Reversing Alzheimer’s With Food and Lifestyle? For Real?

In the small way that I can, I try to redeem myself and modern medicine regarding food and lifestyle.  I don’t know where we got so off base.  I’m just a stay-at-home mom now who homeschools.  I’m not sure why I can’t just leave it behind and say, “Who cares?  Not me.  At least now I know.”  I guess it doesn’t matter.  I can’t.  You can take the doctor out of the hospital and clinic, but you can’t quell her thirst for learning and helping.

I put this following information on my personal Facebook timeline several days ago, but this morning a real friend who isn’t a Facebook friend (Oh my Gosh, is that possible?) sent it to me with excitement.  I decided to make it a small post here in case others haven’t seen it.  It is regarding a small research study which successfully implemented diet and lifestyle change for Alzheimer’s dementia.

I have three very good medical school friends that I hold dear who are scattered across the United States.  Two of them have strong family histories of premature dementia in their families, and I harp on them about nutrition when we talk by phone.  When the craziness of these days with young kids is over, we all plan to get together for a beach vacation.  I jokingly, but quite seriously, tell them they have to change the way they eat or else they won’t know who I am over their pina coladas.

Anyhow…

Memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s reversed: Small trial succeeds using systems approach to memory disorders

An excerpt from this article, (emphasis mine):

“Bredesen’s approach is personalized to the patient, based on extensive testing to determine what is affecting the plasticity signaling network of the brain. As one example, in the case of the patient with the demanding job who was forgetting her way home, her therapeutic program consisted of some, but not all of the components involved with Bredesen’s therapeutic program, and included:

(1) eliminating all simple carbohydrates, leading to a weight loss of 20 pounds;

(2) eliminating gluten and processed food from her diet, with increased vegetables, fruits, and non-farmed fish;

(3) to reduce stress, she began yoga;

(4) as a second measure to reduce the stress of her job, she began to meditate for 20 minutes twice per day;

(5) she took melatonin each night;

(6) she increased her sleep from 4-5 hours per night to 7-8 hours per night;

(7) she took methylcobalamin each day;

(8) she took vitamin D3 each day;

(9) fish oil each day;

(10) CoQ10 each day;

(11) she optimized her oral hygiene using an electric flosser and electric toothbrush;

(12) following discussion with her primary care provider, she reinstated hormone replacement therapy that had been discontinued;

(13) she fasted for a minimum of 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, and for a minimum of three hours between dinner and bedtime;

(14) she exercised for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-6 days per week.”

What Are You Waiting On, People?

I just want to yell, “What are you waiting on, mom, dad, sisters, friends, doctors?”  Do we need to wait on studies to confirm that we need to eat REAL FOOD, REDUCE STRESS, AND GET SLEEP?  Good grief.  Are we stupid?  WE ARE NOT.  Please, do the right things when it comes to food and lifestyle.  Eliminate sugar.  Make treats treats–as in, not every day!  Get rid of all the processed vegetable and grain oils now!  Strongly consider eliminating wheat.  Increase vegetables and fruits.  Do not buy premade food.  Reduce stress.  Get sleep.  Move more.  We doctors have tried to make it too complex for you for years.

And now, geesh, to do it right, it sounds too hard for people!  What?  Buy fresh fruits and vegetables?  But they’ll spoil.  What?  Turn on the stove?  I might burn the house down!  Don’t buy things in a box?  But what will we eat?  Take away cereal?  But my kids will scream.  What will they eat?  Buy fresh meat?  I don’t know how to cook it.  Don’t drink pop?  What do I drink?  Juice?  Ummm.  NO.  Water has worked for millennia.

I don’t want to be a part of some faction who eats weird.  I’m tired of fighting the crowd who brings candy to my kids.  I want you on board for the sake of all of our kids.  I’m not a self-righteous, better than thou, health nut snob.  I’m not.  I’m a doctor who used to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE pizza, pasta, sub sandwiches, donuts, bagels, bread, cookies, cake, Diet Coke, Sonic, candy bars and eating out.  Medical school taught me no different.  So I learned it the hard way on my own thanks to some people willing to put themselves on the line (on-line) when my gut finally crashed.  And I am going back now and applying what I have learned about food to the biochemical and physiological pathways I learned in med school and pharmacy school.  And I am aghast.  Duh.  Duh.  Duh.  You are what you eat.

If you have any questions, drop them in the comments.  Try me.  What are your barriers?  Do you think I’m full of it?  Do you not care?  I’ve got one of those medical school friends burning the house down with coconut oil while her kids run to the windows for fresh air and the fire alarms in the house scream out.  Yay!  I don’t know how she caught the coconut oil on fire, and I don’t care.  She has made the change and she tells me her kids feel better for it.

The research will eventually pile up on real food.  Don’t wait on it.

~~Terri

59 thoughts on “Reversing Alzheimer’s With Food and Lifestyle? For Real?

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Hi Boundless! Thanks for commenting. I don’t follow Perlmutter’s blog, although I have read his book. And yes, it is essentially the same approach. Thank you for the link. I will follow it as soon as I finish this comment. On the blue light, I find it to be exceptionally disrupting to my sleep so I try to get up early if I can rather than stay up late to work on technology (computer, iPad, phone, etc). I wonder if people are generally aware of how disrupting it is.

      Reply
      1. Boundless

        On the blue light thing, unfortunately it’s not just bulbs with an obvious blue hue. White light LEDs emit a lot more blue than incandescent or fluorescent, whether they generate white via R+G+B or by using blue or uV and a phosphor. Phosphor LEDs may even have a more hazardous spectrum.

