Currently, an estimated 24 million people world-wide are living with Alzheimer’s disease or some other type of the mind and personality-robbing affliction known as dementia. And the numbers keep climbing. But why? Mainstream medicine puts the blame on the fact people are living longer and genetics offers little hope to stop dementia unless Big Pharma comes up with some miracle pill – an approach that so far has failed miserably.
However, now there’s evidence much dementia could be triggered by another disease that is often preventable and even reversible with natural health strategies.
A new study just published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, reveals diabetes significantly increases the risk of developing dementia. And type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease which has reached epidemic proportions, is due primarily to obesity and inactivity. That suggests that by taking control of your health with good nutrition and exercise, you may be able to not only prevent diabetes but also dementia.
“Our findings emphasize the need to consider diabetes as a potential risk factor for dementia,” said study author Yutaka Kiyohara, MD, PhD, of Kyushu University in Fukuoka, Japan, in a media statement. “Diabetes is a common disorder, and the number of people with it has been growing in recent years all over the world. Controlling diabetes is now more important than ever.”
The research found people with diabetes were more likely to develop both Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, such as vascular dementia. Vascular dementia results when blood vessels become damaged and interrupt oxygen-rich blood flow to the brain.
In all, the scientists studied 1,017 people age 60 and older who were given a glucose (sugar) tolerance test after fasting overnight in order to test for diabetes. Then, over the course of about 11 years, the research subjects were followed and tested for dementia. During this time, 232 people developed the memory destroying disease. People with diabetes had double the risk for dementia when compared to those with normal blood sugar levels.
These findings remained consistent even after the researchers accounted for other factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol and smoking. The risk of dementia was also higher in people who did not have diabetes, but had impaired glucose tolerance. This “pre-diabetes” condition is also part of a cluster of symptoms (including being overweight, having high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood glucose levels) known as metabolic syndrome which has become widespread and is already known to raise the risk for heart disease as well as diabetes – and now dementia can be added to this list.
The new study findings are actually positive because, as previously covered, there are numerous ways to reduce and sometimes even reverse type 2 diabetes — by keeping weight under control, exercise and adding specific foods to a healthy diet.
For example, last summer Harvard School of Public Health investigators discovered eating two or more servings of brown rice per week slashed the risk of type 2 diabetes (Brown rice and other whole grains can prevent type 2 diabetes).
In addition, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that adding a daily serving of mixed nuts to the traditional Mediterranean diet (which consists of whole grain cereals, vegetables, fruits and olive oil, a moderate intake of fish and alcohol and a low intake of dairy, meats and sweets) is a delicious, natural and effective way to treat metabolic syndrome (Celery is a crunchy superfood that reverses metabolic syndrome).
S. L. Baker
For more information:
- B vitamins and omega fat ratio are critical to prevent Alzheimer’s disease
- Optimal cholesterol ratios not only good for the heart, but also lower Alzheimer’s disease risk
- Obesity accelerates cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease progression
- Pomegranates reduce brain inflammation, helping protect against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and neurological disease