Here’s a list of helpful items for engaging the Bredesen Protocol™ to Reverse COgnitive DEcline (ReCODE™). Please consult your doctor before utilizing any of the items below.
Dr. Bredesen’s latest (2020) book “The End of Alzheimer’s Program: The First Protocol to Enhance Cognition and Reverse Decline at Any Age ” is a practical self-help guide for implementing the program. This and Dr. Bredesen’s previous 2017 book “The End of Alzheimer’s” are widely available in book stores and libraries.
Recipe books can be found at on my recipes webpage.
Home Ketone Testing
Ketone testing provides an objective biomarker for achieving a mildly ketogenic metabolic state. Beta-hydroxybutyrate (measured in a blood droplet by the Precision Xtra/Keto Mojo) and acetone (measured in exhaled breath by the Biosense meter) are both breakdown products of the parent ketone acetoacetate. All three compounds are energy sources generated when in a state of ketosis. Note that urine ketone testing for “peetones” is inaccurate after adaptation to ketosis and better for preventing ketoacidosis in diabetics (a different goal).
The Precision Xtra blood glucose and ketone meter kit includes a lancing device with 30 lancets and 10 ketone strips, costs about $65. The price has dropped significantly on a pack of 30 Precision Xtra ketone test strips to about $30 or around $1/ea. Use one ketone strip for each blood BHB ketone measurement. The meter with extra ketone strips is enough to get you started, but consider adding glucose test strips, additional lancets, and calibration solutions…or buying a kit (pictured).
I personally use the Keto Mojo, another FDA-approved dual ketone and glucose meter option that may allow a smaller droplet of blood than the Precision Xtra. The Keto Mojo starter kit (newer version than my picture at the right) comes with a lancing device, 10 lancets, and 10 ketone test strips for about $50. An additional 50 Keto Mojo ketone test strips also cost about $50, also around $1/ea. Use bluetooth or a USB link to their app for online tracking of ketone readings and related health metrics. I appreciated Keto Mojo’s how-to videos to help me get over initial anxiety about pricking my finger.
For those averse to pricking their finger, acetone breath testing provides a somewhat less accurate evaluation of ketosis, sampling from your exhalation. The Biosense breath acetone meter is a one-time expense of $299 without additional supply costs. This device could be easier and more cost-effective in the long run if you’d like the feedback from multiple ketone readings throughout the day over months. The Biosense meter has some clinical validation showing that a 7 ppm acetone reading correlated with 0.5 mM ketone blood testing.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring
A Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) is a tiny wearable device that shows you how your blood glucose level responds to food, stress, and sleep in real time. A CGM puts you on a faster track to blood glucose regulation than one-at-a-time finger pricks. Nutrisense offers the clinically validated Freestyle Libre CGM device directly to non-diabetic individuals. With a minimum 3-month commitment ($750 total), Nutrisense mails you two tiny CGM devices each month, offers a phone app for tracking your glucose levels, and gives you access to chat with their nutritionists. The Nutrisense price falls below $250/mo to continue beyond the first three months.
With a doctor’s prescription, two-week-duration CGMs are available for around $120 each–a good option if you have diabetes and can get insurance coverage, or if your doctor is on-board with monitoring for a short duration. At the three month mark, the prescription would cost just a touch more than the direct-to-consumer CGMs without free access to Nutrisense nutritionists.
Keep in mind that the brain games are designed to be challenging such that they will stimulate new brain cell connections. Yes, persevering through a little discomfort or frustration with the game can be a good thing. Be aware of negative self-talk about your percentile ranking. The score serves as a marker so we can watch for decline over time and celebrate improvement with practice.
To give clinically-validated brain training computer games a try, you can sign up for the free version at Posit Science BrainHQ. Over one hundred research papers show that exercising your brain with the BrainHQ exercises increases cognitive functioning and quality of life. Pay $14/month (or $96/year) to subscribe for the complete customizable range of BrainHQ activities…or receive full access with your paid ReVERSE™ subscription (more details here). Luminosity is a popular alternative brain training app.
A pulse oximeter, such as the $180 fingertip Viatom overnight oxygen monitor attached to a wrist or a $179 Wellue O2 ring, can record oxygen saturation levels while your sleeping. Note that the inexpensive fingertip pulse oximeters record for short durations and fall off easily, so they are insufficient to evaluate the whole sleep period. If the device records significant drops in oxygen saturation below 92%, talk to your doctor. (A decent oxygen saturation does not rule out disruptive apneas and hypopneas–you need a sleep study for that.)
