Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that occurs in the later years of life. People with Alzheimer’s develop progressive loss of memory and gradually lose the ability to function and to take care of themselves.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s include a pattern of forgetfulness, short attention span, difficulty in performing routine tasks, language problems, disorientation, poor judgment, problems with thinking, misplacing things, depression, irritability, paranoia, hostility, and lack of initiative.
The cause of this disorder is not known, although the problem appears to involve abnormal breakdown of acetylcholine (an important neurotransmitter in the brain). Some studies suggest it may be related to an accumulation of aluminium in the brain.
Nutritional Supplements that could help. (Refer to the individual supplement for cautions in use.)
|Supplement/Herb||What it does||Dosage|
|Acetyl L Carnitine||Helps produce the brain chemical acetylcholine and may improve brain function and memory.||500mg 3 times daily|
|Gingko Biloba||Increases blood flow to the brain thereby helping brain function. Stimulates choline uptake in the brain and provides antioxidant protection.||500 to 1000mg daily|
|Vitamin E||Potent antioxidant that protects fatty membranes, supports circulation and helps blood oxygenation.||1000iu daily|
Diet and Lifestyle Factors
Keeping active outside of your work, either physically or mentally, during midlife may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. People with higher levels of non-occupational activities, such as playing a musical instrument, gardening, physical exercise, or even playing board games, were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s later in life, according to one study. (See also the section on Age Related Cognitive Decline)
To keep your brain in good working order, follow an optimum nutrition diet:
- Eat wholefoods – wholegrains, lentils, beans, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and vegetables – and avoid refined, white and overcooked foods.
- Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Choose dark green, leafy and root vegetables such as watercress, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, green beans or peppers, raw or lightly cooked. Choose fresh fruit such as apples, pears, berries, melon or citrus fruit. Have bananas in moderation.
- Dilute fruit juices and only eat dried fruits infrequently in small quantities, preferably soaked.
- Eat whole grains such as brown rice, millet, rye, oats, wholewheat, corn or quinoa as cereal, breads and pasta.
- Avoid any form of sugar, and foods with added sugar.
- Combine protein foods with carbohydrate foods by eating cereals and fruit with nuts or seeds, and ensuring you eat starch foods (potato, bread, pasta or rice) with fish, lentils, beans or tofu.
- Eat oily fish. A serving of herring, mackerel, salmon or fresh tuna two or three times a week provides a good source of omega-3 fats.
- Choose good vegetable protein sources, including bee pollen, beans, lentils, quinoa, tofu (soya) and ‘seed’ vegetables.
- If you eat animal protein, choose lean meat free range or organic whenever possible.
- Eat eggs – preferably free-range, organic and high in omega-3s.
- Eat seeds and nuts. The best seeds are flax, hemp, pumpkin, sunflower and sesame. You get more goodness out of them by grinding them first and sprinkling on cereal, soups and salads.
- Use cold-pressed seed oils. Choose an oil blend containing flaxseed oil or hemp oil for salad dressings and cold uses, such as drizzling on vegetables instead of butter.
- Avoid completely fried food, processed and refined food and hydrogenated fats.
Suggested further reading:
- Alzheimers explained
- Avoiding alzheimers
- Diet & exercise reduce the risks