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However, while many individuals continue to look at the benefits of exosome treatments – which may be out of reach for many people – they often fail to consider some of the approaches you may already be following that can help rejuvenate your existing pools of stem cells. Increasing levels of sirtuins, activating AMPK, and restoring your levels of NAD+ all offer some excellent ways to self-renew the stem cells you already have to help prevent disease and extend lifespan.
Studies uncover the key to boosting your cellular energy
First of all, what is NAD+? It’s a compound that’s in every cell and it’s essential for the production of cell energy. But recent research shows it does far more.
Many different proteins in your cells require this natural compound to work properly, including sirtuins – cellular guardians that work to protect cells from DNA damage that can result in age-related health issues. Evidence also shows that sirtuins help replace damaged and old mitochondria with new, healthy mitochondria – the powerhouse of each cell – resulting in enhanced mitochondrial function.
By increasing NAD+ levels, it’s possible to promote AMPK activity, an enzyme that helps boost metabolism and protect against diabetes and obesity. It also modulates p53, which is a tumor suppressor gene that helps protect against cancer by repairing damaged DNA, and inhibits NF-kB, a type of protein tied to chronic inflammation.
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How do you boost those levels of NAD+? Studies show that taking a nicotinamide riboside supplement is an easy way to increase levels of this natural compound, since it’s converted to NAD+ within the body. Studies show that taking 300 mg of nicotinamide riboside daily is associated with a 51% increase in NAD+ cellular levels.
Boosting NAD+ levels offer multiple significant health benefits
Increase your NAD+ levels by taking nicotinamide riboside offers a number of significant and well-documented health benefits, including:
- Increased longevity: Multiple studies show that boosting NAD+ levels helps prolong life
- Improved brain health: Researchers have found that nicotinamide riboside supplementation helps reverse cognitive deficits and improves memory and may be useful for treating Alzheimer’s disease.
- Boost in physical performance: In studies done on older man, in just two hours after taking nicotinamide riboside, NAD+ levels increased and they enjoyed improve physical performance and reduced problems with fatigue.
- Improved cardiovascular health: Research supports the ability of nicotinamide riboside to help protect organs within the cardiovascular system and reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Lower risk of metabolic disorders and obesity: Increasing NAD+ helps boost the production of sirtuins – which improves metabolism and can help guard against metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and weight gain.
- Improved sleep: NAD+ has the potential to rebalance circadian rhythms, helping to improve sleep.
Nicotinamide riboside can be taken orally and is highly bioavailable in this form. Regular supplementation with this supplement can boost your NAD+ levels, reducing your risk of age-related health problems and offering many health benefits.
Of course, as we always suggest – especially if you’re feeling very low in energy, talk to your integrative healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your lifestyle. It’s always good to have help when working on improving your health.
Sources for this article include:
Reproduced from original article:
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola
January 19, 2020
Video not available on this site. To view, go to original article above.
- Fitness parameters that need to be addressed in a targeted manner to achieve optimal health and longevity include mitochondrial capacity, lactic acid tolerance (muscle endurance), maximal oxygen uptake, power, strength and stamina
- Mitochondrial density and biogenesis is best achieved through very brief spurts of exercise followed by long rest periods (a 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 rest-to-work ratio), once a week
- To improve your lactic acid tolerance (your ability to buffer lactic acid), use exercise routines with a 2-to-1 work-to-rest ratio, such as the classic Tabata set, two to three times a week
- To target and improve your VO2 max, you’ll want your training sessions to be longer, about four to six minutes in duration with four to six minutes of recovery in between (a 1-to-1 work-to-rest ratio)
- For stamina, include a 1.5 to three hour-long walk, bike ride or paddle session — anything where your body is engaged in chronic repetitive motion for a long period of time — preferably in a fasted state, once a week
In his new book, “Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defying Aging,” Ben Greenfield details his best longevity hacks. “Boundless” is a great title, as the object of longevity isn’t just about tacking on years of life, but finding ways to remain healthy and vibrant for as long as possible. In other words, it’s about quality and not just quantity of life.
Greenfield’s goal with this book was to share his best tips for how to improve your energy in every sense of the word. At 640 pages, it’s a hefty book with a higher price to match. For those looking for true and tested advice, though, it’s a treasure trove well worth the price tag.
As Greenfield notes on his website,1 it’s “a complete guide to optimizing the human body, mind and spirit — written with no stone unturned, no fluff, no ‘watered down’ drivel — just pure, hardcore, practical, from-the-trenches content.”
The original manuscript was 1,200 pages, and deleted sections can be accessed on Greenfield’s website (access details for each chapter are included in the book), where you’ll also find all of the references (about 3,000 of them), which also didn’t make it into the printed book due to the sheer volume of information included.
“I wanted to write the kind of book that I like to read, a big, meaty book that you don’t just read and toss aside, but that you use as a reference for a long time, maybe keep on your coffee table,” Greenfield says.
“I wanted it to be pretty, have good illustrations, be fun to thumb through. And also, unlike previous books I’ve written, not just focus on things like athletic performance or six-pack abs, muscle or fats, but a lot of the stuff that I think is more important: your relationships, anti-aging and longevity tactics, spirituality and purpose in life.
I kind of snuck in and tried to dump some of the woo-woo stuff onto the whole fitness, wellness crowd as well, because sometimes I think we’re striving to feel good and to look good, we think that that’s what’s going to bring us happiness, when in fact … it’s relationships and big family dinners and optimizing your purpose in life — things that, I think, sometimes get neglected in this whole chatter about wellness.”
Mitochondrial Capacity and Lactic Acid Tolerance
One of the best features Greenfield brings to the table is his commitment to staying fit and the strategies to achieve that. Having reserve muscle mass is a widely-underappreciated benefit in case you get sick or hospitalized, and the risk of that certainly increases with age. Greater muscle mass actually improves your chances of survival. Greenfield notes:
“Yes, muscle is important … We know that, for example, grip strength is associated with longevity and other elements of fitness, such as walking speed or maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) … Staving off sarcopenia and staving off the osteopenia or osteoporosis that might come with sarcopenia is absolutely important as well.
It is something that is much easier to accomplish before you begin to get into your senior years, although research has since kind of dispelled the notion that you can’t build muscle as you age. You can maintain muscle as you age and can actually increase muscle …
The main elements you want to focus on that I explore in more detail in the book, are mitochondrial density and biogenesis, which we know are best achieved through very brief spurts of exercise … followed by long rest periods, or like a 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 rest-to-work ratio.
We’re talking about one single session a week where you might do 30 seconds all out, followed by four minutes of recovery. You could do that for several rounds. Another [target], in addition to the mitochondria, would be [lactic acid] tolerance, which is often in physiology called muscle endurance.
This would be your ability to buffer lactic acid … Probably one of the better examples of [exercises that improve your endurance] would be the classic Tabata set, a 2-to-1 work-to-rest ratio. This is something that, unlike mitochondrial workout, would be something you would need to do about two to three times a week.
You could use it as an introduction or as a finisher to a strength training workout, for example, if you want to really prioritize your time. But a Tabata set is just about four minutes in length. It is eight rounds of 20 seconds as hard as you can go with 10 seconds of recovery, preferably using a full-body modality, like an Airdyne bicycle, burpees or one of the elliptical trainers, where you’re using both your arms and legs …”
Maximal Oxygen Uptake and Power
A third parameter, in addition to mitochondrial capacity and lactate tolerance is your VO2 max. To target and improve your VO2 max, you’ll want your training sessions to be longer, about four to six minutes in duration with four to six minutes of recovery in between, for a 1-to-1 work-to-rest ratio.
“In my opinion, this is the hardest of them all,” Greenfield says. “Going hard for four to six minutes then recovering for four to six minutes, then going hard for four to six minutes. You do that about four to six times.
You’re talking about exercising for at least 30 minutes and sometimes for 45 to 50 minutes for your VO2 max session. But if you really want to improve it, that’s the way that you get your maximum oxygen utilization up.
We’ve got those three parameters of your physiological fitness. And then you also have a few others. One would be your power. The power is going to be different than the muscle mass because if you’re looking at your fast twitch muscle fibers, mass is not necessarily synonymous with power.
Mass is good for bone density. It’s good for strength. It’s good for being a glycogen container. But you also want functional power.
The best way to do that in my opinion, if you want to stay injury-free for life, is … bodyweight training done in a very fast explosive manner or with a very light medicine ball [or] sandbag a couple of times a week. Kettle bells are wonderful for this as well. A perfect example would be The New York Times seven-minute workout.2“
Strength and Stamina
Two additional fitness parameters that need to be addressed in a targeted manner are strength and stamina. Stamina basically refers to your fat-burning efficiency: your ability to exert yourself for long periods of time.
For stamina, Greenfield recommends taking a 1.5- to three hour-long walk, bike ride or paddle session — anything where your body is engaged in chronic repetitive motion for a long period of time — preferably in a fasted state, once a week. Alternatively, do 20 to 30 minutes of fasted cardio followed by a cold shower.
To improve muscle strength, Greenfield favors super-slow weight training, advocated by Dr. Doug McGuff. Alternatives include elastic band training systems and blood flow restriction (BFR) training, which is my personal favorite. Greenfield likes to combine BFR with super-slow training once or twice a week. More recently, McGuff has also embraced BFR in combination with super-slow training.
“When you add all that stuff up — [the exercises for] mitochondrial density, lactic tolerance, the VO2 max, the stamina, the power and the muscle building, it sounds like a lot. But really, you can do all that with the time commitment of about 45 to 50 minutes a day, plus that one longer session on the weekend.
It’s a sustainable scenario for life, for busy people, that hits all those different physiological parameters. You’re not leaving something off the table, whether it’s your VO2 max or mitochondrial density or what have you. And then … if you really want to put on muscle, I found … a lot of nutrients that I think help quite a bit.
In the evenings, I always do a 12- to 16-hour fast so I get the autophagy. And then I do other things for [to trigger] hormesis or autophagy, like a lot of sauna, a lot of cold [exposure], those long-fasted walks in the morning.”
As for nutrients, three supplements Greenfield recommends for optimizing muscle growth are:
•Colostrum — Colostrum is found in the initial discharge of the mother’s milk in all mammals. It’s chockful of growth factors and peptides that encourage the baby’s growth. It’s also very healing for your gut.
If using capsules, Greenfield recommends breaking the capsules open. You want to roll it around in your mouth before swallowing, as the amylase in your saliva is what activates the growth factors in the colostrum.
It is important to understand though that colostrum is highly anabolic and will shut off autophagy. So, if you are fasting, it is not good to take. Ideally it is best taken just after a time-restricted eating fast and workout, at your first meal, to get an mTOR boost.
•Grass fed organ meats or organ meat capsules.
•Injectable tesamorelin peptide.
While these may sound like supplements a pro athlete might use, aging individuals who want to put on muscle can reap equal benefits. The same goes for the exercise routines described above. Greenfield notes:
“That entire workout routine that I just described is in no way something I’ll give to a professional athlete. I’ve trained marathoners and triathletes and they’re out on two-hour hardcore bike rides and crushing track repeat workouts that last an hour or so. What I just described is actually very close to what you would want as a stay-fit-for-life-type of routine.”
Breath Work for Health
In the interview, Greenfield also expounds on the benefits of breath work and breath holding. For all the details, please listen to the interview in its entirety. Why would you want to practice holding your breath? Greenfield explains:
“I do holotropic breath work, similar to what Stanislav Grof developed as an alternative to LSD for merging left and right hemispheres of the brain and taking you to a very cool place, the highest you can get without psychedelics really … I can hold my breath forever. It used to be about three to three and a half minutes on the exhale during holotropic breath work.
I’m up around six minutes now. Same thing when I do my breath hold walks. I’m walking and every time I pass a telephone pole, I see how long I can hold my breath.
