The mystery substance that protects your brain
Researchers and drug companies are scrambling to isolate an unidentified chemical in food that seems to protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease. But you don’t have to wait for their results. This mystery substance is in a beverage you can drink every day.
A study at the University of South Florida shows that there’s an as yet unknown chemical in coffee that interacts with caffeine that apparently wards off Alzheimer’s disease.
In combination, this mystery chemical along with caffeine increases blood levels of a critical growth factor that stymies the destructive processes that lead to Alzheimer’s devastating effects on personality and memory.
According to these researchers, the presence of this puzzling ingredient is the reason that other drinks like colas that contain caffeine do not offer substantial Alzheimer’s protection. And decaf coffee is also relatively ineffective.
Other studies have shown that people who drink caffeinated coffee daily in middle age and as they grow older enjoy a significantly reduced risk of Alzheimer’s. And while caffeine slows the brain’s production of a destructive substance called beta-amyloid which, as it accumulates, hampers brain function, the caffeine alone is not responsible for coffee’s dramatic effect against memory loss.
Factoring in GCSF
The Florida research shows that regular coffee helps the body increase a growth factor known as GCSF (granulocyte colony stimulating factor). People who develop Alzheimer’s generally lack GCSF and GCSF has been shown to protect the memory of lab animals who suffer from problems similar to Alzheimer’s disease
“Caffeinated coffee provides a natural increase in blood GCSF levels,” says researcher Chuanhai Cao, a neuroscientist. “The exact way that this occurs is not understood. There is a synergistic interaction between caffeine and some mystery component of coffee that provides this beneficial increase in blood GCSF levels.”
The scientists point out that they want to isolate the unknown ingredient from coffee so that it can be added to other caffeinated drinks to help protect people against Alzheimer’s.
But right now it is only available in coffee.
The Florida lab research analyzed the effects of both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee on brain health and compared them to caffeine alone. In animals who were either normal or suffering from the lab animal version of Alzheimer’s disease, consuming caffeinated coffee significantly increased blood levels of GCSF.
The scientists point out that they used drip coffee in their research. They are not certain if instant coffee is as effective at increasing the body’s GCSF levels.
The researchers found that there are three ways that GCSF helps protect the brain from memory problems:
- It encourages bone marrow stem cells to travel to the brain and clear out the destructive beta-amyloid protein that damages neurons
- It fosters new connections between brain cells.
- It multiplies the production of new neurons.
“All three mechanisms could complement caffeine’s ability to suppress beta amyloid production in the brain” says Cao. “Together these actions appear to give coffee an amazing potential to protect against Alzheimer’s — but only if you drink moderate amounts of caffeinated coffee.”
The researchers believe that to protect your brain with coffee you need to consume 4 to 5 cups a day. Right now, they point out, the average Americans takes in 1.5 to 2 cups. That’s less than the amount they think is necessary to guard against Alzheimer’s.
“No synthetic drugs have yet been developed to treat the underlying Alzheimer’s disease process,” says researcher Gary Arendash, who also took part in the study. “We see no reason why an inherently natural product such as coffee cannot be more beneficial and safer than medications, especially to protect against a disease that takes decades to become apparent after it starts in the brain.”
10 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Mental Decline
As we grow older we tend to have memory lapses. This is normal. Even the young have memory lapses. Naturally this can cause us to worry. It happens to the healthiest of us. No one is immune to the ravages of father time, it spite of all the hype we are exposed to about anti-aging. Let’s face it, aging is a normal part of life, we can’t stay young forever. But we can’t try to keep an active and well functioning mind in a healthy body as we grow older. Nobody can fault us for that. Here are a few tips to help us achieve that so that we can enjoy our golden years as best as we can.
- Stimulate your mind with reading, drawing and learning new hobbies to create new connections between nerve cells.
- Get enough physical exercise (not too much). This can increase nutrient-loaded blood flow to your brain.
- Eat healthier. A diet high in folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 can help lower your homocysteine level. (High homocysteine levels are linked to an increase in dementia).
