Alzheimer's Prevention

The role of a healthy diet in connection with the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease is being increasingly recognised. An increasing number of nutrients that have a connection with the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are being discovered.

To find nutritional solutions for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias would save government around the world, health bills of billions of dollars, pounds and euros.

Dr Peter Zalewski, University of Adelaide says that zinc plays a vital role in regulating the rate of cell death in brain cells. One in four elderly people are zinc deficient, which leads to other health problems like poor immunity and osteoporosis. These problems usually respond to zinc supplementation.

Other findings suggest that giving Alzheimer’s sufferers extra folic acid promote a good blood supply to the affected parts of the brain.

Dietary sources of zinc are oysters, (by far the best natural source), herring, beef, liver, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and whole grains. Zinc supplements are easily available from health food stores, chemists and supermarkets. These are safe to take as long as the recommended dose on the bottle is followed.

Folic acid is found in green leafy vegetables, liver, kidney and brains, eggs, beans and lentils.

Researchers have found that closer a person is to eating a Mediterranean type diet, the less likely they are to get Alzheimer’s disease. The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, (beans, peas and lentils) cereals, and olive oil. Red meat is taken in small amounts, fish in moderate and varied amounts, plus a moderate alcohol intake.

Another, US study has found that drinking fruit and vegetable juices might be the key to avoiding Alzheimer's disease and dementia.  The American researchers tracked the habits of almost 2,000 people for up to 10 years and found that the risk of Alzheimer's was reduced by 76 per cent for those who drank juice more than three times a week.

Now, another study has found that the A combination of vitamin D3 and curcumin, from turmeric, may boost the immune system, and help it clear the protein plaques linked to Alzheimer’s, according to research.

A build-up of plaque in the brain increases brain cell damage causing a loss of cognitive function and an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia, affects over 13 million people worldwide.

Dr Milan Fiala from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) says "We hope that vitamin D3 and curcumin, both naturally occurring nutrients, may offer new preventive and treatment possibilities for Alzheimer's disease." Curcumin from turmeric is now available in supplement form, but there are also large amounts of turmeric in Indian cooking. For those who don’t like curry - there are plenty of non-spicy recipes.

A growing number of studies have linked deficiency of vitamin D to increased risks of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, and periodontal disease, all of which have been linked to some degree to increased risks for dementia. The simplest and best solution to address vitamin D deficiency, is to get out into the sun, regularly, at safe times of the day. During winter it is safe to be in the sun for longer periods.

It is probably safe to say that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are largely preventable diseases, that with some broad scale dietary adjustment in communities, it is possible to reduce the incidence of this devastating condition.

The best way to prevent Alzheimer's and other dementias, is to have a nutritional assessment. Hair Mineral Analysis is a simple way of detecting deficiencies and toxicities that may cause health problems in the future. These are usually easily corrected, once you know what they are.