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Published on: February 18, 2012
by Tony Isaacs for The Best Years In Life:
It is estimated that over 5 million people in the US have Alzheimer’s disease and many experts believe that number may triple by 2050. Though there is presently no known cure, many recent year studies and anecdotal evidence indicates that proper diet, lifestyle and supplementation can prevent, slow and even reverse the Alzheimer’s.
In a rodent study conducted in 2008 at the University of California, Irvine, mice with the rodent equivalent of Alzheimer’s were given high doses of Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and it was 100% effective at restoring cognitive function. A current human study is underway.
Supplements of oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) improved memory in animals with age-related cognitive decline in a recent study from Japan and Korea. Proanthocyanidins are found in many plants including apples, pine bark, cinnamon, cocoa, grape seed, grape skin, red wines, bilberry, cranberry, black currant, green tea, black tea, and other plants. The berries of black chokeberry have the highest OPC concentrations found to date.
Other research has shown that a compound in curry not only prevents changes in the brain that lead to Alzheimer’s disease, it actually reverses some of the existing damage. People over 65 in certain rural areas of India, where curry consumption is high, have a less than 1 percent (0.84%) chance of developing the disease. In the larger cities and other areas of India, the risk is just 2.4 percent. By comparison the chances of getting Alzheimer’s for people over 65 in the United States ranges from just under 5 percent to an astonishing 17 percent.
Holy Basil (a close relative of the herb basil) has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to rejuvenate mental and physical health. Now, researchers in India have found that holy basil extract protects against free radical damage by actively seeking out and eliminating harmful molecules.
Many studies support the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids. According to epidemiological data in the Framingham Heart Study, people who eat an average of 180 mg or more a day of DHA, found in fish oils, have a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego provided ground-breaking proof that a natural protein called BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) can prevent and even reverse Alzheimer’s.
In other studies:
*Compounds in black currants have been found to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s and are currently being studied in multiple Scottish studies.
*A compound in extra virgin olive oil could deter proteins from disrupting nerve cell function that causes the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
*Exposure to sunlight in the morning followed by melatonin supplementation at night helps restore healthy sleeping patterns.
*Blueberries are especially helpful for optimum cognitive function.
Other natural items which may help:
*The antioxidants Vitamin E and lipoic acid could help reduce the severity of Alzheimer’s.
*Antioxidants such as Acetyl-L-carnitine protect against amyloid-beta neurotoxicity.
*Vegetable and fruit juices have plentiful antioxidants.
*B vitamins, such as B6, folic acid, and B12 which lower homocysteine levels. It is believed that high brain levels of homocysteine cause neuronal damage leading to progression of Alzheimer’s.
*Curcumin, the yellow compound found in turmeric, is getting increasing attention and may be a good preventive.
*Natural supplementation with huperzine may help by blocking the breakdown of acetylcholine into cholinesterase. Acetylcholine precursors such as choline may also help, as may blue green algae which inhibit cholinesterase.
*Herbal teas can provide important nutrients and enhance mood.
*Silica appears to protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition to the above items, taking steps to keep a sharp and active mind can be essential.
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