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Alzheimer’s and Nutrition –

What You Deserve to Know

There have been many studies recently linking Alzheimer’s disease and nutrition. More and more, the evidence overwhelmingly indicates that proper nutrition is essential to maintaining a healthy brain: it plays a major role in cognition, memory, and various neurological disorders — including Alzheimer’s disease.

I am a strong proponent of the link between Alzheimer’s and nutrition. I have found that a proper diet is one of the main keys to Alzheimer’s prevention and that a proper diet should consist of the following:

1. 20% “good” fat, such as extra virgin olive oil, avocado, and flax seed oil

2. 40% lean protein, such as fish, chicken, turkey, and soy

3. 40% complex carbohydrates, such as fresh vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and fresh fruits

4. “Super foods” for the brain, such as blueberries, spinach, and seaweed

Furthermore, it is important to avoid a diet high in trans-fat and saturated fat, since these fats produce free radicals in your body. High quantities of free radicals have been known to damage and even kill brain cells.

Omega-3 fatty acids, found primarily in fish, have been shown to drastically decrease your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, simply eating one fish meal per week can result in a 60% reduction in your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

I also recommend that everyone should take a high potency multiple vitamin containing vitamin C and folic acid.

Get Your Antioxidants

A diet rich in antioxidants is also important. It has been found to drastically lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Antioxidants eliminate free radicals from your body. Your body naturally produces free radicals as a by-product of normal cell functioning. However, when produced in large quantities, free radicals can cause such debilitating diseases as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s.

Vitamins C and E are both an excellent source of antioxidants. Vitamin E is fat soluble, and can be found in vegetable and nut oils, spinach, and whole grain products. Vitamin C is water soluble, and can be found in citrus fruits, tomatoes, spinach, and red peppers

These vitamins more effectively help prevent Alzheimer’s when obtained from actual foods instead of from supplements. Research shows that when taken together, vitamins C and E can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 20%.

Diets that are low in fat and cholesterol and high in fiber will also help prevent Alzheimer’s by reducing oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can cause an increase in the production of free radicals in your body.

High fat and cholesterol diets impair learning and memory performance. Plus, diets high in fat and cholesterol have been shown to triple your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

A diet rich in niacin will help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. However, research indicates that it is more beneficial to receive niacin from foods than from supplements. Niacin-rich foods include lean meat, fish, poultry, peanuts, omega-E-enriched eggs, whole grain products, beans and peas, avocados, dates, figs, and prunes.

Supplements to Know About

Ginkgo biloba extract is an excellent antioxidant and works well to improve cognitive performance.

The following supplements have also proven very effective in improving cognitive functioning and memory: alpha GFC (alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine), N-acetyl-L-carnitine, lipoic acid, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), and phosphatidylserine.

Medical researchers are still hard at work trying to determine the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease. But one thing has already been determined with certainty: there is a strong link between Alzheimer’s and nutrition.

The mission of the non-profit Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation is to help you prevent the development of Alzheimer’s. Paying careful attention to your diet is one important way you can drastically reduce your risk for this debilitating disease.

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Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

President and Medical Director

Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation

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FREE Memory Screenings

At Minnesota State Fair

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A big THANKS goes out to HealthStar Home Health and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America for providing this great resource.

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Join Dementia Chats

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Heart Felt Speech Regarding

The Needs Of Those Living

With Dementia

Michael & Shari Ellenbogen

Speak At NAPA

(National Alzheimer’s Project Act Meeting)

Michael and Shari Ellenbogen speak so openly and honestly about living with dementia.  What is working and what is not.  What the people need and why it is so critical.

What are your thoughts?  We would love to hear from you.

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Dementia Research &

NAPA Speeches

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio

Tuesday 8/26

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Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio goes live Tuesday Aug 26th at 11am EST,10am CST, 9am MST, 8am PST and 4pm London  time.  We love having an open conversation with everyone who is dealing with the disease.  Please call in live at (714) 364-4757to ask a question or share a thought or use the chat box to communicate with us.

Our first guests are Charles Ramat, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Dan Alkon, PhD., Neurotrope, Chief Scientific Officer and from Neurotrope. We will be discussing Alzheimer’s disease treatment challenges and Neurotrope’s development of bryostatin, their partnerships and minimally invasive, diagnostic biomarker analysis system.

Eric_Neurotrope_logoDuring our second hour we will listen to Michael & Shari Ellenbogen’s Speech at NAPA (National Alzheimer’s Project Act).  After we will discuss your thoughts and talk with Michael on how their speeches were received.  We would love for you to join the conversation.

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Denial or Lack of Understanding?

By: Michelle Remold

My topic for this week has been on my mind recently. During the last couple of weeks I have had some very similar discussions around Alzheimer’s/dementia.

The discussions have typically started out with the stigmas associated with the terms ‘Alzheimer’s’ and ‘dementia.’ These discussions aren’t surprising to me, but they seem to be taking a different twist lately. When the discussions start, I am able to sympathize with the isolation that not only the person with Alzheimer’s/dementia faces, but the isolation that families feel as well. I have written before about how people seemed to stop visiting my grandpa because they said it was too hard to see him that way, not realizing that it wasn’t exactly fun for family to watch the steady decline either. I think in one way or another, this is something families dealing with these diseases can relate to.

As of late however, the discussions seem to end on a different note. Whomever I am talking to will mention that they don’t like to use the words Alzheimer’s or dementia because of the stigma attached with both. They always mention that they know the diagnosis and that the person with the disease knows the diagnosis, but when it comes to talking with other people it seems to be easier to avoid using the terms ‘Alzheimer’s’ or ‘dementia’ because it seems to reduce the awkwardness and the stigma. However, they all seem to get one common response to this approach and that is people tell them by not calling it what it is, they are in denial.
I am not sure I would exactly call it denial. When first diagnosed, it might be a coping mechanism, but as the disease progresses, being able to deny the decline and the progression of the disease becomes more and more difficult. I simply think it is a way to curb some of the stigmas that come along with Alzheimer’s and dementia. The people often say that even calling it memory loss, seems to be a little less frightening to anyone they are talking to.

I think that this will change with time and awareness of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It will take time for people who haven’t had firsthand experiences with the diseases to know that the family still needs support and friendship, as does the person with the disease. Backing away from it and making them more isolated doesn’t help, it only makes dealing with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia even harder.

???????????????????????????????Michelle graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with her Bachelor of Arts in Gerontology: Social Sciences and a minor in Family Studies. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Aging Studies and Nursing Home Administration from Minnesota State University Mankato.

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