What Can You Do To Prevent Or Reduce Alzheimer’s Symptoms Naturally

Alzheimer’s disease was first described by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in his patient in 1906. Today Alzheimer’s disease is a major public health concern with increasing numbers among the global population. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. (1) It is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder which leads to the destruction of nerve cells and brain tissue loss throughout the brain leading to shrinkage of brain size, a decline in mental capabilities and memory. 

Unfortunately, there is no real cure for Alzheimer’s disease as of now. Science and researchers have not yet identified any treatment that can slow or stop the progression of this disease. Treatment consists of creating a better quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s and reducing the symptoms. The symptoms of the disease can be addressed with traditional or alternative treatments.

Unfortunately, alternative treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease are not widely embraced in the medical community. However, specific dietary patterns have been proven to be very useful in preventing or counteracting the pathological processes typical of Alzheimer’s.

The best dietary habits for reducing Alzheimer symptoms include those that:

  1. increase cerebral blood flow which is vital for normal brain function. Alzheimer’s is associated with damage to small arteries, arterioles, and brain capillaries, which increased blood flow to and in the brain can help. To do this I recommend a diet rich in fiber especially found in whole grains and legumes. Eat foods from this group every day to support healthy blood supply to the brain.
  2. reduce oxidative damage which contributes significantly to the pathogenesis and progression of Alzheimer’s [96] You can do this by increasing your whole fruit intake. These foods are rich in antioxidants and help reduce free radicals and include: apricots, berries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, guava, mango, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, red grapes, tomatoes, and watermelon. I recommend eating at least two foods from this group daily.
  3. reduce inflammation in the brain which contributes to Alzheimer disease progression and severity. This will happen when you consume foods rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols help reduce brain cell inflammation, and reduce damage from free radicals. Foods from this group are crucial to consume on a regular and daily basis. Foods that are rich in polyphenols include: beans including soy beans, berries, cherries, cloves, curcumin, cocoa powder and dark chocolate, red grapes, nuts especially hazelnuts, and most vegetables especially red onions, artichokes and green leafy vegetables like spinach.
  4. increase BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor), which increases adult neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells in adulthood. Check out the best foods for this in my article here.
  5. and they help maintain a healthy gut microbiome which is necessary for the metabolization of polyphenols which need to be transformed into active compounds before having anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects on the brain. [130] To do this you want to consume foods that are excellent foods also for a healthy microbiome and include asparagus, beetroot, chicory, fennel, garlic, green peas, Jerusalem artichokes, all forms of legumes, all forms of onions, savoy cabbage, and sweetcorn. 

In addition to dietary patterns there are some supplements that have been shown to improve Alzheimer’s and these include:

Caprylic acid

Caprylic acid is a fatty acid that is found in decent quantities in coconut oil. This medium-chain fatty acid has potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps support a healthy microbiome. Caprylic acid can also be taken as a supplement.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids may be helpful in Alzheimer’s disease treatment. A study has shown that regular consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce cognitive impairment. (1) Omega-3 fatty acids have also been proven to reduce plaque in the arteries that restricts blood flow and hardens your arteries, and to reduce inflammation. 

You can consume more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet by consuming walnuts, flax and chia seeds.

Coenzyme Q10

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), is a neuroprotective antioxidant and has been shown to protect against Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. CoQ10 reduces plaque area and oxidative stress and amyloid pathology and improves behavioral performance.

Alternative therapies

Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that promotes self-healing by using fine needles. This therapy stimulates the human body and improves its energy flow.

Some studies show that acupuncture may improve cognitive function and mood in people with AD. (2) As long as it is performed by a trained and licensed practitioner, there is little to no risk if you decide to undergo acupuncture since it also has many other health benefits.

Feel free to comment below and let me know what you liked best about this article.

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Dr. Galit Goldfarb

References:

(1) Journal of Herbal Medicine, Swati Vyasa S.L.Kothariab Sumita Kachhwahaa,  €œNootropic medicinal plants: Therapeutic alternatives for Alzheimer’s disease €, Volumes 17 €“18, September €“December 2019, 100291, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hermed.2019.100291

(2) Zeng BY1, Salvage S, Jenner P. Effect and mechanism of acupuncture on Alzheimer’s disease. Int Rev Neurobiol. 2013;111:181-95. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-411545-3.00009-2.

(xx) Dumont M, Kipiani K, Yu F, et al. Coenzyme Q10 decreases amyloid pathology and improves behavior in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2011;27(1):211-223. doi:10.3233/JAD-2011-110209

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