Founded by Jean Carper

Special Report

Natural Ways To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
By Staff Writers Maggie Spilner and Gale Maleskey, MS, RD

We may make uneasy jokes about it, but Alzheimer’s disease is something we all dread. It’s common. Some 4.5 million Americans have it, and many more have cognitive impairment that may be an early sign of it. And it sometimes seems like it’s almost unavoidable. The biggest risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s is simply getting older. Most people diagnosed with it are age 65 or older, and by the time you’re 85, you have a one-in-two chance of having it. But Alzheimer’s is less inevitable than you might fear, with evidence mounting that diet, exercise and nutritional supplements all play a role in its prevention. New research also suggests that Alzheimer’s takes a longer time to develop than previously thought, with early brain changes seen in middle age. So the best advice for prevention is to start early—by age 50-- and stay at it, especially if you have a family history of the disease. But even people in their 60s, 70s and 80s can benefit tremendously from our expert recommendations, which follow below.

What Is Alzheimer’s, Anyway?
We know that Alzheimer’s is a build-up of two types of proteins in the brain—“plaques”, which are deposits of the protein beta-amyloid that accumulate in the space between nerve cells, and “tangles”, deposits of the protein tau that accumulate inside of nerve cells. This protein pile-up leads to reduced levels of neurotransmitters, interferes with cells’ ability to communicate with each other, and makes it difficult for them to survive. Autopsies of brains of people with Alzheimer’s show shrinkage in crucial areas of the brain. What’s not known is exactly why the protein deposits start in the first place. Age and genetic predisposition are the strongest risk factors. If you have a parent or brother or sister who developed the disease, you are two to three times more likely to develop it yourself than someone with no family history. Less is known about avoidable risk factors—the things you can control—but this is an area of intense research, and has produced some findings that you can use right now to lower your own risk. Here’s what you need to know.

The next few pages will provide you with specific details on preventing Alzheimer’s.

et al. Deficiency was also linked to poor thinking skills like memory. according to Tufts University researchers. Amer J Clin Nutr 2007(Jan). New research from Tufts University shows just how important vitamin B12 really is to brain function. depression. including the brain. Vitamin D Boosts Mood and Memory We now know that vitamin D affects virtually all body tissues. and a new study suggests that getting enough D can improve some mood and memory problems. They found that those who took 800 mcg of folic acid daily for three years had better memory and information-processing speed than those taking a placebo. those with low blood levels of vitamin D were more likely to have mild depressive symptoms such as lack of interest or indecisiveness than people with adequate blood levels. a nutrient long known for its critical role in nerve and brain function. most often because of absorption problems. (Durga J. Plus. Folic Acid Adds Years to Your Brain Dark leafy greens contain folic acid. the amount found effective in this study. the researchers concluded. the main spice in curry. Dutch researchers studied 818 subjects aged 50 to 70 with high homocysteine levels. et al. EJ. Anemia and impaired thinking were observed nearly five times as often 2 . it’s easy to forget about vitamin B12. inflammation appears to play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. That may be because of those tasty Indian curries.) Therapeutic Dosage for Fish Oil: We currently recommend taking at least the amount found effective in this study.000-2.000 IU coming from supplementation. (Morris. Curcumin can also break up existing plaques by stimulating immune cells called macrophages to clear out the plaque. As with many chronic diseases. (If you have a history of cancer. MS. difficulty maintaining balance. not a lack of B12 in the diet. Deficiency is more common in seniors. 180 mg of DHA or more if possible. We currently recommend 200 mg of standardized curcumin per day for Alzheimer's prevention. by lowering neurotoxic homocysteine levels. found in turmeric. ) for people with this combination than among people with normal B12 and folate levels. with 1. The difference was dramatic. it works with folic acid and vitamin B6 to neutralize neurotoxic homocysteine. These findings suggest that curcumin is more effective in inhibiting plaque formation than many other drugs being tested as Alzheimer’s treatments. Nov. too much folic acid and too little B12 is just as bad.) Therapeutic Dosage for Curcumin: Optimal dosages have yet to be determined. cognitive abilities were worst in seniors with low vitamin B12 and high serum folate levels. Make sure to take fish oil that is certified contaminant-free. Not unexpectedly. You need both. 369:208-216. online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. On memory tests. Arch Neurol. poor memory. This finding led researchers to conclude that. although it’s important to get enough folic acid. 2006: 63:1545-50. Alzheimer’s disease rates are reportedly among the world’s lowest. those taking 800 mcg of folic acid daily scored as well as people 5. judgment and problem-solving. (July 16. and research shows that it’s the DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in fish that’s offering the protection. Curcumin: Better Than Alzheimer’s Drugs! In India. Older people with the highest blood levels of DHA were about half as apt to develop dementia and 39% as apt to develop Alzheimer's as those with lower blood levels of DHA over a nine-year period. Lancet 2007. check with your doctor before taking this amount. and it seems to interfere with expression of the genes involved in dementia. fatigue and confusion. which protects your brain two ways: it helps to reduce inflammation. In a group of older people. (Wilkins. DHA decreases the formation of amyloid plaque. it has unique anti-inflammatory effects.) Therapeutic Dosage for Vitamin B12: We recommend 500 mcg of vitamin B12 daily. in seniors. 2007. Surprisingly though. New research suggests that curcumin. researchers say. CH et al: Am J Geriatr Psychiatry 2006. Symptoms may include: numbness and tingling in hands and feet.5 years younger. can stop the build-up of destructive betaamyloid protein in the brain – the plaques that gunk up the works. they found that people’s thinking abilities were best when they had adequate blood levels of both vitamins. 85:193-200. 14:1032-1040) Therapeutic Dosage for Vitamin D: Leading experts now recommend 1. Those with the highest blood levels consumed about 180 mg of DHA a day—the amount found in three servings of fish a week. ( Schaefer.000 IU of vitamin D a day.Founded by Jean Carper Call Our Nutrition Experts at 800-627-9721 Special Report Protecting Your Brain With Supplements The Protective Effects of Fish Oil Eating fish regularly decreases your chances of developing Alzheimer’s. Some 25% to 54% of all adults over age 60 are low in vitamin D. Plus. Don’t Forget B12 With so much new research on nutrition and the brain.) Therapeutic Dosage for Folic Acid: We recommend 800 mcg. B12 is needed to keep nerves working properly throughout the body. They looked at B12 and folic acid status in people age 60 or older.

