Here’s what you can do about them, starting today
Mainstream medical researchers have looked at all kinds of genetic and pathologic theories for how Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia develop. But they haven’t had much success—except for reiterating what we already knew decades ago…
That old age is the No. 1 major risk factor for AD and dementia.
That’s certainly not groundbreaking information. It dates all the way back to the idea of “senile dementia,” which arose in the early 20th century.
Yet, in terms of prevention, the mainstream has come up virtually empty-handed since then. And they have failed to produce a single viable treatment—much less a cure.
But I haven’t—nor have researchers who really understand just how much lifestyle and dietary factors influence your risk of these conditions.
In fact, I recently discovered compelling new research that identifies four key early warning signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Let’s take a closer look at these signs, and what you can do to combat them. And then, I’ll share my dietary supplement recommendations for brain support no matter what your age—as well as the best tests to discover if you’re likely to be diagnosed with AD or dementia now or in the future.
Four early warning signs of AD and dementia
1.) Follow the money. Problems paying bills and managing personal finances can simply be a sign of the times after a full year of coronavirus-related economic shutdowns. But a new study shows that even in normal times, these problems can often rear their heads years before doctors ultimately make a diagnosis of dementia.1
Researchers analyzed consumer credit reports from 1999 to 2018, along with medical claims for 81,364 Medicare recipients living in single-person households (meaning the participants were most likely the ones managing their own finances, without the aid of a spouse or other family member).
Overall, 27,302 of the study participants, with a mean age of 79 years, received a diagnosis of dementia between 1999 and 2014.
The researchers discovered that up to six years before these people were diagnosed, they were more likely to miss scheduled credit card payments—compared to their peers who weren’t diagnosed with dementia. They were also more likely to have poor credit scores up to 2.5 years before diagnosis.
Plus, within three months following diagnosis, people with dementia were more likely to miss credit card payments and have poor credit ratings when compared with people without dementia. And these payment delinquency and credit score issues were likely to persist for at least 3.5 years after a dementia diagnosis.
What you can do: This study shows that changes in judgment may occur years before clinical cognitive impairment can be picked up by medical evaluation. Which translates to potentially years of erratic bill payments, poor financial decisions, and victimization by fraud, as people struggle on their own, wondering what’s wrong.
(In fact, in an editorial accompanying the study, Dr. Jason Karlawish of the University of Pennsylvania, my alma mater, made a powerful case about how the consumer credit industry is making money off of AD and dementia.2)
So if you or a loved one are having a hard time paying bills or managing credit scores, take it seriously. Ask your doctor about dementia and AD, and take advantage of the screenings I mention in the sidebar on page 4.
2.) Location, location, location. New studies are revealing that where you live may be a factor in whether you develop dementia, too. Researchers are looking at “hot spots” across the country where AD and dementia rates are inexplicably high.
Indeed, in the 1980s, my colleagues and I found dramatic differences between populations and countries around the world—and among succeeding generations of immigrants—that strongly pointed to location-based dietary risk factors for chronic diseases. Not to mention, early research links diet and chronic disease-risk, too.
And since AD is both a chronic disease and one influenced by diet, it makes sense that geographical location could play a role.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, out of the top 10 states with the highest AD death rates, seven are in the South (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee); two are in the West (Utah and Washington); and one is in the East (Vermont).3
Researchers don’t believe that living in certain areas actually increases your risk of Alzheimer’s. But the truth is, where people live may affect their access to healthcare and nutritious food—and even education about other AD risk factors.
Another study conducted within the state of Ohio showed that poorer, rural Appalachian residents had a 2 to 3 percent higher rate of AD than Ohioans who lived outside of Appalachia.4
This makes sense because rural areas often have less access to healthcare, which can contribute to gaps in Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment. And, as another new study discovered, economic status can also play a key role in AD progression.
Researchers analyzed autopsy data from 951 people who were cognitively impaired when they died.5 They found that the people who resided in the poorest neighborhoods at their time of death had twice the rate of brain changes associated with AD, compared to people in wealthier areas.
(Of course, autopsy studies are limited because the science shows that these so-called “typical” brain changes of dementia are not actually present in half of people with clinically diagnosed dementia—and half the people with these changes in their brains did not suffer from clinical dementia.)