        So convert your night lights to green or lower in the visible spectrum (ideally also normally-off, with motion detection), and get any other blue light sources (e.g. cellphone indicators) covered in the bedroom.

        The Philips tunable LEDs around the home might actually be worth their premium. Set ’em to warmer color temps in the evening.

        It may not be necessary to revert to candles and campfires.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Holy smokes! What is this language you are talking? 🙂 Ok. What are tunables? Does my light switch have to be able to move up and down to dim or brighten lights or is the tuner on the bulb? And do the bulbs have labels about which light color they are? When I shop I just shop for whatever. Does this matter during the day when I have tons of windows?

      3. Boundless

        re: What is this language you are talking?

        Electronics and color science.

        Here’s a nice summary of the blue LED concerns.
        http://texyt.com/bright+blue+leds+annoyance+health+risks
        And here’s a deeper dive:
        http://www.ies-or.org/pdfs/NMillerPresentsSSL.pdf

        No LED junction actually emits white light. LED junctions typically emit only a single wavelength. Infrared through green LEDs have been available since the 1960s. Blue was a tougher problem, and a Nobel Prize was just issued this week for that.

        White LED bulbs use one of two techniques for generating white. The may use an array of separate red, green and blue (RGB) LEDs, or they may use fewer emitters (possibly uV), and bounce that off a phosphor that down-converts, fluorescent style, it to one or more visible colors.

        In either case, the emitted spectrum often contains some nasty peaks in the blue range, unlike the sun, Edison bulbs, and some other artificial light sources. White LED lighting in the home is a net economic benefit, but is not without concerns.

        One approach for home lighting is variable color LED bulbs, like the Philips Hue line, which include a remote control for setting color. Ideally, the whole home could be so lit, and the bulbs would self-adjust their output spectra based on time of day.

        This is also an issue for display screens. Most LCD screens to date have been back-lit by fluorescent lamps (CCFLs), but increasingly the back lights are LED (again RGB or phosphor) and the trend is toward RGB OLED screens, which are direct light emitters, including blue, and have no backlight. Using these devices at night is apt to screw up your melatonin unless you can adjust the blue content down.

        Blue LEDs are also trendy in industrial design of products. The makers of such products need some strong market feedback on that.

      4. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        “One approach for home lighting is variable color LED bulbs, like the Philips Hue line, which include a remote control for setting color. Ideally, the whole home could be so lit, and the bulbs would self-adjust their output spectra based on time of day.” Wow. Wow. Wow. Actually all of this is “wow.” Links saved so I can refer to them when I have more time to devote to them. Nicole, at The Non-Toxic Nurse, suggests in the comments a bulb available at Wal-Mart, their Good Value brand. What do you know about this?

        Thanks, Terri

      5. Boundless

        Perhaps the easiest way to get reduced blue in the evening is to wear blue blockers – available as glasses, wrap-arounds or clip-ons. There are anecdotal reports of people with circadian problems getting great results with these.

        As the recent “blood moon” reminds us, low-angle atmospheric sunlight is quite red, compared to the high-angle blue skies mid-day. Wood fires have a relatively smooth (if somewhat variable) spectral power curve that tapers off substantially toward blue. Humans are adapted to daily sunlight cycles (red at dusk, then dark). We have been adapted to fire for a couple of million years (yellow-red). We are not yet adapted to artificial blue light at night.

      6. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        I have definitely heard of the blue blocking glasses. They seem all the rage on many health sites. I should check them out just so I know. I’m picturing some funky looking glasses that my kids will be like, “Mom. Seriously?” Fascinating information regarding the light. The moon has been phenomenal lately! Thanks for all the information. Appreciate it.

        Terri

      7. Boundless

        re: available at Wal-Mart, their Good Value brand. What do you know about this?

        I have been avoiding them, and just found this review confirming my suspicions:
        http://www.ledsmagazine.com/articles/2013/10/what-s-inside-the-walmart-60w-replacement-led-bulb.html
        “The chip also seems to have had its identifying marks etched off.” Hello? Why? The most likely reason is that the chip sort of works, but doesn’t meet the chip maker’s spec, was sold cheaply, and they don’t want their brand on it when the bulb fails prematurely. Other possible explanations are even more troubling.

        The review didn’t even get into SPD (spectral power distribution), but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s horrible. How bad could it be? Well, consider the Philips T8, at:
        http://www.designingwithleds.com/review-philips-instantfit-t8-led-targets-fluorescent-ballasts/
        Very nasty spike in the blue. This might be fine for use in transient workspaces, like a garage or basement, but I wouldn’t use it in spaces intended for extended presence, like a den.

        I only buy brands for which I can find tear-down reviews and SPD, which has so far limited me to Cree and Philips.

        I might add that CRI (Color Rendering Index) is pretty much a meaningless marketing mumble metric on the spectrum issue generally, and the blue content in particular. You really need to see an SPD plot.

    2. Boundless

      re: How do I know what colors are in them?

      Independent research, alas.
      http://www.designingwithleds.com/measuring-light-quality-philips-cree-led-bulbs-spectrometer/

      Even Cree, who are market leaders, don’t publish spectral charts for the complete bulbs (but they do for the components, if you can figure out which chips the bulbs use).

      Generally, we need to just assume that any white LED is going to have a spike in the blue. It’s apt to be some time before the lighting industry wakes up to the blue issue.

