As the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) rapidly increases, a lot of people are apprehensive about developing the degenerative disease. But what can you do about it?
The fundamental mechanism that underlies neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and other issues (think diabetes, coronary artery disease, and even cancer), is the process of inflammation.
We know that there is a higher level of the chemicals that mediate inflammation in the blood of individuals with higher blood sugar, caused by many poor food choices. Higher blood sugar correlates with higher levels of inflammation.
Degree of inflammation is, to a significant degree, determined by the health and diversity of our gut bacteria. Issues that threaten gut bacterial diversity, like stress, artificial sweeteners, and acid-blocking medications, pave the way for increasing inflammation. This threatens your long-term health by raising your risk of virtually all those chronic degenerative conditions you don’t want to get.
It doesn’t make sense to wait until you’re having an issue with one of these diseases to begin a program designed to reduce inflammation. This approach was powerfully supported in a recent study published in the journal Neurology. In this report, researchers from multiple institutions, tried to determine if inflammation in midlife would have any consequences for the brain later in life.
They studied a group of 1,633 participants (with an average age of 53) by looking at their blood levels for various markers of inflammation. These five inflammatory markers were compiled into what was called the “inflammatory composite score.”
After 24 years, the participants underwent a special brain scan to measure the size of various areas of the brain. The study revealed a marked correlation between midlife elevation of inflammatory markers and reduction in size of key brain areas including the hippocampus, the brain’s memory centre.
The authors concluded:
“Our prospective findings provide evidence for what may be an early contributory role of systemic inflammation in neurodegeneration and cognitive aging.”
What does this mean? We should be doing everything we can to reduce inflammation TODAY, long before some chronic degenerative condition manifests. What lifestyle choices can we make to bring inflammation under control?
Note to Self: Limit sugar and refined carbohydrates
Eliminate vegetable oils (corn oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil)
Increase healthful fats (olive oil, avocado oil, nuts, needs, coconut oil)
Increase fibre rich foods
Speak to Jenny Hargreaves, our Registered Nutrition Practitioner
for individualised advice.