An Alzheimer's Fighter Roadmap
August 7, 2013
Being exposed to environmental toxins is something we really cannot isolate ourselves from, but we can prevent how it negatively affects our brain function. Ours brains are made of fat and complex tubules of tissue operating at what appears to be quicker than lightning fast speed. It has been estimated the brain sends and receives over 28 billion bits of information daily; the electronic messages are sent over a massive amount of fatty layers called the myelin sheath, which is similar to the coating located around the copper in wires.
Like anything else regarding health, what you put in and on your body impacts your brain and therefore the body’s ability to communicate at full capacity. The critical component for optimal brain function is a long chain fatty acid called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA can be created in the body via two primary pathways:
– Directly via marine or fish-based sources or
– Indirectly via the alpha-linolenic or the ALA pathway.
The food you choose impacts the formation of DHA via the ALA pathway. I discuss this in great detail in “Dr. Bob’s Trans Fat Survival Guide” .
Omega-3 foods are the building blocks for DHA, and can be created by consuming precursor food factors, including but not limited to: Walnuts, greens, and flax oil. These foods must be metabolized in your body through a series of steps requiring these nutrients: Magnesium, vitamin B, and zinc.
Statistically speaking, the ALA pathway, when functioning at normal capacity, has an efficiency factor of ten percent. That may seem ineffective, but it really is spot on. It has been suggested by “test-tube” science, we as a human species are not currently creating DHA through this pathway because of genetic alterations. The system is actually working, but why you benefit from having your DHA assessed is learning what you apply to and/or on your body may be unknowingly sabotaging DHA production- by preventing the absorption of the “ingredients” needed to create the final product of the recipe — DHA.
Man-made fats (margarine and low fat) which were considered in the past (by the “test-tube scientists”) to be heart-healthy lifesavers, contain ingredients that contribute to heart disease. Trans fat or partially hydrogenated oils, the primary component of these fats, literally impede the development of DHA production. I suggest avoiding anything artificial, including all fake or artificial sweeteners. Memory lapses, poor attention span, and even depression are a result from low DHA levels because of the trans fat or partially hydrogenated fats found in your breakfast pastry, dessert or snack food you crave.
I encourage you to incorporate the EFA Bloodspot Fatty Acid test, which assesses DHA levels, especially those who are suffering with memory lapses, behavior challenges with their kids or grandchildren. I have seen depression, which impacts nearly eighteen percent of the US’ population, and initial Alzheimer’s symptoms, be managed effectively by properly addressing the issue of DHA levels.
If you or a family member has a memory concern, it’s time to modify your lifestyle choices. If you follow the same dietary pattern your loved one did or still does, and they have Alzheimer’s, you more than likely will be dealing with those symptoms at some point. I would suggest having your DHA levels checked and modify your lifestyle accordingly so you have a DHA number of at least 1.40 in the reference range of normal levels.
1. Biomega-3 and Anchovy/Sardine-based oils. You can take one or two teaspoons daily. Do not take any oil if you are taking aspirin unless you are having your blood levels monitored. Dr. Bob takes three per day.
2. Other excellent sources of oil: High Lignan Flax Oil from Omega Nutrition (capsule or liquid). Dr. Bob takes six capsules per day as general maintenance protocol, and/or one tablespoon per day per 100 pounds of body weight to help brain function. Twelve capsules are equivalent to one tablespoon.
3. Flax Powder from Omega Nutrition is a great source of omega-3 components that can be added to any smoothie or vegetable juice.
4. Optimal EFA’s from Biotic’s Research Corporation- up to two teaspoons daily.
If you have any general health questions about this article, please email askdrbob at druglessdoctor dot com, or schedule a consultation with Dr. Bob.