It’s a book!
I did it! The e-book I’ve been dropping hints about is finally finished and available for sale! Go check it out:
The Alzheimer’s Antidote: A Comprehensive Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategy to Fight Alzheimer’s Disease, Memory Loss, and Cognitive Decline.
I apologize for hawking my wares here, but I’ve got to get the word out, right? Just be thankful I am completely clueless about web design, otherwise you’d have annoying things popping up right in your face the minute my site loads, as you might be familiar with from other sites you frequent.
And since I am the least tech-savvy person alive, before I even tell you anything about the book, I would like to express my deepest and sincerest thanks to Ms. Ellen Davis, for her untiring support and encouragement on this project … and, oh, yeah, by the way, she did all the design and layout. I am not kidding when I say this book wouldn’t exist without her. I sent her all my writing in MS Word, sent all the images I either created or purchased (from iStock Photo, in case anyone’s curious), and she magically transformed them into the e-book that is going to change the way people think about Alzheimer’s and cognitive impairment. Ellen is not just a great designer, however. She is the mastermind behind the Ketogenic Diet Resource, the single best blow-your-mind, one-stop-shop I know of for information on low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets. (She also happens to have a master’s in nutrition, and is the author of the fantastic, amazing book, Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet. Her most recent project was a collaboration with Keith Runyan, MD, on Conquer Type 2 Diabetes with a Ketogenic Diet.)
Okay. Now that we’re done with the preliminaries, let’s get down to business!
The Alzheimer’s Antidote is not a weight loss book. It’s not a book about Paleo-style diets, nor is it a missive about why corn syrup and cottonseed oils aren’t the foundation of a health-promoting diet. There are no meal plans, and no tips & tricks for turning soaked cashews into dairy-free “Paleo cheesecake,” or morphing beets into mock tomato sauce. There are more than enough of those out there already.
I’m not trying to discourage anyone from purchasing the book. (I’m bad at marketing, but even I know that would be a bad strategy.) I just want to make it clear what the book is, and what it isn’t, so that you don’t buy it only to have it sit on your hard drive or thumb drive, collecting dust along with all the other e-books, programs, summits, and videos you’ve paid for but never got around to actually reading or watching. (Can you tell I'm speaking from personal experience here?)
So yeah, this isn’t the same-old, ho-hum, “been there, done that” stuff you’ve read a million times over. If you’re already familiar with the whys and wherefores of low-carb diets, then yeah, by necessity, there’s some of that, since I expect a lot of interest from folks who are brand new to this. But in terms of applying this type of diet specifically for Alzheimer’s, there’s a whole lot more.
The Alzheimer’s Antidote is a one-of-a-kind resource. Nowhere else has someone put together all the moving pieces and translated the scientific literature into plain English that anyone looking to help themselves or their loved ones with this condition can understand.
This resource is desperately needed, and it’s needed NOW. Costs associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are in the billions of dollars, and with millions of Baby Boomers entering their golden years, these costs are certainly not going to decrease over the next couple of decades. But forget the financial costs. It’s bad enough that families might end up going bankrupt due to medical costs and long-term care, but when you factor in the emotional, psychological, and physical tolls Alzheimer’s exacts from its afflicted individuals and maybe even more so, their caregivers, the fact that we have an answer staring us in the face but no one’s talking about it, is unconscionable.
And make no mistake. The answer is staring us in the face. I have talked about AD as “type 3 diabetes” before. There’s no need to cover old ground. (I double-checked: the horse is dead.) If you’re new to this blog and have no idea what I’m referring to, start here, and then go here.
There is no doubt that the fundamental problem in Alzheimer’s disease is that the brain has lost the ability to metabolize glucose effectively and efficiently. The medical literature is unambiguous on this point. The biochemical cascade that follows is fairly complicated, but the end result is neurons starve to death. In the context of a diet high in carbohydrates, wherein glucose serves as the primary source of fuel for the brain, this is obviously a disaster.
