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The Impact of the Finger Study on Alzheimer’s Prevention

Posted by on Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Alzheimer's prevention research

 The FINGER study was a 2-year study involving evaluation of the effect of diet, exercise, cognitive training, and vascular risk on seniors with cognitive decline.  It was considered by experts to be a landmark study.  Just what did scientists discover as a result of the FINGER study and why is it so important to the future of Alzheimer’s prevention?

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The Paleo Diet: Should it Really be Left to Cavemen or is it an Option for Alzheimer’s Prevention?

Posted by on Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

 Paleo diet for Alzheimer's prevention

 

There are many claims to fame when it comes to new diets popping up in today’s world of health and nutrition seekers.  Today’s diet fads include everything from the vegan diet to the MIND and Zone diets.  One such popular, so called healthy eating plan is the Paleo Diet, commonly known as the “Caveman Diet.” There are many questions about the Paleo diet, including, just what, exactly is on the menu, is it really what the cavemen ate, and is Paleo considered a healthy Alzheimer’s prevention diet?

The Diet’s Origins

The Paleo diet is said to mimic the eating patterns of our ancient ancestors during the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age period.  This historical time frame occurred approximately two and a half million years ago, when the first humans, who made stone tools, walked the earth.  The Paleo diet gets its name from foods that presumably were eaten by cavemen back in the Paleolithic era.  The food on the Paleo diet, intended to help dieters get in touch with their ancestral roots, includes meat, eggs, fish, fruit, nuts vegetables and other natural unprocessed foods.  Milk and dairy products are prohibited on the Paleo diet because cave men are said to have been intolerant of lactose.  Other foods that are prohibited on the Paleo diet include: legumes, cereal, grains, refined sugar and all processed foods (so essentially, no potato chips, pop, crackers, cereal, macaroni, pasta or any other prepacked prepared foods).   But, did our stone aged ancestors really eat the same foods recommended on today’s Paleo diet?

Available Foods on the Ancient Paleo Diet

The answer is an emphatic “not really.”  First off, let’s get clear on who these early humans were and how they lived.  Were cavemen considered fit? If you consider the average lifespan of 20 years old to be healthy, then perhaps.  The people in the Paleolithic times ate just about anything they could scrounge up, including grubs, nettles and even armadillos-according to National Geographic.  Vegetables that were accessible back in prehistoric times included plants such as cattails and ferns.  Nuts, fruits and vegetables, most likely included some varieties of modern day food, but historians are in dispute about what, exactly was available for food sources.    Many experts hypothesize that ancient day vegetables included, small tomatoes and potatoes (the size of berries), spiny sea urchins, prickly bitter lettuce, tough, curly sea kale (that grew along the coastal areas), starchy, hard peas, and tiny carrots.  Beans were thought to be lined with toxins (thus, no legumes are allowed on the Paleo diet).  Most of the meat eaten in the days of our Paleolithic ancestors included much smaller, less plump versions of today’s protein sources of meat.  Paleolithic fruit included apples, dates, figs, plums, pears, and grapes. Although smaller and a bit tarter than today’s variety of fruit, (unlike the vegetables in historic times) it was identifiable as fruit. As time passed, human selection made fruit species larger and sweeter than that of our ancestors.

Evolution of the Human Digestive System

Quote from National Geographic: “The notion that we stopped evolving in the Paleolithic period simply isn’t true. Our teeth, jaws, and faces have gotten smaller, and our DNA has changed since the invention of agriculture. “Are humans still evolving? Yes!” says geneticist Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania.

“One striking piece of evidence is lactose tolerance. All humans digest mother’s milk as infants, but until cattle began being domesticated 10,000 years ago, weaned children no longer needed to digest milk. As a result, they stopped making the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose into simple sugars. After humans began herding cattle, it became tremendously advantageous to digest milk, and lactose tolerance evolved independently among cattle herders in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Groups not dependent on cattle, such as the Chinese and Thai, the Pima Indians of the American Southwest, and the Bantu of West Africa, remain lactose intolerant,” according to the National Geographic. 

Conclusion

 So, although it may seem to make perfect sense to eat like we did ten thousand years ago, before you get started eliminating healthy whole grains and healthy legumes from your brain healthy Alzheimer’s prevention diet, keep in mind that today’s Paleo diet is a far cry from the food on the menu of our ancient ancestors.

Learn more about the Alzheimer’s diet by CLICKING HERE to get your copy of Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention, written by a Harvard trained neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson.

