Alzheimer -

By Éric Simard, doctor in biology and researcher

Article taken from the Vitoli blog:

Many scientists and doctors talk about reversing cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease. The best known of these being Dr. Dale Bredesen who created the “Bredesen” protocol also called RECODE which aims at reversing the disease or PRECODE which aims at prevention. Dr. Bredesen is an American neurologist who spent 30 years researching nerve degeneration. He has just released a French version of his book which contains updates on his reversal protocol (The end of Alzheimer – The program. 2021. Edition Thierry Souccar, 411 pages)

It is called reversal because symptoms in the early stages can be reversed. Dr. Bredesen is not the only one to say this. Another author, physician and researcher, Dr. Michael Nehls, comes to the same conclusion with pretty much the same recommendations. He is the author of two books on the subject including: Curing Alzheimer's: Understanding and Acting in Time (2017, Éditions Actes Sud, 301 pages).

He even states that: “These spectacular results provide proof that certain combined non-drug prescriptions (lifestyle, diet, detox, sleep, sport, etc.), not only prevent the progression of the disease, but eliminate the symptoms that have already appeared . One day, more and more patients will be able to say: I had Alzheimer's . » (And they will remember it.)

Prevention is better than cure

Many people think that the disease is genetic and that nothing can be done about it. Be aware that there are several genetic factors that can increase risks, but their expression and impacts depend on overall lifestyle habits. It is possible to group the risks into three main groups: genetics (more strongly involved in around 30% of cases), lifestyle habits (particularly those which influence blood pressure and insulin resistance) and use. certain medications (which would explain up to 10% of cases; sleeping pills and severe anticholinergics). These risks are of course linked to the functioning of the brain.

The brain consumes 20 to 25% of calories. Energy production also increases the production of oxidizing molecules and the need for antioxidants. It is therefore highly vascularized. What happens if these blood vessels are damaged?

Brain cells are particularly sensitive to lack of oxygen and die quickly. So, after 5 minutes the cells are already lacking oxygen and after about 10 minutes there is already irreparable damage. So, if these blood vessels break or become blocked, the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's increases. For this reason, it is strongly recommended to reduce or eliminate the following bad habits:

  • The tobacco ;
  • Physical inactivity ;
  • Oxidized bad cholesterol (atherosclerosis);
  • Obesity (linked to cardiovascular health and insulin resistance);
  • High pressure

This also applies to shocks caused to the brain such as concussions. These impacts damage or break certain blood vessels, which increases the risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer's disease in the medium or long term.

Repair damaged cells

Lifestyle habits that promote the preservation of cognitive abilities act both on reducing the risks mentioned above and on the brain's ability to produce new nerve connections and repair damaged sectors. It has long been thought that during adulthood, nerve cells stop developing. This is not the case, or at least they retain the capacity to do so if they have access to the necessary resources, their environment is conducive and the need arises. This is called neurogenesis; it is possible to stimulate it through diet, lifestyle habits and taking supplements.


The MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) would help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's by 54%. This diet prioritizes foods of high nutritional quality such as leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, berries, legumes, fish and poultry. Still according to this diet, it is recommended to consume as little red meat, butter, margarine, cheese, desserts or any other processed foods as possible.

Since brain cells have a high need for energy, they are particularly susceptible to insulin resistance. Thus, approaches such as intermittent fasting or the ketogenic diet make it possible to improve their functioning either by reducing insulin resistance, if this is the case, but also by providing access to another source of energy: ketogenic bodies. This is a very important aspect of symptom reversal protocols. Metabolic flexibility would be a very important aspect for both prevention and treatment.

A food not to be neglected; eggs. Indeed, these would have a positive impact on reducing the risk of dementia through their composition of Vitamin B12, lutein and choline.

Physical exercise

You just need to stay active every day and encourage demanding activities that will work your brain by activating several systems at once: coordination of movements, balance, speech, feeling, etc. Here are some examples: playing tennis (eye-movement), dancing (rhythm-movement) and having a quality social life. To have a healthy brain, you must use it to its full capacity.

By having an active lifestyle on a daily basis, blood circulation improves, which contributes to the health of mitochondria (small energy factories) and increases the volume of the hippocampus (seat of memory). That's not all! The same day, the benefits generated by physical activity have an impact on memory. Physical activity alone could reduce the risk of dementia by 50%.

Sleep and stress

It is not surprising that poor quality sleep promotes the development of dementia and Alzheimer's. One study showed an increased risk in people who sleep less than 5 hours per night. Be careful, the use of chemical sleeping pills could increase the risks. Natural supplements to help sleep are of course to be favored, if necessary. Likewise, there is no doubt that reducing stress would be an effective approach to reducing the risk of illness. Sleep quality and stress management are of course linked.

Quality social life

A study from Harvard University concluded, after observing 10,228 people over a period of 28 years, that people aged 60 who socialize with friends every day reduce their risk of dementia by 12%. Everything suggests that this percentage tends to increase if the quality of social life increases. The quality of social life depends on personality.

In a previous blog ( Personality for Living to 100 Years ), it was mentioned that centenarians in Japan, Sweden, the United States and Europe share common personality traits. These same personality traits, linked to shorter or higher longevity, are also linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease.


The components that can be improved by supplements, in relation to the risks and prevention of Alzheimer's, are mainly:

  • Insulin resistance;

  • Antioxidant intake;

  • Health of blood vessels;

  • Deficiencies that can reduce neurogenesis capabilities;

  • Improved blood circulation;

  • Stimulation of autophagy ;

  • Reduction of brain inflammation;

  • Stress reduction and improved sleep

The brain being rather impervious to molecules in the bloodstream, not all supplements are known for these improvements which can be useful. A recent discovery has confirmed an important hypothesis that dates back several years: carriers of APO-E4, a genetic mutation which modifies the transport of blood lipids, would need to consume a much greater quantity of omega-3 to allow the brain to have enough. This is one of the mutations known to further increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's. Thus, taking a supplement or very high dietary consumption of omega-3 could help reduce the risks associated with this mutation.

Among the vitamins, vitamin B12 and vitamin D3 are probably the most important. Selenium, zinc and lithium deficiencies could also be to blame (eating seafood and nuts is a very good habit). For plant extracts, ginkgo biloba surely has the most evidence linked to improving blood circulation (to be avoided when taking anticoagulants).

Among the most interesting natural molecules for the brain, Petrella and colleagues (2021) present two of the most important polyphenols in the Mediterranean diet: olive polyphenols and resveratrol . They help reduce inflammation, reduce insulin resistance, stimulate autophagy, reduce oxidation and stimulate several repair mechanisms. These researchers propose their use for both nervous degeneration and neuromuscular degeneration.

Originally published in Vitalité QC magazine :


It is clear that lifestyle habits have a great impact on preventing cognitive decline. Maintaining physical fitness provides good support for overall health, and there are also other concrete ways to intervene in the process of cognitive decline.

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