A study published in the April 2018 issue of Pharmacological Research highlights the ways in which Alzheimer’s can be prevented. The study addresses the powerful potential of antioxidants and how the antioxidants in cinnamon express epigenetic changes to improve pathophysiological conditions in the brain. Cinnamon also plays an important role in staving off tau protein aggregation, which is one cause of Alzheimer’s. Moreover, cinnamon prevents the formation and accumulation of amyloid-? peptides. Over time, these inflammatory cells can create neurotoxic oligomeric inclusions that cause memory loss.
The key to Alzheimer’s prevention is a diet rich in antioxidants -- a diet that is primarily plant-based, but inclusive of fatty fish and other plant-based essential fatty acids.
Why do researchers list conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes as risk factors for Alzheimer’s? It’s because the pathology behind all these health problems is the same: inflammation.
Inefficient, malnourished, and improperly constructed cells and cell membranes fail to remove waste and fail to attract the right nutrients. These starved cellular environments cause inflammation and the breakdown of energy production. Due to the lack of plants in the standard American diet, antioxidants are not being utilized. Cell membranes are not being constructed with healthy fats and therefore cannot attract nutrients into the cell. The lack of trace minerals in the soil and their absence in the diet is a problem as well because these are essential catalysts for vitamin assimilation in the body. As the cells starve and go unprotected, inflammatory molecules are produced. These inflammatory molecules accumulate and cause the pathology of disease, including but not limited to: Alzheimer’s.
Folate is not only essential for fetal development, but it is also essential for long term prevention of disease in the human body. The connection between folate and Alzheimer’s prevention is well documented. Just one half cup of sautéed spinach contains 131 mcg of folate. An avocado contains 118 mcg of folate. A half cup of brussel sprouts contains 78 mcg of this important B vitamin, and a cup of shredded romaine lettuce provides 64 mcg of folate. Folate is one of several reasons why a plant-based diet is key to the prevention of memory loss.
Fatty fish are an exceptional source of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B 12. These nutrients build the brain and help construct cellular membranes that attract the right ratio of essential nutrients for efficient cellular processes throughout life. The connection between omega-3 fatty acids and healthy brain function is well established. Additionally, studies show a two-fold increase in Alzheimer’s risk when people do not get an adequate intake of vitamin B 12 and folate. On the contrary, saturated fats found in red meat and processed meats, cause inflammatory conditions that beckon conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
The other primary cause of inflammation is added sugars. Added sugars, especially high fructose corn syrup, contributes to obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and yes, Alzheimer’s. Some research has linked insulin resistance to Alzheimer’s. Other research finds that Alzheimer’s may occur when the brain loses its ability to break down glucose. HFCS contains an abnormal fructose to glucose ratio, which can cause metabolic syndrome and a breakdown in the way the brain and the endocrine system processes it all. The best advice is to stick with water and plant-based sweeteners such as stevia.
Antioxidants that target inflammatory conditions in the brain are the quickest medicine for prevention of Alzheimer’s, and cinnamon leads the way. Long term prevention requires intake of trace minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. At the same time, it’s important to limit intake of saturated fats and added sugars that cause the inflammatory conditions to begin with.