Health Vitamins & Nutrition Centre, Langley BC
Alzheimer's Disease: There is Hope
  • January 12th, 2011
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  • Briony Martens
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  • 1 Comment
Alzheimers Disease

I have had many questions from friends, family, and many customers experiencing symptoms related to Alzheimers as well as those who have been formerly diagnosed. Unfortunately our medical system often doesn't take the time to explain what, how? Etc. diseases are and then what may be done naturally that could slow the progression of the disease.

What is?

Alzheimers is a brain disorder that destroys memory, a common form of dementia, often beginning in early 50s. Statistics show that 4.5 million Americans are managing this disease in the United States right now, and estimates are showing that the number of cases of Alzheimers is on the rise, with as many as 400,000 being diagnosed ever year.

Recent theories suggest that the cause of Alzheimers may be due to the breakdown of the myelin sheath, which serves as the outer wrapping around the nerves. There are many factors that may contribute to this breakdown, including high cholesterol, accumulation of certain proteins (amyloid proteins), excess free radical damage, head trauma, nutrient deficiencies, and perhaps over exposure and accumulation of aluminum and mercury. Commonly found in patients with Alzheimers disease are changes in the brain tissue called neuro-fibrillary tangles, unfortunately this can only be confirmed through autopsy. There may also be genetics involved with the onset of Alzheimers disease. There is no single method of diagnosing Alzheimers Disease in fact currently the method of diagnosis is solely based on eliminating other possibilities through extensive testing.

Symptoms

The progression of Alzheimers disease varies, but it is more commonly slow. Symptoms usually begin with forgetfulness. Keeping in mind that there are different kinds of forgetfulness the usually forgetfulness, for example where did I put my glasses is not the same as I dont remember ever having glasses. The later is being more associated with Alzheimers disease. As the disease progresses symptoms may include impairment of the senses, disorientation, dysphasia, unpredictable mood swings, hallucinations or delusions, wandering without purpose, incontinence, and neglecting personal hygiene. Please Keep in mind that if you are experiencing any one of these symptoms that does not necessarily mean you have Alzheimers, as many of these symptoms are associated with many other conditions or stages of life; however if you have concern check with your Medical Doctor.

What can we do?

I am a firm believer that the body naturally wants to rebalance and heal itself, if you give it the tools it needs to do so. I am not saying that you can cure oneself from Alzheimers disease, for two reasons I cannot legally say that, and secondly I am honestly not sure if you can. However there has been extensive research done on nutrients that are commonly deficient in those that are experiencing symptoms of Alzheimers Disease and that supplementing with these certain nutrients may slow the progression of the disease. Some Common nutrient deficiencies that have been associated are vitamin B12, B3 and zinc. B vitamins are very important for cognitive functioning and it is well known that processed foods, constituting so much of the modern diet, are stripped of these essential nutrients. Mal-absorption problems, or digestive problems, are common among the elderly, which make them more prone to nutritional deficiencies. Levels of antioxidants are commonly low as these are what help prevent excessive free radical damage. Deficiencies of acetylcholine have also been implicated as possibly causing dementia.

So for anyone who has been diagnosed or is looking to prevent the onset of Alzheimers disease, I Suggest speaking with a Registered Nutritionist and/or Naturopath. Here are a few ideas to get us started. Digestion is extremely important if your digestion is compromised you are not going to get not only the ideal amount of nutrients out of your food but also from your supplements. Consider digestive enzymes, apple cider vinegar, and an intestinal renew herbal formula. There are some tests that your medical doctor may not have considered that can be done through a naturaopath that i believe are very important in the path to improving ones health, including an hair analysis test to see nutrient deficiencies, and a food allergy test. If you are continuing to eat foods that your body is sensitive to you are putting added pressure on your immune system and potentially compromising your bodies healing abiities.

Some Supplements to Consider
1. Choline Probably one of the most important nutrients as it is involved with the neurological pathways of the brain, can also be taken in food form as lecithin.
2. B Vitamins they all work synergistically with each other, so a complex is ideal, considering extra B12, and B3
3. Minerals magnesium as it competes for absorption with aluminum, and zinc is a common deficiency important to the immune system.
4. Antioxidants (Vit A, C, E, Selenium) ideally a variety from a food source as well as concentrated isolates. (Super food juices would be excellent)
5. Essential fats are very important for the health of the brain, fish, and flax are good options.

Herbs

There has been a ton of research done on turmeric and Alzheimers disease and the results are very positive. A compound found in turmeric, called curcumin inhibits the formation and extension of beta-amyloid proteins, and can de-stabilize existing beta-amyloid plaques. I would suggest 600mg-1500mg of curcumin/day. Ginkgo Biloba has also seen positive results as it increases blood flow to the brain, caution with certain medications. I would suggest 60-200mg 2-3 times daily.

Finally, keep the mind active, try new things, learn new things, take lessons in dance or join a book club.

Mitrea, Lilieana Stadler, Pathology and Nutrition. 2005

Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Nutritional Healing 4th Ed. 2006

Haas, Elson MD. Staying Healthy with Nutrition 2006

- Briony Martens B.Sc RHN

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Gloriana said on February 10th, 2012:
"With all these silly websites, such a great page keeps my internet hope alive!"

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