Flashback Friday: Preventing Alzheimer’s with Lifestyle Changes and Diet

“Preventing Alzheimer’s with Lifestyle Changes and Preventing Alzheimer’s with Diet” It is safe to say that
Alzheimer’s disease research is in a state of crisis. For the past two decades, over 73,000
research articles have been published, averaging 100 papers per day,
yet little clinical progress has been made. The reason a cure may
be impossible is because lost cognitive functions
in Alzheimer’s disease patients are due to fatally
damaged neuronal networks, and dead nerve cells cannot
be brought back to life. Consequently, replacement with new brain cells— even if it were technically possible, cannot be done without creating
a new personal identity. One may live, but is it really a
cure if one’s personality is lost forever? Developing drugs that try to
clear out the plaques from advanced degenerated brain tissue
makes about as much sense as bulldozing tombstones from graveyards
in an attempt to raise the dead. Even if drug companies figured out
how to stop further disease progression, many Alzheimer’s victims
might not choose to live without recognizing family,
friends, or themselves in a mirror. Thus, prevention of Alzheimer’s
may be the key, just as brain attack, or heart attack,
stroke can be significantly prevented, one can think of Alzheimer’s
dementia as a ‘‘mind attack.” Mind attack, like heart attacks
or strokes, needs to be prevented by controlling of vascular risk factors,
like high blood pressure and cholesterol, controlling that chronic brain hypoperfusion, the lack of adequate blood flow
to the brain over the years before the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, which means a healthy diet,
physical exercise, and mental exercise. Here’s the potential number
of Alzheimer’s cases that could be prevented every year
in the United States if we could just reduce
diabetes rates 10%… 25%, because diabetes is a risk
factor for Alzheimer’s. And so is high blood pressure, obesity,
depression, not exercising your body, smoking, not exercising your brain. Altogether, a small reduction
in all these risk factors could potentially prevent hundreds
of thousands of devastated families. If modifiable factors such as
diet were found conclusively to modulate the risk of
Alzheimer’s disease to the degree suggested by this research, then we would all indeed
rejoice at the implications. Up to half of Alzheimer’s cases may be
attributable to just these 7 risk factors, and that’s not including diet, just because there are
so many dietary factors that they couldn’t fit
them into their model, but they acknowledged that
diet might be another important modifiable risk
factor for Alzheimer’s disease. In particular, there is growing
evidence that dietary patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet,
are associated with lower Alzheimer’s risk, as well as slower cognitive decline. But which constituents of the
Mediterranean diet are responsible? The traditional Mediterranean diet
is a diet high in intake of vegetables, beans, fruit, and nuts,
and low in meats and dairy. When they tried to tease
out the protective components, fish consumption showed no benefit,
neither did moderate alcohol consumption. The two critical pieces appeared
to be vegetable consumption, and the ratio between unsaturated
fats and saturated fats, essentially plant fats
to animal fats. In studies across 11 countries,
fat consumption appeared to be most closely associated with the prevalence
of Alzheimer’s disease, with the lowest fat intake
and Alzheimer’s rates in China to the highest fat intake and
Alzheimer’s rates in the United States. But this is grouping
all fats together. Harvard researchers examined the
relationships between major fat types to cognitive change over 4 years
among 6,000 healthy older women, and found that higher saturated
fat intake was associated with a poorer trajectory
of cognition and memory. Women with the highest
saturated fat intake had 60 to 70% greater odds of
worst change on brain function. The magnitude of cognitive change
associated with saturated fat consumption was equivalent to about
6 years of aging, meaning women with the
lowest saturated fat intake had the brain function
of women 6 years younger. What if one already has Alzheimer’s, though? Previously, this group of
Columbia University researchers reported that eating
a Mediterranean-style diet was related to lower risk
for Alzheimer’s disease, but whether a Mediterranean diet—
or any diet for that matter— is associated with the
subsequent course of the disease and outcomes had yet
to be investigated… …until now. They found that adherence
to the Mediterranean diet may affect not only risk for Alzheimer’s
disease but also subsequent disease course: Higher adherence to the Mediterranean
diet was associated with lower mortality. And the more they adhered to the
healthier diet, the longer they lived. Within 5 years, only 20% of
those with high adherence died, with twice as many deaths in
the intermediate adherence group, and in the low diet adherence group,
within 5 years, more than half were dead, and by 10 years, 90% were gone,
80% were gone, or less than half. And by the end of the study,
the only people still alive were those with high adherence
to the healthier diet.

