Prevent or Delay Alzheimer's Disease
Argh! Where are my glasses? I put them down ... to do what? And when?
As the daughter of an Alzheimer's patient, this inability to keep up with everyday
items, like my glasses and car keys, drives me absolutely nuts! Absent-mindedness has
always plagued me. Now, it keeps me anxious and guessing. Is this an early sign of
Alzheimer's disease? Could I end up like my father, crippled with this disease? I
decided to stop worrying about it and act!
I searched the latest literature to see what techniques (no prescriptions, thank you!)
could prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease. Here are some of the things I
found. Diet Counts!
Diets rich in vitamin E and essential oils may help prevent Alzheimer's disease. A study
recently reported in the Archives of Neurology (2002) found that participants, aged
65-102, who ate fish at least once each week showed 36% less decline in cognitive
functioning over the study's three+ years. Similar results have been found in the
Rotterdam Study, a study tracking over 9000 participants.
Those researchers found that participants who ate fish most often were only one-third as
likely to develop Alzheimer's Disease as those who ate fish least often. These studies
provide compelling reasons to add at least one meal of fish to your diet every week.
What other foods should you include? Olive oil is an especially valuable source of
vitamin E and other anti-oxidants. I prefer the extra virgin variety of olive oil for
its milder taste. With a squeeze of fresh lime juice, olive oil makes a very pleasant
salad dressing. And I've discovered that the more I use it, the more I like it.
B vitamins, particularly folic acid and vitamin B-12, help prevent Alzheimer's as well
as a host of other diseases such as heart disease and stroke. A study from the National
Institute on Aging found that mice fed a diet rich in folic acid were able to repair
damage to the DNA of nerve cells in the hippocampus (an area needed for memory and
learning). Foods rich in B vitamins whole grains, yeast, meat, low-fat dairy products,
lentils and leafy greens.
Can't I just take a pill?
B vitamins may not be readily absorbable from pills. Certainly, the supplement pills are
better than nothing, but for good absorption by the body, vitamin B shots may be
preferable. Vitamin E and fish oil capsules are readily absorbed, so they should help.
Check with your doctor or a nutritionist for correct dosages.