<< Go Back
Neurodegenerative Disease:Pathophysoilogy

Neurodegenerative Disease:Pathophysoilogy

Pathophysiology of Neurodegenerative Disease


Saul Yudelowitz

Senior Musculoskeletal Specialist

Sports Medicine Consultants




To truly understand why the human race today, an advanced society face such a significant problem regarding neurodegenerative disease (NDD), which is not only on the increase but presenting in younger patients as well, we need to understand what changed. NDD was initially seen in the developed countries but later become just as common in 3rd world countries. It effects the entire population of the world, either directly and/or indirectly and its consequences are devastating on the patient are the family that care for their loved one.


The biggest significant change in the history of human food consumption was initiated soon after the Second World War.

Below is a brief description of what can be considered the greatest propaganda program ever accomplishment that would even make Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s, Nazi party’s propaganda expert envious!


Humans always consumed animal fats with no incidence of cancers, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and many of the other diseases that fat and cholesterol has been blamed for. The cause was and still is refined sugar and hydrogenated oil (vegetable oil and trans fats).


In 1936 research by Lande and Sperry concluded,

"There was no correlation between cholesterol and arteriosclerosis"
Lande and Sperry
: Archives of Pathology. 22. 301-312. (1936)


In the late 1950’s there was a considerable effort to change the opinion of American population from eating animal fats to consuming hydrogenated vegetable oil, undertaken by the Edible Oil Industry (EOI) however the medical community held the main resistance to the change in policy.


The American Association and the Lipid Hypothesis

Their policy in a general news release, October 12th 1962,

“The anti-fat, anti-cholesterol fad is not just foolish and futile…..It also carries some risk.

Scientific reports linking cholesterol and heart disease attacks have touched off a new food fad among do it your self Americans. Dieters who believe they can cut down on their blood cholesterol without medical supervision are in for a rude awakening. It can’t be done. It could even be dangerous to try.”


In 1960 The EOI supervised the American Heart Association (AHA), National Heart Lung & Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the American Diabetic Association by controlling what research was published in respected journals of the day, which resulted in a significant influence on health policy.

This resulted in changes at a foundation level regarding animal fats and vegetable oils, even in parts of the medical community.


In 1965 Dr. Fed Mattson of Procter and Gamble told the American Heart Association (AHA) to change its diet/heart statement by removing any reference to ‘trans fatty acids’ (found in vegetable oils).

As a result the altered official document encouraged consumption of partly hydrogenated fats.


In 1971 the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) general council became president of the Edible Oil Trade Association (EOTA), replaced at the FDA by a food lawyer, Peter Hutt of Covington and Burling who had represented the EOI.


In the 1970’s and 80’s Dr. Mattson (Proctor and Gamble) held two controlling research positions in the Lipid Research Clinic Trials that led to the National Cholesterol Education Program.


By the early 1970’s official long standing policies had already begun eroding to the opposite of what they had previously advised. The main reason behind this was to make the American population uncomfortable about their current cholesterol levels.


Diet and Coronary Heart Dieses recommendations by the following medical bodies in 1972-1973: AHA, AMA and NAS


“The average level of serum cholesterol in the average American man and women is undesirably elevated.

Therefore the measurement of cholesterol should be routine even in early adulthood. Americans in the risk category should receive dietary advice.

Risk category should reduce saturated fats and replace with polyunsaturated vegetable oils. Modified and ordinary foods useful for this purpose should be readily available reasonably priced and easily identified by labeling. Any existing legal and regulatory barriers to the marketing of this food should be removed.”


These were some hurdles to overcome, as the law required imitation food to bear labeling, informing consumers that the food was an imitation. Hydrogenated or partly hydrogenated vegetable oil was legally an imitation food, so like any propaganda program; the laws of the land were changed.

