HOW DO I PREVENT ALZHEIMER’S?

The best way to prevent Alzheimer’s is to have your risk factors assessed, starting with a test for APOE-4.  By testing for the presence of certain biomarkers, including gene abnormalities, your doctor can help develop a personalized course of treatment to reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, and the ReCODE protocol optimizes your program.

Beyond the use of medication, there are steps that individuals can take to lessen their chance of developing Alzheimer’s or help prevent the progression of the disease, including:

  • Participating in regular exercise, both aerobic and strength training.
  • Reducing or eliminating exposure to toxins.
  • Maintaining a diet that limits meat consumption.
  • Refraining from eating any sugars or gluten.
  • Stimulating the brain with intellectual challenges, such as brain training.

The presence of the APOE-4 is also a key contributor to developing other illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.  Understanding your genetic profile is the first step towards designing a healthy lifestyle and diet to prevent the APOE-4 gene from triggering harmful changes in the body, including the destruction of brain cells, the regulation of cholesterol, and inflammation of organs and tissues throughout the body.

In short, the APOE-4 test is a critically important diagnostic tool.  Your doctor will interpret the results to create a customized plan to strengthen your metabolism to prevent the progression of inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and the brain damage caused by Alzheimer’s.

In addition to the APOE-4 test, it’s also important to adopt a healthy lifestyle.  According to Harvard University[1], there are simple steps that anyone can take to stay healthy and help ward off the chances of developing Alzheimer’s, including:

  • Getting 30 minutes of moderately vigorous exercise 3-4 times per week.
  • Eating a diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and fish with a minimum of red meat consumption.
  • Getting enough sleep on a regular basis (7-8 hours per night).
  • Maintaining social contacts with friends and family.
  • Minimal alcohol consumption (one drink/day for women, and 1-2 drinks/day for men).

Research[2] has also shown that a deficiency in Vitamin D can lead to cognitive decline and the progression of Alzheimer’s.  Between 40-75% of adult Americans are Vitamin D deficient.  In one study, seniors who were Vitamin D deficient were more than twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as those who consumed the recommended amount of Vitamin D.

Foods rich in Vitamin D can help reduce cognitive decline.

Vitamin D is a name nutritionists use to describe a category of nutrients known as a secosteroid, effectively a hormone. Vitamin D is essential to human health. Vitamin D can be synthesized on exposure to sunlight, but certain processed foods and supplements have Vitamin D added artificially. The recommended daily intake of Vitamin D is 600 IU for individuals under age 70 and 800 IU for individuals older than 70, but optimal levels of vitamin D may require higher intake.

Other nutrients that have been shown to reduce cognitive decline[3] and memory loss include:

  • Gingko biloba
  • Vitamin C
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish, walnuts, eggs, and supplements)
  • Acetyl-L-carnitine
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Vitamin E
  • Alpha lipoic acid
  • Coenzyme Q10

A lifestyle and diet that reduces inflammation, is high in antioxidants, and includes regular physical and mental exercise is the best way to maintain a healthy and active brain.

[1] https://www.health.harvard.edu/alzheimers-and-dementia/what-can-you-do-to-avoid-alzheimers-disease
[2] http://www.alzheimers.net/8-27-14-vitamin-d-and-dementia/
[3] http://alzheimersprevention.org/4-pillars-of-prevention/pillar-1-diet-supplements/