Exercise and Vitamin E Help Lower Alzheimer’s Disease RiskFebruary 14, 2011
(Article first published as Walking and Diet Dramatically Cut Risk of Alzheimer`s Disease on Technorati.)
Medical researchers continue to demonstrate that the development and progression of one of the most feared conditions of our generation is not an inevitable occurrence. Alzheimer`s disease affects 1 in 10 people by age 65 and nearly half of those aged 85 or older.
The disease develops undetected over the course of decades due to a diet deficient in nutrients and antioxidants and lack of regular physical activity. You can ensure your risk of developing this devastating form of dementia is negated by taking appropriate dietary and lifestyle actions today.
Walking Protects the Brain from Cognitive Decline
Brain volume is directly related to our ability to learn and form new memories. One of the hallmark signs of Alzheimer`s disease is a loss of brain cells due to death of the critical neuronal structures. This effect can be measured using an MRI and is an indicator of cognitive decline and disease progression. The results of a study conducted by the Radiological Society of North America demonstrated that walking the equivalent of five miles per week significantly lowered the decline in brain volume commonly seen in aging adults.
The findings showed that greater amounts of physical activity were associated with greater brain volume. Individuals with demonstrated cognitive decline were able to maintain brain volume and slow cognitive decline. Healthy subjects needed to walk an average of six miles each week to maintain brain volume and significantly lower risk of developing dementia. The study author concluded that “walking can improve your brain’s resistance to the disease and reduce memory loss over time.”
Poor Blood Sugar Regulation and Insulin Resistance Degrade Brain Health
The effects of blood sugar and insulin resistance are now implicated in the development of Alzheimer`s disease. The results of a Japanese study published in the journal Neurology showed that insulin resistance was particularly damaging to the brain structure and was involved in the formation of amyloid protein plaques. High blood sugar causes dysfunctional particles known as AGE`s (advanced glycation end products) that degrade the normally flexible structure of brain cells. Eliminating sugar and processed carbohydrates that cause AGE formation can improve cognitive function.
Low Vitamin E Levels Trigger Onset of Alzheimer`s Disease
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can be deficient in diet despite our best efforts. The results of research published in the Journal of Alzheimer`s Disease found that damage by free radicals is a primary cause of cognitive decline. Vitamin E has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier to provide protection against oxidative damage and prevent inflammatory damage. The study demonstrated that when vitamin E levels are depleted, free radical damage accelerates and Alzheimer`s disease sets in. Nuts, seeds and leafy greens provide an excellent food source for vitamin E.
Alzheimer`s disease presents after decades of an inactive lifestyle and diet deplete in essential nutrients and antioxidants that our brain requires to maintain optimal function. Those wishing to avoid this devastating affliction will stay physically active, ensure a natural diet that provides healthy antioxidants and avoid processed foods that lead to metabolic dysfunction. You can spare your memory and extend your healthy lifespan with simple lifestyle modifications.