- Make supplementation a part of your life style, take a good vitamin and mineral supplement.
- Lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Kick the cigarette habit. According to one study, smoking doubles your risk of dementia.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. Two or three drinks per day actually decreases dementia. But excessive drinking is a major risk factor in dementia.
- Wear a helmet while cycling to protect your head. Moderate to severe head injuries can increase you risk of mental decline.
- Be more sociable. According to one study, frequent social interaction lowers dementia risk by a whopping 42%.
- Try to keep a positive outlook on life. Recent studies have identified cynicism and depression as a possible causes for the onset of dementia.
For those of us who worry that these memory lapses may be the onset of Alzheimer’s/Dementia and who want to find out more about the disease, the rest of this section has been put together especially for you.
How to Prevent Memory Loss, Parkinson’s, and
The first thing to know is that these are caused primarily by two things…..
- Free Radical Damage
The Triggers for Brain Inflammation and
Free Radical Generation Include . . .
- Pesticides and herbicides
- Harmful ingredients in foods and beverages
- Toxic metals in the air, water, and consumer products
- Various sugars and sugar substitutes
- Omega-6 fats
- Vaccines (including flu shots)
- Excitotoxins (which I’ll explain just ahead)
Additional problems include nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, a lack of exercise, and, surprisingly, too much aerobic exercise!
First, be sure to buy certified organic produce. Or, if buying regular produce, wash it thoroughly before eating. Also, just ahead, I’ll tell you about some natural supplements you can use to cleanse your body of these toxins, as well as antioxidants to neutralize the free radicals.
A very important one is glutathione . . .
Why You Need Glutathione for Protection Against
Memory Loss, Alzheimer’s/Dementia, and Parkinson’s
It’s a known fact that Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients have very low brain levels of the antioxidant glutathione.
Glutathione is a miracle molecule that plays a major role in protecting your brain cells. Its highest concentration is in the mitochondria of the neuron, which is where 95% of free radicals are produced.
If you’re low on glutathione, you won’t get the brain cell protection you need, nor the moderating effect that glutathione has on your brain’s immune function.
The result is inflammation and free radical production — the two brain-destroying culprits you must control to avoid the neurodegenerative diseases.
What causes low glutathione?
Infections, brain injury, strokes, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, harmful foods, environmental toxins such as mercury, lead, and aluminum, and also high levels of glutamate, which deplete your body’s store of glutathione.
An easy start here is to avoid the flavor enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG), which is used at some restaurants and in many processed foods.
Your safest route is to eat fresh, natural foods, rather than processed packaged foods.
But always read food labels and avoid MSG. Also be aware that, after MSG got a bad rap (it causes migraine headaches, for one), food manufacturers sneakily gave MSG several new names and kept using it.
If you are interested, there is available on the internet from Dr. Russell Blaylock a Brain Protection Kit, How to Prevent Memory Loss, Alzheimer’s/Dementia, and Parkinson’s Disease, in which you’ll find all of the new names for MSG that are used on food labels today, so you’ll have a fighting chance.
Dr. Blaylock would tell you, from his experience as a neurosurgeon, that most people have low brain levels of glutathione, especially as they age. The good news is that you can increase these levels.
If you have access to a doctor who practices holistic or integrative medicine, you can get an IV drip of immune-supporting nutrients that includes glutathione.
Another way to get your glutathione levels up is to simply take a specific supplement that promotes your own body’s production of this important antioxidant.
In the Brain Protection Kit, you’ll discover the name and dosage of this supplement. You can readily find it at vitamin stores and online, and you’ll also find a good source for it.
What else can you do to protect your brain? Stop the excitotoxins.
The Problem With Brain Excitotoxins
Earlier I mentioned excitotoxins as one of the triggers. These are substances that excite the microglia and cause a storm of inflammation and free radical production.
They’re called excitotoxins because they can literally “excite” a brain cell to death.
Brain cell excitotoxins are often the ingredients used in processed foods to enhance their flavors. MSG is one, of course, and another is the artificial sweetener aspartame, which is called “safe for diabetics” but in fact is not safe for anyone!
