Interesting new research: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110303134435.htm suggests beta amyloid accumulation and alzheimer's disease may actually begin at the liver and then only later accumulate in the brain. If so, the next question will be how can we prevent it? Of course, big pharma is already looking towards drug treatment and getting drugs to the liver is easier than getting drugs past the blood/brain border. But what about dietary intervention?
Dr. Bruce Fife claims to be able to at least partially reverse Alzheimer's via coconut oil: MCT->ketones, and Alzheimer's also being a type of insulin resistance in the brain.
The idea is that switching to ketones helps the problem, and the brain can feed off the ketones. I wonder if there's any more that involves the liver.
We know that fat digestion needs bile from the liver (and enzymes from the pancreas) and Coconut oil bypasses this, at least the MCTs do. Not sure there's a connection there. There may be something with Fructose processing which only the liver can do. We know the liver keeps some glucose stores for itself.
I've seen stuff that says that beta amyloid is toxic to neurons, but I've seen some claims (don't recall sources) that it might be a type of reaction to damage, the same way that cholesterol (which can be generated in the liver also) is found in arterial plaques is actually attempting to repair damaged arteries. Any connection there?
Here's some stuff saying that carnosine can prevent beta amyloid plaques by chelating heavy metals. Perhaps that's what I saw and don't recall exactly. Here's another mentioning metals, chelation and beta amyloid.
This paper claims: "Although much maligned, the amyloid-beta (Abeta) protein has been shown to possess a number of trophic properties that emanate from the protein's ability to bind Cu, Fe and Zn." So could beta-amyloid be an attempt to remove metals?
Interesting research. The only diet treatment suggestions are usually along the lines of "well, diet-x cures alzheimer's, reverses aging, and easily removes excess weight".
ie. Unfounded assertions; this is one of those things that is going to take medical world to sort out.
Prevention is probably with low carb diet and being in or on the verge of ketosis a good part of your life.
"the diet[ketogenic] might protect against β-amyloid toxicity. Thus, direct application of β-hydroxybutyrate in concentrations produced by the ketogenic diet has been found to protect hippocampal neurons from toxicity induced by Aβ(1–42) (Kashiwaya et al., 2000)"