ZenGolden Alzheimer's Disease Prevention Plan

ZenGolden Alzheimer's Disease Prevention Plan

ZenGolden Alzheimer's Disease Prevention Plan

Support Your Brain Health in 2024!  

Drink ZenGolden Tea to Support Dr. Dale Bredesen’s Protocol for Alzheimer’s Prevention

We all want to live long, healthy lives. At ZenGolden it is our mission to raise awareness about the latest research and provide preventative solutions that promote better health. Today, we’d like to share with you the hard facts about Alzheimer’s Disease and what the leading research has to say about the preventative measures you can take today.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive and debilitating condition that impacts millions of Americans and accounts for 60% to 80% of all dementia cases. Seniors and women are especially vulnerable to Alzheimer’s. According to Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 6.7 million Americans age 65 and older were living with Alzheimer’s in 2023. [1]

Once diagnosed, there is no reliable cure for Alzheimer’s. After diagnosis, Alzheimer’s patients on average suffer three to 11 years of slow, often agonizing, deterioration before they succumb to the effects of the disease. [2]   

  • The number of Americans that died from Alzheimer’s doubled in the past 20 years. Loss of brain function from Alzheimer’s often leads to slow death from starvation, pneumonia and other causes. [3]

 

  • Twice as many women die from Alzheimer’s than men. Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia was the number one cause of death among women of all ages in the UK for 2022 [4] and is a leading cause of death in the U.S. among women over 65. If the current growth trend continues, Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia will soon overtake heart disease as the leading cause of death for American women.

 

  • Alzheimer’s is a hereditary disease. An estimated 90 million Americans carry ApoE4 genes that exponentially increase the risk of developing the disease.

 

  • The likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s increases with age. One out of three seniors in America die with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. It is also, in aggregate, the most expensive disease in America because patients often require years of specialized care. [5]

 

As we stated at the beginning, there is no reliable cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. However, research suggests that early proper preventative measures can significantly reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease. According to neurologist Dr. Ayesha Sherzai, “the changes in the brain that result in Alzheimer's disease do not begin when people start having symptoms of memory loss. Whether it's amyloid or tau protein deposition, vascular damage, or inflammatory changes, the disease process starts 20 to 30 years earlier.” [6] Therefore, how you live in your 20’s, 30’s and 40’s determines whether you will get Alzheimer’s in your 60’s and 70’s. Renowned neurologist and author of The New York Times best-seller The End of Alzheimer’s Program Dr. Dale Bredesen has developed a highly effective Alzheimer’s Disease prevention and treatment protocol.

In The End of Alzheimer’s Program, he wrote that carriers of ApoE4 Alzheimer gene may experience “neuronal fuel shortage” as early as 20 years old [7]. Thus, if you are one of 90 million Americans who carry this gene and/or with a family history of Alzheimer’s, you should start preventative measures in your 20’s.

Let’s dive into his findings and then we’ll walk you through how the special blend of our ZenGolden Tea can play a role in the preventative protocols outlined by Dr. Bredesen.

What Exactly is Alzheimer’s and What Works Against It

In The End of Alzheimer’s Program, Dr. Bredesen describes Alzheimer’s as a “protective response” of the brain to “inflammagens, insulin resistance, toxins and insufficient support from nutrients, hormones and growth factors;” a form of “protective downsizing” against immediate perceived insults to the brain at the cost of long-term deterioration.

The two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s are amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles of misfolded proteins in and around brain cells. One such protein is amyloid beta, deposits of which form plaques around brain cells. The other type of defective protein is Tau, deposits of which form tangles within brain cells, eventually leading to brain cell death. [8]

It usually takes years of pathogenic build-ups to trigger the disease. According to a 2019 report from German Cancer Research Center, the detection of misfolded amyloid beta protein occurred up to 14 years before a clinical diagnosis of the disease. [9] Research from Dr. Bredesen and others shows that if you start proper preventative measures early, you can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Bredesen devised a protocol for Alzheimer treatment that includes low sugar/carb diet, regular ketosis and intermittent fasting to mitigate inflammation, insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance. One hundred Alzheimer’s and pre-Alzheimer’s patients in the Bredesen Protocol showed documented, quantified improvements. [10] 

How ZenGolden Tea Aims to Follow Dr. Bredesen’s Protocols

Dr. Bredesen’s work is truly groundbreaking and it is astonishing how his findings and our own work at ZenGolden Tea overlap.

