common.
        https://alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/what-is-dementia/types-of-dementia/mixed-dementia

        Most experts believe that diets that are good for heart health also are good for our brains
        https://alz.org/help-support/brain_health/adopt_a_healthy_diet

          1. Thanks Lonie.

            I could fairly be described as maddening but in fact the problem appears to be too little Tom not too much!….

            “We were interested in TOM-1 because its levels are low in the Alzheimer’s brain and in the brains of Alzheimer’s rodent models,”

            3..””””

    3. Yerky,
      >>> I am sure most people in the 90 -105 age range have some aging in the arteries but they don’t have dementia.

      Why do you think that? Dementia risk escalates with age. Cf.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2705925/

      Prevalence of Dementia in the United States: The Aging, Demographics, and Memory Study
      “Results

      The prevalence of dementia among individuals aged 71 and older was 13.9%, comprising about 3.4 million individuals in the USA in 2002. The corresponding values for AD were 9.7% and 2.4 million individuals. Dementia prevalence increased with age, from 5.0% of those aged 71–79 years to 37.4% of those aged 90 and older.”

    4. Yerky,

      I wonder if the arteries to the brain are narrower than those to the heart?

      I have heard the erectile dysfunction (ED) is an early warning of heart disease, that it appears that these very small narrow arteries are blocked by plaque. But rather than heed the warning of the “canary in the coal mine,” most men pop a pill, rather than changing their diet, exercising, not smoking tobacco or alcohol, or losing weight Then later they suffer cardiovascular disease (CVD).

      In fact, I think there’s at least one video on this website directed to that very topic. In fact, here is one: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/survival-of-the-firmest-erectile-dysfunction-and-death/

      “In two-thirds of men showing up to emergency rooms for the first time with crushing chest pain, their penis had been trying to warn them for years that something was wrong with their circulation.

      Why does it tend to hit the penis first? Because the penile arteries in the penis are half the size of the coronary arteries in our heart—that particular artery is the so-called widowmaker. So, the same amount of plaque in the heart, that you wouldn’t even feel, could half clog the penile artery, causing a symptomatic restriction in blood flow.”

      1. Most of the people in the facility were woman. Some where there 5 or 6 years and did not get heart attacks. There spouses that would visit, some were married for 50-60 years living in the same house eating about the same stuff and similar lifestyle, yet some got Alzheimers and their spouses did not.
        I don’t get it, it is a mystery to me and kind of sad what I saw.

        1. Some people are thought to be genetically predisposed to develop Alzheimer’s.

          Also, while high cholesterol in younger people is associated with greater risk of dementia, declining cholesterol levels are associated with greater dementia risk in older people. I have seen some studies that suggest the disease itself alters the body’s cholesterol mechanisms. Some other researchers have suggested that malnourishment and weight loss in Alzheimer’s patients could explain the declining cholesterol levels that are observed.

          And we know from various trials that lowering cholesterol itself reduces CVD risk

          1. How do we know that lowering cholesterol reduces CVD risk ?. I presume you refer to Stain treatment and yet Statins have other effects in addition to cholesterol lowering. Further more Niacin does a pretty good job of lowering cholesterol and yet they have proved ineffective with regard to CVD in trials which suggests that something else is contributing to the miniscule positive effects of Statins

            1. “How do we know that lowering cholesterol reduces CVD risk ?’

              We know this from multiple trials of lowering cholesterol via lifestyle changes and drugs, by the fact that populations with lower cholesterol have lower CVD rates than populations with higher cholesterol levels, from studies of mechanisms of action, and from Mendelian randomisation studies. This consensus statement by the European Atherosclerosis Society summaries this evidence

              ‘We assessed whether the association between LDL and ASCVD fulfils the criteria for causality by evaluating the totality of evidence from genetic studies, prospective epidemiologic cohort studies, Mendelian randomization studies, and randomized trials of LDL-lowering therapies. In clinical studies, plasma LDL burden is usually estimated by determination of plasma LDL cholesterol level (LDL-C). Rare genetic mutations that cause reduced LDL receptor function lead to markedly higher LDL-C and a dose-dependent increase in the risk of ASCVD, whereas rare variants leading to lower LDL-C are associated with a correspondingly lower risk of ASCVD. Separate meta-analyses of over 200 prospective cohort studies, Mendelian randomization studies, and randomized trials including more than 2 million participants with over 20 million person-years of follow-up and over 150 000 cardiovascular events demonstrate a remarkably consistent dose-dependent log-linear association between the absolute magnitude of exposure of the vasculature to LDL-C and the risk of ASCVD; and this effect appears to increase with increasing duration of exposure to LDL-C. Both the naturally randomized genetic studies and the randomized intervention trials consistently demonstrate that any mechanism of lowering plasma LDL particle concentration should reduce the risk of ASCVD events proportional to the absolute reduction in LDL-C and the cumulative duration of exposure to lower LDL-C, provided that the achieved reduction in LDL-C is concordant with the reduction in LDL particle number and that there are no competing deleterious off-target effects’
              https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/38/32/2459/3745109

              See also
              https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-do-we-know-that-cholesterol-causes-heart-disease/

              e

              1. Correlation V Causation

                There is a bulk of evidence, with the same causation tag, that refutes the cholesterol hypothesis. Why doesn’t Niacin have beneficial effects when ot was tested despite lowering cholesterol ?

