Nutrition and Alzheimer’s Disease
by Ana Park, RD LDN, M.A.
Alzheimer’s disease is not only a common type of dementia, but also it is the worst case. It results from the brain cell’s inability to link to different functions of the body. Alzheimer’s disease not only decreases speech ability and cognitive functions of the brain, but also it affects the behavioral and skills of an individual. Although, every person’s medical condition is unique, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease for some may be diagnosed as early as 55 years old.
Many clinical studies show that the length of survival of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s is about eight years when diagnosed at age 65. Some factors that can trigger Alzheimer’s progression include: depression, excessive use of alcohol, sleep deprivation, thyroid and hormonal problems, and vitamin deficiencies. Recent medical discoveries have shown that nutrition and Alzheimer’s prevention go hand in hand. Certain super foods can increase brain function and prevent this terrible disease from gaining momentum.
Fresh vegetables and fruits are rich sources of vitamins and anthocyanins which play a monumental role in memory preservation. Berries which are darker in pigment are known to strengthen the mind more effectively. Omega-3 fatty acids like docosahexaenoic or DHA specifically aid in the improvement of memory in healthy young adults. Fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines, and herring are some of the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. An intake of at least twice a week of an 8 oz. of seafood for adults is highly recommended. Various nuts like walnuts, cashews, peanuts, almonds, and pecans can improve cognitive health. These can be healthy snacks, or added in oatmeal or yogurt to increase flavor.
Another valuable nutritional source is protein. Excellent protein sources are eggs, fish, pork, chicken, beans and legumes which are known to keep the brain function intact. These proteins aid in the prevention of inflammatory response that decreases the release of Beta Amyloid, a protein that builds plague causing the death of brain nerve cells. Lastly, drinking tea of gingko biloba leaf and taking Acetyl L-Carnitine, Vitamin E are natural supplements to fight Alzheimer’s.
As a health professional, it is construed that every individual is different; therefore, this article is not conclusive to the counsel of the disease. The goal is to provide scientific insight and data which supports that nutritional modifications to your diet can assist in preventing Alzheimer’s. The research studies provided in this article are not intended to replace medical advice or diagnosis from a physician or other medical provider.
References: “Scientists reveal how beta-amyloid may cause Alzheimer’s” Bruce Goldman, September 19, 2013. http://neurobiology. stanford.edu. “4 Types of Foods to Help Boost Your Memory”, Marissa Moore, MBA,LDN,RD, November 15, 2017, http:/eatright.org “What is Alzheimer’s Disease”, National institute for aging, www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers “End-of Life Issues in the Context of Alzheimer’s Disease”, Rebecca S. Allen, PhD et al, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2789353/ Natural Medicine Data Base, www.eatright.org/DIFM “Modern Essentials” 5th edition, Aroma Tools, 1351 W. 800 N, Orem UT, 2014.