Breaking news: Scientists link Alzheimer’s to an infection
November 23rd, 2015 by NHI
Despite decades of extensive medical research, scientists are still struggling to understand the causes of Alzheimer’s disease.
And now a startling investigation in Spain suggests that a microbial infection could be instrumental in causing Alzheimer’s, although these findings haven’t been confirmed by other researchers.1
If it IS confirmed, it may be the most important medical discovery of the decade. . .
Continued Below. . .
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A test at the Autonomous University of Madrid found that the brains of people who had died with Alzheimer’s contained fungal infections that were not present in the brain tissue of people who had died without developing dementia.
The researchers stress that their tests don’t show that the fungal infections caused the Alzheimer’s. They might have been a result of Alzheimer’s – perhaps entering brain cells after Alzheimer’s disease had compromised their immune defenses.
The Spanish researchers conclude that, while more research is needed, “the possibility that AD (Alzheimer’s disease) is a fungal disease, or that fungal infection is a risk factor for the disease, opens new perspectives for effective therapy for these patients.”
Old Ideas Make a Comeback
Ironically, the idea that Alzheimer’s disease might be connected to a fungal infection is not new. Back in the early 1900s, a researcher named Oskar Fischer thought Alzheimer’s could be caused by fungus in the brain that led to destruction of the brain’s neurons.
Today, the Spanish researchers aren’t the only scientists linking Alzheimer’s to infections. Other tests have shown that the yeast infection chlamydia pneumoniae2 as well as the herpes virus3 can potentially cause brain plaque – clumps of protein called beta-amyloid that form during Alzheimer’s.
A Variety of Fungi in Troubled Brains
When they examined the brains of ten Alzheimer’s victims, the Spanish scientists found evidence of four different kinds of mold and six types of yeast.
In contrast, they found absolutely no evidence of fungus in the brains of ten people with normal brain function.
“The fact that we find this in 100 percent of AD patients (that we examined) but no controls (people without Alzheimer’s) makes me optimistic that this is significant,” says researcher Luis Carrasco.
Lead an Anti-Fungal Lifestyle
Whether or not fungal infections turn out to be the prime cause of many cases of Alzheimer’s, it’s a good idea to start leading an anti-fungal lifestyle. Consider these habits that lower your risk of infection and help your immune system protect you from fungus:
- Engage in moderately intense exercise five or six times a week. Exercise boosts the immune system and can help it guard the body against invading fungus although, if you exercise too intensely, it can slow your immune defenses.4
- Avoid refined sugar. Lab tests at the University of Utah show that the amount of sugar we consume, especially in sugar-sweetened soft drinks, is toxic and impairs health and immunity.5 Sugar is the ideal medium for yeast and other fungi.
- Take a probiotic supplement and consume fermented, cultured foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables and natto (fermented soy). These foods contain beneficial bacteria. Research in Finland shows that a probiotic supplement can improve the function of the immune system in older people – the tests were performed on people between the ages of 72 and 103.6
- Get enough sleep. Sleep helps immune cells recognize and destroy invading pathogens.7
The role that fungi play in our bodies and the environment is still largely a mystery. Many leading figures in alternative cancer treatment insist that cancer is actually a fungus. The idea is by no means crazy. The behavior of cancer and fungal infections is nearly identical. If you’d like to read up on this important subject, check out Issue #454 of our sister publication, Cancer Defeated.
A study at the University of North Carolina that looked at the fungi that live in American homes found evidence of 63,000 different species.
Your best bet amongst all these unknowns – support your immune defenses.