by Nils Osmar. Updated June 17, 2023. Medical Disclaimer
There’s no known cure (yet) for Alzheimer’s. But there’s evidence that all of the following can help prevent it, and help prevent other forms of dementia:
- Drinking coffee or cocoa (with the caffeine intact) (See study: Caffeine as a protective factor in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease )
- Drinking green tea and white tea. Its effects are similar to those of coffee, though less robust. See study: Green Tea Intake and Risks for Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Cognitive Impairment: A Systematic Review
- Exercising (in particular – resistance training and HIIT) See study: Resistance training promotes cognitive and functional brain plasticity in seniors with probable mild cognitive impairment: A 6-month randomized controlled trial
- Eating a low sugar diet – which includes avoiding excess fructose. See study: Sugary diet may increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease .
- Eating fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines – i.e., getting lots of Omega 3 and not a lot of Omega 6. See article: Study links omega-3s to improved brain structure, cognition at midlife
- Not smoking. Smokers are 40% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. See article: All you need to know about smoking and dementia)
- Using an air purifier. Dirty air is clearly associated with greater odds of dementia. Houseplants (which supposedly clean the air) won’t help very much. But air purifiers can and will. See article: USC studies show that clean air matters for a healthy brain
- If we’re overweight or obese, losing the excess fat. Obesity has been shown in many studies to be a factor in developing dementia. The mantra which is gaining momentum in online forums that “It’s impossible to lose weight, and you shouldn’t try anyway, obesity is beautiful, you can be morbidly obese and still be healthy, and it’s all genetic anyway, no one can lose excess body fat” is nonsensical, and promotes dementia. See study: Obesity associated with a higher risk for dementia, new study finds
- Doing some fasting and time restricted eating. It has benefits for brain health that go far beyond fat loss. See study: Intermittent fasting protects against the deterioration of cognitive function
- Taking phosphatidyl serine – one of the few brain supplements that’s been tested in human studies and shown to improve stress, memory issues, attention disorders, age-related cognitive decline, and dementia.
Could you do all of the above, and still develop Alzheimer’s or another form or dementia?
Possibly. Other things, such as concussions, can sometimes trigger it. But current evidence suggests that your odds will be lower if you’re doing the things listed above. I’m doing most of them, and I’m more worried about it than I am about being eaten by a bear or dying from a plane crashing into my house.
Too many people go. through their lives not exercising; eating high carb, sugary diets; and smoking or breathing air which could be purified with an inexpensive air purifier, They then going into a panic because their doctors don’t have a magic pill that will somehow make up for the pro-dementia lifestyle choices they’ve been making for decades.
In fairness, most people are unaware that interventions like the ones I’ve mentioned above will greatly reduce their odds of succumbing to dementia. The popular press feeds this panic by constantly repeating the mantra that “doctors can’t do anything to stop Alzheimer’s”. They’re right that doctors can’t do much about it, doesn’t mean that we can’t.
Not Medical Advice
This post is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. I’m not advising that people follow any particular regimen, eat any particular diet or take any particular supplements, just sharing information and reporting on what I’m doing. All supplements can have side effects; I would encourage people to research both possible benefits and side effects before starting on any supplementation regimen. See full Medical Disclaimer
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