Category: Exercise

avoiding_alzheimers

Avoiding Alzheimer’s

Q: What are some ways to avoid getting Alzheimer’s?

A: Here are the fundamental keys for reducing your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease, a disease for which there is no treatment.

First, dramatically reduce your carbohydrate consumption while increasing your consumption of “good” fats like fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.

Second, get 15-20 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. This actually turns on the DNA in your genome that codes for the production of BDNF, basically the brain’s “growth hormone.”

Third, make sure you’re consuming at least 1000mg daily of the omega-3 DHA. Research clearly links higher DHA levels with reduced risk, not only for Alzheimer’s disease, but for other forms of dementia as well.

By David Perlmutter

  • Since there is no cure, prevention is key. Unfortunately, a lot of mainstream advice runs contrary to this. ALZ.org flat out states in their yearly promotional video that Alzheimer’s cannot be prevented yet there is much evidence this is untrue!

    • David Perlmutter

      You’ve got that right Deane! Knowing that Alzheimer’s is preventable is one of the most empowering pieces of information I can share.

      • By boosting cholesterol levels you can feed the Alzheimer’s brain what it needs to develop new pathways for memory…
        In the same way, by lowering cholesterol levels through the use of statins you can induce memory loss…

  • rada

    And as well as Omega-3 causes prostate cancer?

  • Carley

    While I’m a believer, other researchers and the press are still arguing or disagreeing. And of course these studies generally don’t factor in diet, sugar/insulin levels, and other relevant measures. See, for example, http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/09/26/omega-3s-not-tied-to-women-mental-sharpness/

  • Debra Sanders

    Dr. Perlmutter–I have just discovered your site and feel like I have landed in some happy land where everyone is speaking my language after being in a foreign country when I am not understanding a word anyone says! For over two decades I have been saying that dairy and grains can affect our abilities to think clearly, that they are, in some people, responsible for brain fog and behavioral issues. This is all so great to read.

    One thing I haven’t seen on your website (it might be here and I’ve missed it) is something I discovered after sustaining a TBI several years ago and that is the power of water. Not tap water and not water you buy, but properly filtered water. In addition to being gluten free and taking supplements such as Krill and additional Asthanaxin, I have found that drinking sufficient amounts of water is imperative to my maintaining any sort of cognitive equilibrium. I don’t know what the studies show in terms of a correlations between long-term dehydration and Alzheimers, but I can’t help but believe there is an association. Even a 2% level of dehydration affects short term memory and can cause fuzzy thinking. Shockingly, in the first 7 years following my brain injury, NOT ONE of the (many) neurologists and endocrinologists I saw ever thought to tell me to a) stop drinking anything at all with aspartame in it, and b) start drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. When I finally gave up on traditional medical practitioners and sought out a naturopathic physician, those were the first two things she told me to do and omg, the difference was, and is, astounding. I am now a confirmed believer that those two things–consuming aspartame and not drinking sufficient (appropriately filtered) water do more harm to our brains than most things combined.

    I love this site and I love that you are a neurologist who is a proponent of alternative approaches and nutritional approaches for good brain health. I wish I had found you ten years ago after my accident, but I have found you now and I can assure you that I will make this site well known to the brain injury groups I am active in and to the people who contact me about their own brain injuries.

    Many, many thanks for all you are doing!

    My best,

    Debra

    Debra Sanders
    Author of the Amazon.com bestseller, A Matter of Panache: A career in public education; A traumatic brain injury; A memoir of surviving both
    debra@debrasanders.com
    http://www.debrasanders.com

  • Stuart Bacon

    Is there an online source that you could recommend ? It’s hard to find some of the supplements that you recommend locally in a rural area , especially the correct formulation of the B- complex.

    • David Perlmutter

      Stuart: Keep a close eye on my site. In the coming weeks we will be launching an e-commerce component that sells these, and other, supplements.

    • Elle

      I often use Iherb.com iherb.com

  • CID

    MY husband (aged 65) has mild Alzheimer´s. I have just finished your book
    which I found very enlightening. We have already started changing our way of eating. Your book stress mostly on avoiding AD but will it be helpful to try this “diet” if you already have the disease. CID

    • David Perlmutter

      CID: Best of luck making this change. Wishing you and your husband good health.

  • Penny

    I am interested in CID’s question, wondering if there is more information: Once someone already has mild – moderate memory loss, will this diet approach help them or is the damage already too severe; is it “too late” for them? And what if they’re on or considering a medication that supposedly slows the progression of alzheimer’s, such as aricept? Should they use the medication in conjunction with diet changes and supplements, or should they try the lifestyle changes first, before deciding to take the pharmaceutical route? Penny

    • David Perlmutter

      We’ve certainly seen that in some of the patients at our clinic, but that’s not the case for everyone.

  • JackL

    FYI http://www.bbc.com/news/health-28262878 on Alzheimer’s risk factors – lack of exercise is there but no direct mention of carbs, though some of the risks might have carb overload as their cause.

  • Rifrenze

    Anybody have trouble with leg cramps after starting this way of eating?

    • Osa

      You need to increase your magnesium intake on a low Carb diet. In fact you could just also increase your salt intake, but make sure it is Real Salt.

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