                1. Mark

                  You never cite any evidence in your posts You just make statements that are factually incorrect …. and have been doing so for years now

                  For example the evidence covers randomised controlled trials – nothing to do with correlation – but that doesn’t stop cholesterol denialists continuing to make this false argument that the evidence is all about correlation They have been doing it for decades even though they must know that this claim is not true

                  Also niacin does not lower cholesterol it raises (HDL) cholesterol That is why it has no effect on mortality Only LDL choelsterol lowering has been shown to reduce mortality

                  1. For a RCT to be confident of causation you would have, in this case Statins, to be confident that no other mechanism is at play. We dont have that confidence as Statins lower inflammation which many believe is the root cause. In addition the benefits of lowering LDL with Statins is miniscule compared to alternatives which do not have the same disastrous effect of lowering LDL

                    1. Mark

                      The EAS consensus statement on LDL cholesterol I cited to you earlier, covers your objections. Let me repeat again, RCTs, observational studies, Mendelian randomisation studies and mechanisms of action studies all show it is the cholesterol. Why do you think they find arteries clogged with cholesterol in autopsies of dead CVD patients? Why do they have radiographic imagery of cholesterol lowering treatments unclogging blocked arteries in CVD patients?

                      What is more, your objection to statins is a distraction from your original question about how we know that lowering cholesterol reduces CVD risk.

                    2. Tom I am not interested in statements from bodies like the EAS I am interested in good science and the science surrounding the elevation of Cholesterol to be the number one focus point for reducing CVD is one of the worst cases of bad science we have had to endure. It is pointless debating with you because you only read the reports that comes out of the ‘truth factory’ and any perspective from anyone that questions the status quo is branded as a quack or crackpot. To be fair you have moderated your language recently and I thank you for that but we will just have to disagree. I think Cholesterol gets involved in the process of dealing with damage and is not the culprit any more than white blood cells should be reduced because they seem to increase or be active when we have a virus

                    3. Mark

                      I doubt that you are qualified, trained or knowledgeable enough to judge what is bad science and what isn’t. Especially since, from what you write, you haven’t even bothered to read the scientific studies, position statements, reviews, guidelines etc that extensively discuss the evidence on this issue..

                      And your statements – eg about niacin and ‘correlation – are usually factually incorrect where they aren’t just airy vague statements of belief.

                      Professional medical associations, national health authorities and international bodies have reviewed the evidence multiple times and concluded that high blood cholesterol is an important modifiable risk factor in CVD. Deliberately choosing to ignore both the evidence and the assessments of it and instead believing people selling stuff. individuals associated with industries that sell cholesterol-raising foodstuffs and downright cranks seems unwise if not positively irrational to me. I shudder to think how many people have had their lives cut short or their health damaged by believing their claims..

                      However, you have been doing this for years now and, sadly, are unlikely to change.

                    4. Tom I am a retired University lecturer in Data Science and Computer Science which gives me some grasping of when data is being manipulated to create a market. These professional medical associations you revere are the same associations that gave us this bad advice back in 1977 via the Mcgovern report. I doubt however that you have ever had a contrary thought in your life, preferring instead to toe the medical establishment line. Dont get me wrong its not all corrupt but where it is isn’t we get the Titanic effect, its just too big and ingrained to change overnight and there is always someone out there from the scientific community willing to be bought. Last night we had a BBC1 documentary on how meat is contributing to the destruction of the planet. A very smart, eloquent and sadly bought female scientist came on and defended the meat industry.

                      What is your background Tom ?

    5. Dear Dr. Greger–
      My 40-year eating pattern has been “plant-based” — thus even preceding that terminology.
      Perhaps you know that my husband, Keith Block, and I have been running and continuing to evolve, based on the best available science, a truly comprehensive, genuinely integrative or rather whole system oncology, center with excellent outcome data. As a relevant side-bar, I have been following you and your responsible messaging about foods and genuine health vs ill-health and have repeated your name to many of our patients who come from all over the US as well as outside of the US. Importantly, for the past ~4 decades, I not only daily read/evaluate and write research, but we do “walk the walk,” that is, live the way we recommend every day.
      However, not only did both of my parents and grandparent die of Alzheimer’s but I have the much higher risk allele (APO-E4) so have been doing and finding good information to diminish my risk. My blood pressure has been historically low, etc. and felt that Dale Bredesen’s complex system in terms of addressing the complicated etiology of different types of Alzheimer’s is meaningful. However, at my age of 78, the stress and pressure that I (and of course, my husband) have been facing in terms of the current incomprehensible oncology economic pressures — struggling to keep our doors open– has taken a toll. Therefore, I’m looking for and hoping that you might have other, new suggestions for diminishing risk of this disease which I fear will move me from MCI to full disease. We still have what we trust is important work to do — in which we feel fortunate about engaging. Please pass to me and many others additional information you might have.
      Thank you for your excellent work in the midst of too much misleading and dangerous misinformation,
      –Penny Block

      Penny B. Block, Ph.D.
      Exec.Director/Director Comprehensive Integrative System
      Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment
      Executive Director,
      Institute for Integrative Cancer Care Research & Education
      Associate Editor
      Integrative Cancer Therapies, Sage Science Press
      http://www.BlockMD.com
      Tele: 847-492-3040
      5230 Old Orchard Road
      Skokie, Illinois 60077

      This email is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If the reader of this email message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender and destroy/delete all copies of the transmittal.

      1. This email is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If the reader of this email message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is prohibited. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender and destroy/delete all copies of the transmittal.
        ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————
        I have received this email in error. I will delete it from my mailbox post haste.

      2. Hi, Dr. Penny Block! Thanks for your kind words and decades of good work. I understand your concern about high genetic risk for AD. Stress is a factor, so anything you can do to manage it is likely to be helpful. Dr. Greger shares all of his information here on NutritionFacts. You can find everything on this site related to Alzheimer’s Disease here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/alzheimers-disease/ I would also recommend a book, “The Alzheimer’s Solution,” by Ayesha Sherzai and Dean Sherzai in case you are not already familiar with it. I hope that helps!