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Drink to Your Health: 10 Reasons to Drink Tea for Alzheimer’s Prevention

Posted by on Monday, April 3rd, 2017

drinking tea for Alzheimer's prevention

Tea drinking rituals have been popular for thousands of years in eastern countries such as China and Japan.  Today tea drinking is gaining in popularity in the U.S. as well, but can drinking tea promote Alzheimer’s prevention?

Many people have started drinking tea due its health benefits.  Studies have shown that various types of tea promote heart and brain health, boost metabolism, provide antioxidants to stave off cancer and more.   In addition, recent scientific studies are beginning to reveal the possible benefits tea offers for improved cognition.

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Could a New Vaccine be the Key to Alzheimer’s Prevention

Posted by on Sunday, February 26th, 2017

Research for Alzheimer's Prevention

Scientists have been searching for decades to find clues to unlocking the mystery surrounding Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment.  Is it possible that the key to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an Alzheimer’s prevention vaccine?  

One study conducted by James Nicoll, professor of neuropathology at Southampton University, in the U.K., concluded that a vaccine might be able to initiate the immune system into removing amyloid beta protein (also called plaques) in the brain.  Amyloid is an abnormal sticky protein substance that typically accumulates in the brain as a symptom of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  These plaques interfere with normal transmission of nerve cells in the brain, and serve as a  primary cause of memory loss in AD. 

Nicoll commented that while the vaccine stopped the production of amyloid in the brain (during the study), he was amazed to discover that the symptoms of cognitive decline,  and eventually the rate of early death, was NOT slowed down by the vaccine.

Alzheimer’s Prevention Theory

One theory resulting from Nicoll’s research is the possibility that if people could be given the vaccine before symptoms of AD became severe (no later than age 50), the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s could possibly be prevented.   

Alzheimer’s Prevention and Mouse Studies

Based on successful results from immunization in mouse AD models (in past clinical studies), more recent studies were implemented using active and passive immunizations.  But active immunization in humans resulted in an autoimmune inflammatory response, so those trials were stopped.   

Passive immunity, however has showed much more promise in slowing down the Alzheimer’s disease process in clinical studies. More recently, a study published in 2017 by PubMed.gov (The U.S. National Library of Medicine) from the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, looked at aged rabbits to observe the effect of a DNA Vaccine.

These immunizations were administered to rabbits using a gene gun (a biolistic particle delivery system) into the skin and the results were, absence of  inflammatory immune response.  Although positive effects on pathology of AD in the brain were seen in rabbit studies, these benefits have not yet been observed in humans.  However, based on the results of the test on rodents, some studies indicate immunization has a high likeliness of being safe and effective in future clinical Alzheimer’s prevention trials on humans.  

Alzheimer’s Prevention and the Immune System

In an article published by the journal of Science Translated Medicine, the function of plaques in the disease process is not clear. Rudolph Tanzi of Harvard Medical School asked the question, “does it play a role in the brain, or is it just garbage that accumulates?”  But recently Tanzi has shown that these plaques may be a defense against invading pathogens.  Tanzi’s research team at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, found that beta-amyloid may comprise part of the immune system, acting as an anti-microbial compound.  This theory certainly makes sense considering the positive results that previous studies have realized when it comes the impact of the vaccine on beta-amyloid.

To test the relationship between AD and the immune system the research team injected bacteria into the brains of mice AD models. The study indicated that plaques formed overnight.   “When you look in the plaques, each one had a single bacterium in it,” says Tanzi. “A single bacterium can induce an entire plaque overnight.”

Study Conclusions

The study concluded that there is a possibility that infections in the brain could trigger amyloid-beta plaque formation, as the sticky substance attempts to kill bacteria and other pathogens.  Then if amyloid does not get removed by the body quickly enough, the result may be tau tangles (another abnormal protein in the brain, common in AD) which leads to death to the nerve cells,  and ultimately comprises symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. 

The good news is that if AD, in fact, stems from pathogens in the brain, a vaccine may be possible in the future. 

Learn more about Alzheimer’s disease in the ground-breaking book written by Dr. Richard Isaacson, Harvard trained neurologist.  The book is called The Alzheimer’s Treatment and  Prevention Diet, you can CLICK HERE to read more about it.  

