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To Salt or Not to Salt: Lowering Sodium Intake for Alzheimer’s Prevention (Part II)

Posted by on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

 salt restriction for alzheimer's prevention

A heart healthy diet, such as the Mediterranean Diet is highly recommended for Alzheimer’s prevention.  Maintaining a healthy blood pressure and overall cardiac health are vital aspects of Alzheimer’s prevention; so keeping your sodium intake within recommended levels is important.  

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To Salt or Not to Salt: How Much Salt is Recommended for Alzheimer’s Prevention?

Posted by on Friday, September 1st, 2017

low salt diet for Alzheimer's prevention

It’s common scientific knowledge today that what’s good for the heart is good for the brain.  So, it stands to reason that a heart healthy diet is recommended for Alzheimer’s prevention.  But what about added table salt?  Most doctors and dieticians would recommend a low sodium diet for optimal heart health due to salt’s propensity to wreak havoc with the cardiovascular system.  In fact, too much sodium consumption can increase blood pressure and cause the body to hold onto fluid. This extra fluid can cause swelling in the extremities as well as more complicated health problems, such as congestive heart failure.  High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems.

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Innovative Study on Brain Cell Death May Lead to New Alzheimer’s Treatment

Posted by on Monday, August 28th, 2017

research for Alzheimer's treatment

An innovative study has targeted a new way that brain cells die from Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).  This is the first EVER evidence of a new biological pathway linked to AD severity & loss of brain tissue-all hallmark symptoms of AD.  The pathway is called necroptosis, and it causes nerve loss.   This new research is thought to lead to innovative methods of Alzheimer’s treatment in the future. 

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Clinical Studies say Turmeric May Help with Alzheimer’s Prevention

Posted by on Sunday, July 30th, 2017

turmeric for Alzeimer's prevention

Turmeric (curcumin, or curcuma longa) is an Indian spice that is thought to help promote Alzheimer’s prevention.  It was discovered when scientists realized that the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is much lower in India than it is in Western cultures. In fact, several studies found that the prevalence of AD in India was as 4.4 times lower in adults (aged 70 to 79) than in the United States.   So, researchers began to look at the diet people in India were eating.  They found that people who ate curry (with curcumin as the primary spice) more often performed better on standard memory tests and cognitive functioning tests than those who did not have curry in their diet regularly.

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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.  Modern 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 at?  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 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 (essentially, no potato chips, pop, crackers, cereal, macaroni, pasta or any other pre-packaged 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.  The people in the Paleolithic times had an average lifespan of around 20 years and 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 varieties of modern day foods, but historians are in dispute over exactly what types of food was available.  Many experts hypothesize that ancient day vegetables may have 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. 

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 of historic times), the foods available in the fruit category were more similar to those we eat today.

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.

Conclusion

Although it may seem to make perfect sense to eat like we did ten thousand years ago; before you begin eliminating healthy whole grains and healthy legumes from your Alzheimer’s prevention diet, keep in mind that today’s Paleo diet is a far cry from the actual foods featured on the menu that our ancient ancestors ate.

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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