Lack of Vitamin B12 from animals meat and leptin resistance caused by inflammation are the main reasons why dementia and alzheimer's happen in the first place.
Dementia Hits Harder and More Often Than You Think…
As you age, it’s pretty common to forget things.
You see someone you know, and his name escapes you. You can’t remember where you put your car keys. You miss appointments if you don’t write them down.
For some people, it’s more than just an embarrassing moment that passes. It’s the beginning of dementia.
Developing dementia is a terrifying thought to most people. Part of the fear comes from the fact that people (not to mention most doctors) have no idea what to do to prevent it.
Here are a few facts you need to know about dementia:
• The chance of developing dementia doubles every five years after the age of 60.
• In some communities, almost half the population over the age of 85 has it.
• As many as 6.8 million people in the United States have some form of dementia.
• Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause, affecting one out of 10 people over the age of 65. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by the development of abnormal proteins, called plaques, and tangles that prevent nerve cells from communicating with one another and eventually causes them to die.
The Key to Preventing Alzheimer’s May Be a Trip to the Grocery Store
A new study by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that high levels of leptin are associated with lower rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The 12-year study found that people with the lowest leptin levels were approximately four times more likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease than people with the highest levels.
This raises the possibility that leptin may have a protective role in the brain and may even be a contributing factor to memory.
So, what is leptin and how do you get some of it?
The word “leptin” comes from the Greek word leptos, which means “thin.” Leptin is a hormone (made primarily in fat cells) that regulates the way your body uses energy. Your appetite, your metabolism, and whether or not you store fat on your body all are affected by leptin.
It’s a delicate balance. As you begin to store fat, leptin is released, signaling you to eat less.
• If you starve yourself, your body produces less leptin, so you have less control to stop eating.
• If you eat too much and become too overweight, it sets up inflammation in your body, and you become leptin-resistant – which also means you have less control to stop eating.
Now, for just a moment, consider another recent study that looked at obesity and dementia over the course of 36 years and found "three times the risk of developing dementia if you were obese! And the bigger your waistline, the bigger the risk!"
So what does this mean to you?
The best way to increase and maintain your leptin levels is to avoid the root cause of leptin resistance: inflammation.
Beware of Inflammation
Chronic inflammation prevents leptin from crossing the blood-brain barrier. That means leptin has no communication with the part of the brain that controls weight gain and cognitive function. This lack of communication in the brain is what sets up obesity and dementia.
The worst offenders include sugar, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, and farm-raised fish, especially salmon.
So stay away from high-fructose corn syrup, processed foods, and fried foods. And eat only wild-caught fish.
Dietary B12 for Optimal Brain Health
According to a small Finnish study recently published in the journal Neurology, people who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer's in their later years.
For each unit increase in the marker of vitamin B12 (holotranscobalamin) the risk of developing Alzheimer's was reduced by 2 percent.
However, fortified cereals are most definitely NOT a good source of dietary B vitamins. They also have inorganic iron added. This is the worst type of iron to use as a supplement and it will raise already elevated iron in those that don't need it, like most adult men and postmenopausal women. Elevated iron levels will actually increase your risk of Alzheimer's.
Additionally, most fish are today so contaminated, with one exception, that would be sardines, which are high in B12 and small enough to typically be less contaminated, compared to larger fish.
Instead, your ideal dietary sources of B12 vitamins would include:
• Liver from organic calf
• Wild caught salmon
• Organic, grass-fed beef
• Lamb (which are typically grass-fed even if not specified as organic)
• Organic, free-range eggs
Vitamin B12 is present in natural form only in animal sources of food, which is one of the reasons why you are advised against a strict vegetarian or vegan diet. The few plant foods that are sources of B12 are actually B12 analogs. An analog is a substance that blocks the uptake of true B12, so your body's need for the nutrient actually increases.
There are many well-documented cases of blindness and brain abnormalities in strict vegetarians, resulting from vitamin B12 deficiency.
Results Using Synthetic B Vitamins are Mixed...
There are two additional studies published this year, mainly illustrate the mixed results achieved with vitamin B supplements (as opposed to a vitamin B-rich diet).
• An Australian study published in September investigated whether or not supplements, as opposed to food, could help older men improve their cognitive function. All the study participants were hypertensive men over the age of 75.
