Living longer is an important goal — but not if we can’t remember our friends, loved ones and even who we are. Long life is one of the reasons why Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can be so devastating. Here are three important things you can do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease:
This nutrient has long been known to be important for healthy bones, but scientists now believe that vitamin D may be extremely important in maintaining brain health. In a study published this year in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers observed over 1,600 seniors for six years. Participants who were only mildly deficient in vitamin D were 53 percent more likely to develop dementia. Those who were severely deficient were 125 percent more likely to develop dementia. While this was just a correlational study, there are other benefits to vitamin D that make it a good idea to consider optimizing your blood level of vitamin D.
The recommended blood level of vitamin D, or 25-OH-D3, is up around 50 nanograms/milliliter (ng/ml). You do have to be careful not to go too high, so your physician should monitor your blood periodically.
REDUCE YOUR NEED FOR STATINS
Controlling cholesterol is also very important in preventing AD. I think we all are aware that high cholesterol can lead to heart attacks and strokes. What most people don’t know is that memory loss can be a result of mini strokes. Memory loss can also result from the slow decline in brain circulation due to cholesterol causing a narrowing of arteries. So it is important to keep cholesterol under control to prevent mini strokes and reduced blood flow to the brain.
What surprises most people, however, is that very popular “statin” drugs taken to lower cholesterol may also cause memory loss. Statins work by blocking the production of cholesterol.
Unfortunately, statins also block the enzyme that makes coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) which is required for energy. Because the brain requires this energy to function, it is not surprising that statins can contribute to memory loss. This statin side effect is why it is so important to lower your cholesterol through diet and to reduce your need for statin drugs.
TRY GREEN TEA
One of the hallmarks of AD is the presence of “amyloid plaques” in brain tissue. These plaques disrupt the connections between nerve cells in the brain. As a result, mental function declines. Several studies suggest that green tea may be helpful in preventing the formation of these plaques. Research published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” by Chinese scientist Mi Hee Lim and her team shows that one of the compounds in green tea is a powerful flavonoid known as Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It binds to beta-amyloid protein and prevents it from forming plaques. So consider drinking green tea as a possible way to ward off AD.
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