The law in 1938 on imitation food was:


The Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act 1938

“…..certain traditional foods that everyone knows like bread, milk and cheese and when consumers buy these foods, they should get foods they are expecting…..If a food resembles a standardized food but does not comply with the standard, that food must be labeled as an ‘imitation’’’


This was change by 1973 to allow oil producers of hydrogenated or partly hydrogenated vegetable oil to sell their produce without labeling it as an imitation.




FDA Imitation Policy 1973

“….attempting to provide for advances in food technology and…..

(gave) ……manufactures relief from the dilemma of either complying with an outdated standard or having to label their new product as ‘imitation’…….

Such products are not necessarily inferior to traditional foods for which they may be substituted………regulation defined ‘inferior’ as any reduction in content of an essential nutrient present at a level of 2% or more of the USA recommended daily allowance.


The influence of one of the most powerful lobby groups in American history, the Institute of shortening and edible oils (ISEO) exercised their influence on developing policy for the American population. By 1973 their war was won.

Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs Chaired by:

George McGovern, 1973-1977


Promoted the AHA ‘Lipid hypothesis” dissecting testimony was ignored.


Conclusion: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) data showed that animal fats caused and vegetable fats prevented cancer and heart disease while independent analysis showed the exact opposite, animal fats do not cause cancer and heart disease.


The benefit to the EOI, the report significantly influenced American dietary habits towards more vegetable oils, less animal fats while part of the medical profession remained skeptical of the benefits of cholesterol lowering measures.


There were some in the medical profession that did not agree with the current policy of the day and just like any dictatorship they were silenced in many ways, typically using the passive/aggressive approach. Licenses to practice medicine were suspended and funding for research that didn’t support the policy of the day completely disappeared. It is also greatly concerning that research from the USDA was used which would be considered unethical however this type of unethical research is still found in some areas of medical research today.


In what is surely of one histories greatest propaganda accomplishments that continues to this day, almost 120 years of misinformation has affected the lives of so many people, it is not even possible to compare it with histories previous holocausts, ethnic cleansing, wars etc.


So, now that the history of animal fat and cholesterol have been explained, let’s now look at what a low fat diet, high in refined sugar, with hydrogenated or partly hydrogenated vegetable oil causes.



NDD are typically classified as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis and some others that less commonly known diseases like MND, ALS etc.

I personally would define the starting of the pathophysiology of NDD by the following:


The ratio of abdominal fat between, just above the navel down to the pubic synthesis, relative to the fat on both thighs and both arms.


Please note that anatomical terms are used to describe locations so thighs are between the hips and knees, arms between shoulders and elbows and the pubic synthesis is just below the area a pregnant woman would have a C-section incision for the birthing process.


I refer to this ratio as the hormonal balance ratio (HBR)

In the picture o  the left you will notice that while most of society would say this lady has a very good physique she presents with a high HBR.


She provides a good clinical example of someone who runs off peaks of adrenalin through her waking day, associated with chronically elevated levels of cortisol.

When elevated levels of cortisol are chronic it signifies the start of NDD. Cortisol strips the protein off the arms and thighs so it can be converted to sugar while depositing fat on the abdominal area, just above the navel and down to the pubic synthesis area. If more fat is stored down towards the pubic synthesis area it signifies a higher imbalance of the entire endocrine system as apposed to higher up on the abdomen, which is still a symptom of an imbalance.


An imbalanced endocrine system, when chronic initiates metabolic disease and progresses to many diseases that include but are not limited to diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancers, neurodegenerative diseases etc…..


The picture was taken at the US Oscar Ceremony in 2013, the amount of fat just above the navel and down to the pubic synthesis relative to both her arms and both thighs, which are significantly skinnier (not leaner), indicate an endocrine system that is chronically imbalanced.

One of the great misconceptions is that exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise will resolve the HBR. If undertaken like so many people try it only results in higher levels of cortisol being maintained for even longer.

The definitions of overweigh or fat should be bases on the HBR and not by just weigh. The body mass ratio (BMR) also has its drawbacks and while this can give an indication of a persons health it is rather inaccurate, as well as the BMI measurement cant be applied to all people.


