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Foods Masquerading as Healthy Imposters-Foods to Avoid on the Alzheimer’s Diet

Posted by on Saturday, July 25th, 2015

eating healthy on Alzheimer's Diet

There are many foods that are not recommended for the Alzheimer’s diet, such as; processed microwavable and boxed foods, canned and bottled soft drinks (high in sugar and high fructose corn syrup), fried foods high in trans-fats and more.  But there are some foods that have gone under the radar when it comes to identifying bad ingredients for brain health.  Read more and find out just which seemingly healthy foods are masquerading as healthy choices…. Continue reading…

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A Delicious 4th of July Treat to Promote Alzheimer’s Prevention

Posted by on Saturday, June 20th, 2015

It’s nearly impossible to mention the 4th of July holiday without thinking about great summer foods, like watermelon.  But did you know that not only is watermelon a delicious festive summer treat, it is also loaded with great nutrients for Alzheimer’s prevention?

watermelon for Alzheimer's prevention

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New Study Finds Link between Increased Alzheimer’s Disease Risks and Allergy and Sleep Drugs

Posted by on Sunday, June 14th, 2015

We already know that it’s important to get plenty of sleep as part of a healthy lifestyle for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) prevention.  Many folks have a challenge with getting their 8 hours every night and over the counter sleeping aids are a common solution.  But did you know that many common sleep aids and allergy medications have been linked to a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease in recent studies?

studies for Alzheimer's disease risks

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Foods That Fight High Cholesterol for the Alzheimer’s Diet

Posted by on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), you may already know the importance of keeping your cholesterol levels low as part of the Alzheimer’s diet.  If you have high cholesterol, your physician may have prescribed medication to lower your bad cholesterol level, but for some individuals, simply changing the diet may be sufficient in lowering cholesterol.  It’s pretty common knowledge that avoiding fried foods and processed foods high in saturated fat can help lower cholesterol, but are there foods that can really fight high cholesterol?

 foods for the Alzheimer's diet

What are good and bad cholesterol levels?

It’s important to note that there are different types of cholesterol and one type seems to be protective against heart disease.  Good cholesterol is also called HDL.  Bad cholesterol or LDL on the other hand adheres to the walls of blood vessels and contributes to forming plaques which can block blood from flowing through the arteries and inhibit the transportation of oxygen and other nutrients to the heart and brain.

If you are over 20 years of age,  your cholesterol levels should be measured at least once every five years.  The test is called a “lipid profile” and it conducted via a blood test.  LDL levels should be under 190-in general, the lower the LDL level, the better.  The opposite is true of HDL or good cholesterol.  A higher number means lower risk. This is because HDL cholesterol protects against heart disease by taking the “bad” cholesterol out of your blood and keeping it from building up in your arteries.   

Healthy Fats

Although it may seem like a contradiction, adding healthy oils with unsaturated fats can help lower overall blood cholesterol levels.  How does this occur?  With foods such as olive oil, flaxseed oil and sunflower oil (which are considered monounsaturated fats)  these foods can directly lower LDL cholesterol and boost good cholesterol levels (HDL)-according to the American Heart Association.  How does this work?  The foods that have unsaturated fats take up the extra fat molecules circulating in the body, changing the chemical makeup of unhealthy fat molecules.  Replacing saturated fats such as butter and lard with these more healthy oils can really make a difference in the bottom line blood cholesterol levels. 

Soluble Fiber

Oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber that can help lower cholesterol.  This type of fiber, referred to as “beta glucan” helps to absorb extra cholesterol in the digestive system and move it out of the system through elimination.  Fruit such as oranges and apples offer a type of fiber called pectin which has been found to lower blood cholesterol levels by as much as 10% when eaten as part of the daily diet.  Pectin has a thick, sticky consistency helping it to bind to cholesterol-ridding the body of excess fats and glucose.  Pectin has been known to help lower blood sugar as well.

Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pecans also contain monounsaturated fats that can lower cholesterol much in the way healthy unsaturated oil works in the body.  In fact, eating a small amount (7 to 8 per day) has been shown to lower cholesterol by as much as 10%.

