158: Can A Keto Diet Help Prevent Alzheimer's? w/ Dale E. Bredesen, MD

Alzheimer’s Disease is a leading degenerative disease in our older population, but it’s one that you can prevent and even treat with early diagnosis. I’m joined by Dale E. Bredesen, MD, to talk about his tremendous work with Alzheimer’s patients.

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Key Takeaways

Minor oral concerns that can contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. Root canals
  2. Mercury
  3. Periodontitis
  4. Gingivitis
  5. Leaky Gums

About Dale E. Bredesen, MD

Dr. Bredesen received his undergraduate degree from Caltech and his medical degree from Duke. He served as Resident and Chief Resident in Neurology at UCSF, then was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Nobel laureate Prof. Stanley Prusiner. He was a faculty member at UCLA from 1989-1994, then joined the Burnham Institute to direct the Program on Aging. 

In 1998 he became the Founding President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, and Adjunct Professor at UCSF; then in 2013 he returned to UCLA as the Director of the Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research.

The Bredesen Laboratory studies basic mechanisms underlying the neurodegenerative process, and the translation of this knowledge into effective therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative conditions, leading to the publication of over 220 research papers. 

He established the ADDN (Alzheimer’s Drug Development Network) with Dr. Varghese John in 2008, leading to the identification of new classes of therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease. He and his group developed a new approach to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and this approach led to the discovery of subtypes of Alzheimer’s disease, followed by the first description of the reversal of symptoms in patients with MCI and Alzheimer’s disease, with the ReCODE (reversal of cognitive decline) protocol, published in 2014, 2016, and 2018. 

His book, The End of Alzheimer’s, was on the New York Times Bestsellers List for 5 months and is available in 32 different languages.

Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Dale E. Bredesen joins me to talk about Alzheimer’s treatment, prevention, and causes. This is an enlightening conversation and one that so many of my listeners and clients have asked for. This is especially relevant for women, as statistically speaking, we’re more likely to develop brain and memory-related diseases as we age.

Dale provides us with some insight into why we should focus on our brain health once we turn 35. It’s never too early to prepare our bodies for healthy aging. And if you’re already showing signs of memory loss, Dale wholeheartedly encourages you to seek medical intervention early.

This is one of the reasons it takes so long for an Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis. Because we tend to shrug off minor memory failure as just being forgetful, relying more on our long-term memory, it can be difficult to pinpoint the onset of the disease.

Dale also explains how some of the different subsets of Alzheimer’s Disease present and what the treatment for these should be.

The Keto Diet for Alzheimer’s Prevention

The first step to treating and preventing Alzheimer’s Disease, of course, starts in the gut. Dale recommends a Ketogenic diet that relies heavily on plant-based foods - much like my KetoGreen program.

There are so many different approaches to Keto you can take, especially depending on what type of Alzheimer’s subset you have. But overall, Dale recommends an overnight fast, vegetable-based, and low in fats such as bacon.

Dale also encourages a low Glycemic diet. This is one that’s low in sugar, even those occurring in fruits, as so many of our fruits have been genetically modified over the years to have a much higher sugar count than what’s natural.

Finally, Dale gives some very valuable insight into the importance of our oral health. In fact, some of our more common dental concerns, such as gingivitis and root canals, can directly contribute to your likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s Disease!

Have you started including a fast in your diet? How long do you fast for? What’s your favorite way to break your fast? As always, you can ask me anything and let me hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you have questions, email team@drannacabeca.com.


In This Episode

  • Why women are more at risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease than men are [12:45]

  • What you can do improve your brain health after 35 [18:00]

  • Why you should stay on top of your brain health and function, especially if you have what you think is a minor problem [27:00]

  • Why Alzheimer’s Disease takes so long to diagnose [30:30]

  • What kind of approach you should take to the Ketogenic diet [45:00]



“This is a critical piece. You need to make sure for each person that they are getting the appropriate nutrients, blood flow, oxygenation, and hormones to the entire brain.” [19:00]

“Your brain has collected so many important memories that this is one of the reasons why Alzheimer’s takes so long to diagnose. You can function so well with what you’ve already learned that the first thing that’s sacrificed, as you’re now downsizing, is the ability to learn to new things.” [30:26]

“The paradox is that we are constructed to eat fruits. But the problem is all the fruits that we’re exposed to are extremely high in sugar because people want to sell fruit, they want to make money. They’ve bred these fruits to be higher in sugar. The paradox is that we’re here on Earth to eat fruits, but not to eat the fruits that are currently on Earth.” [1:01:03]


Resources Mentioned

Know Your Risk for Cognitive Decline with Cognoscopy

Find Out More About Apollo Health

Check out Episode 42: Food As Medicine To Help Anxiety w/ Ali Miller

Find Dale E. Bredesen, MD Online

Follow Dale E. Bredesen, MD on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn 

Join the KetoGreen Community on Facebook

Buy Keto-Green 16

Find Dr. Anna Online

Follow Dr. Anna on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


Related Episodes:

107: What You Need To Do To Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease w/ Dr. Lisa Mosconi 

147: How Ketosis Can Help Heal Your Body w/ Ali Miller, RD

148: Healing Your Gut Issues With Enzymes w/ Steven Wright

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Dr. Anna Cabeca

Dr. Anna Cabeca

Certified OB/GYN, Anti-Aging and Integrative Medicine expert and founder of The Girlfriend Doctor. During Dr. Anna’s health journey, she turned to research to create products to help thousands of women through menopause, hormones, and sexual health. She is the author of best-selling The Hormone Fix, and Keto-Green 16 and MenuPause.

Learn more about my scientific advisory board.