First off, I want to make it clear I’m not promoting drinking alcohol. There are some potential benefits to a small daily intake of 1-2 drinks per day, but I can tell you a safer way to get the same benefits without any of the drawbacks. Not only that, but to get them to a much greater degree.
This all comes back to our old friend, the Krebs cycle. When you drink alcohol, what happens? Most of it gets filtered in the liver, but some of it does get into the brain. This is what causes the intoxicative effects, but interestingly this process also degrades the alcohol into acetic acid; but first, it degrades into acetyl aldehyde, which causes hangovers. Thankfully, acetic acid itself does not have this effect.
I’ve talked a few times now about how the humble vinegar molecule can rescue cells from insulin resistance; and insulin resistance in the brain is essentially the definition of Alzheimer’s – which is often called t3 diabetes.
While vinegar has many benefits, especially to mitochondrial rich parts of the body, increasing the acidity to your body is very bad for the health – especially to the kidneys. The kidneys must ultimately deacidify the entire body from all the co2 we produce through cellular respiration and it does so in a way that’s destructive to the kidney. This is why the kidney always declines in function as we age, and typically to a much greater degree than other organs.
Thankfully, we can arrest this process a bit by taking in bicarbonate. I prefer taking potassium bicarbonate with any vinegar I supplement. You can also use sodium bicarbonate but beware it has 1200 mg of salt per half teaspoon. This is far more than most people should be adding to the diet!
Another way acetate helps is by neutralizing poisons caused by consuming lineolic acid, especially from eating fried foods. While it is really lineolic acid that is the culprit here, some will still try to blame a “high fat diet” on the problem.
ALA, another PUFA, also has the same effects in the brain. While it is touted as an omega3 acid, in reality only a small percentage of this can be converted to EPA or DHA which are the fatty acids the brain can use as building blocks.
Consuming EPA and DHA directly have a positive effect on inflammation, and these are most common in fatty fish. Fish oils should probably be avoided due to oxidation, but sardines and other canned fish seem to avoid this issue, though obviously fresh caught wild fish would always be preferable.
Yet if I had to guess, I would say that the main mechanism of acetic acid benefiting the brain is through rescuing the mitochondria.[ play dog rescue clip] Acetic acid has also been noted to greatly reduce the incidence of cancer in those who work in vinegar producing factories, most likely through this mechanism.
The mitochondria are also likely responsible for the fact that neurons and cardiac muscle cells very seldom become cancerous cells. If you just google it, then you will find the common answer is that post mitotic cells don’t divide, therefore can’t be cancerous. This answer does not adequately explain what we see, because other post mitotic cells do become cancerous, but you have to keep in mind science is not a perfect process.
For example, skeletal muscle cells that are postmitotic that still become cancerous far more often than neurons!
This is yet more information that confirms the metabolic cancer theory. If we believe the theory that cancer is a phenomenon of nuclear DNA error, then really any cell should be able to become cancerous at any time, though we’d still expect the short telomeres to make it less common in these cells. On the other hand, the metabolic theory perfectly explains why these cells are basically immune to cancer. That’s because neurons have more mitochondria than any other cells in the body, and cancer is caused by metabolic derangement of cells forcing them to switch to fermentation for energy production.
That being the case, it is hard for a neuron to totally run out of energy. It’s also hard for a neuron to turn to the Warburg Effect, or fermentation, because with that many mitochondria, the cell would simply melt from all the byproducts being produced.
In a cell with fewer mitochondria the byproducts of fermentation can actually be used in the growth and replication of the cell. This kind of fermentation can fuel the creation of the amino acids that cancer cells need to multiply. This is also how the fermentation of milk to yogurt enriches the protein content of the end product by approximately 25%.
So if you want to avoid dementia, cancer and a myriad of other chronic diseases, your mitochondria are one of the best ways to effect change. A few things that will help your mitochondria are a lower carb diet, fasting, phototherapy, vinegar supplementation and to a lesser extent exercise.
Music courtesy Karl@whitebataudio