Diabetes a common presentation and becoming even more common among the younger population, especially in the under 40 year age group. There is also a concerning number a young children who have developed type II diabetes.

In type II diabetes nerves become damaged, as they don’t receive adequate oxygen and nutrient supply, this is typically why nerves that are supplied by the small capillaries are affected first. Diabetes affects your nervous system; it is literally a form of neurodegenerative disease.

When blood can’t travel through the capillaries due to excess sugar leading to changes in blood viscosity.

This results in insulin receptors downgrade and excess sugar in the blood. The area that this sugar is eventually deposited as fat, the abdomen!

It is reasonable to conclude that since cortisol, one of the main hormones released by the body when subject to stress results in abdominal fat deposition, that sugar increases cortisol levels however there has been no research undertaken to assess the validity of this theory! The author of this paper believes that there is an intimate relationship between cortisol and sugar, especially when elevated levels of sugar remain in the blood!


Metabolic syndrome precedes diabetes, which typically precedes NDD. During metabolic syndrome there may be no symptoms that are obvious to individual but the ability to control sugar effectively has significantly decreased.

Some of the metabolic syndrome symptoms are:

chronic gut bloating, difficulty awaking in the morning, craving sugar, quick temper, sessional depressive disorder, infertility, impotence, reduced libido, fatigue, poor sleeping patterns, foul smelling feces, fungal infection (nails and or thrush), over eating due to lack of satiety, depression and more.


When the individual notices the abdominal fat storage, typically they make the first mistake. Exercising in the hope to get rid of the abdominal fat and trying to eat less. While only a few decades ago young children who ate poor quality food and just remain active was enough to maintain a normal HBR even though by the beginning of their 3rd decade their HBR was presenting an unhealthy ratio. By comparison, these days there is so much sugar in our food supply that the diagnosis of babies with diabetes is alarming.


So what is a healthy amount of fat to maintain on your navel and what causes us to store fat here.

From experience working with Olympic and high performance athletes like Formula 1 pilots and air force pilots, I recommend these athletes aim for 0.5:1 ratio. That is, half the amount of fat on their abdomen relative to both their arms and both thighs.

For the general population I recommend a 1:1 ratio, this is irrespective of, if you are exercising often, seldom or not at all. Exercise does not correct your endocrine imbalance; only the food we eat can achieve this!


If you have a 2:1 ratio you most likely have or are in advanced stages of developing metabolic syndrome.

A 3:1 ratio places you at a significant risk for more serious diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancers and NDD. These would typically present after the start of your 3rd decade of life. A higher ratio would typically result in the mentioned diseased earlier in life.


What increases our HBR? Simply put its sugars and hydrogenated oils.

Not all sugars are the same, while they are bad for us, some are much worse than others. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is the worst of all. Without going into a great deal of biochemistry, your liver converts around 55-60% of this sugar to fat and it is stored on the abdomen while the remaining 40-45% is dealt with by insulin and again stored on the abdomen as fat.

Fructose is the next worse. I get many patients upset by this, as fructose is the sugar in fruit. If you would like to understand how fattening this sugar is try this experiment. Eat 5 mangos over the course of the day and anything else you want for the day, for 7 days. Your abdominal fat will increase every day you stay on that diet.

Fructose is dealt with by your liver and while circulating around your body it literally burns your nerves, as all sugars do however the sweeter they are the faster they burn the nerves.

This of course is bad news and is worse if your liver function is not optional. If liver function is suboptimal then this will allow the fructose to circulate for even longer periods!

If you require proof that sugar burns your nerves, ask any professional chef what they use to get the burnt/brown effect on meat (protein and fat, the same tissue our nerves are composed of) and they will tell you sugar. This effect occurs quicker while frying as the heat, a catalyst chemically, increases the speed of the reaction. In the human body this occurs much slower due to a lower temperature.


