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Prevention Of Alzheimer's Disease via nutrition

Discussion in 'Neurological Problems' started by amy green, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    If you look at the studies done on macro-nutrients and on the diets and illnesses of native peoples it's hard to escape the conclusion that these 'protective foods' are simply sticking-plasters, applied after the harm has been done. (Not only to our ability to avoid Alzheimer's, but also cancers, diabetes, obesity and heart disease - all the illnesses of modern life.)

    As for the point the article makes about saturated fat being bad for you - where is the evidence?
     
  2. amy green

    amy green Well-Known Member

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    Well the link did say MAY prevent Alzheimer's....it would be hard to prove or disprove it wouldn't it? Doing something rather than nothing is being proactive though for those worried about the genetic link e.g. if it runs in the family.

    Re. the evidence citing trans fats as being detrimental to Alzheimer's, check this out (I think it is pretty obvious anyway e.g. anything blocking the clean blood flow to the brain)

    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/466037_2
     
  3. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    Problem with reading this, since I don't want to sign up for an account. Does it actually quote studies? Or just go the 'everyone knows' route?

    Actually, few things are 'pretty obvious'. If it were so, then why do these diseases, including Alzheimer's, come into populations only when they start eating a 'Western diet'? And why is the incidence of Alzheimer's increasing, despite the reduction in the intake of saturated fats?

    There are already things people can do - and if they read the evidence, might be tempted to do - such as reduce their levels of sugar and other refined carbohydrates, and starchy carbohydrates such as grains.
     
  4. amy green

    amy green Well-Known Member

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    Oh that's odd ... I linked the article but now see that it subsequently changed to logging in!(?) [​IMG]

    Here is the relevant section (the association with high intake of saturated fats seems at first evident and then puzzling)

    The 3 prospective dietary studies conducted in Chicago,[20] New York,[21] and Rotterdam[22] also examined the relation of dietary fat intake to the development of Alzheimer's disease. The Chicago study reported the strongest evidence of an association. High intake of saturated fat doubled the risk of Alzheimer's disease, and even moderate intake of trans fat increased the risk by 2 to 3 times.[20] By contrast, higher intake of both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats was associated with lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

    The New York study found evidence of a greater 4-year risk of Alzheimer's disease for those with higher intakes of total fat and saturated fat but no evidence of an association with the intake of polyunsaturated fat.[21] Investigators for the Rotterdam study also found an increased risk of disease with higher intakes of total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol after 2 years of follow-up,[22] but none of the dietary fats was associated with Alzheimer's disease after 6 years of follow-up.[23] Further study will be required to understand the inconsistent findings across studies and to determine whether the composition of fat in the diet is causally related to risk of Alzheimer's disease.

    There can be many causes to Alzheimer's, so I would not discount trans fats clogging up arteries (thereby impeding blood supply to the brain) as a factor. It makes sense to me.
     
  5. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    Inconsistent - particularly when set against the lack of Alzheimer's in native societies and, as I said, the increase of Alzheimer's in modern society that has run concurrent with the decrease of fat intake.
    Your point about fat clogging up arteries makes no sense to me. You are surely not suggesting that dietary fats somehow transfer intact to the blood vessels? (And saturated fats are not the same as trans fats, anyway.)

    If - as Selkoe and Tanzi (2004 report on insulin and Alzheimer's) suggest - insulin production in the body is implicated in the development of Alzheimer's, then reducing carbohydrates in the diet would be the most effective way of avoiding the condition. And other conditions of modern life.
     
  6. amy green

    amy green Well-Known Member

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    Decrease in fat intake is a relatively recent thing and alzheimer's has been around a long time.

    Yes I realise saturated fats are not the same as trans fats...like, DER!!! [​IMG]
    Fat intake breaks down into fatty acids and glycerols, i.e. is a converted FAT!

    Like I said, I think there is more than one cause to Alzheimer's.
     