There are many potential causative factors behind why the brain’s ability to use glucose as fuel becomes compromised. Lifelong carbohydrate abuse and resultant insulin resistance? Too much omega-6 fat coupled with a dearth of omega-3? Decades of unrelenting stress and insufficient sleep? Decades of physical inactivity? Decades of cholesterol-lowering medication and the egregiously misguided war on cholesterol? Probably yes, to all of these. And if you know anything at all about ancestral health and mimicking our natural diets & biorhythms, then you know there are ways to address each of these factors without pharmaceutical drugs and expensive interventions. And it is likely that doing so—addressing all of these factors—will stand the best chance of preventing, delaying, and possibly even reversing the course of Alzheimer’s and other forms of neurodegeneration. In fact, we already have evidence that cognitive impairment and AD are reversible, and they have been reversed by employing some of the strategies I write about in The Alzheimer’s Antidote.
If the primary malfunction in the Alzheimer’s brain is that neurons are degenerating and neurotransmission (communication between neurons) is being compromised because these cells are starving to death from not using glucose, then first and foremost, we must provide these cells with an alternative fuel—one they can use. If you’re thinking “ketones,” please give yourself a hug for me. (If you’ve been following the cancer series on this blog, it’s sort of the opposite side of the coin. For cancer, the goal of a ketogenic diet is to starve cancer cells by giving them a fuel they can’t use, while for Alzheimer’s, the goal is to nourish struggling neurons by giving them one they can.)
We’re starting to see that cancer is a metabolic disease, and there is no doubt in my mind this is true of Alzheimer’s as well. And because AD is a metabolic condition, dietary therapy is the obvious place to start. Addressing the other factors—sleep, stress, exercise—is important and, in my opinion, not negotiable. But the first, most immediate step should be a very low-carb diet. The sooner those starving neurons get fed, the sooner they (might) start working again.
Okay, I guess I did beat the horse a little more. Sorry about that. I’m just trying to establish that, contrary to what “expert neurologists” and family doctors might claim, we do know what’s going wrong in the Alzheimer’s brain, and there are beautifully simple and low-cost interventions that are stunningly logical strategies to correct it. That’s the thing, everyone: I don’t know how medical professionals can look at the etiology of Alzheimer’s as a metabolic/mitochondrial energy crisis and not think a very low-carb or ketogenic diet should be the number one, first-line intervention. (I would like to use the word “treatment” here, but my imaginary legal team says I should steer clear, even though that’s what I want to say.)
When I began my initial research for the paper that eventually grew into The Alzheimer’s Antidote, I was stunned by the plethora of information on the links between insulin, glucose, mitochondrial dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s. The connections are overwhelming, and for doctors to claim that we have no idea what’s happening in AD or what do about it is either intolerable ignorance, or straight-up malpractice—neither of which reflects well on these healthcare providers.
This is why I wrote this book. Because we do have answers. We do have hope. We do have an antidote to Alzheimer’s. I don’t know why this information isn’t trickling down to the offices of neurologists and family doctors. I can’t even dabble in conspiracy theory and say it’s because there’s money involved. Most pharmaceutical drugs aimed at Alzheimer’s are useless, so I don’t know that anyone’s making a fortune off of them. There are, of course, billions of dollars being made by long-term care facilities, companies that supply live-in aides, and the like. So maybe there are some fat-cats laughing all the way to the bank, but I lean more toward plain ol’ ignorance. (You know that line about not mistaking conspiracy for that which can best be explained by stupidity and ignorance.)
I’m not saying any of these doctors are stupid. Of course they’re not. They mean well, and I’m sure they genuinely believe there’s nothing we can do about Alzheimer’s. And that’s the biggest shame of all: the people we count on to help us are asleep at the wheel. I had to write this book, because no doctor beat me to it. I think maybe neurologists are convinced that Alzheimer’s must be really complicated, because it’s so mysterious to them. They’re missing the boat on the most obvious, low-hanging fruit. The truth is, viewed as a metabolic and mitochondrial disorder, Alzheimer’s is pretty damn simple to understand, and it’s not mysterious at all. You can’t look for AD research in PubMed and not be hit upside the head with papers on insulin, glucose, and oxidative stress. There are so many, you’d have to intentionally ignore them in order to miss the connections.
