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Why Europeans Are Thinner

Last updated May 13, 2017 (originally published August 19, 2012)

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Doctors and Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and
other members of our Editorial Board.]

Forgetting where you put the car keys, wondering if you’ve
missed an appointment, failing to put a name to a face; do you
have Alzheimer’s? Understandably, many of us are worried
about Alzheimer’s disease, particularly as we get older. A lot of
us know someone with Alzheimer’s – 5.4 million people are
living with the condition in America today, according to the
Alzheimer's Association.

Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, accounting
for 50 to 80 percent of cases, which is a general term for
problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Alzheimer’s
usually creeps up slowly and symptoms steadily get worse until
sufferers are unable to lead a normal life.  By far the biggest
risk factor for Alzheimer’s is age. But people in their 40s and
50s also suffer – this is called
early onset Alzheimer’s. In fact,
the more scientists learn about Alzheimer's disease, the more
they understand that treatments that work in early Alzheimer's
may have little effect in late Alzheimer's disease.

We have looked at the scientific studies to find out if there are
any natural remedies that can help to slow the progression of
Alzheimer's disease. Are there any foods or herbs that help?

Does Alzheimer’s Kill?  

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the United
States. People with Alzheimer's live an average of eight years
after their symptoms are noticed by others, but survival can be
as long as 20 years. Although scientists are working hard to
combat this debilitating disease it is so far impossible to cure

However, experts believe you can slow the progress of
Alzheimer’s and maybe even prevent it occurring in the first
place. In fact, certain natural remedies are said to help beat the
symptoms of Alzheimer’s and improve quality of life.  

What are the Signs of Alzheimer’s?  

One of the common characteristics of Alzheimer’s is memory
loss, although this can also be normal when you grow older. A
typical age-related change would be sometimes forgetting a
name or an appointment but remembering it later.

One tell-tale sign of Alzheimer’s is asking for the same
information over and over again, and having to rely on memory
aides to get through the day.  

Another sign of Alzheimer’s is having difficulty solving
problems, forward planning, and concentrating. An Alzheimer’s
sufferer may forget the route to take to work, or find it
impossible to explain the rules of a game.  

Sometimes Alzheimer’s sufferers forget where they are or how
they got there. They put things in strange places and forget
them. Familiar words and phrases are forgotten and it is
difficult to join in a conversation or follow a train of thought.
Mood changes and depression also go along with Alzheimer’s.  
Alzheimer’s needs to be correctly diagnosed – it is important to
differentiate between natural aging and Alzheimer’s so the
correct treatment can be prescribed.

(Read more about some of the more
unusual signs of
Alzheimer's such as kicking in your sleep.)

If it is Alzheimer’s, you can find some relief with the following
10 natural remedies.  

10 Natural Remedies that Help Alzheimer's

1. Tamarac Helps Decrease the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

The spice tamarac (turmeric) taken together with vitamin D is
said to boost the immune system in order to clear amyloid
plaques from the brain, according to 2009 research from UC
Riverside and the Human BioMolecular Research Institute.

Amyloid plaques are early markers of Alzheimer's. In addition,
a 2001 study by the Departments of Medicine and Neurology,
University of California, Los Angeles showed amyloid plaque
activity was reduced after giving mice a tamarac compound.

One word of caution about tumeric --- don't take tumeric or
curcumin if you are also taking statins or other blood thinning
drugs or supplements because the combination can cause
internal bleeding, including in your brain.

Vitamin E May Slow the Progression of Alzheimer’s

Taking vitamin E on a regular basis may keep your brain sharp
as you get older and slow the progression of dementia. A 1997
study by Columbia University College of Physicians and
Surgeons, New York showed this to be the case although other
studies have failed to find a strong link.

In addition, a 2002 study by the Rush-Presbyterian-St Luke's
Medical Center found that a higher vitamin E intake from food
was matched with a decreased risk of developing Alzheimer's.

Clearly, you should eat
foods and herbs rich in Vitamin E to
reduce your risk for developing Alzheimer's and dementia.

