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How to Protect Your Brain Against Alzheimer’s

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A few weeks ago, Big Pharma giant Merck canceled the clinical trial for its latest “promising” Alzheimer’s drug.

Why?

It was a total flop.

The same thing happened four months ago with a drug that Eli Lilly was testing.

The reality is that more than 99% of Alzheimer’s drugs fail in development. This proves that mainstream medicine has no clue what causes this brain-wasting condition.

So what’s really going on?

A big part of the problem is in the very air we breathe. And the closer you live to a major roadway or urban center, the worse it is…

Our toxic environment is driving up the rates of chronic diseases — including Alzheimer’s. I’ve been saying it for years. Now research is finally catching up…

A new study from researchers at the University of Southern California found that older women who lived in areas of high pollution were 81% more likely to experience cognitive decline and 92% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who live in less polluted areas.1

sitting senior woman

The USC researchers estimate that more than 20% of dementia cases worldwide may be due to air pollution.

You see, in areas where there’s heavy traffic and exhaust fumes, the air is loaded with “particulate matter,” or PM. These are tiny particles of toxins like sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, black carbon and heavy metals. They’re 30 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

And when it comes to toxins, size matters.

The smaller the particles, the more oxidative stress they cause in your cells.

But there’s another reason…

Because they’re so small, they can travel along nerve byways directly to your brain after you inhale them through your nose. Once there, they begin to wreak havoc.

A 2015 analysis of MRI brain scans by researchers at Harvard Medical School found that the closer people lived to a major road, the more their brains shrank.

And in January, The Lancet published a study that looked at dementia rates in the Canadian province of Ontario. Researchers found that people living within 50 meters of a major road —where levels of PM are often 10 times higher than just 150 meters away — were 12% more likely to develop dementia than people living more than 200 meters away. 

If you live in a traffic-heavy city or near a major roadway, you might be ready to pack up and move to greener pastures. That’s not a bad idea, but it’s not really practical for most people.

Instead, you need to protect your brain from PM. One way to do that is to make sure you’re getting enough B vitamins in your diet. Specifically folic acid (folate), B6 and B12.

New research from an international team studying the effects of PM found that a high-dose daily supplement of these essential nutrients “completely offset” the damage PM causes.2 Toxins like PM attack the genes in our immune systems. That lowers our ability to fight off disease.

In the study, participants took B vitamins for four weeks. Researchers found that supplementing reduced the effect from PM by up to 76% at 10 different gene locations. The vitamins also reduced damage to mitochondrial DNA.

vitamin-b6 food

Another study found that supplementing with B vitamins slowed shrinkage by as much as seven-fold in areas of the brain known to be most impacted by Alzheimer’s.3

I always recommend getting nutrients from food whenever possible. Here’s a list of some good food sources of these vitamins.

Vitamin

Food source

B6

Sunflower seeds, pistachios, wild-caught salmon, grass-fed beef and pork

B9 (folic acid/folate)

Dark, leafy vegetables, beans, lentils, walnuts, beets

B12

Grass-fed beef and beef liver, shellfish, crab

For the best protection, I also recommend supplementing with 800 mcg of folic acid (folate), 500-1,000 mcg of B12 and 2 mg of B6.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS


1 Cacciottolo, M., et al. “Particulate air pollutants, APOE alleles and their contributions to cognitive impairment in older women and to amyloidogenesis in experimental models.” Trans Psych (2017) 7, e1022

2
Zhong, Jia, et al. “B vitamins attenuate the epigenetic effects of ambient fine particles in a pilot human intervention trial.” PNAS. November 8, 2016.
3
Douaud, G., “Preventing Alzheimer’s disease-related gray matter atrophy by B-vitamin treatment.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jun 4;110(23):9523-8.

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