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Reader Comments

  1. Anthony Simpson

    I heard choline, inositol, gaba, huperzine – a, ginkgo, gotu kola, eleuthero root, peppermint, nootropics, and D-aspartic acid works too. is this true?

  2. Hello, it's MK, your Neighbor

    Adherence to the diet slowed death….but Alzheimers is a living death. Does this mean their bodies survived longer despite the fact their minds were gone or does this mean their minds lasted longer?

    My dad and grandma had healthy bodies. They suffered a long, long time witg this disease. I don't want that for me.

  3. Eelke Aptroot

    Keeping saturated fat low doesn't just protect against Alzheimer's, but it does appear to reduce death from all-cause mortality.

  4. Luke Weaver

    There IS a cure for Alzheimer's/dementia!! … If diagnosed in time. It can be diagnosed 20 years before serious symptoms appear! Research the brilliant Dr. Dale Bredesen and his book The End of Alzheimer's!
    Our poor diets/lifestyles are killing us much sooner. We can change that if we want!

  5. The Verbally Abusive Clown

    Bottom line is, if you like living, get off the standard American diet. We weren't designed to eat that crap, let alone be as sedentary as most of us are due to technological improvements. If you want to age quickly and eat whatever you want, stay the course. It's your choice.

  6. JE Hoyes

    They might live longer by a few years but it just prolongs everyone’s suffering. When it comes to dementia, I think it’s much better to live a short life but a merry one.

  7. Jeffrey Phillips

    If I unserstood this properly, the people who had AD and followed the diet strictly lived longer; however, I'm not sure I would want to burder my family with living longer with the disease. Maybe I misunderstood what he was saying at the end.

  8. Idylchatter

    Why is hemp and CBD kicking big pharma's butt? This is why. https://youtu.be/sb6g5-A1ljA  Alzheimer’s b4 and after CBD

    https://youtu.be/yOPLmcFsQ0k  Before and after mental illness Alzheimer’s

    https://youtu.be/KEkvOrtC4lo  CBD oil, Dad’s first dose

    https://youtu.be/q5zX947d9dE  CBD provides help for Alzheimer’s sufferers 

    https://youtu.be/lD74d-S2dH0  Treating dementia and Alzheimer’s – Interview on the effects of CBD on Alzheimer’s and mental illness

  9. Alignmented1

    What exactly do they mean by "Mediterranean diet"? Because I live in Spain and people don't particularly eat healthy. They just have normal diets with meats, jamón, eggs, beer, they smoke… It's not what one might think…

  10. The Artificial Society

    There are many causes of dementia that no one understands. It could be viruses, chemicals, pesticides, food toxins, bacterial toxins, heavy metals. Its nice to say that some cases related to blood flow can be helped or prevented with diet. But that is only a limited set of the cases. I have a feeling that there are industries out there that know or suspect what is going on for certain groups of people. That is because there are pesticides and chemicals out there that destroy the neurology of insects or lab animals and out of greed they have chosen to withhold that it also destroys people. The contemptuous drive of greed leads them to abandon values.
    Animal products can also be a major issue due to prions (mad cow, mad chicken, mad turkey, mad pig, mad fish etc.)
    Fish can be a major problem due to toxic algae and heavy metals and pesticide contamination.
    Any animal fed fish can be at risk as a cause.
    Mold and fungi can be a cause.
    Mushrooms can be a cause. Mushrooms have many toxins and they are commercially grown with possibly contaminated growing media.

  11. mbaxter22

    Something not discussed here was fasting. I would love to see Dr. Grieger weigh in on and apply his scientific approach to the medical benefits of fasting, including for diseases like Alzheimer's.

    I'm talking about real fasting, not intermittent fasting. I mean 48 hour fasts and beyond.

  12. Kay Allen

    Of course, Dr. Greger is all over this 'research' because he's emotional invested in it. How do I know? I read his bio…vegan and 7th Day Adventist…which means they promote grains and are anti meat because meat ignites "lustful thoughts"…that whole White & Kellogg history lingering on well past its 'shelf life' and doing its utmost to increase the prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome. No thank you, Dr. Greger.

  13. Abc 123

    You forgot to mention the study that 7 cups of coffee a day reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 85% ☺️☺️☺️☺️☺️

  14. Abc 123

    Basically: be a low fat
    Whole organic foods based vegan; exercise, use your brain daily, and spend time with your family/ friends/ outdoors, and get 7 hrs sleep each night ☺️

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