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specific nutrition by age and gender





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Nutrition information related to

Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other neurological disorders. See also Cognitive decline


Biggest news I have learned in June, 2014, is how blueberries and a cup of green tea may substantially reduce the risk of Alzheimer's. There is also a great article in AJCN July 2014 supplement on how nuts and berries reduce and partially reverse cognitive decline. To join the Teaberry Trial and receive measurements how blueberries and green tea improve your brain function, click here.

Here's a nice link from a kind reader: The Caretaker's Guide to Driving and Alzheimer's

A recent study found that patients with early-stage Alzheimer's disease consumed less vitamin K than did cognitively intact control subjects. (J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Dec;108(12):2095-9). (Link: vitamin K and Alzheimers; Source: Alzheimers newsletter: no longer on line

Higher fish consumption is associated with better cognitive function in later life. (J Nutr Health Aging. 2009;13(3):198-202) (Link: fish and Alzheimers; Source: Alzheimers newsletter: no longer on line added 6/2009)

Stroke is a well-known risk factor for vascular dementia. Systolic blood pressure >140 was most strongly associated with prevalent memory impairment  Other associated risk factors included non-white race, male gender, age, education <or=12 years, and history of any alcohol use.  Among transient ischemic attacks symptoms, self-reported weakness in the face, arm, or leg was significantly associated with memory impairment. (Link: blood pressure and Alzheimers; Source: Alzheimers newsletter: no longer on line added 6/2009)

 Coffee drinking at midlife is associated with a decreased risk of dementia/AD later in life. After an average follow-up of 21 years, 1409 individuals (71%) aged 65 to 79 completed the re-examination in 1998. A total of 61 cases were identified as demented (48 with AD). Coffee drinkers at midlife had lower risk of dementia and AD later in life compared with those drinking no or only a little coffee. The lowest risk (65% decreased) was found in people who drank 3-5 cups per day. (J Alzheimers Dis. 2009 Jan;16(1):85-91) (Link: Coffee and Alzheimers; Source: Alzheimers newsletter:
no longer on line added 6/2009)

Here's the one Nutrition Investigator has been expecting. Combined use of vitamins C and E protects against Alzheimer's. Ref: Spring/Summer 2005 Oregon State Univ. Linus Pauling Institute Research Report *Recent Research on Vitamins C and E, S. Lawson - " Archives of Neurology in 2004 reported that the combined use of vitamin E and vitamin C - but neither vitamin alone - protects against Alzheimer's disease...".

From Alzheimer's Disease, Cognitive Decline and Nutrition Newsletter - February 2009 Higher serum vitamin D3 levels are associated with better cognitive test performance in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Recent studies suggest that vitamin D metabolites may be important for preserving cognitive function via specific neuroprotective effects. In test scores of 225 older outpatients diagnosed with probable Alzheimer's, those with highest blood levels of vitamin D had highest cognitive function.

Aspirin protects against Alzheimer's, from the 2006 Linus Pauling Institute Newsletter

High homocysteine is also linked to these disorders.

1. A controlled trial of selegiline, alpha-tocopherol, or both as treatment for Alzheimer's disease. Sano, M. et al N Engl J Med 1997:336: 1216-22

The Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study (ADCS), 341 moderate Alzheimer's patients for two years, showed that treatment with the antioxidant vitamin E [2,000iu/day] could delay the time to important milesones in patients with moderately severe Alzheimer's disease. [Vitamin E was more effective than Selegiline, the most effective drug available then]. "In patients with moderately severe impairment from Alzheimer's disease, treatment with ...alpha-tocopherol slows the progression of disease."

2. 14 Apr 2005 - Alzheimer's Disease, Cognitive Decline and Nutrition Newsletter - No 34 From: "" <>

1) Prevent Alzheimer’s with exercise and anti-oxidants- A new study on beagles finds that regular physical activity, mental stimulation, and a diet rich in antioxidants can help keep aging canine -- and perhaps human -- brains in tip-topshape. The research supported by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is among the first to examine the combined effects of these interventions and suggests that diet and mental exercise may work more effectively in combination than by themselves

2)Take fish oil capsules or eat fish -  *** A Diet Enriched with the Omega-3 Fatty Acid Reduces Amyloid Burden in an Aged Alzheimer Mouse Model ***

3)A cup of tea may delay onset of Alzheimer's disease.  Effects of green tea last a week, while black tea works only a day.  Tea inhibits brain enzymes linked to the disease.  Newcastle Univ. Study, Phytotherapy Research Online, Oct. 2004

4)This is a huge field, rapidly changing. Currently there is debate over ability of vitamin C and E to prevent Alzheimer's, but cost benefit indicates it is better to be safe. Fish oil also may be relevant here. SAMe is also worth considering for retaining mental function. There is an explosion of information about what to eat to preserve your memory function. Look at the notes on Memory Food. Another useful food/nutraceutical likely to prevent Alzheimer's is curry.

