Paleo & Dementia – Any Connection?
Like many of the sicknesses we see today, which diet can cause or worsen, it’s worth investigating what one’s diet is who is in the early throes of Dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Let’s start with what they both are. The Mayo Clinic provides a succinct definition:
“The term dementia refers to a set of symptoms, not the disease itself. These symptoms might include language difficulty, loss of recent memory or poor judgment. In other words, when an individual is said to have dementia they are exhibiting certain symptoms. With a thorough screening including blood tests (to rule out other causes of dementia such as vitamin deficiency), a mental status evaluation, neuropsychological testing, and sometimes a brain scan, doctors can accurately diagnose the cause of the dementia symptoms in 90 percent of the cases. (It is true however, that Alzheimer’s can be diagnosed with complete accuracy only after death, using a microscopic examination of brain tissue, which checks for plaques and tangles). Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-70 percent of cases of dementia.”
Is there any diet connection?
Hm, let’s see… is the sky blue?
How can there not be?
Interestingly, as per researchers at Brown Medical School “A growing body of research suggests there may be a powerful connection between the foods you eat and your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, via similar pathways that cause type 2 diabetes. Some have even re-named Alzheimer’s as “type 3 diabetes”.”
Yet again, another example of how we are eating ourselves into sickness, and in this case, not just in our bodies, but in our minds.
So if you, or a loved one is already demonstrating signs, do we just prepare for the worst and let the disease take its course?
While that certainly is an option, it’s not the only one.
It all goes back to the same thing: you guessed it- following a True Paleo approach, including engaging in physical activity and a diet rich in Vitamin B12, folate, magnesium, animal-based omega-3 fats, coconut oil and ALA and completely devoid of processed sugars, refined carbohydrates and anything artificial or inflammatory has been shown to help tremendously.
Take that bull by the horns and look closely at what you, or your family member or friend is eating as step number one, rather than heading straight to the Geriatric Department in search of Exelon, Namenda or Cognex.
Seeing my own grandfather’s progression, when I was a child, from an elegant, distinguished gentleman to what eventually in the end, was a grown man with wild hair, wearing diapers and doing nothing other than lying in his hospital bed all day, I can’t help but wonder ‘what if’…