The truth about amyloid plaque and its connection to Alzheimer’s disease


Image: The truth about amyloid plaque and its connection to Alzheimer’s disease

Scientists have been studying the link between amyloid plaques and Alzheimer’s disease for over 20 years, but a growing number of experts are questioning this prevailing hypothesis. Thomas J. Lewis, Ph.D. has been leading the call to change the way the medical community looks at, and treats, Alzheimer’s disease. And according to this Alzheimer’s expert, the notion that amyloid plaque is the sole cause of Alzheimer’s disease is nothing more than a myth, peddled by the profit-seeking pharma industry for their own financial gain.

Dr. Lewis is the CEO and founder of RealHealth Clinics, and has spent years researching and developing alternative treatments for the condition. Despite the fact that amyloid plaques and the “amyloid cascade” hypothesis have been the cornerstone of Alzheimer’s disease research for decades, Lewis believes that other forces are at play. Other experts have also begun to question the amyloid dogma — and for good reason.

Amyloid plaques and Alzheimer’s disease

As sources explain, the current accepted theory about Alzheimer’s goes like so: Beta amyloid, a protein fragment, accumulates in the brain and forms clumps of amyloid plaque. This plaque is believed to destroy synapses, cause nerve cell death and ultimately, impair brain function.

The theory sounds good on paper, but as Dr. Lewis explains, there are some glaring problems with this hypothesis.

And as sources report, more than 100 amyloid-targeting drugs have been tested in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease; all have failed. Researchers have even tried using these drugs in milder cases of dementia, still to no avail. Now, rather than admit their prevailing theory is wrong, Big Pharma is looking to employ totally healthy people as their guinea pigs. If amyloid plaques were the problem, the drugs should have offered at least some benefit. Further, giving healthy people drugs to prevent a disease they don’t have, ultimately, won’t even provide substantiating proof of concept, anyways — not that a lack of convincing evidence has ever stopped Big Pharma before.

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More, Dr. Lewis explained at a recent summit, there are many cases of Alzheimer’s disease in which no amyloid plaques are present. This alone is a bit of a red flag; after all, if the plaques are the only thing that causes Alzheimer’s, they should be present in all patients.

This finding, at the very least, suggests that there is more than one cause of Alzheimer’s.

Even more interesting is the finding that amyloid plaque is often present in the brains of individuals not affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

As Dr. Lewis notes further, research by Harvard University has shown that beta amyloid is actually part of the immune system response. This, he posits, could mean that amyloid plaques may actually play a protective role in the brain. Instead of causing Alzheimer’s, the accumulation of beta amyloid may be a sign that something else is going awry.

So, the drugs designed to target the “cause” of Alzheimer’s do nothing to actually help treat the disease, and studies have indicated that amyloid plaque, at the very least, is not the only factor that contributes to it, either. It is no wonder that experts like Dr. Lewis propose that perhaps another factor is at play.

Indeed, it would seem that like other conditions, Alzheimer’s disease can be triggered by an array of causes. Dr. Lewis notes, however, that inflammation is virtually always present. He posits that  environmental toxins, stress, poor nutrition, lack of sleep and bacterial and viral infections can all play a role in the onset of the disease.

Research has shown that prescription drugs and vaccines can also contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s. All things considered, it’s clear that the way mainstream medicine currently looks at Alzheimer’s disease is misguided. You can learn more at Dementia.news.

Sources for this article include:

NaturalHealth365.com

Alzheimers.net

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There is a STRONG link between exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and vitamin D deficiency


Image: There is a STRONG link between exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals and vitamin D deficiency

It seems that the sky’s the limit when it comes to the toxic effects of BPA and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals. BPA and similar chemicals are known for their deleterious effects on the endocrine system,  cardiovascular system, and their ability to cause infertility and more. But recent research has shown that the hazards of BPA and other endocrine disruptors can even cause vitamin D deficiency — which can cause a whole host of other health issues.

Time and time again, big businesses manage to get their toxic chemicals approved by governing officials. And it is only after these toxins have become persistent in our environment, and exposure has become inevitable, that the true, sinister nature of these poisons is revealed.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D is an extremely important nutrient that is responsible for many functions in the body. In addition to promoting bone health, vitamin D is highly regarded for its brain and immune system benefits. Consequently, deficiency in this nutrient is quite the concern. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an array of problems, including deficits in brain function and increased mortality risk. Vitamin D deficiency is something you want to avoid, to say the least.

A study by the Endocrine Society has shown that in addition to all the other ill effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) like BPA, these toxins can cause vitamin D deficiency, too. Published in 2016, the Society’s examination of over 1300 studies on EDCs also found links to infertility, obesity, diabetes, neurological problems and hormone-related cancers, among other ails.

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Lauren Johns, MPH, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and the study’s first author, commented on the research.

“Nearly every person on the planet is exposed to BPA and another class of endocrine-disrupting chemicals called phthalates, so the possibility that these chemicals may even slightly reduce vitamin D levels has widespread implications for public health,” she explained.

“Vitamin D plays a broad role in maintaining bone and muscle health. In addition, low vitamin D levels have been implicated in outcomes of numerous conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer,” Johns added.

Based on the team’s findings, people exposed to large amounts of EDCs are more prone to vitamin D deficiency — with women being more strongly affected than then men.

Professor John D. Meeker, MS, ScD, and senior author of the study, stated that more research is needed to understand how EDCs disrupt vitamin D levels. Meeker posited, “[B]ut it is possible that EDCs alter the active form of vitamin D in the body through some of the same mechanisms that they use to impact similar reproductive and thyroid hormones.” However, this is only a theory so far.

Hidden danger: EDCs are everywhere

As Natural Health 365 reports, EDCs like BPA are everywhere. There are over 85,000 manufactured chemicals on the market today, and many thousands of those are EDCs. BPA can be found in everything from water bottles to dental fillings, and is also used in medical devices, eyeglass lenses, sports equipment and and array of electronics. And that’s just one chemical — there are many other hormone-disrupting chemicals out there.

Phthalates, for example, are used in a litany of products, including personal care products, cosmetics, food packaging and more. Phthalates are also known for their ability to disrupt endocrine function and other adverse effects. Some ways you can reduce exposure to these compounds include choosing products that are BPA- and phthalate-free. Selecting glass, ceramic or other natural materials over plastic when possible is another tip.

