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Dangerous Offender, Obesity, is Tied to Alzheimer's

January 21, 2006 | 9,832 views

According to a recently released study, obesity can, in addition to the many other problems it causes, increase your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

BMI and Beta-Amyloid

There is a strong correlation between body mass index and high levels of beta-amyloid, the protein that accretes in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Beta-amyloid likely destroys nerve cells, causing the cognitive and behavioral problems typical of the disease.

Obesity, Diabetes, Hypertension

Many of the conditions that increase heart disease risk, including obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, also increase the risk for Alzheimer's. The precise mechanism by which they do so is still unknown.

Weight Loss Could Reduce Risk

One possible implication of these findings is that shedding excess pounds, and maintaining normal body weight, could reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer's.


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Alzheimer's is one of today's most devastating epidemics. This new study supports what we've known for a long time -- nearly all chronic degenerative diseases are related, as most all have the similar underlying causes.

In this case the parallel is between extra weight and Alzheimer's. That is the bad news. The good news is that when you successfully address one disease you typically improve all the other ones. 

Alzheimer's disease is a particularly pernicious problem because it involves losing one of your most precious resources, your brain. Additionally, it is increasing at an incredibly disturbing rate. Experts estimate Alzheimer's disease will affect nearly 8 million people in the United States alone by 2030.

Experts are calling this great increase in Alzheimer's cases a "looming public health disaster" that could potentially turn into an unmanageable health care crisis.

Aside from the great emotional and physical toll the disease can take, an Alzheimer's epidemic will have devastating consequences for the health care economy.

It is estimated the annual Medicare spending for beneficiaries with Alzheimer's will increase four-fold by 2025, to $294 billion, and will be over $1 trillion by 2050. Not to mention, Medicaid spending on people with Alzheimer's will reach $32 billion by 2020 and $118 billion by 2050.

The good news, Alzheimer's is nearly 100 percent preventable if you follow these guidelines:

1.      Eat a Nutritious Diet. One of the best things you can do to prevent dementia -- and a variety of other chronic disease -- is to follow the diet described in my Total Health Program. The premise is to increase the amount of fresh vegetables, which are high in folate, in your diet and restrict grains and sugars.

More likely than not, this will resolve cholesterol and blood pressure issues. It will also strengthen your body, allowing it to fight off a host of diseases, not to mention give you increased amounts of energy.

I also recommend consuming high-quality fish or cod liver oil so you can meet the optimal amount of omega-3 fats needed to achieve good health and fight Alzheimer's. It is important to find a fish or cod liver oil that is independently tested by a lab and found to conform to the highest purity guidelines. This will ensure that the oil is free of mercury and other toxins.

One such brand, which I have found to be of superior quality, is Carlson's fish and cod liver oil. You can find Carlson's and other good brands at your local health food store. If this is a problem for you, for your convenience we also carry these in our store.

2.      Exercise. We all know that exercise is good for our cardiovascular system, but studies have found that exercise can also protect the brain, thereby warding off Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

According to one study, the odds of developing Alzheimer's were nearly quadrupled in people who were less active during their leisure time, between the ages of 20 and 60, compared with their peers.

Similar to a healthy diet, regular physical activity is one of those things that can significantly improve many aspects of your physical and emotional health. For the elderly, simple activities such as walking and light weight training would likely provide benefits. For those who are younger, more strenuous exercise may heighten the benefits.

3.      Avoid and Remove Mercury From Your Body. Even trace amounts of mercury can cause the type of damage to nerves that is characteristic of the damage found in Alzheimer's disease.

Dental amalgam fillings are one of the major sources of mercury, however you should be healthy prior to having them removed. Once you have adjusted to following the diet described in my Total Health Program, you can follow the mercury detox protocol and then find a biological dentist to possibly have your amalgams removed.

Other sources of mercury include most seafood, thimerosal-containing vaccinations and flu shots.

4.      Challenge Your Mind. Mental stimulation, such as traveling, learning to play an instrument or doing crossword puzzles, is associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer's. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up the brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer's disease.

5.      Finally, Try Wild Blueberry IQ, an all-natural, whole fruit softgel made from wild blueberries, which have high anthocyanin and antioxidant content that are known to guard against Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases.

[+] Sources and References

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