Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fructose, Sunscreen, Statins and Flu Shots: a Recipe for Alzheimer's Disease.

Read the full article at SpaceDoc.com

A Recipe for Alzheimer's Disease

by Stephanie Seneff

Senior Research Scientist at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Fructose, Sunscreen, Statins and Flu Shots: a Recipe for Alzheimer's Disease.

Alzheimer's is a dreaded diagnosis that immediately causes a patient to confront the frightening fact that the rest of their life will be defined by steadily eroding memory and cognitive function. Alzheimer's is alarmingly on the rise, and has been so for the past several decades. The cost to society, both financially and emotionally, is staggering.
Much research effort has been devoted to the search for a "cure" for Alzheimer's, most of it predicated on the notion that the characteristic amyloid-beta plaque and tau tangles are causative. Indeed, some drugs that attack the plaque have made it to phase III clinical trials, and, although they do indeed shrink the plaque, they unfortunately also accelerate the rate of decline [1].

I think a better tactic is to look for a cause rather than a cure. Together with colleagues, I published a paper this year on a theory for the cause of Alzheimer's [2], which was based on the idea that a key contributor is insufficient cholesterol in the brain.

Indeed, a recent article has shown that serum levels of cholesterol as well as the ability to synthesize cholesterol are inversely associated with mental decline in the elderly [3]. Furthermore, another study directly comparing Alzheimer's patients with age-matched controls showed a reduced serum level of LDL in the Alzheimer's patients, with the more severe cases showing further reduction in LDL [6].
When you look back to the earliest stages of Alzheimer's, the principle defect that is observed is an impairment in glucose metabolism in the brain [4]. Neurons ordinarily depend heavily on sugar as a fuel source, but sugar is toxic to cells if it's not carefully managed.

The cells have developed a mechanism for controlling the entry of glucose to be restricted to certain "gates" - regions of the cell membrane called lipid rafts that are heavily enriched in cholesterol and sphingomyelin. When cells don't have sufficient cholesterol in their membranes, they have fewer lipid rafts, and this leads to defective glucose uptake, and therefore increased risk to glycation damage from the glucose.

The proteins in the cell get gummed up with sugar and can no longer perform their functions. Fructose is far more damaging than glucose, and fructose consumption has steadily increased in the last decades. In our paper, we described ways in which amyloid beta can actually pitch in to try to divert neurons to alternative fuel sources, in order to minimize the damage caused by wayward sugars.

Since writing that article, I have discovered some compounding factors that I think make the situation much worse. Essentially all cells in the body are surrounded by an exterior coat made up of complex molecules called "GAGs" - glycosaminoglycans.
These contain sugars, proteins, and a large population of attached ions, particularly sulfate anions. These serve, I believe, an important role in helping to safely break down sugar. Simply stated, the sulfur atom deflects the reducing actions of sugars away from the vulnerable proteins.
The sulfate anions also provide a negative field around the cell, which is very useful for keeping bacteria out, because bacteria are also negatively charged, and hence repelled by the cell's negative electric field. So cells with lots of surrounding sulfate are afforded protection from invasive bacteria.
If a bacterium does get in, the cell will have to release oxidizing agents to kill it, and the cell itself will suffer damage from exposure to its own defense system. The fats in the cell membrane are more vulnerable to oxidative damage when there is insufficient cholesterol to protect them.
I now think that depletion of sulfate supply to the brain is another important contributor to Alzheimer's, and I further think that sulfate is supplied to the brain principally by sterol sulfates like cholesterol sulfate as well as their derivatives like vitamin D3 sulfate.
Both cholesterol sulfate and vitamin D3 sulfate are synthesized in the skin upon exposure to sunlight, and it is theorized that the skin is the major supplier of these nutrients to the body [5]. This is why I believe that excess sunscreen use and excess sun avoidance are another principal causative factor in Alzheimer's disease.
Statin drugs interfere with cholesterol synthesis in the liver, but the lipophilic statin drugs (like lovastatin and simvastatin) also interfere with the synthesis of cholesterol in the brain. This would then directly impact the neurons' ability to maintain adequate cholesterol in their membranes.
Indeed, a population-based study [7] showed that people who had ever taken statins had an increased risk to Alzheimer's disease, a hazard ratio of 1.21. More alarmingly, people who used to take statins had a hazard ratio of 2.54 (over two and a half times the risk to Alzheimer's) compared to people who never took statins.
What I think is happening is that the doctor is taking the patient off the statin drug once memory problems are noted, suspecting that the statin may be causing the problem. But it may well be too late at that point to recover. In my own studies on patient-provided drug side effect reports [8], I found a statistically significant increase in the mention of words and phrases associated with memory problems (p=0.011) in the statin drug reports compared to age-matched reports on a variety of other drugs.
Finally, I want to talk about flu shots. The elderly are greatly encouraged to renew their flu shots every single year, and I think this is another major factor that is steadily increasing their risk to Alzheimer's disease. This is mainly due to the aluminum contained in the flu shot.
It has been demonstrated without a doubt that aluminum in the water used in dialysis fluid eventually leads to dementia in dialysis patients, if care is not taken to extract all but trace amounts of aluminum from the water [9].
A very compelling article recently appeared on all the myriad dangers associated with aluminum in vaccines, and aluminum penetration into the brain as well as cognitive damage have both been well demonstrated in animal studies. The aluminum in the Hepatitis B vaccine is a likely source of the association found between this vaccine and autism [10], and I believe that the effects on the infant's brain and those on the elderly person's brain are similar and equally damaging.
The good news is that all of these factors are easy to correct, so the individual can become empowered to lead a lifestyle that will minimize the likelihood of having to face Alzheimer's as they age. The only challenge is to convince yourself that the misguided advice widely espoused by the medical establishment is dead wrong.

