Alzheimer’s Disease is possibly one of the most crippling conditions on the planet, and until recently, it was widely accepted as being a usual part of old-age.
The idea that couples Alzheimer’s Disease with aging is outdated by a number of years already! As explained below in the TEDx talk by M.D. Neal Barnard, through understanding this condition and correcting aspects of your health, you can avoid this possibility entirely.
Alzheimer’s Disease does not occur overnight after waking up one day in your 80’s. It is an accumulation of environmental factors that work together over decades in those who have it. That is why it is so important to understand if you are predisposed and what steps you can take to avoid it and ultimately live a healthier, happier life.
A particular gene known as the APOE4 gene is responsible for triggering the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.
This gene can be passed down from one or both parents or your grandparents. Having this gene does not mean you have this condition immediately; it says that you are at a much higher risk of acquiring it.
Genes change – they can move between different forms, which then trigger them to express different proteins in our bodies. This is known as epigenetics, the way your genes respond to your environment.
The first step is to find out what genes you have, so you know what you are dealing with.
Q: How to check your APOE4 Gene?
A: Here’s a Link to 23andme where you can get a DNA Test including results for the APOE4 gene.
To get Alzheimer’s Disease, you need the APOE4 gene to be switched on. If you find you do have this gene switched on, the last thing you ought to do is panic.
You can easily switch the APOE4 gene off and prevent the onset of this disease by controlling epigenetic factors related to your health.
If you don’t have the APOE4 gene switched on, the below strategies will still help you achieve a clearer mental function and boost your health in unexpected ways you have yet to experience!
As Neal Barnard points out in the above presentation, a study done in Chicago showed that eating “bad fats” increased the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease by 2.5 times.
He goes on to explain that a similar study, carried out in Finland, showed that both trans-fats and certain saturated fats (which increase “bad” cholesterol) also affected the brain. These are the fats you want to avoid to help preserve your brain and fend off Alzheimer’s Disease.
Not all fats are bad for you however and in fact, eating the right types of fat is very important for reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
When a study was done on cognition and the risk of dementia, comparing fats to carbs, fats were by far the healthiest choice. A high-carb, low-fat diet increased the risk of Alzheimer’s by 90%, as opposed to 44% in the high-fat, low-carb group Dr. Perlmutter on Fat and Alzheimer.
Since our brains are mostly made of fats, it makes sense that a ‘well-oiled’ diet loaded with the right fats is required to keep it protected. Restricting fats and eating mostly carbs also leads to exceedingly high levels of inflammation in the body, which is one of the main factors that perpetuate the onset of Alzheimer’s Bio Connect – Alzheimer and Inflamation.
The question everyone is now asking is what are the right fats?
No Hydrogenation or Heating
When fat is heated, it becomes hydrogenated. In other words, it becomes saturated with Hydrogen atoms and turns into a trans-saturated fat. These fats will increase inflammation, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure, which all affect the brain. This also means the oil should be cold pressed to truly avoid being hydrogenated and to make sure it is fresh and not rancid.
LDL cholesterol is ‘bad’ and tends to aggregate in the blood as well as increase the amount of Beta-Amyloid Protein in the brain Nature . HDL cholesterol, on the other hand, does the opposite and is increased by healthy fats that have not been hydrogenated (such as coconut oil) Neurobiology of aging – High-Density Cholesterol and Alzheimer.
Short Chain Fatty Acids
This is key to understanding why some saturated fats like coconut oil or its extracts, MCT oil 
American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease – Role of Medium Chain Triglycerides in the Treatment of Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s Disease are great for Alzheimer’s prevention, while lard and margarine are catastrophic.
Each fat is comprised of chains of hydrogen and carbon molecules. The body readily absorbs short-chain fatty acids, the shorter the chain in oil the healthier it is for you. Long-chain and very-long-chain fatty acids will cause digestive problems and increase overall bodily inflammation – these are also the fats that tend to solidify at room temperature.
Coconut oil is a naturally saturated fat, but it comprises of medium-chain fatty acids which make it easy to digest, and it contains multiple anti-inflammatory benefits Coconut Oil: NON-ALTERNATIVE DRUG TREATMENT AGAINST ALZHEIMER´S DISEASE.
