According to Johns Hopkins Medical School, approximately 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. (1) The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people, and it is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.
Recent research suggests that some of the risk factors and causes involved in ALS/Lou Gehrig’s disease include:
- Gene mutations
- Mitochondrial dysfunction
- Heavy metal toxicity
- Head and neck trauma
- Genetic predisposition
- Low levels of magnesium and calcium
- Antioxidant deficiency including SOD and glutathione
- Depletion of essential fatty acids
- Trouble digesting protein properly
- Low levels of vitamin E and vitamin B12
- Exposure to toxins including pesticides
- Problems with the immune system
- Serving in the military; people who have served in the military are at higher risk of developing ALS, although it’s unclear why!
Some of the potential causes of Lou Gehrig’s disease:
1. Mitochondrial Dysfunction
Mitochondria, sometimes called the “powerhouse” of cells, are the energy-generating parts of all cells and brain tissue. When functioning properly mitochondria work to create cellular energy. However, in ALS, they stop functioning, as they should. This can create large amounts of reactive oxygen or lactate production, which causes cells and nerve tissue to degenerate and die. When the cells die all the surrounding cells have to fight to maintain control and function. This further generates more lactate production and increases the cell death rate. If this holds true, then treatments with Co-enzyme Q10 and other nutrients that support mitochondrial function might be useful in slowing or even stopping this progressive illness.
2. Glutamate Toxicity
Glutamate is a critical neurotransmitter in the brain and is responsible for about 75 percent of brain and nerve function. In an ALS patient, however, there is a higher level of glutamate present in the space between the cells. The extra glutamate may accelerate the motor neurons into functioning beyond their capacity, which could be the source of their die-off.
3. Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD)
In as many as 20 percents of the familial cases of ALS, there is a mutated gene called SOD1 that is known as superoxide dismutase (SOD). SOD is an enzyme that works to convert free radicals into less harmful molecules. Mutations in this gene seem to be present and potentially related to the excessive neuron death present in ALS patients.
4. Oxidative Stress (or Free Radical Damage)
Related possibly to the SOD enzyme malfunction, oxidative stress is present in both the central nervous system as well as other systems in ALS patients. Increasing the antioxidants in the body, and supplementing with vitamins C, E and selenium fights the excessive free radicals and could slow the muscle degrading and motor neuron death rate.
5. Toxin Exposure & Other Possible Causes
There have been numerous associations made between the development of Lou Gehrig’s disease and exposure to toxic sources such as heavy metal exposure, pesticides, and other chemicals. These toxins may create an environment that increases free radicals, promotes higher glutamate levels, and contributes to other factors that cause disease development.
Lead — Lead is found as an additive in gasoline and paint. When a person is exposed by either breathing in lead vapor or by ingesting it, the lead can interfere with the cell membrane and mitochondrial function. When exposed to lead vapor, systemic lead poisoning can occur causing headaches, joint pain, short-term memory loss, fatigue, etc. A diet poor in calcium, iron, and zinc can increase lead absorption.
Mercury — Mercury, a heavy metal often found in amalgam silver fillings, some immunizations and in smaller amounts in tuna and swordfish, causes many toxic symptoms when ingested. Impaired peripheral vision, memory loss, slurred speech, muscle weakness, depression, and delirium are just a few of the symptoms. Many ALS cases have occurred in countries that are known to have higher mercury exposure.
Aluminum and Manganese — Concentrations of these substances have also been found to be higher in many cases of ALS cases. It is theorized that the inability of the body to process and eliminate metals like aluminum is based on lower-than-normal calcium and magnesium levels.
Low Vitamin C, Calcium and Magnesium — Low levels of these minerals have been found in some ALS patients. Studies have shown that when the environmental levels of calcium and magnesium are consistently low, the absorption of heavy metals is increased.
Pesticides — These chemicals were thought to be a possible cause of ALS in a high percentage of Italian soccer players who developed the disease. With pesticides, as well as other toxic sources, there has been a number of cases that seemed to be related to toxic exposure. However, there has been no concrete research that can confirm this as a definite cause of the disease.
DHA Deficiency: "30% of the human brain frontal cortex is DHA"
Lou Gehrig’s Disease: 6 Natural Ways to Help Manage ALS Symptoms
- Eat A Nutrient-Dense Diet
The first step of any restorative diet is to REMOVE all toxins and processed food from your diet. Remove all sugars (including artificial sweeteners), processed foods made with refined grains, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, and other chemicals.
