by William Clearfield, D.O. for Longevinex

Revisit with us, dear readers, that unforgettable moment in May 2023 when Teddy crashed his vintage 1978 Lincoln Continental through his garage wall into his kitchen. Recall the glorious destruction of the kitchen sink, stove, oven, and refrigerator, giving birth to a surprising new entryway into his home. (1)

Don’t remember Teddy? New to our blog? Otherwise, you’ve reveled with us in the “Tales of Teddy.” (5/16, 5/26, 6/13, 6/23, 8/9/2023) (44)

Everything about Teddy is big. He refers to himself as ‘Big T.’ His hands are big. His feet are big (size 13)! His head is enormous. Teddy is 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 295 pounds, with at least 50% of it being jiggly fat.

“Need more room for my brains,” Teddy said when I pointed out his size. “Though lately, the old memory seems to be failing.”

We started Teddy on our Resveratrol (‘reverse-it-all’ according to Big T) regimen five months ago, and Teddy feels much better. (2)

“I’m misremembering things less,” Teddy said. “My ‘loose screw,’ as Steph (his long-suffering wife of forty-nine years) puts it, is a little less loose. But I know I can do better.”

“Of course,” I said. “We can always do things a little better today than last week. Most times, it only takes a little bit of will and determination.”

“I haven’t put the car keys in the freezer lately,” Teddy said.


“And I haven’t driven out to the Black Rock Desert and not remembered how I got there.”

“More progress,” I replied. “I’ll send your application to the Mensa Society in the morning.”

“Joker,” Teddy said. “So, tell me, Doc. Where do we go from here? I’m not ready to spend every day feeding the pigeons in the park and waiting for a nightly scoop of tapioca.”

“It depends on your symptoms,” I said. “We suspect some dementia, which is considered irreversible, as a given. Dementia affects memory, thinking, and social abilities severely enough to interfere with your daily routine. (3) Are you experiencing any of these?”

  1. Subtle short-term memory changes.      “Yes.”
  2. Difficulty finding the right words.             “Yes”
  3. Mood changes.
  4. Apathy.
  5. Difficulty in completing routine tasks. Difficulty in following storylines.
  6. Confusion. A failing sense of direction.

“Yes, yes, yes, and yes,” Teddy said, less emphatically with each ‘yes’.

“As we surmised,” I said.

“What’s the difference between that and Old-Timer’s Disease?” Teddy asked.

“Alzheimer’s Disease,” I corrected. “Alzheimer’s Disease is a type of dementia leading to memory, thinking, and behavioral issues. Alzheimer’s is progressive and, unfortunately, fatal. Does any of this sound familiar?” (4)

  1. Memory loss disrupts day-to-day living. You may misplace everyday items.
  2. Planning and problem-solving difficulties. Concentration issues.
  3. An inability to complete simple tasks. You are not taking part in your usual activities.
  4. Confusion as to time and place. New onset of poor judgment.
  5. Difficulty with visual images, reading comprehension, or judging distances.
  6. New difficulties following or joining conversations.

“How do I know if it’s not just old age-related issues?” Teddy asked.

“What can I do?” Teddy asked.

“Lots of things,” I said. “At least ten.”

“Only ten?” Teddy asked.

“If you behave yourself, we can make it an even eleven,” I said.

10 Steps to a Healthy Brain:

  1. Keep Your Blood Sugar Balanced
  2. Eat Healthy Fats
  3. Get Adequate and Restful Sleep
  4. Ensure Sufficient (but not excessive) Vitamin D3 for Proper Brain Function
  5. Get Your Gut In Order
  6. Maintain Adequate Methylation
  7. Balance Your Hormones
  8. 6 Strategies for A Healthy Heart
  9. Exercise
  10. Lifetime Learning

“I don’t like this list,” Teddy said. “Got to get going, Doc.”

“Scaredy cat much?” I asked. “Touched a nerve, did I?”

“No, Doc,” Teddy answered.

“Sure, sure,” I replied. “Well, let’s at least get started. Then, next time, we can add some more.”

Step #1: Keep Your Blood Sugar Balanced.

“Think about this, Teddy,” I said. “You are out one night at the movies. When you get home, your front door is wide open, and the police are there. You’ve been robbed.”

“I don’t want to think about that,” Teddy said.

“Stay with me here,” I replied. “The police are at your house. Your living room furniture is all gone.”

“My La-Z-Boy? The crooks took my La-Z-Boy? I love that chair. Saved a whole year for it.”

“Well, the crooks got your La-Z-Boy,” I said. “Now, most times when there’s a burglary, the police arrive afterward. So, you might conclude that the police caused the robbery.”

