Alpha Lipoic Acid and Other Treatments for Alzheimer's Disease

Recent research studies have shown that certain nutrients and supplements, such as alpha lipoic acid (ALA), can slow down or even reverse Alzheimer's disease. While a cure has yet to be found, the results are extremely encouraging.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

New research has identified ALA as a critical nutrient in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. For example, one study found that alpha lipoic acid protects against Alzheimer's by preventing oxidative stress and free radical production. In this study 600 milligrams of alpha lipoic acid was given daily to patients with Alzheimer's disease for roughly a year, helping to stabilize the condition. Alpha lipoic acid and vitamin E work synergistically to prevent free radical damage to brain cells during strokes according to new research. Therefore, take daily supplements of 300 – 600 IU of natural vitamin E, in conjunction with alpha lipoic acid. I recommend you consider Natural Vitamin E. Take one capsule per day.

Together alpha lipoic acid and Acetyl L-Carnitine improve performance on memory tasks by lowering oxidative damage in the brain. I recommend you consider this great source for Alpha Lipoic Acid. Take two capsules per day, one in the morning, one in the evening.

Acetyl L-Carnitine

Recent studies show that alzheimers patients do not have sufficient amounts of Acetyl L-Carnitine in their bodies. Acetyl L-Carnitine works by preventing buildup of amyloid plaque that damages brain tissues, thought to be a cause of Alzheimer's. A new study shows that Acetyl-L-Carnitine helps control amyloid plaque by inhibiting free radical action and preserving energy production in the brain. Giving patients Acetyl L-Carnitine supplements was shown to slow down the progress of alzheimers. However, Acetyl L-Carnitine supplements are very expensive.

If your liver is functioning normally, a less expensive and more natural way to increase Acetyl L-Carnitine in your body is by eating lysine-rich foods and taking L-Lysine supplements. Lysine-rich foods include:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Dark meat chicken
  • Fish
  • Peanuts (make sure you are not allergic to peanuts before eating them)
  • Chick peas
  • Soybeans
  • Pumpkin and squash seeds.

In addition, I suggest NSI's L-Lysine supplements as a cost-effective source. Start by taking one capsule per day and over 2 weeks, work up to 4 capsules per day, 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening.

Additionally, the following supplements help your body produce lysine:

Rather than taking separate supplements for the various vitamin B's and C, I recommend a B-Complex supplement.

A Liver Cleanse Can Help

Liver health is essential for your body to properly process lysine rich foods and produce Acetyl-L-Carnitine. A good way to help your liver function properly is to undertake a liver cleanse. Additionally, supplements recommended in the liver cleansing treatment, such as milk thistle can help to support your liver functions.

Improve Blood Circulation to the Brain

In addition to using antioxidants such as alpha lipoic acid and Acetyl-L-Carnitine, improving blood circulation to the brain has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. Two supplements that can improve blood circulation in your entire body (and therefore your brain) are Padma (derived from a Tibetan formula called Gabur) and Ginko. Padma is a combination of over 20 herbs, while Ginko is an herb in and of itself. Both these supplements have proven effective in increasing circulation to the brain and in improving memory function.

Researchers at the New York Institute for Medical Research in Tarrytown, New York, conducted a clinical study of ginkgo biloba and dementia in the United States. Their findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (October 22/29, 1997). These scientists examined how taking a daily dose of ginkgo biloba affected the rate of cognitive decline in people with mild to moderately severe dementia due to Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia. At the end of the study, they reported a treatment difference in people given the ginkgo biloba extract.

Bacopa Monniera

Bacopa Monniera has been used for centuries in the Ayurvedic herbal tradition of India to enhance clear thinking and support memory function. Studies have shown that Bacopa supports learning and memory and provides antioxidant protection for critical memory centers. Bacopa play a protective role in the synaptic functions of the nerves in the hippocampus, the seat of memory. Nerve impulses are transmitted across the synapses and their degeneration is believed to contribute to impaired memory and cognition.

Researchers at the Department of Psychology, University of Wollongong, in Australia, studied the effects of Bacopa on human memory. Seventy-six adults aged between 40 and 65 years took part in a double-blind randomized, placebo control study in which various memory functions were tested and levels of anxiety measured. There were three testing sessions: one prior to the trial, one after three months on the trial, and one six weeks after the completion of the trial. The results showed a significant effect of bacopa monniera on a test for the retention of new information. Follow-up tests showed that the rate of learning was unaffected, suggesting that bacopa decreases the rate of forgetting of newly acquired information as well. Additional testing information can be found in this article on Bacopa Monniera from Alternative Medicine Review.

I have found a supplier that provides a high quality blend of bacopa monniera and ginko biloba, to promote healthy brain function, and a reasonable price. Here is my recommendation.

