Alzheimer’s disease is a disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions. It is the most common cause of dementia, wherein a group of brain disorders results the loss of intellectual and social skills. With this disease, the brain cells themselves degenerate and die, causing a steady decline in memory and mental function.
Contrary to popular belief, your brain does not require glucose, and actually functions better burning alternative fuels, especially ketones, which your body makes in response to digesting healthy fats.
According to some experts, such as Dr. Ron Rosedale, Alzheimer's and other brain disorders may in large part be caused by the constant burning of glucose for fuel by your brain.
Alzheimer's disease was tentatively dubbed “type 3 diabetes” in early 2005 when researchers discovered that in addition to your pancreas, your brain also produces insulin, and this brain insulin is necessary for the survival of brain cells.
Sugar Damages Brain Structure and Function
In your brain, insulin helps with neuron glucose-uptake and the regulation of neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine, which are crucial for memory and learning. This is why reducing the level of insulin in your brain impairs your cognition.
Research2 has also shown that type 2 diabetics lose more brain volume with age than …
Results indicate that sugar consumption can still damage your memory even if you’re not diabetic. In the long run, it will lead to dwindle of your hippocampus, which is the formation, organization and storage of memories. This is an indicator of someone who is positive to have Alzheimer’s disease.
‘Normal' Blood Sugar Levels May Still Be High Enough to Cause Problems
Normally, a fasting blood sugar level between 100-125 mg/dl is diagnosed as a pre-diabetic state. A fasting blood sugar level of 90-100 is considered “normal.” But in addition to the featured research, other studies have also found that brain atrophy occurs even in this “normal” blood sugar range.
Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, MD insists that being very strict in limiting your consumption of sugar and non-vegetable carbs is one of THE most important steps you can take to prevent Alzheimer's disease for this very reason.
He cites research from the Mayo Clinic, which found that diets rich in carbohydrates are associated with an 89 percent increased risk for dementia. Meanwhile, high-fat diets are associated with a 44 percent reduced risk.
Sugar Lobby Threatens Organizations and Buries Science on Health Effects
Compelling research shows that your brain has great plasticity, which you control through your diet and lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, the American public has been grossly brainwashed by the sugar and processed food industries into believing that sugar is a perfectly reasonable “nutrient” that belongs in a healthy diet.
Without accurate information, it's certainly more difficult to make health-affirming choices. Newsweek5 recently ran an article revealing just how far the sugar industry will go to defend its market share:
“According to a new report6 from the Center for Science and Democracy… industry groups representing companies that sell sweeteners, like the Sugar Association and the Corn Refiners Association… have poured millions of dollars into countering science that indicates negative health consequences of eating their products.
For example, when a University of Southern California study from 2013 found that the actual high fructose corn syrup content in sodas ‘varied significantly' from the sugar content disclosed on soda labels, the Corn Refiners Association considered paying for its own counter research.
A consultant suggested that the counter research should only be published if the results aligned with their goal of disputing the USC study: ‘If for any reason the results confirm [the University of Southern California study], we can just bury the data,' the consultant wrote, according to the report.”
Enormous evidences have showed that sugar is primarily a cause of rampant obesity and widespread of chronic diseases. Specifically those that are in processed foods, that even young individuals consume. However, Sugar Lobby has been successful to be against the results of these evidences that there’s still no agreement among regulatory agencies as to the “factual” dangers of sugar.
Dietary Guidelines for Maintaining Healthy Brain Function and Avoiding Alzheimer's Disease
It's becoming increasingly clear that the same pathological process that leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may also hold true for your brain. As you over-indulge on sugar and grains, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of glucose and insulin that blunts its insulin signaling, leading to impairments in your thinking and memory abilities, eventually causing permanent brain damage.
Additionally, when your liver is busy processing fructose (which your liver turns into fat), it severely hampers its ability to make cholesterol, an essential building block of your brain that is crucial for optimal brain function. Indeed, mounting evidence supports the notion that significantly reducing fructose consumption is a very important step for preventing Alzheimer's disease.
As explained by neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, Alzheimer's is a disease predicated primarily on lifestyle choices; the two main culprits being excessive sugar and gluten consumption.
Another major factor is the development and increased consumption of genetically engineered (GE) grains, which are now pervasive in most processed foods sold in the US. The beauty of following my optimized nutrition plan is that it helps prevent and treat virtually ALL chronic degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's. Dr. Perlmutter's book, Grain Brain, also provides powerful arguments for eliminating grains from your diet, particularly if you want to protect the health of your brain. In terms of your diet, the following suggestions may be among the most important for Alzheimer's prevention:
- Avoid sugar and refined fructose. Ideally, you'll want to keep your total sugar and fructose below 25 grams per day, or as low as 15 grams per day if you have insulin resistance or any related disorders. In one recent animal study, a junk food diet high in sugar resulted in impaired memory after just one week! Place recognition, specifically, was adversely affected.