I play with all these different breath devices when I’m walking. I have one called the Relaxator, which is based on Patrick McKeown’s work in ‘The Oxygen Advantage.’ It trains you to retain simultaneously elevated levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Based on the Bohr effect, you get more oxygen delivered in the tissue when you do that. Essentially, all it means is that you exhale for a far longer period of time than you inhale.
The Relaxator [device] that you put in your mouth is basically like a resistance device where you breathe in through your nose, and then as you breathe out through your mouth, it’s almost like you’re breathing out through a straw or through very pursed lips.
You can go for a whole walk where you have this thing in your mouth … Your breathing just feels clear, crisp, clean and full when you’re using that thing on a regular basis. I certainly noticed a dramatic effect from that.”
The Oura Ring and Other Fitness Devices
Certain technologies and wearable devices can be quite helpful and motivating when you’re changing or trying to improve your lifestyle and health. Greenfield was one of the first to adopt the Oura ring, which he purchased at a biohacking conference in Finland.
“I was looking for something that would track my sleep cycles and also be able to be put in airplane mode,” he says. “I wound up buying one there at the conference and travelling with it back to the States. It was shortly after that that I wore it to some conference … where a lot of people asked me about it …
I like it. It gives me good data. What I use the most is the sleep data, and I find the step count data to be very motivating … I take at least 15,000 steps a day, because that’s my marker for myself and it’s very easy for me now to check at the end of the day.
If I’m at dinner and I look at my ring, which I do, and I haven’t had my 15,000 steps, I go for a walk after dinner. I find it highly motivating. It sounds silly, but for step counts and for sleep tracking, I find it to be very useful.
For heart rate variability (HRV), it gives you decent data, although I still like to get my HRV measurement in the morning using the gold standard Bluetooth-enabled chest strap, lying in my back. I use an app called NatureBeat. It sends both my low-frequency and high-frequency, my sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system scores to the app.
It allows me to track [my HRV) in real time for about five minutes as I breathe. Since I wake up in the morning and lay there and do a little bit of journaling and breathing anyways, it’s a much more accurate way for me to check my HRV.
But the Oura ring does take a multitude of five-minute readings, when you’re prone in bed overnight. It’s not electrical, so the accuracy is somewhat questionable, but it will give you a ballpark.”
Boosting Mitochondrial Biogenesis With Cold Therapy
Another strategy Greenfield advocates is cold therapy, which stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis.
“I’m a big fan of cold thermogenesis, especially in a fasted state so that you’re able to maximize the conversion of white adipose tissue to brown fat,” Greenfield says. “A little bit of caffeine, capsaicin or green tea in the system beforehand can upregulate that process even more. I’m using cold for two to five minutes almost every day …
I always jump in [cold water] after a workout. Everybody says, ‘You’re going to blunt the hormetic response to exercise.’ But research has shown you’ve got up to 10 plus minutes to do that in order to decrease muscle temperature to the extent where you actually blunt that hormetic effect.
Most of my workouts, because I do a cyclic carbohydrate diet, where I save all my carbohydrates for the evening and my workouts typically occur between about 4 and 7 p.m. … so I’m very insulin-sensitive going into that evening carbohydrate feed where I’ll have my pumpkin, sweet potato, yam, dark chocolate, red wine or what have you.
But when I finish that workout, of course I am aware that working out close to bedtime, the increased core temperature decreases deep sleep cycles, so I always go jump in that cold pool when I finish the evening workout.”
Greenfield details hundreds of biohacks in “Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defying Aging,” so there’s no shortage of alternatives to pick and choose from. It’s bound to become a staple reference you can go back to again and again in years to come.
We also cover far more ground in the interview than I’ve summarized here, such as his views on stem cell therapy and how he uses hyperbaric oxygen treatment, so to hear more about Greenfield’s personal longevity routine, be sure to listen to it in its entirety.
Greenfield’s website, BenGreenfieldFitness.com, is also an excellent resource for all things health-related, as is his cutting edge podcast, where he interviews a wide variety of leaders in the health and fitness fields.
Reproduced from original article:
January 18, 2020
- Sauna bathing can be used as an exercise mimetic (i.e., an exercise-mimicking tool) to increase your longevity and health span. Men using Finnish-style, dry heat sauna seven times per week cut their risk of death from fatal heart problems in half, compared to those who used it only once a week
- Compared to once-a-week sauna use, those who have four to seven sessions per week have a 61% lower risk for stroke. Heat stress from sauna bathing has also been shown to lower your risk of high blood pressure
- Heat stresses your heart and body similar to that of exercise, and produces many of the same results. As your body is subjected to heat stress, it gradually becomes acclimated to the heat, prompting a number of beneficial changes and adaptations
- Recent research has demonstrated that sauna bathing also helps modulate your autonomic nervous system, which governs your stress responses
- Many of the life extending benefits of sauna bathing are related to the workings of heat shock proteins, which protect protein structures and prevent protein aggregation
When it comes to improving your health, some of the simplest strategies can have a tremendous impact. Sweating in a sauna, for example, has many great health benefits, including expelling of toxins, improving blood circulation, killing disease-causing microbes and improving mitochondrial function.
The key word here is sweating. Just because you are in the sauna doesn’t mean you get the benefits. The sauna has to heat your core temperature up a few degrees, your heart rate needs to increase and you need to have a river of sweat, otherwise you simply will not get these benefits. This is important as many infrared saunas fail to heat you sufficiently to achieve these benefits.
Research has even shown that regular sauna use correlates with a reduced risk of death from any cause, including lethal cardiovascular events, and may help stave off Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
For example, researchers in Finland — a country where most homes come equipped with a sauna — found that men who used a sauna four to seven times a week for an average of 15 minutes had a 66% lower risk of developing dementia, and 65% lower risk of Alzheimer’s, compared to men who used the sauna just once a week.1,2
How Sauna Bathing Promotes Good Heart Health
Another long-term study3,4 by the same Finnish research team, published in JAMA Internal Medicine in 2015, revealed that men who used the Finnish-style, dry heat sauna seven times per week also cut their risk of death from fatal heart problems in half, compared to those who used it only once a week.
This held true even after confounding factors such as smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels were factored in. In regard to time, the greatest benefits were found among those who sweated it out for 19 minutes or more each session.
Both the duration and the frequency had dose dependent effects, so the longer the exposure time of each session and the more frequent the sessions, the better the outcome.
One mechanism for this effect is thought to be related to the fact that heat stresses your heart and body similar to that of exercise, thus prompting similar effects. This includes increased blood flow to your heart and muscles (which increases athletic endurance) and increased muscle mass due to greater levels of heat-shock proteins and human growth hormone (HGH).
In the video lecture5,6 above, Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., reviews how sauna bathing can be used as an exercise mimetic (i.e., an exercise-mimicking tool) to increase your longevity and health span. As noted by Patrick:7
“Several studies have shown that frequent sauna bathing (4-7 times per week, 174°F for 20 min.) is associated with a 50% lower risk for fatal heart disease, 60% lower risk for sudden cardiac death, 51% lower risk for stroke, and 46% lower risk for hypertension.
Just a single sauna session has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve heart rate variability, and improve arterial compliance. Some of the positive benefits of the sauna on heart health may have to do with similar physiological changes that also occur during physical exercise.
For example, there is a 50-70% redistribution of blood flow away from the core to the skin to facilitate sweating. You start to sweat. Heart rate increases up to 150 beats per minute which correspond to moderate-intensity physical exercise.
Cardiac output (which is a measure of the amount of work the heart performs in response to the body’s need for oxygen) increases by 60-70%. Immediately after sauna use, blood pressure and resting heart rate are lower than baseline similar to physical activity.”
What Studies Show
Patrick reviews several studies in her lecture. In addition to those already mentioned, a study8 published in 2018, using the same Finnish cohort, looked specifically at stroke risk over a follow-up period of 14.9 years. As in previous studies, benefits were dose dependent.
Compared to once-a-week sauna use, those who had four to seven sessions per week had a 61% lower risk for stroke. A similar association was found for ischemic stroke but not for hemorrhagic stroke. As noted by the authors:
“This long-term follow-up study shows that middle-aged to elderly men and women who take frequent sauna baths have a substantially reduced risk of new-onset stroke.”
Heat stress from sauna bathing has also been shown to lower your risk of high blood pressure. In one such study,9 which had a median follow-up of 24.7 years, the hazard ratio for high blood pressure in those using the sauna two to three times a week was 0.76, compared to 0.54 for those using it four to seven times a week.
In other words, using it two to three times a week may lower your risk of high blood pressure by 24%, while using it four to seven times a week can push your risk down by 46%, and this is likely one of the mechanisms by which sauna bathing helps lower your cardiovascular mortality risk.
Even a single sauna session has been shown to reduce pulse wave velocity, blood pressure, mean arterial pressure and left ventricular ejection time.10 Here, systolic blood pressure decreased from an average of 137 mm Hg before sauna bathing to 130 mm Hg afterward. Diastolic blood pressure decreased from 82 to 75 mm Hg, mean arterial pressure from 99.4 to 93.6 mm Hg and left ventricular ejection time from 307 to 278 m/s.
Different Types of Saunas
Most studies on sauna use involve wet Finnish saunas. Traditionally, rocks are heated to a temperature of about 174 degrees Fahrenheit in a wood burning stove, and water is then poured on the rocks to create steam.
But there are several other types of saunas to choose from as well, including far-infrared saunas and near-infrared emitters and lamps.11 Most sauna makers would have you believe that the difference between an infrared sauna and the traditional Finnish-style saunas (whether wet or dry) is that the Finnish-style sauna heats you up from the outside in, like an oven.
But this is simply untrue. The wavelengths of a far-infrared sauna only penetrate a few millimeters, so if you have a far-infrared sauna, unless the temperature in the sauna is around 170 degrees F, it is unlikely you will be getting many benefits.
That said, near-infrared saunas have several additional benefits over other types of saunas, including far-infrared saunas. For starters, it penetrates your tissue more effectively than far-infrared because wavelengths under 900 nanometers (nm) in the near-infrared are not absorbed by water like the higher wavelengths in mid- and far-infrared, and thus can penetrate tissues more deeply.
When you look at the rainbow spectrum, the visible part of light ends in red. Infrared-A (near-infrared) is the beginning of the invisible light spectrum following red. This in turn is followed by infrared-B (mid-infrared) and infrared-C (far-infrared).
While they cannot be seen, the mid- and far-infrared range can be felt as heat. This does not apply to near-infrared, however, which has a wavelength between 700 and 1,400 nm. To learn more about this, see my interview with Dr. Alexander Wunsch, a world class expert on photobiology.
Near-Infrared Radiation Is Important for Optimal Health
My personal sauna preference is the near-infrared, as this range affects your health in a number of important ways,12 primarily through its interaction with chromophores in your body.
Chromophores are molecules that absorb light, found in your mitochondria and in water molecules. (To make sure the near-infrared rays can penetrate your skin, avoid wearing clothing when using a near-infrared sauna.)
In your mitochondria, there’s a specific light-absorbing molecule called cytochrome c oxidase (CCO), which is part of the mitochondrial electron transport chain and absorbs near-infrared light around 830 nm.
CCO is involved in the energy production within the mitochondria. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) — cellular energy — is the end product. ATP is the fuel your cells need for all of their varied functions, including ion transport, synthesizing and metabolism.
Most people don’t realize that light is an important and necessary fuel just like food. When your bare skin is exposed to near-infrared light, CCO will increase ATP production.
Near-infrared light is also healing and repairing, and helps optimize many other biological functions. (Its absence in artificial light sources like LEDs and fluorescents is what makes these light sources do dangerous to your health.)
We now know that mitochondrial dysfunction is at the heart of most health problems and chronic diseases, including many signs of aging. For these reasons, I strongly recommend using a sauna that offers a full spectrum of infrared radiation, not just far-infrared.
