High Blood Sugar Causes Inflammation
High blood sugar also causes inflammation in your body. Inflammation has been linked with
- Heart disease
- Alzheimers disease
Eating a diet high in sugar and simple carbohydrates leads to inflammation. This often happens as excess fat is stored around the abdomen. Abdominal fat releases cytokines, a type of protein that causes inflammation.
Inflammation on the inside of the body is similar to an infected cut on your skin: it is red, swollen and filled with puss. Inflammation in internal organs, such as the heart or brain, puts the body in a constant state of “fighting infection.” This causes your cognition to break down, as the brain and the blood vessels running through it are swollen and irritated. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce your risk of dementia.
Protect Your Brain Protect Your Future
A high functioning brain is one of the keys to a high quality of life. Protecting your brain from damage is important. There any many factors that contribute to dementia. Some of the factors are in your control.
Insulin resistance is thought to cause a cascade of problems in your brain. Over half of the U.S. population is likely to be insulin resistant. The good news is that insulin resistance is both preventable and treatable. You can learn more about how you can protect your brain from the harmful effects of sugar. One way to protect your brain from too much sugar is to try this next recipe as a low-sugar way to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Statin Side Effects: Memory Loss Depression And More
There is no doubt that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs like Mevacor, Lipitor, and Crestor are linked to serious memory loss, fuzzy thinking,;and learning difficulties.
Statins decrease the production of CoQ10, a nutrient thats protective of both the heart and the brain.
CoQ10 deficiency is believed to be responsible for the fatigue and muscle pain commonly experienced with statin use.
Some people get very irritable, depressed, anxious, or even suicidal when taking these drugs, or when following a low-fat diet.;
The US Food and Drug Administration requires that warning labels state;that statins can cause memory loss as well as mental confusion, liver problems, and type 2 diabetes.
Statins can lead to diabetes at an alarming rate.
Nearly half of women who take statins eventually develop diabetes, a disease which greatly increases the risk for dementia.
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Diet May Slow Alzheimer’s Disease
In the study, researchers analyzed the effects of a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet in female mice bred to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
After 43 days on the ketogenic diet, researchers found beta-amyloid protein levels in the brain were reduced by 25% compared with a similar group of mice eating a standard low-fat and high-carb diet. Mice fed the ketogenic diet also lost weight.
However, despite these changes, mice on the high-fat, low-carb diet did not exhibit any changes in behavior in comparison with mice fed the standard low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet after 38 days.
When Are You At Risk
When your belly fat is causing health issues, you are at risk. Prevention, or at the very least, early intervention, is key here.; “Do not wait until your BMI or waist circumference reaches a point to make you wonder if belly fat is the cause,” said Dr. Brynna Connor, MD, Healthcare Ambassador at NorthWestPharmacy.com. Rather, you want to address this earlier in life, and the earlier the better.;
But there are certainly some generalized red flags. “If you’re male, you’ll want to see your physician if your waist is above 40 inches in circumference. If you are a female, see your physician if your waist is above 35 inches,” said Dr. Connor. These are generalities of course, but regardless of your weight to height ratioyour body mass index these are measurements that can be a quick gauge as to whether or not you should see your doctor about belly fat concerns.
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Background: Brain Biology 101
Although I have tried to write this essay in a way that is accessibleto the non-expert, it will still be helpful to first familiarize youwith basic knowledge of the structure of the brain and the rolesplayed by different cell types within the brain.
In addition to the neurons, the brain also contains a large number of”helper” cells called glial cells, which are concerned with the careand feeding of neurons. Three principle types of glial cells willplay a role in our later discussion: the microglia, the astrocytes,and the oligodendrocytes. Microglia are the equivalent of white bloodcells in the rest of the body. They are concerned with fighting offinfective agents such as bacteria and viruses, and they also monitorneuron health, making life-and-death decisions: programming a particularneuron for apoptosis if it appears to bemalfunctioning beyond hope of recovery, or is infected with anorganism that is too dangerous to let flourish.
Low Sugar Dessert Ideas
There may be times when you make an exception to eat something sweet like a holiday or a birthday party. When you feel constantly deprived, you are more likely to binge on sweets when your self-control is tired.
Satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping your blood glucose levels stable by enjoying one of these sweet and tasty low sugar desserts:
- Pear and cheese
- Fresh berries with whipped cream
- Baked apple sprinkled with cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts
- A small amount of dark chocolate with almonds
- Homemade chia pudding
- Strawberries dipped in chocolate
- Unsweetened cream cheese on whole-grain crackers topped with sliced peaches
- Simple frozen fruit ice cream
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Encourages You To Eat More Sugar
When low-fat diets became all the rage, low-fat dairy products, low-fat cereal, low-fat muffins, and even low-fat gummy bears graced the shelves of grocery stores. But heres the thing: removing fat from a food causes it to lose most of its flavor, which makes it unappealing. To solve this problem, extra sugar is added in place of the fat.