Insoluble Fiber

Insoluble fiber is the type of fiber that doesn’t dissolve in water such as that found in supplements.  It goes through the system pretty much unchanged and as it’s digested, it carries with it unhealthy fats and sugars.  Insoluble fiber, also found in foods such as bran cereal or bran muffins is known to lower cholesterol levels and help people lose weight.  It’s important to check labels to make sure you are not eating muffins or cereal high in sugar.

Sterols

Sterols are substances which are found in many different fruits and vegetables and are also available as a daily supplement.  One study at UC Davis discovered that those who ingested sterol supplements daily lowered their cholesterol levels by as much as 12%.  Sterols work to lower cholesterol by blocking absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine.

According to Web MD recent research indicates that plant sterols lower LDL most effectively when eaten in small amounts throughout the day.  In fact LDL cholesterol was lowered by six percent in a study group that ingested small amounts of plant sterols 3 times per day. 

Suggested amount of plant sterols is around 2,000 mg per day,  but the average American diet contains only around 500 mg per day.

Plant sterols naturally occur in many fruits and vegetables including; whole grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. Foods with the highest amount of plant sterols include:

Avocado, 1 small = 132 mg plant sterols

Soybeans, 1 cup = 90 mg plant sterols

Chickpeas, 1/2 cup = 25 mg plant sterols

Almonds, 1 ounce = 34 mg plant sterols

Extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon = 30 mg plant sterols

Conclusion

There are many foods that can help lower blood cholesterol levels.  If your cholesterol is high, be sure to consult with your physician before going on any type of special diet.  Depending on the level of your cholesterol, you may need to start taking medication for quicker and more effective results to lower dangerous levels of cholesterol that could lead to serious conditions such as stroke or heart attacks.  Learn more about foods that are good for the Alzheimer’s Diet by picking up a copy of “The Alzheimer’s Diet” written by Harvard trained neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson.

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Should Red Meat be Part of the Alzheimer’s Diet?

Posted by on Sunday, February 8th, 2015

One of the basic principles of the Alzheimer’s diet and Alzheimer’s prevention is that what’s good for the heart is good for the brain.  For example, the Alzheimer’s diet is based on the popular Mediterranean diet, found in many studies to support heart and brain health.  In a recent study published by Harvard Health Publications, it’s been revealed that, as many experts have suspected for some time, eating red meat may not be heart healthy. 

the truth about red meat

Image Source: .pinterest.com
URL:https://www.pinterest.com/pin/217439488232627132/

It’s been assumed for many years that the cholesterol and saturated fat found in red meat increases the risk for heart disease and perhaps even intensifying probabilities of cancerous tumors.  So just what is it in red meat that may cause potential health risks?

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Can Diet Really Help with Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease? 10 Tips for Alzheimer’s Prevention

Posted by on Saturday, January 17th, 2015

You have no doubt hear a lot about nutrition and disease prevention in the media these days, there are even diets for specific illness prevention such as the “Heart Healthy Diet,” but can eating right really help promote Alzheimer’s Prevention,?  According to recent medical research, the answer is yes, the brain healthy diet combined with  lifestyle changes may help with Alzheimer’s prevention.

Tips for Alzheimer's Prevention

Image source: Pinterest.com
URL: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/68046644344291749/

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NBC News: Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic Interview with Dr. Richard Isaacson

Posted by on Friday, December 12th, 2014

 

Next week, NBC Nightly News will air an interview about the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic with Dr. Richard Isaacson by Dr. Nancy Snyderman. The Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic in the Weill Cornell Memory Disorders Program, at New York Presbyterian / Weill Cornell Medical Center, was the first program in the world to offer clinical care to help people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) reduce their risk.

 

NBC News Alzheimers Prevention Clinic Dr. Isaacson

 There have been significant advances in the field of AD prevention, so much so that even a new scientific journal called the Journal of the Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease began publication in 2014. For more information on the clinic, read the clinic brochure, or to schedule an appointment call 212-746-0226. The segment will highlight the story of Max Lugavere, a 30-something year old patient in the clinic, who’s Mom developed cognitive impairment in her 50s.  The story reviews the power of music and other lifestyle choices, especially an Alzheimer’s diet choices that can benefit brain health.

