Therapy - Dementia

Definition

When the tulips are upside down in a vase – this image symbolizes like no other the onset of a dementia disease, which itself is manifested by an increasing loss of brain function during life, associated with limitations in the coping with everyday life. The increasing loss of normal brain function is noticeable by:

  • memory loss,

  • change in personality

  • confusion,

  • disorientation

  • and later by a total mental decay

In Western countries, Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia  – making up approximately 50% of diagnoses. Alzheimer's disease was named after its discoverer, the neurologist Alois Alzheimer (1864-1915). It is a special form of the degenerative diseases. Main features, besides the loss of the memory achievement, are deposits of so-called amyloid plaques in the brain and a diffuse atrophy (tissue sore) of the cerebral cortex.

In Germany, currently around 2 million people suffer from a form of dementia, worldwide approx. 35 million people are affected - with increasing tendency. Women are affected by dementia twice as frequently as men. The care necessary and the emotional burden placed on the relatives are enormous in advanced cases of the disease. The effects of this disease on societies as a whole is correspondingly high.

Symptoms

Dementia disorders like the Alzheimer's type dementia progresses gradually and begins developing usually long before symptoms are noticeable. It begins, in the majority of cases, with initially mild short term memory losses, which can often be mistaken for the normal forgetfulness associated with aging. Over the course of a few years, further disturbances in language, spatial perception, and orientation begin to manifest themselves. Sufferers experience loss of functions in the following areas:

  • Memory,

  • Emotions

  • Language,

  • Orientation and

  • Logic

The disease goes through several stages. In the final stage, after an average disease duration of 10 years, it is fatal. The disease itself does not lead to death. This is instead often triggered by infection, pulmonary embolism, malnutrition, or heart failure.

Causes

Even if the causes of a dementia disease are not yet known in detail, there are, besides the age and a genetic predisposition (up to 10%), further circumstances, which contribute to the development of dementia in old age. These include:

 

  • high blood pressure,

  • Diabetes mellitus,

  • cardiac arrhythmia,

  • increased levels of cholesterol and homocysteine,

  • smoking,

  • excessive alcohol consumption,

  • overweight

It is also known that brain injury, depressive disorder and a low level of mental, social and physical activity increase the likelihood for dementia.

Natural remedies and their effects

There is no known cure for dementia like the Alzheimer's disease. However, it is possible to delay its onset. Just like our muscles, our brain can be exercised even into old age to keep it fit. Important factors for maintaining healthy brain function in old age are:

  • cultivating social relationships,

  • physical activity,

  • reducing/avoiding stress and

  • cognitive training.

In addition, the foods we choose to eat daily can also exhibit harmful or beneficial effects on our health and the function of our brains.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids

Inflammatory processes in the brain go hand in hand with Alzheimer’s disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to inhibit inflammation.

In healthy people, the concentration of omega-3 in the blood and brain is significantly lower than in in Alzheimer's patients. In particular, the brain has an incredible demand for omega-3 fatty acids: This healthy fatty acid makes up about 60 percent of our nerve cell membranes. These facts taken together suggest that an adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids may help protect against Alzheimer’s type dementia. Multiple medical research studies have indicated that an increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids reduces the likelihood of developing dementia of the Alzheimer type.

 

Before the behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer's disease begin to appear, the organic damage has typically reached an advanced stage already. Here even more so than in other diseases it would appear that prevention is the best protection. Just one tablespoon of high-quality flax seed oil or flax seed oil composition per day is sufficient to meet the normal need for omega-3 fatty acid. Two tablespoons are enough to fulfill an increased demand.

The omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

Flax seed oil is golden yellow with a nutty taste and contains up to 90% unsaturated fatty acids. At approximately 60%, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) has the highest content of omega-3 fatty acid among domestic vegetable oils. ALA has an indirect effect on the flow rate of blood and improves circulation, while acting as an anti-inflammatory on the body. Thus, it aids to prevent Alzheimer's disease and/or slow its onset or progress.

The omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

The human brain consists largely of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid. For an active brain and nervous metabolism, regular supply of DHA - preferably from a plant source such as algae oil - is indispensable. A good supply of this essential brain fatty acid can help to reduce the risk of developing the dreaded Alzheimer's disease in later life, under but also postpone its onset/progression.

 

DHA may also help to reduce production of beta amyloid plaques. Furthermore, other positive effects on nervous function, as well as on inflammatory and oxidative processes are also associated with DHA.

Nutrition & Co.

Many factors which appear to play a role in the development of Alzheimer type dementia are also associated with an unhealthy diet and lifestyle. Here the following, in particular, appear to contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s:

 

  • Trans fats,

  • Synthetic food additives (dyes or preservatives, glutamate, etc.),

  • Sugar

  • and other ingredients from industrially produced foods

 

Conventionally produced food can also be contaminated with toxins such as pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, which can have negative long-term effects on brain metabolism. However, even pollution by heavy metals such as mercury or the consumption of drugs (including alcohol) are considered contributing factors.

Diet for a healthy functioning brain

A diet that is largely free of chemical additives and environmental pollutants and supplies the brain instead with the necessary healthy fatty acids and other nutrients can actively prevent future diseases and positively influence the course of any existing conditions.

 

  • Avoid the intake of trans and saturated fats.

  • Reduce an excess consumption of omega-6 fatty acids.

  • Eat a varied diet.

  • Increase the amount of vegetables.

  • Model your diet after the oil-protein diet developed by Dr. Johanna Budwig.