High levels of CoQ10 can lower your chances of dementia by 77%


Image: High levels of CoQ10 can lower your chances of dementia by 77%

Dementia, despite its prevalence, remains largely a mystery to doctors and scientists, who have yet to find a foolproof way to prevent or treat the illness. We’ve all heard that foods like blueberries and those containing omega 3s can reduce your risk to a degree, but one of the more exciting developments in the fight against dementia in recent years is the ability of coenzyme Q10, or coQ10, to significantly lower your risk.

A study that was published in the Atherosclerosis journal highlighted this ability after looking at adults aged between 40 and 69. They compared those who developed dementia with control subjects who were the same age but did not develop the disease, measuring the serum CoQ10 levels of everyone involved.

They discovered that those individuals whose levels of CoQ10 were within the top 25 percent of all those measured enjoyed a remarkable 77 percent lower chance of developing dementia than those who fell into the lowest quarter of CoQ10 levels. In addition, those with the highest levels of CoQ10 also had healthier levels of cholesterol.

Why is CoQ10 so useful in this regard? According to experts, it lowers oxidative stress in the brain, along with amyloid plaque. It also helps to heal the mitochondrial impairment that stands in the way of energy production.

Could you use more CoQ10?

Your body naturally produces the antioxidant CoQ10, which is also known as ubiquinone. Its main job is helping your body convert the food you eat into the energy needed to power your brain and your body in general, but it also serves other purposes, such as preventing blood clots.

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As you age, your CoQ10 levels will decrease naturally, and they also drop very low if you have heart disease, dementia, Parkinson’s, HIV/AIDS, or cancer. Deficiencies can also be seen in those who take statins. Unfortunately, having low levels of CoQ10 has been linked to a host of illnesses like cancer progression and melanoma metastasis.

Because nearly every cell in your body depends on CoQ10, it’s important to ensure you are getting enough of it – especially if you are hoping to reduce your chances of developing dementia later in life, along with other brain diseases like Parkinson’s.

You can find CoQ10 in oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and tuna, which also have the benefit of containing lots of healthy fats. It can also be found in soybeans, peanuts, spinach, cauliflower, and broccoli.

It’s difficult to get enough CoQ10 from your diet, so many people enlist the help of supplements to ensure their levels are adequate. In fact, CoQ10 supplements have proven useful in lowering cancer risk and helping to heal heart disease. The supplements can also help those suffering from high blood sugar and even diabetes.

Because it’s made naturally by your body, it is considered generally quite safe to take as a supplement, as long as you are getting a pure product from a trustworthy source. Studies haven’t found any serious side effects, although some people may experience mild effects like nausea, heartburn, headaches or insomnia. Some people might want to steer clear, however, such as those who are pregnant or taking blood thinners, chemotherapy medications, or beta blockers.

Although we are still only scratching the surface when it comes to understanding this puzzling disease, it’s encouraging to know that there are safe and natural ways you can reduce the chances you’ll develop dementia.

Study suggests a direct link between screen time and ADHD in teens


Image: Study suggests a direct link between screen time and ADHD in teens

Adding to the list of health concerns associated with excessive screen time, one study suggests that there could be a link between the length of time teenagers spend online and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The two-year study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), observed more than 2,500 high school students from Los Angeles.

Digital media and the attention span of teenagers

A team of researchers analyzed data from the teenagers who had shorter attention spans the more they became involved in different digital media platforms for the duration of the experiment.

The JAMA study observed adolescents aged 15 and 16 years periodically for two years. The researchers asked the teenagers about the frequency of their online activities and if they had experienced any of the known symptoms of ADHD.

As the teenagers’ digital engagement rose, their reported ADHD symptoms also went up by 10 percent. The researchers noted that based on the results of the study, even if digital media usage does not definitively cause ADHD, it could cause symptoms that would result in the diagnosis of ADHD or require pharmaceutical treatment.

Experts believe that ADHD begins in the early stages of childhood development. However, the exact circumstances, regardless if they are biological or environmental, have yet to be determined.

Adam Leventhal, a University of Southern California psychologist and senior author of the study, shared that the research team is now analyzing the occurrence of new symptoms that were not present when the study began.

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Other studies about digital engagement have implied that there is an inverse relationship with happiness. The less people used digital media, the more they reported feeling an overall sense of happiness. (Related: The social media paradox: Teens who are always online feel more lonely.)

The researchers concluded that the teenagers might have exhibited ADHD symptoms from the outset due to other factors. However, it is possible that excessive digital media usage can still aggravate these symptoms.

Fast facts about ADHD

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that is commonly diagnosed in children. However, it can also be diagnosed in older individuals. ADHD can be difficult to diagnose. Since several symptoms of ADHD are similar to normal childhood behaviors, the disorder itself can be hard to detect.

The symptoms of ADHD may include forgetting completed tasks, having difficulty sitting still, having difficulty staying organized, and having trouble concentrating or focusing.

  • Men are at least three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than females.
  • During their lifetimes, at least 13 percent of men will be diagnosed with ADHD, as opposed to only 4.2 percent in women.
  • The average age of ADHD diagnosis is seven years old.
  • The symptoms of the condition will usually manifest when a child is aged three to six years old.
  • ADHD is not solely a childhood disorder. At least four percent of American adults older than 18 may have ADHD.

This disorder does not increase an individual’s risk for other conditions or diseases. However, some people with ADHD, mostly children, have a higher chance of experiencing different coexisting conditions. These can make social situations, like school, more difficult for kids with ADHD.

Some coexisting conditions of ADHD may include:

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Bed-wetting problems
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Conduct disorders and difficulties (e.g., antisocial behavior, fighting, and oppositional defiant disorder)
  • Depression
  • Learning disabilities
  • Sleep disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Tourette syndrome

Minimize your child’s ADHD risk by reading more articles with tips on how to manage their internet use at Addiction.news.

Sources include:

Lifezette.com

Healthline.com

How Sugar Harms Your Brain Health and Drives Alzheimer’s Epidemic


Sugar-and-brain

 

Alzheimer’s disease, a severe form of dementia, affects an estimated 5.2 million Americans, according to 2013 statistics.[1]

One in nine seniors over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s, and the disease is now thought to be the third leading cause of death in the US, right behind heart disease and cancer.

A growing body of research suggests there’s a powerful connection between your diet and your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, via similar pathways that cause type 2 diabetes.

