Support Alzheimers-prevention with a Healthy lifestyle

Is Alzheimers-prevention possible? I have read that “when you see one Alzheimer’s case you have seen one Alzheimer’s case.” Everyone is different. Preventing Alzheimer's is about providing our body the tools needed to stop the development of the disease before it has a chance to start. There are a growing number of medical practitioners and researchers that believe that Alzheimers-prevention is possible.

Eight actions to include in your Alzheimers-prevention program:

  1. Don’t smoke. Smoking is implicated in all serious health issues
  2. Manage stress and overcome anxiety.
  3. Exercise is an essential for good health. Any exercise that gets the heart pumping may reduce the risk of dementia and slow the condition’s progress once it starts, reported a recent Mayo Clinic study.
  4. A healthy diet should include fruits and vegetables and be free from animal and processed fats but should include omega 3 fats. Refer to the brain food page on this site.
  5. Include fish in your diet. People who eat baked or broiled fish on a weekly basis may be improving their brain health and reducing their risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease, according a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.
  6. Take B vitamins after consulting with your physician. Vitamin B has been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. So take your B vitamins especially B-12.
  7. Avoid sugar. Recent research has shown a correlation between uncontrolled high blood sugar and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
  8. Avoid chemical food additives. Chemical food additives, like aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG), have been called neurotoxins by some physicians and researchers. Many chemical food additives are stored mainly in fatty tissue. The brain’s tissue is composed mainly of fat. Neurotoxins can damage the brain’s mitochondria which produce energy in the brain and they can throw neurotransmitter activity out of balance. Many neurologists believe that these neurotoxins contribute to Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. This could grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. While there have been some encouraging studies recently, there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease results in a progressive and irreversible decline in memory and a deterioration of various other cognitive abilities. The disease is characterized by the destruction of nerve cells and neural connections in the cerebral cortex of the brain and by a significant loss of brain mass. It is recognized as the most common form of dementia among older persons. An estimated 35.6 million people worldwide were living with dementia in 2010, and that figure is expected to double over the course of the next two decades. This makes Alzheimer's care an issue and Alzheimers-prevention a priority.

Dementia is the loss of cognitive functioning such as thinking, remembering, and reasoning. It also causes the loss of physical abilities to such an extent that it interferes with a person’s daily life and activities. Dementia ranges in severity from the mildest stage, when it is just beginning to affect a person’s functioning, to the most severe stage, when the person must depend completely on others for basic activities of daily living. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.

The second most common form of dementia is vascular dementia. Vascular dementia results from interrupted blood flow to the brain, often after a stroke or series of strokes. The symptoms can be similar to those of Alzheimer’s. A number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease also have symptoms and damage as a result of vascular dementia.

Many of the risk factors for vascular dementia may also be risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. These risk factors include such conditions as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stress, poor diet, obesity, diabetes and lack of exercise. It is thought that measures to control blood pressure and high cholesterol while engaging in regular exercises and stress management, may help in Alzheimers-prevention.

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that high blood pressure and other known risk factors for stroke also increases the risk of developing cognitive problems. Even without having a stroke, people at risk for a stroke may experience cognitive problems as their blood vessels deteriorate.

I have read that some seventy percent of all chronic health conditions are stress and diet related. This would include Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Stress management and nutrition should therefore be important considerations in any Alzheimers-prevention program.

The methodology employed to prevent Alzheimer’s disease are nearly the same as those that we discussed for preventing cancer, preventing diabetes, maintaining a healthy mind and in supporting a healthy heart. Forgive me for repeating but those methods would be a smoke free life, healthy diet and regular exercise, stress management, controlling anxiety and anger, and nutritional supplementation.

You should always discuss your diet including supplementation with your physician. Nutritional supplements do not cure or prevent illness and disease.  They only give the body the extra nutrition it needs to take care of itself!  A healthy lifestyle starts with good nutrition.

As we have noted in cancer prevention, there needs to be a sense of urgency because, like cancer, the first stage of Alzheimer’s disease is undetectable. If we wait until it is diagnosed it is likely too late to stop the ultimate progression of the disease. So the time to start is now.

A healthy lifestyle is essential in an alzheimers-prevention program. Recent research efforts have focused on early detection. Early detection of Alzheimer's disease is, however, still problematic. Many people alive today may have the early stages of Alzheimer's and be completely unaware.

Disclaimer and goal

References and suggested reading:

  • "Alzheimer disease." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011.
  • ”Aerobic exercise may reduce dementia risk: Mayo Clinic.” “Health, Medical, and Sciences Updates” Posted on September 8, 2011 by Stone Hearth News.
  • ”Hypertension may lead to cognitive problems: National Institutes of Health.” “Health, Medical, and Sciences Updates” Posted on November 8, 2011 by Stone Hearth News.
  • ”Alzheimer’s risk may be cut by fish consumption: new study.” “Health, Medical, and Sciences Updates” Posted on November 30, 2011 by Stone Hearth News.
  • Health and Nutrition Secrets that can save your life, pages 190 through 200. Russell L Blaylock, M.D., Health Press.
  • Prime Time Health, pages 62 through 84. William Sears, M.D., Prime Time Health, Little, Brown & Company
  • Go to retirement resources page.

In the end it's not the years in your life that count but the life in your years. Abraham  Lincoln

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In the end it's not the years in your life that count but the life in your years. Abraham  Lincoln

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