Alzheimer's patients should pay particular attention to their intake of several essential vitamins and phytochemicals. These include

 

  • Vitamins D, C, E, B6, B12, and

  • folic acid and

  • Carotenoids.

  •  

These nutrients act, among other things, as a scavenger and, thus, have positive effect on an aging brain and chronic inflammation.

Quality counts!

When selecting a source of healthy fatty acids, the main focus should be on its quality. This is the only way - as Dr. Johanna Budwig pointed out again and again – to ensure that our cells receive the full benefits of the electron richness from the oils. A great importance must be attached to the selection of the seeds, their crop rotation, the extraction, and any further processing. Therefore, Dr. Johanna Budwig clearly defined and documented quality standards. For the extraction of oil, she developed a very gentle process, the "Original Dr. Budwig pressing method" – which is still known under that name today.

Take good care of your digestive tract!

Whether our cells actually benefit from the food we consume each day, depends largely on our intestinal health. The decisive factor is our intestines’ ability to absorb the nutrients that we eat. Dr. Johanna Budwig, thus, recommended daily consumption of fresh sauerkraut juice or sour milk to maintain our intestines and their intestinal flora. Furthermore, the regular consumption of dietary fiber plays an important role in healthy bowel function. Therefore, an integral part our daily diet should include 1-2 tablespoons of shredded and fortified flax seed, blended into a Budwig cream, made of quark and flax seed oil, or in Muttersaft (pure, unfiltered, unsweetened first-press juice of a fruit or berry) such as Fermentgold.>

Alzheimer's sufferers should adhere strictly to the requirements laid out in the oil-protein diet. There are diet recommendations and treatment plans which have been specially adapted to requirements affected by Alzheimer's disease.

Compensating for a deficiency!

When someone becomes ill, any existing dietary deficiency – especially one pertaining to essential, polyunsaturated fatty acids - should be compensated. It is important to integrate beneficial fatty acids into a varied, balanced, lacto-vegetarian wholefood diet. Just as Dr. Johanna Budwig’s designed her concept of the oil-protein diet. People in poor health should follow the regulatory guidelines of the oil-protein. Only then can their cells and, thus, the person as a whole restore order in vital cellular processes and become healthy again. If you have any questions about the implementation of the oil-protein diet, please do not hesitate to call to the Dr. Budwig Foundation’s helpline or contact an experienced Dr. Budwig consultant.

Studies

The risk of developing dementia has been proven to increase with age. Only recently have there been studies which have demonstrated that the amino acid homocysteine is associated ​​with an increased risk of forming these types of neurodegenerative diseases. Conversely, was it concluded that DHA plays an essential role in the functionality of the central nervous system and can reduce the risk of the aforementioned diseases.

 

It has also been proven that the omega-3 concentration in the blood and brains of Alzheimer's patients is much lower than in healthy people. This healthy fatty acid makes up about 60 percent of our nerve cell membranes - i.e. the brain alone has an enormous demand. This fact suggests that an adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids may protect against developing Alzheimer's. Indeed, multiple medical studies have found evidence that an increased intake of healthy fatty acids significantly lowers the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Recent studies on Alzheimer's disease

A study to combat Alzheimer's disease was undertaken by the Neurology Department of the Medical Faculty of the University of Saarland in Homburg. This research project found that fats can affect the risk of Alzheimer's disease. It concluded that some oils and fats may increase the risk, while others appear to reduce the risk. In various experiments, the production of the Alzheimer's disease-causing beta-amyloid plaques was successfully reduced solely through the administration of the polyunsaturated fatty acid DHA.

As part of the Framingham study, blood samples were examined with regard to their DHA content from 899 subjects who were on average 76 years old. Over a period of 9 years, neuropsychological tests were conducted every 2 years and the diet plans of the study participants examined with respect to the amount of fish they consumed over the course of the observation period. At the beginning of the observation period none of the subjects were suffering from dementia.

Over the nine years, 99 people developed dementia; 71 of them developed the specific subtype of Alzheimer's disease dementia. The group which reported the highest consumption of DHA had a 47% lower risk of suffering from a form of dementia. The risk of Alzheimer's disease was lower by 39% as well in this group. On average, participants in the low-risk group had an intake of 0.18 g DHA per day or reported consuming three fish meals per week.

 

Source:

Schaefer EJ, Bongard V, Beiser AS, Lamon-Fava S, Robins SJ, Au R, Tucker KL, Kyle DJ, Wilson PW, Wolf PA (2006). Plasma phosphatidylcholine docosahexaenoic acid content and risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease: the Framingham Heart Study. Archives of Neurology. 2006 Nov;63(11):1545-50.

Dr. Budwig consultant

The Dr. Johanna Budwig Foundation is committed to supporting those in suffering from ailments to their health.  In the spirit of this commitment, we are happy to recommend qualified "Dr. recommend "Budwig consultants, who have been trained in the implementation of the oil-protein diet. Currently, we are working on setting up a corresponding nationwide network.

 

Important note: Dr. Johanna Budwig had no doubt that many modern ailments could be treated with her oil-protein diet. The Dr. Johanna Budwig Foundation has made it its mission to supplement her work with modern, intensively reviewed scientific findings. These are vital issues too serious for false hopes. Therefore, we find it very important to emphasize: While there are primary scientific findings which indicate that the oil-protein diet may support- under certain circumstances – medical treatments, diet alone cannot replace proper medical treatment. We distance ourselves from promises of false miracles.