“That’s ridiculous,” Teddy said. “They don’t show up until after the robbery.”

“Exactly,” I said. “The police don’t show up because they’re the robbers. They show up because of the robbers.”

“Likewise, high blood sugar is not the cause but the effect of a poorly functioning organ known as the pancreas. The pancreas generates insulin. We can only produce so much in a lifetime. Like an alcoholic who needs more and more booze to get the same “high,” when we bombard our body with too much sugar, in the form of sugar itself or simple carbohydrates, cookies, candy bars, and sodas, we develop a resistance to insulin’s effect. The result is persistently higher and higher blood sugar levels. Eventually, the insulin we produce is either ineffective or insufficient.” (6)

“The downstream effect of “insulin” resistance is brain ‘starvation.’ The brain atrophies and shrinks; function, memory, speech, movement, and personality traits become impaired.

Continuously consuming refined foods yields increased glucose levels. Elevated glucose levels damage blood vessels (atherosclerosis) and decrease neurotransmitter function. Moodiness and anxiety result.”

“What can I do?” Teddy asked.

Action Steps:

  1. Replace refined carbohydrates with:
    -Quinoa, brown rice, oats, buckwheat, millet, wholemeal bread, and wholemeal pasta
    -↓ High-sugar foods such as white bread, white pasta, and white rice, pastries, confectionery, and sugary fizzy drinks
    -Reduce or aim to eliminate stimulants, such as coffee and alcohol, which raise blood sugar levels.
    -Normalize blood sugar with intermittent fasting or a whole-food, low-glycemic diet. (7)

“What,” Teddy asked. “No supplements?”

“Supplements?” I replied.

“Supplements,” he said. “You know, vitamins, herbs, minerals. All those colorful pills you give me.”

“Oh,” I replied. “Like cinnamon to improve insulin usage. One gram a day of plain old store-bought cinnamon can lower your fasting blood sugar levels by 18-29%. (8-9) Supplements like that?”

“That’s the ticket,” Teddy said. “But the medical books say you need Ceylon cinnamon.”

“They do,” I replied. “Ceylon cinnamon is purer, but it’s pricier. We’ve done just as well with the better-quality supermarket brands. No need to spend $30 for a pound.”

“What else?” Teddy asked. “I know there are others.”

“There are many substances in nature that can improve your blood sugar profile,” I replied. “Berberine at 1000-1500 mg daily increases insulin sensitivity and production, regulates metabolism, increases glucose breakdown, increases nitric oxide, reduces glucose production in the liver, and slows carbohydrate absorption from the gut.” (10)

“I’ve heard of Berberine,” Teddy said. “It’s all the rage down at the gym. They call it ‘Nature’s semaglutide.”

“They do indeed,” I replied. “You need a whole lot of it to get the ‘semaglutide’ effect. Something like 1600-2000 mg per day minimum. At those levels, we see a lot of side effects.”

“Not much different than semaglutide, then.” Teddy said.

“A lot different. We’ve used berberine to improve blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol for over fifteen years. We will cover berberine another time.”

“Chromium (200-1000 ug/d) improves insulin sensitivity and lowers HbA1C levels by 1.0% at 200 mcg to 2.1% at 1000 mcg daily. “ (11-12)

“Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) dosed at 300-600 mg daily acts as an antioxidant, a metal chelator, and reduces oxidized Vitamin C, vitamin E, and glutathione. ALA inhibits nuclear factor kappa B and activates AMPK energy pathways in skeletal muscles, reducing peripheral neuropathy. (13)

“More,” Teddy said.

Magnesium-(200-500 mg) stimulates insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar by up to 23% @ 300 mg/d over three months. Adequate RBC-magnesium reduces the risk of diabetes mellitus type 2 by 22 % versus those with the lowest quartile magnesium levels.” (14)

Gymnema Sylvestre (200-400 mg/d) decreases sugar cravings within 30 seconds! Gymnea suppresses sweet tastes, increases insulin production, and decreases sugar and fat absorption by up to 44%.” (15)

Bitter Melon (2-5 gm/d)-activates our AMPK energy pathways. It contains P substance, an insulin-like, antioxidant, antiviral peptide.” (16)

“And lastly, for now,” I said. “Our old friend Vitamin D (titrate to 50-80). Vitamin D decreases fasting blood sugar by up to 11% and insulin utilization by one-third. (17)

“That’s a lot of pills, Doc,” Teddy said.

I shrugged. “Come on, Teddy. You know they come in combinations. Usually, one or two will do. Now, let’s move on. There’s lots more you can do.”

