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In the past decade, Alzheimer’s awareness has made great strides, but many of us don’t realize that Alzheimer’s still remains the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than 5 million Americans are living with the disease. An estimated one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.1 While there is currently no medical cure for Alzheimer’s, there are ways to prevent the degenerative condition, and Body Ecology's system for health and healing is uniquely suited for natural prevention.
Yet even with these bleak figures — like the fact that Alzheimer’s disease numbers are rising as our aging population increases — there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) tells us that though Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of the aging process, risk increases with age, potentially doubling every five years after the age of 65.2 However, a 2013 study from the New England Journal of Medicine qualifies that because of the “prevention factor,” Alzheimer’s and dementia risk for older adults is actually on the decline. People are less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s today compared to 20 years ago because of improvements made in education, healthcare, and lifestyle.3
All-natural Lakanto is a safe option for hypoglycemics, diabetics, and people struggling with Candida. It is one of the most important products Body Ecology has ever offered and the ideal sugar substitute for everyone's healthy lifestyle. Teaspoon for teaspoon, Lakanto matches the sweetness of sugar, but without any calories.
Alzheimer's can still slowly creep up on older people — with up to half a million dementia and Alzheimer’s cases developing before age 65 — robbing them of their memories, their ability to function day to day, and eventually their lives. The AFA also states that as many as one in four family members may act as caregivers for adults with Alzheimer’s disease.2
It's hard to believe that with the amazing advances in medical science, the true causes of Alzheimer's remain a modern medical mystery.
The causes of Alzheimer's disease are multi-faceted and include genetics, nutrition, and lifestyle choices. Recent research has shed light on tangible risk factors, giving us new approaches to treatment and especially Alzheimer's prevention. In 2015, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists narrowed down such factors that may contribute to the condition. Researchers confirmed that the accumulation of amyloid proteins around the brain’s blood vessels, already a characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, disrupt healthy blood flow to the brain with the potential to cause degeneration.4 The same year, University of Basel researchers identified a specific gene group that impacts both memory and the development of Alzheimer’s disease.5
To better understand your body’s unique genetic code, we recommend genetic testing, with interpretation from a nutritional genomics counselor.
Alzheimer’s prevention is made possible by making healthy lifestyle choices, in many cases, but gaining perspective through genetic testing can help. For example, the APOE-e4 gene may be indicated in some instances of Alzheimer’s disease, and Presenilin-1 and Presenilin-2 genes could point to early onset dementia. The CLU gene helps to regulate the clearance of beta-amyloid proteins, while a deficiency in the protein produced by the CR1 gene could contribute to chronic inflammation in the brain. Other genes linked to a significantly increased risk of Alzheimer’s, like the PLD3 gene, still require more research. For more information on having your genes analyzed, contact Roxsanne@BodyEcology.com with any questions.
The Body Ecology system is about using both nutrition and lifestyle choices — with insight from individual genetics — to empower your body to heal itself, delaying and even preventing the onset of illness and disease. This approach can be applied to any one of any age group with any condition, and it is also especially suited to the prevention of Alzheimer's disease.
With that in mind, here are several important ways to support healing and balance in your body for the purpose of preventing Alzheimer's disease:
1. Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), can slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease.6 You can find healthy omega-3 fatty acids in raw, soaked walnuts; wild-caught salmon; and fresh, organic DHA and pasture-fed eggs. The Body Ecology Diet also incorporates sea vegetables that contain omega-3s too, like kelp and nori. These vegetables from the ocean (often known as seaweed) are amazing whole food sources of valuable minerals and omega-3 fatty acids. Our own green drink formula, called Vitality SuperGreen, is another excellent and convenient source of omega-3 from the fermented algae and cereal grasses.
2. Eat raw butter. Raw butter, who doesn't love it? But when the first of the baby boomers were growing up, their parents were convinced that margarine was better than butter. Furthermore, few baby boomers were breastfed. But breast milk is over 50 percent raw fat. Why would Mother Nature want us to consume raw fat? Because a baby's developing brain needs this raw, saturated fat. And so do the brains of all children and all adults. Both butter and ghee are important fats on the Body Ecology Diet. You can enjoy their delicious taste while feeling good that they are nourishing your brain and helping prevent Alzheimer's.7 (And no, raw butter will not make you fat. In fact, it will help you stay lean and muscular. When it is made from milk obtained from grass-fed cows, it contains CLA, an important fatty acid for staying slender.)
3. Maintain a healthy body weight. According to the American Academy of Neurology, people who are overweight in their forties have a greater risk for developing Alzheimer's later on in life.8 Research suggests that a Western diet and sedentary lifestyle can contribute to as many as 25 percent of the cases of Alzheimer’s disease.9 Body Ecology's system for wellness is suited to help you achieve balance in your food intake and your weight — you may reach your natural body weight without feeling like you have to diet. In 2016, University of Kentucky researchers also discovered that regular exercise (which can support weight maintenance) at any age may help to ward off Alzheimer’s by increasing blood flow to critical areas of the brain.10
4. Avoid aluminum. Aluminum has been tied repeatedly to Alzheimer's, and doctors have found concentrations of aluminum in the brains of people who died from the disease.11 While we may not be able to prevent all intake of aluminum (it's present in dust and some unprocessed foods), we should certainly make conscious attempts to avoid it from other sources. Common products with aluminum include: store-bought cornbread, buffered aspirin, antacids, aluminum cookware, and antiperspirants.