      Reply
      1. nontoxicnurse

        Boundless, what an interesting and helpful blog you have! I learned a lot and will be back. Your spectrometer results helped me realize that if I want to avoid blue light while doing the dishes, I should shy away from putting an LED fluorescent replacement lamp in the fluorescent fixture, above my kitchen sink, that was left by the previous owners. From your spectrometer results, it looks as though the LED fluorescent replacement lamp emits more blue light than the general purpose LED bulbs. If that is the case, then I will change out the fixtures to avoid the greater amount of blue light. Please correct me if I am wrongly interpreting your data.

      2. Boundless

        re: Boundless, what an interesting and helpful blog you have!

        Umm, I don’t have a blog at the moment, and have no relationship to any of the sites I linked to.

        re: I should shy away from putting an LED fluorescent replacement lamp in the fluorescent fixture, above my kitchen sink …

        It sorta looks that wasy just at the moment. The Cree drop-in replacement T8s look to be the best in terms of SPD at the moment, but SPD issues aside, I don’t think replacing a T8 fluorescent bulb with a ballast-adapted LED makes sense unless you also rewire the fixture to eliminate the ballast (which component is going to fail before the LEDs do, in addition to wasting some power).

        When we changed out our CFLs in the kitchen, we replaced the entire flush-mount fixtures with semi-flush and LEDs. Fully enclosed fixtures reduce LED (and CFL) life. Replace them with something ventilated.

        I’d like to replace our garage and basement T8s with LED, but don’t see anything compelling at the moment. We also lately built a barn, and due to lack of an attractive T8-style alternative, lit it with simple Edison base reflectors and Cree bulbs.

      3. nontoxicnurse

        Sorry Boundless, I was confused and thought the blog to which you linked was yours.

        Interesting write-up you found regarding the Great Value Bulbs. Thanks for sharing it! I would really love to see the spectrometer read-out for them. We visually tested the Great Value, the Cree, and the Phillips trying to find the most incandescent-like-colored bulb in our great room (room has very light, antique white walls and ceiling, and medium-brown wood floor–in case it makes a difference). To the eye, the Great Value appeared FAR less blue than the other two, and a bit more yellow-ish, just like the incandescent . . . of course spectrometry would have the final word on that.

        We don’t have any dimmers, so I have no experience with the dimming problem mentioned.

        We have had some of them in enclosed fixtures (our boxes said that was okay as long as other brands/types of bulbs were not in the same enclosed fixture) for 6 months, including fixtures that are on 12+ hours per day. OCD types that we are, we checked several times with an infrared thermometer and nothing seemed to be getting too hot.

        The cuff is hot to the touch when the bulbs are on, as with the Phillips and Cree, but the plastic cover always stays very cool. One thing that I hated about the Cree was that it was coated in a silicone-like, sticky, gel coating, that was dusty out of the box, and seemed to be a dust magnet once opened. Additionally, straight out of the box there were rips and tears in the coating, that stuck out like a sore thumb once the bulb was lit. We could not dust the bulb successfully with either a dry cloth or a damp cloth–too sticky. Since I have always dusted my bulbs that are in open fixtures and lamps, I thought that was pretty impractical. The Great Value is smooth, not sticky, and easier to clean than a traditional glass bulb since I don’t have to worry about breaking it.

        I understand that the fins on other brands of LED bulbs are for heat dissipation, but again, what a total pain to dust. I felt that if the Great Value were not getting too hot (and they don’t seem to be) that they would be a much more practical bulb to keep dusted due to their fin-free design.

        That is pretty sketchy about the partially scratched of serial number, but I know that manufacturers often do things like that when selling to discount outfits because they don’t want their name associated with discount stores.

        Again, thanks for sharing. Who even knew there were spectrometry results on the web for consumer light bulbs, but you? 🙂

      4. Boundless

        re: We have had some of them in enclosed fixtures …

        Fixtures, now called luminaires, are by and large still being designed for incandescent bulbs, where over-heating the bulb is not an issue, but fire protection is. They are all too often fully enclosed, insulated, and will cook the electronics in a CFL or LED bulb long before the gas tubes or LED emitters wear out.

        Enclosed flush mounts needed to shift to ventilated semi-flush, 20 years ago, when the CFLs first came in. There’s no excuse for designing new luminaires for incandescents anymore, but they do, sigh.

        re: One thing that I hated about the Cree was that it was coated in a silicone-like, sticky, gel coating, that was dusty out of the box, and seemed to be a dust magnet once opened.

        Agreed. Cree hand-waves about the supposed benefits of that, but it appears the chief reason is light diffusion – preventing a hot-spot light pattern, and perhaps an eye safety issue should you stare into a bare emitter. Why not use frosted glass, as in days of yore? Beats me.

        re: I understand that the fins on other brands …

        Consider then the Philips SlimStyle. No silcone coating. No fins.

        re: That is pretty sketchy about the partially scratched off serial number, …

        Not a serial number (chips lesser than CPUs rarely have s/ns). The branding, part number and datecode were removed, and after having been applied. I doubt the chip maker was worried about consumers making some association, and there’s no point in trying to fool geeks, as the tear-down reviewer was able to ID the chip maker. Defacing merely provides some plausible deniability for short product life due to parts that are apparent factory floor-sweepings. Probably not counterfeit, tho, as fakers would try to fake the marks credibly.

  1. Nishka

    Wow…I just looked up Philips tunables! I don’t always have the time to comment but I always always read you blogs and I am so grateful that you care Terri!! I have gotten so much valuable information that I would never be able to sift through and figure out online myself. I think my family/friends think I’m rigid in the way I try to feed my family so it’s so nice to know you are fighting those same “battles.” I feel at least I am doing one thing right especially after reading studies like this one on Alzheimer’s. I love your recipes and refer to them often and love that you simplify so many things so they’re not so intimidating and complicated. I don’t always get it right but I’ve definitely made some big changes that I’m proud of. Thank you!!