    6. Hi, Yerky! Alzheimer’s disease often includes loss of appetite, diminished ability to eat, or a tendency to forget meals. As a consequence, people with this condition may be slim in old age, but they may have been heavier in midlife. Many factors may contribute to dementia, including genetics, diet, exercise, education, continued intellectual stimulation, medications, sleep, stress, trauma, and toxic exposures. They may very well have had atherosclerosis all over, but it manifested more in the brain. It is also likely that you were not aware of everything in the medical histories of the people you saw, and that some of them may very well have had cardiovascular events earlier in life. Medications used to prevent cardiovascular events may also contribute to dementia. You can find everything on this site related to dementia here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/dementia/ I hope that helps!

    1. Wade – that was very interesting and hopeful. I can’t help but wonder what her diet was like before she made the switch. Wish they’d included that information in the article.

    2. There is the case of 104 year old Elizabeth Sullivan who credited her long and healthy life to a very special doctor.
      I can’t remember the doctor’s name but maybe someone can help me out?

      You see when you get up in age 3 things start to happen.
      1st thing is you lose your hearing
      2nd thing is you lose your memory
      and the 3rd thing…… I forgot

      1. Ah, ok it’s probably an anomaly but 104 year old Elizabeth Sullivan credits her long life to the special doctor, his name was Dr. Pepper.

        1. I think it is unlikely that her practice of drinking three cans of the stuff every day helped her live longer.

          Perhaps we should ask how much longer she might have lived if she had drunk water, tea or coffee instead?

    3. Wade,

      Those are many of the foods I added.

      Blueberries, spinach, kale, dark chocolate, walnuts, broccoli (and the sprouts)

      I didn’t add the seeds.

      Soy is officially on my list to add to those.

      Beets, if people can figure out how to eat them every day. Too messy for me.

  2. I did many many CT angiograms of the brain in my career.. Before we injected the contrast into the brain we would do a localizer scan to make sure we were had all the technical factors and areas of concern correct. What was shocking was on many of the patients you could actually see the plaque in the brain BEFORE the injection of the contrast. In many cases it was an extension of the plaque in the carotid arteries that migrated up into the arteries of the brain…
    Some had signs of dementia and some did not…
    DON’T GET SICK!! Then again I’m preaching to the choir here
    mitch

  3. Some medical procedures can be very traumatizing (like some heart procedures) and have a lasting negative psychological if not physical effect. Scans, on the other hand, (other than mibi) can be a powerful motivating experience leading to positive life changes.

  4. Dear Mr. Greger,
    that is very clear and plausible to me. How then come the studies that Alzheimer patients daily eat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil suddenly after 1 week already wake up and after 2 weeks can draw a clock and after 3 weeks already digits in the dial? This contradicts the statement that M. Alzheimer can be caused by atherosclerosis and plaque deposits. After all, because of the saturated fatty acids in coconut oil, the blood vessels in the brain and in the body would have to be even closer, but the opposite is the case. Or is this again a marketing study of the coconut oil industry?

    Thanks for your efforts.

    I am happy to hear from you!

    Best regards

    Hp Marco Bruhn

    1. How then come the studies that Alzheimer patients daily eat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil suddenly after 1 week already wake up and after 2 weeks can draw a clock and after 3 weeks already digits in the dial?
      —————————————————————————————————————————-
      I’ve read the same thing but I’m thinking they ate MCT oil instead of full on coconut oil. This goes to the ketogenic diet argument that the brain can do fine on something like MCT oil as fuel, as this creates ketones.

      I’m not so sure this is a long term strategy for someone who is already deep in Alzheimer’s progression, but I ate the MCT oil (still do on occasions as I drain the oil off of unadulterated peanut butter and replace it with MCT oil) and while I offer no proof (no scans… never have, never will) I am unaware of any ill effects from the MCT oil intake.

      1. Hello Leoni, I know the studies only with coconut oil and not with MCT oil. There I always argue with my patients and adversaries and advocates of the ketogenic diet. The claim that carbohydrates are unhealthy and you should only feed on meat and fat / oil, which is of course complete nonsense in my eyes.

        Die Formel gegen Alzheimer: Die Gebrauchsanweisung für ein gesundes Leben – Ganz einfach vorbeugen und rechtzeitig heilen https://www.amazon.de/dp/3453202759/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_1xe2Db2E1MT62

        Best regards

        Marco

        Praxis Marco Bruhn und Praxis für private Physiotherapie

        1. Hello Leoni, I know the studies only with coconut oil and not with MCT oil. There I always argue with my patients and adversaries and advocates of the ketogenic diet. The claim that carbohydrates are unhealthy and you should only feed on meat and fat / oil, which is of course complete nonsense in my eyes.
          ————————————————————————————————————————————-
          Hi Marco, I’m keeping an open mind about the benefits of ketogenics as I am a fan of Valter Longo’s research. I trust the human body to have evolved to create Ketone bodies for fuel as a survival mechanism… and possibly as a healing mechanism as eating is usually abstained from during severe illness.

          But I respect your desire to argue with your patients against such practice.

          Personally, I look forward to my own Dr’s appointments as he and I have a friendly tête-à-tête over my own best health practices. He recommends drugs and I refuse any and all pharma in favor of natural herbs, spices, supplements, plus any other scientific intervention discoveries.

          And while Nutrition Facts.org aligns with your thinking somewhat, I think that is all well and good for those who want to survive aging in a state of “being in good health for their age”… I have loftier goals of being in excellent health for any age.

    2. Marco,

      The thing about Alzheimer’s is that even though something like 90% (according to Dr. Pam Popper) was prevented in a study where they lowered their saturated fats, Alzheimer’s is also correlated to Diabetes.

