As Alzheimer’s continues to wreak havoc with the senior population, researchers are scrambling to find the perfect recipe for treating the disease. Right now scientific evidence is not pointing toward a magic pill as a cure for Alzheimer’s, but a combination of methodologies to tackle the disease from different angles. But what are these multi-faceted Alzheimer’s prevention recommendations?
One of the primary suggestions in this multi-pronged attack is to get an adequate amount of exercise. Exercise is important for a variety of reasons; keeping a healthy weight, improving cardiovascular health, increasing bone density and muscle strength and of course reducing stress. In fact, an increase in physical activity can lead to a 30-40% reduction in the risk of getting dementia. The reason behind this is that exercise helps the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain that is responsible for memories. So it turns out that exercising your body in turn exercises your brain!
Further proof on the importance of exercise came about in another study focusing on exercise and Alzheimer’s done by researchers at the University of Chicago. The study involved two groups of mice, one group was sedentary and the other was exercised throughout the course of the study. The results of the study were that the mice who were active had 50-80% less Alzheimer’s plaque than the mice that were not active.
Many experts in the medical and scientific fields say that you can prevent or delay dementia by lowering risk factors such as obesity and smoking, and keeping diabetes under control while maintaining a high level of physical activity. If just 24 percent of those with the genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s reduced risks with diet and exercise, the result would be a reduction of half a million cases of the disease, according to a study from the University of California in San Francisco.
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Another facet to preventing Alzheimer’s is to make sure that you are eating a heart healthy diet, which it turns out, is also a brain healthy diet. Once again, the Mediterranean diet is being touted as the one to follow to insure that you are getting all the nutrients you need while reducing fat and cholesterol. One study done at the University of Columbia found that study participants that followed the Mediterranean diet and exercised regularly had a 40% lower risk of getting Alzheimer’s. So it turns out that while both exercise and diet are valuable, the combination of the two is even more powerful.
One additional factor in beating Alzheimer’s is supplementing your diet. B-12 has shown to be a very powerful nutrient in maintaining brain health and function. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that helps to reduce free radicals in the body, which can harm the body if left unchecked. Alpha lipoic acid and Omega-3 oils are also showing positive signs of helping those struggling with memory.
Maintaining your health and keeping Alzheimer’s at bay requires a combination of different efforts including diet, exercise, seeking out the proper supplements, and managing stress. This multi-faceted approach will allow you to optimize your health and in turn, keep your brain healthy and active for years to come.
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