Just keep in mind that most infrared saunas emit dangerous electromagnetic fields (EMFs), so look for one that emits low or no non-native EMFs. You need to look beyond their claim and measure them, as many state they have no EMF but have only addressed magnetic fields and still generate off the chart electric fields. Ultimately, you need to independently validate any claims, as some of the biggest names in the business are doing this.
Far-Infrared Sauna Benefits Chronic Heart Conditions
All of that said, in her lecture, Patrick discusses the benefits of Waon Therapy or far-infrared dry sauna, which has been used in some studies. Far-infrared saunas typically have a max temperature of about 140 degrees F (60 degrees Celsius). Because it’s not as hot, the recommended duration is typically around 45 minutes, and the frequency is daily. Two studies looking at Waon Therapy for heart health include:
•A 2016 study13 that found Waon therapy was helpful for the management of chronic heart failure, improving endurance, heart size and overall status in hospitalized patients with advanced heart failure.
Patients used the far-infrared dry sauna, set at 140 degrees F., for 15 minutes a day for 10 days. Each session was followed by bed rest for 30 minutes, covered with a blanket.
•An earlier study,14 published in 2013, found Waon therapy improved myocardial perfusion in patients with chronically occluded coronary artery-related ischemia. Patients used the far-infrared dry sauna, set at 140 degrees F., for 15 minutes a day for three weeks. Each session was followed by bed rest for 30 minutes, covered with a blanket.
The best results were seen in patients with the highest summed stress score and summed difference score at baseline. The improvements were attributed to improved vascular endothelial function, and according to the authors, Waon therapy “could be a complementary and alternative tool in patients with severe coronary lesions not suitable for coronary intervention.”
How Your Body Responds to Heat
As mentioned, one of the reasons sauna bathing improves health has to do with the fact that it mimics the stress your body undergoes during exercise. While “stress” is typically perceived as a bad thing, intermittent stressors such as exercise and temporary heat stress actually produces beneficial physiological changes.
As explained by Patrick, once your core temperature reaches 102.2 degrees F. (39 degrees C), blood is redistributed away from your core toward the surface of your skin to facilitate sweating. You can easily get an inexpensive ear thermometer to measure and confirm that your temperature is reaching this level.
Your heart rate increases from about 60 beats per minute to about 150, equivalent to moderate intensity exercise, and your cardiac output increases by 60% to 70%. This process is the same whether your core temperature is raised by exercise or sitting still in a sauna.
As demonstrated in a June 2019 study,15,16 spending 25 relaxing minutes in a sauna has the same physical effects as bicycling on a stationary bike with a load of 100 watts for 25 minutes. Heart rate and blood pressure were found to be identical for both activities, with blood pressure and heart rate increasing during the sessions, followed by a drop below baseline levels afterward.
This prompted the researchers to conclude that “The acute heat exposure in the sauna is a burden comparable to moderate physical exercise,” and that “The sustained decrease in blood pressure after heat exposure suggests that the sauna bath will have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system.”17
Sauna Bathing Improves Autonomic Nervous System Balance
Recent research18 has also demonstrated that sauna bathing helps modulate your autonomic nervous system, which governs your stress responses.19 To examine the acute effects of a sauna session, the researchers looked at the participants’ heart rate variability (HRV), which is an indicator of your body’s capacity to respond to stress.
Your autonomic nervous system has two branches: the parasympathetic branch (“rest and digest”) and the sympathetic branch (“fight or flight”). HRV is an indicator for how these two branches are functioning. Higher HRV means your body is better equipped to handle stress. As reported in the abstract:
“A total of 93 participants … with cardiovascular risk factors were exposed to a single sauna session (duration: 30 min; temperature: 73 °C; humidity: 10-20%) and data on HRV variables were collected before, during and after sauna.
Time and frequency-domain HRV variables were significantly modified by the single sauna session, with most of HRV variables tending to return near to baseline values after 30 min recovery. Resting HR [heart rate] was lower at the end of recovery (68/min) compared to pre-sauna (77/min).
A sauna session transiently diminished the vagal component, whereas the cooling down period after sauna decreased low frequency power and increased high frequency power in HRV, favorably modulating the autonomic nervous system balance.
This study demonstrates that a session of sauna bathing induces an increase in HR. During the cooling down period from sauna bathing, HRV increased which indicates the dominant role of parasympathetic activity and decreased sympathetic activity of cardiac autonomic nervous system.
Future randomized controlled studies are needed to show if HR and HRV changes underpins the long-term cardiovascular effects induced by regular sauna bathing.”
Sauna Bathing Improves Longevity
Seeing how sauna bathing protects and improves heart and vascular health and lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s, it’s no major surprise to find that it also increases longevity. In fact, it’s precisely what you’d expect.
The 2015 JAMA Internal Medicine study20 mentioned earlier in this article also looked at all-cause mortality, in addition to sudden cardiac death, fatal coronary heart disease and fatal CVD.
Sauna bathing four to seven times a week lowered all-cause mortality by 40% after taking into account confounding factors such as age, blood pressure, smoking and other variables, while two to three sessions per week lowered it by 24%.
How Sauna Bathing Increases Longevity
As explained by Patrick, the life extending benefits of sauna bathing are related to the workings of heat shock proteins, which respond to stress (be it heat stress, exercise or fasting) by:
- Protecting protein structures, i.e., maintaining their proper three-dimensional properties inside your cells, which is crucial for their proper function
- Preventing protein aggregation (which is a hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s)
- Slowing muscular atrophy
Heat shock proteins have also been shown to play an important role in human longevity. Patrick cites a 2010 study21 showing the heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) gene plays a functional role in human survival and life extension.
This makes sense considering Hsp70 is an anti-inflammatory protein involved in cellular maintenance and repair mechanisms. So, whether you have one copy, two copies or are a non-carrier can influence your longevity.
If you are not one of the lucky carriers of this allele, you can boost your survival range by taking regular saunas, as it increases your heat shock proteins regardless. According to Patrick, heat shock proteins stay elevated for up to 48 hours after you’ve finished your sauna.
Another way by which sauna bathing increases longevity (and health span) is by lowering systemic inflammation, which not only plays a significant role in the aging process but also underpins virtually all chronic diseases that ultimately take a toll on life span. Sauna use has also been shown to increase anti-inflammatory biomarkers, such as IL-10.22
In one 2018 study,23 people who reported more frequent sauna use had lower C-reactive protein levels, which is a blood marker for inflammation. Sauna frequency of use and mean C-reactive protein levels were as follows:
- Once a week: 2.41 mmol/L
- Two to three times a week: 2.00 mmol/L
- Four to seven times a week: 1.65 mmol/L
A Sauna Can Be a Great Health Investment
As you can see, sauna bathing can go a long way toward improving your health and increasing your life span. Here, I’ve focused primarily on heart and cardiovascular health, but there are many other health benefits as well, including improved mood, pain reduction, increased metabolism, detoxification, skin rejuvenation, stress reduction and immune support, just to name a few.
To learn more, listen to Patrick’s lecture. You can also find more information in my previous articles, “Sauna Therapy May Reduce Risk of Dementia and Boost Brain Health,” “How to Achieve Superior Detoxification with Near-Infrared Light,” and “Are Saunas the Next Big Performance-Enhancing Drug?”
- 1 Age and Ageing March 2017; 46(2): 245-249
- 2 Reuters January 19, 2017
- 3, 20 JAMA Internal Medicine 2015;175(4):542-548
- 4 Reuters February 23, 2015
- 5 Youtube, Sauna Use as an Exercise Mimetic for Heart and Healthspan
- 6, 7 Youtube, Sauna Use as an Exercise Mimetic for Heart and Healthspan show notes
- 8 Neurology May 29, 2018; 90(22)
- 9 American Journal of Hypertension 2017 Nov 1;30(11):1120-1125
- 10 Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2018 Jan;25(2):130-138
- 11 Dr. Lawrence Wilson, Sauna Therapy
- 12 Dr. Lawrence Wilson, Benefits of Near Infrared Energy
- 13 Circulation Journal 2016;80(4):827-34
- 14 International Journal of Cardiology 2013 Jul 15;167(1):237-43
- 15, 17 Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2019; 44: 218
- 16 Science Daily June 12, 2019
- 18 Complement Ther Med. 2019 Aug;45:190-197
- 19 Harvard Health Publishing March 2011, Updated May 1, 2018
- 21 Curr Pharm Des. 2010;16(7):796-801
- 22 Biomed Res Int. 2018 Feb 28;2018:1685368
- 23 European Journal of Epidemiology 2018 Mar;33(3):351-353
Written by Brenton Wight, researcher and LeanMachine
Copyright © Brenton Wight, LeanMachine
Doctors say there is no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, in spite of over 80 billion dollars in research over the last few decades.
This is partly true, as there is no drug, no “magic bullet” to slow or stop this dreadful condition.
Hundreds of studies with new drugs have shown most of the time that those on a placebo did BETTER than those on the drug!
In rare cases, those on the drug did very slightly better, but any improvement was not enough to justify bringing the drug to market.
However, we CAN identify risk factors, and we CAN in most cases prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s, and we CAN in most cases reverse the disease, or at least ease the symptoms to give the patient and the carers a better quality of life.
If the intervention is soon enough, it CAN be CURED in some, but not all cases.
There is no miracle one-shot treatment, but a combination of many factors.
The time to start treatment is not when we are 60 and forget where the keys are, but from birth!
The lifetime changes we need to prevent Alzheimer’s will also prevent heart disease, diabetes, cancer and many other diseases, and give our lives vitality.
How many people are at risk?
In the USA, over 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and around 14% of the population will eventually get Alzheimer’s, or around 45 million people.
Results in Australia are similar. Over 10% of the population over 65 have Alzheimer’s, and 30% of those over 85 have Alzheimer’s. In the decade from 2010 to 2020, deaths from Alzheimer’s has risen 20% and looks set to replace Cardiovascular disease as the Number 1 cause of death.
Many people now suffer from Early Onset Alzheimer’s, showing signs as young as 30 years of age.
In the USA, it is now the third leading cause of death, but these figures are understated. People do not actually die from Alzheimer’s – they die because the parts of the brain that control bodily functions shut down, so they die when their organs shut down.
The patient may die from pneumonia because the lungs now cannot function or some other organ fails to work and the Doctor or Coroner has to determine which organ failed.
This is a problem in every country, but some countries have very much reduced rates of Alzheimer’s, mainly due to better diets and reduced toxins.
Originally, there was no firm diagnosis without examining the brains of patients after death.
Researchers found that most patients had Amyloid Plaques in the brain, and also high levels of aluminium.
PET scans (Positron Emission Tomography) are used with a radioactive tracer (which binds to amyloid plaques) to determine the amount and location of amyloid plaques in the brain.
However, this diagnosis is still not conclusive, as many people have amyloid plaques, but no sign of any dementia even into old age, although these people have a higher risk. Often symptoms do not appear for decades after the start of amyloid plaque deposits. Other patients have no sign of Amyloid plaques but still have Alzheimer’s, so drugs developed to reduce Amyloid plaques have proven unsuccessful in prevention and treatment.
Standard blood tests for glucose level, triglycerides, kidney and liver function can help determine the risk. However, those with less than optimum blood results may die of Cardiovascular, Cancer or some other disease before Alzheimer’s sets in.
So the PET scan is used with other tests for cognitive performance to arrive at a diagnosis.
Who is at risk?
Genetics plays an important part, and so does diet, exercise, lifestyle and supplements.
