Estimates are that up to 75 percent of people with type-2 diabetes will one day suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
It’s a sobering statistic, but it doesn’t have to be prediction.
If you have type-2 diabetes you CAN beat the odds.
And I’ll have some easy to implement tips for you to lower your own Alzheimer’s risk in just a few minutes.
But first let’s take a look at some of the strongest research we have to date linking these two devastating diseases
Is Alzheimer’s really type-3 diabetes?
While we’ve known for quite some time that there may be a link between elevated insulin levels and Alzheimer’s disease, researchers uncovered a connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s that runs so deep it prompted them to make an amazing announcement.
According to researchers at the University of Albany in New York, Alzheimer’s may essentially be an advanced form of type-2 diabetes. In other words, they could be the very same disease just at different stages of development.
That incredible insight—a breakthrough that would help explain why so many diabetics end up with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis—was announced over two years ago now. Yet most people still haven’t heard the news.
And that means most diabetics haven’t begun to take the steps they need to avoid becoming a statistic.
Excess insulin linked to beta amyloid plaque buildup
It turns out some of the excess insulin diabetics produce is finding its way into their brains. Once there it disrupts important “housecleaning” tasks, according to the preliminary research presented at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego that year.
You see an enzyme in your brain normally takes care of sweeping it clean of potentially-damaging proteins called beta amyloid plaques. But the insulin appears to be creating a roadblock that prevents this critical cleaning from happening. The result is a buildup and clumping together of the plaques that scientists say are linked to Alzheimer’s.
The U. of A. researchers uncovered this incredible connection by studying diabetic animals in the lab. They discovered that as the lab rat’s diabetes progressed their scores on memory tests took a nosedive. And when they examined their brains, sure enough they were able to spot those telltale plaques.
But as I said earlier, if you have type-2 diabetes you don’t have to simply resign yourself to having type-3—or Alzheimer’s disease—one day. You can beat the odds by making a few changes.
3 steps to help reduce your Alzheimer’s risk
In fact, there are three steps you can start on today that could help ensure Alzheimer’s is never a part of your tomorrow.
Step 1: Do A Simple Diet Makeover:
If you haven’t made the switch to a low carb diet already there’s no time like today to get started. A diet high in high-quality fats and proteins and low in simple carbohydrates and added sugars supports your body and your brain health.
It could also help you lose weight—something that can be difficult to do when you’re diabetic—as well as control your blood sugars. In fact, many type-2 diabetics have cured themselves of diabetes by sticking to a strict low-carb diet.
And be sure to eat more brain-friendly berries.
According to researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University the phytonutrients in berries could help keep your brain clear of toxic proteins such as the beta amyloid plaques that are so closely linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Step 2: Make a Move:
If you’re a bit of a couch potato, or spend five days a week parked behind a desk in the office, it’s time to get more active. It will help keep your blood sugar steady and your weight under control, which in turn could help slash your risk of progressing to type-3 diabetes.
In fact, according to one study leading a couch-potato lifestyle could raise your Alzheimer’s risk by as much as 20 percent. Meaning around 1 in 5 adults will get the disease simply from not getting enough movement.
Don’t worry I’m not going to tell you to spend two hours a day in the gym six days a week. That’s not realistic for most of us. And besides spending hours upon hours being sedentary every day isn’t magically undone by lifting weights like a lunatic for hours on end a couple nights a week.
The idea is to incorporate more movement into your daily life and pick up an active hobby or two that you love so much you can’t wait to do it.
Small changes make a big difference.
- Set a timer on your phone or computer to go off every hour and take a stroll around the block—or at least around the office to visit coworkers—every time it goes off.
- Take the stairs at work, at the mall and wherever there’s an option.
- Take the dog for long walks. If you don’t have one adopt one or offer to walk your friend or neighbor’s pooch
- Get to that yardwork you’ve been meaning to do. Or clean out that cluttered garage or basement. You’ll tackle your to do list and get some exercise at the same time.
And don’t forget to get started on that new hobby.
Square dancing, swimming, hiking, golfing, biking sightseeing and even volunteering are all great ways to get out and get a move on. Pick out whatever hobby makes YOU feel like a kid again and go for it. (And when you get home make sure to get a good night’s sleep!)
Step 3: Seek Out Supplements:
If you’ve tackled steps 1 and 2 congratulations you’re well on your way to conquering diabetes and likely Alzheimer’s right along with it.
But many of us could still use a bit more help reaching the healthy zone, and a little extra insurance once we get there. That’s were supplements come in.
By adding some well-chosen nutrients into the mix you can help support healthy blood sugar levels and help lower your risk. Check in with your own doctor to find out which ones are right for you.
Supplements to consider include:
Chromium – a mineral that naturally supports glucose metabolism. Can help balance blood sugar as well as convert glucose into usable energy. A typical dosage is 200 to 400 mcg daily.
Biotin – a B vitamin your body requires to perform a number of tasks including assisting in the conversion of fats and carbs into energy.
Diabetics are prone to low biotin levels. You can try raising your own levels with foods including liver, brewer’s yeast, grapefruit, watermelon and peanuts. Or take a B complex or multi containing the vitamin.
Vitamin D-3 – low levels of vitamin D have been repeatedly linked with type–2 diabetes. Most people don’t get enough D. In the warmer months try to spend around 20 minutes a day outside with your arms and face uncovered.
Have your doc test you to find out if your D levels are low. If they are I typically recommend a dosage up to 5,000 IU of D3 daily until you’ve reached a healthy level and then a maintenance dose can be started. Check with your doc about what dosage is right for you.
Magnesium – this mineral is essential for maintaining healthy blood sugars. It may be able to help reserve insulin resistance and improve blood glucose levels. A typical dosage is 500 to 1,000 mg daily.
Curcumin – an anti-inflammatory extract found in the spice turmeric showed some remarkable results against Alzheimer’s in an animal study. There’s evidence that the spice may naturally help protect brain cells.
Cinnamon – may help improve fasting blood sugar levels by helping your body process sugar. Sprinkle one quarter to one half a teaspoon into coffee or tea or into foods such as yogurt daily. Or try a supplement as directed.
Gymnema sylvestre – this plant extract may be able to help slow glucose metabolism helping to keep blood sugars under control. A typical dosage is 400 to 800 mg daily.
Berberine – this natural plant compound may help your cells use glucose more efficiently. In one study berberine takers had better fasting and post meal blood sugars than a placebo group. A typical dosage is 1,000 to 1,500 mg daily.
Dr. Allan Spreen
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