      There are a few theories as to why Coconut oil can help even if saturated fats cause it.

      Think about the Keto diet and Diabetes. That is similar. The fats plug up the pancreas and the fats increase insulin resistance, but they also decrease blood sugar, and they also increase Ketosis, so the brain is running on a different fuel. Not a better fuel, but a fuel none-the-less.

      The thing about fats is that they increase insulin resistance, but decrease blood sugar. Out of control blood sugar can cause Alzheimer’s symptoms. I had such bad brain problems and going Whole Food Plant-Based low fat has helped me so much, but I had a list of things I tried to do. Dealing with the fact that I had strong symptoms of Diabetes is one of the things I needed to deal with. Back then, Google always gave me Keto answers for Diabetes, but Whole Food Plant-Based can heal Type 2 Diabetes without increasing insulin resistance.

      Fats don’t spike blood sugar, but people on a low fat, high carb diet don’t have problems with blood sugar, unless they are Type 1 or Type 1.5.

      Insulin can also improve brain function in Alzheimer’s temporarily.

      Also, the brain needs glucose to run on, but if you are having trouble using glucose, the brain can also on ketones. Again, it isn’t ideal, but your brain can run on ketones and people who are Keto say that they feel mentally clearer having their brains run on ketones.

      1. There are other factors associated with Alzheimer’s than saturated fats, but in Finland, lowering saturated fats took care of most of the risk, so it is the one to start with. Someone said that do the things that help the heart and you will help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s.

        Harvard said about coconut oil: But there’s no evidence that consuming coconut oil can lower the risk of heart disease, according to an article in the April 2016 Nutrition Reviews. The study, titled “Coconut Oil Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Humans,” reviewed findings from 21 studies, most of which examined the effects of coconut oil or coconut products on cholesterol levels. Eight were clinical trials, in which volunteers consumed different types of fats, including coconut oil, butter, and unsaturated vegetable oils (such as olive, sunflower, safflower, and corn oil) for short periods of time. Compared with the unsaturated oils, coconut oil raised total, HDL, and LDL cholesterol levels, although not as much as butter did.

        These findings jibe with results from a study by Dr. Sun and colleagues in the Nov. 23, 2016, issue of The BMJ, which examined the links between different types of saturated fatty acids and heart disease. Compared with other saturated fats (like palmitic acid, which is abundant in butter), lauric acid didn’t appear to raise heart risk quite as much. But that’s likely because American diets typically don’t include very much lauric acid, so it’s harder to detect any effect, Dr. Sun notes.

        1. The other factors for Alzheimer’s, which I think helped

          Lower your Homocysteine (eating plant foods with Folate & supplementing with a viable form of B12, get enough Vitamin D and Omega 3 also lowers it)

          Heavy Metals – drinking silica water (Fiji water is the easiest to find) helped me a lot. It got rid of my hallucinations and night terrors.

          Watch your copper/zinc balance Eat garlic and onions with your foods with phytates to increase the absorption of zinc. Don’t use supplements with copper.

          Eat blueberries, kale, turmeric, and broccoli sprouts. I am just going to list them and not do the science because I am just going home and I am already an hour late for dinner but luckily I have something made so it is just microwave it.

    3. This very long article can explain that Alzheimer’s can disrupt glucose metabolism.

      At that point, the brain runs on ketones. It isn’t a good thing, but it is better than the brain having no fuel at all.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3900881/#S1title

      Post-menopausal women have their brains switch to Keto, but women get Alzheimer’s more than males and estrogen is protecting the brain.

      Aside to Dr Greger, this is my brain processing studies. I would be interested if women’s brains always go Keto or if it is a sign that the women are getting Alzheimer’s and the disease is causing the switch to Keto?

      1. Here’s my thought for what it is worth (I am not a doctor or medical science person at all, at all, at all. I am a person who likely developed Alzheimer’s and who didn’t go to a doctor, except for every doctor on the internet and WFPB has helped tremendously)

        The thing with women is that the longer you can keep their glucose metabolism functioning properly and keep their brains out of Keto, the less likely they are to get Alzheimer’s.

        Estrogen helps them by preserving their glucose metabolism.

        https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C22&as_vis=1&q=estrogen+alzheimer%27s+glucose+metabolism&btnG=#d=gs_qabs&u=%23p%3DSklMmbRgCngJ

        Back to the sentence that a disturbed glucose metabolism is one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s and I am not sure if Keto could cause it or if it causes Keto or losing estrogen causes it and the sign is that the brain goes Keto, but the earlier a woman’s brain goes Keto the more likely it is a sign she will get Alzheimer’s.

        After a certain point, she will need ketones to fuel her brain, I guess.

        But I threw up every time I tried to take coconut oil.

        1. Okay, I just read the article more slowly and disturbed glucose metabolism does the whole calcium thing that I don’t understand yet, but it is similar to the glutamate storm.

          So, does intentionally going Keto cause the calcium thing?

          Laughing.

          Apologies for trying to process things that are so far outside of my understanding.

            1. Why does estrogen help and how is that related to the video topic?

              I start with fats are more likely to have people go keto.

              Yes, they also block arteries, but does estrogen slow the artery blocking or is the fat also causing Diabetes and glucose metabolism problems in the brain?

                    1. Okay, estrogen depletion increases insulin resistance.

                      So estrogen relates to both the blood flow to the brain and to the glucose metabolism impairment.

                      I think.

                    1. The soy studies where cognitive ability did decrease, if it is that vegans eat more soy and also don’t supplement, then it would add to the vegan’s risk for cognitive decline issue.

                      I can only say that I have eaten some soy nearly every day for the past 2 years (possibly longer if the Morningstar chickn patties count)

                      Being quasi-vegan and eating soy has not hindered my brain from improving. My two cents from this brain-healing process.