Bottom line: Conventional medicine is failing Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers. Failing worse than roasted bone marrow at a vegan potluck. It’s all well and good to recommend learning a foreign language or taking up a musical instrument in order to keep the mind active. But here’s what we know for sure: Alzheimer’s disease does not result from a Sudoku deficiency, and crossword puzzles aren't medicine.
Since you can’t patent “Eat steak and cauliflower; ditch wheat bread,” we don’t have piles upon piles of “gold standard” randomized, controlled trials testing the efficacy of a very low-carb diet and lifestyle interventions to delay and/or reverse Alzheimer’s progression. I wish we did, because I’m confident the results would speak for themselves. So I can’t guarantee that a ketogenic or LC diet will be effective for this condition. But based on my understanding of AD as a metabolic disturbance involving peripheral hyperinsulinemia and a loss of effective glucose metabolism in the brain, there’s no reason a very low-carb diet shouldn’t work.
If When you read The Alzheimer’s Antidote, I think you’ll
This book is unique. No other book tells you exactly what is compromised in the Alzheimer’s brain, and what to do about it. No other book presents everything so logically and then gives you concrete steps you can start taking now to reclaim cognitive function.
Again, this isn’t a weight loss book. It’s not a cookbook. It is lifesaving information.
You won’t be left to fend for yourself, though. The Alzheimer’s Antidote contains detailed information on implementing a low-carb diet, setting up one’s kitchen, and how to navigate dining out and eating low-carb “in the real world.” Additionally, I go to great lengths to explain why cholesterol is an absolutely integral nutrient in the dietary strategy to fight AD. If your loved ones are still terrified of egg yolks and butter, they’ll come away with a very different perspective after reading chapter 9.
And speaking of chapters, you can download a sample of The Alzheimer’s Antidote here, which includes the table of contents, so you can see the breadth of topics covered and decide whether this is a resource that will be helpful to you and your loved ones. Lest you think it’s all about the dietary approach, let me assure you that I address genetic factors, the anatomy & physiology of neurons, the “beta amyloid plaques” you might have heard of if you’ve looked at any AD research, as well as non-dietary factors, including sleep, stress, and exercise. I've left no stone unturned.
If someone in your life is living with Alzheimer’s, I urge you to look into The Alzheimer’s Antidote. It’s an e-book, but don't let that fool you. This isn’t some casual, thrown-together thing to make me a quick buck. It is over 200 pages of information and guidance that can help anyone—you, your parents, your siblings, your friends, your coworkers—implement a nutrition and lifestyle strategy to combat a condition against which conventional medicine is powerless and, far too often, clueless.
P.S. Please don't confuse/conflate "type 3 diabetes" with obesity and elevated fasting blood glucose. Many AD patients are, of course, not obese, and many will actually have “normal” blood sugar and A1c. This doesn't negate AD as a problem of carbohydrate intolerance and overall metabolic derangement. The reason blood glucose and A1c remain “normal” is because of super-duper elevated levels of insulin. Chronically elevated insulin is a disaster for Alzheimer’s. It is both causative and exacerbating in AD pathology. Yes, I said causative. (And since I almost never use that word so bluntly, let that show how confident I am here.) You can have AD and not be a diagnosed type 2 diabetic. You can have AD and not be obese. You can have AD and have healthy blood sugar. AD is not type 2 diabetes’ twin brother. It is its physiological cousin. They have many similar features, all relating to hyperinsulinemia/insulin resistance, and impaired ability to harness any appreciable energy from carbohydrate. If you'd like more details, there’s a book I can recommend...
Remember: Amy Berger, M.S., NTP, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition.