Learn the warning signs, and how you can defend yourself
When you think about Alzheimer’s disease (AD), buzz words like “beta-amyloid” or “tau protein” probably come to mind. Fibrinogen, on the other hand, likely doesn’t… though it probably should.
You might recognize fibrinogen as a heart health buzz word instead—and it is. But the heart and the head aren’t as separate as the average love song would have you believe. In fact, when it comes to your health, they’re practically one in the same.
Fibrinogen’s recently discovered role in dementia is just the latest example of this fundamental connection. But it’s an important one for anyone looking to spare their brain from a dreaded diagnosis down the road. (And aren’t we all?)
So first, let’s talk about what we know. And then, I’ll tell you exactly what you can do about it.
Fibrinogen: A blood-thickening synapse destroyer
Fibrinogen is a sticky protein that promotes blood clots and affects blood viscosity or “thickness.” And its abundance predicts numerous heart risks, including strokes and heart attacks.
Large-scale studies have implicated elevated levels of fibrinogen as a powerful risk factor for all types of stroke—fatal and non-fatal, hemorrhagic and ischemic, and first-time strokes. High fibrinogen levels also predict recurrent angina (a symptom of coronary artery disease), cardiac catheterization, and major events like heart attack and death.
But research shows the trouble it causes isn’t limited to your cardiovascular system. In fact, a recent study featured in the journal Neuron implicates fibrinogen in cognitive decline, too.1
Researchers used three-dimensional volume imaging to identify leaky blood-brain barriers among AD patients. But that’s not all—they also observed that when fibrinogen makes its way from your bloodstream into your brain, it sets synapse-destroying immune cells into motion.
This destruction impedes critical communication between neurons. And ultimately leads to the memory loss you see in AD and other forms of dementia.
In other words, fibrinogen’s role in dementia has two layers: Elevated fibrinogen is a problem in itself—but when paired with a leaky blood-brain barrier, you have a real recipe for disaster.
Get tested early and often
l’ll start with the first step in this fight—and it’s a crucial one: Get your fibrinogen tested. And if your first test shows elevated levels, continue getting it tested every three months. (Twice per year if your levels are normal.)
I like to see this number below 300. So if your number is higher, you need to do something about it. The good news here is that a handful of key supplements are usually enough to do the trick:
CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10). I recommend a CoQ10 supplement called Ubiquinol—take 100 to 600 mg daily. The dosage will vary depending on whether you already have heart disease (higher dose) or are preventing it (lower dose).
Omega-3s from fish oil. I recommend 3,000 mg of fish oil daily—one that contains both EPA and DHA.
Folate and B-vitamins. I recommend a B100 complex at a minimum. But for best results in lowering homocysteine and driving down fibrinogen, you need at least 2,000 mcg of B12, 5 mg of folic acid, and 100 mg of B6 daily. These also play an independent role in AD prevention.
Nattokinase. I recommend 1,000 to 3,000 fibrin units daily (3,000 fibrin units equals roughly 150 mg). Nattokinase is an extract derived from Japanese fermented soybeans—the best natural blood thinner there is.
Resveratrol. I recommend 500 mg of this powerhouse antioxidant daily. Not only will it help to push down fibrinogen levels, but research shows it can shore up the blood-brain barrier as well.
(You may recognize these supplements from my Ultimate Heart-Protection Protocol—an all-natural plan to prevent and reverse high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here or call 1-866-747-9421 and ask for order code EOV3V801.)
This, of course, brings me to the second part of this brain-protecting protocol…
Older brains are leakier—and it shows
Let me point out that this isn’t the first time “brain leaks” have been implicated in AD. Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) also recently discovered that AD may hinge on your microcirculation.
And in case you need a quick refresher: Microcirculation is the complex system of blood vessels and capillaries responsible for carrying oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body—including your brain.
These tiny capillaries are lined with specialized endothelial cells that make up the blood-brain barrier. When it’s working correctly, this barrier acts as a sort of filter—allowing essential nutrients into the brain while keeping harmful substances out.