Here are some risk factors, in no particular order:
- Age is the greatest risk factor. Dementia can affect about 10% of those over the age of 65, but 33% of those over 80
- Gender – Women represent over 60% of Alzheimer’s patients, but part of this may be due to their longer lifespans
- Gluten – Celiacs often have “Wheat Brain” causing disturbances, anxiety, depression and Alzheimer’s. Many dementia patients recover fully on a gluten free diet
- Prescription medications such as many sedatives, hypnotics, blood pressure, hay fever, insomnia, depression and arthritis medications are linked to higher risk of Alzheimer’s
- Anaesthetics are linked to Alzheimer’s. The more operations people have, the higher the risk
- High Blood Pressure (systolic over 140 in mid-life) doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s and increases vascular dementia by 600%, but blood pressure medications can be just as bad, so reduce it naturally without medication
- Sleep Apnea starves the brain of vital oxygen and increases risk of Alzheimer’s
- B-12 deficiency increases Alzheimer’s risk. Gastric Bypass Surgery, Celiac disease, vegan/vegetarian diets, antacids (like Nexium) and many medications all reduce availability and/or absorption of B-12
- Diabetes doubles the risk of Alzheimer’s (often called “Diabetes of the Brain” or “Type 3 Diabetes”)
- Vision problems increase Alzheimer’s risk. Opthalmologists can detect abnormal widths of blood vessels in the retina which can indicate early Alzheimer’s
- Tobacco – Smokers have double the risk for Alzheimer’s. Family and others breathing second-hand smoke also have higher risk
- Living alone after a partner’s death means we have six times the risk of Alzheimer’s, and those who divorce and live alone have three times the risk.
- Isolation is a significant risk factor for depression and dementia. Find a friend!
- Obesity is a risk. The lower the BMI (Body Mass Index) the lower the risk. Obesity raises risk by around 75%
- Family history increases the risk. See the Genetics section below, but environmental factors, diet and lifestyle choices can be passed on to children
- Education improves outcome, and lack of education increases Alzheimer’s risk. Studies suggest higher education increases “cognitive reserve” which may offset dementia symptoms
- Concussion or head trauma increases Alzheimer’s risk exponentially with the number and severity of head injuries
- Quality sleep is essential for the ability of the body to repair itself by flushing toxins from the brain
- Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to alcoholic dementia and higher risk of Alzheimer’s as well as many other health risks
- Mental activities improves the brain, physically and psychologically. Learn new things strengthens and develops new nerve cells
- Sedentary lifestyles are a large risk for the brain as well as the body. Exercise is a must for the brain and the body
- Chronic bladder disease increases risk
- Chronic Candida infections increase risk
Overcoming risk factors:
- Change the diet – see below
- Get regular, uninterrupted sleep
- Socialising, visiting friends, joining a group
- Crosswords, puzzles, new experiences, learning a musical instrument or another language
- Exercise helps control blood glucose levels, keeps excess weight down, increases oxygen and circulation, and joining a gym can also help with socialisation
- Use the many supplements available
There is a strong genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s, but also there is a strong contribution of environment, diet and lifestyle.
Rates of Alzheimer’s disease have increased much faster than any genetic changes could have occurred.
This means that much is under our control, because even with a genetic predisposition, we can reduce risk with epigenetic (non-genetic influences on gene expression) changes.
Example: The most important genetic risk factor is the ApoE epsilon 4 allele (ApoE4), and 14% to 18% of the population has this gene.
Everyone carries two copies of the APOE gene, which makes the protein ApoE (apolipoprotein E).
There are three different types (alleles) of the APOE gene: E2, E3 and E4, and because we all have two copies of the gene, the combination determines our APOE “genotype” which can be any combination of the 2 copies: E2/E2, E2/E3, E2/E4, E3/E3, E3/E4, or E4/E4.
The majority of people have two E3 alleles (E3/E3) so this is defined as the “average risk”.
The E2 allele is the least common form, and if we have two E2 alleles (E2/E2) or one E2 and one E3 (E2/E3) we have about 40% REDUCED risk of Alzheimer’s.
The E4 allele, present in 14% to 20% of the population, increases the risk for Alzheimer’s, especially late-onset Alzheimer’s, but this does NOT mean that we will get Alzheimer’s disease if we have one or two copies of E4, as about one third of Alzheimer’s patients do not have even a single E4.
All it means is that our risk is increased, also increased is the risk of potential Alzheimer’s at a younger age.
To quantify the risk:
If we have no copies of E4, we still have around 9% risk of Alzheimer’s.
If we have a single copy of E4, our risk increases to around 30%.
If we have two copies of E4, risk is between 50% to 90% but in all cases, we CAN REDUCE the risk.
Many people are horrified to learn that they have up to a 90% risk of Alzheimer’s, but they need not be.
With some dietary, lifestyle and supplement changes, those at greatest risk can easily fall into the 10% who do NOT get Alzheimer’s.
SAD (Standard American Diet)
Genetic statistics above apply only to average people, typically Caucasians living in the Western World and consuming a typical Western diet of processed food, sugar, MSG, hydrogenated oils, chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, insecticides and other toxic substances.
These statistics do NOT apply to those with a healthy diet of natural, organic food living in a low-toxin environment.
In fact, many people already down the cognitive decline have recovered on a healthy diet and sustained the improvement for several years, according to Dr Dale Bredesen who has been running a program for years now.
Dr Bredesen does not know how many more years it will be, but does know that patients on the program have removed the biochemical drivers which can be measured in blood tests, so so is very optimistic about their future health for many years to come.
Should we get genetic testing?
This is up to the individual. Some people would prefer not to know. Others want to know.
My father died from Alzheimer’s at about age 72 after many years in a Nursing Home, existing but without knowing who his family members were. So did my Grandmother on my Mother’s side, so I assume I may well have inherited a high genetic risk. I am now 73 as I revise this article. For me, testing is irrelevant, because I changed to a Paleo-style diet at age 63, which turned my life around.
From obese to lean, from grey hair to brown, from allergies to everything to allergies to nothing, from high blood pressure and triglycerides to normal, from poor physical strength to strong, fit and full of energy, from frequent headaches to none, from always getting sick to never getting sick.
If I had the genetic test and it was the worst result, I would only continue to do what I am doing now, using dietary and lifestyle modifications.
Have I halted Alzheimers? I hope so, but I often cannot remember some of the thousands of medical terms I have come across in my 10 years of research. Come back here in 27 years as I approach 100 and I will let you know how I have done.
Amyloid Plaques vs Tangles
Amyloid is a protein, normally found throughout the body. In Alzheimer’s, this protein divides improperly, creating beta amyloid which is toxic to brain neurons.
Amyloid is actually antimicrobial and has benefits for the body, but some people, especially those with the E4/E4 alleles cannot naturally break down these plaques, but there are dietary methods which can.
Not all Alzheimer’s patients have beta Amyloid plaques. About 10% of patients have neurofibrillary tangles which cause similar symptoms, but are also inclined to have more aggressive behavior.
Three Kinds of Alzheimer’s
Humans liberate amyloid as a protective response in the body to three different fundamental metabolic and toxic perturbations:
- Type 1: Characterized by systemic inflammation. Blood tests typically reveal high hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein), low albumin:globulin ratio,
and high cytokine levels such as interleukin-1 and interleukin-6. Imaging reveals temporoparietal reductions in glucose utilization.
Those at risk include people with chronic infections or inflammation from other causes, and the normal antimicrobial protective response liberates amyloids
- Type 2: Characterized by normal inflammation, but an atrophic (wasting away) profile, with reduced support from estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, insulin, and vitamin D, often with high homocysteine and insulin resistance. Imaging reveals temporoparietal reductions in glucose utilization. As NGF (Nerve Growth Factor) diminishes, amyloid production increases.
Type 2 in particular can be CAUSED by LOW cholesterol, resulting in atrophy (brain shrinkage), reduced hormone production, poor health and eventually Alzheimer’s.
All because we are taking statins that lower cholesterol, or we are not eating enough healthy fats.
We prevent our cells from doing what they are supposed to do, so we end up with a shrunken brain without the lipid (fat) content we need. A fat-free diet means atrophy of the brain.
See the Cholesterol Fraud and the Big Fat Lie sections below.
- Type 3: Different from types 1 and 2. Still β-amyloid positive and phospho-tau positive), but a younger onset (late 40s to early 60s).
Genotype ApoE is usually E3/E3 instead of E4/E4 or E3/E4 with little or no family history.
Onset usually follows a period of stress, depression, sleep loss, anesthesia, or menopause/andropause.
Memory loss is not a main symptom, instead there are cortical issues: dyscalculia (trouble with arithmetic), aphasia (trouble speaking or understanding speech – damage to the left side of the brain),
executive dysfunction (emotional or behavioural problems from frontal lobe issues).
Imaging studies often reveal extra-hippocampal disease, greater general cerebral atrophy and frontal-temporal-parietal abnormalities.
Lab results often reveal hypozincemia (low zinc) and/or a high copper:zinc ratio, and can indictate adrenal fatigue
(low pregnenolone, DHEA-S (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate), and/or AM cortisol. Chronic infections like mycotoxins, Lyme, viral infections, HSV-1 (a herpes simplex virus) are all risk factors
Some patients have “Alzheimer’s type 1.5” where a combination of symptoms of both type 1 and 2 Alzheimer’s occurs.
Glycotoxicity (too much sugar in the brain) causes an insulin resistant brain. Combine this with AGEs (Advanced Glycation End products), and we have both inflammation from AGEs, plus atrophic withdrawal response because we are now resistant to insulin.
So we have a double condition of type 1 and type 2.
Type 3 patients often have MARCoNS (Multiple Antibiotic-Resistant Coagulase-Negative Staph), a colonisation of antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus in the nasal cavity.
Also high blood levels of TGF-beta-1 (Transforming Growth Factor beta-1), high C4A (a protein that in humans is encoded by the C4A gene), and low MSH (Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone) is very common, typically with HLA-DR/DQ haplotypes shown by Dr Ritchie Shoemaker to be associated with CIRS.
Alzheimer’s from nose infections?
We have known for years that our healthy gut bacteria is essential to prevent almost every disease, and now research is looking at the rhinosinal microbiome, the healthy bacteria in our nose.
This is now becoming known as Inhalational Alzheimer’s.
The nose is the most direct route to the brain, and bad bacteria in the mucous lining of the airways can damage the brain.
Pathologists now believe there are unknown pathogens in the rhinencephalon, the “nose-smell” (olfacation) system.
Many Alzheimer’s patients start losing their sense of smell as one of the early signs of the disease, and this is probably why.
I am confident that my nasal bacteria is back to normal after having very bad allergies and taking antihistamines from when I was about 16 to when I was 63.
Allergies stopped when the bad diet stopped.
Dr. Susan Lynch at UCSF has found that the nose problem is not so much an unknown pathogen, but a lack of microbial diversity.
Beneficial microorganisms in the nose protect against many pathogens, and one of the best seems to be Lactobacillus sakei, used to make sake and kimchi.
This could explain why Japanese people have comparatively low rates of Alzheimer’s, although rates are rising in Japan because of the Western influence, with meat and dairy replacing rice as a staple food.
When Japanese people migrate to Western countries and adopt a Western diet, they have the same risk as anyone else.
So for the Japanese, it is not a genetic problem, but a diet problem, and this applies to everyone.
AGEs – Advanced Glycation End products
AGEs are formed when food cooked at high temperatures (over 120 degrees C) combines with sugar. AGEs are very damaging to the body, accelerating the ageing process and chronic disease.
AGEs worsen diabetes, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s, inflammation, atherosclerosis (stiffening of the arteries), cardiovascular disease and stroke.
AGEs cause glycation of LDL cholesterol, promoting oxidation, and oxidized LDL is a major factor in atherosclerosis.
AGEs form photosensitizers in the eye lens, leading to cataract development.
To reduce AGEs, never cook at high temperatures (steaming is best, always at 100 degrees C), eat plenty of raw food (salads, and small amounts of fruit), and eliminate all sugar and processed foods.
Drug companies have been trying for years to get rid of Amyloid plaques, thinking they are the cause of Alzheimer’s.
