Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Eating right does more for you than most people know & too few do it yet....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 4-13-2010

Today, three of the major health online news services all had the story that eating right cut the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease by 38%.

If you also exercise, keep mentally and socially active, and take the right supplements, notably curcumin and vitamin D3, and some others, you can prevent perhaps 90% of the remaining 62% of the risk -- perhaps over 94% overall. That means if you know how, you can come close to eliminating the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. (See our post last Friday, 4-9, for more details.)

HealthDay news had this today.:

“Eating a diet high in vegetables, fish, fruit, nuts and poultry, and low in red meat and butter may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, new research finds.

Those whose diets included the most salad dressing, nuts, fish, tomatoes, poultry, cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower and broccoli), dark and green leafy vegetables, and the least red meat, high-fat dairy, organ meat and butter had a 38 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's than those whose diets included fewer fruits, vegetables and poultry and more red meat and high-fat dairy."

Reuters had this today.:

“A diet rich in olive oil, nuts, fish, poultry and certain fruits and vegetables may have a powerful effect at staving off Alzheimer's disease, researchers reported on Monday.”


“While other studies have looked at individual nutrients,” these researchers ….”studied groups of foods high in nutrients that have been shown to be associated with Alzheimer's disease risk.

Some, such as saturated fatty acids in red meat and butter, need to be avoided. Others, such as omega-3 fatty acids, …. vitamin E, vitamin B12 and folate, benefit the brain.”

The salad dressing in the study was olive oil based – NOT on one of the omega 6 oils like soy.

So, the diet they used or found people who ate was a combination of the high vegetable intake with restricted intake of saturated fats found in the DASH & DASH II diets, the olive oil, nuts, and fish – and salad vegetables from the Mediterranean diet, and very little refined grains, sugars, packaged foods, and likely no soft drinks.

That diet is also found to cut the risk of stroke and heart attack and some cancers! And, by adding regular exercise, particularly vigorous exercise, this diet helps prevent obesity, high blood sugar and insulin and type II diabetes which is also protective of your circulation to your brain.

One of the researchers noted that this is no accident. It’s beginning to be common knowledge that protecting your heart and circulation also protects your brain.

Here’s one reason why.: In the HealthDay article I found this:

“Doctors used to believe there were two separate causes of dementia: vascular dementia, due to blood vessel disease; and Alzheimer's disease, a neurodegenerative process.”

Dr. Samuel Gandy, a neurologist and cell biologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, said "We now know that most people with dementia have some of both…."

Yesterday, a story that women who eat a diet high in sugary foods, refined grains, soft drinks and other high glycemic foods are particularly prone to developing heart disease. That research found this was less true for men. For the women though, their heart disease risk doubled if they did this. This study was published yesterday, 4-12-2010, in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

These kinds of foods also tend to push people into type 2 diabetes. And, if women are more susceptible to this effect, this may explain in part why women are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Other research has found that high blood sugar combined with poor circulation may be one of the most effective causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

My suspicion is that if they compared their group that ate a lot of this stuff to one that ate virtually none instead of one that just ate less and which ate the kind of diet found to be protective in the Alzheimer’s study, that they would have found more of an effect in men also.

There’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that health knowledgable and proactive people are beginning to know how to eat right in this way and are doing so. And, most of them are also regular exercisers.

The bad news is that the average person in the United States all too often has been eating junk food, high glycemic foods, fatty and grain fed meat, and drinking soft drinks instead. Most of these people are NOT exercising either. Some of them smoke or allow themselves to be exposed to second hand smoke a lot.

They are paying for it with the harm they have done to their bodies.

Last Saturday, 4-10, 2010 HealthDay news had this story.:

“Severe Arterial Disease Found in Younger Adults.”

“Researchers analyzed data on 994 men and women, age 55 and younger, treated in the Wake Forest University School of Medicine Vascular Center between 1998 and 2009. They found that most of them had premature atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Severe premature arterial disease of the legs (64 percent) was the most common finding.”

To be sure these are the people who did many things wrong and who showed up at this center for treatment of some kind.

But it is significant that this was found in people from 35 to 55 years old. At one time, this did not happen to the average person until they were over 65 or 70 at the very least.

With many 3 year olds now drinking soft drinks and having several high glycemic treats a day and not getting anywhere the exercise children used to get as they grew up, many of them will have this begin to happen to them when they are less than 35 I suspect.

The potential is there for people to begin to learn how to eat right, to exercise, and to not smoke or be around tobacco smoke and for most people to do these things.

But until that happens, more than half the high medical costs we now pay go to treat diseases that could likely have been prevented. And as these children grow up, that may get worse instead of better unless something is done.

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