In the third part of his interview for You must be nuts!, Patrick Holford (CEO of the Food for the Brain Foundation) explains what he thinks the impact will be of using statins to treat dementia.
From now on, we intend to publish an interview segment each day until they are all published – that should take us until early April.
As some leading doctors in the UK are demanding an end to the widespread prescription of statin drugs, we thought we would publish the segments of the interviews for You must be nuts! where our interviewees talked about statin drugs. In the fourth part of our interview with medical journalist, Jerome Burne, he draws attention to the increased risk of diabetes from taking statin drugs and the implications for dementia.
In the first part of his interview for You must be nuts!, Paul Burstow MP, former UK Health Minister for Care Services, with responsibility for dementia policy, explains how he became interested in dementia.
This is the first part of our interview with Justin Smith, Producer/Director of the investigative documentary Statin Nation. In it, he explains the background to his decision to make Statin Nation.
Since we filmed the interview, with the backing of a crowd-funding campaign which reached its initial target in record time, Justin has started to make Statin Nation II.
A few days ago, he published the first intro clip from Statin Nation II, which looks at the new cholesterol guidelines introduced in the US last month.
Apparently, these new guidelines are set to double the number of people taking statin medications.
The crowd-funding campaign to finance Statin Nation II is now close to its second target. If you want to see the rewards on offer and contribute to the crowd-funding campaign, visit the Statin Nation II web page.
Coming soon: Part 2 of our interview with Justin Smith, in which he explains why he thinks that there has been ‘consistent misinformation about what constitutes healthy eating’.
I should introduce you to my friends Alph, Beel and Chah-Lee. They are puppets. You must be nuts! tells the story of how their exploration of the film’s interviews changes their lives.
Here’s the prequel:
The puppet family
Alph and Chah-Lee are husband and wife. They live in the UK.
Chah-Lee is the more health-conscious of the two. Every time a new diet becomes popular, she has been following it in the hope of returning to her once-slim figure.
Alph is the one I know best and through whom I met Chah-Lee and Beel. He is fascinated by current affairs and science. His iPad is his window on the world and we came to know each other through an online science discussion forum.
Beel is Chah-Lee’s Spanish father. He has travelled extensively and has lived in Spain, the UK, Latin America, the US and France. He met and married Chah-Lee’s mother while he was living in the UK.
Chah-Lee’s keen interest in health developed partly in reaction to seeing her mother gradually put on weight. As Chah-Lee was growing up, her mother started suffering health problems related to her obesity and diabetes.
As a result, after Beel had worked for many years as a senior executive, he and his wife decided to live in Spain. They set up ‘Beel’s Beach Bar’ together on its Mediterranean coast. Although Chah-Lee’s mother passed away a couple of years ago, Beel continues to run the bar.
The background to the puppets
Needless to say, Alph, Beel and Chah-Lee are fictitious characters. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Of course, Alph, Beel and Chah-Lee could be anyone – A, B and C – and they could be living anywhere in the world. Their dialogue is derived from various informal conversations with friends and colleagues over the past year about dementia, dietary advice, prescription drugs and/or what constitutes a healthy diet. It aims to cover all the typical questions which arise in any such discussion.
The puppets were kindly created for the film by Enrique Nicanor. His past credits include creating and animating the original puppets for the children’s TV series The Magic Roundabout and producing and directing the Spanish version of Sesame Street for its first three years.
Elisabeth Christ provided the voice of Chah-Lee, Enrique provided the voice of Beel and I provided the voice of Alph. Kaberi was the puppeteer behind Chah-Lee while Enrique was the puppeteer for Alph and Beel.
Amid the increasingly grim findings of my research and the challenges of caring for someone with dementia, Alph, Beel & Chah-Lee provided a welcome source of light relief. The two days of filming the puppet sequences were strenuous but fun. My father was our fascinated and patient live audience while we filmed the breakfast scenes over several hours on Saturday.
Wishing you a dementia-free 2014 … and beyond.
The reason is quite simple: I wanted to share the information which I’ve been gathering while trying to treat my father’s dementia. By doing so, I hope to help others to avoid having to go through what my father has had to suffer … because what I have found – too late for my father, sadly – is that dementia is entirely preventible.
Until we started interviewing specialists for the film, I had found all the information online. However, the information is widely dispersed and often plagued by sceptical comments from ‘internet trolls‘. As a result, popular misconceptions persist, probably thanks to commercial interests.
For example, many people think Alzheimer’s is widespread today because people are living longer. In reality, Alzheimer’s/dementia hardly existed in 1960 even among 85-year-olds and the dramatic rise in incidence since then has been proven to have nothing to do with longevity.
Dr Mary Newport, the author of the article (and later book) What if there was a cure for Alzheimer’s and no-one knew?, gave this 18-minute talk at TEDxUSF in February this year in Tampa, Florida.
Dr Newport was the first to research and document having tried to treat Alzheimer’s using coconut oil. In this talk, she explains what persuaded her to give this apparently unlikely treatment to her husband after he was diagnosed with severe Alzheimer’s. It was her experience which was featured in the video news story by Lorie Johnson, Health editor of CBN News which one of our neighbours had told us about. This is what led me to look further into trying to use coconut oil.
Dr Bruce Fife’s book Stop Alzheimer’s Now! includes Dr Newport’s experience and contains many medical references. Note that his approach for using coconut oil is slightly different from that of Dr Newport. He suggests combining it with a very low carbohydrate (ketogenic) diet, as well as a number of supplements.
In October 2012, a Mayo Clinic study funded by the US National Institute on Ageing found that older people taking a high carbohydrate diet were four times more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment (the first signs of Alzheimer’s/dementia) than those on a balanced diet. The same study also found that “those who consume a lot of protein and fat relative to carbohydrates are less likely to become cognitively impaired.” For more details about why that would be the case, read the European Journal of Internal Medicine article Nutrition and Alzheimer’s disease: the detrimental role of a high carbohydrate diet by Dr Stephanie Seneff, Dr Glyn Wainwright and Dr Luca Mascitelli.
Dr Mercola’s recent article Diet may slow Alzheimer’s disease provides a summary of all the plausible treatments and tips for avoiding Alzheimer’s proposed by the latest research.
By the end of March, we had completed four interviews for You must be nuts! As I said in my first blog post, health journalist Jerome Burne was the subject of our first interview.
The next person we interviewed was Patrick Holford, the founder of the Food for the Brain Foundation and author of several books.
Later the same day, we interviewed Paul Burstow MP, the former Health Minister who had overseen the creation of a fund for dementia research. He had also initiated a Parliamentary debate about dementia in January 2013.
Our next interviewee was Justin Smith, the producer/director of the film Statin Nation – the great cholesterol cover-up and author of $29 billion reasons to lie about cholesterol .
Yesterday, Enrique Nicanor interviewed Dr Stephanie Seneff, Senior Research Scientist at MIT for You must be nuts!
This week, we filmed the first interviews for You must be nuts! Our first interviewee was medical journalist Jerome Burne.