Excitotoxins can also be produced by your own body.
For instance, elevated levels of homocysteine, a condition typically caused by a poor diet (also implicated in heart disease), cause accumulation of two types of excitotoxins that can do brain damage.
Mercury is another excitotoxin. The same is true of lead, cadmium, and aluminum.
If you’re wondering how these toxic metals get into your body, they’re in certain fish, such as tuna, shark, and swordfish; they’re in the water you drink, in the air you breathe, and also in household products, such as antiperspirants and aluminum cookware.
If you use fluoridated water or toothpaste, even in small amounts, it will increase your aluminum absorption and trigger a dramatic destruction of the same brain cells we see destroyed in Alzheimer’s patients.
Mercury is also highly toxic to your brain and immune system, and it’s the main ingredient in amalgam dental fillings. If you still have this type of filling, see a qualified dentist for their proper removal and replacement.
And stop getting vaccines, especially flu shots, which contain mercury.
One of the world’s leading immunologists, Dr. Hugh Fudenberg, has conducted studies showing that those who receive the flu vaccine yearly for 3 to 5 years increase their risk of Alzheimer’s ten-fold.
Perhaps you’ve been getting the flu shot regularly for years, and you’re now at much higher risk for Alzheimer’s. So, what can you do?
First, immediately stop getting vaccines.
But let me tell you a few things right now . . .
Omega-6 Oils Linked to
Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s . . .
Here’s something that will probably surprise you. Omega-6 oils beyond the smallest amounts will cause brain inflammation — and that inflammation will excite the microglia into destroying your brain cells.
What’s more, the inflammation will generate even more free radical activity that can overwhelm your antioxidant defenses and cause a steady deterioration of brain-cell function.
Omega-6 oils line your supermarket’s shelves and are widely used in cooking, baking, and salad dressings. Here are the ones to avoid:
- Soybean Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Canola Oil
- Safflower Oil
- Corn Oil
- Peanut Oil
The safest way to get your omega-3s is to use the modern cod liver oils, which have been vastly improved in recent years to get any fish flavor out, so today they typically have a mild lemon-lime flavor and are very easy to take.
Just one tablespoon of high quality cod liver oil a day, especially one high in DHA, will give you a big boost in brain protection by neutralizing the excitotoxins and reducing inflammation (see your kit for details).
Cod liver oil is also a good prevention against arthritis and heart disease (also caused by inflammation), as well as a good general health tonic. But specifically regarding Alzheimer’s
.One study found that ingesting omega-3s once or more per week reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s by 60%. And this research shows that if you do it daily, your risk goes down even more.
The Health Threat of Sugar — and
Chemical Sugar Substitutes
An excellent way to reduce inflammation, avoid excitotoxins, and neutralize free radicals, not to mention improve your overall health, is to . . .
Cut way back on sugars and fats, and high-glycemic carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice, white potatoes, pasta, cakes, cookies, and chips.
And remember, you can have high fats in your blood without being significantly overweight. Such a condition is caused by getting too many of your calories from sugar and high-glycemic carbohydrates.
But don’t switch out the sugar for the chemical sweetener aspartame, which is in diet sodas and many foods called “safe for diabetics.”
Aspartame is a potent excitotoxin that can literally excite brain cells to death. Instead, use natural sugar substitutes, such as stevia, which are safe and won’t cause inflammation or generate free radicals.
Already, you’ve learned that inflammation and free radicals are the two main culprits that cause memory loss, Alzheimer’s/dementia, and Parkinson’s. And you’ve discovered the primary triggers for them, too.
But in the Brain Protection Kit, you’ll also hear about several vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that reduce inflammation, boost glutathione, detoxify your brain of heavy metals, and protect you from excitotoxins and free radicals.
