Our interview Saturday about a natural approach to Alzheimer’s disease was so important that I thought I’d better review some key points.
I probably don’t have to remind readers that Alzheimer’s erases lives, shatters families and threatens to bankrupt not only personal budgets, but also that of the country. Current drugs bring no more than minor short-term symptom relief at a high cost in dollars and side effects. The 104 drugs in the pipeline promise more of the same. (There were 105 in the works, but on September 26, Axovant Sciences Ltd announced that their Alzheimer’s drug failed the final stage test.)
Back to the Saturday topic, the fact that even a small study showed the first reversal of the disease process and used a vitamin is indeed incredible. Before I get to the details of the study that Bill Sardi called to our attention, I should review what we previously knew about the prevention of Alzheimer’s. It is known that some genetic types are at higher risk. (But, as with virtually all genetic links, not everyone with that type is affected, so all the other factors are still important.) According to the Mayo Clinic it is suspected that alcoholism, smoking, head trauma, lack of exercise, diabetes and high blood pressure may be risk factors. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to avoid those issues. And everything we do probably has some effect. For example, high fructose corn syrup (in a wide variety of processed foods) and food colors contain traces of mercury. Mercury interferes with the mineral zinc. Low zinc is associated with Alzheimer’s.
If you didn’t hear the interview I urge you to listen to the ARCHIVE. Here are some highlights of the interview:
- Link to the pilot study. The researchers gave 300 mg a day of Benfotiamine (special B vitamin described below) to 5 subjects for 18 months. Subjects experienced marked improvement in brain activity shown in PET scans that are pictured at the bottom of this: Bill Sardi article. Memory test scores were also significantly improved. The improvements did not seem to be tied to the amount of amyloid plaque present. (That plaque is always discussed in the media, but many scientists think it is a result of Alzheimer’s, not the cause. However, it needn’t be there and resveratrol helps dispose of it.)
- A larger follow-up study is being conducted and they are looking for additional participants: Burke Study. Burke Website. Early indications are that there is improvement being seen in one of the study groups and I can’t imagine it is in the placebo half.
- It is not a study, but several regular folks who have given Benfotiamine to their dementia-affected loved ones report improvement in a matter of weeks. Of course, none of this means “proof”, but it has long been known that vitamin B1 is important for memory. So, it is likely very important for prevention of neurological problems.
- The vitamin, Benfotiamine, used in the study is a fat-soluble version of B1 (also known as thiamine). The type of B1 in most vitamins is NOT the same and has NOT been shown to help memory. Several vitamin companies make Benfotiamine supplements. Multivitamins typically have too little and in the wrong form for this purpose.*
- Allithiamine is another form of B1 that crosses the blood/brain barrier. Only tiny amounts are found in garlic, so as a supplement, you will likely see the synthesized version (Thiamine tetrahydrofufuryl).
- B1 is extremely safe (no toxic level known) and it is also helpful for issues like fibromyalgia, heart failure, Parkinson’s, infertility and irritable bowel.
- Diabetics are more prone to Alzheimer’s and to B1 deficiency. Americans are likely deficient in B1 because of their excessive intake of nutrient-depleted food, refined carbohydrates, lack of magnesium and taking medications that interfere with it. We also tend to kill off our friendly gut bacteria that help us absorb B1. Taking our vitamins near the time we drink coffee or tea may interfere.
- Vitamin B12 is also important because it helps to prevent brain shrinkage.
- Sardi mentioned the “smell test”. We may be a little worried if we cannot detect: peppermint, fish, orange, rose, and leather. Also, if a person cannot smell peanut butter as well on one side of their nose as the other might read this page.
- Coconut oil has been promoted as helpful for Alzheimer’s. That is understandable because it provides an alternate source for brains that can no longer process sugar as brain fuel. That is helpful for functioning, but is not a cure.
This astonishing information may save lives and certainly has no risk. I believe it should be circulated as widely and as fast as possible. Thank you for helping if you can.
* For many other reasons, husband Bill and I were already taking the multi-vitamin that Bill Sardi formulated. Now we are glad to learn that it contains two of the good forms of B1. That is probably fine for prevention, but just to make sure we don’t have catching up to do, we also take one Doctor’s Best 150 mg Benfotiame at a different time of day. (We can only absorb a small amount at one time.)
Bill Sardi, is a brilliant and prolific author, science investigator, and crusader for sanity in health care. He is also the sharpest supplement formulator I have found and created Molecular Multi 800-247-5731.