Contrary to popular belief, your brain does not require glucose, and actually functions better burning alternative fuels, especially ketones, which your body makes in response to digesting healthy fats.

According to some experts, such as Dr. Ron Rosedale, Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders may in large part be caused by the constant burning of glucose for fuel by your brain.

Alzheimer’s disease was tentatively dubbed “type 3 diabetes” in early 2005 when researchers discovered that in addition to your pancreas, your brain alsoproduces insulin, and this brain insulin is necessary for the survival of brain cells.

Sugar Damages Brain Structure and Function

In your brain, insulin helps with neuron glucose-uptake and the regulation of neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine, which are crucial for memory and learning. This is why reducing the level of insulin in your brain impairs your cognition.

Research[2] has also shown that type 2 diabetics lose more brain volume with age than expected—particularly gray matter. This kind of brain atrophy is yet another contributing factor for dementia.

Studies have found that people with lower levels of insulin and insulin receptors in their brain often have Alzheimer’s disease. But according to recent research published in the journal Neurology,[3] sugar and other carbohydrates can disrupt your brain function even if you’re not diabetic or have any signs of dementia.

To test their theory, they evaluated short- and long-term glucose markers in 141 healthy, non-diabetic, non-demented seniors. Memory tests and brain imaging were administered to assess their brain function and the actual structure of their hippocampus. As reported by Scientific American:[4]

“Higher levels on both glucose measures were associated with worse memory, as well as a smaller hippocampus and compromised hippocampal structure.

The researchers also found that the structural changes partially accounted for the statistical link between glucose and memory. According to study co-author Agnes Flöel, a neurologist at Charité, the results ‘provide further evidence that glucose might directly contribute to hippocampal atrophy.’”

The findings suggest that even if you’re not diabetic or insulin resistant (and about 80 percent of Americans fall into the latter category), sugar consumption can still disrupt your memory.

Long-term, it can contribute to the shrinking of your hippocampus, which is a hallmark symptom of Alzheimer’s disease. (Your hippocampus is involved with the formation, organization, and storage of memories.)

The authors of the study suggest that “strategies aimed at lowering glucose levels even in the normal range may beneficially influence cognition in the older population.”

‘Normal’ Blood Sugar Levels May Still Be High Enough to Cause Problems

Normally, a fasting blood sugar level between 100-125 mg/dl is diagnosed as a pre-diabetic state. A fasting blood sugar level of 90-100 is considered “normal.” But in addition to the featured research, other studies have also found that brain atrophy occurs even in this “normal” blood sugar range.

Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, MD insists that being very strict in limiting your consumption of sugar and non-vegetable carbs is one of THE most important steps you can take to prevent Alzheimer’s disease for this very reason.

He cites research from the Mayo Clinic, which found that diets rich in carbohydrates are associated with an 89 percent increased risk for dementia. Meanwhile, high-fat diets are associated with a 44 percent reduced risk.

Sugar Lobby Threatens Organizations and Buries Science on Health Effects

Compelling research shows that your brain has great plasticity, which you control through your diet and lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, the American public has been grossly brainwashed by the sugar and processed food industries into believing that sugar is a perfectly reasonable “nutrient” that belongs in a healthy diet.

Without accurate information, it’s certainly more difficult to make health-affirming choices. Newsweek[5] recently ran an article revealing just how far the sugar industry will go to defend its market share:

“According to a new report[6] from the Center for Science and Democracy… industry groups representing companies that sell sweeteners, like the Sugar Association and the Corn Refiners Association… have poured millions of dollars into countering science that indicates negative health consequences of eating their products.

For example, when a University of Southern California study from 2013 found that the actual high fructose corn syrup content in sodas ‘varied significantly’ from the sugar content disclosed on soda labels, the Corn Refiners Association considered paying for its own counter research.

A consultant suggested that the counter research should only be published if the results aligned with their goal of disputing the USC study: ‘If for any reason the results confirm [the University of Southern California study], we can just bury the data,’ the consultant wrote, according to the report.”

According to the Center for Science report, the Sugar Association even threatened the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO had published a paper on sugar, recommending a 10 percent limit on added sugars, stating that added sugars “threaten the nutritional quality of diets.”

The Sugar Association shot off a letter to the director general, warning him that, unless WHO withdrew the study, the Sugar Association would persuade the US Congress to withdraw the WHO’s federal funding. The following year, when WHO published its global health strategy on diet and health, there was no mention of the offending sugar study.

The Sugar Lobby Deserves Blame for Fueling Chronic Disease Epidemics

Indeed, despite overwhelming evidence showing that sugar, and processed fructose in particular, is at the heart of our burgeoning obesity and chronic disease epidemics, the sugar lobby has been so successful in its efforts to thwart the impact of such evidence that there’s still no consensus among our regulatory agencies as to the “factual” dangers of sugar…

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data,[7] 13 percent of the average American’s diet is sugar. In the UK, a recently published report[8] by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommends limiting your added sugar intake to five percent, in order to avoid obesity and type 2 diabetes. They calculate this to be the equivalent of 25 grams of sugar (5-6 teaspoons) per day for women, and 35 grams (7-8 teaspoons) for men.

This matches my own recommendations for healthy, non-insulin resistant individuals—with one key difference. I recommend restricting sugar/fructose consumption to 25 grams from ALL sources, not just added sugar. This includes limiting your non-vegetable carbohydrates as well. Crazy enough, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition still recommends you get 50 percent of your daily energy intake in the form of starchy carbohydrates, which will undoubtedly and significantly raise your risk of insulin resistance. If you’re insulin/leptin resistant, diabetic, overweight, or have high blood pressure, heart disease, or cancer, I recommend restricting your sugar/fructose consumption to a maximum of 15 grams per day from all sources, until your insulin/leptin resistance has been resolved.

Dietary Guidelines for Maintaining Healthy Brain Function and Avoiding Alzheimer’s Disease

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the same pathological process that leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may also hold true for your brain. As you over-indulge on sugar and grains, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of glucose and insulin that blunts its insulin signaling, leading to impairments in your thinking and memory abilities, eventually causing permanent brain damage.