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Nishka, You’re ahead of me! I haven’t had a chance to look up tunables! Sounds like what I serve my kids for lunch–“tuna”-bles, as in tuna salad in a lettuce wrap. Bad one. I know. 🙂 I have never addressed my lighting or read much about it. Those glasses I read about to wear at night while working on the computer recommended by Paleo Mom and Steve and Jordan at SCD Lifestyle and all those other savvy health people, etc, well, I’m just not ready to be doing that yet! Can’t get passed the goofy-sounding factor yet! 🙂

      I think we are on the right track, but it is super hard when we leave the confines of our house or have visitors. I know I like to be thought of as “normal” (whatever that is), but I know people think I’m over the top regarding food. But when I look at the facts, I know I am not. I just want to post study after study after study after chemical pathway after chemical pathway. This is real stuff and our food choices are creating chronic disease. THANK YOU SO MUCH for your motivational words. Good luck! Terri

      Reply
      1. nontoxicnurse

        I tried to leave a comment about this yesterday, but the internet must have eaten it. I caution folks against buying dimmer switches and tunable bulbs. I own a few meters for detecting electrical fields, magnetic fields, and radiofrequency fields. My former home had several dimmer switches in it, and we removed them all due to rather intense electromagnetic fields that extended about 8 feet into the room around each one. Additionally, I have since read that dimmer switches create “dirty electricity”–see book by Sam Milham, MD, MPH. We buy only “soft white” LED bulbs, paying careful attention to the warm to cool chart on the back. The warmest hue LED bulbs I have found so far are from Wal-Mart and are the Great Value Soft White LED bulbs. They are a 2700K on the warm to cool scale, for reference purposes. For night-time use, we have small dedicated lamps wherever we need them. In the small lamps we use low-wattage, red or orange, incandescent, “party light” bulbs (also readily available at Wal-Mart or on Amazon). In one room, we use a Himalayan salt lamp, which glows orange.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Oops. My bad. Don’t be mad…Your comment is there along with a few others on this topic! I wanted to read them thoroughly and digest what they all had to say. Once I approve a comment, it kind of gets lost in the shuffle and I don’t get to comment or read it like I want to. So if I need more time on them or time to reply to them, I wait to approve them. I definitely need more time on all this light stuff! Wow! Thanks for your input, Nicole!

  2. Nicole, The Non-Toxic Nurse

    We buy the Great Value LED bulbs that say “soft white,” because they emit a warmer light than most other LED bulbs. I don’t love supporting Wal-Mart, but these are the warmest LED bulbs we could find. There is usually a chart on the back of the box that shows where the bulb is on the spectrum from warm to cool. The bulbs we get are 2700K on the scale, and are the warmest I can find.

    I caution folks about dimmer switches of any kind. Many emit strong electromagnetic fields and many emit dirty electricity. I had a dimmer switch in my former home and we took it out, because its pulsating fields were detectable up to 8 feet away using a simple Tri-Field Meter ($70 on Amazon).

    Rather than using dimmed LED bulbs, at night, we like the orange glow of a Himalayan salt lamp or we use low-wattage, incandescent, red-colored “party light bulbs,” which are available at most stores that sell light bulbs. We simply have a small lamp in each living space that has a red bulb in it.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Great Value bulbs! Who would have guessed? Thank you for the information. It sounds like a simple change we could easily implement. Especially since I am plumb out of bulbs as I write! (We don’t have any dimmers, so off the hook there. Although, that meter is something I’d never heard about. A Tri-Field Meter.) Terri

      Reply
      1. nontoxicnurse

        I should clarify that I have no spectrometry results (nor do I own spectrometer) for the Great Value bulbs compared to other LED bulbs. I have read that LEDs tend to put out more blues than incandescents. I absolutely detest blue-ish looking lighting and resisted switching to LEDs until I could no longer buy incandescents. When the time came to go LED shopping (I hate everything about CFLs–so they were never an option), we used the warm to cool light temperature charts on the backs of available bulbs at Home Depot and Wal-Mart to make our selections. We bought three different bulbs, a Cree, a Phillips, and the Great Value, and tried each of them in our great room to choose the one that was closest to incandescent, according to our eyes. The Great Value bulb won hands down. The other two bulbs made me feel like I was in a hospital or a factory. The Great Value bulb was also much cheaper than the other two brands, which allowed us to replace all the bulbs in the house. Our electric bill showed a difference the very first month. However, while I have finally allowed something aside from incandescents into my house, I still switch to the low-wattage incandescent red or orange party lights at night, because of what I have read about LEDs being heavier on the blues. I also do, in fact, wear BluBlocker Aviator sun glasses (so not sexy!) when looking at my computer screen or a television at night. Additionally, I use a free program called f.lux ( https://justgetflux.com/ ) to bring down the blues coming out of my computer screen at night. It automatically kicks in at your sunset time, and its inventors are geniuses.

