Imagine if there was a drug that had been proven to stop memory loss and stop brain shrinkage in those with memory impairment. The drug also lowered a proven marker for Alzheimer’s disease and, in those with memory decline, stopped shrinkage of exactly that area of the brain that shrinks in Alzheimer’s. Surely, it would be heralded as a major breakthrough; research groups would get funding to further test it; Alzheimer’s charities would be promoting it’s use; doctors would be recommending it to their patients; he discoverer would be awarded a Nobel Prize. Well, the drug already exists, but none of these things are happening.
The drug in question is the combination of high dose vitamin B6, folic acid and B12. The study proving it’s effect is faultless. The author, former vice dean of Oxford University’s school of medical science, Professor David Smith, showed that, in people with mild cognitive impairment with a blood level of homocysteine above 9.5nmol/l, which means about three quarters of elderly people, giving these B vitamins stopped the brain shrinkage and memory loss that are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. Of course, you could say that that doesn’t prove they won’t get Alzheimer’s in the future, although it is logically highly unlikely, so Professor Smith and colleagues designed a further long-term trial to test just this. Despite being immaculate in design the US National Institutes of Health have turned it down.
The UK Medical Research Council aren’t interested either. Nor are the Alzheimer's Society, the leading charity - they think you can get all the nutrients you need from a well balanced diet. This stonewalling of a major breakthrough, against a backdrop of numerous failed experimental drugs, beggars belief. Why? Well, first of all there’s no money in it. You can’t patent inexpensive B vitamins and, if you can’t patent them, you can’t hike up the price, make millions and spend millions on extensive marketing to get the NHS buying them out of tax payers money, and doctors prescribing them to everyone. There’s a general medical suspicion about supplements anyway. Few doctors believe that a nutrient could be as powerful as a drug. Some even believe that, if there are no side effects there unlikely to be any effect.
That’s another attribute of the B vitamin treatment – the side-effects are all positive – better mood, stronger bones, less risk for heart disease. Professor Smith wrote an article in the Daily Mail headed “The 10p-a-day vitamin supplement that tackles dementia: So why is the drug industry spending billions?” You can read it here on line. Meanwhile, he struggles to get any funding at all. Cameron promises to double research into dementia. Will any of this be spent on furthering the B vitamin breakthrough? I doubt it. After all, the government earn hundreds of millions from the pharmaceutical industry drug licences. The pharmaceutical industry earn millions from patentable drugs. They pay the researchers and the medical journals. Round and round it goes, while people get sicker and die terrible and unnecessary deaths. It’s a racket. This month I’m on the road giving Healthy Ageing Seminars throughout the UK, Ireland and Canada.
One of the topics I’ll be covering is how to prevent Alzheimer’s. One lady came up to me last week just to say thank you. Her Dad had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She read my Alzheimer's Prevention Plan book had him do everything and take the high dose B vitamins. His homocysteine level dropped from 21 to 9 and, in her words, ‘the lights came back on’. Please tell your friends who have reasons to be concerned, or your parents who are suffering. The new book 10 Secrets of Healthy Ageing, gives the essential information for preventing not only Alzheimer’s, but also arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other avoidable diseases associated with ageing. Please share this information with as many people as possible.