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Pain Meds Stealing Your Memory?

Dr. Al Sears

Taking a couple ibuprofen to treat your occasional aches and pains typically isn’t a problem…

Popping the pain reliever every single day for the rest of your life is.

And that’s why I was shocked to hear that’s exactly what a Team of scientists is suggesting you do to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s.1

Ibuprofen will not reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s. In fact, it increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. And when you take the PM versions of this over-the-counter drug, it actually DOUBLES your risk of developing this devastating disease.

Studies Link Pain Killers and Alzheimer’s

A recent study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found a strong link between Alzheimer’s disease and many commonly used medications including Advil PM and Motrin PM — two of the most popular brands of ibuprofen.

And another study found that taking just one Advil PM a day for three to 12 months increases the risk of dementia by 19%. Taking it every day for three years saw a patient’s risk skyrocket to 54%.2

That’s because certain drugs — including Advil PM — can block the activity of an important neurotransmitter in your brain called acetylcholine.

Acetylcholine is directly involved in learning and memory. And blocking it is dangerous…

In my clinic, I’ve seen confusion, memory loss and declining mental skills in patients who take these drugs.

One recent study found that people who take these acetylcholine-blocking drugs had shrunken areas of the brain linked to memories.3

Pain relievers like ibUprofen aren’t the only pills that block this important brain chemical. Others include drugs for Parkinson’s, depression, blood pressure, insomnia, colds and acid reflux.

When you take these drugs, your mind will soon feel the effects as AC levels plummet.

ibuprofen, liver, bacon, onions, paleo recipe


Keep Your Mind Sharp & Focused

When you’re young your brain has lots of acetylcholine. It makes your mind sharp and your memory clear.

But as you get older, even if you don’t take AC drugs, your levels decline. Messages between your brain cells start to slow down or stop altogether.

I help my patients boost acetylcholine levels with a combination of brain-boosting nutrients. One of the most important is choline.

Your brain has a huge appetite for choline. It’s one of the building blocks your body needs to make acetylcholine.

In one study, people with a choline deficiency were given choline or a placebo. The choline group showed dramatic improvement in memory tests after just six months.4

Women need at least 425 mg of choline a day and men need at least 550 mg.

The best way to get choline is to eat animal products like pastured eggs and grass-fed red meat. Liver is also a great source. Two ounces of beef liver have 174 mg of choline. One large egg has 141 mg.

You can also take supplements to boost your choline. I recommend 535 mg of choline citrate and 35 mg of its cousin, CDP choline. They each work in different areas of the braiN.

I combine choline with a phospholipid called phosphatidylserine. This amino acid derivative is a key building block for the billions of cells in your brain. In a recent study, Alzheimer’s patients who took this supplement twice a day showed improvement in mental function after eight weeks.5

The best food sources for phosphatidylserine are organ meats. Other good sources include wild Atlantic mackerel and herring, tuna and pasture-raised chicken meat.

But it’s hard to get enough from your diet. I recommend a supplement. Take 100 mg three times a day.

These aren’t the only brain nutrients you need. That’s why I recommend three more brain-boosters to keep your mind sharp.


Keep Your Brain Focused with These 3 Nutrients

1. First, enhance your memory with DMAE.

Dimethylaminoethanol, or DMAE, works with choline to increase levels of acetylcholine. It can improve mood, increase awareness and attention. It also prevents confusion and brain fog. Studies show 100 mg a day enhances brain functioning and puzzle solving.

You can get DMAE in wild-caught fish like salmon and sardines. You can also supplement. For the best results, I recommend 100 mg per day.

2. Then, fire up your brain neurons.

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is an amino acid. It promotes brAin health by restoring the function of nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is a protein produced in your brain. It controls the growth and maintenance of neurons.

As you get older your levels of NGF go down. Research shows that the decline in NGF leads to a major drop in the way brain cells perform.

And the loss of this growth factor can lead to degenerative brain diseases.6 Acetyl-L-carnitine helps reverse this drop. At the same time, it powers the survival and growth of your neurons.7

Many studies show that patients with mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease significantly improved after adding ALC. I suggest taking at least 500 mg every day on an empty stomach.

3. And take the ancient Ayurvedic brain plant.

One of the most effective brain herbs I’ve found is gotu kola. This ancient herb is a brain-boosting marvel. It can help spur growth in brain cells.

Animal and cell studies show that gotu kola can trigger the repair of damaged brain cells. It also restores higher cognitive function.8

When choosing a gotu kola supplement, look for one with more of the active components. Select one that is standardized to the asiaticosides or asiatic acid. I recommend 300 mg a day.

Dr Al Sears, MD

To Your Good Health,

Dr. Al Sears


Al Sears, MD, CNS


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1. McGeer PL, et al. “Alzheimer’s disease can be spared by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.” J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;62(3):1219-1222.
2. Gray SL, et al. “Cumulative use of strong anticholinergics and incident dementia: A prospective cohort study.” JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(3):401-407.
3. Risacher SL, et al. “Association between anticholinergic medication use and cognition, brain metabolism, and brain atrophy in cognitively normal older adults.” JAMA Neurol. 2016;73(6):721-732.
4. Wiedeman AM, et al. “Dietary choline intake: Current state of knowledge across the life cycle.” Nutrients. 2018;10(10):1513.
5. Arab L and Sabbagh MN. “Are certain life style habits associated with lower Alzheimer disease risk?” J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;20(3):785-794.
6. Aloe L, et al. “Nerve growth factor: A focus on neuroscience and therapy.” Curr Neuropharmacol. 2015;13(3):294-303.
7. Taglialatela G, et al. “Acetyl-L-carnitine enhances the response of PC12 cells to nerve growth factor.” Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 1991;59(2):221-230.
8. Puttarak P, et al. “Effects of Centella asiatica (L.) Urb. on cognitive function and mood related outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” Sci Rep. 2017;7:10646.