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  • Sugar and Alzheimer's

    For those who might be interested, I just put up a post on the growing evidence for a connection between sugar/AGEs and Alzheimer's on a blog I just started (I'm a primal Neurologist, and have decided to try to help save the world). If you have friends and family who are skeptical of the primal approach, perhaps putting the fear of losing their minds will help sway them
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  • #2
    I will read this... Alzheimer's runs rampant in my family. Thanks for the post!

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    • #3
      HI Josh,
      As someone who has a seizure disorder, I would like to thank you for your participation in this forum and for your well researched and very readable blog. I only wish we lived in the same area so you could be my neurologist. I am contemplating a phased step down from my current dosage of medication. My neurologist doesn't see the point in even trying other approaches as long as the meds are working.
      Robin

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      • #4
        Hi Josh

        Love the title and the pictures. Very readable. So what does someone do if their non Diabetes dad died of AD, and their grandmother, and an auntie and uncle. I cannot speak for the others but I know my father in law had a modest diet (his treat was Vienetta) was always slim, as is his son. His grandmother died of AD when he was a young boy late 80's early 90's. She was Irish and lived in Ireland her whole life, I just do not think she and her son (my FIL) fit the profile of chugging down lots of fructose. Is it just the table sugar? My feeling is that something else is going on in my husbands family. I would love to hear your thoughts, in my husbands case I think he may need supplements, perhaps there is something he needs more of, that his grandmother and father lacked.
        Life. Be in it.

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        • #5
          Love the title and the post. Fascinating. And very readable - which is a huge plus! Thanks.

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          • #6
            Paleobird - you're very welcome. And I feel for you - it's a difficult thing for physicians to advocate anything outside of the mainstream, as there are so many factors that reinforce the status quo, perhaps the largest of which is our medicolegal system. I'm sure when you talk with your neurologist about tapering down or off of meds, he (or she) is envisioning himself in the defendant's chair. Which leaves you stuck out in limbo. Part of my motivation for starting the blog was to add to the chorus of dissenting voices, so that perhaps more docs will pause to consider that there may be other valid points of view.

            As you allude to, there also seems to be a lot of blind faith in pharmaceuticals (overestimating benefit, underestimating potential harm) that I find disturbing.

            Belforte - yes, table sugar (and these days, high fructose corn syrup as well) is going to be the primary dietary source of fructose for most folks (persons on this forum excepted). Table sugar is half glucose and half fructose. So Vienetta would definitely qualify (I used to love that stuff!). As is the case with most disease, certain genes may confer a heightened susceptibility to a particular illness, leaving those who inherit them more susceptible to the environmental factors that trigger the pathology. The same is true with Alzheimer's. We still don't know what those environmental triggers are, but I have my suspicions

            If you have a strong family history, following a primal/ancestral diet is in my opinion the best insurance against AD. Besides the benefits of sugar/fructose avoidance, lowering systemic inflammation, etc., I also think there are neuroprotective benefits towards shifting to fatty acid oxidation. There also seems to be something almost magical about ketosis (and you can get some of this with coconut milk without having to go very low carb), but we've only just started to scratch the surface when it comes to understanding its benefits for neurological disease.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              Great blog!

              I would love to see something about Parkinsons if you start looking for more topics. Seems people see Michael J. Fox and figure that's everything they need to know about it. My dad had it for 17 years, including getting the deep brain stimulator (I'm not a fan), and my parents have both been heavy on the grains/seed oils for years. Not a lot of sugar, though.
              Durp.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jturk View Post
                Paleobird - you're very welcome. And I feel for you - it's a difficult thing for physicians to advocate anything outside of the mainstream, as there are so many factors that reinforce the status quo, perhaps the largest of which is our medicolegal system. I'm sure when you talk with your neurologist about tapering down or off of meds, he (or she) is envisioning himself in the defendant's chair. Which leaves you stuck out in limbo. Part of my motivation for starting the blog was to add to the chorus of dissenting voices, so that perhaps more docs will pause to consider that there may be other valid points of view.

                As you allude to, there also seems to be a lot of blind faith in pharmaceuticals (overestimating benefit, underestimating potential harm) that I find disturbing.
                Of the two anti-seizure meds, Valproic Acid and Phenobarbitol, which would you say has the higher potential for long term health hazards? (Strictly hypothetically speaking here. I know you can't give internet consults. I would just appreciate your opinion.)

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                • #9
                  This is very important.

                  It is not just those who're diagnosed w diabetes or elevated BG. Most who eat a SAD or any high carb (vegan/whole grain heavy) are at risk. BG is mainly tested in a fasting state and many are normal at that time. But throughout the day BG can be all over the place.

                  I am a hospice RN and a large percentage of our pt's have a dementia dx.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                    Of the two anti-seizure meds, Valproic Acid and Phenobarbitol, which would you say has the higher potential for long term health hazards? (Strictly hypothetically speaking here. I know you can't give internet consults. I would just appreciate your opinion.)
                    Do you have seizures frequently without meds? I stopped my meds as soon as the baby started sleeping through, as I mainly need good sleep to stay seizure-free. However, having cut sugar from my diet has really helped, I can actually tell that my brain has more focus and less "noise".

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                      Of the two anti-seizure meds, Valproic Acid and Phenobarbitol, which would you say has the higher potential for long term health hazards? (Strictly hypothetically speaking here. I know you can't give internet consults. I would just appreciate your opinion.)
                      Difficult question, but if I were choosing for myself, I'd probably pick phenobarb for the long term, primarily because it tends to be cleaner at the doses necessary for seizure control. I imagine I'd feel even more strongly about that choice if I were a woman.
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Glamorama View Post
                        Do you have seizures frequently without meds? I stopped my meds as soon as the baby started sleeping through, as I mainly need good sleep to stay seizure-free. However, having cut sugar from my diet has really helped, I can actually tell that my brain has more focus and less "noise".
                        I haven't yet tried going without the meds. I feel like I have just gotten to a stable place as far as diet and weight where I can maintain without putting a strain on the body. So, now I'm starting to think about this again.
                        And you are very right about sleep being essential. What meds did you take?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jturk View Post
                          Difficult question, but if I were choosing for myself, I'd probably pick phenobarb for the long term, primarily because it tends to be cleaner at the doses necessary for seizure control. I imagine I'd feel even more strongly about that choice if I were a woman.
                          Why is that?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                            Why is that?
                            Because of its tendency to cause hirsutism (male pattern hair growth), and, for women of reproductive potential, its teratogenicity.
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Josh, I'd like to add my thank-you for your contributions here and your blog.

                              Someone recently mentioned here (think it was dado?) that most doctors do not have their patients' best interests at heart, rather the interests of big pharma and instituionalized medicine in general. I disagree. I believe most docs, nurses, PAs & so on are simply (and tragically) misinformed and poorly educated about the importance of real food. Hell, weren't we all? It has to be so much easier to go with the flow, minimize the litigation risks and collect the checks. My hat is off to you and other docs with the guts to buck all that rubbish.

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