But in their study, USC researchers found that the blood-brain barrier becomes “leaky” with age. And the damage starts in the hippocampus—the area of your brain critical to memory and learning.2
The research team’s conclusion? “To prevent dementia, including AD, we may need to come up with a way to reseal the blood-brain barrier and prevent the brain from being flooded with toxic chemicals in the blood.”
The goal is to keep the oxygen and nutrients in—and the toxins (including substances like fibrinogen) out. And you’ll be happy to hear there are already a number of safe, natural ways to do just that.
Three ways to “micromanage” your brain health
One way to strengthen your microcirculation is to reduce damaging inflammation in the body. And you won’t find a better way than with my most recent book, The A-List Diet—which focuses on fresh produce, healthy fats, and high-quality protein, supplemented with an array of inflammation-fighting amino acids. (To order a copy, head over to my website at www.DrPescatore.com and shop the “Books” tab.)
Beyond that, I recommend supplementing with Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract). Clinical research has shown that one of the primary ways this extract benefits your circulation is by targeting collagen and elastin, which are the building blocks that line your blood vessels and capillaries.
Unfortunately, collagen and elastin break down over time, which can lead to leaky capillaries and a damaged blood-brain barrier. But pine bark extract helps your body replenish these two critical substances—and keeps your blood vessels and capillaries working the way they’re supposed to in the process.
That’s why I recommend 100 mg of Pycnogenol daily.
Another essential tool for strengthening your microcirculation: citrus bioflavonoids. These compounds help increase nitric oxide (NO) production in the body. Boosting NO levels improves microcirculation by relaxing your blood vessels and capillaries. This helps blood flow through them easier, resulting in less damage.
The three most well-researched citrus bioflavonoids are: diosmin, quercetin, and hesperidin. I recommend 250 mg of diosmin, 25 mg of hesperidin, and 50 mg of quercetin total daily, divided into two or three doses.
(All of the supplements I’ve recommended here today can be found at your local vitamin shop.)
Following these simple steps will go a long way in strengthening your microcirculation. Because when your microcirculation is healthy, your entire body—including your brain—reaps the rewards.
These steps—and many more—are laid out in even more detail in my Drug-Free Protocol for Reversing Alzheimer’s and Dementia. To learn more, or to enroll, click here or call 1-866-747-9421 and ask for order code EOV3V802.
It may seem too good to be true, but plain old vitamin C is one of the most powerful allies in your AD prevention arsenal—a real workhorse that wears a couple different hats in the fight against dementia.
Powerful protection, hiding in plain sight
For one thing, you’d be hard pressed to find a simpler way to slash fibrinogen levels. In one study, researchers gave heart disease patients either 1,000 mg or 2,000 mg of vitamin C in divided daily doses to evaluate its effect on fibrinogen breakdown.
At 1,000 mg daily, researchers observed no change. But at 2,000 mg daily, vitamin C delivered a 27 percent decrease in blood clotting activity, a 12 percent reduction in total cholesterol, and a 45 percent increase in fibrinogen breakdown.3
And that’s just one route by which this old standby stalls dementia. Research also shows that vitamin C can stimulate neurogenesis, boost antioxidant levels, extinguish inflammation, and combat oxidative stress in the brain that leads to cognitive decline. And higher blood concentrations correlate with lower rates of impairment among older populations.4
Not too shabby for a nutritional staple that most people take for granted, huh? Which is why I always recommend taking 3,000 mg of vitamin C every single day, no matter how healthy you think your diet is.
- Merlini M, et al. “Fibrinogen Induces Microglia-Mediated Spine Elimination and Cognitive Impairment in an Alzheimer’s Disease Model.” Neuron. 2019 Mar 20;101(6):1099-1108.e6.
- Montagne A, et al. “Blood-brain barrier breakdown in the aging human hippocampus,” Neuron 2015; 85(2): 296-302
- Bordia AK. “The effect of vitamin C on blood lipids, fibrinolytic activity and platelet adhesiveness in patients with coronary artery disease.” Atherosclerosis. 1980 Feb;35(2):181-7.
- Pearson JF, et al. “Vitamin C Status Correlates with Markers of Metabolic and Cognitive Health in 50-Year-Olds: Findings of the CHALICE Cohort Study.” Nutrients. 2017 Aug 3;9(8). pii: E831.