Science Was Wrong Again!:
We just learned that Science was wrong about adults not being able to grow new brain-cells.
In this video, Dr. Neal Barnard shares Dietary-changes that can actually improve your brain,
And most importantly help avoid Alzheimer’s, the disease that killed his father.
Having watched that whole process, he ranks it as one of the last things you’d ever want to happen.
So, here’s his list of 5 research-backed tools that may make a surprising difference…
When you get Alzheimer’s several little bundles of protein that shouldn’t be there start forming.
But when you ask doctors what can be done about it,
They tell you the answer is nothing, and that 50% of all Americans will have it by the time they reach 85.
Moreover, if you have one inherited copy of a special gene called APOE-e4, Science says your risk goes up 300%.
If you get that code from both parents, Science again says your risk goes up by about 1000%-1500%!
So, until you can get your DNA directly-edited, what can you do?
A New Hope:
Well, an interesting and hopeful angle on this problem was taken up by a team called The Chicago Health & Aging Project.
And of all things to study, they picked a strange & oddly-unpromising target.
So they went out with their little research crews & did incredibly-detailed food-journals on hundreds of people.
And in their own pre-giant-cloud-computing way, tried the best they could to find ANY possible trends among people who didn’t get Alzheimer’s.
Searching For Trends Before Big Data Gets A Hit!:
-Especially ones that weren’t from some inherited DNA-code that you can’t change [yet].
And what they found was something that Dr. Barnard remembered from growing up:
The bacon-grease his mom used to save solidifies at room-temperature.
-Because it’s full of a certain type of Fat.
If You Avoid Saturated Fat For One Thing, Does That Fix Others, Too?:
And that type of fat just happens to be one of the things the data-crew tested for.
They probably figured people try to avoid it for all types of heart & cardio reasons, why not give it a shot for this?
And what they found was basically 2 groups.
One ate about 13 grams a day or less.
The other ate more; often twice as much.
And somehow, after testing the data for disease, they had their first big revelation:
People who ate more than 13 grams of saturated fat every day had almost 350% the risk of of the low saturated-fat group.
On an even odder note, the number 1 source of saturated fat is not bacon or even meats, it’s Dairy products like cheese, ice-cream & butter.
Taking Things Further Back To The Future:
So one of the more interesting statements on this type of brain problem was made by Daniel Amen.
And I don’t have the direct quote, but he highlighted the fact that you may start having the beginning of brain problems occur, BEFORE you actually see symptoms.
And so on this theme, a team of researchers in Finland walked things back from people with Alzheimer’s when they’re old,
To people who have smaller-but-similar symptoms earlier in life.
What doctors call “Mild Cognitive Impairment”.
You’re still functional, but you’re starting to become a little forgetful.
Maybe Alzheimer’s Does Start Early?:
And they brought in over 1300 adults with an average age of 50.
Just as in the Chicago study, the researchers looked again at peoples’ diet.
This time they looked to see who got Dr. Amen’s Alzheimer’s-precursor, mild cognitive impairment.
And as-before the nutritional groups were divided in 2.
Less than 21g of sat-fat/day and over that.
And the Results?
These guys on the other side of the world found Exactly The Same Pattern!
~250% increased-risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment for high saturated-fat group!
The Killer Gene & Playing The Hand You’re Dealt:
Now here’s where things get weird.
Another group of researchers took on not just the earlier-indicator of Alzheimer’s.
They took on The Earliest Indicator: Presence of That “Brain-Killer”, APOE-e4 gene in the first-place.
And this was perhaps the toughest work anyone’s done on the disease, short of people devising a cure.
Almost hopeless, really. But they tested it anyway.
So just as before, if someone has The Killer Gene and eats small or large amounts of saturated fat,
Does it make any difference at-all?
Is behavior any hope against Mother Nature’s DNA death sentence?
Yes, You Really Can Change!:
Researchers found roughly THE SAME RESULTS AS-BEFORE!
If you have APOE-e4 & get a high amount of saturated fat in your diet, you have about a 500% Increased-risk of getting Alzheimer’s
But if you eat a low amount?
YOU HAVE THE SAME [80% Lower!] RISK AS AN AVERAGE PERSON (who doesn’t have The Killer Gene).
GENETICS IS NOT DESTINY.
“The Killer Gene”,
But you reduce your saturated fat intake,
You reduce your risk by 80%.
