As much as it may puzzle conventional researchers, Alzheimer's disease is a modern problem stemming from our modern diet. Over the years, I've told you about preventing Alzheimers Disease with B3. And now, a new study from Sweden shows that adding just one powerful antioxidant to your regimen may cut your Alzheimer's risk by more than half.
Unravelling the mystery of Alzheimer's disease
The overt signs of Alzheimer's disease don't usually appear until after the age of 60. But we now know that damage to the brain begins much earlier, often up to 20 years earlier.
The disease begins when abnormal bits of protein called plaques and tangles begin to form in the brain. As a result, a person with Alzheimer's appears more forgetful or has trouble completing complex tasks, like handling money or paying bills.
As the plagues and tangles take root, more healthy neurons in the brain begin to die. Eventually, the carnage spreads to the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for building and storing memories. By the final stages, damage is so widespread that even basic functions -- such as speaking or swallowing -- become impossible.
Unfortunately, the top three Alzheimer's drugs on the market haven't been proven to slow the progression of this disease one iota. Not one iota!
In fact, one independent study in the UK showed that patients taking the drug Aricept had virtually the same timeline for decline as patients taking a placebo (42% taking Aricept ended up in an institution after 3 years, versus 44% taking the placebo).
I still scratch my head as to why doctors continue to prescribe those drugs when they clearly don't work. The better option obviously would be to prevent the disease altogether. And the new study out of Sweden proves that preventing AD naturally is entirely possible.
Seniors cut Alzheimer's risk by up to 54 percent
Scientists from Sweden began their study with a hunch...a hunch that a powerful antioxidant could protect the brain against Alzheimer's disease.
The scientists recruited 232 patients over the age of 80 with no signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. They took samples of the patients' blood to check for vitamin E, an antioxidant typically associated with supporting the heart and immune system.
Then, the scientists checked back in with their patients six years later. During that time, 57 of them developed Alzheimer's. But the patients who had plenty of vitamin E in their blood at the outset of the study had a clear advantage. In fact, these patients had a 54 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's. That's right. One simple vitamin cut their risk by more than half!
So exactly how does vitamin E protect the brain?
Well, scientists have no definitive answer. But generally, they think that it simply helps to gobble up free radicals that contribute to nerve damage in the brain. It also seems to play a role in preventing oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is bad, no matter where it happens in the body. But in the brain, it can lead to the build-up of protein. And as you'll recall, protein in the hippocampus causes the early, overt signs of Alzheimer's disease. The person becomes more forgetful or has trouble handling money or paying bills.
The good news, it seems that good 'ole E seems to help prevent all this.
Vitamin E: More than just the sum of its parts
With all the positive effects it has on your overall health and well-being, there's never been a better time to add vitamin E to your regimen. As this study showed, even men and women in their 80s benefited from this powerful antioxidant.
Just remember, there are eight different naturally occurring forms of vitamin E. They all play a different role in the body. In fact, the participants in the study who garnered the most protection against AD had all eight forms of the in their blood. So if Alzheimer's is a concern of yours, make sure to look for an all-natural gel cap that contains all eight fractions of vitamin E.