However, the body needs amyloid to protect the brain, so we need to look at what is causing the plaques instead of trying to get rid of them. Latest research shows that Amyloid plaques are antimicrobial, so can be both damaging and protecting!
Alzheimer’s – “Diabetes Type 3”
Some researchers are now labeling Alzheimer’s as “Diabetes Type 3” because sugar causes Alzheimer’s.
Sugar also causes diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity and many more diseases, mainly due to processed foods.
As with diabetes, where sugar causes insulin resistance, we have insulin resistance in the brain, causing degeneration.
When the brain becomes insulin resistant, it means that glucose cannot enter the brain cells, so those cells die.
However, all is not lost. If we switch to a Ketonegic diet, we can feed our brain with fat instead of sugar. More on this diet below.
Diagnosing the type of Alzheimer’s
Unlike cancer, where we can biopsy a tumour, we must look at historical, biochemical, genetic, imaging, and function information to determine the type of Alzheimer’s.
Of course this rarely happens except in research applications. The doctor simply says the patient has Alzheimer’s and may give a drug which in the long term will not make much difference.
This is a shame, because about half of all cases can be halted, and in some cases substantially improved, by reverting to the correct diet.
Even better would be to eat a correct diet from birth, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s to near zero, as well as preventing cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other modern diseases.
Physical exercise is extremely important to keep the brain and body healthy.
Researchers are not sure why, but LeanMachine says it is obvious:
Exercise burns off the high glucose levels that cause “Diabetes of the Brain” and exercise boosts oxygen levels and circulation in the brain.
Any type of exercise is beneficial, such as:
- Walking, jogging or running
- Push-ups, chin-ups
Exercises have the added benefit of socialisation in a group, such as:
- Join a gym
- Tai-Chi or Yoga classes
- Athletics clubs
- Dancing classes
Exercising the Brain
The body has a disturbing property: Anything not used for a while gets broken down to be used somewhere else.
If we do not use a muscle for a week, the body starts breaking it down.
But if we exercise regularly, we stop muscles wasting, and we actually build up our muscles.
If we do not use parts of the brain, the body starts breaking it down.
But if we exercise our brain, we can hang on to the parts we use, and develop new pathways to replace parts we have lost. Exercises such as:
- Learning a new language
- Playing a musical instrument
- Crossword or other puzzles
- Socialising in groups or clubs
Meditation is not normally seen as exercise for the brain, but sitting in a quiet, dark room away from all daily distractions not only promotes a calming effect, but increases various brain-saving hormones.
Meditation, like dreaming, helps the brain sort out the junk memories and recent problems by concentrating on things that have made us feel good in the past.
We may have pleasant memories like sitting on a sandy beach listening to the waves rolling in on a beautiful sunny day. By concentrating on peaceful and pleasant memories, we forget problems with out hectic daily life.
The modern diet is lacking in vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients, mainly because of:
- Over-farming – growing the same food in the same ground year after year, depleting these vital elements
- Over-processing – hydrogenation, adding sugar, adding chemicals, overheating
- Toxins from farming chemicals contaminates the environment
- Water is contaminated by fluoride and chlorine
The supplements everyone over 50 should take are:
Organic Coconut Oil, taken several times a day, a tablespoon at a time.
LeanMachine considers this one of the best prevention and treatment methods available for Alzheimer’s.
This encourages the body to burn healthy fats instead of sugar, called the Ketogenic Diet which burns ketones, which is what our ancestors did in their natural low-carb diets. See the Ketogenic Diet below.
Coconut oil appears to break down the amyloid plaque buildup in the brain. Perhaps the plaques are no longer required when the brain is fed by healthy fats instead of glucose.
Coconut oil is also the absolute best for cooking, replacing any other fat, because coconut oil remains stable at high temperatures, and is full of MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) which go straight to the liver to be burned as fuel, and cannot be stored as fat in the body.
Coconut oil also contains Lauric Acid, which keeps our skin wrinkle-free and healthy.
– PS (Phosphatidylserene) is a component of the cerebral cortex’s neuronal membrane, and can improve memory and mood, reduce stress, improve learning and more.
It does this by controlling input and production of choline, acetylcholine, norepinephrine, dopamine and glucose.
– Vitamin B-12 because as we age, our stomach acid levels drop, preventing the high-acid conditions required for B-12 absorption from food. Even more essential for vegans and vegetarians as B-12 mainly comes from animal products.
– B-group vitamins because these are vitally important for nerves and brain health.
– ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid) as an antioxidant to help remove heavy metals from the brain, reduce inflammation, and improve the effectiveness of votamins C and E.
– Vitamin D3 because over half the ageing population are taking statin medication (which they should NOT) and statins halt production of 7-dehydrocholesterol, the first step in the manufacture of vitamin D3. Worse, many of these seniors are in Aged Care facilities and never see the light of day, so cannot make vitamin D3 from sunlight. If they are ever taken outside, it is only early morning or late afternoon when they cannot get vitamin D3 anyway. More info in my Vitamin D3 article.
– Ginkgo Biloba is highly recommended to improve blood flow in the brain. Should not be used in conjunction with prescription blood thinners.
– TMG (Trimethylglycine) is an effective methyl donor for the facilitation of methylation processes. Supports a healthy homocysteine level, which in turn supports healthy cardiovascular function and helps prevent Alzheimer’s. Homocysteine, a damaging amino acid, with the aid of TMG, is turned into methionine, a safe and beneficial amino acid. Methylation is essential for DNA repair and production of SAMe, which helps joints, lifts mood, fights depression and protects brain cells from amyloid plaques. Read more in my TMG article.
– SAMe (S-Adenosyl Methionine) can help protect the brain and also help treat depression, anger, anxiety which are common symptoms in some Alzheimer’s patients.
– Vinpocetine has shown mixed results but mostly beneficial in limited human trials using 10mg 3 times daily.
– Vitamin E is recommended to improve the healthy fats in the brain and increase antioxidants.
– Benfotiamine with Leucine can help remove glucose and improve insulin resistance.
Many other supplements can help, including:
In addition, many supplements primarily used to treat diabetes will also help prevent Alzheimer’s.
The Cholesterol Fraud
Previous research indicated that high cholesterol was a risk factor for Alzheimer’s.
Again, this was wrong. Doctors started prescribing statin drugs for those people with high cholesterol, or those with signs of dementia with normal cholesterol.
What happened? They got Alzheimer’s WORSE and got it FASTER than patients who did NOT take statins.
Researchers only looked at total cholesterol which is a complete waste of time.
25% of the cholesterol in the body is in the brain, mainly in the myelin sheath.
Around 60% of our brain is fat, mainly in the form of cholesterol.
The myelin sheath (oligodendroglia) that surrounds and protects our neurons are 70% cholesterol, 30% protein.
Starve the brain of healthy fat, and we get Alzheimer’s. Almost guaranteed.
Reduce cholesterol and what happens? The protective myelin sheaths break down as they are starved of cholesterol, allowing the brain cells to be damaged. Damage them enough, and they die. Then we have dementia. Damage enough cells, and the brain can no longer support our basic functions, like breathing. Then we die.
This is why statin drugs are BAD.
Sure, in some cases, they can slightly reduce risk of heart attacks, but they INCREASE death from all other causes, including Alzheimer’s.
The net result is that on average, we will not live a day longer on statin medication.
Statins will give us lousy final years with muscle breakdown, osteoporosis, more sickness and dementia.
We need plenty of healthy fats like coconut oil, walnuts, avocados, fish, eggs, butter from grass-fed cows, unheated olive oil.
We must NOT consume bad fats: Canola oil, margarine, anything hydrogenated, anything heated over 120 degrees C.
Cholesterol is NOT the enemy.
We NEED cholesterol, especially HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol which reduces inflammation, and helps clean up the body (like a garbage collector). Without HDL Cholesterol, we die within 24 hours.
We also need LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein), still incorrectly called “bad” cholesterol, as we die without it.
LDL has antimicrobial effects, so the idea that we should drive it down to zero is ludicrous. LDL is essential to transport nutrients around the body (and into the brain) as well as helping the body manufacture hormones and other important products. LDL was essential for our evolutionary ancestors millions of years ago, and we still need it.
The brain is mostly fat, and 40% of the brain is CHOLESTEROL.
Many things that were protective in our native environment are problems in our modern environment, but if we go back to our ancestral diet, problems are resolved.
Studies show time after time that people with low cholesterol die young, while people with normal to high cholesterol live longest.
These studies are ignored by the big drug companies. Because statin sales make them billions of dollars, of course they continue the Big Cholesterol Lie, one of the biggest frauds in medical history. Their own study showed increased deaths and terrible side effects so they stopped the study short at that time, supposedly to “save patient’s lives” when the opposite was true.
The dangerous cholesterol is VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein) which cannot easily be tested.
Because triglycerides contain some VLDL, labs estimate VLDL value by simply taking a percentage of triglycerides.
High triglycerides are much more of a danger signal than high cholesterol, and are almost always related to obesity, poor diet of processed foods, especially dangerous fats.
The Big Fat Lie
We have been told for decades that fat is bad for us.
Forget about “low fat” or “fat free” diets.
Another big fat lie, coming from a scientist who plucked figures out of a study to suit an argument he was proposing.
When the data was analysed completely, many decades later, it showed the complete opposite.
The largest and longest study in the world was the Framingham study which showed that those who ate the most fat lived longer than those who ate the least.
Fat is not unhealthy in general, in fact it is essential for health.
The UNHEALTHY fats are man-made artificial fats (margarine, Canola oil) and other processed fats that are hydrogenated to improve shelf life and heated to extremes during manufacture, often going rancid in the process, causing oxidised VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein), the REAL dangerous “food”.
What is REALLY bad is carbohydrates, and when manufacturers remove fats from food, they replace them with carbohydrates, causing most “modern” diseases including Alzheimer’s and Diabetes.
The Ketogenic Diet
For the first two million years of human life on Earth, carbohydrate consumption was very low.
Carbohydrates were uncommon, with the majority of food being nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, fruit and vegetables. Meat was eaten very rarely when an animal was killed.
These people did not burn carbohydrates for energy, they burned FAT. In particular, ketones, the basis of the ketogenic diet.
A ketogenic diet means maintaining a fasting state of ketosis. Ketones are produced when the body is in a state of ketosis.
Ketones fuel cells using a different pathway from glucose.
Glucose has to have insulin to allow glucose into cells, but as we all should know, our typical modern diet is loaded with carbohydrates, forcing the pancreas into overdrive making enough insulin.
Eventually our cells become insulin resistant, so the pancreas produces even more insulin to force glucose into the cells, creating even more insulin resistance.
We are now a full-blown diabetic, and when the pancreas starts shutting down, we need insulin injections for the rest of our life.
However, when we feed the cells with ketones, they simply enter the cell naturally, and do NOT require insulin or anything else to do so.
This is critically important for five of our modern diseases: Obesity, Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s, all caused or aggravated by high blood glucose, bad fats and inflammation.
Ketones are also signaling molecules as well.
Benefits of the ketogenic diet include:
- Helps the body express new restorative and healing genes
- Reduces inflammation (underlying cause of nearly every disease)
- Stimulates the immune system
- Aids weight loss
- Stops or slows degenerative disease
- Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Obesity
The Anti-Alzheimer’s diet
Add these spices to every meal possible.
Of course they will spice up any meal, but also help clear the brain of problems and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and many more modern illnesses.
- Sage – one of the best brain-saving spices
- Cloves – one of the most potent antioxidants
- Curry – a blend of other great spices
- Ginger – reduces inflammation and improves immunity
- Turmeric – for colour, flavour and Curcumin
- Ceylon Cinnamon – Better and safer than regular cinnamon
Ketogenic Diet – Healthy fats, intermittent fasting.