Phosphatidyl Serine

Phosphatidyl serine (PS) is a phospholipid that is vital to brain cell structure and function. These phospholipids are responsible for taking in nutrients, removing waste, and enabling brain cells to coordinate with the rest of the body. PS plays an important role in our brain's neurotransmitter production and release, the brain's synapses (nerve connections), and various higher mental activities. Phosphatidyl serine levels in our body's decline with aging. Supplementing with PS provides nutritional support for memory, learning, and emotional well-being.

Lecithin

Unlike the relationship between alpha lipoic acid and prevention / delay of Alzheimer's, the evidence that lecithin helps deter Alzheimer's disease is loose. However, in studies, regular doses of lecithin, a natural supply of choline, have been shown to improve short-term memory and reduce memory lapses. So consuming sufficient quantities of lecithin or choline can help promote brain health and reduce memory lapses. If you wish to take lecithin supplements, I recommend lecithin granules. Take one tablespoon in the morning and one in the evening. You can sprinkle it on your cereal to add a nutty flavor.

I have found a supplier that has formulated a high quality blend of choline, phosphatidyl serine, L-Glutamine (an amino acid that helps reduce glycation), and L-Tyrosine (a precursor to certain healthy neurotransmitters). Here is my recommendation for this product.

Consume Curcumin

As we eat fewer natural and organic fruits and vegetables, and eat more processed foods, we will have to rely on natural nutritional supplements to address the ills of our society. One such supplement is curcumin, a component that makes up the majority of the spice turmeric. Turmeric is a spice that is commonly used in Indian cooking and Ayurvedic medicine. Not so surprisingly, India has one of the lowest rates of Alzheimers disease in the world.

For some time, experts have agreed that anti-inflammatory drugs that are not based on steroids help decrease the risk of Alzheimer's. This is why doctors have been prescribing aspirin for such problems. However, most anti-inflammatory drugs – especially aspirin – can cause bleeding in your stomach and intestines, and can damage your liver and kidneys with long-term use. A recent study showed that amyloid plaques (the leading theory on the cause of Alzheimer's disease) were reduced in animals that were fed curcumin.

Avoid Aluminum

Environmental exposure to aluminum has been linked with Alzheimer's disease. Therefore, it stands to reason that we should avoid aluminum contact with our food and products we use on our bodies, as much as possible.

  1. Avoid antacids that contain aluminum. Acceptable alternatives are antacids which contain calcium.
  2. Avoid antiperspirants containing aluminum. Nearly all antiperspirants have aluminum salts that are absorbed into your body. An effective alternative is to use a natural deodorant that contains clay or tea tree oil. Natural deodorants generally do not contain aluminum salts, but can still help some with perspiration problems. Additionally, chlorophyll consumed either in the diet, or through supplements, can help reduce body odor and can help eliminate the need for deodorants.
  3. Avoid cooking in aluminum cookware and any cookware that is coated with a non-stick finish that is cracked. Stainless steel, ceramic or porcelain cookware are better choices.
  4. Avoid using food packaged in aluminum. Aluminum cans generally have a protective food liner, but this liner can deteriorate over time and allow aluminum to leach into the food. Any acidic products, such as food that contains tomato, is especially vulnerable.

Silicon Counteracts Aluminum

Researchers have found that adding silicon to aluminum-laced water supplies prevented the aluminum from being absorbed into tissues. Silicon is one of the most abundant minerals on the planet, but few foods contain the amounts that your body needs to protect it from aluminum. Dietary sources of silicon include:

  • Ground cornmeal
  • Oats
  • Multivitamins that contain 25 mg of silicon
  • Silicea (homeopathic cell salt : dosage 6 tablets, three times per day)

Minimize Glycation and the Production of AGEs

The most obvious step in minimizing glycation (and thus the production of AGEs), is to minimize your intake of refined sugar. In addition to watching consumption of white sugar granules, the majority of processed foods now contain sugar. Unfortunately, corn syrup, the number one sweetener additive, is been found to be one of the most active in triggering glycation. Use unrefined sweeteners, where necessary – especially herbal sweeteners such as stevia. More information can be found in natural and artificial sweeteners.

The benefit of exercise for preventing Alzheimer's is two fold. Not only does exercise reduce the amount of blood sugar, but it also increases blood circulation to all parts of the body, including the brain. This increased circulation helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer's.

Controlling your blood sugar and minimizing excess glucose in the blood reduces glycation and the production of AGEs. Foods such as simple sugars that rapidly raise your blood sugar are said to have a high glycemic index. Foods such as complex carbohydrates that take longer to digest, and thus do not as quickly affect your blood sugar level, are said to have a low glycemic index. Therefore, eating low glycemic food helps to minimize glycation.

The formation of AGEs is accelerated when your kidneys are weakened or not functioning properly. An herbal kidney cleanse can help dissolve kidney stones and help support your kidney functions.

Preventing Alzheimer's disease, using Alpha Lipoic Acid
and other treatments, is
The Natural Path to good health.

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