Stephanie Seneff is a Senior Research Scientist at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.
Website at MIT: people.csail.mit.edu/seneff
Blog: stephanie-on-health.blogspot.com
[1] Eli Lilly and Company, 2010 PR Newswire, Lilly Halts Development of Semagacestat for Alzheimer's Disease Based on Preliminary Results of Phase III Clinical Trials, August 17, 2010, http://newsroom.lilly.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=499794 (accessed on September 24, 2011).
[2] S. Seneff, G. Wainwright, and L. Mascitelli, "Nutrition and Alzheimer's Disease: the Detrimental Role of a High Carbohydrate Diet," European Journal of Internal Medicine 22(2):134-40, Apr 2011.
[3] R.S. Tilvis, J.N. Valvanne, T.E. Strandberg and T.A. Miettinen, "Prognostic significance of serum cholesterol, lathosterol, and sitosterol in old age; a 17-year population study," Annals of Medicine, 2011; Early Online, 110
[4] E. Steen, B.M. Terry, E.J. Rivera et al. "Impaired insulin and insulin-like growth factor expression and signaling mechanisms in Alzheimer's disease-is this type 3 diabetes?" J Alzheimer's Dis 2005;7:63-80.
[5] C.A. Strott, "Cholesterol Sulfate In Human Physiology: What's It All About?" J Lipid Res 44, 1268-1278, 2003.
[6] P. Presecki, D. Mückseler, N. Mimica, et al., "Serum Lipid Levels in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease," Coll. Antropol. 35 Suppl. 1: 115120, 2011.
[7] T.D. Rea, J.C. Breitner, B.M. Psaty et al., "Statin Use and the Risk of Incident Dementia: The Cardiovascular Health Study," Arch Neurol. 62, 2005
[8] J. Liu, A. Li and S. Seneff, "Automatic Drug Side Effect Discovery from Online Patient- Submitted Reviews: Focus on Statin Drugs," Proc. IMMM, Barcelona, Spain, Oct. 2011.
[9] M.R. Wills and J. Savory, "Water Content of Aluminum, Dialysis Dementia, and Os- teomalacia" Environmental Health Perspectives 63:141-147, 1985.
[10] Gallagher OM and Goodman MS, "Hepatitis B vaccination of male neonates and autism diagnosis, NHIS 1997-2002." J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2010; 73(24):1665-77.
October 2011
See also Stephanie's health blog here.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why small LDL particles are the #1 cause of heart disease in the US

Why small LDL particles are the #1 cause of heart disease in the US

Posted on by Dr. William Davis

Ask your doctor: What is the #1 cause of heart disease in the US?

Let’s put aside smoking, since it is an eminently modifiable risk and none of those crazies read this blog anyway. What will your doctor say? Most like he or she will respond:

High cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol
Too much saturated fat

Pfizer, Merck, AstraZeneca and their kind would be overjoyed to know that they can add your doctor to their eager following.

I’d tell you something different. I would tell you that small LDL particles are, by far and away, the #1 cause for heart disease. I base this claim on several observations:

–Having run over 10,000 lipoprotein panels (mostly NMR) over the past 15 years, it is a rare person who does not have a moderate, if not severe, excess of small LDL particles. 50%, 70%, even 90% or more small LDL particles are not rare. Over the course of a year, the only people who show no small LDL particles are slender, athletic, pre-menopausal females.

–In studies in which lipoproteins have been quantified in people with coronary disease, small LDL particles dominate, just as they do in my office. Here’s a 2006 review.

–Small LDL is largely the province of people who consume carbohydrates, such as the American population instructed to “cut fat and eat more healthy whole grains.” Conventional diet advice has therefore triggered an expllosion in small LDL particles.

–When fasting triglycerides exceed 60 mg/dl, small LDL particles increase as a proportion of total LDL particles. This includes the majority of the US population. (This ignores postprandial, or after-eating, triglycerides, which also contribute to small LDL formation.)

If you were to read the data, however, you might conclude that small LDL affects a minority of people. This is because in most studies small LDL categorize it as either “pattern B,” meaning exceeding some arbitrary threshold of percentage of small LDL particles, versus “pattern A,” meaning falling below that same arbitrary threshold.

Problem: There is no consensus on what percentage of small LDL particles should mark the cutoff between pattern A vs. pattern B. In many studies, for instance, people with 50% small LDL particles are called “pattern A.”

If, instead, we were to set the bar lower to identify this highly atherogenic (atherosclerotic plaque-causing) particle at, say, 20-30% of total, then the number or percentage of people with “pattern B” small LDL particles would go much higher.

I see this play out in my office and in the online program, Track Your Plaque, every day: At the start eating a low-fat, grain-filled diet with lots of visceral fat (“wheat belly”) to start, they add back fat and cut out all wheat and limit carbohydrates. Small LDL particles plummet

About Dr. William Davis

Dr. Davis is Medical Director of the Track Your Plaque program and advocate of early heart disease prevention and reversal. He practices preventive cardiology in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The David Korech of Medicine?

Tom Naughton's critical review of a critical review that must have been so off base, mis-leading, false etc. that the powers that be have removed it from the shelves.


The Long Knives Are Out For ‘Wheat Belly’

from Fat Head
Look as if the grain-industry people have been trolling the internet attempting to trash Wheat Belly, the outstanding new book by Dr. William Davis. How else do you explain an Amazon review written under the title The David Korech of Medicine. Notice that the review doesn’t dispute any of the facts or science presented in Wheat Belly:
The author has no credentials, no credibility, just a small cult of terriby misinformed followers. Don’t be fooled by the high volume screech against wheat and grains.
I have to admit, it didn’t occur to me when I recommended Wheat Belly that Dr. Davis has no credentials. I assumed being a doctor who’s seen the benefits of a wheat-free diet in thousands of his own patients counted for something. I also figured that after poring over hundreds of studies on wheat’s health effects and thoroughly researching the history and genetic structure of wheat, Dr. Davis was qualified to write on the topic.
Allegations of “secret ingredients in wheat” to make you eat more, or comparisons to cigerettes. Seriously?!
Apparently the wheat lobby doesn’t require its job applicants to pass a spelling test. Are cigerettes similar to cigarettes?
Dr. Davis never claimed there are secret ingredients in wheat. He didn’t (as far as I know) don a Ninja costume or disguise himself as a plumber and break into the headquarters of Wheat , Inc. to pilfer documents. He simply described, based on published documents, how wheat has been modified during the past 50 years.
For over 8000 years wheat has sustained and grown human kind …
Eight-thousand years ago, humans (some of them, anyway) consumed Einkorn wheat. The main similarity between Einkorn wheat and today’s mutant wheat is they’re both called “wheat.” We also call both Thomas Jefferson and Adolph Hitler “humans,” but they produced rather different effects on other humans. What we ate 8,000 years ago has nothing to with the health consequences of eating a highly modified variety of wheat that’s only been around for the past 50 years.
And wheat didn’t “grow” humankind. Wheat shrunk humankind.