Read How Cyclical Ketosis can help combat Chronic Fatigue
Avoid Trans Fats
Read Trans Fats Linked to Increased Risk for Alzheimers
Avoid Processed Foods
Only shop in the greengrocer department at the Supermarket, preferably the organic section. Buy or grow your own real food. Nothing in a bag, box, tin because toxic ingredients are sure to be added.
Forget fried foods. Steaming is the best way to cook. Never Microwave. Eat raw salads daily.
This section often updated. Please come back soon (if you remember!)
Updated 20th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ&HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601285
Reproduced from original article:
Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola
January 10, 2020
- Heart disease and cancer are the two top reasons people die in the U.S.; data show women who can exercise vigorously have a reduced risk of mortality from heart disease, cancer and other causes
- Women who have high cardiovascular fitness also enjoy a reduced risk of dementia, which may be related to higher levels of a protein responsible for improving mitochondrial biogenesis
- Combining intermittent fasting with the ketogenic diet plan may boost the health benefits and improve mitochondrial health. This includes not eating within three hours of going to bed to reduce free radical damage
- Lack of exercise is globally responsible for nearly 5 million deaths each year; the more you move and exercise the lower the potential rate of death. Aim to sit as little as possible during the day
Heart disease and cancer are the top two reasons people die in the U.S. The term heart disease is used to identify several types of conditions, including cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease and heart attack. While many think of this as a man’s disease, the CDC1 reports almost as many women will die each year from it.
The most common type, coronary heart disease, affects 6.2% of women 20 and older. Many women report having no symptoms before experiencing a heart attack, but others may have symptoms of angina, nausea or fatigue. Diabetes, obesity, an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity are all lifestyle choices that increase your risk for heart disease.
Each of these same factors increase your risk of cancer. Some of the types of cancer that more frequently affect women include breast, cervical, lung, colorectal and skin.2 Most cancers strike women after menopause, but gynecological cancers may happen at any time.
Every year 90,000 women are diagnosed with one form of gynecological cancer and 242,000 with breast cancer. The signs of gynecological cancers may be vague and mimic symptoms of other conditions, such as unexplained weight loss, constant fatigue, loss of appetite or feeling full, pain in the pelvis or a change in bowel habits.
Fitness Protects Women Against Risk of Premature Death
New data recently presented at the European Society of Cardiology3 strongly suggest that women who can exercise vigorously experience a significantly lower risk of mortality from heart disease, cancer and other causes. Although there have been multiple studies using male participants or mixed groups, the researchers proposed that information specific to women was scarce.
The study used data from 4,714 adult females who had undergone echocardiograms for known or suspected coronary artery disease. Treadmill stress tests were used with increasing intensity to measure fitness, which the researchers defined as a maximum workload of 10 metabolic equivalents (METs).
Women who were able to achieve 10 METs or more were compared to those who achieved less. A measurement of 10 METs is equivalent to walking up four flights of stairs fast without stopping or going up three flights quickly.
The researchers followed the participants for a median 4.6 years and found there were 345 deaths from cardiovascular disease, 164 from cancer and 203 from other causes. After adjusting for influencing factors, the findings revealed that women in the higher MET group had a lower risk of death from all measured causes.
By comparison, women in the lower fitness group experienced an annual rate of death nearly four times higher and the annual cancer death rate doubled. One researcher, Dr. Jesus Peteiro, noted the average age of participants was 64 years and 80% were from 50 to 75 years. He went on to comment:4
“Good exercise capacity predicted lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes. Looking at both examinations together, women whose heart works normally during exercise are unlikely to have a cardiovascular event.
But if their exercise capacity is poor, they are still at risk of death from cancer or other causes. The best situation is to have normal heart performance during exercise and good exercise capacity.”
The women underwent imaging of their heart during the treadmill test to assess function. Those with poor function during the test were more likely to succumb to cardiovascular disease during the follow-up period, but it was not predictive of death from other causes.5 Peteiro said: “The results were the same for women over 60 and less than 60, although the group under 50 was small.”
Cardiovascular Fitness Also Reduces Risk of Dementia
Staying fit is key to reducing your potential risk for many chronic diseases, including those affecting the central nervous system. Across the world there are 47 million who are living with dementia, and this is expected to increase to 75 million by 2030. You may be able to significantly slash this risk by taking simple steps to improve your cardiovascular fitness.
A study from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden showed women with the highest cardiovascular fitness had an 88% reduced risk of dementia as compared to those with moderate fitness. Even maintaining some fitness proved to have benefit as those with the lowest level experienced a 41% greater risk of dementia than those with average fitness.
The researchers did not assess how much exercise the participants engaged in but used an ergometer cycling test during which additional resistance was added as the women continued to cycle until they were exhausted. The authors wrote:
“These results suggest that cardiovascular fitness is associated with the sparing of brain tissue in aging humans. Furthermore, these results suggest a strong biological basis for the role of aerobic fitness in maintaining and enhancing central nervous system health and cognitive functioning in older adults.”
A second way fitness may protect neurological health is by increasing levels of PGC-1alpha responsible for improving mitochondrial biogenesis. Data reveal that those with Alzheimer’s have less PGC-1alpha in their brain. Cells containing more produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Participants diagnosed with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s were enrolled in a four-month supervised exercise program. The results demonstrated they had fewer neuropsychiatric symptoms from the disease than the control group who did not exercise.
A progressive walking program in those with early Alzheimer’s disease led to improvements in cardiovascular fitness and functional ability. This in turn led to improved memory and increases in the size of the brain’s hippocampus.
Mitochondrial Function Linked to Reducing Risk of Disease
Your mitochondria are minute powerhouses in your cells producing a majority of the energy your body generates, as well as coordinating apoptosis, or programmed cell death, important in the prevention of malfunctioning cells that may turn into cancer.
Your brain is the most energy-dependent organ and therefore is particularly susceptible to impaired energy production. This process may then make the brain more susceptible to age-related disease.
As you age, the genes controlling mitochondrial energy generation may be turned down, and mitochondria are noted to be less dense and more fragmented. With insufficient energy and dysfunctional mitochondria, defective cells can survive and multiply.
There are several ways your mitochondria may be damaged, but much of it may result from superoxide free radicals. Although the production of superoxide is part of a normal process, when produced at higher than normal levels it damages the DNA in your mitochondria. This damage increases when you are not metabolically flexible.
That means you burn a higher percentage of carbohydrates for fuel than you do fat. The process of burning carbs leaks more electrons that combine with oxygen to form superoxide. High-carbohydrate processed foods prevent you from burning fat efficiently, which produces less oxidative stress than carbs. Your nutrition is also foundational to protecting your mitochondrial health.
Combining Nutritional Plan With Fitness Boosts Benefits
When you combine a strong nutritional plan to boost metabolic flexibility with cardiovascular fitness you build on the health benefits of both. For many years the standard dietary recommendations were three square meals a day with small snacks in between.
The most obvious risk of this eating plan is the potential of overeating. But, the less obvious risk is metabolic dysfunction, raising your risk of cancer, heart disease and dementia.
For a number of years, I have strongly advised against eating within three hours of going to bed. The authors of one study found that eating an early dinner, or skipping it entirely, changes the way the body metabolizes fat and carbohydrates. This improves fat burning and reduces hunger. The key in the study was eating the last meal of the day by the middle of the afternoon.
The only changes made to the participants’ meals was timing. The total number and types of calories remained the same. Results showed the participants were less hungry and experienced increased fat burning during the evening hours, along with improved metabolic flexibility. It appears that late night eating will boost free radical damage, negatively impacting mitochondrial function.
By taking advantage of your circadian rhythm you optimize your metabolism. During sleep your body requires less energy. Thus, if you eat right before bed, mitochondria produce excessive amounts of free radicals. In one study of 1,800 people with prostate and breast cancer, researchers found that meal timing reduced the risk of cancer.
They also found that those who awakened early had a higher risk of cancer when they ate dinner late in the evening compared to those who were more energetic at night. A very effective option is to combine intermittent fasting, extend the amount of time you go without food and follow a ketogenic diet.
Fasting upregulates autophagy and mitochondrial health, activating stem cells and stimulating mitochondrial biosynthesis. What many don’t realize is that many of these benefits happen during the refeeding phase, making what you eat foods that are essential to your optimal health.
In one study participants lost 3% of their body weight while practicing time restricted eating even though they didn’t change their nutritional choices. While they lost weight, they did not improve important disease parameters, including visceral fat, diastolic blood pressure, triglycerides, fasting glucose or fasting insulin.
When intermittent fasting is combined with a ketogenic diet it provides many of the same benefits of fasting, in addition to improvements in health such as increased muscle mass, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, reduced risk of cancer and increased longevity.
Lack of Exercise May Be Worse Than Smoking
Exercise and nutrition are two of the best preventive strategies against many common health conditions. In one study scientists found that the lack of physical activity came with a global price tag of $67.5 billion in 2013 and that it causes more than 5 million deaths each year, while smoking kills 6 million.
Another group of researchers analyzed data on more than 120,000 people and found that cardiovascular fitness had a greater impact on risk of death than smoking, diabetes or heart disease. However, as important as cardiovascular fitness is, you’ll find you can’t out-exercise the number of hours you sit down.
The average U.S. adult will sit nine to 12 hours each day. While sitting is not inherently dangerous, the cumulative effects on your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system can seriously impact your health and shorten your life.
In a four-year evaluation of 8,000 Americans over the age of 45, researchers found that those who moved more were healthier. There was also a correlation between death rate and the number of hours the participants spent sitting each day. The bare minimum of movement is 10 minutes for every hour of sitting. However, it is wiser to strive to sit as little as possible.
Sitting correctly requires greater muscle activation and will reduce your potential risk of lower back pain and strain. For specific instructions on how to sit right and for a list of some of the negative side effects of sitting for long periods, see “The Importance of Standing More, Sitting Less.”
TMG (Trimethylglycine) is a powerful nutrient, much like a vitamin, functioning as methyl donor, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, energy booster, toxin remover, immune booster and more.
Also called betaine (first isolated from sugar beets) but different from Betaine Hydrochloride.
TMG the Methyl Donor
The TMG molecule comprises three methyl groups (CH3) joined to one molecule of glycine (C2H5NO2). The benefit of TMG is that it releases easily one, two, or all three of the methyl groups.
Releasing one methyl group then leaves behind DMG (Dimethylglycine) which is just TMG with only two methyl groups. Releasing all methyl groups leaves just Glycine, which is the smallest molecule of all of the amino acids, which allows it to go almost anywhere in the body, including crossing the blood-brain barrier.
DMG is considered a B-complex vitamin, shown to help:
- Behaviour and speech in autistic children and adults
- ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder)
- Neurological function
- Reducing seizures
- Stress tolerance
- Oxygen utilisation
- Liver activity
- Athletic performance
- Anti-viral and anti-bacterial
- Immune boosting
- Shrinking tumours
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Respiratory disorders
- Alcoholism, drug addiction.
- Cholesterol and triglycerides
- Blood pressure
- Blood glucose
Although DMG has all of these benefits, and is available as a supplement, LeanMachine recommends that people supplement with TMG as we then receive all of the benefits of DMG plus the benefit of 50% better methylation.
Methyl groups (CH3) are essential for millions of biochemical reactions every second in the body, these are a few examples:
- Lowering homocysteine, an amino acid, which inflames arteries when levels rise, leading to “hardening of the arteries”. Homocysteine levels are a much better indicator of cardiovascular disease than cholesterol. High homocysteine is commonly caused by insufficient methyl groups. The body gets methyl groups from TMG, Active Folate, Active Vitamin B-12, SAM-e, DMAE, Methionine, Taurine, Cysteine and Vitamin B-6.
