(BeWellBuzz) Disease and illness is a mortifying state of being, especially if it begins to hamper the very quality of the life you live. It is often said that the man’s mind is his best friend. Hence, any disease that threatens to damage the basic functioning of the human mind is deemed to be a cause of concern and alarm for the entire medical community, the Alzheimer’s Disease being a classic example of the same.
The Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is basically a progressive degenerative disease of the brain in which the nerve cells in the cortex of your brain and the surrounding regions come under attack. The immediate impact of the onset of AD can be seen as the person begins to lose control over his/her emotions, coordinate movements and eventually suffers from a partial to complete memory loss.
In the section below, we will have detailed look into how what we eat and the diet we have can actually cause the disease to develop.
Scientific research has been exponentially growing to study this most common cause of dementia. Since last few years, the evidence that a poor diet and lifestyle could be actually causing Alzheimer’s has been rising at too rapid rate to ignore. For instance, consider the finding stated by George Monbiot, who states at The Guardian that the Alzheimer’s disease can actually be caused by having junk food in excess.
Before we go any further, first let’s look at an interesting phenomenon at this juncture. Recent research is actually pointing towards our food and diet being a major preventive measure for this disease. This implies that food surely has the capacity to alter the course of the Alzheimer’s disease. Now, if the right foods can be preventive measure, a wrong or poor diet can indeed be a causative measure.
The Food Factor
So, how exactly does our diet contribute to the development of the Alzheimer’s disease?
Well, scientists point out towards a number of alterations in our body that precede a complete onset of the disease. Here, let’s take a quick look at some of these reasons:
1. The Insulin Factor
Latest research gives shocking revelations on how reduction in the levels of insulin can actually damage the brain’s cognitive powers, aptly naming AD as the ‘brain diabetes’ or the type 3 diabetes. Levels of insulin, as known from the case of diabetic patients, is directly related to our diet.
2. The Neurobiological Factor
The disease is typically characterized by an abnormal buildup of clumps of two types of proteins in the brain, namely plaques and tangles. The plaques build up in-between neurons and hamper their normal communication. Meanwhile, tangles get accumulated inside the nerve cells, made up of twisted tau protein. Though this tau protein is vital to the brain’s function, yet, in people with Alzheimer’s, it becomes twisted, further damaging the brain cells. What we consume in our diet, especially the type of proteins we have can surely influence this process.
3. Specific foods and nutrients
The Science Daily once reported that mice that were fed a diet rich in sugar, fat and cholesterol began to exhibit Alzheimer’s symptoms quite early. A deficiency of the following nutrients has often been linked with an early onset of the AD:
- B Vitamins
- Vitamin E
- Folic acid
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
- Omega-3 fats
Meanwhile, constituents like the free radicals and high cholesterol content along with various types of metals like aluminum have often been found to be in high quantities in those suffering from AD. Experts advise to stay away from the below:
- Dairy products
- Refined foods
4. Oxidative stress
There is decisive evidence to suggest that a high intake of fat and cholesterol can contribute to the development of the disease. Additionally, the oxidative stress in the brain along with a lower intake of dietary antioxidants can considerably increase the risk of developing AD.
The foods we eat: Though Alzheimer’s still remains a major subject of medical research, yet scientists have begun to unravel certain alterations in the human body that are mostly common in all the patients of AD. It’s time we realized that the food we eat can gradually bring about these alterations in our body and create a base for the disease to develop on. Isn’t it then worthwhile to enrich our diet so we can avoid this dreaded, difficult to treat disease?