      2. Dr. Bredesen believes that the disrupted glucose metabolism comes first. The brain develops insulin resistance making it dependent on ketones. Hence his emphasis on keeping normal fasting blood sugar and HgA1C.

  5. Some years ago I read a piece (on the BBC website IIRC) explaining that the brain doesn’t lose parts of it but they simply become inactive due to loss of oxygen. Once perfusion to those parts is restored they become active again.

    The subject of the written piece was actually about how beet root juice could restore perfusion and “light up” those dormant parts of the brain. I’ve been drinking beet root juice ever since I read that (and eating dark unsweetened 100% cacao chocolate) for the nitric oxide benefit of keeping my blood vessels pliable.

    It is my belief that my brain has improved to the point that I actually have the awareness to gauge the change.

    Not an epiphanal change, but definitely one I can see over time.

  6. >>>> But we lose about half a percent a year, so by age 65 we may be down 15% to 20%. But this doesn’t necessarily affect brain function, as 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.

    I continue to believe that this is not a necessary consequence of aging per se, rather genetics asides, it’s a result of lifestyle factors including diet, exercise and regular, challenging mental stimulation.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29693564

    1. See e.g.
      https://www.drmirkin.com/health/morehealth/aging-and-risk-for-dementia.html

      “Exercising your Brain
      At the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference in Toronto on July 24, 2016, data was presented showing that older adults averaging 73 years of age, who had practiced increasing the speed at which they processed visual information for 10 years, reduced their chances of suffering dementia by 33 percent, compared to the control group who did no special training. This is supported by several previous studies showing that people who work in jobs requiring complex thinking are at reduced likelihood to develop dementia.”

      “Physical Exercise
      • Researchers followed the physical activity and did brain MRIs of 3700 men and women over 60 years of age for more than 10 years and found that the most active people had larger hippocampi (the part of the brain that controls short-term memory) and that those over 75 had the greatest benefit from exercise (J of Geron Ser A: Biol Sci and Med Scien, August 2016).

      • Canadian researchers analyzed brain scans of 330 healthy adults, ages of 19 and 79, and showed that those who walked up and down stairs regularly had younger-appearing and larger brains (Neurobiology of Aging, April 2016;40:138–144). They estimated that every added flight of stairs walked each day reduced the person’s brain age by half a year.

      • A group of 100 men, aged 55-68, with mild cognitive impairment (progressive impaired memory) did a supervised program of lifting increasingly heavy weights twice a week for six months. Compared to those who had a program of just stretching, the weightlifters had a significant improvement in their memories and ability to solve problems and the greater the gain in strength, the greater their improvement in mental function (J of American Geriatrics, Nov 30, 2016).

      • A study of 3050 twins, followed for 25 years, showed that moderately vigorous physical activity is associated with higher memory and better problem solving (J of Alzheimer’s Disease, September 2, 2016).”

      1. Thanks for the information gengo-gakusha.

        I used to disregard studies showing Alzheimer’s protection from mere mental activity as Alzheimer’s is observable gross brain damage. But the more I learn of epigenetics the more feasible the idea seems.

    2. Gengo, I agree diet, exercise, mental stimulation. I would also add fasting, as it’s been shown to raise BDNF. So far I can only find mouse and rat studies on this but they are impressive.
      One study with Intermittent fasting restricted eating to 3 hours a day. Not sure what that would translate to in humans,
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29307281
      The other study was on ADF (alternate day fasting).
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5712566/ (They called this one intermittent also, but it was fasting every other day.)
      Dr. David Sinclair’s book goes into the mechanics mentioned in the second study.

      1. Marilyn, Thanks for adding that, and for the links.

        Just found this 2018 article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5913738/ Intermittent metabolic switching, neuroplasticity and brain health

        I found the following statement particularly interesting, as it indicates a certain complementarity between aerobic exercise and IMS: “Both running and IF can enhance neurogenesis, with running stimulating the proliferation of the stem cells33 and IF increasing the survival of the newly generated neurons34 . Running also strengthens inputs of newly generated neurons from brain regions critical for spatial learning and memory, including the entorhinal cortex and basal forebrain (including the septum)35 “

        1. Gengo, Thank you for pointing out the synergism. I’m in the middle of a 5 day, mimicking fasting, per Longo. I do that every 3 months.Tried to find out whether I should workout as usual or not during it. Couldn’t find an answer, so I settled for an hour of fast walking.
          Have you seen any info on that?

          1. No, I haven’t.

            If you feel inclined, when you are done with the Longo diet, I’d be interested to know your reactions (I am sure many others would too).

      1. Barb, I think that depends on the individual. If there is heart disease, or a family history of such, and other risk factors, low fat, as per Ornish is the best diet. For others, I don’t see a problem with low to moderate evoo intake.
        Personally, I do use it. Without it my skin dries up. I like it on salads and a bit on top of veggie soups. I don’t cook with it though. Just add some after food is prepared.
        Whether it’s healthy for most people, not sure the answer is in yet.

      2. I think Dr Greger once said that we need fat to absorb nutrients from salads.

        However, rather than using oil (which he thinks is unhealthy), he pointed out that 5 walnut halves gives us all the fat we need to absorb the phytonutrients from a salad. Presumably olives, avocados, other nuts and seeds and fatty beans like soy would do the job too. In other words, try to get the fat from whole foods rather than concentrated isolated fats like oils.

        1. Fumbles, Yes, but that anti-extracted oil view does not address the evidence that EVOO has unique bioactive compounds that are neuroprotective in concentrated form. If so, this could outweigh any negatives generally associated with oils.

