Protect yourself from Alzheimer’s disease by food

Alzheimer’s disease

Food for continuous thinking for long life

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It wasn’t too many years ago that it was considered natural for people to become senile in old age. No one was particularly shocked when Grandpa couldn’t remember first his grandkids, then his kids, his wife and finally his own name. Now we know differently. Senility has a new name: Alzheimer’s disease. Now we know that it is not necessarily a natural and unavoidable decline and that it may be possible to stave off this debilitating disease.

But physicians don’t know the causing agents of this disease up till now, and all what they know that Alzheimer’s disease affects the parts of the brain that control speech, thoughts and memories. All they know is that in people who have Alzheimer’s disease, the brain chemicals that allow nerves to send and receive messages from one another decrease are reduced. Additionally, protein, beta-amyloid plaque, deposits on the brain, likely resulting in the death of brain cells.

Because the drugs used in the treatment of this disease is not effective, researchers become concerned about nutrition. “Dr. James G. Penland”, Ph.D, a research psychologist at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota said, “I think it’s worthwhile to consider diet as a potential factor in Alzheimer’s.”

Antioxidants

The research is at the beginning, but there is evidences that show that harmful free radicals contribute in causing Alzheimer’s where the free radicals damage tissue in every area of the body.

Antioxidants bind with free radicals and neutralize them. The body naturally produces antioxidants, but there are not usually enough to adequately protect the body.

Supplements can be good, but since there are so many different antioxidants, its best to get them by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables every day.

Studies proved that vitamin (E) – which present mainly in wheat germ, cooking oils, grains, seeds and nuts – helps in prevention sticky protein deposits from forming on the brain. In fact, researchers – in Columbia University of New York city –  found that large doses of Vitamin (E) – 2000 International units per day – have the same effect of Selegiline and Eldepryl the drugs used to stop the progression of the disease.

B vitamins

Right now research is going on about whether B vitamins will help preventing Alzheimers or slow down the process of it. They are studying this because it is used to keep a protective covering on nerves which helps in making the chemicals our nerves use to communicate.. “ Dr, Penland” says that mental performances may suffer with Vitamin B going down a level or two.

Certain studies in Toronto University showed that Alzheimer patients suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency in the spinal fluid comparing with healthy persons. Also researchers found that giving large doses of Thiamine (Vit-B1) to Alzheimer’s patients may improve the metal abilities a little

The Good Sources of thiamine are meat, Wheat grain macaroni while Vitamin B12 can be found in meats like Turkey meat, chickens, liver, and lamb and for seafood eat steamed clams and sardines

B vitamins are necessary for the body to make those vital brain chemicals and also to maintain nerve health, not just in the brain, but in all the nerves in the body. Good sources of B vitamins are those dark green leafy vegetables, broccoli, beets, and beans, as well as meats, eggs, poultry and sea foods like clams, mussels, and mackerel.

Omega-3 fatty acids



Omega-3’s are known to protect against heart disease and inflammation. There is some evidence that those beta-amyloid deposits on the brain may be connected with inflammation of the brain, so Omega-3’s may help protect the brain, too. Cold water fish like salmon and tuna are great sources. Shoot for 2 to 3 servings each week. Walnuts, flaxseed and those dark green leafy vegetables are good sources, too, so be sure to include those in your diet, as well.

Substance that can’t be neglected:

Researchers are concerned about a natural substance called acetyl-L Carnitine which looks like amino acids present in the Milk products, cowpeas, beans, eggs and red meat and the search indicates that Carnitine which carry fats to brain cells may slow down the progression of this disease.

Researchers found in one of the studies in Pittsburgh university for medicine that when the Alzheimer’s patient take carnitine for 12 months, the damage rate of the brain is slowed. Up till now, scientists don’t try to use foods containing carnitine to control Alzheimer’s disease but large amounts of this substance in the food may play a role to stop this disease.

Heavy metals

When the researchers found small deposits of Aluminum in the brain of the Alzheimer’s disease, they thought that large amount of this metal may play a role in causing Alzheimer’s disease.

Up till now, there is no sharp evidence proves that Al contribute in causing Alzheimer’s disease, and researchers admitted that they don’t know that Al has a role in this or not. But any way, you may need to lower the Al amount that you exposed to it and this is not always easy because Al is found in the common metals in the around environment.

Drinking canned or bottled Soda – for example – provides you with 4 mg of Al which exceeds the safe maximum dose per day which is 3 mg per day. And also, foods cooked or saved in Aluminum foil or Aluminum containers may provide low amounts of this metals.

Researchers still don’t know how much of Al, reach to the brain, but the awareness about this will make it easy to lower the amount of this metal you exposed to it either by soda or by Aluminum foil.

In addition to the things you can eat to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, there are some things you should avoid. Avoid foods that are high in saturated fat, like red meat and whole milk dairy products. Fats are subject to oxidation by free radicals, meaning that you’ll need even more antioxidants to neutralize them. Omega-6 fatty acids can cause inflammation, so avoid them. Omega-6’s are found in fried foods and baked goods.

Sources: 

The Doctors Book of Food Remedies by Selene Yeager and the Editors of Prevention Health Books; 
Eat and Heal, by the Editors of FC& A Medical Publishing

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