 

 

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Are Home Remedies Safe for Acid Reflux? Tips for Caregivers of Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s disease are prone to many stress induced conditions such as depression, anxiety heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other conditions including; headaches, general aches and pains and acid reflux.  Although acid reflux may sound like a pretty minor ailment, long term sufferers of the condition may have a different perspective and medical experts know that this condition could lead to much more serious health concerns.  

There are many home remedies for chronic heartburn and acid reflux, but are any of these remedies really safe for caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease? 

 

 Studies on Caregivers and Chronic Acid Reflux

The Family Caregiver Alliance National Center on Caregiving reports; approximately one in 10 caregivers report their physical health has worsened as a result of taking on caregiving responsibilities.  In 2005 3/5ths of all caregivers surveyed reported fair or poor overall health status and 1 or more chronic physical conditions (compared with 1/3rd of non-caregivers in the study). In fact, caregivers reported twice the rate of diseases such as; heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis, compared to non-caregivers.

According to WEB MD.com GI problems are commonly worse in those who are caregivers as a result of increased stress.  Stress is a common factor in many GI conditions including chronic heartburn. 

acid reflux treatment for Alzheimer's disease caregivers

image source; http://www.nerdgraph.com/acid-reflux/

The Family Caregiver Alliance National Center on Caregiving reports; approximately one in 10 caregivers report their physical health has worsened as a result of taking on caregiving responsibilities.  In 2005 3/5ths of all caregivers surveyed reported fair or poor overall health status and 1 or more chronic physical conditions (compared with 1/3rd of non-caregivers in the study). In fact, caregivers reported twice the rate of diseases such as; heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis, compared to non-caregivers.

According to WEB MD.com GI problems are commonly worse in those who are caregivers as a result of increased stress.  Stress is a common factor in many GI conditions including chronic heartburn.  

The good news is there are many simple home remedies and tips that can help with symptoms of chronic heartburn. 

First and perhaps most important, realize that many types of over the counter medications for acid reflux may cause symptoms to actually worsen with long term use.  With your physician’s approval, it may be best to slowly wean off of antacids such as H2 blockers and Proton Pump Inhibitors. 

Tips for Alleviating  Chronic Acid Reflux or Heartburn

Eating a proper diet is vital for those with chronic heart burn.  The following are great diet tips to avoid acid reflux:

  • Maintain a high fiber low saturated fat diet including fruits, vegetables and lean meat
  • Oatmeal and bananas are great for decreasing stomach acid
  • Avoid red sauce as much as possible
  • Eat plenty of beans and legumes- lentils, navy beans, black beans and more
  • Avoid fatty meat and all fried foods
  • Replace applesauce for oil in baked goods and other recipes such as pancakes
  • Try mixing about 1/3 to 1/2 tsp of ginger in hot water to make an acid reducing tea
  • Sip on a glass of water with 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar as a great home remedy to reduce heartburn
  • Be sure to eat small frequent meals during the day
  • Avoid eating at bedtime
  • Drink plenty of water to help promote healthy digestion
  • Avoid the following; fatty red meat, spicy foods, fried food, raw onions, tomatoes, butter, oil, chocolate, wine and other alcoholic beverages and caffeine
  • Avoid peppermint-some studies show that peppermint actually relaxes the muscles around the esophagus allowing acid to flow back into the esophagus Maintain a healthy body weight-studies indicate a strong link between acid reflux and excess body mass index
  • Refrain from wearing belts and tight clothing-which acts like excess belly fat by pushing against the stomach forcing acid into the esophagus
  • Elevate your head slightly when sleeping (perhaps 6 inches or so) which according to studies helps the stomach acid to drain from the esophagus faster than when you lay flat.
  • If you are smoker, quit smoking, nicotine has been shown to cause bile salts to leak from the intestines into the stomach and also reduces the amount of saliva (containing acid reducing chemicals

Is Baking Soda Safe for Acid Reflux?

