By Heather Caldwell and Deb Martin, Holistic Health Educators
Alzheimer’s Disease presents a series of difficult obstacles to overcome for the patients who are diagnosed as well as the doctors and researchers who are scrambling to cure the terrible disease. Functional, Natural, and Holistic Medicine Practitioners are also tooling up to help. And, recently the ApoE4 gene was discovered as a key indicator of potential vulnerability for this disease. A single ApoE4 gene which shows up in about ¼ of the American population causes a 30% risk of Alzheimer’s, and a double ApoE4 gene found in about 7 million Americans causes a 50% risk. Researchers are still trying to understand more about the correlation between the ApoE4 gene and Alzheimer’s, but fortunately there are already promising interventions that can reverse symptoms of cognitive decline.
What is the ApoE4 Gene?
The ApoE4 gene contains the instruction for the body to create apolipoprotein E, which is responsible for the way fats like cholesterol are carried through the bloodstream, and 75 million Americans have it. Other similar genes such as ApoE2 and ApoE3 also affect lipid regulation within the body and haven’t been found to indicate the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. It’s possible that the reason ApoE4 indicates a high risk of Alzheimer’s is that it causes lipid imbalances which then cause brain cells to process fats poorly. Imbalances in a cell’s lipids negatively influence the cells ability to generate energy, transfer molecules, and build cellular membranes.
ApoE4 Throughout History
Historically speaking, having ApoE4 in the human genescape has been beneficial for defending against infections because it automatically initiated cellular defense. When a successful society included surviving wounds and eating raw meat, causing humans to be prone to infection, this gene was very helpful. But it does take a toll on the body by eventually causing cognitive impairment. Now that a successful society includes longer life expectancies and fewer survival scenarios, our genes have begun adapting to our current needs. ApoE3 arrived on the scene about 220,000 years ago in order to bring more balance to our body’s needs.
The very genetic expression that protected early humans has now become a hindrance. The good news is that humans have evolved to need less protection against parasitic invasion, and our brains are now beginning to express new genes in order to develop better cognitive function later in life.
Another complication with the ApoE4 gene is the recent introduction of the average human diet to wheat. Humans started ingesting wheat on wide-spread scale about 10,000 years ago. And since ApoE4 increases the permeability of the blood-brain barrier, gluten could affect brain cells negatively. Gluten also causes problems in other biological processes, but those with ApoE4 will be especially sensitive to how gluten affects their brain.
Addressing Predispositions to Alzheimer’s In Those Who Express ApoE4
Getting tested for a predisposition is advised in order to be informed about how to address your body specifically for prevention and treatment protocols. Not everyone who has ApoE4 needs to suffer from Alzheimer’s, and research and results speak loudly that the effects can even be reversed. (See Reference below (Reversal of Cognitive Decline: 100 Patients.) One testing method for the ApoE4 gene is the popular 23andMe, which gives an accurate report on whether or not you might be carrying the ApoE4 gene. Other reliable tests include Genos and FamilyTreeDNA. (Ancestry.com is not an accurate ApoE testing provider.)
Successful strategies do not seem to involve a one-pill-fits-all mentality that has pervaded recent Western medicine practices. If you are someone who has been proven to have the ApoE4 gene based on genetic testing, there are multiple areas in which you can begin to address your health. This includes decreasing inflammation, curing infections, and cleansing your body from toxins, to name a few.
For more information on the different areas that you can address in order to decrease and/or reverse cognitive decline, visit our last article, “The 8 Causes of Alzheimer’s” (link below). And if you are interested in learning more about the specific tests for and methods of protecting yourself from, stopping decline and reversing Alzheimer’s, make an appointment with Dr. David Martin and one of our holistic educators. We can provide guidance to help you make an informed decision about your options and get started with testing and positive lifestyle changes. Dr. David will connect you with appropriate natural medicine practitioners and educators, and he will recommend that you also work with an MD or specialist. You deserve a quality team to support you and your loved ones health journeys!
Attend our Free event, “Hope for Alzheimer’s and Cognitive Decline”.
Choose from two dates: Saturday, Jan. 28 or Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023 from 2:00-3:00pm RSVP: 239-277-1399
“Healing the Brain after Anesthesia”
The End of Alzheimer’s Program: The First Protocol to Enhance Cognition and Reverse Decline at Any Age; Dale E. Bredesen, MD, copyright 2020.
Reversal of Cognitive Decline: 100 Patients; Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Parkinsonism, ISSN: 2161-0460, Dale E Bredesen, et al, Oct 2018
The First Survivors of Alzheimer’s, Dale E Bredesen, MD, copyright 2022.
With a Clear Mind,
Dr. David Martin, Deb Martin & Heather Caldwell
Lotus Blossom Clinic
Serving the Greater Fort Myers area with Natural and Holistic Medicine, including Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage, Science-backed Food as Medicine, Energy & Transformational Sessions…and Community Classes & Events both Virtual and In-Person!
We are not MD’s, Nutritionists, or Dieticians. Vickie Gelardi and Deb Martín are certified in the Conquering Any Disease, a High-Phytochemical Food Healing System, and they work under Dr. David Martín’s directions with his patients, helping them incorporate his dietary guidelines into their lives to improve health.