More than eight years ago I became familiar with a neurologist by the name of Dr. David Perlmutter when I asked a friend how her husband was doing with Parkinsons (In the picture on the right) she told me he was doing very well.
He had Parkinson’s for many years and was still riding a bike, painting the house on a ladder at that, and doing other exercises that other Parkinson’s patients could not do. So I asked my friend what was this recipe for success. That is when she told me they went to Dr. Perlmutter’s clinic in Florida and the supplements program that he had begun.
Dr. Perlmutter, a renegade neurologist, as he calls himself, began to question the standard treatment of most many neurological diseases. He begin to ask why he saw a rise of neurological diseases such a Alzheimer, Parkinsons, Dementia in general in the population.
He began to look at low fat diets and how they have been sold to the general public for many years as healthy. However, he found that neurological disease had increased over the years.. As people began to drop the good fats in their diet and increased their carbohydrate consumption neurological diseases and heart disease increased in the population as blood sugar began to rise.
We have also watched the dreaded disease of Alzheimers rise over the years…you can see the chart below.
It’s hardly a state secret that we Americans are getting old. Both in raw numbers and as a percentage of the overall population, the 65+ cohort is growing rapidly as the baby boomers slide into retirement.
On the plus side, these data confirm that more Americans are living to a ripe old age than ever before—many of them in good health well into their seventies and eighties.
But all too often, with age comes susceptibility to ever more serious ailments and a diminishing quality of life—especially if you contract a disease that obliterates your innate sense of self and destroys everything that makes life worth living.
That’s what Alzheimer’s disease does. This most common type of dementia was first described by the German physician Dr. Alois Alzheimer more than a century ago… but to this day science isn’t sure what exactly it is and what causes it.
It is also increasing in incidence, as would be expected with an aging population:
(Source: Alzheimer’s Association, 2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, Alzheimer’s & Dementia, Volume 8, Issue 2.)
Right now, about 5.2 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s—already a large number—but in just 26 years that number will have more than doubled, to 11 million.
What About a Cure?
Despite decades of research, until recently scientists knew precious little about the specifics and causes of Alzheimer’s. Their best guess was that it involved a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. But there was no reliable biomarker that would help indicate who would be affected, let alone a sure pathway to a treatment.
The best the pharmaceutical industry managed to come up with were treatments that slowed down, rather than stopped, the progression of the disease—and even then only for a short period of time. In fact, to this day there are just five FDA-approved drugs to treat Alzheimer’s at all, and none is particularly effective.
According to a stark appraisal from Consumer Reports Health, “When compared to a placebo, most people who take one will not experience a meaningful benefit.”
The Alzheimer’s Association reports that on average, the five approved AD drugs show some efficacy for only about six to twelve months, but only in approximately half of the individuals who take them.
Dr. David Perlmutter, neurologist agrees that there are no know cures for this horrible disease but he does think that there is a lot of things that a person can do to diminish the odds of getting dementia (Alzheimer being one form) .
So our first question should be. . .
What Shrinks Your Brain?
Research now clearly shows a direct correlation of average blood sugar levels and the rate at which the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center, undergoes shrinkage. While we would like to shrink other areas of out body as we get older… when you shrink your hippocampus, your memory fails.
Even slight elevations of blood sugar, well below the range where diabetes becomes a concern, similarly and significantly predict the future risk for developing dementia as was described in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.
Do this to Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
You can make changes, today, to dramatically reduce your risk for diabetes and the consequences of reduce your risk for dementia, a disease with no meaningful remedy now or in the foreseeable future.
Dr. Permultter’s Tips for a Healthy Brain
• Reduce your carbohydrate consumption immediately. Shoot for a total of no more than 80 grams of carbs in your daily diet. This means favoring vegetables that grow above ground like kale, broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower as opposed to those that store carbohydrate in the form of starch like potatoes and beets. It means limiting fruit consumption and being especially vigilant with things like fruit juice. A single 12 ounce glass of orange juice contains a full 36 grams of sugar. That’s about 9 teaspoons — the same as a can of soda.
• Eat more Healthy Fat. Increase your consumption of healthful fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocado, grass-fed beef, wild fish, coconut oil, nuts and seeds. At the same time, keep in mind that modified fats like hydrogenated or trans fats are the worst choices for brain health. Cooking oils like corn oil and soy oil that have been processed to stay on the grocery store shelf for months or even years have no place in a brain healthy program.
• Get at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. Aerobic exercise actually activates the DNA that turns on the growth of the hippocampus, giving you a second chance at not only preserving, but actually enhancing memory function.
Add These 7 Healthy Brain Supplements
A brain-healthy, Alzheimer’s-fighting diet has properties that extend far beyond just decreasing your daily carb load. To truly provide your body with brain-boosting nutrients and vitamins that help stave off brain disease and other illnesses, you should consider a regular regimen of supplements. These seven supplements will go a long way towards helping you with prevention:
1.DHA: An omega-3 fatty acid (such as OmegaGuard) that represents more than 50% of the omega-3 fatty acids in the brain. Numerous studies link high levels of DHA with a decreased risk for dementia, Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases (view some of these studies here on my site). Look to take in about 1,000mg/day.
2.Resveratrol: this natural compound which slows down the aging process, boosts blood flow to the brain, and promotes heart health. In addition to the role it plays in stimulating brain function, resveratrol is also a key ally of our body’s immune system. Target 100mg twice daily.
Clinically proven to be 10X more Powerful than resveratrol alone is Vivix by Shaklee ) A strong anti inflammatory and multiplies mitochondria the source of you cells energy)
3.Turmeric: Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. We can thank turmeric for protecting our mitochondria (thanks to its role in stimulating antioxidant properties), and it also improves glucose metabolism — both of which are essential for reducing one’s risk for brain disease. Try to get 350 mg twice daily.
4.Probiotics: ( Optiflora Pre and Probiotic) Research conducted in just the last few years has started to conclude that eating food rich in probiotics can influence brain behavior, and may modulate the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression. Today’s researchers are further exploring the role gut bacteria may play in maladies ranging from chronic pain to autism. Ideally, get your probiotics through a supplement that contains at least 10 billion active cultures from at least ten different strains, including lactobaccilus acidophilus and bifidobacterium.
5.Coconut Oil: If you follow this blog, you know I am a big fan of coconut oil and probably know why it’s an important part of our diet. It’s even a part of my anti-Alzheimer’s trio! Go for at least 1-2 teaspoons of an organic variety daily.
6.Alpha-lipoic Acid: Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that works to protect brain and nerve tissue. Look to get 600 mg/day. (If you tend to have high blood sugar then you will find alpha lipoic Acid in Shaklee’s Glucose Reduction Complex
7.Vitamin D: It’s ideal to start with 5,000 units of Vitamin D3 daily, get tested after three months, and adjust accordingly.
Forget your low fat diet. Yes you can eliminate the bad fats such as hydrogenated oils. that are unhealthy the good Essential Fatty Acids as mentioned above and get your exercise!
Yours In Health,