Alzheimer's Reading Room: Five Ways to Keep Alzheimer's Away


A recent article on CNN.com, Five Ways to Keep Alzheimer's Away, mentions five ways to keep your memory sharp: antioxidants, fish oil supplements, phosphatidylserine supplements, curry, and Cross-training your brain. This was part of a discussion about Alzheimer's and yesterday's news about how herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba doesn't stop Alzheimer's. I believe that supplemnts are a good part of any regimen to improve health. Scientific evidence supports the value of taking supplemens and indicates that supplements can help stave off a long list of diseases including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's.

However, I am starting to get the feeling that people believe there is magic in those pills; and that, they can start taking these supplements in lieu of healthy life practices and get a positive result by pills alone.

It is my belief that supplements are worthwhile and a great way to stay healthy. However, it is also necessary to take good care of you body and address medical issues if you want to stay healthy and disease free in older age.

For example, I recently wrote about how high cholesterol in your 40s increases the odds of contracting Alzheimer's--by 50 percent.

I believe most people know if you suffer from hypertension (high blood pressure) the odds of suffering from any number of diseases rises dramatically as you age. Less well known is the fact that if you have a big belly in middle age the chances that you could suffer from dementia are tripled.

Previously I wrote an article about Alzheimer's and the likely devastating effect it could have on baby boomers. I suggested a list of things that are proactive and have measured scientific benefits. In addition to the issues with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a big belly I suggested a few additional ideas that I believe can help.

A recently released study showed that regular exercise is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia and can help slow progression of Alzheimer's disease. Another recent study at Harvard found that those who regularly drank a cocoa flavanol rich beverage had an eight percent increase in brain blood flow after one week, and 10 percent increase after two weeks. Studies also show that people with higher levels of vitamin B12 were six times less likely to experience brain volume loss.

These are the kinds of things I believe raise the odds of fighting off Alzheimer's and dementia in older age. Please keep this in mind, the longer you live the greater the chance you will suffer from dementia. Once Alzheimer's or dementia present it is to late. So the time to get started is now.

My mother suffers from Alzheimer's and is 92 years old. Prior to the age of 85 she never suffered a major illness, never had an operation, and was still functioning on her own.

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