At ZenGolden Tea, we’ve taken inspiration from centuries-old Zen principles practiced in East Asia, which have influenced the diets of millions of people and helped them live longer and healthier lives. One of the consistent factors at play in the healthiest cultures with the longest lifespans around the planet is the practice of drinking Formosa oolong tea.

According to the United Nations, residents of Hong Kong and Japan enjoy the highest average lifespans in the world, averaging 86 and 85 years old respectively. Singapore, another developed East Asian economy, is ranked number five at 85 years old. All three also have obesity rates below 6%.

What do the people in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore have in common that allow them to live longer and stay trim? Despite differences in Cantonese, Japanese, and Hokkien-Malay cuisine, all three regions share traditional food and wellness cultures derived from Zen philosophy. They are labeled “Blue Zone” societies and their lifestyle also includes drinking oolong tea.

Formosa oolong tea cultivated from the mountains of Taiwan has several important properties that make it an excellent candidate for assisting the prevention of diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Like certain types of oolong, ZenGolden’s tea contains high levels of ECGC, a potent antioxidant known to reduce build-up of amyloid beta and Tau proteins, the two hallmarks of Alzheimer’s noted in Dr. Bredesen’s work.

According to neurologists Ayesha and Dean Sherzai, “EGCG crosses the blood-brain barrier and potentially prevents the aggregation of amyloids in the brain.[11]” Furthermore, in a 2022 study led by researchers from Florida A&M University, treatment with ECGC was able to impede Tau protein tangles and cleared up misfolded amyloid beta protein aggregation [12]. This is one of many studies with similar conclusions.

Large scale statistical evidence also supports the notion that an oolong tea with high levels of EGCG and generally not consumed with sugar, such as ZenGolden, can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other dementia. According to World Health Organization (WHO) data in 2020, Singapore has the lowest death rate from Alzheimer’s and other dementia amongst WHO’s 183 member countries. In comparison, the U.S. is ranked eighth in death rates from dementia and is 77 times higher than that of Singapore.

Even Japan, a country where high EGCG green tea is regularly consumed, has an Alzheimer’s death rate that is nearly 10 times higher than that of Singapore. [13] Singaporeans drink an average of 1.03 kg of tea per year, nearly five times that of the 0.23 kg Americans consume, with oolong a highly popular tea type because most of the ethnic Chinese that make up 74% of Singapore’s population have ancestral ties to Fujian province, where oolong tea was first invented and is a daily staple.

Tea import data verifies oolong’s popularity in Singapore as well since Mainland China and Taiwan - the two main producers of oolong in the world – combined make up 29% of tea imports into Singapore [14].  

The potential for oolong tea’s Alzheimer prevention properties can be demonstrated by the huge difference in Alzheimer’s rate between oolong drinking Chinese Singaporeans and non-oolong drinking Malay Singaporeans with Malaysian ancestry. Singaporeans of Malay ethnicity – who generally consume little oolong tea – were 60% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than Chinese Singaporeans. [15]  

To help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s, it is important to drink a tea that is both high in EGCG, and incompatible with sugar, such as ZenGolden Tea. Drinking the wrong tea or drinking the right tea the wrong way will not only fail to protect you from the preventative properties but may actually increase your chances of getting Alzheimer’s. For instance, according to the WHO, death rates from Alzheimer’s in the U.K. – a country where black tea is popular – is the second highest in the world. There are two main thoughts for why this is the case:

  • Black tea contains too little ECGC to have preventative qualities against Alzheimer’s. According to a 2017 study, lightly oxidized oolong tea like ZenGolden Tea contains over 50 times more ECGC than most black tea. [16]
  • In the U.K., black tea is usually consumed with added sugar and sugar-laden pastries. According to numerous studies, including a 2021 study on sugar and Alzheimer’s, eating added sugar is linked to Alzheimer’s. [17] Furthermore, a 2023 study from Wake Forest University concluded that consumption of sugar increases Amyloid Beta build up and may increase Alzheimer’s risk. Thus, Type 2 diabetes patients with high blood sugar are far more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than non-diabetics. [18] Again, this is one of many studies reaching the same conclusion.