… oh and it tastes good when mixed with a little water and yeast.
That explains why nearly every brand of bread includes high fructose corn syrup high on the list of ingredients.
Every nutritionist and serious medical professional will tell you that bread is the most economical and safe source of essential nutrients.

Every one, seriously? That’s odd … I seem to recall a lot of conversations and interviews with nutritionists and medical professionals who agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Davis — who, despite having a good sense of humor, is a serious medical professional. So serious that he wrote a book about wheat.

In fact, bread is handed out in natural disasters because it sustains life without food safety issues or requiring refrigeration.

Tell ya what: if I’m ever starving because a tornado wiped out all the refrigerators within a 50-mile radius, I’ll eat some of the bread FEMA hands out. But the fact that bread doesn’t require refrigeration doesn’t in any way prove it’s good for us. Coca-Cola and heroin don’t require refrigeration either.
And now, suddenly it will kill you. Comical!
No, today’s mutant wheat doesn’t kill you suddenly. It’s more like slow torture.
This book is such a bone headed, misinformed way to just scare people into not eating.
Now wait a minute, Buster! Dr. Davis is 100% in favor of people eating. He just doesn’t want them eating a mutant grain product that will make them fat and sick.
As for secret ingredients, humm, apparently the author is ignorant of the food laws that regulate everything that goes into food and on food labels. Unlike some enforcement agencies, the FDA has some serious teeth behind its enforcement.
Well, that certainly negates all the studies demonstrating the negative effects of wheat that Dr. Davis cited in Wheat Belly. If the USDA and FDA are on the beat, mutant wheat (which is heavily subsidized by the same government that funds the USDA and FDA) simply has to be safe. That’s why they conducted all those tests on the stuff to make sure it wouldn’t cause any … no, wait a minute. Nobody ever conducted tests on mutant wheat to see if it’s fit for human consumption. Okay then, we’ll just have faith the USDA and FDA can tell if a food product is safe by looking at it. That works for me.
As for frankenwheat, again seriously?! Wheat, due to its ubiquitous presence in the world is treated as sacrosant from any GMO research or development.
I see. So when wheat went from being a wispy plant that couldn’t be harvested until it was five feet tall to a short, stubby little plant that’s harvested when it’s two feet tall — all in just the past 50 years – that was a natural mutation, was it? Boy, evolution works really, really fast. I wonder what all those plant geneticists on the Monsanto payroll are doing all day. They’re probably just sitting around, playing poker and thinking, “Geez, I wish they’d let us develop some kind of hybridized new seeds that the company could patent and then force farmers to buy by threatening to sue them if some of those seeds blow onto their farms and start growing even if the farmers didn’t want the seeds in the first place.”
If you need real, science based information on healthy eating, check out [...] and leave this book and its cult in the compound.
I’ll try to read [...], but when I searched for […] on Amazon, all that came up was a kids’ book titled “Dot and Dash play Dot-Dot-Dot.”
I was hoping the grain lobby wouldn’t find out about our cult. For those of you who haven’t been recruited yet, we have a secret handshake that requires a lot of flexibility in the fingers — that keeps out the grain-lobby infiltrators who are suffering from wheat-induced arthritis. At our meetings, Dr. Davis sacrifices a goat and then we all spend hours enjoying ritual dancing around a bonfire on our pain-free legs. Sometimes we even dance naked. It’s not a sexual thing, you understand … we just like showing off our rash-free skins.
I’m sure this campaign by the grain industry will succeed. Any day now, Dr. Davis will have a conversation with a patient something like this:
“So how do feel after being wheat-free for the past two months?”
“Well, Dr. Davis, I lost 25 pounds, my psoriasis cleared up, my arthritis went away, I’m sleeping better, I’m not depressed anymore, I think more clearly, and I stopped wheezing.”
“Excellent! So you’ll continue avoiding wheat?”
“Of course not.”
“Wheat has sustaining humans for 8,000 years, Dr. Davis, so it has to be good for us. Besides, I don’t want to end up spending all day the airport banging on a tambourine and selling flowers to passengers.”
“But I never asked you to– why are you sticking your fingers in your ears?”
“My de-programmers told me not to listen to you.”