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More than 5 million US Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s dementia, and it has been attributable as the fifth leading cause of death in those aged 65 and older. We often look at Alzheimer’s dementia as an isolated consequence of aging for some unfortunate people and varying developments of cognitive decline as a normal condition associate with aging. These conditions may be consequences to chronic health conditions, such as obesity, and potentially may be mitigated by optimizing health.
A recent study in Neurology showed a steeper decline in cognitive function was associated with the presence of higher levels of chronic inflammation in middle age, as seen in chronic health conditions. A nice editorial on cognition and chronic disease is provided in this link.
What is causing this chronic inflammation? It is becoming increasingly clear that chronic inflammation is attributable to diet and the obesity state. A high carbohydrate diet leads to hypertriglyceridemia, a high insulin state (insulin is a pro-inflammatory hormone) and obesity (associated with inflammatory white adipose tissue) — these are associated with fatty liver, diabetes, gout and cardiovascular disease. It isn’t a coicindence that the increase in the prevalence of obesity has been met with increases in diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Similarly, I would predict the prevalence of sleep apnea and cognitive dysfunction have increased. The process of memory loss and Alzheimer dementia occurs over a long period of time and may be largely a preventable disease.
A link to obesity as a chronic inflammatory condition:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4594154/
My suggestions to protect yourself from cognitive dysfunction (memory loss):
- Eat largely real, unprocessed foods, mostly vegetables.
- Keep active daily. Healthy perfusion to the brain is more protective of dementia than word games, puzzles etc.
- Work toward a low stress lifestyle and prep the body for stress with meditation, exercise and mindfulness practices each day.
Determine your health risk NOW, by assessing your BMI, waist circumference, begin walking each day and adjust your diet by eliminating excess sugars and alcohol from the diet. Optimal health is a life-long and long-life strategy!