Other causes are mercury and copper toxicity. High homocysteine also causes methionine deficiency, in turn causing SAM-e (S-Adenosyl Methionine) deficiency which can lead to depression. Methionine is required for protein synthesis
- Excess homocysteine also leads to osteoporosis, birth defects, cancer, ageing and free radicals, all helped by TMG
- Methyl groups are required for the Phase 2, P450 liver detoxification pathway, a critical biochemical sequence of events. Fat-soluble toxins are joined to a methyl group, enabling a greater water solubility, then allowing the liver to remove them from the body. For toxins unable to be removed, methylation helps render them less toxic
- TMG increases production of SAM-e, helping to reduce depression
- TMG reduces risk of diabetes, as insulin release and insulin activity rely on methyl group donation
- TMG donates methyl groups for protein synthesis (biosynthesis), the copying of genetic code from DNA to RNA (genetic transcription), then to the synthesis (formation) of every chemical in the body
- TMG insufficiency causes biosynthesis slowing, telomeres shortening, and genetic errors (transcription errors) raises cancer risk from DNA mutations
The Methylation Process
This is a vital and most common chemical process in hundreds of essential chemical reactions, including:
- Methylation is essential for manufacture of all the chemicals for the body
- Stops certain viruses that could damage DNA
- Stops the production of trophoblast (fast-growing cells that may lead to cancer)
- Suppresses replication of DNA in areas where the body does not want it replicated
- Important for neurological chemicals and blood chemicals
- Corrects timing problems of the X chromosome in cell replication
- Causea a genetic trait to come from only one parent, and not both
- Prevents some genetic diseases
- Helps prevent shortening of gene telomeres
- Methylation is a primary method of removing toxins in the phase 2 liver detoxification system
- Methylation converts toxins of all kinds from insoluble, less soluble or fat-soluble compounds into water-soluble compounds to allow excretion. Larger molecules are eliminated through the bile, smaller ones are excreted in the urine
- Methylation is required for synthesis of dopamine and serotonin, improving mood, energy, wellbeing, alertness, concentration, and visual clarity
- Methylation helps with liver detoxification
- Methylation is required for conversion of homocysteine to methionine, which converts to other amino acids by various pathways
- Methylation helps balance hormones such as estrogens, reducing risk of estrogen-related cancers
- Reduces inflammation by removing toxins, balancing hormones, synthesising neurotransmitters and other methods
- Methylation protects the mitochondria and adaptive energy production to stop us from becoming very tired
- Restores SAM-e in spinal fluid, working as a methyl donor when restored by methyl groups
- Methylation is required for the body to make CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10), vital for heart health and energy production in the mitochondria
- Methylation increases muscle mass, important in cancer and other wasting diseases, and for general health
- Methylation may improve libido in some people
Who needs TMG?
Almost everyone needs supplemental TMG, even healthy people with a healthy diet, to provide enough methylation for modern life. Those subject to stress, toxins, cardiovascular disease, mental illness, depression, fatigue, exhaustion or almost any other medical condition, almost certainly need extra TMG.
Other benefits of TMG
The Parasympathetic System
TMG can improve the parasympathetic system, helping balance the autonomic nervous system. Hair mineral analyses show about half the population has an autonomic nervous system imbalance (sympathetic dominance), where the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) nervous system is “switched on” too often and too long, usually due to stress, causing many chronic health conditions. TMG may help reverse any imbalance, contributing to healing. Some doctors use “sympathetic dominance” in a different context such as “a sympathetic state of body chemistry” which is different from “sympathetic dominance” used here.
The MTHFR Defect
Almost half the people on Earth have the abnormal MTHFR gene expression, where the biosynthesis of folate is reduced, sometimes marginally, sometimes largely.
Often incorrectly called a “genetic defect” when it is actually a transcription error, polymorphism or abnormal gene expression where errors occur in copying the DNA code rather than a problem with the actual DNA code.
This is why Active Folate has benefits, as it is already in the (6S)-5-methyltetrahydrofolate form required by the body, while regular folate must be converted in the body to this form.
TMG can help supply the methyl groups where insufficent folate cannot. Active folate can be up to 700% more useful in the body, compared to regular folic acid. Note that folic acid is a cheap folate substitute used in many foods claiming to be “folate enriched” but folic acid may prevent absorption of real folate in foods or active folate supplements, and LeanMachine advises total avoidance of foods or supplements containing folic acid.
Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
There are not many reports on these properties, but they do exist, possibly as a result of methyl group donation
Effects on the Brain
TMG has a positive effect on the brain, likely due to methylation and SAM-e production. Recommended for those at high risk for Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinsons, depression, anxiety, seizures, migraine headache, ADHD (Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder), MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and other brain conditions.
1. Heart Disease
SAM-e is used for heart disease, also for fibromyalgia, abdominal pain, osteoarthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, chronic lower back pain, ageing, CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), improving mental performance, liver disease, spinal cord injury, lead poisoning, to break down bilirubin or porphyrin (or precursors).
SAM-e is often taken for PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) and a more severe form PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder).
IV use of SAM-e
IV (Intravenous) use of SAM-e is used for depression, osteoarthritis, AIDS-related nervous system disorders, fibromyalgia, liver disease, cirrhosis, and intrahepatic cholestasis (a liver disorder in pregnant women)
SAM-e is often injected for fibromyalgia, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Effects on Digestion
TMG aids digestion, again likely because of positive methylation throughout the body.
Glycine is the component left over when all three methyl groups have been donated from TMG.
Glycine is the smallest of the amino acids and very important for collagen formation and many other functions. Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, is used for connective tissue: Tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, nails, arteries, veins, etc. Without collagen, we could not stand up, our body would be a pile of mush on the floor!
Glycine, in large doses (up to 3000 mg daily), has been found helpful for sleep and alertness. Although not recommended as a first-line supplement for sleep, it may help if other supplements like Valerian fail to work. This may explain why TMG helps induce restful sleep in some individuals.
Natural sources of TMG
TMG is normally made in the body, but not enough when there are toxins present or the diet is poor or absorption of nutrients is a problem.
TMG can come from the diet. Foods high in TMG include broccoli, quinoa, spinach, lamb, chicken, and beets. A vegetarian or vegan diet tends to be very low in TMG. Foods high in TMG are usually also high in folate, and both are methyl donors.
However, most people do not eat enough of these foods, and even eating large amounts will not provide enough TMG for optimum health.
Risk factors for low TMG
Generally, the body cannot make enough, the modern diet is poor in TMG, and the number of pesticides, chemicals, heavy metal contamination uses up all TMG available.
- Mercury is a poison that lowers TMG production in the body, and at the same time increases the need for TMG in the body. Almost everyone is mercury toxic now, as mercury is everywhere in the environment, especially in seafood and in dental amalgam fillings
- Copper toxicity also interferes with TMG, and most people today are toxic from copper pipes, tapware, cookware even if blood or urine tests are negative. While copper is essential for the body to build hemoglobin in blood, we need Chelated Copper from food or supplements, not metallic copper from copper pipes and cookware. Zinc deficiencies cause accumulation of copper in the body, and women have a higher risk than men. Causes headaches, female organ problems, depression, anxiety, skin conditions. Too much zinc (and/or magnesium) competes with copper for absorption, often leading to a copper deficiency.
Supplementary TMG is helpful for most people because of low body production, low in the diet, and higher requirements in our toxic world.
TMG 1000mg 100 tablets (most popular, best value).
Stress, inflammation, inflammation and some diseases increase our need for more TMG.
Dosage of TMG
- Women: Up to 1000 mg daily
- Men: Up to 3000 mg daily
- Children: Less than adults, in proportion to body weight
There are no reliable guides or tests to determine TMG dosage, but the figures above should be a good starting point.
If the sodium/potassium ratio is low, extra TMG may help.
Do not overdose, as too much TMG may lead to over-methylation, causing fatigue, nausea, hair loss, dizziness or other symptoms.
Most people have no side effects from TMG apart from feeling better, getting better sleep and having more energy.
Do not continue a high dose for extended periods.
Children need proportionately less TMG than adults, depending on their size and weight, but babies generally do not need TMG. Older children may need about 250 to 500 mg daily.
TMG is available as tablets, liquid capsules or crystals. Some children and the elderly may have problems with swallowing tablets. TMG has a sweet taste, so TMG crystals can be simply added to food.
Some people have problems tolerating TMG, so they may need a smaller dose. Try reducing the dose until any symptoms disappear.
People who have unresolved resentments seem to have more problems taking TMG, as an enzyme is activated which can cause anger, fear, depression or anxiety symptoms. These symptoms disappear if the dose is reduced or eliminated, but if one can tolerate the symptoms, TMG may help the person resolve their issues of conflict.
Some reports suggest that too much TMG may cause diarrhea and nausea, and may raise cholesterol levels, so those with high cholesterol should keep the level monitored.
Several factors affect poor methylation, such as:
- Raw vegetables are considered healthy, but cooked vegetables provide more dietary methyl groups
- Sugars in any form appear to harm correct methylation, and are bad for our health anyway
- Fermented foods are healthy, but are problem for methylation because:
- Some contain aldehydes (toxic to the liver), including kombucha tea, kimchi, and most fermented grains
- They contain ferments, which are bacteria or yeasts
Safer fermented foods, eaten in moderation, include yogurt, kefir, miso and most good quality cheeses
- Too much animal protein in the diet can cause high methionine and reduce methylation
- Fighting inflammation or infections consumes methyl groups, requiring more methylation
- Heavy metal toxicity, especially copper and mercury, interfere with methyl group formation
- High-dose niacin or niacinamide cause the body to use up methyl groups to detoxify and excrete niacin through the liver. Doses less than 50 mg daily are generally tolerated well
- Any liver toxins will reduce formation of methyl donors, also liver detoxification pathways require methyl groups, using up more methyl groups
- Methyl donor production seems to decrease with age, so seniors need more TMG
- Women of child-bearing age have much better methylation than men. Men always need more TMG than women
Methylation and Cancer
Cancer increases the need for methylating agents like TMG. People often die with cancer because they cannot eliminate their toxic metals and chemicals because of poor liver methylation, so toxins accumulate until death occurs.
Hair Mineral Analysis
More TMG may be required if a hair mineral test reveals:
- High zinc level, which may indicate presence of hidden toxic metals
- “Four lows pattern” meaning all four electrolyte minerals low: Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium. Indicates impaired methylation
- High mercury, becoming more common
- High copper
- High levels of the other toxic metals
These results indicate long-term toxic metal exposure.
LeanMachine is not a doctor, and everyone should consult with their own health professional before taking any product to ensure there is no conflict with existing prescription medication.
LeanMachine has been researching nutrition and health since 2010 and has completed many relevant studies including:
Open2Study, Australia – Food, Nutrition and Your Health
RMIT University, Australia – Foundations of Psychology
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia – Chemistry – Building Blocks of the World
University of Washington, USA – Energy, Diet and Weight
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Health Issues for Aging Populations
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – International Nutrition
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics I
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Methods in Biostatistics II
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA – Principles of Human Nutrition
TUFTS University, USA – Nutrition and Medicine
TUFTS University, USA – Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease I and Lipids/Cardiovascular Disease II
Technical Learning College, USA – Western Herbology, Identification, Formulas
Bath University, England – Inside Cancer
WebMD Education – The Link Between Stroke and Atrial Fibrillation
WebMD Education – High Potassium: Causes and Reasons to Treat
Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands – Anatomy of the Abdomen and Pelvis
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain
LeanMachine has now examined thousands of studies, journals and reports related to health and nutrition and this research is ongoing.