The high death rate of Alzheimer’s in the U.K. illustrates the health risk of taking sugar with your tea. Matcha, a type of green tea popular in Japan, also contains high ECGC but is bitter and requires sugar to be palatable. After matcha developed a reputation as a healthy beverage, a plethora of sugary matcha-based snacks and beverages, such as matcha latte, were created to make it palatable. Because of their high added sugar content, however, most of these sugary matcha drinks and snacks end up doing more harm than good. That matcha latte with 32 grams of sugar from your neighborhood coffee chain may actually increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Recent studies also show that optimum health benefits come from getting the right amount of ECGC, about 150 to 200 mgs or 3 to 4 cups of ZenGolden a day. Too much and/or use of artificial forms of EGCG, such as EGCG supplements, have been known to cause side effects such as liver and kidney damage, nausea, low blood sugar and anemia. [19] Be mindful of your ECGC source. 

In addition to Singapore, the Okinawa islands in southern Japan were also known to have some of the lowest Alzheimer’s rates in the world. Unlike most other parts of Japan, which consumes green tea, Okinawans traditionally drank an oolong tea infused with jasmine. Historically, Okinawa was known to have a much lower rate of Alzheimer’s from the rest of Japan, where people drank primarily green tea. Perhaps there are other antioxidants in light oxidation oolong that make it more effective than green tea for Alzheimer’s prevention, we don’t know. For instance, oolong polymerase - a potent antioxidant known to burn belly fat – is abundant in oolong tea but not green tea. But we do know that societies where people regularly drink oolong tea like the one we’ve created at ZenGolden, be it Chinese Singaporeans or traditional Okinawan villages, have some of the lowest incidents of Alzheimer’s in the world.

ZenGolden, with its high EGCG content and smooth flavor, may be the best drink to help you prevent Alzheimer’s. To help health-conscious people who want to leverage the latest research to help them live healthier lives, we developed a three-pronged plan that supports the Bredesen Protocol, and when used together, can help you reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

 

Strategy One: Drink 3-4 cups of ZenGolden Tea every day

Healthy people in Singapore and Okinawa managed to avoid developing Alzheimer’s just by drinking oolong tea like ours every day without following special diets.

If you are familiar with green tea, you may not like the thought of drinking more than one cup of tea a day. Green tea contains catechins that can help protect the body against oxidative stress, guard against cardiovascular diseases and improve metabolism.

Formosa oolong tea from Taiwan also contains catechins and has the same health benefits offered by green tea

The key difference is that the catechins that give green tea its healthful properties also make it taste grassy and bitter. But that is not the case with ZenGolden Tea. Our Formosa oolong tea undergoes additional steps of oxidation and roasting that eliminates much of the bitterness in the tea while retaining and even increasing its health benefits.

Strategy Two: Eliminate added sugar, grains and dairy from your diet

In addition to its catechins, potent ECGC and other polyphenols that may help prevent Alzheimer’s, drinking ZenGolden Tea daily may also help you implement Bredesen’s Keto/FLEX 12/3 lifestyle plan, based on ketogenic diet, fasting, exercise and quality sleep. Bredesen and several successful patients have appeared on NBC’s Today Show and these are some of the key points we found most profound:

  • Bredesen recommends people implement the Keto/FLEX 12/3 plan in their 30s, 40s and 50s to prevent cognitive decline and enhance their cognition. Thus, if you are one of the 90 million Americans who carry this gene, and/or if your grandparent or parent has the disease, you should start prevention as early as possible. The earlier you start prevention, the better your odds of staving off Alzheimer’s.
  • Keto stands for ketosis, or burning fat instead of blood sugar for energy. Synthesized from fat, ketone is a type of alternative fuel for the brain. Like other forms of ketogenic diets, Bredesen’s diet calls for eliminating grain and dairy products while limiting total sugar and other carbohydrate intake to under 50 grams a day.
  • FLEX refers to the body’s flexibility to metabolize either fat or glucose on this diet, and to the option for people to eat meat or not. “This is not your typical bacon-induced ketosis; this is a plant-rich diet that turns out to have the best benefits for cognition,” Bredesen said.
  • 12/3 is the number of hours spent fasting: at least 12 hours between the last meal of the day and breakfast; and at least three hours between dinner and bedtime. Fasting leads to a decrease in inflammation and activates autophagy, a mechanism that helps to regenerate cells, he noted. [20]

The first 30 days of this diet is aimed to achieve metabolic flexibility – train the brain to burn fat efficiently – and insulin sensitivity with brain-friendly foods. It is important to eliminate all sugar and processed foods in the first 30 days of this diet. Sugar is known to cause metabolic disorders that lead to insulin resistance, oxidative stress and low-grade chronic inflammation, three common causes of Alzheimer’s. Although this diet is primarily plant-based, poultry and fish are allowed in moderation. Dr. Bredesen recommends limiting daily protein intake to one gram per every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight each day. [21]

After metabolic flexibility and insulin sensitivity are achieved in 30 days, the diet can be less restrictive, depending on whether insulin resistance is alleviated. Simply avoiding refined carbohydrates (most grain products), unhealthy oils (seed oils, palm oil, hydrogenated oil) and sugar – especially added sugar from processed foods – may generally be sufficient. Dairy and alcohol, aside from resveratrol-rich red wine in moderation, should also be avoided. Intermittent fasting time can also be shortened to 12 hours a day, which is no snacking between dinner and breakfast the next day.