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The Link Between Alzheimer’s Prevention and Type II Diabetes

Posted by on Sunday, February 5th, 2017

 diabetes and lzheimer's prevention

Research studies indicate there may be  a close relationship between several disease entities and Alzheimer’s disease, in fact, Alzheimer’s prevention measures should encompass prevention strategies of other disorders including, cancer, heart disease, obesity, and particularly Type 2 diabetes (referred to as T2B in the research arena).  The incidence of T2B has risen so dramatically in recent years that it’s become known as a new global epidemic. Learning about the risks for diabetes is part of an effective Alzheimer’s prevention/education strategy. But what does diabetes have to do with Alzheimer’s prevention?

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Could the Okinawan Diet Help with Alzheimer’s Prevention?

Posted by on Sunday, December 11th, 2016

 Bitter melon for Alzheimer's prevention

When considering healthy diets, many experts were curious about the food eaten by some of the longest living people on the planet-the Okinawans.  This Island, located off the shores of Japan, is a geographic area with more inhabitants surviving to a 100-year age span (and beyond) than any other known region of the world.  In fact, there are 25 centenarians in every 100,000 inhabitants of Okinawa.  Why are these people living so long, what do they eat? Could the Okinawan diet help with Alzheimer’s prevention?

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10 Tips for a Healthy Alzheimer’s Prevention Holiday Meal

Posted by on Thursday, November 24th, 2016

holiday meal for Alzheimer's prevention

If you have a family member or close friend with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), this holiday season may bring more challenges and stress than usual. Holiday parties, and gatherings may prove to be difficult to integrate into your daily routine, out of town holiday guests might be overwhelming, but  making a brain health holiday meal doesn’t have to be difficult. But how can a traditional holiday dinner be transformed into a brain healthy Alzheimer’s prevention meal?

10 Tips for Alzheimer’s Prevention Holiday Meals

Here are some tips for transforming an unhealthy holiday meal full of saturated fat and processed sugar into a meal that promotes brain health.

  1. Substitute healthy sweeteners such as stevia or coconut sugar in recipes that call for processed white table sugar. Although maple syrup, molasses and honey are considered high glycemic index foods, eating foods made with these sweeteners in moderation is better than ingesting foods high in processed sugar. 
  2. Use a healthy fat such as virgin olive or unrefined virgin coconut oil for baking or frying in place of saturated fat in butter or shortening.
  3. Use spices to add flavor to foods instead of high fat content.  Examples are nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon or even citrus juices.
  4. Select low fat cream cheese when stuffing the celery and don’t forget plenty of raw fresh vegetables (consider adding a healthy dip such as hummus) on the relish tray.
  5. Add unsweetened apple sauce or mashed bananas and reduce the fat content (butter or oil) in baked desserts.
  6. Substitute canned coconut milk or condensed skim milk for recipes that call for full fat condensed milk.
  7. Substitute cauliflower or purple potatoes with the skin on for traditional peeled brown potatoes in the mashed potato recipe.
  8. Be sure to skim the oil content off the top before making homemade gravy.
  9. Use the solid portion of canned coconut milk, whip it with the mixer and add some stevia and vanilla to replace traditional high fat and sugar containing whipped cream.  
  10. Make healthy holiday inspired recipes such as a low-fat homemade egg nog smoothie recipe for dessert, (featured below).

Healthy Eggnog Smoothie

 

Ingredients

  •      15 ounce can full fat coconut milk
  •      1 frozen bananas
  •      1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  •      1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  •     1/2 teaspoon clove
  •     2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  •     1-2 pitted dates
  •     Sweeten with stevia to taste

 Directions- Combine each of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, pour into a glass and drink.

 Learn more about the Alzheimer’s prevention and the brain healthy diet by CLICKING HERE to purchase your copy of The Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention Diet book, written by Harvard trained neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson, M.D., today.

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Does a Low Fat Diet Promote Alzheimer’s Prevention?

Posted by on Sunday, November 6th, 2016

low fat diet is not for Alzheimer's prevention

A new publication released from Harvard Health confirms that counting calories is no longer the best stand-alone method of losing weight.  Recent research is pointing to the fact that the advice predominantly adopted in the past, on burning more calories than you consume, does not necessarily translate to a successful weight loss program for everyone.  While it may come as a relief to know that sweating off every calorie you have consumed is no longer necessary, you may be wondering just how to shed those unwanted pounds as part of a healthy Alzheimer’s prevention program.

