Alzheimer's and insulin - Identify the hidden connection

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 by: Arthur Gazaryants, L.Ac.
Tags: Alzheimer's, insulin, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) Several recent studies (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) are demonstrating a number of common factors in the cause and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and diabetes mellitus. These include impaired glucose utilization due to insulin resistance, a decrease in growth factors such as IGF-1 and IGF-2, lowered energy production and increased oxidative stress - all hallmark symptoms of both conditions.

What is Alzheimer's Disease?
AD is a chronic, neuro-degenerative, inflammatory condition of the brain associated with neuronal loss, beta-amyloid plaque deposits, increased activity of catabolic genes and pathways, decreased energy production, mitochondrial activity, and free radical stress. It affects the areas of the brain responsible for learning and memory, but it is not limited to those areas. Profound memory loss and progressive dementia are characteristic symptoms and signs of AD.

What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot regulate its own blood sugar because pancreatic insulin production decreases and ultimately stops. Blood sugar rises as cells are "starved" for energy. Diabetes and pre-diabetes are both characterized by a phenomenon called insulin resistance, in which a greater burden is placed on the pancreas to make more insulin. Insulin levels then creep higher with each meal.

As those insulin levels rise, the body further decreases the number of insulin receptors, so progressively less glucose is able to enter target sites. If this condition is poorly managed or goes untreated, the pancreas eventually exhausts itself, which is when diabetics become insulin-dependent. Insulin (an anabolic hormone) is responsible for healthy energy metabolism, mitochondrial function and the clearing of free radicals. The inevitable decline of insulation production leads to oxidative stress, impaired metabolism, chronic disease, inflammation and, ultimately, cell death.

Energy Production and the Brain
The brain is a highly metabolic organ. Even though it constitutes only two percent of total body weight, it consumes about 20 percent of total energy. Its high-energy requirements create reliance on healthy brain mitochondrial function. Any decline in mitochondrial energy production can have a severe impact on brain health and the development of neuro-degenerative diseases, including cognitive decline, an early symptom of AD (6, 7) .

Insulin and the Brain
Unlike muscle and other non-neurological tissue, the brain doesn't store any meaningful levels of glucose, so it relies on its own production of insulin and IGF-1 and IGF-2 for a constant supply of glucose (5). When these and other related growth factors decline - which also happens in diabetes - it leads to progressive brain degeneration due to impaired energy metabolism, mitochondrial function oxidative stress, neuro-inflammation, DNA damage and cell death. All early signs of AD.

Cortisol and the Brain
Cortisol is a stress hormone, produced in response to low glucose/energy in brain cells as well as inflammatory and oxidative stress. In diabetes, glucose has trouble reaching brain cells; therefore, significant amounts of inflammatory stress and cortisol are produced. Unfortunately, chronic cortisol overproduction has a neuro-degenerative effect on the brain, the hippocampus in particular (8, 9, 10). This area is responsible for memory and learning, and it is affected greatly in AD (9). The hippocampus is significantly smaller in diabetics than in non-diabetics.

The explosion of recent studies showing significant overlap between AD and diabetes has resulted in a new term: "Type 3 Diabetes Mellitus" or T3DM. It is not the same as type 1 or type 2 diabetes, but a brand new type of diabetes that involves the brain.

Over the years, we have learned how to treat diabetes: alternative medicine being especially effective in both prevention and treatment. Given the many similarities between the two diseases, we could now be on the threshold of adequately treating AD.

1. Intranasal insulin improves cognition and modulates beta-amyloid in early AD. Neurol. 2008 Feb 5;70(6):440-8. Epub 2007 Oct 17.
2. Preserved cognition in patients with early Alzheimer disease and amnestic mild cognitive impairment during treatment with rosiglitazone: a preliminary study. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2005 Nov;13(11):950-8.
3. Alzheimer's Disease Is Type 3 Diabetes - Evidence Reviewed. J Diabetes Sci Tech Volume 2, Issue 6, November 2008.
4. Review of insulin and insulin-like growth factor expression, signaling, and malfunction in the central nervous system: Relevance to Alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimer's Disease 7 (2005) 45-61.
5. Impaired insulin and insulin-like growth factor expression and signaling mechanisms in Alzheimer's disease - is this type 3 diabetes? J Alzheimer's Disease 7 (2005) 63-80.
6. Brain mitochondrial dysfunction as a link between Alzheimer's disease and diabetes. J Neurol Sci. 2007;257(1-2):206-14.
7. Possible implications of Insulin Resistance and Glucose metabolism in Alzheimer`s disease pathogenesis. J Cell Mol Med. 2011 Mar 24. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2011.01318.
8. Relationships between cortisol, DHEA sulphate and insulin-like growth factor-I system in dementia. J End Invest. 2001 Mar;24(3):139-46.
9. Therapeutic implications of HPA axis abnormalities in Alzheimer`s disease: review and update. Psychopharm Bull. 2003 Spring;37(2):120-34.
10. Cortisol, learning, memory, and attention in relation to smaller hippocampal volume in police officers with PTSD. Bio Psyc Volume 59, Issue 2, 15 Jan 2006: 171-177

About the author

Arthur Gazaryants, L.Ac.,
Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.