I realize I have already done a number of posts that focus on Alzheimer’s and dementia, but since these conditions are rapidly getting to the point of affecting almost everyone, whether directly or indirectly, it seems to be a topic that deserves as much attention as possible. And as someone whose mother recently passed away from dementia, I want to be sure I am well-informed on the subject and do what I can to help get the word out that there are a wide variety of simple, all-natural ways to treat and/or prevent these disabling conditions.
(by Dr. David Jockers for NaturalHealth365) One of the fastest growing diseases in the industrial world is Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This is characterized by massive degeneration of the brain that causes disruptions in memory, cognition, and personality that finally culminates with brain death.
Approximately, 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to go up to 15 million by the year 2050. Take action now to prevent and reverse Alzheimer’s disease with natural strategies.
Alzheimer’s disease cripples the individuals’ brain to the point where they cannot form new memories. They are a danger to themselves because they are entirely unable to take care of even the most basic needs. Most individuals survive for 5-10 years with AD.
The massive economic burden of Alzheimer’s disease
These individuals need constant caregiving which creates a massive economic burden on the family. New reports show there are more than 15 million Americans providing care for someone with AD. This is a tremendous financial, physical and emotional burden to help care for a loved one with AD.
The average caregiver taking care of someone with Alzheimer’s encounters over $50,000 in out of pocket expenses each year.
Research has shown that Alzheimer’s disease development and progression is highly influenced by lifestyle factors. A recent study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease confirmed earlier reports that AD is characterized by chronic inflammation and insulin resistance in the brain. Researchers have titled this pathophysiological pattern ‘type-3 diabetes’.
The dangers of poor blood sugar signaling
These researchers found that as blood sugar signaling patterns are disrupted it leads to elevated blood sugar and the formation of Advanced Glycolytic End Products (AGE’s). AGEs are highly inflammatory and they cause massive destruction throughout the body and have an affinity for neurological tissue. The AGEs destroy cell membrane function and damage insulin receptor activity creating a vicious cycle of elevated blood sugar and inflammatory stress.
The brain is primarily water, fat and cholesterol. These are all key building blocks for promoting healthy brain function and rebuilding a damaged brain. The proper diet to beat AD is rich in phytonutrient dense vegetables, healthy fat and clean protein sources.
Understanding the value of clean proteins and ‘super foods’
Healthy proteins include wild-caught fish, grass-fed red meat and organic chicken, turkey and eggs. Grass-fed beef is loaded with long-chain omega 3 fatty acids, saturated fat, cholesterol, vitamin B12, and conjugated linoleic acid which are all necessary for healthy neurological function. Additionally, grass-fed beef contains carnosine, wild salmon contains astaxanthin and organic pasture-fed eggs have retinol, lutein and zeaxanthin.
These fat-soluble antioxidants protect the brain and neurological tissue from AGEs and other damaging free radicals.
100% grass-fed raw, fermented dairy products such as amasai, kefir, cheese and whey are packed full of brain building nutrients and they protect the gut and de-inflame the body. Superfood herbs like turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, oregano, rosemary, thyme, ginger, basil and boswellia should be used as much as possible.
Don’t forget the importance of regular exercise and vitamin D3
Regular exercise and sun exposure are extremely critical factors to boost oxygenation, anti-aging hormones and vitamin D3 levels. Vitamin D3 supplementation of 10,000 IU daily is often needed. Whole food based multi-vitamins, extra B complex vitamins and zinc plus selenium – as well as probiotics and purified omega 3 fatty acids – should be used as well.
Individuals at risk for AD have sleep challenges throughout their lives and have reduced melatonin signaling systems in their brain. Establishing regular sleep cycles going to bed early and getting 8 full hours of sleep is essential. Using certain teas with herbs like valerian root, chamomile and passionflower can be especially useful.
This article about sleep from Dr. Mercola’s site also mentions the link between getting a good night’s rest and staving off Alzheimer’s:
Read more about Vitamin D and exercise here:
More Self-help Health posts on natural ways of treating Alzheimer’s:
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Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.