Just a few of these include:
- N-Acetylcysteine (NAC)
- Blueberry Extract
- Curcumin and Quercetin
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B-12
For instance, most people don’t get enough Vitamin B-12, and then if they do, it’s the wrong kind. The same is true of Vitamin D
Most people are getting only one-tenth of the Vitamin D they need on a daily basis. So “upping” your Vitamin D levels is critically important, not just for brain health, but also to prevent cancer.
And by the way, if you’ve heard or read reports in the media that Vitamin D can be toxic (and even cause cancer), you should know that is just propaganda from the pharmaceutical industry. Rest assured, Big Pharma doesn’t want you to know that an inexpensive vitamin can do far more for your health than its drugs.
If everybody got enough Vitamin D, took their cod liver oil, and added a few antioxidants, the rates for cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s would plummet!
Don’t Over-Exercise: It Can Harm Your Brain
When I first mentioned this earlier, I’m sure it surprised you. But while a complete lack of exercise can cause numerous health problems, Dr. Blaylock has found that too much aerobic exercise is actually harmful to your brain.
The reason is that aerobic exercise dramatically increases free radical generation, which leads to brain cell deterioration and the neurodegenerative disorders.
Numerous studies have shown that moderate exercise, such as a brisk 30-to-40-minute walk every other day, is protective against Alzheimer’s/dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. What’s also protective is to exercise your brain by reading, writing, memorizing facts, and participating in mental-skill games such as bridge, chess, or crossword puzzles.
Please use what you’ve learned today if you want to stave of the risk of these diseases
For further assistance, you can get a copy of How to Prevent Memory Loss, Alzheimer’s/Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease — FREE with the Blaylock Wellness Report subscription — and start reversing inflammation and free-radical damage.
The 7 Deadly Alzheimer’s Sins They Don’t Tell You About
Despite Big Pharma’s best attempts… drugs can’t cure or even reverse Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To make matters worse, the mainstream press makes it sound like there’s no earthly way to prevent it.
But that’s a crock.
Two leading experts say that we know exactly what causes MORE THAN HALF of all the AD cases around the world… and these cases are perfectly preventable! Unfortunately, the hard truth gets zero play in the mainstream press.
Just consider this…
The day after this important study hit the newswire, USA Today ran a story about Alzheimer’s disease and antidepressants. I can picture the editor in the newsroom…okay, should we run a story about how to prevent Alzheimer’s disease… or should we write about Alzheimer’s and Zoloft? Zoloft will win that coin toss every time!
How many times have I said it? Prevention just isn’t sexy.
Well, it might not be sexy. But it does work. In fact…
We can stop ½ of all Alzheimer’s cases — right now!
Today, about 34 million people in the world live with Alzheimer’s disease. But according to Dr. Deborah Barnes and Dr. Kristine Yaffe, about half of the cases were totally and completely preventable.
Both women are professors at the University of California, San Francisco. They analyzed data from several different studies and came up with a list of seven deadly Alzheimer’s sins.
Now, I have to admit…
The last few deadly sins on the list aren’t terribly surprising.
Risk factors #3 through #7 (in descending order) are: smoking, mid-life hypertension, mid-life obesity, low education, and diabetes.
So, if you smoke or have high blood pressure in your 40s, your risk goes up. And if you carry too much weight in your 40s or get diabetes, that’s a risk factor too. Low levels of education are also a risk factor. I imagine that shows the need to find quality healthcare throughout your life. That’s always important.
But the #1 and #2 deadly sins certainly surprised the heck out of me. In fact, they’re not what most people think about when the worry about getting Alzheimer’s.
Research turns up surprising #2 deadly sin
The #2 risk factor is depression. Yep. Depression.
Apparently, chronic depression does more than just affect your mood. It affects your brain in ways we do not fully understand. So strive to keep the blues at bay.
To do this, you’ll want to make sure you take vitamin D, a B complex, and fish oil each day as I’ve told you before. In addition, studies show that one key plant extract may cut your depression symptoms by up to 80 percent!
Plus, here’s the…
Shocking #1 deadly sin you should avoid at all costs!