5) Ugo Lucca et al, Homocysteine, folate, and vitamin B-12 in mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer disease, and vascular dementia
Am J Clin Nutr 2004 80: 114-12

Conclusions: These findings suggest that relative folate deficiency may precede vascular dementia and Alzheimer disease onset. Hyperhomocysteinemia might also be an early risk factor for cognitive decline in the elderly, but its role in dementia development must be addressed in future longitudinal studies.


A study of 1,074 people age 60 to 90 yrs in the Netherlands. Conclusion: Light-to-moderate alcohol intake (1 to 4 drinks per day) is associated with a lower prevalence of vascular brain findings and, in APOE 4 carriers, hippocampal and amygdalar atrophy on MRI.

7) Harman, D., "Free Radical Theory of Aging: Current Status", in Lipofuscin-1987: State of the Art, edited by Zs.-Nagy, I., New York, Elsevier, 1988, pg. 3-21.

Taking an optimal dose of vitamin C could be extremely beneficial to health. Free radical diseases include atherosclerosis, cancer, hypertension, osteoarthritis, cataract, Parkinson's disease, diabetes mellitus type 1, Alzheimer's, and others.

8) From Linus Pauling Institute Newsletter Summer 2006 - aspirin reduces Alzheimer's risk] Neurodegeneration, an interview with Joseph Beckman, Ph.D. Coenzyme - People who have arthritis and take an NSAID or other anti-inflammatory drug have a much lower risk of Alzheimer's disease…There are conflicting studies on vitamin E and Alzheimer's.  The overall effect seems to be a small improvement on quality of life, but  no effect on survival.


7. Zaman, Z., Roche, S., Fielden, P., Frost, P.G., Niriella, D.C., and Cayley, A.C.D., "Plasma concentrations of vitamins A and E and Carotenoids in Alzheimer's Disease", Age and Ageing 21: 91-94 (1992)

In a study of 20 patients over 80 and 20 controls, "both Alzheimer's and multi-infarct dementia patients had significantly lower levels of vitamin E... than controls"

8. For a research poster on nutrition and Alzheimers, click here.

Much has been learned in the past decade about nutritional steps that will reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's, and even slow the progression of Alzheimer's once it is detected. 

1. Take 1,000 mg fish oil daily (more may be even better). - REDUCES RISK AND SLOWS PROGRESSION Based on study of 900 elderly men and women over 9 years of study.  DHA in fish oil is main component of brain cell membranes. Schaefer, EJ, Arch Neurol, vol 63, Nov 2006:1545-50

  2. At the American Aging Association meeting I attended in 2006, I learned that oxidative stress precedes amyloid plaque by decades.  Amyloid appears to protect neurons and might not be cause of Alzheimer's. Dr. Mark Smith also reported that lipid levels change dramatically with age, so fish oil is really important with age.  Melatonin and curcumin decrease risk of Alzheimer's, he reported.  At that meeting, it was also reported that aging upregulates inflammation in adipose tissue.  So if you are thin, you have less adipose tissue, less inflammation, lower risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer's.  There is a 14-fold increase in diabetes from age 44 to age 65.

  3. In my review of articles related to Alzheimer's, I have found many nutrition ideas that are relevant, described with published references at Nutrition Investigator:

A. 2,000IU of vitamin E per day was the best treatment to slow the progression of Alzheimer's as of 1997, though many expensive drugs were compared and none were as effective or safe.

B. Exercise, thinking efforts, and antioxidants are the best way to maintain brain function, based on a study by the National Institutes of Aging.

C. Fish oil capsules are extremely important to take every day for brain health.

D. Green tea is important. A study in 2004 found green tea benefits lasted a week, while black tea only helped for a day.

E. It is very important to maintain folate levels through vitamins and nutrition.  To maintain folate levels, vitamins B6, B9 (folate), and B12 are important, as well as SAMe.

F. Aspirin, which is taken several times per week by many to prevent heart attacks and inflammation, is also helpful in reducing Alzheimer's risk.

  So there's a list of actions we all would be wise to follow to maintain healthy brains.  Have a happy day!  Happiness is important to health too.

-Doc Roc



Psychoneuroimmunology indicates that hope is key to dealing with any challenge. Please try to stay optimistic!

From chelation therapies;

1. Iron Chelation, by Dr. Richardson
we need iron chelators to treat Parkinson's. They generate free radicals that cause damage.
Rasagiline is a great iron chelator approved by the FDA in 2005.
A new drug M3O which is being developed that might be even better, but is still being developed.
2. EGC from tea is a potent metal chelator that crosses blood-brain barrier.
Ref: Levites, JBC 277: 30574 (2002)
For Parkinson's disease, one needs an iron (Fe) chelator and EGCG (most concentrated in green tea) to cover both routes of damage
Fe radical damage prevented by chelator, 2. neuron loss prevented by EGCG

3. Copper Chelation by Dr. Brewer
Anti-copper therapy does reduce cancer
Tetramolybdate is a copper chelator
Copper chelators also inhibit arthritis.