improve memory. (A Japanese cup of green tea is small-about 3. making it a potential treatment for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Studies show that ALC can protect brain cells from neurotoxicity and oxygen deprivation. Feb.) Therapeutic Dosage for Green Tea: We recommend 450 mg of green tea extract standardized to at least 50% EGCG daily. from aging-related damage. rather than alpha tocopherol alone. experts say this study may have been too short. specifically.) Therapeutic Dosage for Vitamin E: For Alzheimer’s disease. vitamin E in food consists of a mixture of tocopherols of 4 types--alpha.83: 355-61) and brand new Israeli research finds that EGCG even reverses brain cell degeneration by spurring new growth. Research has found that eating just five extra milligrams a day of vitamin E in foods such as walnuts and unrefined oils cut Alzheimer's risk 26%. However. including muscle and brain function. 2006. cognitive impairment.. M. or used too small an amount. However. unless you have medical supervision.000 IUs a day of vitamin E have been used. Research suggests that 120 to 240 mg daily of ginkgo may be as helpful as drugs such as donepezil (Aricept) to people with early stage Alzheimer's. the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is conducting a large study of ginkgo to see if it prevents the onset of dementia and. Alzheimer’s disease. (Cochrane Database System Review 2003(2): CD003158 ) Therapeutic Dosage for AcetylL-Carnitine: Effective dosages for Alzheimer’s range from 1. Right Special Report Green Tea’s EGCG Slows Brain Aging Green tea can slow brain aging. D. We recommend medical supervision for more than 1. helping to prevent declining memory. alpha-tocopherol. A review of the evidence by British investigators showed that taking ALC improved memory and overall mental functioning in people with mild cognitive impairment and early Alzheimer's. or about one cup a day. 250 . 18. Most supplements have only one form of E. and completed in 2002.2 fluid ounces. doses of up to 2. (Presented at the Fourth International Scientific Symposium of Tea and Human Health. drinking more than 2 cups a day of green tea slashed odds of cognitive impairment by 54%--more than half! Those who drank less – 4 to 6 cups a week. including the brain. dementia and Alzheimer's. It can improve blood circulation and protect nerve tissue.000 mg a day. as in food. Alzheimer's in recent studies. Alzheimer's disease.000 mg a day. by protecting brain cells from oxidative damage and inflammation. still had 38% lower risk of cognitive impairment compared to those drinking less than 3 cups a week. Sept. but vitamin E in supplements not do as well? It's because most supplements use the wrong type of vitamin E. tocotrienols. delta and gamma--as well as tocotrienols. How Ginkgo Helps Brain Cells The herb Ginkgo biloba is one of the most widely-used herbs in the world. That’s the amount found in three cups of green tea. which has many roles in the body. possibly. and is used to make the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.000 – 4. beta. Though a long-awaited trial. In fact. a powerful antioxidant that researchers say helps detoxify beta-amyloid. Shinichi. It plays an important role in energy production in the body. found that 120 mg of ginkgo taken for 6 weeks by more than 200 healthy adults over 60 did not The Right Kind of Vitamin E Slashes Risk 26% Why did high-vitamin E foods fend off 3 . we recommend no more than 400 . Amer J Clin Nutrition.000 mg daily has been used. sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. preserve a cell’s energy-producing mitochondria. For simple age-related memory impairment. 2009.2. another form of vitamin E. Am J Clin Nutr 2006.) Green tea's main protection comes from EGCG. EGCG also removes toxic iron from brain cells (Kuriyama. to see results.C.800 IU a day of mixed tocopherols and. and. usually divided into two or three doses during the day. in Washington. as found in most supplements. (Morris. in elderly Japanese men and women. A mix of tocopherols. Too Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) helps to prevent age-related cognitive decline. The study will be completed in July.Founded by Jean Carper Visit Us Online at StopAgingNow. has the most potent anti-Alzheimer's activity.) Acetyl-L-Carnitine Appears to Help. ideally. Therapeutic Dosage for Ginkgo: We recommend 120 – 240 mg a day to people age 50 or older. (It’s wise to review your health history and any other medications you are taking with your doctor or pharmacist first. and dramatically rejuvenate mental and physical functioning.

