Lifestyle Factors to Keep in Mind for Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention

Losing Brain FunctionBy Jennifer Morganti, ND, Needs Director of Education

 

As Alzheimer’s disease (AD) rates continue to rise, many of us are wondering what our own risk is of  becoming a statistic. Current data says your chances are one in nine if you are over 65 years old, and if you’re over 85, it’s one in three. With such high risks, wouldn’t it be great to better understand what we can do to prevent it? There isn’t a good treatment to reverse AD and we still are not clear what causes it. Genetics and lifestyle factors seem to play in to the scenario, but the picture is fuzzy at best.

A recent study was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, which may help provide clues as to which lifestyle risk factors can be modified to help decrease the chances of developing this devastating disease.  This study was a meta-analysis of other studies that contained data about AD risks. The diligent researchers initially browsed through almost 17,000 relevant studies, then narrowed it down to 323 which were appropriate to include in the review. There were over 5,000 patients included in the 323 studies.

The review of these 5,000 patients brought to light some interesting findings. They found a strong protective effect from five dietary factors: coffee intake, light to moderate drinking (alcohol), vitamin E, vitamin C, and folic acid. They found a significantly increased risk of developing AD when homocysteine levels were high or if a person was depressed. Risk also increased in the presence of other health conditions such as obesity (in middle age), atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and having type-2 diabetes. Interestingly, the study found a seemingly contradictory risk factor; a “low” BMI (being underweight) also is a hazard. Smoking or having a lower education level increases a person’s risk. Frailty (lacking strength and not exercising) puts a person at risk as well.

Some of the results were surprising and all in all, some were familiar. Although nothing is conclusive from this one review, the information is useful.  I think it does help point us in the right direction to make smart lifestyle choices for AD prevention, and those choices are also generally wise recommendations for overall health and wellness. 

Reference:
Xu W, Tan L, Wang H, et al: Meta-analysis of modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 2015;August 21, 2015.

Alexis’ Health & Beauty Journey #12: On Sharing Your Experiences

Capers-Alexis_AFTERBy Alexis Capers – Alexis Capers is our Enhanced Beauty Salon and Enhanced Beauty Area manager. Join her every other Wednesday for a blog about her journey into natural health & beauty products.

This week I was touched by a very sensitive subject. I always pride myself on being present in my friends and families lives. I feel as though I have my finger on the pulse of what is truly going on. But I found out how blind we can be to matters that others want to hide from us, and do it well.

I discovered as I went through a journey of re-learning how to go about my diet and eating habits (it’s like learning to walk again) that someone close to me is suffering from Anorexia. I was stunned, but thinking back could see how this was true. Then she shared with me that a close friend of mine confided in her that she too has the disease. It is a helpless feeling to know this about these individuals and I feel like I should have been doing something for them.

I battle with my own weight and body issues. If you are overweight and labeled obese, it is considered a disease; it is the number-two preventable killer after cigarette smoking. But we can put down a smoke. Food is necessary in life and poor eating much harder to overcome. I am fortunate that this job opportunity at Natur-Tyme came when it did. I believe in some ways, it has saved my life.

I am more conscious of my body and what I need to maintain my health now and beyond. I was not given the proper guidance when I had Gastric Bypass Surgery (Roux-en y to be exact) back in 2001. Two babies and chemotherapy later, I have fallen deep into bad eating habits and choices.

My message to you today is to not be afraid to share what you are dealing with.

Find someone you trust and let them help you help yourself. Every day is a battle to be won. Every evening is another chance to say “I failed,” but if you do slip, pick yourself back up and fight again tomorrow! We have a knowledgeable support network at our store willing to get you on track.

Take care of you. We only get one of you to go around!

Items I’m falling for this week:

Seaweed bath cellulite soap is made with caffeine so it helps reduce the appearance of cellulite! Café smoothies! They are delicious and nutritious. Almond Dream Bites Vanilla or Chocolate (why choose!). The best non-dairy ice-cream alternative I have ever tried! A hearty 15 pieces are only 230 Calories, yum! If you prefer a crunchy snack, Sage Valley White Cheddar puffs are the best! They taste wonderful and are not too bad on the calorie count either! Plus, we have a wide variety of bulk items to keep you healthy.

AlexisBlog_081514

Are Microwave Ovens Safe?

By: Carol B. Blair, BS, CNC. DiHom140263464

Most people think that microwave ovens are safe because they have become more emission-proof. However, that is not the only hazard of a microwave oven.

When we say, “let’s nuke it,” we have no idea what we are doing to that food. Research conducted at Stanford in 1992 showed that 90% of the disease-protecting nutrients in mother’s breast milk were destroyed when that food was warmed in a microwave.

Further, Russian and Swiss scientists have studied microwaved food for over two decades and discovered that the food cooked in a microwave created cancer-causing agents! They found increased pathogenic bacteria and that these pathogens turned on and off chemical pathways. It also created cellular damage; keep in mind that all disease begins at the cellular level.

The individuals who consumed the microwaved food also had lower white blood cells leaving one more susceptible to disease and decreased hemoglobin (carries the oxygen to the cells).

I gave up my microwave oven years ago and just use a small toaster oven to warm up leftovers. It takes a little more planning such as turning on the oven first and heating up the food while I am changing my clothes, getting out my vitamins, setting the table, etc. Of course, it is difficult if you forget to defrost the food first, but my health is worth it.

Please consider giving up your microwave as another step toward good health.

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