A Simple Amino Acid May Be The Breakthrough Cure For Alzheimer’s Disease


For over a decade, the pharmaceutical industry has funneled billions of dollars into Alzheimer’s disease research, conducting numerous drug trials but yielding little progress. Yet, amid the vast array of potential treatments, one promising neuroprotective compound might be readily available on our dinner plates.

Dr. Paul Cox, an ethnobotanist, stumbled upon this potential breakthrough while investigating the mystery of rampant neurodegenerative diseases on the Pacific island of Guam. During the 1990s, Guam experienced rates of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and Alzheimer’s-like symptoms that were 120% higher than anywhere else in the world.

Dr. Cox’s quest began with the identification of cyanobacteria, organisms that form green algae, as the culprits. These bacteria produce a natural toxin called BMAA, which was contaminating the seeds of local trees. The seeds were consumed by flying fox bats, a dietary staple for the island’s inhabitants. This bioaccumulation of BMAA was linked to the high incidence of neurodegenerative diseases among the local population.

“When we realized that cyanobacteria might be the culprit, it was like staring into the abyss because we realized you could be exposed anywhere,” Dr. Cox explained in a CNN mini-documentary. He clarified that while cyanobacteria are not a direct cause of Alzheimer’s, they present a significant risk factor.

Driven by a desire to understand the toxicology of BMAA, Dr. Cox conducted a pivotal trial through his non-profit organization, the Brain Chemistry Labs at the Institute for Ethnomedicine in Jackson, Wyoming. The study involved administering BMAA to monkeys along with an amino acid called L-serine. Remarkably, L-serine reduced the neurotoxic effects of BMAA by 85%.

L-serine, a non-essential amino acid found in various foods, is far from a magical elixir. It is one of many amino acids that constitute proteins in our diet, available in substantial amounts in eggs, meat, edamame, tofu, seaweed, and sweet potatoes.

Encouraged by these findings, Dr. Cox sought approval from the FDA to conduct clinical trials investigating L-serine as a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. His preliminary data suggested that this simple amino acid could offer a novel and effective approach to combating neurodegeneration.

Interestingly, Dr. Cox’s background is not in neurology but in ethnobotany, the study of how human cultures use plants for medicinal purposes. His fieldwork took him to Okinawa, Japan, a renowned ‘Blue Zone’ known for its inhabitants’ extraordinary longevity. In the village of Ogimi, Dr. Cox observed that residents consumed approximately 400% more L-serine than the average American.

This compelling observational evidence, combined with laboratory data, has fueled Dr. Cox’s optimism regarding the ongoing placebo-controlled trials. He firmly believes that L-serine supplementation could emerge as a groundbreaking, off-the-shelf treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

“I don’t think we can ignore the correlation between L-serine intake and reduced neurodegeneration observed in both laboratory and real-world settings,” Dr. Cox stated. His confidence is rooted in the convergence of scientific data and ethnobotanical insights.

The significance of Dr. Cox’s discovery lies in its simplicity and accessibility. Unlike the complex and costly pharmaceutical solutions that have eluded success, L-serine is a natural dietary component that could potentially offer widespread benefits. If the clinical trials validate Dr. Cox’s hypothesis, L-serine supplementation might become a readily available intervention to mitigate the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

This paradigm shift, from synthetic pharmaceuticals to natural dietary components, underscores the potential of integrating traditional knowledge with modern scientific research. Dr. Cox’s work exemplifies the value of interdisciplinary approaches in addressing some of the most pressing health challenges of our time.

In conclusion, as the world grapples with the growing burden of Alzheimer’s disease, Dr. Paul Cox’s pioneering research offers a glimmer of hope. By harnessing the neuroprotective properties of L-serine, we may soon have a simple yet effective tool to combat this devastating condition, one that has been hiding in plain sight on our dinner plates all along.