In addition, low-fat diets are typically high in carbohydrates such as grains. Whether theyre whole grains like brown rice, or refined grains such as white bread, both varieties break down into sugar. Theres nothing wrong with eating whole grains once in a while , but when youre eating grains at every meal to compensate for a missing food group, youre bound to consume more carbohydrates than your body actually needs.
Eating Fat Fighting Alzheimers
Today, in honor of Brain Awareness Month, I went to the Alzheimers Associations web site;to explore their;10 Way to Love Your Brain, which include:
Fuel up right.;Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is lower in fat and higher in vegetables and fruit to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
Really?; From what Ive learned, we need more fat in the diet to protect the brain against dementia, not carbs at the expense of healthy fats. It even looks like the Mayo Clinic, publishing in the Journal of Alzheimers Disease, totally agrees.
Researchers reported the results of a;study in which they explored the role of diet, as it relates to dementia risk. They followed a group of over 2,000 elderly individuals for close to 4 years and carefully monitored their dietary intake of protein, fat and carbohydrate. The subjects also underwent mental evaluations every 15 months to determine if they were developing any issues related to dementia.
The results of the study were impressive by any measure. The risk of dementia in those at the higher end of the scale, in terms of carbohydrate consumption,;increased;by close to 90%! Those whose calories came more from fat were found to have a;reduced;risk of developing dementia;by around 44%.
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How Cholesterol Impacts Brain Health And Memory
Cholesterol has been demonized as a cause of heart disease, but its less known as an essential component of brain cells.
Cholesterol occurs in particularly high concentrations in the brain.
Your brain is;60% fat with much of that being cholesterol.
Without adequate cholesterol, your brain cells would die.
Cholesterol is needed to make neurotransmitters, chemicals that brain cells use to communicate with each other.
Neurotransmitters regulate your mood and your ability to focus, learn, remember, and handle stress.
Abnormal;neurotransmitter;activity is responsible for many nervous system diseases and psychiatric disorders.
Even your doctor may not know that high total cholesterol actually reduces the risk of dementia in the elderly.
” Nearly half of women who take statins eventually develop diabetes, a disease which greatly increases the risk for dementia.
But she certainly knows that cholesterol-lowering drugs can cause memory loss since this well-established side effect is listed on the label of every prescription bottle.
Brain Energy And Memory Study
Dr. Swerdlow isnt the only clinician researcher looking at how a ketogenic diet might influence cognition. Suzanne Craft, PhD, well known for her investigations of the role of insulin signaling and therapy in AD, is running a ketogenic diet trial as well.
As noted on clinicaltrials.gov, the 24-week Brain Energy and Memory study aimed to recruit 25 subjects in two cohorts: adults with mild memory complaints, and cognitively normal adults with prediabetes. A comparator group of healthy controls will contribute cognitive assessments, blood and stool sample collection, neuroimaging, and lumbar puncture at baseline.
Both active groups will be randomized to 6 weeks of either a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, with carbs making up 50%-60% of daily caloric intake, or a modified ketogenic-Mediterranean Diet with carbs comprising less than 10% of daily caloric intake.
BEAMs primary outcome will be changes in the AD cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers beta-amyloid and tau. Secondary endpoints include cognitive assessments, brain ketone uptake on PET scanning, and insulin sensitivity.
Dr. Cunnane has no financial interest in the MCT emulsion, which was supplied by Abitec. He reported conference travel support from Abitec, Nisshin OilliO, and Pruvit. He also reported receiving research project funding from Nestlé and Bulletproof.
Dr. Swerdlow had no financial disclosures.
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Fish Helps You Think And Keeps Your Thinking Strong
What did the researchers find? Fish was the single most important dietary factor in lowering the risk of cognitive impairment. Vegetables were second best, and all other foods showed smaller, insignificant effects. Moreover, of all the foods evaluated, only fish was associated with a lower risk of cognitive decline. Eating fish lowered the risk of both cognitive impairment and cognitive decline.
Diet And Dementia: What Foods Increase Or Decrease Alzheimers Risk
In the blue zones region of Ikaria, Greece, dementia among people over 85 is rare over 75 percent less common than it is in the United States.
Depression, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes are also rare. Ikarians eat a more austere form of what Americans call the Mediterranean diet, and what we call the plant-slant diet common to all blue zone areas: 95 percent of their calories come from plant foods and meat is eaten sparingly.
The NutritionFacts video below breaks down the science of why dementia is much lower among people who eat a Mediterranean-style diet. We also give a short summary of the video below.
Video Summary: There is considerable scientific evidence that healthy dietary patterns such as the Mediterranean diet are associated with lower Alzheimers risk and slower cognitive decline.
The Mediterranean diet* is high in vegetables, beans, fruit, and nuts, and low in meat and dairy. But what are the protective components in the diet? Looking at the research, the important dietary differences seem to be the high plant consumption and the lower fat consumption.
Foods high in saturated fat: Beef, lamb, pork, butter, cheese, sausages. These are the foods to avoid.