        A Tri-Field Meter ( http://www.amazon.com/Trifield-100XE-EMF-Meter/dp/B00050WQ1G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413006842&sr=8-1&keywords=trimeter ) is a basic, and rather old-school, meter that is inexpensive and good at detecting electric or magnetic fields. Basically, if there is an electric or magnetic field present, it will detect it. The Tri-Field’s ability to accurately gauge the strength of the field is not equal to its more expensive counterparts, but the average homeowner really just needs to know where the fields are in their home and the fields’ approximate or even relative strengths, for avoidance reasons. (Read: you don’t want to be spending time in a significant field if you can help it–your body will not thank you). The Tri-Field also can detect radiofrequency, but, from what I have read, the RF must be quite intense for the Tri-Meter to pick it up. I do not plan on getting up close and personal with a cell mast to find out though. There are much better (albeit more expensive) choices for detecting RF–I have one on my Wish List. Buying a Tri-Meter changed my life in that it made me aware of the unseen fields in my home–fields that have documented undesirable effects on human physiology. I sit MUCH farther from my laptop now, and I will never again use a laptop that is not operating via its power cord plugged in to a grounded socket. Huge/undesirable difference in field strength when running any of our laptops on battery power. I will never again put a laptop on my lap, and I cringe when I see others doing it.

        Why do I have weird meters? My former home was what most experts consider a “safe” distance from the nearest cell tower; however, I often felt unwell and tense in the house and yard–despite it aesthetically being my dream house. The tense feeling set in as soon as we moved there. At first I attributed it to aging–I turned 30 shortly after we moved in, haha. Then my daughter and I experienced immune system and neurological health issues while living there. Once I became familiar with the notion that waves from various parts of the electromagnetic spectrum have been shown to affect human physiology, the immune system and neurological system in particular, I knew I had to learn how to measure any possible fields in my house to see how it rated. I took an introductory course and did just that. I knew the neighborhood had radiofrequency-emitting “smart” electric meters that operated on a mesh network, but there was nothing I could do to change that except install expensive shielding. That was a given, so I didn’t need to buy the expensive RF meter to tell me just how bad that issue was. I did buy and use meters that measure other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum to see if the house/yard was ideal in terms of electric and magnetic fields, before I embarked on any expensive RF shielding attempts. The Tri-Field Meter and a body voltage meter (measures the volts coming across your actual skin) that I made, using a cheap volt meter, a screw driver, and some speaker wire, allowed me to determine that many of the electrical and magnetic fields in my former home, and its acre yard, were generated at the neighborhood level, and were not coming only from my home’s wiring. I cut my main breaker and the fields were less, but still present at an undesirable level (even in my house), which meant I could not fix them by re-wiring or such. There was a chance I could shield the house from those fields also, for big bucks, however, just as with the RF shielding, there was no chance of shielding the yard. The preceding allowed me to realize that my dream house was not very dreamy for my family’s bodies. Long story short, we moved, and the new location was chosen with Tri-Field Meter and Body Voltage Meter in hand, and with smart meter and cell tower avoidance in mind. My sleep is much more restful in our new home, and I no longer feel the 24-7 tense feeling that I felt in the old house and neighborhood. My daughter is much more relaxed here, and even my easy-going husband feels a major difference. My health has not dramatically improved other than losing the weird tense feeling, but it took 5 years of living in the old house to experience the decline in health . . . so I wasn’t expecting any quick fixes.

        I go into the above, because, after the items on the excellent list in your post are addressed, I think folks should consider the unseen, yet easily detectable, man-made fields that surround them at home and at work. I soooo wish someone had mentioned them to me several years before I happened to find out about them. If you do not want to geek out with meters yourself, there are experts you can hire to assess your house. In addition to the laptop issues I mentioned above, as a first step, I think that all would do well to get electrical equipment at least 6 feet (preferably farther) away from their sleeping area. I ditched my plug-in clock radio for a small, battery operated travel alarm, thanks to what my Tri-Field meter showed me. I also put my bedside lamp on a power strip so I could turn it on and off at its power source easily (with my foot) in the dark. When plugged into a wall outlet, even when turned off, the lamp had “phantom” usage that was subjecting my head to a notable field while I slept. Also, if you have anything other than a corded phone in your bedroom, it is a good idea to remove it completely from the room–you just cannot get cordless phones or cell phones far enough away from your body if they are in the same room as you while you sleep. We are an all corded phone house these days.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Okay. I believe that what you say has truth despite the fact that we’re supposed to think all this stuff is safe and fine, but this is a lot of information for me (and I’m ahead of the general population)! I’m still wading through diet factors such as iodine and vitamin K2. (How much iodine? Where should I get it? Is iodized salt worth incorporating if I can’t find reliable food sources? Is kelp a bad way to get ioidine? We don’t tolerate dairy well but we need K2–do I incorporate hard cheeses and butter/ghee anyhow? Is this leaky gut? Can I reverse my family’s leaky gut?) Heck, I still haven’t invested in that water filter (which I think you gave me a great rec for). However, I can see that this EMF/light wave stuff is probably very important also–BUT probably much harder to deal with than food is! Ouch! I am taking the links and ideas you all have given me, and when I can, I’d like to do a post on this. Right now, I’m trying to formulate a K2/bone plan for our family and still wade through iodine. So it will not be as soon as I’d like it. But I’m trying to remember that I can’t learn it all at once. Luckily, we are doing well so this will be fine-tuning and “preventative” medicine stuff for us. For that I am truly grateful.

        I don’t expect that you read my posts (and when you do, super!), but did you happen by chance to see some of the folate posts? I know you informed me a lot on MTHFR deficiency. I think I understand it a lot better now. I was wondering if you thought they were accurate, fair and balanced posts on this matter. In your knowledge, are there people who can’t get enough proper folate from food-rich folate sources?

        You take care! South Dakota has a LOT of wide open spaces–more than SC! That is my favorite part! Just you and the sky!

        Warmest wishes and greetings to you and your family–Terri

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      If you think you’re amazed, imagine my chagrin. 🙂 I mean, I paid thousands upon thousands of dollars to learn about health and medicine. We are still paying for my husband’s loans for med school.

