Dead whole fish aren’t very appealing to many folks
Linked in a good way.
It’s a little complicated.
DHA is an essential fatty acid. Our bodies need DHA, and certain fish are a good sources for us.
A recent small study found that people with higher levels of bloodstream DHA have less accumulation of amyloid in their brains. Amyloid deposition is a marker of Alzheimers disease. As the dementia starts and progresses, amyloid builds up in the brain. We don’t know if the amyloid is actually causing harm to brain tissue, or is simply a bystander to some other primary disease process. Some researchers think that if we can prevent amyloid build-up, we can prevent Alzheimers.
A recent MedPageToday article reviews the new study I mentioned above:
“So what’s a clinician to do? Quinn asked. “Maybe the best advice is to adhere to the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, each of which recommend eating fish two to three times per week, primarily for vascular health,” he suggested.
Source: Role for Fatty Acid Metabolism in Preclinical AD? | Medpage Today
I’ve been recommending at least that level of consumption since 2007. Follow my Advanced Mediterranean Diet or Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet and you’ll get plenty of DHA.
Steve Parker, M.D.
PS: Fish with decent levels of DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, herring, and albacore tuna.
“More basic research is critical.”
Several scientific studies, but not all, link type 2 diabetes with Alzheimer’s disease. Some go so far as to say Alzheimer’s is type 3 diabetes.
My Twitter feed brought to my attention a scientific article I thought would clarify the relationships between diabetes, carbohydrate consumption, and Alzheimer’s dementia (full text).
Click the full text link to read all about insulin, amylin, insulin degrading enzyme, amyloid–β, and other factors that might explain the relationship between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s dementia. You’ll also find a comprehensive annotated list of the scientific studies investigating the link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
Bottom line: We still don’t know the fundamental cause of Alzheimer’s disease. A cure and highly effective preventive measures are far in the future.
Action Plan For You
You may be able to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by:
- avoiding type 2 diabetes
- preventing progression of prediabetes to diabetes
- avoiding obesity
- exercising regularly
- eating a Mediterranean-style diet
Carbohydrate restriction helps some folks prevent or resolve obesity, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes. A low-carb Mediterranean diet is an option in my Advanced Mediterranean Diet (2nd edition).
Steve Parker, M.D.
Reference: Schilling, Melissa. Unraveling Alzheimer’s: Making Sense of the Relationship Between Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 51 (2016): 961-977.
Two diet books in one
Well, perhaps that’s a bit of an overstatement. Preserved brain function and the Mediterranean diet were positively associated in a study involving Americans in Utah. This fits with prior observations that the Mediterranean diet prevents dementia.
In the study at hand, the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) also protected the brain:
Higher levels of accordance [compliance] with both the DASH and Mediterranean dietary patterns were associated with consistently higher levels of cognitive function in elderly men and women over an 11-year period. Whole grains and nuts and legumes were positively associated with higher cognitive functions and may be core neuroprotective foods common to various healthy plant-centered diets around the globe.
See the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition for details.
…particularly in Australian men at high genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease. MedPageToday has the details.
…according to a study in AJCN.
“Higher levels of accordance to both the DASH and Mediterranean dietary patterns were associated with consistently higher levels of cognitive function in elderly men and women over an 11-y period. Whole grains and nuts and legumes were positively associated with higher cognitive functions and may be core neuroprotective foods common to various healthy plant-centered diets around the globe.”
“Let’s work on getting those blood sugars down, honey.”
On the heels of a report finding no association between Alzheimer’s disease and abnormal blood sugar metabolism, MedPageToday features an new study linking high blood sugars to future development of dementia. And diabetics with sugar levels higher than other diabetics were more prone to develop dementia.
Some of you have already noted that not all cases of dementia are Alzheimer’s dementia. But Alzheimer’s accounts for a solid majority of dementia cases.
Some quotes from MedPageToday:
During a median follow-up of 6.8 years, 524 participants [of the 2000 total] developed dementia, consisting of 74 with diabetes and 450 without. Patients without diabetes and who developed dementia had significantly higher average glucose levels in the 5 years before diagnosis of dementia (P=0.01). The difference translated into a hazard ratio of 1.18 (95% CI 1.04-1.33).
Among the patients with diabetes, glucose levels averaged 190 mg/dL in those who developed dementia versus 160 mg/dL in those who did not. The difference represented a 40% increase in the hazard for dementia (HR 1.40, 95% CI 1.12-1.76).
—Steve Parker, M.D.
Reference: Crane PK et al. “Glucose Levels and Risk of Dementia” N Engl J Med 2013; 369: 540-548.
Reminder: Conquer Diabetes and Prediabetes is now available on Kindle.
Larry Huston has the details. ACE inhibitors are commonly used to treat high blood pressure.
The ACE inhibitors in the study were perindopril, ramipril, trandolapril, captopril, fosinopril, lisinopril, prinivil and monopril.