The men received either folic acid along with vitamin B6 and B12, or a placebo for two years. Their cognitive function was evaluated for another eight years thereafter.
In this case, the vitamin supplementation had no impact on cognitive function, and did not reduce the risk of dementia. The authors concluded:
"This study provides Class I evidence that vitamin supplementation with daily doses of 400 μg of B12, 2 mg of folic acid, and 25 mg of B6 over 2 years does not improve cognitive function in hypertensive men aged 75 and older."
• Contrast this with another recent study published in PLoS One, in which the participants received very high doses of B vitamins. This two-year long clinical trial was the largest to date to investigate the effect of B vitamins on mild cognitive impairment (MCI), which is a common precursor to Alzheimer's.
The vitamin pills, which are so potent you can only obtain them with a prescription, contained:
• 800 micrograms (mcg) folic acid -- US RDA is 400 mcg/day
• 500 mcg B12 (cyanocobalamin) – US RDA is only 2.4 mcg/day
• 20 mg B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride) -- US RDA 1.3-1.5 mg/day
In this study, the participants who received the vitamin supplements had half the rate of brain atrophy (shrinkage) associated with dementia, compared to those who did not receive supplementation. And those with the lowest B12 levels had a six-fold greater rate of brain volume loss compared with those who had the highest levels!
According to one of the co-authors:
"This is a very dramatic and striking result. It's much more than we could have predicted… It is our hope that this simple and safe treatment will delay development of Alzheimer's in many people who suffer from mild memory problems."
So, although the verdict is still out on whether or not you can prevent Alzheimer's using supplements, it certainly makes good sense to make sure you're getting plenty of complex B vitamins through your diet.
What You Need to Know About Vitamin B12 Supplements
That said, should you decide to boost your B12 intake with a supplement, please be aware that oral or sublingual B12 tablets do not work very well, so you may be wasting your money.
Injectable B12 is considered the gold standard, but sublingual sprays are just as effective as the injectable versions. They're also more convenient, not to mention less painful to use.
Alzheimer's Can Cause a Lot of Problems
|Following are a number of risk factors associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease:|
a) Health conditions:
- Obesity, especially increased belly fat
- Insulin resistance and diabetes – Diabetics have up to 65 percent higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease
- Elevated uric acid levels
- High blood pressure
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Intracellular T3 (immune system cells) deficiency
- Heart disease
b) Nutritional deficiencies:
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Elevated homocysteine levels due to vitamin B6, B12 and folate deficiencies
- Insufficient omega-3 fats
- Vitamin E deficiency
c) Environmental toxins:
- Aluminum toxicity
- Mercury toxicity
- Copper toxicity
- Electromagnetic fields and cell phone radiation
Preventing Alzheimer's – Naturally!
While effectively preventing associated health risks, such as obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure and heart disease, these simple lifestyle changes can also help keep your brain in optimal working order well past your 60's.
• Coconut oil:
According to Dr. Mary Newport, D.M, whose husband was stricken with Alzheimer's disease, coconut oil may be KEY for not only preventing, but even reversing this disease. Certain cells in the brains of those with Alzheimer's become increasingly unable to use their primary energy souce, glucose. Without fuel, these brain cells die, contributing to the mental degeneration.
But there's an alternative source of energy, known as ketones. Your body produces ketones naturally when you deprive it of carbohydrates (which further supports the recommendation to eliminate sugar and grains from your diet!), but you can boost ketone production by consuming medium-chain triglycerides, such as coconut oil.
Dr. Newport made this connection when she discovered that the ingredient in a promising Alzheimer drug was nothing more than simple coconut oil-derived medium-chain triglycerides! Beneficial results were obtained at a dose of about 20 ml (4 teaspoons).
• Optimize your vitamin D levels:
- Through safe sun exposure, a safe tanning bed and/or Vitamin D3 supplements.
• Eat a nutritious diet, rich in folate:
- Ideally you'll want to design your diet around your nutritional type. Everyone, however, regardless of nutritional type will want to avoid fructose as much as possible.
Strict vegetarian diets have been shown to increase your Alzheimer's risk, whereas diets high in omega-3's lower your risk. However, vegetables, without question, are your best form of folate, and we should all eat plenty of fresh raw veggies every day.