5. Avoid exposure to mercury. The heavy metal mercury may be tied to a variety of diseases, and reports indicate that mercury is a factor in neurological damage that relates to Alzheimer's.12 You might be exposed to mercury from dental fillings, contaminated fish, and some vaccines, like the yearly flu vaccine. First, remove any sources of mercury from your diet and lifestyle. If you have mercury in your dental fillings, have them removed by a competent holistic dentist who specializes in mercury removal. Next, it's important to detoxify your body naturally. Body Ecology's Ocean Plant Extract offers an excellent way to address heavy metal toxicity and provides complete nutritional support for your healthy lifestyle. It also nourishes the thyroid and protects against radiation.
6. Colonics are a must! To help detoxify, colonics are essential. Find a certified colon therapist and have a colonic whenever your body shows signs of needing it — when you are feeling tired; when your joints are aching; when you feel bloated or full of gas; when you are doing your yearly spring cleansing, have skin rashes, or feel flu-like. These are all symptoms of and indicate that you need to clean your colon. You will also want to do implants after cleaning your colon. These implants could contain minerals, vitamin C, and even a tablespoon of nutritional oil like olive oil, organic coconut oil, or ghee. A cup of young coconut kefir makes an excellent implant.
7. Try fermented foods and drinks. Fermented foods and drinks are not a new phenomenon; they've been around for centuries. Only now are we re-discovering the benefits of these ancient healing foods that are the basis of the entire Body Ecology Diet. Cultured vegetables and fermented drinks provide your body with active beneficial bacteria and yeast. In 2013, UCLA researchers proved that ingesting probiotics, or good bacteria and yeast, can affect brain function for the better.13
Probiotics actually have the ability to manufacture important B vitamins right down inside your digestive tract where they can be absorbed immediately by your body. This is a far better way to obtain these critical B vitamins, like B12 and folic acid, than by purchasing expensive supplements. B12 and folic acid work together to reduce homocysteine levels in your blood. Homocysteine has a neuro-toxic effect in your body and can lead to diseases like Alzheimer's.14,15
8. Eliminate sugar. There is a significant amount of research showing that sugar leads to Alzheimer’s. High blood sugar levels, seen in type 2 diabetes, can make beta-amyloid proteins, seen in Alzheimer’s disease, even more toxic to blood vessels in the brain.16 Washington University researchers also found in 2015 that elevated blood glucose can cause levels of beta-amyloid plaques to rapidly increase.17
For this reason, Alzheimer’s has now been dubbed “type 3 diabetes” because of the way that insulin resistance compromises the brain.18 The effect of blood sugar on the brain is very significant — so significant, in fact, that it can sabotage neurotransmitter activity that is critical for a healthy brain. Neurotransmitter synapses are dependent on an appropriate insulin response, and excess sugar and glucose sent to the brain can damage healthy brain tissue. Eating a lower carb diet with healthy fats and proteins, like the Body Ecology Diet, can help to prevent inflammation, manage blood sugar, and minimize energy crashes. Specifically, the Body Ecology Rule of 80/20 was created to stabilize blood sugar by reducing over-eating and encouraging a balanced ratio at each meal.
To help you initially cut down on your intake of refined sugars (and hopefully eventually eliminate them altogether), Body Ecology offers two delicious alternatives. With these, you can still enjoy the sweet taste we humans naturally love. Stevia is an extraordinarily sweet herb related to the chrysanthemum family that has been used as a sweetener in South America for centuries. Now, you can use Stevia to satisfy your sweet tooth without putting you at risk for weight gain, diabetes, or Alzheimer's disease. Our other favorite natural sweetener, Lakanto, has been used in Japan for almost 20 years and is recommended by the Japanese Ministry of Health for diabetes and obesity. Body Ecology has brought Lakanto here to the U.S. market because it is a delicious, easy-to-use sugar substitute that looks and tastes like natural sugar but without the calories.
You deserve to feel your best in body, mind, and spirit.
Eating healthy foods is not only a way to improve your physical health, it improves your memory and emotional health too. While the collective body of Alzheimer’s research is vast and growing, here’s the good news that will put it all in perspective — especially if you have a genetic predisposition toward Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. More than half of Alzheimer’s cases could be prevented through lifestyle changes and treatment for chronic health issues, according to the University of California, San Francisco.19 Researchers remind us that our health is in our hands since the biggest modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease are ones we can control. Along with Body Ecology’s best brain health tips above, staying active, quitting smoking, relieving depression, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing blood sugar may be enough to keep your brain sharp as you age.
Within your lifetime, there’s every chance that Alzheimer’s disease could affect you or someone you love — Alzheimer’s remains the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., affecting over 5 million Americans to date. Sadly, this disease does not have a medical cure, though a growing body of research suggests that many of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s and dementia are both manageable and preventable.
Make your brain health a priority, and potentially reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, by putting these tips into practice today:
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