          Here’s a fairly recent review.
          https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/18/11/2230

          Bioactivity of Olive Oil Phenols in Neuroprotection “Abstract Neurological disorders such as stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases are associated with high morbidity and mortality, and few or no effective options are available for their treatment. These disorders share common pathological characteristics like the induction of oxidative stress, abnormal protein aggregation, perturbed Ca2+ homeostasis, excitotoxicity, inflammation and apoptosis. A large body of evidence supports the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet in preventing neurodegeneration. As the Mediterranean diet is characterized by a high consumption of extra-virgin olive oil it has been hypothesized that olive oil, and in particular its phenols, could be responsible for the beneficial effect of the Mediterranean diet. This review provides an updated vision of the beneficial properties of olive oil and olive oil phenols in preventing/counteracting both acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases.”

          1. I’m definitely pro-EVOO. I have a little every day, somewhere around a teaspoon or so. It makes a great butter substitute, and I drizzle a little on my Ezekiel toast at breakfast time. And maybe several drops on raw veggie salad at dinner.

            I have some walnuts, almonds and avocado at various meals, too. IMO, living in a never-oil world would be torture! :-/ And I think our skin needs a certain amount to prevent looking like a dried-up prune.

          2. hThea nks Gengo.

            I am sure there are good reasons why EVOO should he healthy/neuroprotective. I used to take it myself at one point.

            However, that’s all very well but what happens when this hypothesis is put to the test? In an RCT, a diet supplemented with EVOO saw more cognitive impairment develop in that group than in both the control group and a group supplemented with nuts.

            https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2293082

            1. Frankly, the amount of evoo given in the study was really high. (1 L/wk). These people were likely already consuming olive oil in all groups as it says they switched from plain olive oil to the better extra virgin type. What I came away with as the bottom line is that both evoo and walnuts are beneficial. The walnuts likely substituted for other foods in their diet, perhaps the oil just added more calories.

            2. Fumbles, thanks for the link.

              >>>a diet supplemented with EVOO saw more cognitive impairment develop in that group than in both the control group and a group supplemented with nuts.

              I am wondering how you arrived at that conclusion.

              There were only 3 statistically significant findings in Table 4 (memory composite, global cognition composite, frontal cognition composite; see superscript d; cf. Figure 2), true for both unadjusted and adjusted models. In the memory composite, MedNuts was significantly better than control but MedOO was not; but in the other two, MedOO was significantly better than control but MedNuts was not.

              Actually this is sumarized in the Results section of the Abstract, justifying the conclusions

              “CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In an older population, a Mediterranean diet supplemented
              with olive oil or nuts was associated with improved composite measures of cognitive
              function”

              In any event, I don’t put that much faith in this study. I agree with Marilyn Kay that the 1 L/wk amount of EVOO provided to the MedOO groups was very high, so high that it could have had CV-damaging effects, especially on the participants who were at high CV risk. It seems to me not implausible that that could have masked positive neurological benefits of EVOO beyond what was shown. Put differently, moderate (but still bioactive) amounts of EVOO could be neuroprotective, at least in those who have normal CV risk.

              I think the jury is still out.

              1. Hi Gengo

                ‘I am wondering how you arrived at that conclusion’

                It’s a comment based upon the final para of the Results section

                ‘At the end of follow-up, we identified 37 cases of incident mild cognitive impairment: 17 (13.4%) in the Mediterranean diet plus olive oil group, 8 (7.1%) in the Mediterranean diet plus nuts group, and 12 (12.6%) in the control group (adjusted P = .28). No dementia cases were documented in participants completing follow-up.’

                1. Thanks, FF. 
                  I noticed those figures but discounted them because in the adjusted models the P value was not significant (P = 0.28).  Presumably, that is why those observations did not make it into the conclusions. I think this underscores the significant limitations of the study.  Note in particular:   

                    “Fifth, participants who withdrew had worse baseline cognition and more APOE ε4 genotypes than completers, thus being more likely to disclose cognitive impairment during follow-up. The fact that there were more dropouts in the control group suggests a bias toward a benefit in this group.”

                  Given the various limitations of the study, in my view, drawing such a stark conclusion based on the raw percentages of MCI in the unadjusted case is an over-interpretation of the study results.  

                  So I still think the jury is out on this one :-).

                  1. Gengo

                    I agree. My point was not to suggest that EVOO causes cognitive impairment but to illustrate the argument that the evidence for EVOO’s supposed neurological benefits is debatable.

                    As for why an important clinical endpoint like this was left out of the conclusions/abstract, it could well be that after adjustment the finding lost statistical significance. On the other hand, overadjustment is always an issue to be considered and a cynic would point to the fact that the study was primarily funded by the Spanish government (and Spain is a major producer of olive oil) while other support for the study, and a large number of subsequent scientific papers, came from the nut and olive oil industries.

                    As you write, the jury is still out on this point. However, there is pretty substantial evidence that olive oil impairs eg FMD. So I can’t see a good case for taking it.

                    1. Fumbles, We agree in essentials (not unusual). Over adjustment, given the admitted small sample sizes, is a real issue in my mind too.

                      Cheers.

    1. Marilyn,
      I see you’ve already posted the one I posted to you :-).

      What I have yet to figure out is whether it is OK for someone on a sound WFP diet, generally healthy and very active who is borderline or very slightly underweight (with little body fat) to do more than time restricted eating, or whether TRE is sufficient for BDNF production (and whether that would increase over and above lots of aerobic exercise). I realize most people do not fit that description, but since I do I have yet to do more than generally restrict eating to 10-11 hrs

      1. Gengo, i’m also relatively low body fat for a female, and as I mentioned in my comment to you above, I do a quarterly 5 day, and try to restrict food to an 8 -10 hour window. I do lose weight during the 5 day fasts, 5# or so, but gain it back as I don’t restrict calories after. I guess that is what Longo calls refeeding.
        Don’t think I answered your question, haven’t found studies that do except in rodents. They do maintain a healthy weight on alternate day fasting for instance.
        Haven’t seen an answer to whether other fasting beside TRE is beneficial. I don’t have good genetics, so I do both.