Ginkgo Biloba Treats the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

The plant extract ginkgo biloba, easily found on the shelves of
our health stores, is believed to possess both antioxidant and
anti-inflammatory powers which helps protect cell membranes
and regulate neurotransmitters.

A 1997 study from the New York Institute for Medical Research
looked at more than 300 people with Alzheimer’s or dementia
and found those given 40 mg of ginkgo biloba extract three
times a day for 52 weeks displayed significant improvements in
mental functioning. A 2007 study from Poltava Regional
Psychiatry Hospital, Poltava, Ukraine showed ginkgo gave rise
to improvements in apathy, anxiety, irritability, depression and
sleep/nighttime behavior.

Do Omega-3 Fatty Acids Help Alzheimer’s Symptoms?

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid
which are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke
and may also help reduce the risk of dementia. A 2009 study by
Martek Biosciences showed those who took 900mg of omega-
3s a day scored a little better on a computerized memory test
than people taking a placebo.

However, Martek Biosciences is the manufacturer of the fatty
acids investigated in the study and a 2009 research paper by
the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study showed people with
mild to moderate Alzheimer's who took two grams of omega-3s
a day didn’t do any better than those that took a placebo. More
research is needed.  

What does appear to be true is that eating fish, as opposed to
taking pills, helps to expand the volume of brain cells and stave
off cognitive decline. (Read more about
foods that expand
brain volume.)

Take Phosphatidylserine for Alzheimer’s?

Phosphatidylserine is a substance involved in the structure and
maintenance of cell membranes. According to a 1997 study by
Fidia Research Laboratories, Abano Terme (Padova), Italy
300mg of phosphatidylserine a day helped improve both
behavior and mental function in elderly people with moderate
to severe mental decline. However, it may not be
straightforward to find the form of phosphatidylserine that
produced these results as the supplement has altered in
composition since the 90s.  

Huperzine A as an Alzheimer’s Benefit

The strangely named "huperzine A" is a substance taken from a
type of moss and it belongs to the class called alkaloids (like
caffeine.) Can it help prevent memory decline? A 2002 study by
Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of
Medical Sciences, Beijing showed that huperzine A can
significantly improve Alzheimer’s symptoms. Other studies have
shown mixed results and the conclusion is that huperzine A
may be of limited use in benefiting Alzheimer’s sufferers.

Take Vinpocetine as An Alzheimer’s Treatment?  

The chemical vinpocetine is taken from vincamine, which is
found in the leaves of the common periwinkle. Several experts
have looked at vinpocetine as a treatment for Alzheimer’s. A
2003 Cochrane review by researchers in Romania found some
studies which demonstrated vinpocetine’s benefits for people
with mild to moderate dementia but other trials were badly
organized and small.  

Aromatherapy for Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

Aromatherapy has long been touted as a cure for ailments
ranging from the common cold to cancer. A 2002 study from
the University of Southampton found lavender oil used as an
aromatherapy inhalation reduced agitation in people with
dementia. A 2002 project at the Wolfson Research Centre,
Newcastle General Hospital, UK showed essential oil from lemon
balm also reduced agitation in Alzheimer’s sufferers. Lemon
balm taken by mouth also shows promise as a treatment (2003,
Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital, Tehran University of Medical
Sciences, Tehran, Iran).  

Light Therapy is a Potential Alzheimer’s Remedy

Could exposure to bright light during the day help improve
symptoms of Alzheimer’s? A 2008 study by the Netherlands
Institute for Neuroscience, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts
and Sciences, Amsterdam found light therapy decreased
cognitive and functional decline and improved mood.
Combining melatonin with light therapy improved both mood
and quality of sleep.

Coconuts are Key to Alzheimer’s Treatment?

It seems the juice of young coconuts may hold promise for
treating the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. This is according to a
2012 study from Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai,
Thailand. The trial was conducted on rats and the results, while
interesting, are only preliminary.   


Berberine Prevents Alzheimer's

Berberine is extracted from the Chinese herb Rhizoma
coptidis. Several studies have made a startling discovery ---
berberine slows the progression of Alzheimer's and may
prevent Alzheimer's.

