A few months ago, while researching information for this newsletter, I stumbled upon an article on Alzheimer’s disease in an older edition of The Lancet, a British medical journal. The article gave me goose bumps.
In fact, it may give us an incredibly powerful one-two punch against Alzheimer’s.
So what was it about this article? It said that by blocking angiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels – you could stop the progression of Alzheimer’s. If this was so, it might be possible to stop this deterioration. And it wouldn’t take a drug to do it. You might be able to use A SUPPLEMENT.
The supplement is called modified citrus pectin (MCP).
What is modified citrus pectin (MCP)?
Modified citrus pectin is a substance made from the rinds of citrus fruit that has been shown to stop the progression of cancer and heart disease. It begins by being ordinary pectin — a substance with molecules that are too large to pass through the walls of the intestines. When it has been modified, and changed into smaller molecules with a specific molecular weight, it can get into your bloodstream and into tissues. MCP with the proper molecular weight and size is expensive to make, but its uses in fighting cancer and heart disease are impressive. It’s becoming more widely used by doctors of complementary medicine who are looking for safe, effective methods for stopping these diseases.
One way that MCP works to stop the spread of cancer is by attaching itself to cancer cells so they can’t grab onto one another. Another way is by stopping angiogenesis – the formation of new blood vessels. Cancer cells need a steady food supply, and these blood vessels are their grocery store. Without food, these cells starve and die. Angiogenesis is implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, as well as in cancer.
Alzheimer’s, angiogenesis, and inflammation
There’s a strong connection between inflammation, angiogenesis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Inflammation helps trigger the production of blood vessels (angiogenesis), and these new blood vessels, in turn, cause plaque to be deposited and a toxin to be secreted that kills brain cells. So you’d think that any anti-inflammatory agents can stop Alzheimer’s. But that’s not what the authors of The Lancet article found. They noticed that while not all of the specific medications that reduced the risk for dementia were anti-inflammatory, they all had anti-angiogenic properties. Prior research in the area of modified citrus pectin by Dr. Kenneth Pienta, one of the first people to study its effects on cancer, found that MCP stops angiogenesis. So did more recent studies conducted by researchers at Wayne State University. All of this evidence makes it clear that MCP is a valuable tool in the treatment of Alzheimer’s.
However, there’s something you can take with MCP to double-team Alzheimer’s.
Cooling inflammation in the brain
Since there’s a strong link between Alzheimer’s and inflammation, researchers recently decided to study how the inflammation drives the disease. The study, published in the journal Nature, indicates that the brain’s immune system can create inflammatory processes that drive the progression of dementia.
Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the University of Bonn have been conducting experiments to help pinpoint these mechanisms and believe their findings may open the door to both prevention and treatment options in the future. As you probably know, amyloid beta plaque accumulation in the brain is a major cause of Alzheimer’s, and it seems that these plaques can also trigger inflammation.
The researchers found that the brains of Alzheimer’s patients have higher activation levels of the molecular complex NLRP3, an inflammasome that triggers production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. NLRP3 also combines with adapter proteins called ASC to create “ASC specks.” These in turn bind with the amyloid beta plaques and help them spread, creating a vicious cycle in the brain. Minimizing or stopping this inflammatory reaction could make a tremendous difference in disease progression. So what can you use to reduce the inflammation?
Another group of researchers found that cannabis products (also known as CBD and THC) can be key players in the inflammation cycle, particularly when it comes to stopping cytokines in their tracks.
These scientists from the Salk Institute labs have actually had success utilizing THC to remove amyloid beta proteins from lab-grown neurons! And, as expected, the compounds reduced inflammation quite a bit as well. These results indicate that it may be possible for cannabinoids to not only stop the inflammatory cycle but actually remove the amyloid beta plaques triggering it in the first place. This also indicates that cannabinoids could be particularly useful in preventative medicine, as amyloid beta plaques often accumulate for years before symptoms begin to show up.
Some believe research needs to be done before doctors can begin recommending cannabinoids for dementia, particularly as a preventative measure. But I am excited about the potential here and don’t see any reason you shouldn’t try CBD if it’s legal in your state. It might do more than anything else you’ve tried. And it’s not going to have any negative side effects.
One final note: It’s worth noting that you can increase your own body’s natural production of endocannabinoids by exercising. This will offer you some protection, and it helps explain the link between physical exertion and cognitive health as we age. Don’t wait until you’re older to begin exercising either – regular exercise helps you stay on top of the inflammatory cycle and reduces the chances that you’ll have amyloid beta plaques accumulating in your brain. Plus, these neuroprotective effects extend to other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s.
Finding good quality products that work
I wish you could walk into a health food store and buy good, quality modified citrus pectin. Some day you will be able to do just that. But the brands I’ve seen in stores do not meet the specifications of the MCP used in the research studies. Right now, the only MCP we know (from the research studies) that is of the precise molecular weight and size needed to get into your bloodstream is called PectaSol. It’s the only MCP I would use and the only one I recommend.
To prevent Alzheimer’s, I would take two grams of MCP three times a day. To stop Alzheimer’s from progressing, I’d take five grams three times a day for at least six months, and then reduce the amount unless the higher quantity gives better results. The best part about taking MCP for brain deterioration is that it’s working to stop cancer cells from forming tumors and preventing heart disease at the same time that it’s stopping Alzheimer’s.
As for CBD, there are many choices on the internet, such as this high-quality 25 mg capsule from Full Spectrum Hemp.
Larkin, Marilynn. “Alzheimer’s disease prevalence may quadruple,” The Lancet, vol. 352, September 19, 1998.
Nangia-Makker, Pratima, et al. “Inhibition of human cancer cell growth and metastasis in nude mice by oral intake of modified citrus pectin,” J Natl Cancer Inst 2002; 94:1854-62 (Wayne State Univ. study).
Pienta, K.J., et al. “Inhibition of spontaneous metastatis in a rat prostate cancer model by oral administration of modified citrus pectin,” J Natl Cancer Inst, March 1, 1995, 1:87(5):348-53.
Sano, Mary, PhD, et al. “A controlled trial of selegiline, alpha-tocopherol, or both as treatment for Alzheimer’s disease,” New England Journal of Medicine, 336:1216-1222, April 24, 1997.