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Category: Science


Alzheimer’s Risk Cut in Half!

When you survey people to determine what diseases they fear the most, Alzheimer’s is always among the top answers. Its been estimated that in America today there are approximately 5.4 million of us who’ve been given this diagnosis. To call it like it is, Alzheimer’s is a disease for which there is no meaningful treatment, whatsoever.

But what if medical researchers could identify some sort of treatment or intervention that could conceivably reduce a person’s chances of developing this incurable condition? What if there was a way that you could reduce your odds of this most common form of dementia by half?

As it turns out, top-notch researchers have just identified a supplement that does just that, and the name of this supplement you are going to want to make a part of your daily routine is: exercise.

In an exciting new study just published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers from four major research institutions followed 876 adults over a 30-year span and kept careful records of the amount and type of exercise that each participant reported. In addition, each of the individuals underwent a rigorous mental examination to determine brain function. Further, all of the participants had imaging of their brains with a sophisticated MRI scan.

The results were astounding. The researchers showed that in those folks engaged in higher levels of exercise, there was a substantial increase in the amount of the brain’s gray matter, when compared to those who were less active. In addition, those at the highest level of exercise activity experienced an incredible reduction of risk for Alzheimer’s by 50%, when compared to those who were more sedentary.

The lead author of the study, Cyrus A. Raji, MD, PhD, of UCLA, was quoted as stating:

This is the first study in which we have been able to correlate the predictive benefit of different kinds of physical activity with the reduction of Alzheimer’s risk through specific relationships with better brain volume in such a large sample.

We live in a time when we have been fairly well trained to expect “magic bullets” for our ailments. When it comes to Alzheimer’s, none exists. Yet, look at how you can safeguard your brain by just going out and buying a new pair of sneakers.

  • Lynn Dell

    I didn’t want to go to the YMCA for resistance and cardio tonight, but wound up going. And since I read this, I’m glad I did. And I did not wear sneakers. 😉

  • Ruth Griffith

    our brain is made up of fat and other things i brain needs vitamins , minerals , omega 3 oil and good blood supply to stay wqorking right

    • Lynn Dell

      Exactly right. Exercise is one very important leg of a multiple legged chair. Nutrition, sleep, stress reduction, etc. are all important. Aerobic exercise helps increase collateral blood circulation pathways, and it also increases the growth factor in the brain, which helps the brain cells to regenerate themselves. Very important, exercise is, but proper nutrition is also crucial.

  • TechnoTriticale

    It would have been nice if they reported on some other markers, like HbA1c, and perhaps even general comments on diet.

    The whole thing leaves us wondering if the effect is exercise per se, or something that exercise does, or something that merely correlates with people who exercise – in other words:
    a. can you get the same results by other means, and
    b. if those other means are absent, does even exercise not help

    • Lynn Dell
      • JohnWhitling

        Lithium increases BDNF, BTW. Niacinamide too. I’m sure there are many other things as well.

        • richyoung

          I highly recommend including niacinamide in your daily supplements. I have and I have seen definite positive improvement. I exercise at least 5 times a week for approximately an hour with high intensity training, yoga, pilates or running. I have experienced a noticeable increase in energy and stamina from the addition of the niacinamide supplement.

          • JohnWhitling

            I would generally support your point on niacinamide, with just one caution for people with low methylation, the conversion process for B vitamins. Niacinamide tamps down methylation so go at your own pace. If you feel worn down after a few days it could be negatively affecting your methylation process. If that’s your case it might be a good idea to add some folate and methylized B12, usually called methyl-cobalamin if you want to continue taking niacinamide.

          • Christine Wagner

            just keep the dose under 50mg and you won’t be interfering with methylation

          • JohnWhitling

            Good to know Christine. Where do you find such a low dose? BTW, here’s some recent research that shows it to be a life extender as well ..

            I’m not sure if there’s a practical difference between niacinamide and nicotinamide riboside. Any thoughts on that?

    • Kurt

      I think it all comes back to insulin sensitivity. Muscles have the capacity to use glucose even when resting. Note that “higher levels” of exercise are required to achieve this effect. If you check youtube for Peter Attia podcasts and videos, he is doing Olympic lifts to grow the muscle fiber that uses the most glucose. This study is hardly useful if that’s what they mean by “higher levels”. Just take a Metformin.

    • Andy

      Spot on, TechnoTriticale! And speaking of, “general comments on diet,” I might add Intermittent Fasting (“IF”) as a preventative, or even therapeutic water fasting, as explained by Joel Fuhrman, MD. It’s overly simplistic to say, but if fasting (of some sort) detoxes the body, then it surely has an effect on the brain as well.

  • Rebecca Nickels McNeish

    Just great! Disabled with MS, good news, I won’t remember it.

    • Lynn Dell

      Dr. Terry Wahls has a book on how she overcame her multiple sclerosis. If you have the same type of MS she dealt with, (she was at the point of being wheelchair bound) it would be good to check out if you already have not done so. Edited to add, here is Dr. Wahls’ views on the importance of exercise, even if you have MS: http://terrywahls.com/exercise-and-brain-health/

      • Rebecca Nickels McNeish

        Terry Wahls is in remission. There is not a cure for MS. Paleo is a great diet and I do agree with many of her claims. She has made a great deal of money for herself touting her remission by calling it by other names. Time will tell it always does.

    • erin b

      I have RRMS, been doing a Nutritional Ketogenic Diet and am in remission. I walked 2 miles this morning unassisted. I am not perfect but functioning.

      • Rebecca Nickels McNeish

        Key word, Remission, RRMS is a relapsing remitting form of MS. Large percentage progress to SPMS. I’m a lucky one there and won the prize SPMS. 18 blessed years of RRMS. Keep the diet up and exercise wisely. Take your D3 and other necessary nutrients. I have had stem cell therapy and do follow a Perlmutter diet.

  • ron

    Dr. Roizen at Cleveland Clinic wants us to do 10.000 steps/day. With this 82 year old used body there is no way, Great advise for those young enough to get started as young as possible.Not for us. Any other suggestions Dr. Perlmutter and Dr. Roizen. Or just too late?

  • Claude

    J’ai une amie, 35 ans, intelligente, qui est anorexique. Que peut-on faire pour elle? Faut-il traiter le microbiote? Si oui, que vaut-il mieux? Merci pour votre réponse : Claude, e-mail :

    NB : J’ai lu vos 2 livres en français “Ces glucides qui menacent votre cerveau” et “L’intestin au secours du cerveau” mais je n’ai rien trouvé sur l’anorexie… Merci de m’aider.

  • maria

    I wonder how much exercise is required to cut your risk in half?

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