      Reply
  3. Shannon

    Shared on FB. Not waiting on the research here, real food has been around a lot longer than I have (lol). Yeah, it takes a little more time, but feeling better is really worth it.

    I care, I care a lot. Having seen first hand that we truly are what we eat and how small changes in our lives (food, sleep, stress) can make for big changes in our lives, I try to “yell it from the rooftops”. While many are fearful of what may be when it comes to dementia, they tend to be more fearful of giving up the foods they “love”. So many would rather just ask for medicine, live in fear of the “what ifs” than try their hand at a lifestyle change. “it takes too long” “I don’t like …”

    In addition to mirroring Dr. Perlmutter, it’s also pert near the Leptin Rx of Dr. Kruse.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Thanks Shannon for your input. You live this every day too by choice–not choosing to take the easy road and easy pills which are so detrimental. It’s hard in today’s environment. (But not TOO hard for any of us!!) Absolutely, Perlmutter, Kruse, Wahls–I don’t care who they are! They basically recommend the same things! And I just want it in the hands of common people–the housewives, the children, the men who work hard. There’s nothing magic about it or genius. I hope to get some person here or there to see that.

      Reply
  4. Rachael @ mummyflyingsolo

    It is scary what some professiinals are advising. I was reading my ivf booklet yesterday and the part completed by the dietician is largely rubbish. It includes cereal, low fat dairy and margarine as options! I was horrified. Low fat???? So much worse for you. Cereal is full of sugar and the way margarine is made will make your hair curl. And this is a dietician!!! Far out. I get a free consult with her as part of my program. I’m going solely to question her on her inclusions. She is going to adore me 😉

    You are doing a great job here, Terri!

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I am horrified too. I have a post in my drafts about what I learned about pregnancy and nutrition and my pregnancy nutrition. It is definitely at odds with conventional recommendations. I find it very frustrating and worrisome. Scary, like you say. A developing baby’s brain NEEDS fats and particular kinds are exceptionally beneficial. The fat recommendations bother me. The seafood recommendations bother me. The type of folate in multivitamins bothers me. It all bothers me now. Why did I not THINK? Why did I just follow some stupid guidelines? Anyhow, I hope the dietician has moved beyond what is in the ivf booklet and truly will adore you. 🙂 Tank up your body, my friend! And thank you for the compliment.

      Reply
    2. Boundless

      re: Cereal is full of sugar

      The cereal aisle at the grocery store presently contains quite literally NOTHING suitable for human consumption. Every product there will be contaminated with simple sugars, gluten-bearing grains or high-glycemic grains in some combination. In his latest book (Wheat Belly Total Health), Dr. Davis opines (p137) that only 1.7% of what’s in typical supermarkets belongs in a sane diet. Entire aisles (e.g. cereal, bread, beverage, candy) are complete wastelands.

      If you want an actual healthy cereal, you need to mail order. One that just became available this week is:
      http://shop.wheatfreemarket.com/Slow-Toasted-Flakes-Cereal-STF01.htm
      I just tried it this morning, in heavy cream, and it’s a keeper. I’ve also been eating their granola since it became available. Still waiting for WFMF to do a nutrition bar …

      Reply
      1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Got that book ready to go for when we take a vacation and I maybe have time to read it. Just love piecing all these diet/lifestyle recs together. Will check on this cereal. Kids love cereal, including mine!

  5. IrishMum

    Fantastic post. As Boundless mentioned above Blue Blocker glasses are great for blocking that nasty light. We’ve been wearing them for years. Yes, it would be better to change all our light bulbs, and get off devices and TV when it gets dark, but it just doesn’t happen. The glasses are a good second option. Also, Flux is great for a laptop.

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Will there be any area of my life untouched by all this “natural” stuff? (Chuckle.) I have GOT to Google those glasses. I’m picturing the kind of glasses/clip my grandma wore after cataract surgery. Oh, my. I am just picturing what our parents will say when they come to visit. They’ll say, “What WILL you come up with next, Terri?”

      Do you wear them to watch TV? And absolutely I’ve never heard of Flux. My 2009 Toshiba laptop is still ticking…

      Terri

      Reply
      1. IrishMum

        Yeah, I wear them from about 8pm on, and watch TV, etc with them. They do distort the colours a bit, but nothing major. That Toshiba should be in a museum 😉

    2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Okay. I always have thought that blogging will reveal my stupidity… I just learned from Nicole (author of the blog The Non-Toxic Nurse) that Flux is a program I can download?! I will figure this all out. I’ve got the rest of my life…

      Reply
      1. Boundless

        > … Flux is a program I can download …

        Problem is, depending on the display technology, it may not reduce your 450 nm exposure by much.

        With an LCD screen backlit by “white light” LED (or by CCFL with a nasty peak in the blue), full white is always on back there, and some always leaks through. LCD has terrible black level (aka dynamic range) because the R,G and B subpixels are far from fully opaque when “off”. This is why more upscale “LED” TVs advertise “local dimming” – if a large area of the picture data is dark, these TVs actually dim the white in that part of the LED backlight array.

        Further, Flux only controls the screen of the one device, typically your PC; not your room lights, night lights, cell phone (maybe), clocks, appliances, yard light, a/v gear, TV, etc. Blue ambient light is just as toxic as blue central vision light.

        Blue blockers appear to be the most reliable (and probably the most economical) solution.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Good to know. We have an old plasma TV. Wonder where this stands in all of this. Bottom line sounds like we need to take precautions and some are easy to make, especially if I can get over the aesthetic component of wearing sunglasses at night in our house. Wishing you good health–Terri

      3. Boundless

        re: We have an old plasma TV.

