Is there an Alzheimer’s diet that is suggested for AD sufferers? There is strong evidence that the incidence and prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease is affected by diet.
Recent findings displayed a higher prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in elderly African-Americans and Japanese living in the United States than those still living in their homelands. These findings lead scientists to hypothesize that diet is a key factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. To test this hypothesis, researcher William B. Grant analyzed data from 18 different studies involving populations of people 65+ years of age from 11 countries. This information was compared to components of the national diet of each country.
The study found that high fat and high calorie diets have the highest correlation with Alzheimer’s disease prevalence rates. Other high risk factors include alcohol, salt, and refined carbohydrates. In addition, it was found that fish consumption reduced the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in European and North American countries. Grant speculated that anti-inflammatory substances in fish oil delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Other anti-inflammatory agents, such as antioxidants, have been found effective in combating Alzheimer’s disease. Some physicians have suggested an Alzheimer’s diet which includes antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, green tea, and ginkgo biloba extract. Ginkgo biloba, in addition to its antioxidant properties, increases blood and oxygen flow to the brain, thereby boosting brain function. It is also recommended that Alzheimer’s sufferers avoid alcohol, cigarette smoke, processed foods, and environmental toxins, especially metals such as aluminum and mercury.
Sources: Alzheimer’s Disease Review
Balch, James F., M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C. (1997) Prescription for Nutritional Healing 2nd Edition, Garden City Park, New York. Avery Publishing Group.