Nutrition plays a central role in health. Hippocrates told us “let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food”. All nutritional scientists over the millennia are in complete agreement with the observations of Hippocrates. As we move into the 21st Century, disease is defined as a deficiency in vital nutrients and excess of toxins. Among the nutrients that are very critical for health are proteins, special lipids and complex carbohydrates. However, with the increase of neurodegenerative diseases, the lipids play a very critical role.
When we examine the structure and function of a cell, the nucleus and the cell membranes are the most important components of all cells. The cell membrane controls all traffic in and out of the cell. A healthy cell membrane is primarily made up of special healthy phospholipids called “plasmalogens”. However, in disease states the “healthy plasmalogens” are replaced by unhealthy lipids. Once the unhealthy lipids are incorporated into the cell membrane, the signaling from the cell becomes impaired, neurotransmission slows down and the antioxidant properties of the cell become deficient.
Plasmalogens (healthy fats) are needed for health and healing. Every person, regardless of age, can potentially benefit with plasmalogen supplementation. Anyone with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s, MS and autoimmune disease (like auto-immune thyroiditis), autism and cancer can benefit from plasmalogen supplementation. Neuro-degenerative disease begins with special phospholipid deficiencies; specifically, “plasmalogen” deficiency. Plasmalogens are special phospholipids found in high concentrations in the brain, heart, kidneys and eyes. Twenty percent of the brain weight is phospholipids.
As we age and as global pollution is on the rise, we are faced with neurological diseases that are far too common. Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis are among the most common. There are many theories as to the cause of these diseases but the most common is neuro-toxicity. As we age the biochemical dysfunctions always precede disease.
Published data shows that low plasmalogen levels have severe health effects, and plasmalogen supplementation promotes health. Plasmalogens have many properties; they are anti-inflammatory, powerful anti-oxidants, are critical part of all cell membranes, maintain optimal health and optimal brain function, are major structural part of lipoproteins, myelin, and synaptic membranes. In the first 35 to 40 years of life, plasmalogens are in optimal levels then begin slowly decrease with aging. By the age of 70 there is significant decrease. The production of plasmalogens is impaired by neurotoxicity, inflammation and oxidative stress.
Fortunately, there are blood tests that can measure plasmalogen deficiency. Please call our office and schedule a blood draw. Testing can only be done Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It takes about a week to get a report back. Once the report is back, Dr. Kotsanis will design a three-month program and measure progress.
In closing, nutrition is the best way to prevent disease and have a healthy long life. Every patient with chronic disease can benefit. Patients with auto-immune issues and neurodegenerative issues will benefit the most. The treatment is a home-based treatment with specially designed plasmalogens. The minimal treatment-timeline is three months. We will reevaluate at the end of three months and make further recommendations.
The importance of plasmalogens with aging
- A 95-year-old with high plasmalogens has the same chance of dying in 5 years as a 65-year-old with low plasmalogen levels.
- Plasmalogen deficiency is most commonly found in Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis.
- Plasmalogen deficiency leads to cell membrane changes in structure and function. When “plasmalogen” are deficient, they are replaced by other undesirable lipid molecules like “phosphatidylethanolamines”. These undesirable substitutions cause cell signaling abnormalities, neurotransmission deficiency and lower antioxidant defense.
- Plasmalogen deficiency increases susceptibility to neurotoxins. High plasmalogen levels prevent demyelination and improve remyelination.
- Plasmalogens are an essential brain nutrient. Low levels cause disease especially neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and MS.
- Alzheimer’s is neurodegeneration of neurons responsible for “cognition”.
- Parkinson’s is the result of neurodegeneration for “fine-motor control”.
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is the result from neurodegeneration of cells that insulate neuron’s myelin (oligodentrocytes). Myelin has the highest concentration of plasmalogens in the whole body.