Alzheimer’s is an increasingly widespread disease with a strong social impact, but with a correct lifestyle and a mix of cutting-edge therapies it is not only possible to slow it down, but also to prevent it.
According to an important study done in the United States: a diet based on vegetables, nuts, fish, combined with a correct lifestyle and specific supplements show a good chance of preventing or slowing down Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s is one of the most dramatic and devastating diseases not only for the sick, but also for the people who care for them, starting with their families; in fact, it normally involves the entire family of the patient: Degenerative diseases mostly affect the elderly, but with a percentage of 2 percent even people under 60 years of age.
There are 6.5 million Alzheimer’s patients in Europe. In Italy alone they are between 850 and 920 thousand: between 1.4 and 1.5% of the population. The forecasts, as already announced in the 2012 Alzheimer’s World Report, are that by 2050 these figures will double.
The picture is outlined in the 2014 Dementia Report, published by Alzheimer Europe and presented by Alzheimer Italia, a federation that brings together 47 associations throughout the country. This is a study that involved the 27 countries of the European Union plus Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. The European average of patients is lower than the Italian one: 1.14% and 1.27%. With percentages similar to Italy there are only Spain in Sweden.
The invitation that the World Health Organization and Alzheimer’s Disease International are addressing today to the whole world is to consider Alzheimer’s a world public health priority, a global problem and not just a “disease of the world of diseases”.
A new case of dementia is born every 4 seconds around the world, an impressive growth rate of 7.7 million new cases every year.
Here's what a healthy brain looks like: Instead, here's what a brain looks like affected by Alzheimer's:
The importance of diet for the prevention of Alzheimer’s
According to the study carried out in the United States, Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented by eating foods rich in Omega 3, such as: fish, caviar and nuts. Hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts and even chicken, and which have the ability to reduce the blood levels of the beta-amyloid protein which is associated with memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease.
Neurology: It is the journal that published the study. Researchers from Columbia University in New York monitored 1,219 people over the age of 65 with no cognitive problems. They were asked to fill out a very detailed questionnaire on eating habits. A year and a half later they had a blood draw which measured the level of the beta-amyloid protein. It is useful to remember that while it is very difficult to measure the deposits of beta-amyloid protein in the brain, it is very easy to measure it with a blood test. A link with the circulating protein was sought for ten nutritional components: saturated fatty acids, omega 3 and omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B12, folate, beta-carotene. The researchers found the correspondence between the assimilation of antioxidants, omega3 and levels of beta-amyloid protein in the blood. The study also recommended a diet: salad, fish, fruit, chicken. On the other hand, the other foods tested did not appear to have any influence on the rate of beta-amyloid protein circulating in the blood. The study also confirmed something that was already known: diet is useful for preventing mild cognitive losses, which often precede Alzheimer’s.
The importance of a correct lifestyle
Sleeping at least 5 hours a night is part of the correct lifestyle. Lack of sleep increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease onset or progress faster.
This is suggested by a new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, whose researchers examined the association between sleep variables and the presence of a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease.
The results of the analysis, published in the journal Neurology, show that short-term sleep as well as poor quality have been associated with an increased presence of beta-amyloid peptides, a known hallmark of the disease – or biomarker.
Dr. Adam Spira, lead author of the study found that, among older adults, reporting of shorter sleep duration and poorer sleep quality were associated with higher levels of beta-amyloid, as measured by PET scans of the brain. .
The study, which initially relied on participants’ self-reported data, found that hours of sleep ranged from an average of more than 8 to less than 5 per night, depending on the case. Patients with an average age of 76 years were subjected to brain scans using the Pittsburgh compound B tracer and PET (positron emission tomography), with which the concentrations of beta-amyloid were then observed.
As already mentioned, in patients who reported poor sleep quality, greater accumulations of beta-amyloid were associated: which suggests an association between the two factors and Alzheimer’s risk.
The importance of Bacopa for the prevention of Alzheimer’s
Recent studies have confirmed that Bacopa increases memory and cognition, and can help prevent Alzheimer’s.
Researchers from the Medical College of Khon of Thailand Kaen University conducted a study on 60 elderly volunteers with an average age of 63. They administered a mix of herbs called Brahmi – botanical name Bacopa monnieri for three months.
Before and after the treatment period, the researchers tested the subjects’ memory abilities, attention span, cognitive processing speed, and reaction time. Their brain cell functions were estimated. Subjects were observed during and four weeks after treatment. The typical double blind test was performed.
The experiment was divided into two groups, one was given a placebo treatment and the other was given 300 mg to 500 mg of a set of herbs extracted from Bacopa.
Significant improvements in cognitive functions, including increased memory, longer attention spans and better reaction times, were noted on the group treated with Brahmi.
A recent clinical report also found that 100 milligrams per day of Bacopa can significantly improve symptoms of schizophrenia. This data comes from India’s Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute.
Bacopa treatment becomes a breakthrough in neurological degenerative pathologies, the main conclusion of these studies is that the Ayurvedic herb, Bacopa, helps to increase knowledge, reduce anxiety, prevent dementia and become one of the first potentially useful treatments. in cases of Alzheimer’s.
To find out more, you can learn more about the topic on the website: http://stemcellres.com/content/5/4/100
The importance of glutathione for the prevention of Alzheimer’s
L-glutathione is the most powerful of the antioxidants produced by the body. Searching on pubmed it turns out that there are over 25,000 published medical studies related to (l-glutathione or gamma-glutamylcysteinylglycine).
It fights aging through 2 main routes: the intestine and the circulatory system.
It protects the cells, tissues and organs of the body, thus keeping it young.
Glutathione is a combination of the three amino acids: glutamic acid, glycine, and cysteine.
It is a powerful antioxidant, because it reduces free radicals and therefore has an important anti-aging action.
Glutathione is found in small quantities in broccoli, but also in avocado, asparagus, garlic, carrot, strawberry, peach.
The importance of thiamine in the prevention of Alzheimer’s
Thiamine or thiamine is vitamin B1. A lack of thiamine causes a disorder in the metabolism, and as a result the nerves become hopelessly abnormal.
Thiamine plays a fundamental role in the activity of many enzymes. It is also essential to the metabolism to keep the nervous system, muscles and heart function efficient. Chronic thiamine deficiency causes alterations of the central and peripheral nervous system and of the cardiovascular system, with subacute and potentially fatal evolution. Many publications have been made on the importance of thiamine in the prevention of neuro degenerative diseases.
Thiamin is found in multivitamins, or in small amounts in oat bran.
The importance of zinc in the prevention of Alzheimer’s
A University of Wisconsin-Madison study, published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, suggests that a zinc deficiency may reduce protein stability and determine the formation of protein aggregates in the brain, favoring the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Dr Colin MacDiarmid, together with Dr David Eide, studied the system on a single-celled yeast, as this makes it easier to assess the effects and role of zinc ions, as this easily adapts to both deficiency and an excess of zinc.
In this study, it was found that the Tsa1 gene is able to create “companion” proteins that prevent the aggregation of proteins in cells with a zinc deficiency. By keeping the proteins in a solution, Tsa1 has also been found to prevent damage that otherwise leads to cell death.
Tsa1 is needed to keep proteins intact so they can function – explains Dr. Eide – If you don’t have zinc, proteins stick together, and become toxic, because proteins can’t do what they’re supposed to do. Either way, it ends up killing the cell.
Although further in-depth studies will be needed, a zinc deficiency appears to cause cellular damage that may actually cause disease.
Foods containing zinc are many including: oysters, red meat, especially liver or diaphragm meat, peanuts, beans, wholemeal bread, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
Differentiation factors and growth factors in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases
Recent studies done by dr. Pier Mario Biava highlighted the importance of differentiation factors and growth factors in the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. In a recent publication made on Cell R4, Dr. Biava explains how degenerated cells can be physiologically reprogrammed through embryonic differentiation factors. To learn more you can learn more about CellR4, here is the website where you can find the complete article:
Food supplement based on Vitamins, Bacopa and Caviar powder. Components that contribute to the proper functioning and maintenance of:
- cognitive function: Bacopa, Zinc
- nervous system: Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C
- immune system: Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Zinc
- cell division process: Vitamin D, Zinc
- protection of cells from oxidative stress: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc