Newsmax Health Contributor Dr. Russell Blaylock is disputing a recent announcement by a National Institutes for Health panel that there is little strong evidence that changes in diet and lifestyle can reduce a person’s risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
Blaylock says the problem with the panel’s conclusion is that it is based on an evaluation of studies that looked at the merits of diet, supplements, exercise, and other things individually, when in fact, they work in concert together and should be evaluated as such.
“Unless you combine all of these things, you’re not going to see the large impact, and that’s the trouble with these studies reported by the National Institutes for Health,” Blaylock says.
The NIH called together a panel of experts to consider numerous studies questioning whether diet, nutritional supplements, exercise, and chronic diseases like diabetes have an impact on a person’s chances for getting the brain-wasting disease that afflicts 26 million people around the world, including 5.4 million in the United States.
Experts did find some evidence that smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol levels could raise Alzheimer’s risk, but stopped short of drawing any solid conclusions from which to form recommendations.
The panel also found some evidence that the Mediterranean diet — rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and low in meats and other unhealthy fats — and reducing alcohol consumption, taking folic acid, eating spinach, and exercising the body and brain, may reduce risk, but experts couldn’t say for sure, Reuters Health reported.
However, Blaylock notes that Italian researchers recently reported on a study that found that strict adherence to the Mediterranean-style diet did show a significant reduction in the incidence of Alzheimer’s, as well as a slow-down in the progression of the disease in those who already had it.
Blaylock also argues that the high-fat, low-carb ketone diet has been shown to dramatically reverse symptoms of some people with early Alzheimer’s. The ketone diet calls for a reduction of most carbohydrates, especially sugars and high-fructose corn syrup, as well as an increase in medium-chain triglycerides like extra virgin coconut oil.
The diet reduces brain inflammation and allows the brain to switch to a type of metabolism that doesn’t produce the large amount of damaging free radicals the typical Western diet does, he says.
“The studies in which people control the diet very, very stringently and use the supplements that are known experimentally to reduce the change of Alzheimer’s disease are indeed showing significant reductions in Alzheimer’s,” he says.
Besides diet, Blaylock says a number of other lifestyle habits can help people protect themselves against Alzheimer’s disease:
• Regular physical exercise, which helps the brain secrete the reparative substance neurotrophic factor
• Adequate rest as well as prayer, which help the brain the heal
• Regular mental activity to stimulate neuron connections
Dr. Russell Blaylock