According to the Alzheimer`s Association`s 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, currently 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer`s disease.
While an estimate, this number will jump to 16 million by 2050 and in the next years this disease will affect 1 in 4 Americans, which is even more than the rate of obesity and diabetes at the moment.
Given that there are only a few treatments available, most of which are rarely effective, early detection and prevention became extremely important!
It turns out that something as simple as a tablespoon of peanut butter and a ruler could be used to diagnose the disease in its early stages. As reported by Medical News Today:
“Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student in the University of Florida (UF) McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste, and her colleagues reported the findings of a small pilot study in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences.
Stamps came up with the idea of using peanut butter to test for smell sensitivity while she was working with Dr. Kenneth Heilman, one of the world’s best known behavioral neurologists, from the UF College of Medicine’s department of neurology.
…The ability to smell is associated with the first cranial nerve and is often one of the first things to be affected in cognitive decline… She thought of peanut butter because, she said, it is a ‘pure odorant’ that is only detected by the olfactory nerve and is easy to access.”
This study tested the ability to smell of 24 patients with mild cognitive impairment. The patient had to close their eyes and mouth and hold one nostril close while breathing through the other. The clinician measured the distance between the open nostril and the peanut butter with the help of a ruler, identifying the distance at which the patient had the ability to detect the smell. The procedure was done with the other nostril after a 90 second delay.
It has been found that patients diagnosed with an early stage of Alzheimer`s disease underwent a notable difference in their ability to detect the smell between the two nostrils. According to the report:
“[T]he left nostril was impaired and did not detect the smell until it was an average of 10 cm closer to the nose than the right nostril had made the detection in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
This was not the case in patients with other kinds of dementia; instead, these patients had either no differences in odor detection between nostrils or the right nostril was worse at detecting odor than the left one.”
BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL MAKE HEADLINES AGAIN
Florida researchers are currently investigating whether coconut oil can be beneficial when it comes to this disease. Three years ago, Dr. Mary Newport`s theory suggested that ketone bodies offer benefits in the battle against Alzheimer`s disease.
Presently, this theory is being used to set up the first clinical trial of this kind and the research is being done at USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute.
For the purpose of this study, 64 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer`s were included to evaluate the effects of coconut oil on the disease. As reported by CTV News:
“While there is currently no clinical data showing the benefits of coconut oil on the prevention and treatment of dementia, Newport — whose husband Steve was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 51 — said she began to see improvements after starting him on four teaspoons of coconut oil per day.
‘Before the coconut oil, he could not tie his shoes. His weird slow gait… That improved. He walked normally and he was able to start running again.
He was able to start reading again, his conversation improved dramatically and then over several months we saw improvements in his memory,’ Newport said. Prior to starting him on coconut oil, Newport said none of the existing medications were working.”
COCONUT OIL APPEARS TO BE AN IDEAL BRAIN FOOD
Carbs/ sugar and fat are the only types of fuel the body can turn into energy. Ketones are produced by the body during the conversion of fat into energy. The major source of ketone bodies are the medium-chain triglycerides, found in coconut oil.
These triglycerides are fats which are not processed by the body in the same way as long-chain triglycerides. Typically, a fat taken into the body must be mixed with the bile before it can be broken down into the digestive system.
On the other hand, medium-chain triglycerides go straight to the liver, which turns the oil into ketones, which are immediately released into the bloodstream and then transported to the brain.
Even though the body loves glucose and is happy running in this type of primary fuel, it has been found that ketone bodies help restore neurons and nerve function in the body. The mechanism of this MCT-ketone metabolism appears to be that the body treats MCTs as carbohydrates, allowing the ketone energy to hit the bloodstream without insulin spike which typically occurs when carbs enter the system.
HOW MUCH COCONUT OIL MIGHT YOU NEED?
According to Dr. Newport`s assessments, only two tablespoons of coconut oil, which is 35 ml or seven level teaspoons, supply the body with 20 grams of MCT, amount which has been found to prevent against degenerative neurological disease and to treat already established case.
Note that not all people tolerate coconut oil the same way, which means that you need to start slowly and work your way to these therapeutic levels. The best would be to start with one teaspoon along with food and then gradually increase the amount until you are able to tolerate four tablespoons.
LOW-FAT CRAZE HAS LIKELY CONTRIBUTED TO DRAMATIC RISE IN ALZHEIMER’S
Dr. David Perlmutter believes that avoiding fat and carbohydrates are the main causes of Alzheimer`s epidemics, which is preventable disease, influenced by lifestyle factors. Dr. Perlmutter`s book provides a strong argument for removing grains from your diet to protect the brain. As Amanda Smith, Medical Director at University of South Florida (USF) Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute told CTV News:
“The pharmaceutical industry is in this — of course to make money for their companies, and of course they want to help people theoretically — but at the end of the day it is about dollars and cents, and so money gets invested in things that are new or patentable rather than things that are sitting on the shelf already.”
INTERMITTENT FASTING CAN ALSO INCREASE KETONE PRODUCTION
Intermittent fasting is one of the ways to boost ketone production. It involves timing of meals, allowing the body to enter the fat-burning process. For optimal results, the length of the fast must be at least 16 hours, meaning that you should eat only between the hours of 11 am until 7 pm or noon until 8pm.
The best would be to avoid eating anything for three hours before bedtime and then extend the time before you have breakfast to the point you have skipped breakfast and have the first meal at lunch.
TIPS FOR MAINTAINING HEALTHY BRAIN FUNCTION AND AVOIDING ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
The tips below help maintain healthy brain function as you age and thus successfully prevent Alzheimer`s disease:
1. Avoid anticholinergics and statin drugs
2. Avoid flu vaccinations
3. Avoid and eliminate mercury from your body
4. Avoid aluminum, such as antiperspirants, non-stick cookware
5. Avoid gluten (primarily wheat)
6. Avoid sugar and refined fructose
7. Reduce your overall calorie consumption, and/or intermittently fast
8. Keep your fasting insulin levels below 3
9. Eat a nutritious diet, rich in folate
10. Optimize your vitamin D levels with safe sun exposure
11. Increase consumption of all healthful fats, including animal-based omega-3
12. Optimize your gut flora
13. Eat blueberries
14. Challenge your mind daily
15. Exercise regularly
OTHER NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR YOUR ANTI-ALZHEIMER’S ARSENAL
The four natural foods/ supplements below have been found to prevent age-related cognitive changes:
1. Alpha lipoic acid (ALA)
3. Ginkgo biloba
4. Vitamin B12