Additionally, when your liver is busy processing fructose (which your liver turns into fat), it severely hampers its ability to make cholesterol, an essential building block of your brain that is crucial for optimal brain function. Indeed, mounting evidence supports the notion that significantly reducing fructose consumption is a very important step for preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Because of the very limited treatments, and no available cure as of yet, you’re really left with just one solid solution, and that is to prevent Alzheimer’s from happening to you in the first place. As explained by neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, Alzheimer’s is a disease predicated primarily on lifestyle choices; the two main culprits being excessive sugar and gluten consumption.

Another major factor is the development and increased consumption of genetically engineered (GE) grains, which are now pervasive in most processed foods sold in the US. The beauty of following my optimized nutrition plan is that it helps prevent and treat virtually ALL chronic degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. Dr. Perlmutter’s book, Grain Brain, also provides powerful arguments for eliminating grains from your diet, particularly if you want to protect the health of your brain. In terms of your diet, the following suggestions may be among the most important for Alzheimer’s prevention:

  • Avoid sugar and refined fructose. Ideally, you’ll want to keep your total sugar and fructose below 25 grams per day, or as low as 15 grams per day if you have insulin resistance or any related disorders. In one recent animal study, a junk food diet high in sugar resulted in impaired memory after just one week![9] Place recognition, specifically, was adversely affected.

As a general rule, you’ll want to keep your fasting insulin levels below 3, and this is indirectly related to fructose, as it will clearly lead to insulin resistance. However, other sugars (sucrose is 50 percent fructose by weight), grains, and lack of exercise are also important factors. Lowering insulin will also help lower leptin levels which is another factor for Alzheimer’s.

  • Avoid gluten and casein (primarily wheat and pasteurized dairy, but not dairy fat, such as butter). Research shows that your blood-brain barrier, the barrier that keeps things out of your brain where they don’t belong, is negatively affected by gluten. Gluten also makes your gut more permeable, which allows proteins to get into your bloodstream, where they don’t belong. That then sensitizes your immune system and promotes inflammation and autoimmunity, both of which play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s.
  • Eat a nutritious diet, rich in folate, such as the one described in my nutrition plan. Vegetables, without question, are your best form of folate, and we should all eat plenty of fresh raw veggies every day. Avoid supplements like folic acid, which is the inferior synthetic version of folate.
  • Increase consumption of all healthful fats, including animal-based omega-3. Beneficial health-promoting fats that your brain needs for optimal function include organic butter from raw milk, clarified butter called ghee, organic grass fed raw butter, olives, organic virgin olive oil and coconut oil, nuts like pecans and macadamia, free-range eggs, wild Alaskan salmon, and avocado.

Contrary to popular belief, the ideal fuel for your brain is not glucose but ketones. Ketones are what your body produces when it converts fat (as opposed to glucose) into energy. The medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil are a great source of ketone bodies, because coconut oil is about 66 percent MCTs. In 2010, I published Dr. Mary Newport’s theory that coconut oil might offer profound benefits in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. She has since launched one of the first clinical trials of its kind to test this theory.

Also make sure you’re getting enough animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. (I recommend avoiding most fish because, although fish is naturally high in omega-3, most fish are now severely contaminated with mercury.) High intake of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA help by preventing cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, thereby slowing down its progression, and lowering your risk of developing the disorder.

  • Optimize your gut flora by regularly eating fermented foods or taking a high-potency and high-quality probiotic supplement
  • Eat blueberries. Wild blueberries, which have high anthocyanin and antioxidant content, are known to guard against Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

Other Helpful Dietary Tips and Valuable Supplements

Another helpful tip is to reduce your overall calorie consumption, and/or intermittently fast. As mentioned above, ketones are mobilized when you replace carbs with coconut oil and other sources of healthy fats. A one-day fast can help your body to “reset” itself, and start to burn fat instead of sugar. As part of a healthy lifestyle, I prefer an intermittent fasting schedule that simply calls for limiting your eating to a narrower window of time each day. By restricting your eating to a 6-8 hour window, you effectively fast 16-18 hours each day. To learn more about intermittent fasting, please see this previous article.

Also be aware that when it comes to cholesterol levels and Alzheimer’s, lower is NOT better. Quite the contrary. According to Dr. Perlmutter, research shows that elderly individuals with the lowest cholesterol levels have the highest risk for Alzheimer’s. They also have the highest risk for dying. As he says, the war on cholesterol is fundamentally inappropriate and harmful.

Finally, there’s a short list of supplement recommendations worth noting for their specific benefits in preventing and treating dementia. So, although your fundamental strategy for preventing dementia should involve a comprehensive lifestyle approach, you may want to take special note of the following natural dietary agents. These four natural foods/supplements have good science behind them, in terms of preventing age-related cognitive changes:

  1. Gingko biloba: Many scientific studies have found that Ginkgo biloba has positive effects for dementia. A 1997 study from JAMA showed clear evidence that Ginkgo improves cognitive performance and social functioning for those suffering from dementia. Another 2006 study found Ginkgo as effective as the dementia drug Aricept (donepezil) for treating mild to moderate Alzheimer’s type dementia. A 2010 meta-analysis also found Ginkgo biloba to be effective for a variety of types of dementia.
  2. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA): ALA has been shown to help stabilize cognitive functions among Alzheimer’s patients and may slow the progression of the disease.
  3. Vitamin B12: A small Finnish study published in the journal Neurology[10] found thatpeople who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s in their later years. For each unit increase in the marker of vitamin B12 the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was reduced by two percent. Remember sublingual methylcobalamin may be your best bet here.

Lifestyle Strategies That Can Help Ward off Alzheimer’s Disease

Lifestyle choices such as getting regular sun exposure and exercise, along with avoiding toxins, are also important factors when it comes to maintaining optimal brain health. Here are several of my lifestyle suggestions:

  • Optimize your vitamin D levels with safe sun exposure. Strong links between low levels of vitamin D in Alzheimer’s patients and poor outcomes on cognitive tests have been revealed. Researchers believe that optimal vitamin D levels may enhance the amount of important chemicals in your brain and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of the glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health.

Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on Alzheimer’s through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Sufficient vitamin D is imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation that is also associated with Alzheimer’s.

  • Exercise regularly. It’s been suggested that exercise can trigger a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized,[11] thus, slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. Exercise also increases levels of the protein PGC-1alpha. Research has also shown that people with Alzheimer’s have less PGC-1alpha in their brains[12] and cells that contain more of the protein produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer’s. I would strongly recommend reviewing the Peak Fitness Technique for my specific recommendations.
  • Avoid and eliminate mercury from your body. Dental amalgam fillings, which are 50 percent mercury by weight, are one of the major sources of heavy metal toxicity. However, you should be healthy prior to having them removed. Once you have adjusted to following the diet described in my optimized nutrition plan, you can follow the mercury detox protocol and then find a biological dentist to have your amalgams removed.
  • Avoid aluminum, such as antiperspirants, non-stick cookware, vaccine adjuvants, etc.
  • Avoid flu vaccinations as most contain both mercury and aluminum, well-known neurotoxic and immunotoxic agents.
  • Avoid anticholinergics and statin drugs. Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain nighttime pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence, and certain narcotic pain relievers.

Statin drugs are particularly problematic because they suppress the synthesis of cholesterol, deplete your brain of coenzyme Q10 and neurotransmitter precursors, and prevent adequate delivery of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble antioxidants to your brain by inhibiting the production of the indispensable carrier biomolecule known as low-density lipoprotein.

  • Challenge your mind daily. Mental stimulation, especially learning something new, such as learning to play an instrument or a new language, is associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up your brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

How B Vitamins Improve Brain Health


vitamin b for brain

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  • Research suggests vitamins B6, B8 and B12 significantly reduce symptoms associated with schizophrenia — more so than standard drug treatments alone. High dose niacin (B3) is another effective treatment
  • Other B vitamin deficiencies can also produce symptoms of psychiatric disorders and mood disorders, and can play a role in cognitive decline and dementia
  • Vitamins B6, B9 (folate/folic acid) and B12 may help prevent cognitive decline and more serious dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease

It’s well-established that healthy fats such as animal-based omega-3s — especially DHA — are vitally important for your brain health, but other nutrients such as vitamins are also necessary for cognition and the prevention of neurological disease and mental disorders.

Psychiatry typically relies on drugs as a first line of treatment, but even more severe psychiatric problems have been shown to benefit greatly from nutritional interventions.

One nutritional deficiency in particular that has the potential to wreak havoc on your psyche is niacin (vitamin B3). Pellagra1 is a condition caused by niacin deficiency, and two of its clinical manifestations include delirium and dementia. Interestingly, schizophrenia appears to have some of the features of pellagra.

The disease originates in your gut and is associated with malnourishment and the “poor man’s diet” consisting primarily of corn products. Pellagra was epidemic in the American South during the early 1900s, and we just might be dealing with a similar epidemic of malnutrition today.

That said, other vitamin B deficiencies, including B1, B2, B6, B8 and B12 also have an uncanny ability to produce symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders, and can be a valuable treatment adjunct.

B Vitamins Are Important for Psychiatric Conditions

For example, recent research2,3 suggests certain B vitamins “significantly” reduce symptoms associated with schizophrenia — more so than standard drug treatments alone. As noted by Prevent Disease:4

“When used as an adjunctive with antipsychotics, certain vitamins and minerals may be effective for improving symptomatic outcomes of schizophrenia, by restoring nutritional deficits, reducing oxidative stress, or modulating neurological pathways.

Lead author Joseph Firth, based at the University’s Division of Psychology and Mental Health, said: ‘Looking at all of the data from clinical trials of vitamin and mineral supplements for schizophrenia to date, we can see that B vitamins effectively improve outcomes for patients.’

B deficiencies play a causative role in mental illness and exacerbate symptoms psychiatric symptoms which can result in poor nutrition vitamin insufficiency — defined as subclinical deficiency which may hamper recovery.

‘This could be an important advance, given that new treatments for this condition are so desperately needed.'”

Vitamins B6, B8 and B12 for Schizophrenia

The meta-analysis5 in question, which investigated the effect of vitamin and mineral supplementation on schizophrenia, found that studies using high doses of vitamins B6, B8 (inositol) and B12 in combination were very effective for improving schizophrenic symptoms. Low doses were ineffective.

They also found that supplementation with B vitamins appear to be most effective when implemented early on. According to Firth:

“High-dose B vitamins may be useful for reducing residual symptoms in people with schizophrenia, although there were significant differences among the findings of the studies we looked at.

There is also some indication that these overall effects may be driven by larger benefits among subgroups of patients who have relevant genetic or dietary nutritional deficiencies.”

One of the reasons for B vitamins’ effect on a wide range of mood disorders and neurological and psychiatric conditions relates to the fact that these vitamins have a direct impact on the methylation cycle, and are required for the production and function of neurotransmitters and the maintenance of myelin, the fatty sheath surrounding your nerve cells.

Without this protective coating, nerve signals become slow and sporadic, which can lead to motor function problems, cognitive losses and changes in mood. B8 also aids in cell communication, allowing your cells to properly interpret chemical messages and respond accordingly.6

Meanwhile, B6, folate and B12 (in combination with S-adenosylmethionine or SAMe) regulate the synthesis and breakdown of brain chemicals involved in mood control, including serotonin, melatonin and dopamine. Hence, a deficiency in one or more of these B vitamins can also play a role in depression.7

The Surprising Links Between Pellagra and Schizophrenia

In 2012, I interviewed Dr. Andrew Saul on the topic of using vitamin B3 (niacin) for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.

Saul is editor-in-chief of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and among his 11 book credits is “Niacin: The Real Story,” which he co-wrote with one of the leading niacin researchers and world authorities on the therapeutic use of niacin, Dr. Abram Hoffer.

Niacin, Hoffer found, may actually be a key treatment for psychological disorders, including schizophrenia.

“Dr. Hoffer … started doing tests, studies, and research into niacin back in the early 1950s. And by 1954, Hoffer had performed the first double-blind, placebo-controlled nutrition studies in the history of psychiatry,” Saul said.

“Hoffer had a Ph.D. in biochemistry … He was also a medical doctor … a board-certified psychiatrist and head of psychiatry for one of the provinces in Canada … Hoffer reasoned that schizophrenia had symptoms that were very similar to those of pellagra.

Pellagra is extreme or total niacin deficiency. Pellagrans also — in addition to skin problems and many other things — have mental illness symptoms.

When vitamin B3 or niacin was first added as an enrichment or as a fortification to flour, about half of the people in mental institutions went home. This is not a well-known fact.

They were there not because they were mentally ill — because of genetic, environment, or social reasons — but because they were malnourished …

He wondered about the half that didn’t go home … [H]e started giving what at the time were preposterously high doses of niacin: 3,000 milligrams a day. And he was curing schizophrenia in 80 percent of the cases … Hoffer saw again and again that niacin worked.