Sucrose, table sugar is the next worse form of sugar; it is a 50:50 ratio of glucose and fructose.

Glucose is the sugar the body is designed to run on but even this increases abdominal fat however at the slowest rate of all the sugars. If you use a sweetener that has ‘zero calories’ you create significant imbalances in the endocrine system driven by the effect this has on the brain.

We run on nutrients and obesity is caused by malnutrition, fat people who are starving! Yes the malnutrition in Africa in the 1980’s comes to mind; ironic don’t you think however this is one example of how ‘USA for Africa’ charity program failed. The high sugar low fat diet doesn’t work!


The human body will make you eat food until you have the required nutrients, not calories. When the stretch receptors in the stomach are activated it signals to the brain that we should stop eating to avoid a laceration of an internal organ. This is not a signal to the brain that the required nutrients have been absorbed. This is represented by the HBR.


There are examples of professional athletes suffering serious cardiovascular events, they have a high HBR (for a professional athlete not high for the general public) and undertake a high amount of exercise, English Premiership football players, among others have proved this and it will only become more common, sadly!


So, how do you get your HBR to improve? Well its not exercise and cutting down on calories like most s ‘specialists’ claim. You need to feed your hormonal system, because this is what controls 90% of fat utilization and storage.


Have you ever wondered why the body is so efficient at storing fat? Why we are so efficient at converting excess sugar to fat?

Fat occurs in every cell of our body, its just found in different amounts in different areas of the body. Our brain, depending on what reference book you read contain between 70-75 percent cholesterol, our fattest organ!


I am going to challenge one rule of human nature here:

Cognitive dissonance (CD)!


CD occurs in all professions but in my experience it is rife in medicine and heath care when it comes to addressing chronic health issues. There is a huge amount of good scientific research to prove that the vast majority of chronic issues addressed by medicine are flawed, however I credit medicine is very good at addressing acute issue.


The single most important nutrient for the hormonal system is fat and the worst nutrient is sugar. There are many different types of fat and the best type is saturated fat however there is a very important distinction to make. The method of cooking the fat you eat will either cause disease or feed your hormonal system.

Fat and sugar in relation to biochemistry are opposites! The ‘specialists’ will tell you that fat is bad and will make you fat but they are suffering from a syndrome called CD.

There is only one way to get the fat stored on your abdomen off! Eating fat that has been cooked correctly and significantly reducing sugar intake!


In many cancer research papers ‘specialists’ claim that fat causes cancer.

This is not correct and once again gives a clear view of the reductionist approach applied to chronic health issues that makes medicine so awful at addressing these chronic issues.

If you burn anything, food, wood, coal, diesel, plastic etc so it gives off their carbon bond, typically in the form of black smoke, its carcinogenic.

So if you regularly cook any food and burn it or eat lots of smoked food products, cycle in to work and back during peak traffic, your chances of getting cancer just increased significantly!

Sugar is also known to increase cancerous growths.

Eating fat cooked correctly does not increase cardiovascular disease and if cholesterol were part of the human race they would go down in history as the race most discriminated race!


We live in the year 2013, chronic diseases are not just on the increase but are presenting in patients at a younger age.

NDD has significantly increased and will bankrupt all health care systems worldwide. We as a species are the fattest we have been in all recorded history, yet we are consuming the least amount of fat and the greatest amount of sugar in all recorded history!

If you want functional health independence into and past your retirement then you can contact me about how to not just achieve this but also maintain this for life!

If you accept that part of aging is becoming dysfunctional and more reliant on pharmaceutical drugs to manage chronic diseases while you become less independent while you age, I will leave you with one though!

When you have to be taken to the bathroom and then cleaned by a caregiver you will not be content with life!

I have no doubt that this article has made many people feel uncomfortable. The point is to provide unbiased, balanced information to empower you to make informed choices about your long term health!

<< Go Back