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Avoiding Dementia Might Be a No Brainer!

November 5, 2013

Eating right is not rocket science.  We all know that a salad is better for us than a bowl of ice cream.   In our home care business we serve many clients in the Chapel Hill area that suffer from various forms of dementia: Alzheimer’s, Lewy Body disease, and the like.  The cruelty of the disease makes us ask what can we do to avoid it ourselves.

We can start by eating right!  We can prefer complex carbohydrates and good fats to highly refined grains, sugars and poor fats.

New research shows that a poor diet can drastically increase one’s risk of dementia later in life.   Most dementias are metabolic in nature.  Exceptions are vascular dementia and dementia pugilistica that are caused by restricted blood flow due to stroke or trauma.

Scientists have found that individuals with type-2 diabetes (caused by a lack of insulin production and excessive blood glucose) are as much as 300% more susceptible to Alzheimer’s than those who do not suffer from diabetes.  As a result, some call Alzheimer’s  “Type 3 diabetes” due to its association with insulin levels.

When we indulge in anything that is high in sugars and refined carbohydrates, we trigger a glycemic response.  This means that insulin production spikes so the body can convert the sugars to fat.  But the excess insulin production that occurs may  overwhelm our brain and cause it to stop insulin signaling.  Many people with type-2 diabetes have significant brain changes that are often related to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.   The improper insulin reaction that results from eating sugary foods is believed to lead to the brain damage we see in dementia.

What’s notable is that this conclusion will force scientists to increase their projections of the growth of Alzheimer’s.  Current projections have been based on demographic studies, and have not taken into account that the current “fast food generation” has had a diet that increases one’s risk for the disease.

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