Then he studied it, did the placebo-controlled, double-blind test, and started writing paper after paper on it. At that point, the American Psychiatric Association literally blacklisted him.”

Niacin May Also Work for Other Mental Disorders

A key point brought up in Saul’s interview is that certain people have what Hoffer referred to as niacin dependency, meaning they need far more niacin on a regular basis than normal. Essentially, they’re beyond deficient — they’re dependent on high-doses of niacin in order to remain well.

This particularly appears to be the case with mental disorders. According to Saul, other researchers have since confirmed Hoffer’s findings, and found that niacin can also be successfully used in the treatment of other mental disorders, such as:

  • Attention deficit disorder
  • General psychosis
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Cerebral Effects of B12 Deficiency

B12 deficiency is another B vitamin deficiency that can trigger mania, psychosis and paranoid delusions, and this has also been known since the mid-1950s. As noted in a 1956 paper titled “Cerebral Manifestations of Vitamin B12 Deficiency” published in the British Medical Journal:8,9

“In a series of 25 cases of vitamin B12 deficiency syndrome with involvement of the nervous system … I have encountered 14 cases with well-marked cerebral symptoms …

The mental symptoms are extremely variable and include mild disorders of mood, mental slowness, memory defect which may be gross, confusion, severe agitation and depression, delusions and paranoid behavior, visual and auditory hallucinations … violent maniacal behavior and epilepsy.

None of these symptoms is pathognomonic [ed.note: characteristic of the disease], and in their absence of anemia or of spinal signs the diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency may never be considered until the psychosis is far too advanced to respond to treatment.”

B12 Deficiency Is Common

While vitamin B12 is easily obtained from animal protein foods such as meat, fish, milk, cheese and eggs, advancing age can diminish your body’s ability to absorb the vitamin from food.10 Your body’s ability to absorb B12 depends on three factors: adequate stomach acid, the enzyme pepsin and gastric intrinsic factor. With age, stomach acid often diminishes. You may also have insufficient amounts of acid if you take acid blockers for heartburn.

Many also lack gastric intrinsic factor. Pernicious anemia is an even greater concern, as this condition effectively prevents the absorption of B12. Vegans and strict vegetarians are also at high risk of B12 deficiency unless they take a high-quality supplement, since B12 is primarily obtained from animal foods.

As noted by Dr. Rajaprabhakaran Rajarethinam, a psychiatrist at Wayne State University School of Medicine and co-author of a 2009 case report on vitamin B12 deficiency and depression in the elderly:11

“[I]t is estimated that 10 to 15 percent of individuals over the age of 60 years may suffer from B12 deficiency and it is believed that atrophic gastritis type B, which may afflict 20 to 50 percent of the elderly, may lead to poor absorption of B12 and folate … 

In this report, we describe an elderly woman who suffered from severe psychotic depression who did not improve with conventional treatment but recovered significantly following administration of vitamin B12, illustrating the possibility that vitamin B12 deficiency may play a role in the development of mood disorder.”

B Vitamins Also Protect Against Dementia and Slows Alzheimer’s

Vitamins B6, B9 (folate, or folic acid in its synthetic form) and B12 have also made headlines for their powerful role in preventing cognitive decline and more serious dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, mental fogginess and memory problems are two of the top warning signs of vitamin B12 deficiency, indicating its importance for brain health.

Here, one of the mechanisms of action is the suppression of homocysteine, which tends to be elevated when you have brain degeneration. One study confirming this was published in 2010.12 Participants received either a placebo or 800 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid, 500 mcg of B12 and 20 mg of B6. The study was based on the presumption that by controlling homocysteine levels you might be able to reduce brain shrinkage, thereby slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s.

Indeed, after two years those who received the vitamin-B regimen had significantly less brain shrinkage compared to the placebo group. Those who had the highest levels of homocysteine at the start of the trial experienced brain shrinkage at half the rate of those taking a placebo.

A 2013 study13 took this research a step further, showing that not only do B vitamins slow brain shrinkage, but they specifically slow shrinkage in brain regions known to be most severely impacted by Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, in those specific areas the shrinkage is decreased by as much as 700 percent! As in the previous study, participants taking high doses of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 lowered their blood levels of homocysteine, and brain shrinkage was decreased by as much as 90 percent.

Where to Find These Valuable Brain Nutrients

Mood disorders, cognitive decline and psychiatric problems can have many underlying factors, but addressing your diet is often a good place to start. Not only can nutritional deficiencies wreak havoc with your brain function, your gut health also plays an important role, and toxic exposures from your diet or environment can also contribute.

Ideally, you’d want to address all of these issues. I’ve written extensively about all of them. As for nutritional deficiencies, B vitamins appear to be very important, as are animal-based omega-3, vitamin C and vitamin D. As a general rule, I recommend getting most if not all of your nutrition from REAL FOOD, ideally organic to avoid toxic pesticides, and locally grown. Depending on your situation and condition however, you may need one or more supplements.

To start, review the following listing of foods that contain the B vitamins discussed in this article. If you find that you rarely or never eat foods rich in one or more of these nutrients, you may want to consider taking a high-quality, ideally food-based supplement.

Also consider limiting sugar and eating fermented foods. The entire B group vitamin series is produced within your gut, assuming you have healthy gut flora. Eating real food, ideally organic, along with fermented foods will provide your microbiome with important fiber and beneficial bacteria to help optimize your internal vitamin B production.

Nutrient Dietary Sources Supplement Recommendations
Niacin (B3) Liver, chicken, veal, peanuts, chili powder, bacon and sun dried tomatoes have some of the highest amounts of niacin per gram.14

Other niacin-rich foods include baker’s yeast, paprika, espresso coffee, anchovies, spirulina, duck, shiitake mushrooms and soy sauce.15

The dietary reference intake established by the Food and Nutrition Board ranges from 14 to 18 mg per day for adults.

Higher amounts are recommended depending on your condition. For a list of recommended dosages, see the Mayo Clinic’s website.16

For pellagra, discussed above, doses range from 50 to 1,000 mg daily.

Vitamin B6 Turkey, beef, chicken, wild-caught salmon, sweet potatoes, potatoes, sunflower seeds, pistachios, avocado, spinach and banana.17,18 Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins, especially B6.19 One serving (2 tablespoons) contains nearly 10 mg of vitamin B6.

