By Dr. Michael Wald
Continued from part 1 of this article…..
Carnitine is a vitamin-like substance that is responsible for the transport of fatty acids into and out of the mitochondria. Evidence suggests that carnitine may protect neurologic tissue due to its antioxidant and energy producing activity, and its role in neurotransmitter function.
While there are many forms of carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) appears to have better activity in the central nervous system, including brain tissue. ALC administration in patients with primary degenerative dementia showed therapeutic efficacy in clinical, behavioral, and neuropsychological evaluations. A series of controlled studies suggests that ALC may slow the natural course of Alzheimer’s disease. In particular, persons with dementia given 1.5 to 3 grams ALC daily for 3 or 6 months have shown improvement in numerous clinical measures of cognitive function. In addition, “safety and tolerability of ALC [are] remarkably good,” further demonstrating the potential use of ALC in a number of progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Go to: www.blooddetective.com for L-Carnitine.
B vitamins, homocysteine, and neurological function in the elderly
Folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 are critical to many bodily processes, including the health of the nervous system, blood, and cells. In addition, these B-group vitamins have been shown to protect against depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, peripheral neuropathy, and seizures. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “the status of these vitamins is frequently inadequate in the elderly and recent studies have shown associations between loss of cognitive function or Alzheimer’s disease and inadequate B vitamin status.”
Research has shown that an inadequate B vitamin status may result in neurocognitive dysfunction through elevated homocysteine concentrations in the blood, or hyperhomocysteinemia. Homocysteine is an amino acid that is produced in the human body. Prevalent in the elderly population, hyperhomocysteinemia is largely attributed to insufficient levels of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12.
The association between cognitive dysfunction and hyperhomocysteinemia has been demonstrated in numerous studies. For instance, Dr. Selhub and colleagues reported “patients with Alzheimer’s disease had higher total plasma homocysteine concentrations than did age-matched healthy controls,” while “elderly patients with depression who had lower cognitive screening test scores had significantly higher homocysteine concentrations than did patients with normal cognitive screening tests.” Because folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 are often deficient among many elderly patients, the importance of these vitamins in the prevention of hyperhomocysteinemia and neurocognitive dysfunction cannot be overlooked. Be sure and use the active forms of folic acid (L-5-methyltetrahydrofolic acid), B12 (methylcobalamine and pyridoxyl-5-phosphate.
Prevention is the key! Be proactive as most regular physicians have no nutritional training and are not up on the latest scientific nutritional literature and advances.
– Dr. Michael Wald, aka The Blood Detective, is the director of nutritional services at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, located in Westchester New York. He has appeared on ABC World News Tonight with Diane Sawyer, Channel 11 PIX, Channel 12 News, CNN, The Food Network and other media outlets. Dr. Wald earned the name Blood Detective for his reputation to find problems that are often missed by other doctors. He earned an MD degree, is a doctor of chiropractic and a certified dietician-nutritionist. He is also double-board certified in nutrition. He has published over a dozen books with three additional titles due for release late 2013 including: Frankenfoods – Genetically Modified Foods: Controversies, Lies & Your Health and Gluten-A-Holic: How to Live Gluten Free and the Blood Detective’s Longevity Secrets. Dr. Wald can be reached at: www.intmedny.com or www.blooddetective.com or by calling: 914-242-8844.