• Eat plenty of high-quality animal based omega-3 fats:
- High intake of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA helps by preventing cell damage caused by Alzheimer's disease, thereby slowing down its progression, and lowering your risk of developing the disorder. Researchers have also said DHA "dramatically reduces the impact of the Alzheimer's gene."
• Keep your fasting insulin levels below 3:
- There is no question that insulin resistance is one of the most pervasive influences on brain damage, as it contributes massively to inflammation, which will prematurely degenerate your brain.
• Avoid and remove mercury from your body:
- Dental amalgam fillings are one of the major sources of mercury, however you should be healthy prior to having them removed.
Avoid aluminum, such as antiperspirants, non-stick cookware, etc.
• Exercise regularly:
- According to one study, the odds of developing Alzheimer's were nearly quadrupled in people who were less active during their leisure time, between the ages of 20 and 60.
• Avoid flu vaccinations:
- Most vaccinations contain both mercury and aluminum!
• Eat plenty of blueberries:
- Wild blueberries, which have high anthocyanin and antioxidant content, are known to guard against Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases.
• Challenge your mind daily:
- Mental stimulation, especially learning something new, such as learning to play an instrument or a new language, is associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer's. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up your brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer's disease.
• Avoid anticholinergic drugs:
- Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain night-time pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence, and certain narcotic pain relievers.
• Ginkgo Biloba:
Interestingly, studies have demonstrated that ginko biloba is effective in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. One study published in 2006 found that the herb works just as well as Aricept (donepezil) in treating mild or moderate Alzheimer's-related dementia. It's important to realize that ginko biloba will not cure the underlying problem, however but it is certainly safer to use compared to conventional drugs.
A Stuffy Nose Can Tell You Which Foods to Avoid
You can also follow a low-inflammation diet.
It’s easier than you think. You can often tell if a food is inflammatory by the effect it has on your breathing.
Ever had a crème-filed donut or pizza and soda – only to find that a few minutes later it’s harder to breathe through your nose? That’s probably evidence of an immediate inflammation response.
The tissue and blood vessels in your nose are very sensitive, so it’s easy to tell when a certain food triggers that kind of inflammation. But when inflammation happens elsewhere in your body over time, the symptoms may be harder to pinpoint – and their results can be more severe – like the leptin resistance that leads to obesity and Alzheimer’s.
Your cells make both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory chemicals. How much of the various compounds are produced depends a lot on the foods you eat.
Certain foods lead your body to produce more compounds that are inflammatory. Other foods lead your body to generate anti-inflammatory compounds. When you know which foods are which, you can use this to your advantage.
The IF (Inflammation Factor) Rating system is a tool created by noted nutritional researcher Monica Reinagel. This system, which evaluates 20 different nutritional factors that have an impact on inflammation, makes it easy to stay on an anti-inflammatory diet.
Foods with a negative rating are inflammatory, and foods with a positive rating are anti-inflammatory. The higher the number, the stronger the effect.
|Foods that promote inflammation |
|(a) Refined carbohydrates:|
These include anything made with flour or sugar (white bread, pasta, rolls, pastry, cakes, cookies, sweets, candy, soda and juice drinks, breakfast cereals, etc.).
- Replaced with: Natural carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables and legumes.
(b) Saturated fats:
Fatty cuts of grain-fed meat, and commercial dairy products.
- Replaced with: Mono-unsaturated fats, including olive oil and canola oil.
(c) Trans fats:
which are found in fried foods, snacks, margarine, mayonnaise, and any packaged food that contains “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.
- Replaced with: Foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as wild-caught salmon, tuna, herring, sardines, and mackerel.
(d) White produce and processed foods, which tend to be antioxidant-poor.
- Replaced with: Brightly colored vegetables and fruits, which tend to be high in antioxidants.
|The following table shows some of the best-rated foods: |
- Pink Grapefruit
- Chili Peppers
- Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
- Low-Fat Plain Yogurt
- Low-Fat Milk
- Salmon (Not Farmed)
- Pot Roast
- Beef Shank
- Top Blade
- Eye of Round
- Flank Steak
- Carrot Juice
- Tomato Juice
- Black or Green Tea
- Herbal Tea
Recommended Herbal Remedy
"Supports brain health and memory functioning for help with the common forgetfulness associated with aging"