Nevertheless, it’s still an interesting study, as researchers and public health experts note that people who live in poorer neighborhoods can suffer from chronic stress, sleep disturbances, lack of exercise opportunities (it’s hard to take a walk if you live in a dangerous area), air pollution, poor nutrition, and even toxic metals in the water supply—all of which are key risk factors for AD and dementia.
What you can do: The links between geography and AD tend not to do with your actual environment, but rather the socioeconomic factors present in your community.
So there’s no need to pack up and move if you live in an area with higher incidences of Alzheimer’s (unless you want to, of course).
Just continue to educate yourself about the risk factors for dementia (and continue reading Insiders’ Cures and my Daily Dispatch e-letter for insight), and follow my core dietary and lifestyle recommendations—like engaging in regular exercise, communing with Nature as much as possible, and following a healthy, balanced diet full of fresh, whole foods.
3.) Go with your gut. In the past few years, medical science has increasingly discovered that the health of your gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome is linked to the risk of many chronic diseases. And it turns out, AD and dementia is no exception.
For a new study on this subject, a team of researchers from Italy and Switzerland recruited 89 men and women between the ages of 65 and 85 years.6 Some of the people had been diagnosed with AD and related dementias, and others had normal memory. The researchers performed brain scans on the study participants, and analyzed their blood for inflammatory markers and proteins produced by intestinal bacteria.
These tests found a correlation between imbalances in GI probiotics (“good” bacteria) and the appearance of dementia precursors in the brain. As a result, the researchers think proteins produced by certain GI microbes can influence interactions among the immune system and the brain and nervous system.
The researchers also discovered that “good” probiotic bacteria in the normal microbiome produce a fatty acid called butyrate that has anti–inflammatory properties and protects the brain.
Prior research has shown a strong association between specific intestinal bacteria and AD. In fact, research reveals the GI microbiome in people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is actually different than the microbiomes of people without AD. In fact, people with AD have less diversity of probiotics, among other factors.
In addition, since chronic inflammation is a suspected risk factor in dementia and AD (as with many other chronic diseases), inflammation in the blood could also provide a direct link between the GI microbiome and the brain.
What you can do: Researchers are now trying to find an AD treatment that can be administered as a probiotic “bacterial cocktail” to feed good bacteria in the GI microbiome. But, as I often report, lots of other research shows that trying to make and take probiotic pills simply doesn’t make sense, doesn’t work, and can be dangerous.
Instead, I recommend nurturing the natural probiotic bacteria in your GI tract through prebiotic foods, such as fermented vegetables like sauerkraut, as well as apples, asparagus, avocados (see page 8), bananas, garlic, leeks, onions, whole grains like barley and oats, and full-fat cheeses and yogurts.
As an added benefit, prebiotic foods also help your gut produce the butyrate fatty acids that the researchers found help protect the brain.
4.) Break the “rules”. I recently came across a study with findings that run completely contrary to the mainstream, politically correct, anti-dairy and anti-meat “dietary experts,” and the neo-prohibitionist, total abstinence, “anti-alcohol” crowd who I frequently warn you about.
Iowa State University researchers analyzed data collected from 1,787 British men and women, ages 46 to 77 years.7 The study participants underwent cognitive tests over a period of 10 years. They also completed questionnaires about how often they ate a variety of foods and beverages.
In the end, there were four key findings:
1.) Cheese lowers the risk of age-related cognitive problems far more than any other food—even as you age.
2.) Daily consumption of alcohol, particularly red wine, helps improve cognitive function.
3.) Weekly consumption of lamb (a red meat) improves long-term cognitive function.
4.) People at risk for AD may need to watch their salt consumption to avoid cognitive problems as they age.
The researchers claim this study is the first large-scale analysis connecting specific foods to cognitive ability in later life. But, although their findings make a lot of sense, saying it’s the “first,” as always, is just silly—and wrong.
First of all, how can they not be aware of the groundbreaking clinical research at UCLA, starting five years ago (and now being repeated at a dozen medical centers around the country) showing diet and nutritional factors can prevent and rewire AD and dementia?