This is where drinking ZenGolden Tea daily can help support the Keto/FLEX 12/3 program. Our tea’s light delicate flavor is known to increase palate sensitivity and make most sugary food taste too sweet by comparison. Limiting natural sugar intake from fruits and vegetables to under 7 teaspoons or 30 grams per day (around 2 medium apples) helps with boosting ketosis.

Strategy 3: Practice Intermittent Fasting for Ketosis and Autophagy

Going on a low carb/high fat keto diet is not the only way to boost ketosis. Daily intermittent fasting can also boost ketosis after the body’s glycogen reserve is depleted. Intermittent fasting is a dietary approach that involves alternating periods of fasting and eating. The Ketoflex12/3 recommends fasting a minimum of 12 hours a day, preferably longer, to help decrease inflammation, boost ketosis and thus reduce risk for developing many chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

The 16/8 intermittent fasting method is a popular approach that involves fasting for 16 hours and restricting eating to an 8-hour window each day. To practice this method, you can start your fast by skipping breakfast and consuming your first meal around noon. From there, you have an 8-hour period to consume your meals, with the last meal finishing by 8 pm. In addition to decreasing inflammation, intermittent fasting may an effective method for Alzheimer’s prevention because fasting is known to boost ketosis and autophagy.

Autophagy, meaning "self-eating," is a cellular recycling and cleansing process that removes damaged proteins and organelles. It plays a vital role in maintaining cellular health and preventing the accumulation of toxic substances such as misfolded and tangled protein aggregates. Intermittent fasting has been shown to enhance autophagy in various tissues, including the brain.

Much of what is known about autophagy was based on the research of 2016 Nobel Prize of Medicine winner Yoshinori Ohsumi. His pioneering work, conducted on yeast cells, elucidated the molecular mechanisms and genes involved in autophagy, providing a foundation for further research in this field. His discoveries have opened up new avenues for investigating autophagy's role in various diseases, including Alzheimer's.

Recent studies have revealed a strong link between autophagy and Alzheimer's disease. Dysfunctional autophagy has been observed in Alzheimer's patients, leading to the accumulation of protein aggregates such as beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles. As mentioned earlier, our tea contains ECGC and other polyphenols known to clear up these unhealthy protein aggregates. When combined with an autophagy boost from fasting, our tea’s potency in cleaning up protein aggregates may increase and further inhibit misfolded Alzheimer’s-linked proteins from aggregation.

During the fasting period, it is essential to stay hydrated by drinking water and/or plain tea. Coffee is not a good option for Alzheimer’s prevention because of its high acidity and propensity to increase the stress hormone cortisol. [22] According to several studies, stress is “critically involved in the development and progression of Alzheimer’s.” [23] In contrast, ZenGolden Tea contains the amino acid L-theanine, which helps reduce cortisol and stress levels.  Our tea is the ideal drink for intermittent fasting because it is rich in ECGC, contains L-theanine that lowers stress, can quell hunger, is known to boost autophagy and tastes good plain. Drinking our tea daily can make intermittent fasting easier and autophagy more effective.

Although practicing daily 16-8 intermittent fasting is generally safe, it's important to listen to your body and adjust the fasting window as needed. Consulting a healthcare professional is advised before starting any fasting regiment.

The Research Continues

There is still a long way to go in the battle against Alzheimer’s, but we are living in an age where there is enough research to take advantage of preventative practices. And when these measures are taken outside of the context of Alzheimer’s prevention, they have the potential to create a healthier overall lifestyle.

Drinking ZenGolden Tea while reducing sugar intake and incorporating intermittent fasting can have numerous health benefits including assisting in the prevention of Alzheimer’s.

As a final reminder, do not undertake any diet and/or medical protocol without consulting a qualified physician or health professional. We will continue to follow the research and evidence and share the findings with you.

To make sure you are taking advantage of the latest information, join our ZenGolden Tea Club today.

                        

References

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