Of the 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s in 2016, 5.2 million of them (93%) are age 65 and older. In 2015, 16 million family and friends provided 18 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. That care had an estimated economic cost of $221 billion. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the costliest chronic diseases to society. The growing Alzheimer’s crisis is helping to bankrupt Medicare (view these facts at alz.org). These costs are unsustainable.
For anyone in or near the middle years, doing what one can to stop the onset of this disease is imperative. Research has demonstrated a relationship between Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Some consider Alzheimer’s disease as type 3 diabetes or diabetes of the brain.
Several theories as to cause are considered in an article published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease:
- Insulin deficiency
- Hyperinsulinemia (high insulin) — common in people with excess body fat and a precursor to Type 2 diabetes.
- A deficiency of IDE (insulin degrading enzyme).
- The production of amylin, a hormone co-secreted with insulin, can form amyloid plaques in the brain common in people with AD. The role of amylin is poorly understood. Some scientists believe that it can have a neuro-protective effect, rather than making AD worse. Much more research needs to be done to clarify this mechanism.
Since the current treatments for AD do not provide a cure but at best may slow the progression of the disease, a better understanding of AD is essential.
Can we afford to wait years for more definitive answers regarding the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s Disease? Or wait years for the development of new drugs for AD?
Help Yourself Now
What we know is that the disruption of insulin functioning in people with AD and in those with obesity, pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes is common. Since dietary carbohydrates are the primary stimulators of insulin, it makes sense to limit both the quality and quantity of carbohydrates consumed. This simple strategy prevents a damaging increase of sugar in the blood and the compensatory elevation of insulin beyond the norm.
By decreasing carbohydrates to less than 50 grams daily (a ketogenic diet) you can become a fat-burning machine. Since the brain has the ability to easily utilize ketones for fuel you lower the risk of insulin imbalance in the brain.
In addition to improved cognitive function you can experience comfortable weight loss, decreased cardiovascular risk, enhanced quality of life, along with many other well know benefits of carb restriction.
HEAL Clinics is committed to helping you make this dietary change and personalize it to meet your needs. Additionally, our commitment coaches can support you to make the jump from a diet to a lifestyle, critically important to long term health and the prevention of chronic disease.