I’ve written about this research several times, and even released my very own online learning tool on the topic, my Complete Alzheimer’s Fighting Protocol. (To learn more, call 1-866-747-9421 and ask for order code EOV3X400.)
Secondly, after federal research programs devoted to two “decades of the brain,” and billions of dollars spent on dementia and AD studies, how is it possible that looking at something as fundamental as foods comes so little, so late?
What you can do: Don’t listen to the nanny, ninny, neo-Prohibitionists who insist that any amount of alcohol at any age is “bad for the brain.” Instead, pay attention to the many studies linking moderate alcohol consumption—especially red wine—to improved cognitive function.
And remember, the “anti-cheese” dietary “experts” ignore the real science by conveniently omitting the fact that full-fat cheese and yogurt is consumed daily, essentially at every meal, as part of the Mediterranean Diet—the healthiest diet on the planet.
So, to help lower your risk of AD and dementia, eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, a couple servings of full-fat dairy a day, wild-caught fish, and meat like lamb. (As an added bonus, the nutrient composition of lamb shows the healthiest profile of fats of any meat…including the supposed benefits of chicken and turkey. It’s also a key part of the healthy Mediterranean Diet, another fact neglected by the “experts”.)
Then, top it all off with a glass or two of red wine. And skip the sugary desserts and processed foods that cause inflammation, which plays a fundamental role in AD and dementia. (In the Mediterranean, diners often end the meal with cheese, instead of confections.)
Bottom line? While the mainstream medical research industry remains a half-century behind on AD and dementia, these new studies show there are scientific ways to effectively identify key risk factors for these chronic diseases.
But remember, just because you may have elevated risk doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a future of disease. There are many natural approaches that can prevent and rewire AD and dementia as I outlined here for you—and as I outline in my comprehensive, online learning tool, my Complete Alzheimer’s Fighting Protocol.
SIDEBAR 1: Key supplements for optimal brain health, no matter what your age
Studies show there are a variety of potent nutrients and botanicals that support the brain. I recommend the following:
- B vitamins, including:
º B6 (5 mg a day)
º B12 (20 mcg a day)
º Folic acid (800 mcg a day)
º Thiamin (2.5 mg a day)
- Berberine (500 mg a day)
- Lutein (12 mg a day)
I also like the following food extracts:
- Grape extract (600 mg a day)
- Turmeric extract (400 mg a day)
SIDEBAR 2: My top-recommended AD and dementia screening tests
While there are plenty of high-tech, costly brain scans out there, I believe there’s no substitute for clinical assessments for AD and dementia. (Not to mention, I have personally seen some doctors pay more attention to the images from their brain scans than they give to the patient!)
Some clinical cognitive evaluations of patients can be done quickly and easily by your doctor, either in their office or via your computer. They can even reveal much more significant information than thousands of dollars’ worth of brain scans!
But, sadly, mainstream medicine will keep doing the scans to help pay for their multimillion-dollar, high-tech machines.
That’s why I recommend asking for these two evaluations by name: The University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test and the Blessed Orientation Memory Concentration Test.
As I wrote in the January 2020 issue of Insiders’ Cures, researchers found that a whopping 97 percent of the people who performed well on both of these tests didn’t get dementia during a four-year follow-up period. Meaning the tests were highly accurate at predicting current incidences of dementia and for predicting future risk of developing the disease.
1“Financial Presentation of Alzheimer Disease and Related Dementias.” JAMA Intern Med. 2021 Feb 1;181(2):220-227.
2“Desktop Medicine and the Practice of Wealth Care.” JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181(2):227–228.
4“Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Prevalence Differs by Appalachian Residence in Ohio.” J Alzheimers Dis. 2020;76(4):1309-1316.
5“Association of Neighborhood-Level Disadvantage With Cerebral and Hippocampal Volume.” JAMA Neurol. 2020;77(4):451–460.
6“Short-Chain Fatty Acids and Lipopolysaccharide as Mediators Between Gut Dysbiosis and Amyloid Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease.” J Alzheimers Dis. 2020;78(2):683-697.
7“Genetic Factors of Alzheimer’s Disease Modulate How Diet Is Associated with Long-Term Cognitive Trajectories: A UK Biobank Study.” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, vol. 78, no. 3, pp. 1245-1257, 2020.