Not to be confused with Brewer’s yeast or other active yeasts, nutritional yeast is made from an organism grown on molasses, which is then harvested and dried to deactivate the yeast.

It has a pleasant cheesy flavor and can be added to a number of different dishes.

B8 (inositol/biotin) Meat, egg yolks, fish, liver, poultry, nuts and legumes.20 B8 is not recognized as an essential nutrient and no recommended daily intake has been set.

That said, it’s believed you need about 300 mcg per day.

Vitamin B8 is sometimes listed as biotin on supplements. Brewer’s yeast is a natural supplemental source.21

Folate (B9) Fresh, raw, organic leafy green vegetables, especially broccoli, asparagus, spinach and turnip greens, and a wide variety of beans, especially lentils, but also pinto beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, navy and black beans.22 Folic acid is a synthetic type of B vitamin used in supplements; folate is the natural form found in foods. (Think: folatecomes from foliage, edible leafy plants.)

For folic acid to be of use, it must first be activated into its biologically active form (L-5-MTHF).

This is the form able to cross the blood-brain barrier to give you the brain benefits noted.

Nearly half of the population has difficulty converting folic acid into the bioactive form due to a genetic reduction in enzyme activity.

For this reason, if you take a B-vitamin supplement, make sure it contains natural folate rather than synthetic folic acid.

Nutritional yeast is an excellent source.23

Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12 is found almost exclusively in animal tissues, including foods like beef and beef liver, lamb, snapper, venison, salmon, shrimp, scallops, poultry, eggs and dairy products.

The few plant foods that are sources of B12 are actually B12 analogs that block the uptake of true B12.

Nutritional yeast is also high in B12, and is highly recommended for vegetarians and vegans.

One serving (2 tbsp.) provides nearly 8 mcg of natural vitamin B12.24

Sublingual (under-the-tongue) fine mist spray or vitamin B12 injections are also effective, as they allow the large B12 molecule to be absorbed directly into your bloodstream.

How Statins Degenerate Your Brain Health


Tens of millions of people are taking drugs to lower their cholesterol levels. Most of those medications are in a drug class known as statins. Some doctors are even starting to recommend children use statin drugs to control their cholesterol levels.1 I couldn’t disagree more.

Statin Medication

Story at-a-glance

  • Tens of millions of people are taking statin medications to lower their total cholesterol levels, which does not have a significant effect on your risk for cardiovascular disease
  • Statin medications are linked to the neuromuscular degenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Malfunction of mitochondrial energy production from the effect of statins on CoQ10 may be the primary cause of most side effects

The challenge with statin drugs is that they address surface issues with cholesterol in a simplistic manner. But your body is a complex organism that uses cholesterol every day to build new cell walls, in the formation of vitamin D and in the production of hormones.

Statin drugs are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. They function by blocking the enzyme in your liver that naturally produces cholesterol for your bodily functions.

The drug essentially reduces your total cholesterol number, without addressing your high-density lipoproteins (HDL), low-density lipoproteins (LDL), very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) or triglyceride levels.

While your total cholesterol number gives you a general overview, it isn’t the information needed to evaluate your risk of cardiovascular disease. Instead, you’ll need to compare your HDL, LDL, VLDL and triglyceride numbers against your total cholesterol.

Statins May Trigger Neuromuscular Disease

Statin drugs are notorious for causing side effects like muscle damage and weakness. What has been less publicized is a potential link between statins and a progression of muscle wasting that may lead to a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation Collaborating Centre for International Drug Monitoring receives safety reports associated with statin medications and has noted a disproportionately high number of patients with upper motor neuron lesions among those taking statin medications.2

The lead researcher, Ivor Ralph Edwards, is an expert in toxicology, acute and chronic poisoning and adverse drug reactions.3 He also is the senior adviser at the WHO Uppsala Monitoring Centre in Sweden, and he says:4

“We do advocate that trial discontinuation of a statin should be considered in patients with serious neuromuscular disease such as the ALS-like syndrome, given the poor prognosis and a possibility that progression of the disease may be halted or even reversed.”

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medical School cautioned patients that although they discovered a link between taking statins and the development of a rare neuromuscular autoimmune disease, this condition could be treated with steroids and other immunosuppressive drugs.5

The researchers stated there was no need to fear this popular “fantastic medication.”6

Dr. Andrew L. Mammen, a neurologist who treats patients with statin-associated myopathies at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is quoted in a Johns Hopkins press release saying, “Statins save a huge number of lives. They dramatically reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks.”

The implication is you need statins in order to reduce your risk of heart attacks and strokes, and you should take them despite the risk for developing a degenerative neurological disease for which you will require medication to suppress your immune system.

This despite the knowledge that total cholesterol numbers are not indicative of your overall risk for cardiovascular disease. I would advise you to seriously evaluate the risks and benefits and consider your alternatives before you start taking a statin drug.

More Adverse Effects of Statins

In the video above, Dr. Beatrice Golomb7 talks with me about the manipulation of “scientific evidence” and other well-publicized misinformation about medications.

In 2012 Golomb was recognized for a study she led on muscle and tendon adverse events linked to statins, which showed that muscle problems were related to the strength of the statin being taken.8

Other studies concur that side effects from statin drugs may be different for different patients depending upon your past medical history, the particular statin and the dose used.9

Research from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine suggests that research results have been “cherry-picked” so the results presented the best possible light for the drug company.10 According to Pacific Standard:11

“Sometimes the negative side effects of statins are downplayed, and conclusions can be skewed by the limited parameters of the trials. As a 2007 Scripps Mercy Hospital study noted:

‘The incidence of statin-induced rhabdomyolysis (acute breakdown of skeletal muscles) is higher in practice than in controlled trials because of the exclusion of potentially susceptible subjects.'”

Another study found 17 percent of patients suffered side effects that included muscle pain, nervous system problems and nausea.12 Two-thirds who reported side effects stopped taking the drugs and approximately half stopped at least temporarily.