Believe it or not, the #1 deadly sin is to sit on the couch! Yes, leading a sedentary lifestyle is the #1 worst thing you can do if you want to ward off Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the recent study, the professors say this alone increases your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease by more than 20 percent. In fact, they say 1 in 5 older adults in the U.S. will get Alzheimer’s disease simply because they don’t get up and move.
The UCSF Profs aren’t alone. In another recent study, French researchers followed nearly 2,000 high-risk women for seven years. Over this period, the researchers gave the women a series of cognitive and memory tests. They also asked the women about their level of physical activity.
Here’s what they discovered…
How to turn back your brain’s age
Women who stayed more physically active tested far better than women who didn’t remain active. In fact, they scored as well as someone five to seven years younger!
So how did these brain-fit women stay physically fit? Did they run triathlons or swim 20 miles a day?
For like 30 minutes a day. And, yes, this literally helped them to turn back their brains’ age.
According to Professor Barnes, “some very simple lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity and quitting smoking, could have a tremendous impact on preventing Alzheimer’s and other dementias in the United States and worldwide.”
Call me crazy, but the new research is profoundly comforting to me. It’s not out of our hands, after all! And while we may not have a drug that can cure it, we sure know how to reduce our risk.
So get out there and get moving
By Dr. Allan Spreen
WHAT ABOUT ALCOHOL?
Indeed, what about alcohol? Good Question!
People who consumed one to three alcoholic drinks per day were 42% less likely to develop any form of dementia than people who did not drink alcohol at all. More specifically, consuming one to three alcoholic drinks per day reduced a person’’ risk of vascular dementia by 70%. Consuming four or more alcoholic drinks per day did not reduce the risk of dementia.
In calculating these statistics, the researchers factored in common risk factors for dementia. Of note, all types of alcohol -–beer, wine, liquor, fortified wine (i.e., sherry, port)- produced a similar reduction in risk.
There are limitations to this study that are worth noting. First, measurements of alcohol intake were based on information reported by the participants and could not be confirmed with any laboratory tests. This may have compromised the accuracy of the information because it is difficult to assess lifetime alcohol intake habits based on their recall of many years. Second, although the researchers collected information on the number of glasses of alcohol consumed per day, there was no information as to the amount of alcohol consumed in each glass. Finally, the follow-up period of six years is fairly short, meaning that some participants may yet develop dementia.
How does this affect you?
Studies have shown that light-to-moderate alcohol intake is associated with better cardiovascular health. Because there is evidence that vascular factors may be involved in the cause of dementia, the study authors suggest that alcohol’’ affects on vascular health may be responsible for the apparent protective effect of alcohol. They also suggest that light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol may stimulate production of acetylcholine (a substance known to facilitate memory and learning) in the brain.
Is this an invitation to drink up? Not without some caveats. While alcohol does appear to play a role in heart health -–and now in the onset of dementia -–steady alcohol consumption can cause liver disease, complicate other medical conditions, and may increase the risk of some kinds of cancer. In addition, a steady intake of alcohol can trigger an unhealthy rise in blood triglyceride levels, a potential risk factor for heart disease.
For people who already enjoy alcohol, a reasonable limit is about two drinks per day for men and one for women (despite the fact that some of the drinkers in this study were consuming more than that). A drink is calculated as 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz of distilled spirits. If you don’’ drink alcohol but are curious as to whether you should, talk to your health care provider to weigh the benefits of moderate alcohol intake and decide if alcohol should be part of your daily routine.
Cynics at Greater Risk of Dementia
by Hiyaguha Cohen
Modern cynicism has been defined as an attitude of distrust toward the generally accepted and a rejection of the need to be socially involved. It’s certainly a state of mind that many people now seem to share, but, as it turns out, it might not do much for your cognitive abilities over time. A new study just published in Neurology Journal has linked cynicism to a three times increased risk of dementia. The study, out of the University of Eastern Finland, followed 1449 people averaging 71 years old. The participants first took a survey to assess their levels of cynicism, particularly the type of cynicism that would make them distrust others and believe that most people are out for themselves. The questionnaire included statements such as, “I think most people would lie to get ahead,” “It is safer to trust nobody,” and “Most people will use somewhat unfair reasons to gain profit or an advantage rather than lose it.” Participants indicated the degree to which they agreed or disagreed with the statements.