Use caution if you use baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) as a household remedy for heartburn.  Drinking too much baking soda can cause serious complications because of its high sodium content as well as its alkalizing effect on the body.  Side effects of sodium bicarbonate could potentially include; increased blood pressure, edema or swelling, hypernatremia (excess sodium in the body), or even more serious conditions such as; metabolic alkalosis (symptoms include: confusion, tremor, feeling light-headed, muscle twitching, nausea, vomiting, prolonged muscle spasms) or even congestive heart failure. Excessive use of baking soda could also result in a syndrome that causes kidney stones-particularly if the bicarbonate is taken in conjunction with tums or other calcium supplements.  Be sure to consult your physician before taking baking soda on a regular basis.

In Conclusion

Acid reflux is a serious condition that if left untreated could lead to severe health concerns.  As a caregiver of a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) it’s very important to practice self-care, so you can better care for the one you love.  Learn more about self-care for caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease at http://www.alzu.org.  

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Clinical Research Initiative for Troubling Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by on Sunday, November 30th, 2014

The final topic of discussion at this year’s 7th annual CTAD gathering was recent clinical research for treatment of the most troubling symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The presenter/author for this clinical trial was Rachelle S. Doody, MD, PhD, Director, Alzheimer’s disease and Memory Disorders Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.  The clinical trial involved development of AVP-923 (Dextromethorphan/Quinidine) for Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA) results from the Alzheimer’s Disease/Dementia Cohort of PRISM II. 

clinical trial for Alzheimer's disease

Pseudobulbar Affect (PBA) is emotional lability which sometimes occurs as a symptom of neurologic disorder (such as Alzheimer’s disease) characterized by involuntary crying or uncontrollable episodes of crying and/or laughing, or other emotional outbursts. 

The Prism study is a twelve week Phase 2 trial with patients presenting with various neurologic diseases including Alzheimer’s disease.  The trial was initiated in order to observe the safety, tolerability and effectiveness of AVP—923 for PBA in those with dementia, traumatic brain injury or stroke.  The initial outcome of the trial has shown that the drug significantly lowered PBA symptoms and it was tolerated well by participants in the study with dementia. 

Other presenters at the CTAD gathered to discuss many other important new possibilities for new and better treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  To learn more about the full program you can view it online by going to go to www.ctad-alzheimer.com

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Treatment Strategies for Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Prevention at the 7th Annual CTA

Posted by on Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Good news for Alzheimer’s prevention!  At the 7th Annual International Conference on Clinical Trials for Alzheimer’s Disease (CTAD), a study was presented by Stephen Salloway, MD, MS, Director of Neurology and the Memory and Aging Program at Butler Hospital, Providence, RI, to evaluate amyloid PET imaging results. The study was initiated in order to evaluate the impact of Crenezumab on fibrillar amyloid in patients with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.  This topic was part of the mild to moderate Alzhiemer’s Prevention Clinical Research Initiative presented at this year’s annual conference.

PET scan for Alzheimer's prevention

The presenter discussed the latest clinical research findings on 2 different studies regarding an antibody called “crenezumab” which targets amyloid in the brain.  The study evaluated several different methods of delivery of the antibody including: IV injections and subcutaneous (under the skin) administration.  Three different tomography (PET) scans were taken during the trial to assess the change of amyloid level in the brain after the drug Crenezumab was given. 

Another study that was discussed at the conference was presented by Presenters/Authors: R. Scott Turner, MD, Director, Memory Disorders Program, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.  The study was conducted to evaluate whether Resveratrol was safe and well tolerated in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Resveratrol is a compound found in certain plants and in red wine that has antioxidant properties and has been investigated for possible ant- inflammatory and anti-cancer effects.  This study shows some real promise that Resveratrol is well tolerated, passes through the blood-brain barrier, and may have a positive effect on some bio-markers of Alzheimer’s disease.  Biomarkers are measurable substances whose presence may be an indication of a disease.  Common biomarkers for AD include changes in cerebral spinal fluid and changes in tomography (PET) scans.