I’m going to assume NO familiarity with either Dr Bredesen or Dr Gundry and attempt a quick intro of both here.
was holding brilliant career as a cardiothorasic surgeon/inventor when about 15 years ago he met a patient who had significantly reduced the occlusion in his blood vessels with diet/supplements. This reinvigorated Dr Gundry’s interest in genetics and the evolution of the human diet which was the theme of his undergraduate thesis at Yale. Dr Gundry quit his position at Loma Linda University to form his own institute and concentrate on restorative medicine so he could help people live long, healthy lives through diet and supplements instead of operating on them. When he began his institute, he sought out ApoE4s because of the connection to cardiovascular disease, so he probably has more direct knowledge of addressing (manipulating?) this gene than any other practicing doctor, but his interest is in health for the whole body, he’s not an “Alzheimer’s Doctor.”
He wrote a book “Diet Evolution” back in 2009. It discusses his findings of the disconnect between today’s modern diet and the food our genes really need for healthy living. But his publishers edited the book a fair amount for sales emphasizing weight loss, so it doesn’t fully address his dietary philosophy. Dr Gundry has another book coming out in April 2017, “The Plant Paradox”
As he has guided us, Dr Gundry’s program consists of:
- 1. Minimizing insulin production through low carb, high good fat diet
2. Minimizing lectins
3. Feeding the gut biome
4. Minimizing sdLDL (small dense LDL cholesterol)
5. Avoiding bad oils (seed oils, vegetable oils) and emphasizing olive oil
6. Not activating mTOR pathway or spiking IGF-1 by limiting animal protein to 20g/day
7. Eating raw as much as possible (avoiding processed foods)
9. Consuming polyphenols
He places his patients on what he calls a “Matrix Diet” (see attached) but modifies (usually further restricts) the diet based on a patient’s health issues, biomarkers, genetics. For ApoE4s he emphasizes:
- 1. Limiting animal protein to only (wild caught) white fish, (wild caught) shellfish and Omega-3 or pastured eggs, with shellfish being the animal protein of choice due to it’s sdLDL lowering quality. He also emphasizes Fish Oil, emphasizing the Fish Oil pills with lots of DHA.
2. No cheese, it is not our friend – cheese has the strongest correlation to production of oxidized particles of LDL levels.
3. Lowering Triglycerides (lessening sugars, fruits, seeded vegetables) to reduce oxidized LDL
is a UCLA professor and founding president of the Buck Institute on Aging. He has been researching neurodegeneration for about 3 decades now. Back in 2012 his career also took a turn when met a woman who was dealing with cognitive issues who’d witnessed her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s. He was a researcher, he didn't see patients, but gave her information on his research. She experienced a turnaround and his career took a turn.
Dr Bredesen considers Alzheimer’s “Disease” to be the result of the body working overtime in trying to protect itself from several metabolic and toxic insults. Dr Bredesen uses the analogy of having a roof with 36 holes in it (this just for illustration purposes, it’s based on his original findings, there are more than 36 contributors to Alzheimer’s). A person doesn’t have to suffer from all these influencers to get Alzheimer’s, but no one “hole” will result in Alzheimer’s either, it takes a number of these issues to stack up. If you plug one hole, you still have cognitive problems, which is why so many of the drug trials for AD have failed, they’ve only tried to address one contributor. But if you plug enough holes, you will tilt your body’s metabolic “teeter totter” away from Alzheimer’s (and likely other diseases as well).
Dr. Bredesen’s Protocol begins with Diet, Exercise, Stress (as in reducing it) and Sleep. He also incorporates other interventions addressing hormonal balance, supplements, drugs, brain stimulation, etc.
His diet is basically a mildly ketogenic Mediterranean diet (a real Med diet, not like Olive Garden with unlimited breadsticks and pasta). He encourages folks to eat an unlimited amount of non-starchy veggies, a small amount of animal protein (primarily wild-caught low mercury seafood for ApoE4s) and generous amounts of healthy fats (olives, nuts, avocados, high polyphenol EVOO.) He also emphasizes fasting 3 hours before going to bed with a total overnight fast of 12 hours for everyone and a 16 hours fast for ApoE4s.
His papers include:
- “Reversal of Cognitive decline: A Novel Therapeutic Program” published Sept 2014. This paper outlines the protocol from which he was able to reverse cognitive issues, which he called MEND 1.0. His protocol has since been tweaked, but this is the foundation from which he’s continued to build.
“Metabolic profiling distinguishes three subtypes of Alzheimer's disease” in August 2015
“Inhalational Alzheimer’s Disease: An unrecognized – and treatable epidemic” in February 2016.
Dr Bredesen was associated with Muses lab. Muses lab still continues to assist patients with their MEND protocol, but Dr Bredesen divested his association with them a couple years ago. An amicable break I understand. Dr Bredesen is now associated with MPI cognition.
Dr Bredesen has a documentary film and book “The End of Alzheimer's: The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline” coming out in August of this year (2017).
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