Back in the 60’s, The Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) wanted to highlight the hazards of fats while downplaying any risks of sugar consumption.  The Sugar Research Foundation funded research done by Harvard scientists to expose data pointing to the fact that fats, having more calories than sugar, were the culprit when it came to a healthy diet.  The SRF wanted to instill a common perception in the publics’ eye that and that avoiding fat in the diet altogether was the answer to weight loss and cardiovascular health.  The results of the research studies in favor of the fat free diet were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1967.  There was no disclosure about the fact that the sugar industry funded the research project. 

Once fat was omitted from food, it didn’t taste very good, so the food industry began adding more processed carbohydrates (sugar) to foods to improve the taste.  This was the beginning of the low-fat diet craze that started to ramp up in the 60’s and prevailed for decades. 

New Research on Calorie Counting, Fats, and Sugar

Today scientific findings counteract previous nutritional facts disclosed in the late 60s about the health benefits of fats and carbohydrates.  Dr. David Ludwig, a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, says “Overall, these processed carbohydrates are worse than the fats they replaced. ”Ludwig says, “It was this calorie-focus that got us into trouble with the low-fat diet in the first place,” said Ludwig.

So just how did the medical research industry get it so wrong when it came to healthy eating,  weight loss and a heart healthy diet?  According to the Harvard Health report, a recent review in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed that before the 1980s researchers were not required to declare any type of conflicts of interest when publishing research study findings.  This resulted to a higher potential for data results to be influenced by funding sources-like the food industry.

Healthy Eating Supported by New Scientific Studies

So now that we are on the right track when it comes to publishing more accurate, non-biased information on nutrition and health, how do we constitute a brain healthy diet?  Considering that  when calorie counting alone is not the answer, which foods are best for Alzheimer’s prevention, heart health and weight loss?

“Today you can look at food differently,” says Harvard Health.  “Counting calories alone doesn’t work because ultimately it matters where those calories come from; this matters more than the number of calories ingested,” says Celia Smoak Spell, Assistant Editor, Harvard Health Publications. While fats do, in fact, have more calories than sugar, that’s no longer the sole premise on determining which foods are healthier.  If it were the case, it would lead to the logical conclusion that a sugar laden soft drink is healthier than a handful of nuts, says Harvard Health.  Bearing in mind ONLY the calorie content of foods does NOT take into consideration exactly how each food is broken down in the body to be used for energy.

The Glycemic Index and Alzheimer’s Prevention

The focus for a healthy Alzheimer’s prevention diet today is on eating whole non-processed foods and selecting carbohydrates that are low on the glycemic index.  The glycemic index is a measure of how fast a food containing carbohydrates is absorbed and subsequently, how quickly insulin levels are spiked.  Too many insulin spikes can potentially result in type 2 diabetes.    These low glycemic index foods are usually high in fiber and include choices such as apples and other fruit with the peeling and/or with a lot of fiber, whole grains such as steel cut oats, quinoa, and brown rice, and most vegetables.  Portion control is also an important principal in eating a healthy Alzheimer’s prevention diet.  “Dr. Ludwig views the glycemic index as a more accurate measure of a food’s value (good or bad),” says Harvard Health.  “When something has a low glycemic index, it raises your blood sugar levels slowly, increasing your insulin levels gradually.”

For the most part, potion control and regular exercise has taken the place of calorie counting when it comes to weight loss.  You can eat all the healthy food choices available and still gain weight if you consume too much food. 

Learn more about Alzheimer’s prevention by CLICKING HERE to purchase Dr. Isaacson’s book, Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention diet. 

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How to Boost The Nutrition in Your Smoothie for Optimal Alzheimer’s Prevention

Posted by on Saturday, October 8th, 2016

smoothies for Alzheimer's prevention

If you are looking for ways to include many of the recommended power foods and supplements into your daily diet,  for an optimal Alzheimer’s prevention plan, consider drinking smoothies.  Smoothies are a great way to combine several power foods and supplements all in one snack or meal.  Read on to discover how smoothies can help with the Alzheimer’s prevention diet.

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How Citrus Fruit May Help with Alzheimer’s Prevention

Posted by on Monday, September 5th, 2016

When it comes to Alzheimer’s prevention, all foods are definitely NOT created equal.  In fact, when selecting nutritious fruit for the Alzheimer’s diet, citrus fruits are some of the healthiest.  But just what makes oranges, grapefruit and other citrus fruits so beneficial and can eating more citrus fruits such as grapefruit, lemons and oranges actually help promote Alzheimer’s prevention? 

 citrus fruit for Alzheimer's prevention

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