One such study was conducted in 2011 at Shandong University
of Technology in China. This mega-study study was a review of
many other existing studies on the effectiveness of bereberine
in fighting dementia, high cholesterol and oxidative stress.  The
2011 study concluded that berberine acts along multiple
chemical pathways to improve and prevent dementia.

One of the supporting studies, from which the mega-study
drew its conclusions, had found that lab animals given 50 mg
or berberine per kilogram of body weight for 14 days showed
significant improvement in spatial memory. For a 150 pound
person (68.8 kilograms) , that would mean a daily intake of  
3400 mg of berberine.  

A word of caution is in order. It's important to note that, while
the mega-study did not find that berberine had a recognized
upper limit for toxicity, it's always advisable to talk with your
doctor before taking this or any other supplement.

Avoid Gum Disease to Fight Alzheimer's.

A study carried out in 2013 by researchers in the UK has linked
gum disease with Alzheimer's risk.

The study was led by Dr. S. Poole and Dr. S.K. Singhrao of the
Oral & Dental Sciences Research Group, School of Postgraduate
Medical and Dental Education, University of Central Lancashire,
Preston, UK.

In this study, the researchers examined the brains of 10
patients who had died from Alzheimer's and compared to the
brains of patients who did not have the disease. They
conclusively demonstrated that one of the bacteria that causes
periodontal disease, "Porphyromonas gingivalis", actually
invades the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

The scientists believe that once the bacteria enters the brain, it
helps to trigger the cascade of inflammation that leads to

Taking care of your teeth with regular dental cleanings and
daily flossing and brushing can go a long way to not only
retaining your smile --- it may save you from the agony of
Alzheimer's disease. (Read more about
how to prevent gum
disease and how to kill the bacteria between your teeth.)

Beans Help Reduce Alzheimer's Risk

New reports say that eating certain kinds if beans can reduce
your risk for developing Alzheimer's disease.
Read more.

14. Strawberries Reduce Cognitive Decline.

Harvard researchers have discovered that women who eat
strawberries experience significantly less cognitive decline as
they age. (Read more about the
health benefits of

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Higher Risk of Alzheimer's

Those who suffer from moderate to severe Vitamin D deficiency
are far more likely to develop Alzheimer's , a 2014 study from
the University of Exeter Medical School in the UK has found.  

Those who suffer from moderate deficiency in Vitamin D have a
53% increased risk of Alzheimer's. Those who suffer from
severe Vitamin D deficiencies have a 125% increased risk.

The best source of Vitamin D is the sun. Exposure to bright
sunlight for 20 minutes a day will deliver all the Vitamin D you
need. If you can't get enough sun, make sure that you eat
foods rich in Vitamin D.

Ping- Pong Helps to Stave Off Alzheimer's?

Get out your ping pong paddle if you want to stave off

British scientist  David Kempton of King's College London
reports that playing table tennis helps Alzheimer's and other
dementia patients to grow more brain cells. Two sets of
patients over the age of 60 were recruited for a 10-week study.

The first set of patients were put on a walking program. The
second set played table tennis.

At the end of week,s both sets of patients showed
improvements in cognition and memory, with the walkers
showing more perhaps because, the scientists believe, they
exerted themselves more than the table tennis players.

However, here was the shocker. Both the walkers and the table
tennis players grew more brain cells. Both sets of patients
showed an increase in the number of neurons cells in the
hippocampus area of the brain responsible for memory and
your ability to learn.

Moreover, the table tennis players also showed an increase in
the thickness of the cortex of their brains, the area responsible
for complex thinking. This is the area that shrinks the most as
we age.

So, there you have it. Walk more as you age, yes, but also dust
off that old ping pong paddle to stay really sharp and on your

Alzheimer's Disease -An Ideal Prevention Diet

Dancing Reduces Dementia Risk By 76%

Why Do I Forget Things?-Causes and Top 10 Natural Remedies

Improve Your Memory- Simple Steps

Foods That Shrink Your Waist /

Foods That Fight Depression

How to Raise Your IQ Naturally

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Life

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Almonds are rich in Vitamin E which can help fight Alzheimer's disease.
almonds fight alzheimer's disease