Step #2: Eat Healthy Fats

“Healthy fats,” I said.

“Healthy fats,” Teddy cried, his face reddening. “Healthy fats?”

I think I touched a nerve.

“Really? You genius doctors told us in the eighties and nineties that fats were bad. Bad! Really bad! Worse than bad. Don’t eat fat. Cholesterol is a killer. “You are going to die. Butter, ha! Trans-fat margarine is the way to go. Avocados. For shame. Coconut oil? You doctors treated a coconut like Dracula treats the sun at dawn. Every patient’s cholesterol should be zero. Zero. That’s a big fat Jim Otto double zero. OO.”

Teddy had a fire in his eyes and his voice.

“There were Seinfeld episodes about fat. My heart specialist darn near had a heart attack himself when I told him I used olive oil as a salad dressing. He said I might as well have loaded a gun with six bullets and played Russian Roulette. “Olive oil!”

“Most pistols only have six chambers,” I said, trying to distract him. “Russian Roulette usually only has one bullet in the chamber.”

“You think I don’t know that? Teddy asked. “You think I don’t know what Russian Roulette is. Misspoke. Ha. Like you all ‘misspoke?’

Teddy made a gesture like “air quotes.”

“Big surprise. All of a sudden, instead of having one fat kid in a high school class, half the school is fat. Obesity goes from 15% to 60-70% of the US population within ten years of your Einstein pronouncements.” (18-19)

There was no stopping him now. I just had to stand back and take the incoming.

“What did you think would happen,” he asked.

“Unlike Fonzie from Happy Days,” I replied, “I can admit when I’m wrong. It was a mass formation psychosis then. So great was the fear of heart disease that our attention focused on a few thought leaders about one spoke of the atherogenic cycle. Like hypnosis, we all became enamored by the low-fat mantra. Sorry.” (20)

“And now?” Teddy said. “Sorry? Sorry? That’s it. The only ones who got it right were that Atkins fellow in New York, and you saw what happened to him. (In 1973, Dr. Robert Atkins, after releasing his “unorthodox Diet Revolution book, ” was subpoenaed to testify in the House Chamber of the U.S. Congress. He was, of course, vilified canceled today by the towering political intellects of the day as “a dangerous heretic.” (21)

“Reminds me of a few others…. Eh, never mind that. How much money did you all make off that scam,” Teddy asked. “With your food pyramids demanding eleven servings of carbs a day and lumping sugar and fats together as ‘empty calories?” (22).

“I know, I know,” I said. “Some of us came to our senses and relearned the basics. 60% of the brain is fat. (23) 25% of that is docosahexaenoic acid or DHA. DHA is a key component of fish oils, flaxseed oils, and…”

“Coconut oil?” Teddy asked.

“Coconut oil,” I replied. “It is ‘essential,’ namely diet-derived. We need these essential fats in 1-4 grams/day doses.“

“Now you tell us,” Teddy said. “I was just a shop owner, and I knew that. Doctors, ha. Snake oil salesmen in white coats.”

“DHA synthesizes neurotransmitters, ensuring the smooth functioning of the brain. (24) Adequate fat intake equals adequate verbal fluency and learning. Diminished levels of DHA results in memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease. 900 mg a day is what you need to help it along.”

“You are what you eat,” Teddy said. “So, what do I eat?”

“DHA-rich foods include fish, liver, and brains. Coconut oil is a rich source of DHA.”

“Can we test for it?” Teddy asked.

“We can test Omega 3’s (the good), Omega 6’s (the bad), and Omega 9’s (in between) directly. A good proxy measure of the Omega 3/Omega 6 ratio is c-Reactive Protein (cRP). The normal range is 0-3.0 mg/dL. Optimally, we like to see cRP <1.0 mg/dL.

Action Steps:

  1. Increase:
    -Sardines, Anchovies, Mackerel, Herring, and Wild Salmon.
    -Flaxseeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
    -Extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, whole eggs, nuts, and seeds.
  2. Avoid:
    -Hydrogenated vegetable fats in processed foods such as shop-bought cakes and biscuits.
    -Hard margarine, takeaways, pastries, pies, and fried foods.

Step #3: Get Adequate and Restful Sleep

“One more point to get you started,” I said. “Sleep.”

“I sleep,” Teddy said. “3-4 hours a night, sometimes. I don’t want to miss anything.”

“Dummkopf,” I said, slapping Teddy upside his head. “You’re missing everything. I’ve seen you. You walk around like a half-dead zombie all day long. You fall asleep as soon as you sit still for three minutes.”