*The Mediterranean Diet referenced in the studies is characterized by:
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Experimental Diets And Study Designs
Low-fat diet D12450B and high-fat diet D12492 were used. Mice were fed a LFD for 8 days to acclimatise to a semi-purified diet and then either remained on the LFD for a further 2 weeks, were switched to a HFD for 2 weeks or were fed a HFD for 1 week then switched back to a LFD for a week ). A total of n=112 mice were used with 48 mice undergoing behavioural testing and 64 mice used for intraperitoneal glucose tolerance testing . At the end of the experiment mice were killed by exsanguination under terminal anaesthesia.
Omega 3 And Oily Fish
Omega 3s essential fatty acids have an important part to play in the structure of our brain cells, helping to maintain the health and functioning of our brain. Research undertaken as part of the Older People And n-3 Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid study supported the view that eating oily fish is associated with better cognitive function in later life, but recommended further work to clarify the impact of these essential omega 3 oils on the brain .
We need omega 3 oils from food as they cannot be made efficiently by the body. Oily fish is a rich source of omega 3s essential vitamins and minerals and it is recommended that we have at least one portion of oily fish a week. Guidelines vary though according to the individual see the Food Standards Agency website, www.eatwell.gov.uk/healthydiet/fss/fats/ for further information. Omega 3 oils may also be found in vegetarian sources such as linseeds, rapeseed oil, walnuts and soya beans.
The European Commission-funded LipiDiDiet project is researching the impact of omega 3 and other key nutrients on the risk of developing Alzheimers disease and vascular dementia. Results should be available in 2015. For more information go to www.lipididiet.eu
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Details Of The Kdraft Study
The BENEFIC study looked only at the effects of an MCT supplement, which may not deliver all the metabolic benefits of a ketogenic diet. KDRAFT, however, employed both, and assessed not only cognitive outcomes and adverse effects, but the practical matter of whether AD patients and their caregivers could implement the diet and stick to it.
Couples recruited into the trial met with a dietitian who explained the importance of sticking with the strict fat:carb:protein ratio. Its not easy to stay in that zone, Dr. Swerdlow said, and the MCT supplement really helps there.
Adding the MCT, which is typically done for the ketogenic diet in epilepsy, increases the fat intake so you can tolerate a bit more carbohydrate and still remain in ketosis. MCT therefore makes it easier to successfully do the diet, if we define success by time in ketosis. Ultimately, it is an iterative diet. You check your urine, and if you are in ketosis, you are doing well. If you are not in ketosis, you have to increase your fat intake, decrease your carb intake, or both.
We found that a slow titration of the oil could deal with the GI issues. Rather, the primary deal-breaker seemed to be the stress of planning the menus and preparing the meals.
One patient discontinued his cholinesterase inhibitor during the study, for unknown reasons. His cognitive scores declined, but was still included in the diet-compliant analysis.
What Do We Know About Diet And Prevention Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Can eating a specific food or following a particular diet help prevent or delay dementia caused by Alzheimers disease? Many studies suggest that what we eat affects the aging brains ability to think and remember. These findings have led to research on general eating patterns and whether they might make a difference.
The Mediterranean diet, the related MIND diet , and other healthy eating patterns have been associated with cognitive benefits in studies, though the evidence is not as strong as it is for other interventions like physical activity, blood pressure and cognitive training. Currently, researchers are more rigorously testing these diets to see if they can prevent or delay Alzheimers disease or age-related cognitive decline.
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What About Vitamins And Supplements
Observational studies and clinical trials have looked at many over-the-counter vitamins and dietary supplements, including vitamins B and E and gingko biloba, to prevent Alzheimers disease or cognitive decline. The idea is that these dietary add-ons might attack oxidative damage or inflammation, protect nerve cells, or influence other biological processes involved in Alzheimers.
Despite early findings of possible benefits for brain health, no vitamin or supplement has been proven to work in people. Overall, evidence is weak as many studies were too small or too short to be conclusive.
Take DHA for example. Studies in mice showed that this omega-3 fatty acid, found in salmon and certain other fish, reduced beta-amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimers. However, clinical trials in humans have had mixed results. In a study of 485 older adults with age-related cognitive decline, those who took a DHA supplement daily for 24 weeks showed improved learning and memory, compared to those who took a placebo. Another study of 4,000 older adults conducted primarily to study eye disease concluded that taking omega-3 supplements, alone or with other supplements, did not slow cognitive decline.
For more information, visit the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Dietary Recommendations For Patients
Physicians who may want to recommend dietary habits to their patients should take heed that the best evidence for nutritional prevention of Alzheimer’s disease is through foods rather than vitamin supplements. Many of the foods that are good sources of vitamin E are also rich in n-3 fatty acids and unhydrogenated, unsaturated fats â the dietary components with the most convincing evidence of neuroprotection to date. Among these foods are oil-based salad dressings, nuts, seeds, fish, mayonnaise, and eggs. Patients should limit their intake of foods that are high in saturated and transunsaturated fats, such as red meats, butter, ice cream, commercially baked products, and some margarines that contain partially hydrogenated oils.
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