ALTERNATIVE health practitioner Wayne Cezair is warning that the consumption of fast foods can fast track the development of Alzheimer's disease. The warning came at a workshop held on Saturday by the Port of Spain support group of the Alzheimer's Association of TT (AZATT) at the Cocoa Pod on Gordon Street, Port of Spain. At the workshop, the potential of using cocoa as an alternative treatment for the disease was discussed.
Crediting his fast food claim to years of personal research Cezair said, "Studies have found that nutrition is playing a significant part in the development of Alzheimer's."
He said the modern diet of highly processed, fatty fast foods with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) play a key role given they contain high levels of omega six fatty acids.
Although natural and have little impact in moderation, these omega six fatty acids can lead to inflammation and other effects when excessively consumed, he said.
Asked which sources of omega six people should stay away from Cezair said fast foods, "...have bad oil, refined flour, chicken grown with hormones and the list goes on."
Cezair learnt that in countries with high levels of Alzheimer's, people usually have a higher level of omega six than omega three. These countries also tend to have modern diets of highly processed fast foods while places that consume less processed fast foods have lower Alzheimer's rates.
He said blame must be placed on the medical industry which he views as having neglected to make progress on the disease.
He said, "After 120 years why have they not figured out what's contributing to Alzheimer's disease. They have made tremendous progress on other lifestyle diseases."
"Modern medicine looks at everything except going to the source and finding out where the real problems lie. They usually end up at the end treating the symptoms. A herbalist or alternative practitioner will go to the source and find out where the disease can be stopped."
At this point, he pivoted to his work in developing natural cocoa products and how it can help patients dealing with the ailment to seek relief. Cezair said cocoa contains epicatechin which has been proven by scientific research to improve vascularity, blood flow and endurance.
Adding that cocoa helps with the body's nitric oxide cycle, he said, "Anything that helps the nitric oxide cycle will help with getting oxygen to the brain." Additionally, cocoa has anti-inflammatory properties.
These and other benefits of cocoa are what Cezair said helps to strengthen brain performance in Alzheimer's patients as they increase blood flow to the brain and reduce inflammation which has been observed in the brain of people suffering from the disease.
Asked what are the best ways to consume cocoa to derive these benefits, Ceziar said, "Dark chocolate is great. You can also consume cocoa nibs, cocoa tea, CBD oil."
Ceziar's mother suffers from Alzheimer's and he said that through changes in dietary practices he has seen some improvement. He urged people to stay away from highly processed foods and eat more natural produce.
While there is no known cure for Alzheimer's and there is still the need for more research to understand the disease, Cezair said, "Alzheimer's patients are just ordinary people that suffer the same problems with ageing and they need the same care as any convalescent. If we keep looking at Alzheimer's as an entity and not something more precise, we'll never get anywhere."