  7. Tashanie

    Tashanie Well-Known Member

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  8. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the delay - I had to go to Liverpool!:eek:
    And yet, the huge increase in Alzheimer's has paralleled the reduction of fat, particularly saturated fat, in the diet. It's hard to tell how long Alzheimer's has been around. It was certainly around when it was identified in 1907, but seems to have been absent (like so many other illnesses) in native societies. If saturated fats are in any way bad for us, how come they only started being bad in the 1960s?

    Trans fats are formed by hydrogenating oil. Okay - I'm sure you know all this, but it's getting confusing!

    I'm sure. And I have no doubt that environmental toxins don't help. But the main culprit seems to be insulin. Therefore carbohydrates are the problem, not fats. Fats are essential for health. Carbohydrates are not.
     
  9. amy green

    amy green Well-Known Member

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  10. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    These studies are starting from an already damaged baseline - people eat carbohydrates (particularly refined sugar and starches), they produce insulin. This sets in motion the problems that lead to Alzheimer's, cancers, heart disease, obesity, diabetes. The studies then done are looking at people who have already consumed carbohydrates most, if not all, their lives.

    I'm not saying that, in that study, these effects were not observed. But improving a condition, or even preventing it, does not logically prove that the opposite behaviour causes that condition.

    There are too many inconsistencies - which I have already mentioned - the effects of traditional diets as opposed to 'Western' diets, the rise in Alzheimer's, etc. - that need explaining.

    There is a desperation in some fields of science to find the one magic bullet for everything. And a desperation to have something simple, like 'saturated fat is bad for you' to say to people. Life is more complicated than that.

    If saturated fat is bad, how have we evolved eating something so dreadful? Unless this is answered, then there has to be a different cause.
     
  11. amy green

    amy green Well-Known Member

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    There are lots of foods that are 'bad' for us - trans fats is worse than saturated fats, as you know. When judging our diet, the assessment needs to take account that there are foods that help break down fat/lipids in the blood, e.g. food that contain plant sterols. Clearly the issue is more complex than it would appear.

    Nutrition may not be the only cause anyway of Alzheimer's. There could well be other influencing factors concerning someone's constitution, genetics etc.
     
  12. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    Yes.
    But my question above still stands.
     
  13. Tashanie

    Tashanie Well-Known Member

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    I am with you Crowan. The I am not convinced by fats as a cause. I don't think there is one cause. Aluminium is postulated as a cause, there is some tenuous evidence that drinking apple juice may help prevent it. I think that like many other illnesses, eating a better diet, avoiding too many processed foods, and avoiding high fat high sugar high salt foods will enable us to live longer healthier lives.
     
  14. amy green

    amy green Well-Known Member

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    I did acknowledge that there was probably more than one cause to getting Alzheimer's.
     
  15. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    The problem with this is the huge disagreements - most of which are, as I was trying to point out above, not backed by the science - about what a 'better' diet is. For example, quite apart from the fats issue, salt seems not to be much of a problem for most of us.
     
  16. Tashanie

    Tashanie Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. The link between a high salt intake and high blood pressure is well known and backed by the science. The diet I posted the link to is also backed by science. I was at a conference recently that was entitled 'Food the forgotten medicine' for doctors and holistic therapists. The mix was about 50/50 and everything presented was science based....with a surprising amount of agreement. If you are on twitter check #foodismedicine
     
  17. Crowan

    Crowan Well-Known Member

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    One thing that is counter-intuitive is the fact that if something 'cures' a condition and that something also prevents a condition it does not necessarily follow that an absence of that something causes the condition. One of the many situations where 'common sense' is wrong.
     
  18. amy green

    amy green Well-Known Member

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    Well it is not a hard and fast science but it would be sensible to heed advice about reducing risk factors if worried about getting this condition. I would say it's more sense than nonsense to do so!
     
  19. amy green

    amy green Well-Known Member

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    From a recent investigative study (a BBC programme assessing nutrition news in the media), I learnt that dark/plain chocolate can help stave off dementia. :)

    However, the daily intake was highly specific i.e. 10 grams! That's about the size of a small matchbox. :(

    To eat more than this is said to increase the risk of dementia! o_O

    So I will be taking the positives from this and 'medicating' myself with this daily 10 gram dosage treat! :D
     

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