            1. Barb, re the second link: Couldn’t understand much of what he was talking about, but I came away admiring The Great Designer all the more. Amazing, all that intricate stuff!

              Dr. Max C. talked about grandmothers. I remember one of mine for making delicious home-made donuts. She’d let us know when she had a big bag waiting for us….fresh from the kettle of hot Crisco. She always included several “holes” for our little dog. The paper bag would be pretty greasy, but who cared about that! I can still taste them.

              Although Big Pharma is trying to get into the act with yet another drug (pending), it was brought out that exercise is VERY important. Heck, I coulda told anybody that. But I don’t think I’d want to volunteer for my head to be strapped to one of those wire things and have my brain neurons played around with. It would be my luck for a naughty neuron to hop off and land down near my jaw area.

    2. Marilyn,

      I researched BNDF when my relative had a stroke.

      It is one of my brain plasticity subjects.

      There is a TED Talk about what to eat for brain plasticity.

      Bob Dennis, who sells MicroPulse ICES PEMF had a stroke and he came out the other side with skills he didn’t have before his stroke.

      He became ambidextrous, for instance.

      I was already working on my own brain plasticity before I heard about his stroke experience.

      He did intermittent fasting.

      He actually started stroke recovery before he got to the ER.

      He started doing every kind of exercise to get his speaking back and other skills and got results before he was admitted to the hospital.

  7. I wanted to post this study about REST.

    With it, I want to ask Dr. Greger about food sources of Lithium, since Lithium raises REST levels.

    Pistachios are one I found.

    I guess I can look up Pistachios and Alzheimer’s.

    Pistachios were in the Melatonin category, so they are already on my list.

  8. This video is one of the most interesting of Dr. Greger’s. A lot of corroborative research lies ahead to link what are still considered by many to be separate, if related, disease conditions. But the excitement Dr. Greger shows is unmistakable.

    Nice work.

  9. I decided to check the studies myself and what emerges is not that intracranial narrowing through deposits causes dementia but that there is a greater likelihood that those with dementia will show, post mortem, more severe clogging than those without. It is still the case that many elderly who die with no significant mental impairment, show as much clogging as those who have suffered dementia. Researchers got round this annoying piece of evidence by going for grand sweeps of data to generate what they nicely call ‘statistically significant’ correlations.

    The clogging or its worsening may of course arise post the development of the impairment as a poorer diet is consumed, less exercise etc, and so would be correlative but not causative.

    1. Jules,

      Dr Popper was talking about a recent prevention study and they decreased the risk by almost 90% by lowering saturated fats, so it is likely to be involved in many ways.

      Less blood flow to the brain, more insulin resistance, etc.

      Estrogen being protective and it increasing blood flow and protects glucose metabolism and having fat blocking the arteries decreases blood flow and fat increases insulin resistance and harms glucose metabolism.

      It seems likely to be related to me.

      1. Dr Ornish will be the one who settles that debate.

        If he reverses it with the same low saturated fat Whole Food Plant Based diet he reversed heart disease and prostate cancer with, then it had to be causal.

        He hinted that though he wasn’t allowed to give details yet, that it will be good news.

        Looking forward to that.

        I started WFPB with serious brain problems and I know that my brain is improving.

        But I am waiting eagerly to see what results Dr Ornish gets.

        1. “I started WFPB with serious brain problems and I know that my brain is improving.”

          For sure. But you got the poor thing working overtime!

          1. YR,

            Yeah, I committed to the brain plasticity process.

            It requires as much repetition as possible to create the new neural pathways.

            I have shifted focus somewhat. I have been organizing my house. It is going well and it is less mentally taxing. Two years ago trying to organize was more stressful. Now it is comforting.

            Tonight, I am wrapped in my Eddie Bauer down throw with the fuzzy side feeling so cozy. It is so warm and so soothing.

            They only had it in throw size and I love it so much. We have a wintry mix tonight, but I kept my thermostat eat 60 and I feel like I am wrapped in an electric blanket but without having to worry about electric bills.

            That tells me that I am not a vegan.

            1. it is officially the warmest blanket I have ever owned and I had bought Winter weight down comforters from 2 of the highest rated companies in the past. I was disappointed with the warmth of either of those, but have slept under a whisper light down throw I got from Bed Bath & Beyond years ago. The throw was inexplicably warmer than a full-sized down comforter from any brand, so I ended up getting an electric mattress pad for the bed and I would fall asleep on the couch under the little throw.

              The only thing was it was silly on both sides and took 20 seconds to go from colder touching it to warmer than being on the electric mattress pad.

              This Eddie Bauer throw is so warm that I needed to take off my socks and let my arms hit the cool air.

              The animals must be sweating in our houses.

                1. I slept for a few hours tonight.

                  I think because of how warm and lightweight the Eddie Bauer throw is.

                  What fascinates me is that they tell you to keep the room cool and use a weighted blanket and I responded to warm and light.

                  I honestly thought the throw might be too hot, but I slept for maybe 2 hours.

      2. Deb, couldn’t find the Popper study you are alluding to.
        Found one where the AHA suggestion to replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated vegetable oil was tested. The outcome was that although the polyunsaturated group had lower cholesterol values, the incidence of heart disease was higher.

