Reversing age related memory problems
To see a parent suffer mental confusion and memory lapses is heart wrenching. To watch the memory drug like Aricept fail completely adds to the burden. Next to the neglected crucial nutritional issues of childhood, not supporting our elders with nutrient protocols and detox measures is the most shameful aspect of the medicine championed by The New England Journal of Medicine.
I have read the Journal for nearly 50 years and do not recall a single time when it allowed integrative physicians to present their empirical observations concerning nutrient and detox protocols for improving the memory and mentation of senior citizens. During these years, the Journal did publish scores of articles touting the benefits of drugs that proved to be useless later. Some doctors might question my statement. Here are the words of Dr. Donna Wilcock, a Duke University neurologist, “We have yet to get a disease-modifying drug that works. So we’re missing something, and maybe this is one of the missing pieces.” Dr. Wilcock was commenting while debunking the amyloid theory of Alzheimer’s disease.
Many seniors are vulnerable to the problems of memory and mentation for several reasons, including:
(1) nutrient deficiencies;
(2) buildup of rancid fats, sticky sugars, and mangled proteins;
(3) accumulation of toxic metals;
(4) incremental load of fat-loving environmental pollutants;
(5) excess acidity and free radical activity;
(6) oxygen deficit due to poor circulation; and
(7) impaired brain cell detox pathways.
It must be recognized that even small changes in oxygen and toxins can have disproportionately large effects in some individuals. In this article, I offer guidelines concerning how most of these factors can be addressed to improve memory and mentation. First, I offer important theoretical consideration.
When I think of health and healing, first I think of oxygen. When I think of cellular metabolic dysfunctions, next to oxygen I think of insulin.
Oxygen is the foremost nutrient for brain cells. Drowning accidents make that self-evident. No surprise there. However, I couldn’t help wondering what insulin might have to do with memory. After a few moments of reflection, I saw the probable connection: insulin is at the root of all cellular metabolic functions (especially so for neurons involved with memory and mentation), and insulin in excess is a potent pro-inflammatory hormone. It is well established that neuronal inflammation impedes memory. Indeed, this is the basis of the so-called inflammatory theory of Alzheimer’s disease. The same holds for vascular dementia and the organic brain disease. In my Insulin Toxicity Model, I attribute some of the problems of memory, mood, and mentation observed in hyperinsulinism, prediabetes, and Diabetes to adverse consequences of insulin excess.
DR. ALI’s SIXSOME
Following are my guidelines (Dr. Ali’s Sixsome) for improving oxygen and insulin function in order to reduce neuronal inflammation to enhance memory and mentation in the elderly:
1. Specific memory-enhancing nutrient (See below);
2. Optimal food choices (assuring optimal hydration, restricting sugars and fried foods, increasing the intake of vegetables and reducing that of meats);
3. Hydrogen peroxide soaks
4. Castor oil rubs
5. Limbic exercise
THE BEGIN-LOW, BUILD-SLOW APPROACH
All information offered in my articles is for educational purposes, I suggest you discuss these matters with your doctor. Also, do consider the golden start-low-build-slow rule.
Some individuals respond extremely well to the above program while others do not. The surest way to separate the two groups is by the use of robust intramuscular and intravenous nutrient protocols. Below are the protocols I use in my practice:
ORAL NUTRIENT PROTOCOL
MSM 500 mg 1,000 mg
Phosphatydlserine 100 mg
N-Acetylserine 50 mg
Ginko biloba 30 mg
Glutathione 20 mg
Taurin(TaurinE) 500 to 1,000 mg
Omega-3 oils 2,000 to 4,000 mg
Vitamin D 2,000 to 5,000 IU
(Twice weekly for three weeks to separate good responders from others)
Glutathione 400 mg
Vitamin B 12 10,000 to 15,000 mcg
Vitamin B Complex
Magnesium 500 mg
Hydrogen peroxide II plus IM
Below are my guidelines for mineral supplementation. It is imperative that appropriate laboratory tests (especially blood creatinine test for kidney failure) be performed to assess the nutrient status and to monitor the efficacy of the program: magnesium (750 to 1,000); calcium (500 to 750 mg); potassium (100 to 150 mg); zinc (25 to 50 mg); and selenium, chromium, and molybdenum (400 to 600 mcg each); and small amounts of trace minerals including boron and strontium.