4 . Brisk walking. 282: 36275 36282. Drinking sugar water more than doubled the amount of amyloid plaque in animals.M7035 61200) Challenge Your Brain To Stay Sharp Maintaining an active mind may slow the build-up of plaques and tangles in the brain.doi:10. Dec 2007. Chem. crossword or jigsaw puzzles. you can reduce your chances of developing it with the same healthy lifestyle changes that prevent heart disease and cancer. research has found. judgment and coordination. Look for products that list the amount of flavanols they contain or that have a “Cocoapro” logo. such as curry. check out a company called Happy Neuron (www. (J. However. or biking—anything that quickens your heart rate and breathing—will work.happy-neuron. swimming. such as: I Eat three or more servings of vegetables a day. Researchers say the equivalent in humans is roughly five cans of soda a day. Japanese and Mediterranean cuisines all use foods and spices that can help you stay sharp. Biol. Indian. garlic. It improves blood flow to the brain and can help maintain healthy brain function. socializing with people you find stimulating. This website gives temporary free access to video games that strengthen language. Anything that’s challenging but fun will do.Founded by Jean Carper Call Our Nutrition Experts at 800-627-9721 Special Report Fighting Forgetfulness With Food Even if you have a strong family history of Alzheimer’s disease. I Satisfy sweet cravings with dark. I Go ethnic. Think Aerobic Exercise As little as three hours of walking a week over a period of six months can increase neurons and neuronal connections in the brains of older adults. only aerobic exercise produces significant increases in brain volume in areas of the brain related to age-related cognitive decline.. The fats in fish protect your brain. (Morris. research suggests. I Go easy on sugar. green tea. Chinese. minimally-processed chocolate. and ginger. hill Try cooking or language classes. In a study. For online brain stimulation. memory. including one dark leafy green vegetable. mackerel or sardines three times a week or more. 67:1370-6. scrap booking or genealogical research. MC et al: Neurology 2006. older people who did so had brains that functioned like they were five years younger.1074/jbc.) I Eat fatty fish such as salmon.

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