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Is Alzheimers Just Another Form of Diabetes? How Our Diet May Be Destroying Our Brains

Though I haven't checked out the science, it would be interesting if true only because of the human response. People eat what they want regardless of consequences, would dropping excess sugar from diets be too hard? I think it would be.

There is a strong and growing body of evidence showing a link between the dreaded disease and our high sugar consumption.

September 18, 2012 |

When you raise the subject of over-eating and obesity, you often see people at their worst. The comment threads discussing these issues reveal a legion of bullies, who appear to delight in other people’s problems.

When alcoholism and drug addiction are discussed, the tone tends to be sympathetic. When obesity is discussed, the conversation is dominated by mockery and blame, though the evidence suggests that it can be driven by similar forms of addiction (citations 1,2,3,4). I suspect that much of this mockery is a coded form of snobbery: the strong association between poor diets and poverty allows people to use this issue as a cipher for something else they want to say, which is less socially acceptable.

But this problem belongs to all of us. Even if you can detach yourself from the suffering caused by diseases arising from bad diets, you will carry the cost, as a growing proportion of the health budget will be used to address them. The cost – measured in both human suffering and money – could be far greater than we imagined. A large body of evidence now suggests that Alzheimer’s is primarily a metabolic disease. Some scientists have gone so far as to rename it. They call it diabetes type 3.

New Scientist carried this story on its cover this September(5): since then I’ve been sitting in the library trying to discover whether it stands up. I’ve now read dozens of papers on the subject, testing my cognitive powers to the limit as I’ve tried to get to grips with brain chemistry. While the story is by no means complete, the evidence so far is compelling.

Around 35 million people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease worldwide(6); current projections, based on the rate at which the population ages, suggest that this will rise to 100 million by 2050(7). But if, as many scientists now believe, it is caused largely by the brain’s impaired response to insulin, the numbers could rise much further. In the US, the percentage of the population with diabetes type 2, which is strongly linked to obesity, has almost trebled in 30 years(8). If Alzheimer’s, or “diabetes type 3”, goes the same way, the potential for human suffering is incalculable.

Insulin is the hormone which prompts the liver, muscles and fat to absorb sugar from the blood. Diabetes 2 is caused by excessive blood glucose, resulting either from a deficiency of insulin produced by the pancreas, or resistance to its signals by the organs which would usually take up the glucose.

The association between Alzheimer’s and diabetes 2 is long-established: type 2 sufferers are two to three times more likely to be struck by this dementia than the general population(9). There are also associations between Alzheimer’s and obesity(10) and Alzheimer’s and metabolic syndrome (a complex of diet-related pathologies)(11).

Researchers first proposed that Alzheimer’s was another form of diabetes in 2005. The authors of the original paper investigated the brains of 54 corpses, 28 of which belonged to people who had died of the disease(12). They found that the levels of both insulin and insulin-like growth factors in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients were sharply reduced by comparison to those in the brains of people who had died of other causes. Levels were lowest in the parts of the brain most affected by the disease.

Their work led them to conclude that insulin and insulin-like growth factor are produced not only in the pancreas but also in the brain. Insulin in the brain has a host of functions: as well as glucose metabolism, it helps to regulate the transmission of signals from one nerve cell to another, and affects their growth, plasticity and survival(13,14).

Alternet.

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From what I have heard and read that Alzheimer's Disease is caused by the growth of proteins within the brain. What Causes Alzheimer's DiseaseMore about the Causes of AD.,Research into ADThis link gives another view on the Causes. 

I hope I haven't over loaded you with links, but my Pop and his daughter my mother suffered from Alzheimer's Disease. It is a terminal disease with no cure. As they say in the links I personally have a 50/50 chance of also getting the disease!

Here are some awesome tips to prevent Alzheimer..

Six Ways To Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

1. Drink Vegetable Juices

A study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Medicine indicates that people who drink three or more servings of fruit and vegetable juices per week have a 76 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to people who drink less than one serving per week. Because some people develop a high blood sugar level and associated health challenges when they drink fruit juices on a regular basis, it is best for the masses to stick to vegetable juices. If you don't have a juicer, then eat plenty of raw vegetables.

2. Ensure Regular Intake Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience indicates that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), can dramatically slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease in mice. The consensus among neuroscientists worldwide is that consumption of foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids is essential to building and maintaining a healthy nervous system, the system that becomes dysfunctional in cases of Alzheimer's disease.

Some healthy foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are:
•Cod liver oil
•Raw walnuts that have been soaked in water for a few hours
•Seaweed
•Purslane
•Freshly ground flax seeds
•Cold-water fish like wild salmon
•Organic eggs from free range birds

3. Strive To Reach and Maintain A Healthy Body Weight For Your Height

According to research that was presented at the 58th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in April of 2006, people who are overweight when they are in their 40s have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life than those who are not overweight when they are in their 40s.

4. Enjoy Activities That Mentally Stimulate You

The cells that make up your brain are similar to those that make up your muscles; they need to be exercised to stay healthy and strong. If your daily work doesn't require you to solve problems and be creative, consider adopting hobbies that do. Not only will you decrease your risk of developing Alzheimer's, you're bound to feel more alive!

5. Avoid Aluminum

According to the National Institutes of Health, "certain aluminum compounds have been found to be an important component of the neurological damage characteristics of Alzheimer's disease."

The most common sources of aluminum exposure are:
•Processed cheese and cornbread
•Some over-the-counter drugs such as antacids and buffered aspirin
•Aluminum cookware, especially when alkaline foods (like green vegetables) or acidic foods (like tomatoes) are cooked in them
•Antiperspirants

While it is impossible to completely avoid exposure to aluminum through contaminated food, air, and water, taking heed of the sources listed above can significant reduce your long term exposure.

6. Avoid Vaccines And Other Potential Sources of Mercury

While mainstream medicine and science has yet to acknowledge a link between mercury exposure and one's risk for Alzheimer's disease, a study published in a 2001 edition of the journal NeuroReport indicates that inhalation of mercury vapor can cause neurological damage that is strikingly similar to the damage that is found in people with Alzheimer's disease.

The most common sources of mercury exposure are:
•Thimerosal, a preservative that is found in many vaccines
•Amalgam dental fillings
•Seafood, particularly large fish that are high in the food chain
•Broken compact fluorescent light bulbs

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