Turmeric and Ginger
A friend recently insisted that Turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory but garlic is not. He also asserted that garlic is an effective antiviral food while turmeric is not. I wondered what might be the basis of those statements? In my clinical work among patients with the common cold, I find that turmeric — one-half teaspoon taken with organic vegetable juice or grapefruit juice three times a day — is far more effective than garlic.
Putting that aside, my friend’s assertions raise a deeper question: Can the antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects of spices ever be separated with confidence? What is antiviral, by definition, is anti-inflammatory. What is anti-inflammatory is also antiviral when seen through the prism of oxygen homeostasis. Stated another way, every pre-existing non-physiological inflammatory process increases the pathogenicity of viruses, and every existing viral infection feeds the pathologic inflammatory response. (See the article entitled “The Dysox Model of Inflammation” , the fourth volume of The Principles and Practice of Integrative Medicine for further discussion of this subject.)
All spices (and herbs) with empirically known benefits for digestive- absorptive disorders also have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. That is easy to understand since pathological (but not physiologic) inflammation and infectious processes feed upon each other. Again, the issue of dysfunctional oxygen metabolism (the dysox state) is equally important in the treatment of both types of clinical problems.
Following is a section of foods with special healing value that we recommend you use as frequently as two to four times a week:
Broccoli: restores bowel ecology, strengthens the immune system, contains organic sulfur compounds such as indole carbinol (which breaks down estrogen) and beta carotene, an important antioxidant.
Burdock: has long established empirical values in improving digestive and absorptive functions in the stomach and bowel. It speeds up the bowel transit time and so facilitates restoration of the bowel ecosystem.
Celery: contains muscle-friendly phthalate and is helpful in normalizing fat metabolism. Celery is also beneficial for joint symptoms and for related disorders such as bursitis and fibrositis.
Daikon: has a long-established empirical value in maintaining a healthy bowel ecology.
Flaxseed: contains linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that reduces the formation of hormone-like substances called prostaglandins of PG-2 series. These prostaglandins induce inflammatory responses in the lungs (asthma), the joints (arthritis), the skin (psoriasis), and other body organs. Prostaglandins may also contribute to the development of tumors. Flaxseed is a cereal grain that Europeans and Canadians consume in large quantities in their cereals and breads.
Garlic: contains allicin and some other sulfur compounds that restore bowel ecology, prevent yeast overgrowth, thin blood, and prevent platelet clumping. It appears to act as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent, and reduces the risk of cancer.
Ginger: contains natural alkaloids that precipitate out (and render harmless) most environmental pollutants in drinking water. (See note about ginger root water in the beverage section of this chapter.) It has a long-established empirical value in restoring altered bowel ecology. Ginger also reduces inflammation in arthritis.
Grapefruit: contains pectin, the gelling agent present in the peel and membrane, which lowers cholesterol and facilitates blood flow in arteries. Pectin also appears to prevent blood clotting in arteries.
Klongi: (onion seeds) are well known in Pakistan as immune-enhancing spices.
Soybean: is an excellent source of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, molybdenum and others. It is rich in essential life span oils and high-quality proteins. Predigestion of food is an old discovery of man. Perhaps no food has more intrigued man in his pursuit of predigested food than soybean. Tofu, tofu p’i, tofu kan, tempeh, toya, natto, and kabitofu are some of the soy-derived staple foods in the Far East. I have observed extraordinary benefits of some positively-charged components of soybeans in restoring damaged bowel ecosystems, as I suspect the ancients did when I look at their inventiveness with this grain.
Squashes: have a long-established empirical role in improving digestive and absorptive functions. These vegetables are useful in restoring bowel ecology and decreasing bowel transit time (prevention of constipation and toxic effects of prolonged bowel transit time).
Turmeric: has been used in Pakistan, India, and the Far East since ancient times as a spice that prevents food from spoiling. Curcumin, the major yellow pigment in turmeric and mustard, is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that has recently been shown to have antineoplastic properties.
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