When someone hears the word “dementia”, they immediately think of “memory loss”. Losing memory is indeed one of the major features of dementia, but those afflicted with either dementia or Alzheimer`s also suffer from a wide array of cognitive impairments, all of which make problem-solving, thinking, and communication tasks very difficult.
Sadly, most forms of dementia are not treatable, meaning that prevention is of utmost importance, particularly if dementia or Alzheimer`s runs in the family. The good news is that researchers have revealed the promising effects of one all-natural ingredient, which points to more efficient prevention and notably enhanced cognitive function after a diagnosis.
Study: Medium-Chain Triglycerides and Alzheimer’s Disease
A 2004 study included 15 people with Alzheimer`s and 5 with amnesty cognitive impairment. The team of researchers tested the effects of 40mL of MTC`s (medium-chain triglycerides) after fasting from 8 pm the night prior. They tested the effects by comparing them with a placebo group.
It was found that consuming MCT led to notably improved cognitive function 90 minutes after, including the paragraph recall. The participants who consumed MCTs performed far better in many memory and recall tests. Additionally, the blood test showed a significant increase in beta-hydroxybutyrate levels, which works to protect the brain from toxins.
It is worth noting that not only did MCTs improve cognitive function in those with dementia, but they also protected their brain from detrimental chemicals and toxins. The best thing is that you can reap the benefits of MCTs through a very common natural ingredient.
Can Coconut Oil Help Prevent Dementia?
Those concerned about consuming oils regularly should understand that the MCTs like those found in coconut oil, have been shown to positively affect weight loss, unlike other oils. Coconut oil contains up to 62 percent of MCTs and works as an amazing source of these beneficial fats. Still, many people opt for pure MCT oil which can be purchased in any natural health store.
In order to get the same results as the study`s participants, one diagnosed with dementia would have to eat about four tablespoons of coconut oil daily. While this may seem unmanageable, by cooking with it instead of vegetable oils, mixing it in your coffee, or adding it to your smoothies, is completely doable. Even a smaller dosage can help a healthy individual improve their cognitive function and prevent dementia.
Additional Tips on How to Prevent Alzheimer`s
1. Regular Exercise
Exercising on a regular basis helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer`s by 50%, according to the Alzheimer`s Research & Prevention Foundation. It also helps slow down further decline in those who have already been diagnosed. It works by stimulating brain`s ability to maintain old connections and form new ones.
2. Social Engagement
Staying socially engaged has been shown to prevent Alzheimer`s and dementia, so making and keeping a strong networks of friends is highly recommended. This is not difficult at all, though! All you have to do is to join a club or some social group, volunteer, make a weekly date with your friend, get the know your neighbors, take group classes, or connect to other people via social networks.
3. Healthy Diet
Adjusting your eating habits can go a long way in reducing inflammation, protecting the brain, and preventing dementia. Here are a few tips on how to do this:
- Cut down on sugar
- Avoid trans fats
- Enjoy a Mediterranean diet
- Get plenty of omega-3 fats
- Stock up on fruits and veggies
- Consume tea regularly, especially green tea
- Cook at home more often
There are a few supplements that can help preserve brain help, such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, fish oil, and folic acid.
4. Mental Stimulation
People who keep on learning new things and stimulating their brain are at lower risk of developing Alzheimer`s disease and dementia. Here are a few things you can do to stimulate your brain:
- Learn something new ( foreign language or a playing a musical instrument)
- Practice memorization
- Practice the 5 W’s by keeping a Who, What, Where, When, and Why” list of your daily experiences
- Enjoy strategy games, puzzles, and riddles
Activities that involve multiple tasks or require interaction and organization provide the optimal protection.
5. Quality Sleep
A recent research shows that disrupted sleep is not a only a symptom of Alzheimer`s, but a potential risk factor, too. So, if sleep deprivation is affecting your mood, you can be at greater risk of developing Alzheimer`s disease.
- Get screened for sleep apnea
- Set up a regular sleep schedule
- Be smart about napping ( if insomnia is a problem for you, avoid napping)
- Set the mood
- Create a relaxing bedtime ritual ( enjoying a hot bath or doing some stretches)
Needless to say, make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.
6. Stress Management
Chronic stress can affect the brain in many different ways, leading to hampered nerve cell growth and increased risk for Alzheimer`s disease and dementia. The good news is that there are many ways to manage stress and minimize its effects!
- Breathe! ( combat your stress with deep, abdominal breathing)
- Nourish inner peace (prayer, meditation, religious practice, yoga, reflection)
- Schedule daily relaxation activities ( walking your dog, taking a soothing bath, or listening to music)
- Keep your sense of humor