The “doctor recommended” supplement linked to Alzheimer’s

A recent study published in a leading journal called Nature Communications just uncovered a likely cause of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia.

Tragically, mainstream medicine — for decades — has been wasting its time (and ours) chasing after a flawed hypothesis that blames beta-amyloid as the main cause of AD.

However, as I observed 40 years ago as a hospital pathologist, beta-amyloid builds up normally in the aging body. It doesn’t cause brain disease — or any other disease for that matter. And knowing this basic biology, I always felt frustrated watching mainstream “experts” promote the theory, futilely, for decades.

It’s not so surprising, therefore, that the mainstream has spent billions of dollars on more than 100 drugs, but they’ve failed to find anything to prevent or reverse AD. They haven’t even developed a useful drug for alleviating the debilitating symptoms of the disease.

Fortunately, other researchers have begun looking past the beta-amyloid theory…

Years ago, researchers in Australia began to link excess iron levels in the brain to AD and dementia. In fact, in a seven-year study published in Nature Communications in 2015, patients with more iron in their brains deteriorated more quickly than those with low iron.

And, now, these same researchers are investigating whether removing excess iron from the brain can prevent — or even reverse — AD.

Participants improve by 50 percent

For this new clinical study, researchers are giving 171 patients with early AD a 25-year-old, inexpensive oral drug called deferiprone to remove excess iron from the brain.

The study is still underway — and we won’t have results for another few years — but the Australian researchers point out encouraging results from another study from the mid-1980s that took a similar approach…

In that study, doctors in Toronto gave AD patients twice-daily injections of the drug desferrioxamine mesylate to remove excess iron in the blood. After two years, they observed that AD patients experienced a 50 percent reduced the rate of cognitive decline.

Desferrioxamine mesylate has been used for years to reduce excess iron in patients with a genetic blood disorder called thalassemia. (The name for the disorder comes from the Greek word “Thalassa,” for “ocean,” since the gene was first identified among people living near the Mediterranean Sea.)

One drawback of the Toronto study is that desferrioxamine mesylate is administered via injection. By comparison, the deferiprone used in the new study is taken orally.

Ironically, researchers began the Toronto study to investigate the role of aluminum in AD. Aluminum is another metal cited as a cause of a number of neuro-degenerative diseases around the world.

I definitely think this line of research merits attention.

Not to mention, I‘ve warned for decades against taking iron supplements or multivitamins with iron…

Building the case against extra iron

More than 25 years ago, my research with Nobel laureate Baruch Blumberg and Richard Stevens linked excess iron with significantly increased risks of all types of cancers in both men and men. Other research had shown excess iron increases the risk of heart disease and infections.

Despite this clear evidence, bureaucrats at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) kept pushing their pro-iron supplement agenda, even to the point of attacking Dr. Blumberg himself.

The fact is, you never need take an iron supplement unless you have been diagnosed, by your doctor, with clinical iron deficiency anemia. This problem typically applies only to some young women with poor diets and some women during pregnancy.

The good news is, there are a few simple steps you can take to protect yourself from excess iron and Alzheimer’s disease — and they don’t involve taking any drug:

  1. Avoid taking iron supplements — or any supplement that contains iron. (Especially those useless once-per-day multivitamin supplements. They won’t do any good — but can cause a lot of harm.)
  2. Give blood. The only way to naturally reduce iron is through blood loss. So, blood donation provides a perfect solution. Plus, it’s good for your community and helps those who need it most.
  3. Focus on small, simple, healthy lifestyle changes and smart supplementation. Even the Australian researchers recognize that AD is a very complex disease and that it’s unlikely any one therapy will provide a complete solution.

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“Ferritin levels in the cerebrospinal fluid predict Alzheimer’s disease outcomes and is regulated by APOE,” Nat. Commun. 2015; 6:6760

“Pulling Iron From Brain May Offer Hope in Alzheimer’s Fight,” Bloomberg ( 11/29/2017