Next, add in a variety of nutrient-dense foods that will fight free radicals. Free radicals attack motor neurons, so reducing their effects by eating a healthy diet can help slow the decay process. Eating whole foods is very important because simply supplementing with nutrients does not mean that the body can necessarily absorb and use them properly. Eating unprocessed, nutritious foods is the best way for your body to receive and process nutrition. It is critical to eat foods rich in antioxidants and concentrated nutrients, as the body is made to absorb minerals and vitamins best in whole food form.
Some healing foods that help fight ALS conditions are:
- High antioxidant fruits — Antioxidants found in fruits help convert free radicals and super oxygen into less harmful molecules and support your body’s function. Some of the best fruits for providing antioxidants include goji berries, wild blueberries, acai berries, cranberries, blackberries, and other berries.
- Vegetables — Veggies are a wonderful source of accessible nutrition. Foods high in antioxidants and minerals that help detox are leafy greens, artichokes, red beans or kidney beans (higher in antioxidants than even wild blueberries), spinach (also high in zinc), carrots, red peppers, and mushrooms.
- Quality Protein sources — Organic sources of protein are best to avoid excess hormones and other chemicals. Choose grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, cage-free eggs, lamb, lentils, pecans, cashews, and pumpkin/squash seeds.
- Healthy Fats — Good sources include coconut oil, cold-pressed olive oil, cultured butter or ghee and avocado. Coconut oil specifically is extremely healing to the body and works on several levels to boost your body’s natural defenses to disease. To read more on coconut oil check out my article on Coconut Oil Uses and Cures.
Glutathione can be effective in detoxification but it must be of high-quality sources like Natural Setria® glutathione wrapped in organic lipids.
Free Radical Sweep
Vitamin E and C — These antioxidants help maintain the entire function of your body. Vitamin C also helps with glutamate uptake, so a Deficiency in C could be creating abnormally high glutamate levels that may contribute to nerve death. Vitamin E has been shown in certain studies to play a beneficial role for managing symptoms.
B-Complex / Vitamin B12 — Vitamin B in all its forms is an important support for muscles, energy levels, and nerve function. Vitamin B-12 in the form of methylcobalamin has been found to help slow muscle loss.
Calcium, Magnesium — Replenishing calcium and magnesium levels in the body helps with detoxification, which can be helpful for removing heavy metals and toxins from the body. These minerals work together to activate each other and also support muscle and bone health.
Vitamin D3 assists in calcium absorption, helps maintain bone mass, and can help improve mitochondrial function.
Selenium — Selenium is a beneficial mineral that can help reduce mercury concentrations and counteract heavy metal effects in the body.
Co-enzyme Q-10 (CoQ10) — CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant and key component of mitochondrial function.
Zinc — Zinc and copper are both present in the SOD1 Superoxide Dismutase gene. In ALS patients, the SOD enzyme leaches the zinc away leaving only copper, which can be toxic to motor neurons. While large doses of zinc can inhibit copper absorption, small amounts of copper with a moderate amount of zinc may help prevent neuron death. Taking a moderate amount of both minerals can possibly help stabilize ALS symptoms.
Fish Oil — Rich in omega-3s and essential fatty acids, fish oil is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation in the body. It restores brain health and helps your immune system.
DR. ANDREW W SAUL
Dr. Rhonda Patrick
"How your Diet, Lifestyle, and Hyperthermic can change your genes"
Dr. Ed Boyden
(Researcher at the Massachusetts University)
WE’RE BATHING THE BRAIN WITH THESE DRUGS THAT CAN CAUSE SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS. In the 20’s century, they were some hops that were generated through the Pharmaceutical companies for treating brain disorders and while many drugs have been developed that can levitate (Only) the systems of brain disorder Partly none of them considered to be cured. Just think about it! We’re Bathing the brain with chemicals with these elaborate circles made of thousands of circles of cells Bathed in chemicals and that’s why most of these drugs can cause very serious side effects.
The Dutch Study
Another study conducted by Dutch researchers also supported the claim. The controlled study gathered data on the dietary intake of 132 ALS patients prior to diagnosis as well as data from a control group of 220 healthy participants. The study further suggested that other substances like flavonols, lycopene, vitamin C, calcium among others are not associated with ALS in any way. The study also found vitamin E coupled with omega-3 could help to decrease the risk of ALS.
The highest intake of Omega-3 was associated with a 50-60% reduction in the risk of ALS.
Both vitamin E and omega-3 work together to improve nerve cell structure and function which offers protection from ALS symptoms.
Looking Vibrant Supplement Protocol Recommended For ALS
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