A review of the literature, published in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, evaluated 900 previous studies looking at the adverse effects of statin drugs.13

Adverse effects are dose-dependent, and your health risks can be amplified by a number of factors, such as taking other drugs (which may increase statin potency), metabolic syndrome or thyroid disease. Some of the consequences of taking statin drugs in strong doses or for a lengthy amount of time include:14,15,16

Headache Difficulty sleeping Drowsiness
Bloating Gas Constipation
Rash High blood sugar (type 2 diabetes) Vision changes
Bladder pain Difficulty breathing Dry mouth
Lower back or side pain Loss of consciousness Swollen joints
Blistering or peeling skin Weight changes Cognitive loss
Neuropathy Anemia Acidosis
Frequent fevers Cataracts Sexual dysfunction
Pancreatic dysfunction Immune system suppression Polyneuropathy (nerve damage in hands and feet)
Liver dysfunction Increased risk of cancer Degenerative muscle tissue (rhabdomyolysis)

If You Feel You Must Take Statins You Need to Take Ubiquinol or CoQ10

Statins work by inhibiting the enzyme your liver uses to produce cholesterol. However, the same pathway may promote the suppression of the precursor to coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an antioxidant your mitochondria uses to produce energy. In theory, when your body is deficient in CoQ10, mitochondrial energy production is depressed, which may trigger or accelerate neuropathies like ALS.17

If you take statin drugs without taking CoQ10 or the reduced form, ubiquinol, your health may be at serious risk. Unfortunately, this describes the majority of people who take statins in the United States. The loss of energy at the cellular level can damage your mitochondrial DNA and set into motion a vicious cycle of rising free radicals and mitochondrial damage.

CoQ10 is an effective adjunct treatment for heart failure, an important piece of information as statins may decrease the function of your heart muscle.18 In this study researchers found the control group, those who were not taking statin drugs to protect their cardiovascular health, fared better.19 They concluded, “Statin therapy is associated with decreased myocardial function as evaluated with SI (strain imaging).”

The importance of your mitochondrial energy function can’t be overstated. Statin Study Group, led by Golomb, concluded the malfunction of mitochondrial energy production due to the interference of statin medications was the underlying causative factor in all of the adverse effects associated with the medication.

After reviewing the evidence, if you choose to take a CoQ10 supplement it’s important to take the form your body can easily assimilate.20 CoQ10 can typically be used by people 30 and younger. However, if you are over 30 you’ll want to consider ubiquinol, the reduced version of CoQ10, as it is far more effective.

LDL Particle Number More Important Than Total Cholesterol

It is likely the focus on lowering cholesterol has missed the boat completely, as high total cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, unless it’s over 300. Other risk factors are much more powerful. One of the more important tests you may consider to determine your real risk of heart disease is the NMR LipoProfile, which measures your LDL particle number.

This particular test also includes markers to determine if you are insulin resistant, a primary cause of an elevated LDL particle number. When your insulin secretion rises, so does your cholesterol production. Elevated insulin levels, or a decrease in insulin sensitivity, is related to the foods you eat and your exercise. Two other blood test ratios that will tell you more about your cardiovascular disease risk are:

  • HDL to total cholesterol ratio. This is a fasting test and should be higher than 25 percent. It measures the amount of HDL you have against your total cholesterol number.
  • Triglyceride to HDL ratio, which should be below 2.

Health officials in the United States urge everyone over the age of 20 to have their cholesterol tested once every five years. Part of this test is your total cholesterol, or the sum of your blood’s cholesterol content, including HDL, LDLs and VLDLs.

Keep in mind these are still simply guidelines, and there’s a lot more that goes into your risk of heart disease than any one number can tell you. It was only after researchers found total cholesterol was a poor predictor of heart disease that HDL and LDL cholesterol were measured. They give you a closer idea of what’s going on, but they still do not show you everything.

Naturally Improve Your Cholesterol Levels

The only time there is a real reason to take medications to control your cholesterol level may be if you suffer from familial hypercholesterolemia. This is a genetic condition, passed down through your family. It begins at birth and affects your LDL levels, sometimes causing heart attacks at an early age.21

In other instances, your cholesterol can be controlled by making different lifestyle and nutritional choices. The fact is that 75 percent of your cholesterol is produced by your liver, which is influenced by your insulin levels.22,23 This means if you optimize your insulin levels you will also be optimizing your cholesterol levels. In order to safely regulate your blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and cholesterol levels it is important to modify your diet and lifestyle choices.

Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels

Sensible sun exposure will help normalize your cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease.24 For a full explanation of the process see my previous article titled, “Could THIS Be the Hidden Factor Behind Obesity, Heart Disease and Chronic Fatigue?”

Normalize Your Weight and Reduce Carbohydrates, Especially Fructose

Normalize your weight using a plan of eliminating grains and sugars in your diet. Take special care to get no more than 25 grams of fructose each day. These products spike your insulin level and trigger the development of cholesterol. Ideally, you’ll also want to consume a good portion of your food raw.

Include Heart Healthy Foods

Make sure you are getting plenty of high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fats. Other heart-healthy foods include olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, organic raw dairy products and eggs, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, and organic grass-fed meats.

Increase Your Daily Movement and Exercise Regularly

While I strongly recommend incorporating Peak Fitness exercises, which also optimize your human growth hormone (HGH) production, non-exercise movement may be even more important. Ideally, stay active as much as you can each day. I recommend standing up at work, and try to get as much walking in as possible. Then, in addition to that, aim for a comprehensive fitness program that includes strength training and high intensity exercises.

Reduce Your Stress Levels

Each of us experience stress in a fast-paced life. You may consider addressing your emotional challenges using my favorite technique for stress management, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). You can easily learn to use these techniques at home and incorporate them even when you’re out and about.

Improve Your Sleep Quality

High quality sleep helps reduce your stress levels, normalize your insulin levels and function optimally through the day. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep you may want to try some of the strategies in my previous article titled, “Want a Good Night’s Sleep? Then Never Do These Things Before Bed.”

Avoid Excessive Alcohol or Tobacco

Alcohol is high in net carbohydrates, which affect your insulin levels. Tobacco has an effect on your arterial system, temporarily raising your blood pressure.

Replace Vegetable Oils

Replace harmful vegetable oils and synthetic trans fats with healthy fats, such as olive oil, butter and coconut oil (remember olive oil should be used cold only; use coconut oil for cooking and baking).

Include Fermented Foods

Include fermented foods in your daily diet. These will not only optimize your intestinal microflora, which will boost your overall immunity, but will also introduce beneficial bacteria into your mouth. Poor oral health is another powerful indicator of increased heart disease risk.