Alzheimer’s disease, metals, heavy metals and other kinds of rock
Today i will talk about oligoelements, or as you know them minerals, or even metals present in our body and their link with mental health and AD (Alzheimer’s disease). But what are these oligoelements? I will tell you, they are small amounts of chemical elements present in our body. If we do not have enough of them, defficiences will appear, as a result of specific pathologies, unbalanced diet, poor assimilation, excessive physical effort, soreness, fatigue and pregnancy, just to name few of the causes. Just to make a list, we are talking mainly about Silver, Gold, Bismuth, Calcium, Cobalt, Chrome, Copper, Fluorine, Iron, Iodine, Potassium, Lithium, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Phosphorus, Sulphur, Selenium, Silicon, Vanadium and Zinc. But for today we will only insist on those linked to AD risk factors.
First, one of the tests associated with dementia and AD is the copper/zinc ratio. Most of us (and the risk is increased if you are libing in a developed country) have too much copper and not enough zinc. You may have too much copper because of the copper piping and extra copper from the multivitamins. You may have less zinc because of a zinc poor diet and poor zinc absorbtion (less acid production in our stomach as we age or medication — proton pump inhibitors for gastric reflux). Not only ageing is associated with the zinc levels decrease, but also AD. The type 3 of Alzheimer’s disease (the toxic one — we talked about it in here) can have only 50% of the optimal zinc level that a healthy person will have. When the zinc is low you are more sensitive to toxins (heavy metals like mercury or mycotoxins from the mould), the levels of autoantibodies is increased (source of inflammation), the insulin signaling is reduced (zinc needs to be present for insulin synthesis, storage and release), you age faster and you may have more oxidative damage, the hormonal and neurotransmitter signaling is reduced. Most of these consequences lead to cognitive loss, and in many cases to AD. At the moment, more than 25% of the global population are zinc deficient.
I was mentioning the copper/zinc ratio because the copper and the zinc are competitive in a number of cases, and each inhibits the intake of the other (for example intestinal absorbtion). Too much copper will lead to even less zinc. The zinc is stable, and does not produce free radicals, while the copper does. One more reason to treat this carefully.
In terms of testing, the copper/zinc ratio should be 0.8/1.2, and the zinc optimal values are 90–110 mcg/dl (12–14mg/l for red blood cell zinc).
Next on the list is magnesium. This one is needed for optimal brain cell function, improving cognition and in case of AD, the hippocampus and the cortical areas close to it are affected, impairing the memory consolidation, due to low levels of magnesium. Measuring magnesium in the red blood cells is much more efficient than in serum (the test is called RBC magnesium where RBC means red blood cells) and the optimal values are 5.2–6.5 mg/dl.
Selenium is another important oligoelement. This one has the task of cleaning the free radicals damaging our DNA, cellular membrane and cellular function with the help of the glutathione peptide. With this in mind, and the fact that glutathione’s levels decrease with age, we need to realise that normal levels of selenium paired with low levels of glutathione can lead to inflammation, lack of synaptic support and toxicity (too many free radicals), and i just counted here each of the main cause of every subtype of Alzheimer’s disease. The optimal values for serum selenium is 110–150 ng/ml, and for glutathione (GSH) is 800–1220 micromolar.
Heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, lead and cadmium are neurotoxic, affecting the brain function. If we eat fish often, we need to know that the larger and long living is the fish, the more mercury it has (tuna, showrdfish and shark are the main culprits — and the irony is that these ones are also used to create health supplements like Omega3 rich fish oil and shark cartilage products). The mercury can induce amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles — which are main symptoms of AD. On top of that, the mercury also destroys the glutathione, its role in preventing AD being mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Arsenic can be present in the groundwater and in the chicken meat (it is lower in the organic grown chicken), and it can impair the executive function of the brain and decrease our verbal skills. Lead can lower IQ of the exposed children (impeding their neuro-psychological development), impairing the cognitive function and increasing the amyloid-beta plaques formation as we age. Can be found in food, water and dust coming from old paint. Cadmium is a carcinogen and a dementogen, and together with lead and arsenic can greatly increase the risk of AD. Cadmium is present in cigarette smoke, chemical factories grounds, yellow and red paintings.
There is a very sensitive test called Mercury Tri-test, measuring mercury from hair, urine and blood, done by this company. If you evaluate using the blood levels, then the optimal values are listed bellow:
Mercury — less than 5 mcg/l
Arsenic — less than 7 mcg/l
Lead — less than 2 mcg/l
Cadmium — less than 2.5 mcg/l
My next post will be about the link between sleep apnoea and Alzheimer’s disease.
If you want to know more about witamins and oligoelements, you can find everything about the normal values and much more in one of my older books — link here. I even made a huge promotion for you for the next 3 days (29–31.05.2020).