Inflammation is a process with which we are all familiar. Whether from an insect bite or an arthritic joint, we associate inflammation with the typical observations of pain, redness, and swelling as well as loss of function.
In Grain Brain, as well as my recent PBS program, BrainChange, I described that this very same process, inflammation, is actually a pivotal player in such diverse brain conditions as Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and even autism.
That said, the most fundamental take home message of all my media outreach is to convince everyone willing to listen that you’ve got to do everything possible to reduce inflammation. And that means a diet rich in inflammation-reducing foods like healthful fats, minimal in carbohydrates and strictly gluten-restricted.
Even slight blood sugar elevation raises the binding of glucose to protein. This process, known as glycation profoundly increases the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body and is the main reason we check the A1c blood test as it measures this process. You can learn more about A1c, also known as glycated hemoglobin, and its powerful role in predicting dementia by reviewing this reference.
What’s even more interesting is newer research indicating a strong relationship between peripheral inflammation (inflammation outside of the brain) and risk for developing dementia, a condition for which there is no medical treatment.
Please review this intriguing research and feel free to comment as we continue to move forward on this journey.