Is Alzheimer’s Disease the same as type 3 diabetes?
Alzheimer starves your brain, tangles and twists vital cells, and for decades it has been misrepresented as an untreatable, genetically determined disease. Alzheimer's disease is already an important cause of death in Western Europe and is expected to rise to the top. This devastating illness shares a strong link with another sickness that wreaks havoc on millions of people too: diabetes.
The 3 types of diabetes
We know type 1 diabetes is the heredetary type, caused by the body's inability to produce insulin. Type 2 used to be called "adult onset diabetes" (but is now becoming quite common among children) and is caused by the deterioration of the body's insulin receptors and associated with the consumption of too much refined carbohydrate like processed grains and sugar.
But when studies began to appear in 2005 that revealed a shocking correlation between insulin and brain cell deterioration, health practitioners wondered: could Alzheimer's disease simply be Type 3 Diabetes?
We all need insulin: in non-diabetics, insulin is released to help cells take in the blood sugar (glucose) they need for energy. But when there's excess sugar in the blood stream, it gets stored as glycogen. When glycogen stores are overflowing, glucose gets stored as fat or rather as glycerol.
Insulin not only keeps the blood vessels that supply the brain healthy, insulin also encourages the brain’s neurons to absorb glucose, and allows those neurons to change and become stronger. Low insulin levels in the brain mean reduced brain function.
Type 2 diabetes is typically prevalent in populations that overconsume hyperprocessed foods. Type 2 diabetes is increasingly common and causes your cells to fail to retrieve glucose from the blood, either because your pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin or the body’s cells ignore that insulin, which is called insulin resistance.
When brain cells become insulin-resistant, you start to lose memory and become disoriented. You even might lose aspects of your personality. In short, it appears, you develop Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer's Disease got its name from a neuropathologist called Alois Alzheimer who noticed, that an odd form of protein was taking the place of normal brain cells in people with dementia. These odd proteins are called beta amyloid plaques.
It has been shown that insulin inhibits the degradation and clearance of these beta amyloid plaques.
Rather than increased production of beta-amyloid plaques inside the cell, research indicates that reduced extracellular clearance is what causes beta-amyloid plaques to accumulate.
Too low and too high insulin levels
A noteworthy feature of Alzheimer is the intriguing combination of hyperinsulinism (too much) in the periphery and hypoinsulinism (not enough) in the Central Nervous System. Patients with advanced Alzheimer show higher plasma but lower cerebrospinal fluid insulin concentrations than healthy controls. Clearly, then, the lower concentration of insulin in the brain is not a result of reduced circulating levels in the blood.
Somehow—partly through the effects of beta-amyloid plaques, but more likely due to long-term overconsumption of refined carbohydrates—the brain becomes insulin-resistant.
Insulin plays an important role in the brain function. Insulin improves performance on tests of memory and cognition, but chronically elevated insulin levels have the opposite effect. This resembles type 2 diabetes in which normal doses of insulin help regulate glucose uptake, but chronically elevated levels lead to insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, as well as inflammation and vascular damage. Chronically elevated insulin levels in the body depress insulin sensitivity at the blood-brain barrier and therefore glucose uptake in the brain (cells). In the absence of an alternative fuel source, brain cells starve. Metabolic fuel is inside the body, but the brain cells are not able to harness energy from it. The parallels to type 2 diabetes are striking, making the term “type 3 diabetes” or “diabetes of the brain” very appropriate.
It was already known diabetics are twice as likely to experience dementia. The cells of your brain can become insulin-resistant just like other cells in the body. What was once considered a mysterious accumulation of beta amyloid plaques characteristic in the Alzheimer brain is now associated with the same lack of insulin that negatively affects cognition.
We know how the modern diet with overprocessed foods is a fast track to obesity as well as type 2 diabetes and other preventable diseases.
Alzheimer's disease has long been perceived as mysterious and untreatable. But, if this illness is indeed caused by insulin resistance in the brain, this simply isn't the case and it may be reversible provided you start early.
Apparently medium chain triglycerides (MCT) from coconut oil can help boost brain metabolism and increase cognitive functioning.
Coconut oil is also a valuable source of fuel for the brain. When brain cells have undergone metabolic deterioration associated with insulin resistance, they can no longer accept glucose, the brain's main fuel source. However, coconut oil is rich in the medium chain fatty acids that break down into ketones in the liver, an alternative fuel for the brain that is as efficient as glucose.
Compelling reports have shown that the nutrition plan offered to individuals seeking Type 2 Diabetes prevention is one of the same plans offered to those looking to decrease their risk of Alzheimer's disease. This dietary prevention plan includes foods that are low in sugar and high in healthy fats, which creates a rich, healing environment for the brain. Your brain will thrive when you load up on friendly fats and decrease your carbohydrate intake.
Fats that are optimal for the promotion of plasticity in your brain include olive oil, avocados, salmon, and almonds. Even small increments of omega-3 fats can make a lasting difference on your brain's health, so implement them into your diet today – and every day!
Adjust your your carbohydrate intake. Fruits and vegetables that promote cell growth, are less inflammatory and acidic than are starchy carbs, and, with the exception of a few higher-sugar fruits, they are lower in sugar are ideal for preventing Type III diabetes.
Maximize your dishes with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, kale, spinach, avocados, and other dark colored fruits and vegetables for peak cognitive functioning.
Of course a diet low in sugar, plentiful in good fats, and rich in dark coloured vegetables is ideal for the health of your brain. Increasing your intake of antioxidants has also proven to be beneficial in nurturing and optimizing neural functioning. Research has shown that Vitamin C and Beta Carotene, found in foods like lemons, grapefruits, kale, and bell peppers, aids in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.
Excessive free radical production can create a dangerous atmosphere in the brain, and antioxidants are a strong combatant against these brain-damaging agents. Increase your intake of antioxidants through fresh fruits and vegetables, or orthomolecular supplements.