3M Micropore tape ($5, a postage-sized piece over lips), Breathe Right strips ($16), Air Max nasal dilator (~$15), and/or a neti pot can create conditions for greater nasal breathing. Breathing through your nose during sleep can come with the benefit of reduced snoring and even reductions in hypopneas/apneas.
Dr. Bredesen calls Neural Agility by RevitaMind “meditation on steroids”, available for $97. Neural Agility can be passively listened to by individuals who might not embrace other types of meditation.
Kritan Kriya meditation audio file and instructions on CD or MP3 from the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation, $20, is the type of meditation shown to help individuals with cognitive decline in a clinical study.
KetoFLEX™-Aligned Food Products
A high-quality 95% C8 Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) supplement can boost nutritional ketosis. A trial size 3.0 oz Bulletproof Brain Octane costs under $7 on Amazon. Start with a half-teaspoon taken with food in case your gut doesn’t agree with MCTs. If MCTs help you, increase to up to a tablespoon up to three times per day. My coachees can refer to my “Tips for Nutritional Ketosis” for understanding when MCTs are beneficial and when not.
Some with cognitive symptoms may supplement with exogenous ketones. KetoneAid KE1 is a an effective mix of ketone esters and salts.
Amphora Nueva is an excellent source for third-party-verified high polyphenolic extra-virgin olive oil [EVOO]. Request the ApoE4 discount to purchase premium large 750-ml EVOO at $18.00 ea plus shipping from Northern California. Experience the pleasant pepperiness, pungency, and healthfulness of varietals like their Spanish Hojiblanca, Chilean Coratina, and Tunisian Chetoui. FFA polyphenol ratings vary with each harvest, so ask for their recommended EVOO with the highest therapeutic polyphenol levels.
VitalChoice is a great option for buying sustainably harvested seafood tested to be low in hazardous contaminants, like heavy metals. I enjoy their canned wild Alaskan sockeye salmon (with small soft edible bones and skin for extra nutrition, larger 7.5 oz cans, product #CWR706) and tinned wild Portuguese sardines in organic extra virgin olive oil (product #CPS012). Both canned fish taste better than most competing products. Vital Choice has other seafood entrees like 5 oz herbed wild salmon burgers (product #FSB501) and spiced wild blue shrimp burgers (product #FBS404) that make it more convenient to eat safe seafood. VitalChoice seafood is delicious, nutritious, and a bit pricey…so look for their 10% and 15% off sales.
The Bredesen Protocol™ ideally involves reducing the total toxic burden as much as feasible and drinking clean water to enhance kidney clearance of toxins. Common municipal water contaminants like chloramines, fluoride, and heavy metals aren’t sufficiently removed by a Brita filter. Two excellent water filtration options are the Aqua Tru countertop reverse osmosis filter recommended by Dr. Mark Hyman and the Pure Effects four-stage under-counter water filtration unit recommended by Dr. Tina Beaudoin.
Eliminating constipation is a key to eliminating toxins out of your body each day. A Squatty Potty ($25; more for bamboo/teak/taller height) or similar stool can be more helpful that you might think.
My Fullscript supplement dispensary includes numerous premium supplements (including the full Cytoplan, Pure Encapsulations, and Quicksilver Scientific brand lines) and other products (i.e. Dentalcidin toothpaste for gingivitis) that Dr. Bredesen has identified as supporting brain health. Supplements selection is best guided by your ReCODE Report™ and doctor’s evaluation. For prevention, it may be wise to take the minimum effective dose of just the supplements for your individual needs, with awareness of financial incentives to push beyond that. If you are an individual already working personally with me, apply for a 25% discount on my entire dispensary and more using the form at the bottom of my Supplements webpage.
LifeSeasons ReCODE Protocol supplements come in blends that make it easier to take numerous supplements therapeutically for cognitive impairment. Use my discount code “nurture” at LifeSeasons.com to save 10%. You can also save 10% if you subscribe monthly. The maximum discount available is 15% from some practitioners who resell LifeSeasons supplements within their clinics.
Immersive Bredesen Protocol Facility
Marama is a unique residential care facility in San Diego, CA with the goal of treating cognitive decline and returning residents to independent living. Participants experience a full, personalized Bredesen Protocol™ including medical care by Bredesen-trained providers in an environment that serves KetoFLEX™-aligned meals and fosters all the other healthy lifestyle practices.
Disclaimer: Jen Felix of Nurture Brain Health participates in the Amazon Services Associates Program—an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to amazon.com.