Updated 9th January 2020, Copyright © 1999-2020 Brenton Wight and BJ & HJ Wight trading as Lean Machine abn 55293601287
Reproduced from original article:
December 02, 2019
- Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) is particularly important for the health and protection of your mitochondria. It also helps regenerate new mitochondria
- PQQ has been shown to improve the function of beta amyloid-damaged brain cells — a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease — and prevent the formation of alpha-synclein proteins associated with Parkinson’s disease. It can even help prevent neuronal cell death in cases of traumatic brain injury
- Studies show PQQ improves mental processing and memory. It also works synergistically with CoQ10, producing better results than either of these nutrients alone
- PQQ lowers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6, which are inflammatory biomarkers, and upregulates Nrf2 expression — a biological hormetic that upregulates beneficial intercellular antioxidants
- PQQ has also been shown to boost the activity of primary life span extension transcriptional factors, which led the researchers to surmise that PQQ may play a role in longevity
While your diet is one of the most important tools you can use to take control of your health, certain supplements can be helpful, especially when it comes to improving your mitochondrial function. One particularly powerful supplement in this regard is pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ),1 which has been shown to promote the growth of new mitochondria (mitochondrial biogenesis).
Your mitochondria also require PQQ to catalyze energy producing reactions, and it’s critical in protecting your mitochondria from damage. Your mitochondria are the tiny energy producers inside your cells, which is why mitochondrial dysfunction is at the heart of just about all chronic diseases, old age and death.
In order for your body to function properly, it needs sufficient energy and, for that, you need well-nourished, well-functioning mitochondria. PQQ is an important player in this regard.2 As noted by Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof and author of books on energy, life span and brain power:3
“Anti-aging starts at the cellular level and PQQ is an easy way to protect your cells, all while helping to improve the most mitochondrial-dense parts of your body like your brain and heart.”
PQQ Enhances Mitochondrial Density and Function
PQQ is relatively unique in its ability to enhance mitochondrial biogenesis, i.e., the creation of new, healthy mitochondria in aging cells, which is the basis of so many of its health benefits. As reported by Better Nutrition magazine:4
“In addition to improving energy production, this characteristic of PQQ shifts some of the aging process into reverse gear. In a study5 at the University of California, Davis, researchers gave a small group of men and women PQQ supplements and tested the effects 76 hours later.
Using blood and urine tests, researchers found that PQQ improved mitochondrial performance and reduced chronic inflammation. The effective dose was 0.3 mg of PQQ per kilogram of body weight — 20 mg of PQQ for a 150-pound person, as an example.”
One mechanism by which PQQ lowers inflammation, improves mitochondrial function and stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis is by upregulating Nrf2 expression — a biological hormetic that upregulates intercellular antioxidants such as superoxide dismutase and catalase.
PQQ has also been shown to boost the activity of primary life span extension transcriptional factors, which led the researchers to surmise that PQQ may play a “novel role” in longevity.6 Indeed, it modulates a variety of signaling pathways, including mTOR, which plays a role in aging and cancer,7 and helps repair DNA,8 all of which suggests it may help you live longer.
PQQ also enhances NADH,9 which is converted to NAD+ as food is broken down into energy.10 When DNA damage is repaired, NAD+ is used up, and if you run out you can’t repair the damage, which is likely the central cause for most of the diseases we are seeing in the modern world now.
How PQQ Protects and Benefits Your Brain
PQQ’s ability to shield your brain cells and their DNA from harm also suggests it can be a powerful preventive aid against neurodegenerative diseases. Mitochondrial DNA is quite prone to damage from free radicals and pro-oxidants. Most of the free radicals in the body are produced within the mitochondria themselves, which is why they’re so susceptible.
Free radicals are an unavoidable artifact of converting food into cellular fuel, and your food is ultimately metabolized in your mitochondria. PQQ has been shown to protect against this kind of damage. It also activates your mitochondria’s built-in repair and replication mechanisms.
In your brain, the practical end result is an overall improvement of neurologic function,11 including improved cognition, learning and memory,12 and a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases. Research13 has shown PQQ protects and improves the survival of neurons by stimulating the synthesis of nerve growth factor (NGF) in certain glial cells found in your central nervous system.
It’s also been shown to improve the function of beta amyloid-damaged brain cells14 — a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease — and prevent the formation of alpha-synclein proteins associated with Parkinson’s disease.15
According to a 2012 study,16 PQQ can even help prevent neuronal cell death in cases of traumatic brain injury. According to the authors of this study, “PQQ may play an important role in recovery post-TBI.”
Adding CoQ10 Provides Synergistic Benefits
Both animal and human studies using doses between 10 and 20 milligrams (mg) of PQQ have demonstrated improvement in mental processing and memory on its own, but combining it with Coenzyme Q10 could potentially be even more beneficial.
One study found PQQ in combination with CoQ10 produced better results than either of these nutrients alone, so there appears to be some synergistic effects. I recommend using the reduced form of CoQ10, called ubiquinol, as it is more readily available for your body.
Both CoQ10 and PQQ are fat-soluble, so they’re best taken with a small amount of fat in your meal rather on an empty stomach. In addition to being a powerful antioxidant in its own right, CoQ10/ubiquinol also facilitates the recycling (catalytic conversion) of other antioxidants, so when taken in combination with PQQ, you’re really turbocharging your body’s antioxidant capacity.
PQQ Is a Powerful Antioxidant and Immune Booster
Another reason why PQQ is so beneficial has to do with its powerful antioxidant activity. It’s capable of undergoing upward of 20,000 catalytic conversions. A catalytic conversion is when an antioxidant neutralizes a free radical. In other words, PQQ is a remarkably efficient antioxidant. For comparison, vitamin C can only go through four catalytic conversions before it’s used up.17,18
Research has shown PQQ lowers the inflammatory biomarkers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 in humans at doses between 0.2 mg and 0.3 mg per kg.19
PQQ also supports your immune function and PQQ deficiency has been linked to immune dysfunction.20 In one study,21 PQQ supplementation increased the responsiveness of B- and T-cells (white blood cells that play central roles in your immune response) to mitogens (proteins that induces cell division or mitosis).
PQQ Activates Metabolic Master Switch
The list of potential applications for PQQ is extremely long, as its metabolic effects go well beyond improving mitochondrial function. For example, it helps activate adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which is an important molecular target for metabolic health.
AMPK is an enzyme inside your body’s cells. It’s sometimes called a “metabolic master switch” because it plays an important role in regulating metabolism. As noted in the Natural Medicine Journal:22
“AMPK induces a cascade of events within cells that are all involved in maintaining energy homeostasis … AMPK regulates an array of biological activities that normalize lipid, glucose, and energy imbalances.
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) occurs when these AMPK-regulated pathways are turned off, triggering a syndrome that includes hyperglycemia, diabetes, lipid abnormalities, and energy imbalances …
AMPK helps coordinate the response to these stressors, shifting energy toward cellular repair, maintenance, or a return to homeostasis and improved likelihood of survival.
The hormones leptin and adiponectin activate AMPK. In other words, activating AMPK can produce the same benefits as exercise, dieting, and weight loss — the lifestyle modifications considered beneficial for a range of maladies.”
With age, your AMPK level drops naturally, but poor diet can reduce AMPK activity at any age. This enzyme plays a major role in body fat composition, inflammation and blood lipids, so boosting its activity can go a long way toward improving blood sugar control, reducing visceral fat and lowering LDL cholesterol.
AMPK also stimulates mitochondrial autophagy (mitophagy) and mitochondrial biogenesis, as well as five other critically important pathways: insulin, leptin, mTOR, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator 1-alpha (PGC-1α).
It is important to note that PQQ will not likely work well, if at all, if you are eating around the clock, as elevated insulin levels will activate mTOR and inhibit AMPK, thus limiting PQQ’s ability to increase it.
Other Benefits of PQQ
PQQ has also been linked to several other health benefits, including:
- Improved reproductive outcomes in animals23 (PQQ deficiency has been linked to abnormal reproductive performance24)
- Reduced risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in offspring when given to obese mouse mothers during pregnancy and lactation25
- Improved sleep (by modulating the cortisol awakening response)26
As you can see, the list of PQQ’s health benefits is quite long. And, while PQQ is found in foods such as natto, parsley, green pepper, spinach, papaya, kiwi and green tea,27 the amounts you get from your diet are likely to be insufficient if you want to reap all of its beneficial health effects.
When taking a PQQ supplement, you’ll know within a few weeks whether the brand and dosage is working for you. Overall, you should feel better, with greater energy and clearer thinking.
- 1 Alternative Medicine Review Vol. 14, No. 3. 2009.
- 2 The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2013 Dec;24(12):2076-84.
- 3 Dave Asprey Blog, PQQ: Boost the Energy in Your Cells to Do Everything Better
- 4 Better Nutrition Magazine October 1, 2019
- 5, 19 J Nutr Biochem. 2013 Dec;24(12):2076-84
- 6 Exp Gerontol. 2016 Jul;80:43-50
- 7, 8, 9 International Journal of Molecular Biology: Open Access December 28, 2016; 1(1): 29-46, Abstract
- 10 Neurohacker January 17, 2019, Figure 2
- 11, 21, 23 The Journal of Nutrition: April 2000; 130(4): 719-727, Abstract
- 12 Physiology and Behavior February 1, 2011;102(2):149-57
- 13 Biochem Mol Biol Int. 1993 Jul;30(4):615-21
- 14, 15, 18 Nootropics Expert, PQQ
- 16 Journal of Neurotrauma 2012 Mar 20;29(5):851-64
- 17 Analytical Biochemistry 1996 Jul 1;238(2):145-9
- 20, 24 Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry 2016; 80: 13-22, Abstract
- 22 Natural Medicine Journal December 2012: 4(12)
- 25 FASEB Journal 2017 Apr;31(4):1434-1448
- 26 Functional Foods in Health & Disease; 2012; 2(8)
- 27 Biochem. J. 1995; 307: 331-333 (PDF), Table 1
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by: November 26, 2019
(NaturalHealth365) According to the Fatty Liver Foundation, more than 100 million people in the U.S. have a fatty liver, and most of those people don’t even know it. And with 2/3 of the population suffering with obesity … these numbers are expected to soar in the coming years. Keep in mind, this health condition leads to millions of people developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, liver fibrosis plus liver cirrhosis and failure.
Here’s the point: Since most people don’t realize they have fatty liver disease, it’s critical to understand liver health, other conditions linked to liver disease, and how you can prevent it.
For example, recent studies have discovered a link between fatty liver and metabolic syndrome – which includes components like high blood pressure, abdominal obesity, and insulin resistance along with high blood sugar levels. This means that your blood pressure, blood sugar, and even your weight could be telling you a whole lot about your liver health.
The link between fatty liver, high blood pressure, obesity, and insulin resistance
Fatty liver has a strong association with obesity, a condition that is well-known for increasing your risk of dying from other diseases. Obesity, especially visceral fat around the abdomen, is a significant component of metabolic syndrome, a grouping of disorders that may include hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia.
Recently, researchers have brought attention to the relationship between fatty liver and high blood pressure, as well. Experts took a look at the livers in individuals with high blood pressure that had normal liver blood tests and no risk factors for poor liver health.
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Even without apparent risk factors for liver disease, an incredible 30% of these hypertension people studied also had a fatty liver. The results show a clear link between fatty liver and high blood pressure.
Interestingly, researchers discovered that while none of the subjects were overtly diabetic or obese, individuals with high blood pressure and fatty livers had higher body mass indices, insulin resistance, and glucose levels than the people who had high blood pressure without fatty liver.
The importance of early screening for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Generally, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is a silent disease that presents no symptoms. Even when cirrhosis develops, there are rarely symptoms until the liver sustains so much damage that a liver transplant is needed.
For this reason, it’s essential to pay attention to other conditions linked to fatty liver disease, such as high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels, and obesity. If you have any of these components of metabolic syndrome, talk to your doctor about early screening.
The Fatty Liver Foundation advocates for early screening, and new technology offers a quick, economical, and easy method for early screening known as a FibroScreen. While many insurance companies may not pay for the scan unless you’re displaying symptoms, talk to your doctor about the option of early testing if you have metabolic syndrome.
The key to preventing liver failure is early detection (and immediate changes in lifestyle), so addressing this issue early can certainly save your life.
Sources for this article include: