Most experts agree that the onset of Alzheimer’s disease is probably caused by a combination of several risk factors, including genetics, age, environment, insufficient exercise, adverse medical conditions and a brain starving diet.
Even though some risk factors can’t be changed, there is plenty of studies that show that a healthy life style that consists of regular exercise and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and plenty of mind stimulation can help lower the risk of contracting Alzheimer’s Disease as well as other age-related diseases and conditions—such as vascular disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
There are many studies researching the connection between Alzheimer’s and other age-related diseases and possibility lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by preventing or controlling these diseases. For example, one clinical trial is studying the effect of lowering the current blood pressure recommendations levels would have on cognitive decline and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The study uses older adults with high systolic (upper number) blood pressure with a history of heart disease or stroke, or are at risk for those conditions.
Diabetes is believed to be linked to Alzheimer’s through the brain changes caused by abnormal insulin production (Insulin is the hormone involved in diabetes.) Diabetes treatments have been tested on people with Alzheimer’s, but the results have not been conclusive.
However, it is reasonable to assume that if a healthy life style consisting of exercise and a healthy diet is a highly effective way of preventing health conditions like high-blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease (linked to the onset of Alzheimer’s), it is also conducive to lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Actually a healthy life style is probably the best way to help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease due to the lack of medicines or treatments that are currently available.
Make exercise and physical activity a high priority
It is no secret that regular exercise or physical activity is very beneficial to our health and our quality of life. It strengthens our cardio vascular system, shrinks our waistlines and enhances our ability to complete our daily activities.
Laboratory studies on older rats and mice have proven that physical exertion helps to enhance the supply of blood to the brain building connections between nerve cells. In addition, research has provided strong evidence that exercise promotes a brain protein that is important to memory and learning. Exercise is also believed to help maintain the human brain’s old network connections as well as creating new ones.
When implementing a new physical exercise program into your life, start at a moderated rate and always consult your physician first.
Diet and Supplements
A healthy brain can be maintained with a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low in saturated fats and processed sugars. Although there is no conclusive scientific research, commonsense tells us that it is highly probable that the same healthy diet that prevents many chronic diseases will also help prevent Alzheimer’s.
One diet in particular that shows real promise is the “Mediterranean diet”. Clinical research studying those who eat a diet that includes vegetables, legumes, fruits, cereals, fish, olive oil, and low amounts of saturated fats, dairy products, meat, and poultry have a 28 percent lower risk of mild cognitive impairment and a 48 percent lower risk or any cognitive impairment developing into Alzheimer’s Disease.
There is research that is looking at the effects of using dietary supplements like antioxidants and other natural substances to promote brain health by fighting damage caused by free radicals, but it is still likely that we get the most benefit from whole foods.
The National Institute is currently conducting a clinical study on effects the compound called resveratrol has in people with Alzheimer’s Disease. Resveratrol is found in red grapes and red wine and is widely thought to having anti-aging properties.
An active brain is a healthy brain
Maintaining a sharp brain is best achieved through social engagement and intellectual stimulation. There is wide-spread consensus associating brain simulation with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. Staying active by volunteering, reading, taking classes, playing games or using a computer can go a long way in helping prevent Alzheimer’s.
There are many clinical trials testing the impact of different types of cognitive training, with and without physical exercise, in people with mild cognitive impairment in hope of reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
However, until a definitive cure is found, our best defense against Alzheimer’s and other chronic diseases is to stay active, eat healthy and visit our Facebook Page regularly.