In 2015, there were approximately 29.8 million people worldwide with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).1,2 AD is poorly understood and causes 60-70 percent of the cases of dementia3, which is a progressive impairment, marked by memory loss and the inability to plan and implement complex behavior. “The risk factors include physical inactivity, obesity, unhealthy diets, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol, diabetes, and midlife hypertension. Additional potentially modifiable risk factors include depression, low educational attainment, social isolation, and cognitive inactivity.”3
AD is one of those diseases I lump together with winter syndrome. That is because, as listed above, so many of its risk factors are the result of sub-optimal vitamin D3 levels; factors such as obesity, diabetes and unhealthy diets like I discuss in the metabolic posting. Even those that may not at first appear to connect, if you look closer, are. For example, people who often smoke and/or drink alcohol often do so to self-medicate for depressive or anxiety symptoms, which lack of Deep Restorative Sleep (DRS) is sure to contribute to. No, not the sole cause but no matter how mentally sound one is, years of lacking DRS is sure to make your baseline mental health worse. If one is fatigued from lack of DRS you are more likely to be socially isolated, have cognitive inactivity and have a lower educational level.
As I discussed in how vitamin D3 effects our sleep, the brain requires DRS to be properly cleansed each night. You see, without DRS, our brains slowly fill up with waste products. These waste products are many substances, but in the case of AD one that is obvious is neurofibrillary tangles. Whether these tangles, primary markers in the brain of AD, are protective, or causative of the disease is controversial but the higher their concentration in brain cells, the worse the AD.4 Regardless, their presence is not good.
If AD is purely neurodegenerative, as some experts contend, in that it is caused by the brain wearing out, then lack of DRS and inability to clean itself will contribute to, increase its incidence and accelerate its presence. Also, without DRS, the body and the brain’s ability to heal are reduced. It was always my hypothesis, as I told my patients, that we aged 2-3 days for each day we did not have DRS. So, if AD is solely a result of aging, optimal dosing and blood levels of vitamin D3 will help by restoring DRS and the body’s ability to repair itself. Next posting will be on the other suspected cause of AD: infectious causes and how vitamin D3 optimal dosing may affect this.
!. GBD 2015 Disease Injury Incidence Prevalence Collaborators (October 2016). “Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 310 diseases and injuries, 1990–2015: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015”. Lancet. 388 (10053): 1545–1602.
- “Dementia Fact sheet”. World Health Organization. 12 December 2017.
- Burns A, Iliffe S (February 2009). “Alzheimer’s disease”. BMJ. 338: b158.
- Lee H. G.; Perry G.; Moreira P. I.; Garrett M. R.; Liu Q.; Zhu X. W.; et al. (2005). “Tau phosphorylation in Alzheimer’s disease: pathogen or protector?”. Trends in Molecular Medicine. 11 (4): 164–169.
*The information posted above is for educational purposes only. Always check with your doctor before initiating any changes in your medical treatment. If you do not, then The Two-Minute Health Fact, Dr. Judson Somerville, nor The Optimal Dose is responsible!