[ExI] Choline, cholesterol, and Alzheimer's

J. Stanton js_exi at gnolls.org
Sat Apr 23 21:13:54 UTC 2011

BillK wrote:
> So the paleo diet cures Alzheimer's as well now!  Really???!!!

There is no cure for Alzheimer's.  There is only prevention and slowing 
of progression.  Don't put words in my mouth, or in anyone else's.

> You are really straining your credibility by quoting from these fringe
> paleo support sites.

I note the following, from alz.org:
"All of the prescription medications currently approved to treat 
Alzheimer’s symptoms in early to moderate stages are from a class of 
drugs called cholinesterase inhibitors."
"[They] Delay worsening of symptoms for 6 to 12 months, on average, for 
about half the people who take them."

That's not a terribly encouraging prognosis.

One wonders if it might, perhaps, be more efficient to eat foods that 
actually contain choline -- such as egg yolks (the best source by far), 
liver, and meat -- instead of scrupulously avoiding them, and then 
taking drugs to try and fix the biochemical pathways that can no longer 
synthesize adequate acetylcholine because of inadequate choline substrate.


Psychosom Med. 2005 Jan-Feb;67(1):24-30.
Serum cholesterol and cognitive performance in the Framingham Heart Study.
Elias PK, Elias MF, D'Agostino RB, Sullivan LM, Wolf PA.

RESULTS: There was a significant positive linear association between TC 
[note: TC = total cholesterol] and measures of verbal fluency, 
attention/concentration, abstract reasoning, and a composite score 
measuring multiple cognitive domains. Performance levels for three 
clinically defined groups were examined.

*** Participants with "desirable" TC levels (<200 mg/dL) performed less 
well than participants with borderline-high TC levels (200-239 mg/dL) 
and participants with high TC levels (there exists 240 mg/dL). ***

> If I wanted to know about Alzheimer's I wouldn't go to fringe sites.
> You will find sites supporting every kooky cure in the world if you
> search hard enough.

Do you really wish to define basic biochemistry and the Framingham Heart 
Study as "kooky" and "fringe"? (Y/N)

Masterjohn's article is well-referenced and provides biologically 
plausible mechanisms for the progression of Alzheimer's.  (Note that 
he's a graduate student pursuing a PhD at UConn in Biochemical and 
Molecular Nutrition.)  You're free to make rational, well-referenced 
arguments against it, and I'll engage with you once you do.


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