Alzheimer’s Disease and Prebiotics

–Frank W. Jackson, MD, Founder and Chairman Emeritus

Dec. 18, 2013

A most amazing thing happened to me several weeks ago. There I was, watching PBS NewsHour, and a program came on highlighting Paula Wolfert, a renowned food and cook book author. She and her husband were courageously outing her struggles with early stages of Alzheimer’s. Half way through the interview, she was mixing a self-styled Alzheimer’s prevention/health mix in her kitchen in a blender (recipe included below). Much to my utter surprise, she picked up a container of our prebiotic Prebiotin and scooped a measure into the bowl. A link to this PBS segment is included below. Our product is seen at 4:35 minutes.

How did this happen? Where did Paula get information that changing the colon bacteria mix in a positive way could be a benefit in Alzheimer’s prevention? Paula and I have been communicating positively with one another since then. The video is a wonderful piece on the disease and how one person can make a difference, and it got me into my own search.

Studies Show Link Between Prebiotic Fibers and Brain Tissue

There are chemicals made by bacteria that are neurotoxins. That means they can damage nerve cells and brain tissue. The Guam Island people suffer an extraordinarily high incidence of a chronic and deadly brain disorder that mimics Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and ALS. The bacteria that make these toxins grow on the roots of the root vegetables these individuals eat. It is assumed that this is how the bacteria get into their bodies. (Read more on this study here).

Another piece of information. There is evidence that chemical toxins made by some gut bacteria are toxic to the kidney and are particularly bad for patients with advanced kidney disease. Our company has been asked to participate in a large NIH supported study to see whether our prebiotics can reduce these toxins in these patients.

A Relationship Between Gut Bacteria and Disease Prevention

Do you get the picture? Bacteria and especially bad bacteria in the gut may be a significant part of many diseases. We are still in the very early stages of this medical research. However, what do you do if these diseases affect you?

The fact is that we just don’t have the evidence to recommend prebiotics for a specific disease. However, if there is a chance that the gut bacteria could be a part of the problem and if changing the diet to dramatically increase prebiotic intake, what is the downside? Some temporary increase in flatus or gas is the only one I know of. What is now known is that it is possible to get the best gut ecosystem by a good diet and perhaps with a probiotic and prebiotic supplement.

Paula Wolfert’s Shake Recipe

Please note, once a month, I measure, mix, and store many of the dried items in the cupboard, and use a scoopful each day. Every two weeks I take the following steps:

  • Wash, stem, and cut up two bunches of kale and two bunches of whatever leafy greens look good in the market
  • Divide the cooked or raw greens into 14 portions and slip each into a small plastic bag
  • Then divide a 1 pound bag of frozen organic wild blueberries into 14  portions, add to the greens.
  • Greens and berries are stored in the freezer.
Every two weeks, I also
  • Blend  1/2 cup nutiva coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup MCT oil
  • Juice of l lemon
  • Flesh of 2 avocados
  • Chill, divide, and pack for storage in the freezer or fridge.
Every morning, I defrost and blend one batch of the greens and berries with the avocado-oil mix, then add the following:
  • One 2 tablespoon scoop of the dried, previously mixed powders (see below for the once a month combined recipe*)
  • 1 scoop Prebiotin (started with a half scoop for a few weeks, at first)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter or a handful of walnuts or cashews
  • 1-2 tablespoons chia or flax or sprouted pumpkin seeds
  •  1 tablet curcumin (Doctor’s Best Curcumin C3 Complex® With Bioperine 1000 mg (120 Tablets is a 4 month supply ~$49)
  •  A drop or two of vanilla extract, if desired
To vary the receipe, add:
  • 1/4 quarter raw beet, or
  • A half a banana, or an apple, or
  • A few chunks of pineapple, papaya or mango.
Liquid can be:
  • 1 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 1 cup goat’s milk kefir or more almond milk
  • (In summer I cut up a 1/4 watermelon and mix it with coconut water )
  • Coconut water
*Once a month, I prepare a one month supply of powders:
  • One container of Garden of Life RAW Protein powder
  • 1/2cup powdered raw cacao  powder (Nativas brand)
  • 1 cup ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup ground ginger
  • 4 tablespoons spirulina (Nutrex Hawaii Pure Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica™)
  • A drop or two of vanilla extract, if desired

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