Although Alzheimer’s disease is sparked by genetics and environmental factors, our food and water play a bigger role in the onset and progression than most people want to admit. Gluten, cholesterol, toxins and even sugar have been implicated in Alzheimer’s. Since Alzheimer’s is a prion disease, food and water contamination is a big part of the equation in the global epidemic. In addition, as a prion disease, caregivers and other stakeholders must assume that all cases of Alzheimer’s are contagious. This is a deadly disease with no cures, so family and caregivers should not take chances.
For the past year, Stuart Adams has been fasting twice a week. While he has lost 15 pounds, he says the real reason he’s depriving himself is to stave off brain disorders including schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“There’s a virulent strain of madness running through my family, and I reckoned my chances of going down that route were pretty high,” said Adams, 43, a Londoner who learned of a possible link between Alzheimer’s and diet while watching a BBC documentary last year. “Anything that could help with that was of great interest.”
Fasting two or more days a week is catching on as people seek ways to avoid a range of ailments linked to obesity from dementia to cancer. Building on findings in studies of mice by the U.S. National Institute of Aging, researchers are planning the first studies in humans of fasting’s potential to stave off Alzheimer’s. That disease is just one of many in which scientists are studying how fasting may help.
Because there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, which afflicts more than 50 million people, any possibility of prevention holds huge potential. Adams tried the diet last year after the BBC documentary Eat, Fast & Live Longer cited a study in mice that suggested intermittent fasting could delay the onset of cognitive disorders.
“This is part of a never-ending carousel of diet books,” said Kelly Brownell, former director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University and now dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. “Some people will go on it, and because they’re cutting their calories, they will be successful. There will be some buzz and then the diet will go away, never to be heard of again.”
Gary Chandler is a prion expert. He is the CEO of Crossbow Communications, author of several books and producer of documentaries about health and environmental issues around the world. Chandler is connecting the dots to the global surge in neurodegenerative disease, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and other forms of prion disease. The scientific name for prion disease is transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. The operative word is “transmissible.” Even the global surge in autism appears to be related.