Genetics is not destiny.
Heavy Metal Plot-Twist! Brain Plaques Are Not Just Protein:
So those Alzheimer-meatballs from the slide before?
They’re not just weird proteins.
There is Metal in your brain. And it’s not just the last Iron Maiden album.
There is actually Iron and Copper in your brain at the same location as those plaques,
And it short-circuits the connections between cells. -Especially when it Oxidizes & kicks off weird particles called Free-Radicals.
Too Much Of A Good Thing:
So, between fortified-foods, vitamins & red-meat,
Many people are getting more Iron than is healthy for them.
The same thing happens for people who drink water that’s been sitting in the Copper Pipes of their house overnight.
(you can always just run the faucet for 5 minutes first thing, btw.)
Now unfortunately, Dr. Neal has no reduction-studies on the metals to cite.
But he Does have the next best thing!
A Vitamin Sponge For Eternal Sunshine!:
It turns out, there is a little vitamin that takes care of the rust in your head.
So to test the idea that those things could be wiped-out by a vitamin, another study was done in Chicago.
And sure-enough, people who got about 8mg of Vitamin E/day cut their risk by 50% compared to the low-dose group.
-But there’s a Twist!
You can’t take the easy way out with E.
No Pills Allowed, The Vitamins-From-Food Movement Gets Serious For E:
Not only have other studies shown that some men have adverse health-reactions to Vitamin E supplements,
The stuff you get in the bottle is worthless.
And it’s probably the object-lesson in the new trend of Getting Vitamins From Food, not bottles.
-Because when you do that with Vitamin E, you get All 8 Types of it, not just 1.
And it’s much more effective.
Because if you get only 1 in concentrated-form, it barely works at-all.
So to get it from food, you can have Spinach, Mangoes, and Nuts & Seeds.
Just have the right amount & don’t stuff your face with an entire bag of mixed nuts every day.
Neal recommends just using it as a small garnish for other food, like salads.
Nature’s Sunblock Is Also The Color Of Health:
Researchers at U. Cincinatti had an interesting idea strolling down the produce aisle.
And it probably came from the Resveratrol in Red Wine.
The theme they hit on was: Color.
We don’t actually have that many produce items that are Purple.
And it turns out the strange skin of crappy-soil+mega-sun-loving Grapes is weird in a fantastic way.
They have colors in them that act like sunblocks, but also do fantastic things for Brain Powah!
So in a study just like the one on Mild Cognitive Impairment,
they brought in a group of older people who were doing even worse with memory.
They gave them 1 pint of red grape juice every day.
And after 3 months,
Both their new-memory and recall of older-memories was already better!
How’s that for Nature’s Prescription Med!
Nature’s Red/Blue Weirdness Is Your Benefit:
The cool thing about the compounds that give red grapes their color is that just like the vitamin E in mangoes, almonds & spinach,
it’s an Antioxidant, too!
So that’s when the scientists really followed the theme.
-What other thing has a unique & weird color?
And what happened when UC ran a similar test on people with a juice that has Blue in it instead of Purple?
Same Awesome Results! -BOOM!
And as a follow-up, Dr. Neal’s group also helped convince the USDA to rewrite the Food Pyramid to include all types of vibrantly-colored produce to help make us all healthier, too.
The Last Bit You Must Do:
And as readers of HT might guess, the brain-health doesn’t just stop at Food.
One more component is Exercise!
After testing more than 100 adults who were instructed to get a brisk walk Only 3 Times a week,
a team at the University of Illinois found that the brain’s central structure for Memory stopped aging and increased its size and effectiveness,
-as if the exercisers had the memory-center of Much younger people!
And after 1 year, the test results proved the effectiveness that the brain-scans suggested would be there.
3x A Week To A Younger Brain:
And that’s what that team ended-up recommending for everyone.
Just walk 3 times a week.
Even start at just 10 minutes.
As you get used to it, add 5-10 minutes at a time, all the way up to even 40 minutes a week,
And your brain will grow young again just like their study subjects!
So, while Dr. Neal tells us in the emotional story about his father that it’s too late for him,
It’s not too late for Us to make those changes & keep the most valuable asset we have in great shape!
Check out the Details in the Links:
Video by: TEDx
Photo “Blueberries”, by Lisa Norwood
• Source: TEDx, Neal Barnard
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