The next story is the exact opposite. This was a man a bit older, who came to see me with essentially the same story. I put him on a program, but because he was a wealthy man, a high profile individual, he had a number of private doctors who he had to report to as a constituency. One of his doctors, who had no experience as an anti-aging physician or memory loss specialist, said, "I don't know about any of this stuff, and I don't want you to do it." As a result, the man didn't follow the program. It just shows you how doctors can have a negative effect on a patient.
Another one is a woman around 75 or 80, whose doctor also didn't know anything about anti-aging or memory loss, even though he was a board certified family physician. But in this case, he recognized that he didn't know anything about this, and told the woman's daughter that it was okay for her to consult with me. I put her on a program, and I just got a second e-mail from the daughter saying how much better her mother is.
Redwood: Do you believe that Alzheimer's Disease can be reversed, and do you believe that it can be prevented?
Khalsa: It's already been shown that progression can be slowed. The National Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, led by Karen Sano and Leon J. Sahl, and other academic research institutions have shown that 1000 international units daily of vitamin E halts the progression of Alzheimer's Disease, as does a drug called deprenyl. Clearly progression can be slowed. It's hard to say that it can be reversed. The symptoms can be alleviated, and I think that improvement in activities of daily living can be considered to be a reversal.
As to prevention, yes, it can be prevented.
Redwood: What kind of diet do you recommend for optimal mental functioning?
DSK: A lot of pizza. No, just kidding. The ideal diet would be something like 15-20 percent fat, with equal amounts protein and carbohydrate and with the protein coming as much as possible from non-animal sources. Thirty percent fat in the diet is too much. For those who desire it, fish can be good, because it blocks the effect of high calories and high fat. Fish oils are a very good neural [nerve] protector.
Redwood: What supplements do you recommend?
DSK: Definitely a high-potency multiple vitamin and mineral tablet, but not one with excessively high levels. I'm happy with 50 milligrams of vitamin B, and your normal amounts of minerals. A good vitamin-mineral that you buy in a health food store will usually have 25,000 units of vitamin A. 1000-3000 milligrams of vitamin C is okay, although higher is also okay. 400-800 units of vitamin E. Antioxidants are important. When it comes to brain-specific nutrients, I like gingko, coenzyme Q10, and phosphatidyl serine. With specific patients, such as younger patients in their fifties who have memory loss, acetyl l-carnitine has been shown to help. Because of lack of knowledge, many people use acetyl l-carnitine when they don't need it.
Redwood: Is there harm in that?
Khalsa: I don't think there's any harm, but I don't think it does any good.
Redwood: What do you feel is the role for prescription medications in treating memory loss and mental decline?
Khalsa: Deprenyl, which is a prescription medication, is very useful. Hormones can play a role. Studies have shown estrogen to help, but I don't use estrogen. [The hormone] DHEA can be very helpful. One study indicated that Alzheimer's patients had 48 percent less DHEA than a matched control group. And as a rule, if cortisol levels are high, DHEA levels are low. In the brain, DHEA acts as a growth factor, helping neurons to sprout new dendrites. It also helps the brain by controlling levels of cortisol. One prescription medication approved by the FDA for treatment of Alzheimer's is tacrine, which is horrible. I think it should be banned. It is toxic to the liver in some patients and very frequently ineffective.