- Avoid gluten and casein (primarily wheat and pasteurized dairy, but not dairy fat, such as butter).Research shows that your blood-brain barrier, the barrier that keeps things out of your brain where they don't belong, is negatively affected by gluten. Gluten also makes your gut more permeable, which allows proteins to get into your bloodstream, where they don't belong. That then sensitizes your immune system and promotes inflammation and autoimmunity, both of which play a role in the development of Alzheimer's.
- Eat a nutritious diet, rich in folate, such as the one described in my nutrition plan. Vegetables, without question, are your best form of folate, and we should all eat plenty of fresh raw veggies every day. Avoid supplements like folic acid, which is the inferior synthetic version of folate.
- Increase consumption of all healthful fats, including animal-based omega-3. Beneficial health-promoting fats that your brain needs for optimal function include organic butter from raw milk, clarified butter called ghee, organic grass fed raw butter, olives, organic virgin olive oil and coconut oil, nuts like pecans and macadamia, free-range eggs, wild Alaskan salmon, and avocado
- Optimize your gut flora by regularly eating fermented foodsor taking a high-potency and high-quality probiotic supplemen
- Eat blueberries. Wild blueberries, which have high anthocyanin and antioxidant content, are known to guard against Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases.
Since we are aware of the fact that there’s no specific cure for Alzheimer’s and treatments may be very limited, the best that we can do is to avoid and prevent it from happening to us in the first place. Although, Alzheimer’s disease is normally based on one’s lifestyle choice to consume excessive sugar, there are still some guidelines to educate us to be able to prevent it from happening to us.
One helpful and healthy thing to do is the reduction of our calorie consumption. We can replace carbs with other healthy fats. Fasting can help as it allows your body “reset” itself and burn fats instead of sugar. Taking valuable supplements may help as well. Although, taking these would be useless if we will not observe and live a healthy lifestyle, but we might be interested and be willing to educate ourselves about these and change our way of living.
These four natural foods/supplements have good science behind them, in terms of preventing age-related cognitive changes:
- Gingko biloba: Many scientific studies have found that Ginkgo biloba has positive effects for dementia. A 1997 study from JAMA showed clear evidence that Ginkgo improves cognitive performance and social functioning for those suffering from dementia. Another 2006 study found Ginkgo as effective as the dementia drug Aricept (donepezil) for treating mild to moderate Alzheimer's type dementia. A 2010 meta-analysis also found Ginkgo biloba to be effective for a variety of types of dementia.
- Alpha lipoic acid (ALA): ALA has been shown to help stabilize cognitive functions among Alzheimer's patients and may slow the progression of the disease.
- Vitamin B12: A small Finnish study published in the journal Neurology10 found thatpeople who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer's in their later years. For each unit increase in the marker of vitamin B12 the risk of developing Alzheimer's was reduced by two percent. Remember sublingual methylcobalamin may be your best bet here.
Lifestyle Strategies That Can Help Ward off Alzheimer's Disease
- Optimize your vitamin D levels with safe sun exposure.Strong links between low levels of vitamin D in Alzheimer's patients and poor outcomes on cognitive tests have been revealed. Researchers believe that optimal vitamin D levels may enhance the amount of important chemicals in your brain and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of the glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health.
Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on Alzheimer's through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Sufficient vitamin D is imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation that is also associated with Alzheimer's.
- Exercise regularly. It's been suggested that exercise can trigger a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized,11 thus, slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer's. Exercise also increases levels of the protein PGC-1alpha. Research has also shown that people with Alzheimer's have less PGC-1alpha in their brains12 and cells that contain more of the protein produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer's.
- Avoid and eliminate mercury from your body. Dental amalgam fillings, which are 50 percent mercury by weight, are one of the major sources of heavy metal toxicity. However, you should be healthy prior to having them removed
- Avoid flu vaccinations as most contain both mercury and aluminum, well-known neurotoxic and immunotoxic agents.
- Avoid anticholinergics and statin drugs. Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain nighttime pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence, and certain narcotic pain relievers.
Statin drugs are particularly problematic because they suppress the synthesis of cholesterol, deplete your brain of coenzyme Q10 and neurotransmitter precursors, and prevent adequate delivery of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble antioxidants to your brain by inhibiting the production of the indispensable carrier biomolecule known as low-density lipoprotein.
- Challenge your mind daily. Mental stimulation, especially learning something new, such as learning to play an instrument or a new language, is associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer's. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up your brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer's disease.
The death of brain cells cannot be reversed. And this is why no cure for Alzheimer’s disease is recognized. People with Alzheimer’s disease need quality care and support. Some Alzheimer’s Associations are arising with important factors and therapeutic interventions to help people with Alzheimer’s disease live more capable.
As some of us are blessed to not have this disease, or any member of our family, we have to be grateful and support those who are suffering with Alzheimer’s. They never wished to have it, and we never wanted to have it either.
There are a lot of factors to consider associating the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, there are also some factors we have to consider to prevent it from happening to us and one solid solution is to have a healthy lifestyle. It’s never too late to change and take lifestyle measures to reduce the risk in us and enjoy a healthier life.
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