A few months ago, I received the results from my DNA test through 23andMe. You spit in a tube, mail your sample off to the company, and receive results back in a month or so. The results they give you only tell you a few health risks related to your genetic code. You have to download the raw data, and then import it to another website like Promethease. That is the site which will give you the information of any health risks (you upload the raw data for about $5).
The most significant result from this test was finding out that I had both copies of ApoE4 gene which gives me the highest chances for developing Alzheimer’s. The statistics are something like:14 times more likely than others to develop AD.
Not everyone with both copies of ApoE4 gene develops AD. And, of course, a lot is unknown. My concern is not only for myself, but for my parents who I got my genetics from! And, my siblings as well.
So, I am here to share what I have found to be the most significant and easiest ways to prevent Alzheimer’s for those with the ApoE4 genes. This may or may not apply for those with other genetics for AD.
Curcumin or Turmeric
I have found that the most promising research for those with ApoE4 surrounds supplementation with Curcumin. As a reminder, this website is not a substitute for medical advice. These are simply my findings and protocols for myself.
You can read more on curcumin and AD here.
DHA with Fish Oil
There is not enough research about DHA for Alzheimer’s prevention. But, the best theory is that taking DHA is helpful when you take it along with fish oil. DHA by itself is thought to simply oxidize and not be effective. When taken with fish oil, the fish oil may help prevent the oxidation and that may help prevent plaques.
I recommend the Nordic Naturals brand of DHA.
Lifestyle and Wellness Changes
I recommend following Dr. Bredesen’s model for reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. You can read much more here (this is also where you can find the chart below). AD prevention should be a “big picture” approach, and many health risks and concerns need to be addressed. Here is the long list! Some of this may be confusing, so I will explain a little bit more about this chart in another post.
|Goal||Approach||Rationale and References|
|Optimize diet: minimize simple CHO, minimize inflammation.||Patients given choice of several low glycemic, low inflammatory, low grain diets.||Minimize inflammation, minimize insulin resistance.|
|Enhance autophagy, ketogenesis||Fast 12 hr each night, including 3 hr prior to bedtime.||Reduce insulin levels, reduce Aβ.|
|Reduce stress||Personalized—yoga or meditation or music, etc.||Reduction of cortisol, CRF, stress axis.|
|Optimize sleep||8 hr sleep per night; melatonin 0.5mg po qhs; Trp 500mg po 3x/wk if awakening. Exclude sleep apnea.|||
|Exercise||30-60′ per day, 4-6 days/wk||[37, 38]|
|Brain stimulation||Posit or related|||
|Homocysteine <7||Me-B12, MTHF, P5P; TMG if necessary|||
|Serum B12 >500||Me-B12|||
|CRP <1.0; A/G >1.5||Anti-inflammatory diet; curcumin; DHA/EPA; optimize hygiene||Critical role of inflammation in AD|
|Fasting insulin <7; HgbA1c <5.5||Diet as above||Type II diabetes-AD relationship|
|Hormone balance||Optimize fT3, fT4, E2, T, progesterone, pregnenolone, cortisol||[5, 42]|
|GI health||Repair if needed; prebiotics and probiotics||Avoid inflammation, autoimmunity|
|Reduction of Aβ||Curcumin, Ashwagandha||[43–45]|
|Cognitive enhancement||Bacopa monniera, MgT||[46, 47]|
|25OH-D3 = 50-100ng/ml||Vitamins D3, K2|||
|Increase NGF||H. erinaceus or ALCAR||[49, 50]|
|Provide synaptic structural components||Citicoline, DHA||.|
|Optimize antioxidants||Mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols, Se, blueberries, NAC, ascorbate, α-lipoic acid|||
|Optimize Zn:fCu ratio||Depends on values obtained|||
|Ensure nocturnal oxygenation||Exclude or treat sleep apnea|||
|Optimize mitochondrial function||CoQ or ubiquinol, α-lipoic acid, PQQ, NAC, ALCAR, Se, Zn, resveratrol, ascorbate, thiamine|||
|Increase focus||Pantothenic acid||Acetylcholine synthesis requirement|
|Increase SirT1 function||Resveratrol|||
|Exclude heavy metal toxicity||Evaluate Hg, Pb, Cd; chelate if indicated||CNS effects of heavy metals|
|MCT effects||Coconut oil or Axona|||
CHO, carbohydrates; Hg, mercury; Pb, lead; Cd, cadmium; MCT, medium chain triglycerides; PQQ, polyquinoline quinone; NAC, N-acetyl cysteine; CoQ, coenzyme Q; ALCAR, acetyl-L-carnitine; DHA, docosahexaenoic acid; MgT, magnesium threonate; fT3, free triiodothyronine; fT4, free thyroxine; E2, estradiol; T, testosterone; Me-B12, methylcobalamin; MTHF, methyltetrahydrofolate; P5P, pyridoxal-5-phosphate; TMG, trimethylglycine; Trp, tryptophan
To be continued…