“Sleep lays the groundwork for new mental insights. Sleep is necessary for creativity, memory, and improved physical performance. (25) Sleep deprivation decreases Vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium levels and malfunctions the immune system, lowering serotonin and melatonin. Lack of sleep results in sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings.” (26)

I poked Teddy in his expanded waistline.

“And then you get fat.”

“And I sleep better, how? “Teddy asked.

Action Steps:

  1. Establish a regular routine. Go to bed and rise at the same time every day. (27)
  2. Allocate at least 7-8 hours per night for sleep. (28)
  3. Avoid consuming large, heavy, spicy, or unfamiliar meals late in the day. (29)
  4. Refrain from stimulants such as sugars, caffeine, chocolate, and nicotine; they can disrupt your sleep. While alcohol may initially sedate you, its effects eventually become stimulatory. (30)
  5. Avoid long naps during the day. Regular naps can interrupt the sleep-wake cycle, making it harder to fall asleep at night. (31)
  6. Upon waking, seek out bright sunlight, which helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. (32)
  7. Engage in 20-40 minutes of daily exercise, preferably 2-3 hours before bedtime. Intense workouts are better suited for morning or afternoon. Opt for relaxation techniques, yoga, tai chi, or deep breathing exercises closer to bedtime. (33)
  8. Reserve the bed for sleep and intimacy. If you can’t fall asleep within 15 to 20 minutes, leave the bed and engage in simple or relaxing activities (like stretching or tai chi). (34)
  9. Maintain a cool, yet comfortable bedroom temperature. (35)
  10. Create a dark environment to promote melatonin production. Remove devices such as TVs, VCRs, and cell phones, which emit blue light. Blue light can reduce melatonin production, a primary sleep inducer, by 50% within 13 minutes of exposure. (36-37)
  11. Sleep Aids:
    1. Dr. Clearfield’s Combo (2 hours before bedtime) (38): Vitamin D – adjust to 50-80 ng/dL, typically around 5000 IU. Magnesium taurate: 100-400 mg/night. Melatonin: Start at 1 mg and increase every 7-10 days until sleep improves (usually between 3-10 mg). We’ve prescribed up to 30 mg in our practice. IR/XR formulations can help if one has trouble falling asleep (IR) or maintaining sleep (XR).
    2. Vitamin B6: 200-800 mg at bedtime.
    3. Calcium: Aids in modifying serotonin production, thus enhancing melatonin production. (39)
    4. Zinc: Assists in melatonin synthesis by augmenting the tryptophan/serotonin pathway. (40)
    5. Danshen: This traditional Chinese herb improves sleep quality, regulates circadian rhythms, and alleviates fatigue. (41)
    6. Tart Cherry Juice: A week’s consumption of tart cherry juice concentrate can raise melatonin levels, leading to better sleep duration and efficiency. (P < 0.05) (42)
    7. Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Contains twice the melatonin content of refined olive or sunflower oils. (43)


Our old friend Teddy returns, attempting to reverse the effects of seventy years of unhealthy living. Noticing signs of dementia, he seeks advice. Together, Teddy and Doc outline ten steps for maintaining healthy brain function and potentially slowing Alzheimer’s progression. They’ve detailed the first three today:

  1. Balance blood sugar: Replace refined carbs with whole grains and low-glycemic foods. Incorporate supplements like cinnamon, berberine, chromium, alpha-lipoic acid, magnesium, gymnema sylvestre, bitter melon, and vitamin D.
  2. Consume healthy fats, including oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Incorporate olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds. Steer clear of trans fats. Consider testing the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.
  3. Ensure 7-8 hours of sleep nightly. Adhere to good sleep hygiene: a regular routine, nighttime stimulant avoidance, nap limitation, and sleep environment optimization. Combining Vitamin D (5000 IU), Magnesium taurate (100 mg), and melatonin (1-10 mg) two hours before bed may assist.

In the next article, Teddy and Doc will delve into:

4. Ensuring adequate Vitamin D levels (50-80 ng/mL).
5. Improving gut health.
6. Maintaining proper methylation.
7. Hormone balance.
8. Six tips for heart health.
9. Exercise recommendations.
10. The importance of lifelong learning.

“Remember, Teddy,” I said, “our objective is to enhance your memory and potentially delay or reverse Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline.”

“Hold on, Doc. I’ve more questions,” Teddy interjected.

“Ciao Bella,” I responded. “Our session is over for now. I have other patients awaiting their appointments.”


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  2. Clearfield, W., 50 Ways Resveratrol Improves Health: Discover The Benefits Of Resveratrol, May 26, 2023
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