          1. Marilyn

            Those researchers quoted by Popper had to go back 50 years to find studies which allow them to make a case that unsaturated vegetable oils were worse than saturated fats. Why? Its not like there is a shortage of more modern studies. However, they clearly show that saturated fats are more unhealthy than unsaturated fats.

            50 years ago margarines and vegetable oils were routinely hydrogenated This process produces trans fats but people weren’t aware of the dangers of trans fats then. Consequently, the researchers didn’t measure or report them – the spreads and oils were just reported as containing unsaturated fatty acids.

            Attributing harmful effects from trans fats to unsaturated fats might have been understandable 50 years ago. There is no excuse for doing so now
            although the saturated fat and cholesterol denialists do so all the time..

            to

            g

            o

            ba

            c

            k

            5

            0

            y

            e

            a

            r

            s

            t

            o

          2. Marilyn

            I would suggest that people read the AHA scientific advisory on dietary fats and heart disease as well as Popper’s paper. The AHA notes

            ‘We judge the evidence to favor recommending n-6 polyunsaturated fat, that is, linoleic acid, stronger than monounsaturated fat to replace saturated fat because of the positive results of randomized clinical trials that used polyunsaturated fat compared with the paucity of trials that used monounsaturated fat10; the greater relative risk reduction for polyunsaturated fats in observational studies12,17,18; the greater reduction in LDL cholesterol with polyunsaturated fat4; and the regression of atherosclerosis in nonhuman primates by polyunsaturated but not monounsaturated fat.5 However, progress in reducing CVD would be enhanced by replacing saturated fat by either type of unsaturated fat.’
            https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000510

            I do not argue with Popper’s conclusion ‘ The best way to achieve these goals is by adopting a low-fat, plant-based diet, which leads to better blood tests AND better health.’ However some of the ‘facts’ she presents in her paper are clearly wrong. As well as her claims about the Ramsden papers ha revisited 50 year old studies, and an alleged lack of modern studies to the contrary, she also states ‘ statins drugs and supplements lower cholesterol, but do not significantly reduce the risk of events and death.’ This is quite simply a dangerous falsehood based on cherry picking a few studies,and ignoring the very many studies to the contrary.

    2. Jules, you do make good points. The elderly in assisted living, and nursing homes eat a terrible diet. They also mostly just sit around all day. Which comes first is an issue.

    1. YR,

      I can’t imagine how frustrated those farmers have to be.

      I generally only buy triple washed organic greens and I can’t remember the last time I bought romaine.

      If it was kale and arugula and spinach and watercress, I would be off of salad.

    2. YR, why don’t people just wash it or steam it in the case of spinach? I put my lettuce in to soak for a bit, then rinse thoroughly. Not giving up my greens, especially spinach over this.

      1. Nor am I, Marilyn. I usually buy Nature’s Promise organic salad greens from Stop&Shop, but for now I’ve been buying their “baby lettuce” and other greens. We’re talking for salad here.

        The other greens (kale and collard greens) for steaming, I’ll buy either regular or organic. And swirl the Protective White Light around them. ;-)

    1. YR,

      You find such fascinating things.

      Is it Google giving it to you?

      They give me more traditional science and health topics.

      I guess from all of my PubMed searches.

      1. No, Deb. I have four (count ’em four!) email addresses. One of them, Yahoo.com, likes to put let’s-shock-’em articles on their Home Page. Sometimes I think it wants to outdo the National Enquirer.

  10. I’m halfway trough the weightloss presentation video. Wow, amazing research! This will become a great tool for weight loss for years to come. Congradulations to Dr. G and the team for such a good job.

    Can’t wait for the longevity book now and maybe another cookbook too? Thanks a lot.

  11. This is somewhat off topic but I am posting this 2019 abstract here since it deals with the impact of DHA/EPA on cognitive performance, a topic of interest to many.

    https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1161/circ.140.suppl_1.10723
    A Plasma Phospholipid Omega-3 Fatty Acid Index > 4% Prevents Cognitive Decline in Cognitively Healthy Subjects With Coronary Artery Disease

    “Conclusions: High dose EPA and DHA prevented cognitive decline in cognitively healthy CAD subjects with younger subjects, nondiabetic subjects and those achieving an omega-3 fatty acid index ≥4% having greatest benefit. These findings are especially important for CAD patients as CAD is a risk factor for dementia.”

    1. Thanks for the link Gengo.

      That was a large amount though … and quite odd. 3.36 grammes is much higher than Greger’s 250 mcg – was it a tablespoonful of fish oil I wonder?

      1. I’d guess 1 TBL is likely right.

        It was very high but I’ve seen this level in other studies. I suppose if you’re trying to demonstrate a positive effect in a sick population, it’s natural to use a high dose….

  12. Gengo, when I clicked the link, I got this message:

    “The American Heart Association site is currently experiencing some technical difficulties, which we are working to fix. We apologize for this downtime and hope to restore access to the site as soon as possible.

    – – – – – –

    Gosh, I hope it didn’t get a heart attack! *har har*

  13. Dr. Gregor

    After watching Forks over Knives, What the health and Gamechangers in October, I was in shock and immediately stopped all animal & dairy..Ironically my mom who just turned 94 on Christmas eve. Last month she had a Atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response, episode. left anterior fascicular block . Her CT scan showed mild cerebral volume loss with associated ventricular dilation and chronic small vessel ischemic Disease… Not a drinker, smoker not even a coffee drinker. The Doctors put her on Eliquis and 2 blood pressure medications. She struggles with medication side effects anyway and especially now. .. Could please direct me on what plant base diet would be the best road for her to take. And could she come off these meds. Reverse the cognitive function by dissolving some of the plaque in the small vessels? We love her dearly! She is an amazing Woman. Even if it helps 5% its worth it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This