Correct Storage Precautions
When oil goes rancid, it is due to oxidation and exposure to light. Storing your oils in dark containers and using oils which are rich in antioxidants, such as extra virgin organic oil, will allow the oil to keep for far longer Effect of natural and synthetic antioxidants on the oxidative stability of walnut oil under different storage conditions. This is the reason good quality olive oil is stored in dark green or black glass.
Eating rancid oils introduces multitudes of free radicals into the body, which are by-products of oxidation. They cause excessive amounts of damage to tissues and increase inflammation.
Glass is far superior to plastic when it comes to storage as plastic contains chemicals (like phthalates and BPA), that also create inflammation in the body.
Healthy Omega-3 to Omega-6 Ratio
Sunflower oil, corn oil and even cottonseed oil are all promoted heavily for heart health and achieving a good cholesterol profile, but the inflammation they give is not worth it for those who are trying to prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.
The reason being that there are far too many Omega-6 fatty acids inside the above oils, contributing to an Omega-6: Omega-3 ratio of 20-50:1 on average Dr. Mercola – Everything you need to know about fatty acids. If we eat these in excess, it causes inflammation. You should be eating both Omega-6 and Omega-3 oils in equal moderate proportions for optimal health.
Get organic oils and avoid all the heavy metal chemicals they spray onto crops which clog the brain and body (see heavy metals below).
As mentioned above, heating an oil degrades it. This is a process of oxidation, which in turn makes the oil rancid with fewer nutrients and more free-radicals. To know what oil is best to cook with, you need to know its’ smoking point (the temperature it lets off steam). That is when the oil begins to oxidize.
Here are two delicious cooking and dressing oils that meet all the above criteria that we recommend!
These metals happen to be present in many people’s tap water, particularly if the pipes of the house are made with any of them. They are also often consumed when we eat foods that are packaged in aluminum like chocolate or coffee, or when we cook with iron pans4
To find out if you have any of these metals in your profile, you can take this full blood test panel here.
Alternatively, you can do a quick blood test here to check if you have copper overload.
How To Deal With Heavy Metals
Get a filter for your drinking water and get a second filter for your shower. This way you will avoid taking in excessive heavy metals but filtering them out before they get to you.
This water filter works up to 15 times more efficient than standard water filtration systems, removing large amounts of metals such as Lead 99.1%, Chromium 97.2%, Copper 95.2%, Fluoride 93.5% and Chlorine 96.6% just to name a few.
Vitamin E, as the M.D. mentions in the video, is a substance your brain needs for optimal health.
This is one of the master antioxidants which serves to protect all tissues in the body from inflammation and oxidation. It’s no different with regard to Alzheimer’s Disease, and studies have proven that Vitamin E prevents the oxidation of A-B plaques IOS Press – Vitamin E Prevents Alzheimer’s Amyloid ß-Peptide.
There are 8 different forms of this Vitamin in nature, and not all of them are readily or easily absorbable by our bodies. It is best to have all of them, however, in the form of food as nature intended.
How To Do It
- Add handfuls of raw nuts and seeds to your diet, such as almond and sesame seeds or use their oils in raw cooking applications. These are rich in Vitamin E, along with avocado, chia seeds, pomegranate, kiwi, and mango.
- Get a tremendous oil-based supplement that contains all 8 varieties of Vitamin E, such as the one below.
All dark red berries and blueberries have in common lots of antioxidants, such as resveratrol Springer Link –
Dietary resveratrol prevents Alzheimer’s markers and anthrocyanidins, which they make to survive in harsh environments.
Even in as little as 3 months, you can get better cognition from adding these dark blue or purple berries to your diet!
Last, but not least, exercise helps to stimulate neuronal growth and expands the size of the brain. This is crucial in preventing Alzheimer’s, where the brain begins to deteriorate. As Neal explains above, studies reveal that even a brusque walk of 40 minutes, 3 times a week, will aid in the cause.
Try walking, gentle yoga, swimming, pilates or cycling as ways to keep your brain and body in balance.