Preventing Alzheimer's – Naturally!
While effectively preventing associated health risks, such as obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure and heart disease, these simple lifestyle changes can also help keep your brain in optimal working order well past your 60's.
Coconut oil - According to Dr. Mary Newport, D.M, whose husband was stricken with Alzheimer's disease, coconut oil may be KEY for not only preventing, but even reversing this disease. Certain cells in the brains of those with Alzheimer's become increasingly unable to use their primary energy souce, glucose. Without fuel, these brain cells die, contributing to the mental degeneration. But there's an alternative source of energy, known as ketones. Your body produces ketones naturally when you deprive it of carbohydrates (which further supports the recommendation to eliminate sugar and grains from your diet!), but you can boost ketone production by consuming medium-chain triglycerides, such as coconut oil.
Dr. Newport made this connection when she discovered that the ingredient in a promising Alzheimer drug was nothing more than simple coconut oil-derived medium-chain triglycerides! Beneficial results were obtained at a dose of about 20 ml (4 teaspoons).
Optimize your vitamin D levels through safe sun exposure, a safe tanning bed and/or vitamin D3 supplements.through safe sun exposure, a safe tanning bed and/or vitamin D3 supplements.
- Eat a nutritious diet, rich in folate. Ideally you'll want to design your diet around your nutritional type. Everyone, however, regardless of nutritional type will want to avoid fructose as much as possible.
Strict vegetarian diets have been shown to increase your Alzheimer's risk, whereas diets high in omega-3's lower your risk. However, vegetables, without question, are your best form of folate, and we should all eat plenty of fresh raw veggies every day.
High intake of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA helps by preventing cell damage caused by Alzheimer's disease, thereby slowing down its progression, and lowering your risk of developing the disorder. Researchers have also said DHA "dramatically reduces the impact of the Alzheimer's gene."
- Keep your fasting insulin levels below 3. There is no question that insulin resistance is one of the most pervasive influences on brain damage, as it contributes massively to inflammation, which will prematurely degenerate your brain.
- Avoid and remove mercury from your body. Dental amalgam fillings are one of the major sources of mercury, however you should be healthy prior to having them removed.
- Avoid aluminum, such as antiperspirants, non-stick cookware, etc.
- Exercise regularly. According to one study, the odds of developing Alzheimer's were nearly quadrupled in people who were less active during their leisure time, between the ages of 20 and 60. I would strongly recommend reviewing the Peak Fitness Technique for my specific recommendations.
- Avoid flu vaccinations as most contain both mercury and aluminum!
- Eat plenty of blueberries. Wild blueberries, which have high anthocyanin and antioxidant content, are known to guard against Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases.
- 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.
- Avoid anticholinergic drugs. Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain night-time pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence, and certain narcotic pain relievers.
A recent study found that those who took drugs classified as 'definite anticholinergics' had a four times higher incidence of cognitive impairment. In those who were not carriers of the specific gene, APOE ε4 allele which I mentioned earlier in this article, the risk was over seven times higher.
Regularly taking two of these drugs further increased the risk of cognitive impairment.
- Ginko Biloba. Interestingly, studies have demonstrated that ginko biloba is effective in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. One study published in 2006 found that the herb works just as well as Aricept (donepezil) in treating mild or moderate Alzheimer's-related dementia. It's important to realize that ginko biloba will not cure the underlying problem, however but it is certainly safer to use compared to conventional drugs.
Risk Factors for Alzheimer's
Researchers have determined that the primary genetic risk factor is the presence of the Apo lipoprotein E epsilon4 (APOE e4) allele, which is more common among Africans, Inuits, Amerindians, Northern Europeans than southern Europeans.
But genetics cannot account for the vast majority of Alzheimer's cases.
There is definitely something else affecting us and inducing these devastating effects...
Although we do not have definitive "proof" of what, specifically, causes Alzheimer's, a number of factors have been linked to an increased risk of dementia, and we know enough about those to in turn make educated recommendations for preventing this type of brain deterioration.
Following are a number of risk factors associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. For further information about each of them, please follow the links provided:
- Obesity, especially increased belly fat
- Insulin resistance and diabetes – Diabetics have up to 65 percent higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease
- Elevated uric acid levels
- High blood pressure
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Intracellular T3 (immune system cells) deficiency
- Heart disease
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Elevated homocysteine levels due to vitamin B6, B12 and folate deficiencies
- Insufficient omega-3 fats
- Vitamin E deficiency