Home » Preventative Medicine » Your Doctor Says You Can’t Prevent or Treat Dementia Are They Wrong on Both Counts?

Your Doctor Says You Can’t Prevent or Treat Dementia Are They Wrong on Both Counts?

I have been reviewing Dr. Chris Knobe’s excellent work on the dangers of the seed oils, the omega 6 oils as inflammatory and related to most modern diseases. The oils, canola, corn oil, sunflower oil etc. are polyunsaturated and therefore highly likely to oxidize which is a chemical change in their makeup that makes them antinutritious. Or you could equally call it slow food poisoning because this stuff is in everything processed.

Excess omega 6, and by that I mean the Standard American Diet, is dementogenic, atherogenic, obesogenic, carcinogenic…I mean come on people, how many “genics’’ do you have to hear before you get the idea these are man made chemicals that don’t belong in your body and are sabotaging your health.

Then I was listening to the Rhonda Patrick, Found my Fitness Podcast with Dr. William Harris who has worked his entire career investigating omega 3 oils, which are thought to be anti-inflammatory. The higher your omega 3 index is, the better your overall health and the lower your mortality. This is something you can easily measure at your doctor’s office and treat at your grocery store.

Then, to really hammer it home, comes the recent Youtube videos of Dr. Paul Mason who has posted lectures again linking dementia to your diet. Once you whet your appetite with the short video linked here, you can refer to his other work.

In this video posted in September he reviews the literature and confirms that dementia is a dietary issue…not a genetic one. Sure there are genetic risk factors that can affect your risk but they seem to do so only in the presence of an inflammatory diet. Dr. Mason reviewed the famous Nigerian study where people who have the highest possible genetic risk still have very low rates of dementia unless and until they adopt the Western diet. There were only rare cases of dementia diagnosed 100 years ago and dementia is rampant now and our genes have not changed over 100 years…genetics takes hundreds of generations. What I liked about this video was the inclusion of the damage done by fructose and how this makes oxidation worse. So you have the one – two punch of insulin resistance/diabetes (which affects most of us if you do the right test) and the damaged and damaging seed oils which act as a double whammy. I had not previously seen evidence that diabetics actually absorb more of the oxidized oils than non-diabetics…makes sense when you think of the damaged gut lining. Also his finding that the highest risk, allele the apoe4 (the gene variants that affect your risk factor for dementia) is the highest risk because it’s the most susceptible to oxidation (from the seed oils) and glycation (damage from the high insulin/fructose) was new to me and makes sense and might even be true.

What’s that Mr. It Won’t Happen To Me!? Well, currently the risk of dementia doubles every 5 years starting after age 65. 43% of people over 85 carry the diagnosis and we haven’t really come up with an effective treatment since it was first diagnosed in 1906 despite spending billions and billions of dollars and over 200 failed trials.

What’s that Mr. So There’s Nothing To Be Done About It? Well there is if you look at things from a metabolic angle. The brain has 2 percent of total body volume but uses 20% of metabolic energy. The brain is a stove! And by using sugar as a fuel you are gunking up the pipes. By using ketones as fuel you clean out the pipes and burn more evenly. Ketones can allow the brain of demented patients to use a new stable healthy reliable food source and glucose is no longer able to be used as fuel due to insulin resistance. High sugar levels are not good for the brain long term.

Diabetics are two to five times more likely to get demented…the bigger the belly the bigger the risk of dementia…triple the risk compared to slim people. There have been 31 trials comparing low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets that reached statistical significant results. Every single one of them showed better weight loss with a low carb diet.

Certain cells of the brain can take up sugar without any help but other cells which are spread throughout the brain but interestingly are concentrated in the hippocampus. This is a major memory area. These cells need insulin in order to get the sugar in the brain and if you have insulin resistance you’re not getting adequate sugar to these cells. These cells can however use ketones without any difficulty whatsoever.

People talk about amyloid plaques in the brain being associated with dementia. Actually the amyloid monomer is very protective of the brain; it’s when they are clumped together that it becomes pathologic but the amyloid itself is normally produced by the brain and has protective effects. Studies have shown that HDL, that’s right the components of the lipid panel that your doctor has ordered for you many times, actually has protective effect on the brain trying to clear it of these amyloid products. That gets back to the Apoe4 allele…these genetic variants affect the HDL. Damaged HDL can’t clear plaque as well hence their increased risk of dementia. And oxidation (damage from seed or plant oils) and glycation (damage from higher fructose and high fructose corn syrup/diabetes etc. ) are what affects the HDL particles. One study showed that HDL levels over 55 offers a 50% protection of Alzheimer’s. It’s possible that the higher your HDL, the less likely you are to have Alzheimer’s.

Looking at this from the angle of reducing dementia risk we have to mention sleep as well. Sleep deprivation increases beta-amyloid deposition so deprivation equals dementia. And this has been shown to happen after only one night of poor sleep based on the Dr. Mason data. Sleep deprivation worsens insulin resistance and that’s a consistent if not unifying theme. Check your continuous glucose monitor, your normal morning insulin spike will be higher in the mornings after poor sleep.

Interestingly the dietary supplement carnosine has been shown to both lower insulin resistance and to prevent glycosylation. Carnosine comes only from flesh that is meat, it’s not found in plants and Dr. Paul Mason points out that this lack of carnosine might increase the risk of dementia in vegetarians. I am not suggesting you start popping carnosine…do your own research. I haven’t taken it…yet….but it’s intriguing.

Bottom line is an ancestral diet of unprocessed food is your best bet to optimum health. Check out the Weston Price Foundation.


Of course the most comprehensive approach to dementia I think is the Dr. Dale Breseden approach which you can look up as well, and a local resource for real evaluation and treatment is right here in town at Clarity Clinical Research. I have not become an official Dale Breseden, but I am looking into it because I don’t see other people locally doing it.

Dr. Barry