Guest post by Meredith Rogers, R.N.
Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dementia are on the rise. Those who have had a family member who succumbed to Alzheimer’s may have a greater risk of developing the disease later in life. But Alzheimer’s does not have barriers. As a result, even those who have no family history can fall prey to this devastating disease. More than heredity can create the ideal conditions that lead to a diagnosis. While some consider them be the inevitable result of old age, there are ways to help prevent the onset.
Six methods that may help to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s follow. Know your risks and keep your mental faculties sharp well into old age.
1. Reduce Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
People today are under more stress than in the past. Many are trying to maintain an impossible standard of living. High stress lifestyles can result in high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. In addition, poor eating habits can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. Simply by reducing cholesterol through weight loss and a good diet, the chances of Alzheimer’s can be minimized.
2. Raise HDL Cholesterol to Reduce Alzheimer’s Risks
High density lipoprotein (HDL) is good cholesterol. Studies indicate HDL levels over 60mg/dl reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Raise HDL and reduce LDL (the bad cholesterol) through exercise and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. More soluble fiber in the diet increases HDL levels, too.
3. Supplement with Vitamin C
For most people, their intake of vitamin C is woefully inadequate. Vitamin C is a vital component for both body and brain health. For example, the brain has 15 times more vitamin C than found in the other organs of the body. It is a requirement for good memory and mental functioning. A supplement of one gram daily helps protect the brain from the onset of Alzheimer’s.
4. Reduce Homocysteine Levels
Homocysteine and C-reactive protein (CRP) are better markers of a future heart attack than cholesterol alone. Living with high homocysteine levels can create four to five times the risk for developing Alzheimer’s. As a result, eight hundred mcg of folic acid, 150 mcg of vitamin B-12 and 75 milligrams of vitamin B-6 taken every day can help lower homocysteine levels.
5. Essential Herbs to Reduce Alzheimer’s Risks
A number of herbs that can help improve blood flow to the brain are provided by nature. These herbs can speed up the delivery of oxygen and helps with the absorption of glucose into the brain’s cells. The brain creates its own glucose so those who have low levels often suffer from Alzheimer’s. In some medical circles, Alzheimer’s is looked on as a type 3 form of diabetes. Two herbs that help to increase circulation are ginkgo biloba and vinpocetine. Both have been shown to improve memory functioning in those at the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Therefore, a good daily dose—100 mg of ginkgo biloba and 10mg of vinpocetine—can help to minimize risk.
6. Appropriate Exercise
A healthy lifestyle includes exercise. Besides better circulation of oxygen to the brain, exercise releases toxins stored in fatty tissue and helps to flush them out of the body. Since today’s world is filled with toxins, some of which interfere with the natural chemical and electrical impulses that occur in the brain, regular exercise is essential for a healthy brain.
Employing these six methods early in life will mean better health for the brain and a sharper memory well into the senior years.