        As do we, chosen specifically for its black level capability. I’d like to replace it with a larger set, but plasma is getting hard to find and I really dislike LCD (sometimes mis-named as LED) flat panels for a number of reasons. Probably will need to wait for OLED to become economical for large panels (as it is already for phones and tabs), assuming we all survive the ebola apocalypse, of course (1st case of re-transmission in US today).

        re: Wonder where this [plasma] stands in all of this.

        The key thing in the present context (SPD and blue content) is that when a plasma color is off, it’s really off – it’s simply not being emitted, not just being masked.

        The trick with a plasma TV would be running the signal through a processor that could de-blue it. No A/V system I know of does that. Watching via your PC/laptop with Flux might do.

        re: … if I can get over the aesthetic component of wearing sunglasses at night in our house.

        That’s probably the ideal solution, and is cheap enough to experiment with. Turns out that “looking at the world through rose colored glasses” has actual health benefits.

  6. nontoxicnurse

    Yes, the same government that is telling us that GMO corn, soy, etc. is safe and fine, in the absence of research that establishes safety, is allowing us to be exposed to an unprecedented amount of man-made electromagnetic frequencies–also in the absence of research establishing safety.

    I addressed the man-made electromagnetic field issue as soon as I learned about it, because, to me, it seemed that approximating a natural electromagnetic environment for our bodies was as important as eating natural/real food. First, I learned about the effects of blue light on melatonin production, which it now seems most have heard about–but remember, visible light is just one teeny-tiny part of the electromagnetic spectrum (this diagram will remind you just how teeny-tiny a part it is http://www2.lbl.gov/MicroWorlds/ALSTool/EMSpec/EMSpec2.html ). Then it hit me: (extremely simply stated) we know that our bodies (e.g., our hearts, brains, and cells) carry out work of an electrical nature to accomplish bodily functions–so why would we venture to think that waves along the electromagnetic spectrum would not affect our bodily functioning? Many electric, magnetic, and radiofrequency devices interfere with each other’s functioning, so why would we assume that such devices would not interfere with our (electrical) bodies?

    It had been a really long time since the one physics course I took in college, so I began to brush up. Thankfully, before my brain exploded, I quickly learned that folks from around the world, far smarter than I, were on the issue (especially as it pertains to radiofrequency), had done their homework, had conducted tons of great research, and had actually published a report that pleads with governments world-wide to take steps to protect their citizens. The Bioinitiative Report was produced by “29 authors from ten countries, ten holding medical degrees (MDs), 21 PhDs, and three MsC, MA or MPHs,” and can be found here: http://www.bioinitiative.org/table-of-contents/ . It is not written in the simplest language, but you can get an idea of the researchers’ findings that EMF has far reaching implications for the human body simply from scanning the table of contents. I encourage all to make their way through it at some point.

    Essentially, what I have learned from 3 years of studying such things, is that, at the very least, man-made fields have the potential to make the human body far more susceptible to falling into inflammatory and other disease states. I assume that, as was the case with my family, avoidance of such disease states is what most parents who are trying to mend leaky guts are really looking for, overall. The more I learn about the effects of man-made EMF on human physiology, the more I think that it is as, if not more, important to address than food. Thus, while I agree that food is an important starting point, and a much less overwhelming starting point, I do not think that EMF remediation should be too far behind. EMF remediation (just like food remediation) has easy, “baby” steps–thank goodness.

    Regarding your K2 quandary, have you considered using the starter culture developed by Dr. Mercola for making your fermented vegetables? It utilizes strains of probiotics that have high K2 production potential. Here is an article on his site mentioning it http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/19/fennel-plant-prevents-bone-loss.aspx , and here is a link to the culture
    http://shop.mercola.com/product/kinetic-culture-30g-1-bottle,1275,0.htm . I cannot do dairy either. I currently get my K2 in capsule form, but am considering trying Dr. Mercola’s starter when I run out of my current veggie starter.

    We do not do iodized salt for two reasons. First, I have yet to find an iodized salt that is not chock full of yucky anti-caking agents. Second, from what I have read, it is best to consume sodium with other electrolytes–as it would occur in nature. We do various types of natural crystal sea salts to take in the full complement of minerals with our sodium (including iodine). We do not tolerate eggs or dairy, so our food-based iodine comes from various types of seaweed, asparagus, carrots, fish, shell fish, and cranberries. Our carefully chosen multi-vitamins also have low dose iodine and we use low-dose Llugol’s Solution as an insurance policy.

    Another possible caution regarding iodized salt (or possibly any non-naturally-occurring salt that is lacking a full spectrum of minerals) is that some recent research has implicated plain sodium chloride as a possible contributor to autoimmune disease http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/march2013/03182013autoimmune.htm. It remains to be seen whether or not natural crystal sea salts, with their full assortment of minerals, can also produce the results the researchers saw . . . but my money is on salt in the form found in nature being less inflammatory than isolated sodium chloride.

    As for how much iodine . . . my family doctor is a widely recognized iodine guru. He literally gives presentations to doctors all over the world on iodine. He believes that the Japanese provide us with a good idea of a safe upper-limit dose of iodine (i.e., a CYA dose for doctors who are inclined to prescribe such things). Prior to the Fukishima disaster, an average Japanese woman consumed around 12.5 mg of iodine per day and had a lower risk of breast cancer than an American woman (which many connect to the iodine consumption). Furthermore, there do not seem to be adverse effects on the fetuses of Japanese women from the iodine consumption (some maintain that there are actually advantageous effects). From what I have seen and read, some doctors determine individual iodine dosages based on the results of what is termed an “iodine loading test,” run by specialized labs, and put severely deficient patients on doses as high as 30+ mg using a supplement called “Iodoral.” Some doctors urge folks with Hashimoto’s to go easy on iodine and monitor their response to it–my doctor is not one of them. I take the middle road and take less than half of the 12.5 mg per day in supplement form.

