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Nutrition & Alzheimers Disease

New Thinking in Older Age

Having recently been fortunate enough to develop my learning over in California at the Anti-Ageing Institute, this article is to share with you some amazing groundbreaking research into Alzheimer's Disease and cognitive decline being done by the teams there. Professor Bredesen heads up the team and has been working in this field of research for over 35 years and he has been taking a novel approach to tackling this disease which affects not only the individual but has profound effects on their loved ones too.

The Bredesen Protocol is an approach to tackling Alzheimer's Disease like no other. It has a huge emphasis on Nutrition in combination with lifestyle adjustments to optimise the health and wellness of the individual. His initial study, 'Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program' was published in 2014, in which results from a small scale study of 10 people, showed significant reversal in 9 of the 10 cases.

On initially reading the study, I had personally been so encouraged by the fact that this multi-factorial approach had been published. So much so that I often quoted the work of Professor Bredesen in talks I was giving at the time as an example of a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare, combining synergistic approaches to achieve optimal wellness. It was so groundbreaking for this type of approach to be recognised and even more inspiring was his team based approach of Neurologists, GPs, Nutritional Therapists and Herbalists all working together for the benefit of the individual.

On writing this article, more than 110 people have now gone through the program with a staggering 90% success rate. With 4 years of data so far since the initial cases, those that stick to the nutrition and lifestyle program have seen no further cognitive decline. However, time will tell whether this reversal can continue indefinitely.

The Bredesen Protocol is complex to follow and requires commitment from the individual and their support network, which is why there is such a team involved to help assess, create and implement the protocol and provide ongoing motivation and support to maintain the program. This personalized approach begins by extensive functional testing to check nutrient levels, initial disease markers, scans, hormone levels and genetic drivers. Unique protocols are then put together combining advanced dietary plans together with lifestyle recommendations with an emphasis on the following areas:

It was an absolute joy to be surrounded and educated by the top scientists in the field of Anti-Ageing, in a light and open feat of architecture surrounded by miles of nature. The surprises didn't stop there as Professor Bredesen's research team is headed up by Rammohan Rao, specialist in ayurvedic medicine and yoga, no less. An inspiring meeting of scientific minds encompassing health professionals from all different fields, respecting each others knowledge and collaborating for the greater good. As well as the focus on correcting nutrient deficiencies, I was also so pleased to see the use of medicinal mushrooms used in the protocol with a focus on Lion's Mane. You can read more about this incredible mushroom on our ingredients pages.

Professor Bredesen describes his approach to reversing Alzheimer's Disease as looking at a roof with 36 holes… you can’t stop the leak by plugging just one of the holes, you have to take a much broader approach for the fix to be effective. What's more, the holes have to stay fixed or the leak will come back. What a beautiful analogy!

And so back to the UK, reminiscing of the scenary including the wonderful California Poppies growing wild at the edge of the approach to the institute (not to mention California dreamin' of making them into a tincture to help me get over the jet lag).

About the Author

Jackie Coldwell is co-Director of Therapy Organics, and leads the Nutrtional Therapy Team.

See more Articles by Jackie

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