In addition to the cynicism test, the participants were screened for dementia at eight-year intervals. Control factors included age, sex, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, fasting glucose, body mass index, socioeconomic background, smoking, alcohol use, and self-reported health.
It turns out that those with the highest scores for cynicism face a 3.13 greater risk of developing dementia compared to trusting individuals no matter their lifestyle habits, health status, economic status, age or sex. The researchers also looked at the link between cynicism and mortality, and not surprisingly, the cynics in the study died earlier than the trusting participants. In the case of mortality, though, socioeconomic status, existing health conditions, and lifestyle did play the dominant role, at least according to this study. After controlling for lifestyle factors, the cynics lived as long as the trusting folks, although again, with triple the chance of suffering from dementia. In contrast, a larger, 2009 study out of the University of Pittsburgh found that those subjects with the highest levels of hostility and cynicism were 16% more likely to die during the eight years of the study than subjects who scored lowest, and that was after controlling for lifestyle factors.
The Finnish study was the first to specifically examine the link between cynicism and dementia. Other research has investigated the deleterious effects of other negative attitudes. For instance, we reported a study back in 2006 that found that subjects with the highest levels of distress and worry stood a 48 percent increased chance of developing memory loss in comparison to those subjects who maintained a positive attitude.
Likewise, depression seems to trigger cognitive decline, as a 2013 study underlined. That research followed 50,000 elderly adults for five years and found that the depressed individuals in the bunch developed vascular dementia at twice the rate of the happier subjects and also had a 65 percent greater incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease.
As significant as those statistics are, the latest study indicates that cynicism might beat out both worry and even depression by a wide margin in its deleterious effects on the brain.
Experts assert various theories about why cynicism erodes the mind. The study director, Anna-Maija Tolppanen, pointed out that cynical people may isolate themselves, and the resulting lack of social interaction could put them at a greater risk for dementia. Also, she says that personality factors such as cynicism might cause chemical changes in the brain. Plus, cynical individuals will likely distrust medical professionals, she says, and so they might not take positive, preventative measures to keep themselves healthy.
A less clinical view comes from actor Jeff Bridges, who says, “Most cynics are really crushed romantics: they’ve been hurt, they’re sensitive, and their cynicism is a shell that’s protecting this tiny, dear part in them that’s still alive.” In other words, cynicism is a cover for depression, and possibly, resentment. If Mr. Bridges is correct, cynics naturally will suffer the same mental and physical debilitation that afflicts other depressed or angry individuals.
Few cynics are going to develop sunny dispositions just because science tells them they might protect their brains in so doing. In fact, the typical cynic hates sunny dispositions and would disparage such advice. This fact may pose a problem for the up-and-coming generation–the Millennials–who are the most cynical generation on record. According to a Pew Survey, 81 percent of the Millennials believe that you can’t trust most other people. The Millennials probably get plenty of support to maintain their cynical outlook from their peers, so they may all wind up sharing early bunks at assisted care facilities.
What should you do if nothing will convince you that the world is a friendly place and that most people (including politicians and used car dealers) are essentially good? How can you protect your curmudgeon mind?
Of course, you should exercise and eat well to counteract the effects of your negativity. You might also add antioxidants and proteolytic enzymes to your supplement regimen. The proteolytic enzymes will help to reduce systemic inflammation caused by any residual depression you may harbor, as inflammation in the vascular system hampers blood flow to the brain. The antioxidants will help to neutralize free radical cascades triggered by any underlying stress and resentment you may have. You might also want to consider an L-carnosine based formula to hold back the advance of beta amyloid plaques in your brain.
On the other hand, if you want to take one last stab at attitude adjustment, you can try dancing along with the world to Pharrell’s “Happy”–unless you live in Iran, that is, as that experience just might make you totally cynical.