39 minutes | Sep 3rd 2020

Sex Hormones, Protein and Alzheimer's, Healthy Vegetarians | THRR045

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Protein & Alzheimer's, Question Regarding Vegetarians, Sex Hormones Change as You Age, Healthy Lifestyle with Low Testosterone and Anemic, Fueling Early Workouts 

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Insulin: too much of a good thing is bad


1. Protein & Alzheimer's [6:43] Laurel says: Hi Robb,

How are you? I hope you and Nikkie are doing well.  I just recently have entered the world of Alzheimer's via my cousin who is in her 60s. It is unbelievable to not 'find' my real cousin in there anymore - she is literally vacant, with tiny glimmers of her former self popping up randomly and then being instantly gone. I will soon be helping the family take care of her in some way. I started to google Alzheimer's research and found this.

With so many turning carnivore, and me potentially wanting to toy with my cousins diet to try to help, can I do harm by encouraging more protein consumption? What do you think?


Alzheimer's Disease affects millions

More than 5.7 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, which is the primary cause of dementia and sixth-leading cause of death in the United States. That population is predicted to reach 14 million by the year 2050, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

The relationship between Alzheimer's (and subsequent brain atrophy) and amyloid plaques -- the hard accumulations of beta amyloid proteins that clump together between the nerve cells (neurons) in the brains of Alzheimer's patients -- has been well-established among researchers.

Less understood is precisely how that amyloid-beta actually leads to plaque formation -- and where this new work appears to have broken new ground, Wang said.

Further, while there has been much research into what genes might influence whether or not someone gets Alzheimer's, there is less understanding of genes that might be linked to the progression of the disease, meaning the formation of plaque and subsequent atrophy in the brain.

The role of 'aggregatin' protein

In the new work, the researchers began by correlating roughly a million genetic markers (called single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs) with brain images. They were able to identify a specific SNP in the FAM222, a gene linked to different patterns of regional brain atrophy.

Further experiments then suggested that the protein encoded by gene FAM222A is not only associated with AD patient-related beta-amyloid plaques and regional brain atrophy, but that "aggregatin" attaches to amyloid beta peptide -- the major component of plaque and facilitates the plaque formation.

So when researchers injected mouse models with the "aggregatin" protein (made from the FAM222A gene), plaque (amyloid deposits) formation accelerated in the brain, resulting in more neuroinflammation and cognitive dysfunction. This happened, they report, because the protein was found to bind directly the amyloid beta peptide, thus facilitating the aggregation and placque formation, Wang said.

Conversely, when they suppressed the protein, the plaques were reduced and neuroinflammation and cognitive impairment alleviated.

Their findings indicate that reducing levels of this protein and inhibition of its interaction with amyloid beta peptide could potentially be therapeutic -- not necessarily to prevent Alzheimer's but to slow its progression.

Thanks Robb, I await your take on this. Best,


Here is a neat map. Don't know how they get their numbers though. https://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/cause-of-death/alzheimers-dementia/by-country/ and here is the last one from me today... you likely have already read all this stuff. Poland has a low Alzheimer's death rate, and this study seems to have Polish origins.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6356942/

2. Question Regarding Vegetarians [16:46] Karoliina says: Hi!

I’m an omnivore, leaning more towards paleo, but my Indian husband comes from a strictly vegetarian Hindu family, and has never eaten any meat or eggs, and neither has his parents or grandparents, and likely a long line of vegetarians before that. They do eat dairy products.

My husband is in great health—with perfect vision, straight white teeth, good muscle mass and never gets sick, not even with common colds. He is highly educated and has a sharp mind. His parents are also in good health.

I’ve been following your page for a while and I’ve seen a lot of information saying that animal products provide the best and most bioavailable nutrition to human bodies, for example with vitamin A being hard to get from veggies, and thus best obtained from liver.

I’m genuinely interested to know what you would have to say about people who truly have been vegetarian all their lives (and then parents have too), and are in great health. I know there are also Buddhist groups who are vegetarians/vegans, and that has been a long-standing tradition for them. Have these people groups been studied for their diet and health and longevity, like Weston A. Price studied mange indigenous people groups’ diets?

I’d love an answer and maybe some resources on this subject.

Thanks, Karoliina


3. Stuff No One Talks About: Sex Hormones Change as You Age  [23:47] Hanna Says: Hey you two. I have a question (or more like a topic) I'd love you to address on your podcast. Sex hormones change as you age. However, it seems like no matter what I add or eliminate from my diet it doesn't help balance my sex hormones. Ive been Paleo, keto, carnivore and nothing helps. High fat at the moment with 75% fat 20% protein - pure carnivore. My estrogen and testoreetrone are barely detectable. Why? I lift weights 3-4 times a week. I am not in a calorie deficiency. Can you make any suggestions? I hear other women are losing their menstrual cycles these days way too early. Some say it's a low carb thing but I just don't buy into that. I had these issues eating carbs in my past. Have at it and give us your thoughts. How do you correct sex hormones with diet?


4. Healthy Lifestyle with Low Testosterone and Anemic  [27:00] Dean says: Hi Robb.

I know you have gotten a lot of questions from men with low testosterone.  But, I think my situation is unique.

I am a 38 year-old male.  I lift weights 6x/week (2 days each of squats, weighted chin-ups and dips).  I walk about 2 miles/day.  My diet is paleo-ish, consisting only of chicken, eggs, non-starchy vegetables, water and coffee.  Though, I am probably eat more protein than is recommended (about 1/2 a chicken and 12 eggs each day).  My job is not stressful.  I get about 9 hours of sleep every night.

Despite all of this, I still have low levels of testosterone and am anemic.  My most recent lab results are as follows (normal range in parenthesis)

RBC 3.9 x 10^6/uL  (4.14 - 5.8) Hemoglobin 11.6 g/dL (12.6 - 17.7) Hematocrit 35.8 % (37.5 - 51.0) Serum Testosterone 339 ng/dL (348 - 1197) Estradiol

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