4. CoQ10;

5. Sauberlich, H. E., "Pharmacology of vitamin C", Annu. Rev. Nutr. 14: 371-91 (1994)

"Ascorbic acid is probably the most effective, least toxic antioxidant identified in mammalian systems...Ascorbic acid is superior to other water-soluble plasma antioxidants (uric acid and bilirubin) as well as to the lipoprotein-associated antioxidants (alpha-tocopherol, beta-carotene, and lycopene)....Vitamin C can also interact with the tocopheroxy radical to regenerate tocopherol. Consequently, ascorbic acid may be important in protecting against oxidative stress-related diseases and degeneration associated with aging, including coronary heart disease, cataract, and cancer" [also reviews evidence connected with vitamin C and diabetes, blood pressure, parkinson's, respiratory symptoms, immune function, sickle cell anemia, and idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura].

6. From AGE meeting 2006 - Drug Albuterol improves leva dopa and muscle mass in Parkinson's patients.

7. Harman, D., "Free Radical Theory of Aging: Current Status", in Lipofuscin-1987: State of the Art, edited by Zs.-Nagy, I., New York, Elsevier, 1988, pg. 3-21.

Taking an optimal dose of vitamin C could be extremely beneficial to health. Free radical diseases include atherosclerosis, cancer, hypertension, osteoarthritis, cataract, Parkinson's disease, diabetes mellitus type 1, Alzheimer's, and others.


1. From AGE meeting 2006 - 345pm James JOSEPH - Neuronal function
Brain uses 20% of oxygen in humans, 40-50% when thinking.  Oxidative stress and inflammation are key causes of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Important supplements include Fish oil, curcumin, melatonin, alpha-lipoic acid, acetyl-L-carnitine, vitamins C and E, phenolics/flavanoids, which include anthrocyanins and soy isoflavones that are anticancer agents.  When fed to 19 month old rats, supplements helped enormously
neurogenesis was aided by blueberries and strawberries

2. Beckman, KB and Ames, BN, "The Free Radical Theory of Aging Matures", Physio. Rev. 78: 547-81 (1998)

"The free radical theory of aging, conceived in 1956, has turned 40 and is rapidly attracting the interest of the mainstream of biological research... During the past decade, several lines of evidence have convinced a number of scientists that oxidants play an important role in aging...investigation of the etiologies of human degenerative disease implicate oxidative stress in cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and neurodegeneration, to name a few."

3. Williams, L.R., "Oxidative Stress, Neurodegeneration, and Neurotrophic Therapy", AGE 23rd Annual Meeting, pg. 16 (1993)

"The brain is particularly vulnerable to oxidative damage, and age-related neurodegeneration may be caused by the temporal accumulation of oxidative injuries....These susceptible neurons might be protected from death by boosting the brain's ability to deal with oxidative stress. Such protection could be provided by treatment of patients with...antioxidant drugs..."

4. Blount, B.C., et al (Ames, B.N.), "Folate deficiency causes uracil misincorporation into human DNA and chromosome breakage: Implications for cancer and neuronal damage," PNAS USA 94: 3290-5 (1997)

"Folate deficiency causes massive incorporation of uracil into human DNA (4 million per cell) and chromosome breaks...Both high DNA uracil levels and elevated micronucleus frequency are reversed by folate administration. A significant proportion of the U.S. population has low folate levels...Such breaks could contribute to the increased risk of cancer and cognitive defects associated with folate deficiency in humans."

5. Swain, R.A., "The role of folic acid in deficiency states and prevention of disease", J Fam Pract 44: 138-44 (1997)

"Folic acid, a water-soluble vitamin, has been used since the 1940s to treat some cases of macrocytic anemia without neurologic disease... the vitamin may reduce the incidence of neural tube defects by 45% in women who receive 400 mcgrams per day. It is recommended that all women of childbearing age take 400 mcgrams of folate per day. Elevations in homocysteine levels, a metabolite intimately associated with folate, are also being found with increasing regularity in those with cardiovascular diseases. Homocysteine levels are reduced by folic acid administration. Therefore, there is some biologic plausibility... for the assumption that folate supplements may prevent heart disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease.

6. Mayer, G., Krîger, M., and Meier-Ewert, K. , "Effects of vitamin B12 on performance and circadian rhythm in normal subjects", Neuropsychopharmacology 15: 456-64 (1996)

"This preliminary study investigates effects of methyl- and cyanocobalamin on circadian rhythms, well-being, alertness, and concentration in healthy subjects... the change in the visual analogue scales items "sleep quality", "concentration", and "feeling refreshed" between pretreatment and the first week of treatment showed significant correlations with vitamin B12 plasma levels."

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