    I did not read your folate posts, but meant to. In my experience, green vegetable hesitant husbands, who also have two copies of the MTHFR C677T single nucleotide polymorphism, will only get enough folate from real food to keep their homocysteine at a worrisome and whopping 26 mcmol/L (reference range 4-17 mcmol/L)–a recipe for cancer, dementia, and heart disease, from what I have read. Unfortunately, detecting such things usually depends upon having a family doctor who is willing to listen to the wife’s ramblings on the intricacies of MTHFR polymorphisms and order the test. Once the test comes back, life is a lot easier for the wife, because the doctor reads the husband the riot act and she gets a break for once, haha!

    I have also read that synthetic folic acid intake can block the folate receptor, from both dietary folate and reduced forms in supplements. According to this article http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/87/3/517.full , “Theoretically, folic acid could interfere with the metabolism, cellular transport, and regulatory functions of the natural folates that occur in the body by competing with the reduced forms for binding with enzymes, carrier proteins, and binding proteins. For example, the folate receptor has a higher affinity for folic acid than for methyl-THF—the main form of folate that occurs in the blood.” I have read elsewhere that this receptor blockade could take quite some time to be undone once synthetic folic acid supplementation is stopped.

    There is also a condition known as cerebral folate receptor autoimmunity, common in autism, in which supplemental folinic acid (not folic–folinic is more reduced than folic, but not as reduced as 5MTHF) has shown therapeutic ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22230883 & http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23314538 ).

    Additionally, I suspect that those with digestive issues resulting in the passage of undigested food, those with inflammatory bowel issues, or those with IBS-type issues that involve having a “fast” gut (with diarrhea often triggered by folate-rich veggies), would not get enough folate from green veggies, due to absorption issues–but that is just a guess . . . oh wait, here’s a study on inflammatory bowel patients that suggests my guess may be somewhat correct http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25141576 .

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Thank you so much for that well-formulated comment. I have marked the links. I will revisit this. I was NOT hinting for you to read my folate posts. 🙂 I think what you said pretty much jives with what I concluded. Yay! Some of what you suggested regarding EMFs sounds very easy for me to implement and no harm done with the changes and potentially lots of good. And then hopefully I can get a post on it for other people too before I am old. 🙂 I prefer not iodized salt too. But most people are not seeking alternative sources of iodine when they cut out iodized salt. They don’t like fish. Can’t tolerate dairy. Etc. So they end up iodine deficient and this is bad. Loved hearing what your doc does with iodine! Going to close for the night. Keep throwing it at me. I’ll reel a bit then get back up. 🙂

      Reply
  7. kasenyabogg

    Hi Terri, thanks for your great post. I love hearing about diet and lifestyle changes reversing disease. Lately I read about coconut oil and its usefulness in Alzheimers – Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure?. Terri, can you tell me why the methylcobalamin and CoQ10 were used? What were their specific roles?

    Reply
  8. Pingback: What Is Coenzyme Q 10? Why Was It Used In The Small Alzheimer’s Study? What is Oxidative Stress? Statins and Coenzyme Q 10. | The HSD

  9. Pingback: (Protect The Brain.) What Was The Role Of Methylcobalamin In The Alzheimer’s Study? | The HSD

  10. rantsrulesandrecipes

    I love this part :

    “I don’t want to be a part of some faction who eats weird. I’m tired of fighting the crowd who brings candy to my kids. I want you on board for the sake of all of our kids. I’m not a self-righteous, better than thou, health nut snob. I’m not. I’m a doctor who used to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE pizza, pasta, sub sandwiches, donuts, bagels, bread, cookies, cake, Diet Coke, Sonic, candy bars and eating out. Medical school taught me no different…”

    I can completely relate!

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Do you not keep a window of about 10-12 hours between supper and breakfast? Autophagy (the process when cells start culling themselves, eliminating “bad” cells, “bad” organelles, etc.) requires about 12 hours. In fact, fasting has some great benefits for the body behind it. I think it’s so neat to see how this ties in to religious custom. (Please anybody reading this–do not fast without talking with your doctor and/or being very nutritionally aware and/or being very aware of your own body’s limits and when to not push it.) But, um, fasting on your bike schedule is NOT an option. 🙂

      If we were truly “walking around the elephant” in all matters, we’d ask ourselves if intense physical exertion for a prolonged period of time on a daily/yearly basis was beneficial. Or how it is beneficial and how it is detrimental. Does cycling have the same detrimental consequences as marathon running, which has studies showing us some strong negative points? On the other hand, what it provides our innermost being, may be much worth the potential physiological outcomes. Or the positives it provides the physiology may outweigh the negatives on the physiology. Not really my area. My cycles are always short. No excuse for me to eat a bedtime snack. And I’m no expert in exercise physiology, but I know marathons aren’t “healthy.” Happy Mother’s Day to your wife!

      Reply
      1. All Seasons Cyclist

        From what I have been able to read, it appears that both marathon running and distance cycling (my sport) do have some negative impacts on the body (especially in the “free radical” area). On the other hand, I am convinced that there are people who are alive today merely because I could ride my bike after talking to them (instead of beating them to death with a tire iron). In addition, the mental health aspects of cycling cannot be overstated—during my six months off the bike I was going crazy!!!! Within 30 minutes of getting back on the bike I felt like a whole new person!

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