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Who Should Be Thinking About Alzheimer’s Prevention? Part 2 of 2

Posted by on Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Yesterday, we published Part 1 of our 2-Part series about who should be concerned about Alzheimer’s prevention.  The short answer is, everyone, but there are people already challenged by other ailments that should be particularly concerned about developing Alzheimer’s.  Yesterday, we discussed the Alzheimer’s connection to diabetes and the importance of managing blood sugar levels. Today we will focus on high blood pressure and how it is related to Alzheimer’s disease.

High Blood Pressure and Alzheimer's

Image from Impactlab.net

 

High blood pressure has been linked to memory decline and Alzheimer’s for some time now. A study conducted in China and published in the journal Neurology in 2011 spent five years following 638 men over the age of 55. At the start of the experiment, all of the participants were already suffering from symptoms of mild cognitive impairment (MCI). The study found that those participants who took steps to manage blood pressure and cholesterol during the study were 39% less likely to go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

A new study by the University of California, Davis, published in the December 2012 issue of The Lancet Neurology, studied 4095 subjects beginning in 2009. The test subjects were divided into three groups: hypertensive, pre-hypertensive, and normal blood pressure. They found that high blood pressure had a direct negative impact on the brain, even in subjects as young as in their 30’s and 40’s. They found that the thirty-year old hypertensive subjects’ brain scans were similar to the brains of 40 year olds with normal blood pressure.

 

 

While this study does not directly test the correlation between high blood pressure and Alzheimer’s, it makes clear that even slight high blood pressure can decrease brain function. Not only that, but such declines are being seen at a very young age.

 I realize these illnesses seem like something you don’t think you will even need to think about until you’re much older, but the truth is, now is the time to start thinking about your blood pressure. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

 

Tips for Lowering Blood Pressure without Medication

Regular moderate exercise is one of the best ways to lower blood pressure.

Exercising to reduce blood pressure to prevent Alzheimer's

Image from expsychlabs

 

The American Heart Association recommends that people exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week. If you already have high blood pressure, we recommend walking and other forms of moderate exercise.

- Eat foods high in potassium – The American Heart Association recommends consuming 4,700 mg of potassium from natural sources daily to combat the effects of sodium. Natural sources of potassium include leafy greens, tuna, sweet potatoes, and peas.

Potassium Rich Foods to Lower Blood Pressure and Prevent Alzheimer's

Image from DIY Health

 

- Weight loss is another way to lower blood pressure naturally. Studies have shown a direct correlation between lowering weight and lowering blood pressure.  If you’re already adopting healthier eating habits and exercising regularly, you may experience weight loss as a natural affect of your efforts.

- Stress is a major contributor to high blood pressure and can be managed in a number of ways including such activities as yoga, breathing techniques, and meditation.

 

By adopting some simple strategies, you may be able to naturally prevent or manage two of the top illnesses associated with decreased brain function and Alzheimer’s disease: diabetes and high blood pressure. Both conditions can be properly managed and even reversed through diet and proper nutrition.

For more easy to follow nutrition advice check out The Alzheimer’s Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach to Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment, or visit theadplan.com to learn more about Neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson's 9 week diet plan and his cutting edge approach in the fight against AD in Alzheimer's Treatment | Alzheimer's Prevention: A Patient and Family Guide 2012 Edition. Also, sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates in AD treatment and prevention news.

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