Could Alzheimer’s be a form of diabetes? A question many medical professions are asking themselves. Since Alzheimer’s is a disease that starves the brain it could be a form of diabetes. Alzheimer's disease, a severe form of dementia, affects an estimated 5.2 million Americans, according to 2013 statistics. One in nine seniors over the age of 65 has Alzheimer's, and the disease is now thought to be the third leading cause of death in the United States. It is right behind heart disease and cancer.
A growing body of research suggests there's a powerful connection between your diet and your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. This is a similar pathway that causes type II diabetes. Alzheimer’s was tentatively dubbed type III diabetes in early 2005. Contrary to popular belief, your brain does not require glucose, and actually functions better burning alternative fuels, especially ketones which your body makes in response to digesting healthy fats.
It starves your brain, tangles and twists vital cells, and for decades it has been misrepresented as an untreatable, genetically determined disease. Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in North America. The truth, however, is that this devastating illness shares a strong link with another sickness that wreaks havoc on millions of individuals in North America. This disease is called Diabetes.
We all know that individuals affected by Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes have a notable resistance to insulin. Type 1 is caused by the body's inability to produce insulin, and Type 2 is caused by the deterioration of the body's insulin receptors and associated with the consumption of too much refined carbohydrate like processed grains and sugar. But when studies began to appear in 2005 that revealed a shocking correlation between insulin and brain cell deterioration, major breaks were made around Alzheimer's research. In addition, this created many questions for healthcare professionals. Questions like could Alzheimer’s just be a form of diabetes, hence the creation of the category of Type III Diabetes.
Alzheimer's disease has long been perceived as mysterious, and many researchers were having trouble finding a way to slow it down first, and of course cure it, and they were having many difficulties. Alzheimer’s was then considered not only mysterious but also inevitable. The cells of your brain can become insulin-resistant just like other cells in the body. What was once considered a mysterious accumulation of beta amyloid plaques characteristic in the Alzheimer brain is now associated with the same lack of insulin that negatively affects memory and cognition.
Most people know that a diet high in carbohydrates indicates a relationship to serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. This new research has brought into focus the serious affect sugar has on our brain health. Studies have shown that brain cells shrink and become tangled from high blood sugar levels over time. This means that your sugar intake could be drastically affecting the health or your brain over a long-term period. This can increase the likelihood of developing lesions in the brain, which are linked to the disease Alzheimer’s. The good news is that the brain is very resilient. A handful of well-researched, holistic prevention tools have been shown to restore damaged brain cells, and return a dying brain to its fully functioning state.
Since diabetes can pose a threat to health and quality of life, this writer can see where it could have an effect on brain health as well. Medical reports have shown that a nutrition plan offered to individuals seeking prevention of diabetes type II is the same one that is offered to individuals trying to decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s. This plan includes foods low in sugar and high in healthy fats. This type of diet creates a healing environment for your brain and your brain will thrive.
In October 2013 in an issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, researchers reported a strong correlation between Alzheimer’s disease and high blood sugar levels. In fact, many individuals with Alzheimer’s are receiving daily blood sugar checks in many nursing facilities as part of their treatment for Alzheimer’s. The study that was completed found people with high blood sugar levels, like those linked with type II diabetes had a dramatic increase in protein toxic cells in their brain. In addition another study published in the July issue of that same year was the first to show how people in early stages of type II diabetes had signs of brain dysfunction. The participants of this study were showing high levels of insulin resistance in the brain along with a reduced ability to use glucose to fuel any normal brain function. Therefore, they had a reduction in cognition.
The Alzheimer’s Association at their 2013 international conference, presented that a diabetes drug may be associated with the reduction of dementia. They preformed a study with about 15,000 people that were diagnosed with type II diabetes and were 55 years old or older. The results showed that individuals that were started on metformin, had a significant reduced risk of developing dementia. This was compared to people who were started with other standard types of diabetic therapies. The Alzheimer’s association is conducting further research on the potential of metformin as a therapy for dementia and or mild cognitive impairment/
Metformin is an insulin sensitizer and improves glucose tolerance in patients with type II diabetes. It accomplishes this by lowering the glucose in the blood and brain. Its pharmacologic mechanisms of action are different from other classes of oral diabetes agents. Metformin decreases hepatic glucose production, decreases intestinal absorption of glucose, and improves insulin sensitivity by increasing peripheral glucose uptake and utilization. Metformin does not produce hypoglycemia in patients with type II diabetes, or any other type of patient.
The Alzheimer’s association had another study where researchers found that the anyloid precursor protein gene, known to be involved in many cases of Alzheimer’s, affects the insulin pathway. Disruption of the pathway is a hallmark of diabetes. The findings of this study could point to a therapeutic target for both diabetes and Alzheimer’s. The finding of the association of sugar and Alzheimer’s could be a wonderful breakthrough for either the prevention or the cure of Alzheimer’s.
What can you do now to try and decrease your chances of type III diabetes or Alzheimer’s? Many think it an unusual treatment, but it's the leading preventative tool in cognitive health. It doesn't take years or even months. It is coconut oil; coconut oil takes action on the brain after just one 40 ml dose. Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) are the primary fat found in coconut oil, and they are powerful in rapidly helping to boost brain metabolism and thereby increasing cognitive functioning. Recent, insightful research has shown that patients experienced significant neurological healing after 4-6 weeks of using the oil in their nutritional plans.
Coconut oil is also a valuable source of fuel for the brain. When brain cells have undergone metabolic deterioration associated with insulin resistance, they can no longer accept glucose, the brain's main fuel source. However, coconut oil is rich in the medium chain fatty acids that break down into ketones in the liver, an alternative fuel for the brain that is as efficient as glucose. Using coconut oil has been shown to control or even reverse the progression of what has been recently reported as Type 3 diabetes. Try using extra virgin coconut oil in your cooking, baking, or your morning smoothies to receive exceptional cognitive benefits.
Alzheimer's disease is at epidemic proportions, with 5.4 million Americans aged 65 and over are living with the disease. In the next 20 years, it is projected that Alzheimer's will affect one in four Americans, rivaling the current prevalence of obesity and diabetes. There is still no known accepted cure for this devastating disease, and no effective treatments. The Alzheimer’s drugs that are often prescribed to individuals at the early diagnosis are often of little to no benefit at all, which underscores the importance of prevention throughout your lifetime. The way to prevent Alzheimer’s is actually easier than you might think. There's exceptionally compelling research showing that your brain has great plasticity, which individuals can control through diet and lifestyle choices. In addition, with this new research finding of Alzheimer’s and sugar, a great prevention which will also help with weight loss and such.
Seniors fifty and over if Alzheimer’s is something you worry about, maybe you should start looking at your sugar intact and maybe even monitor your blood sugar levels. Many individuals are also concern with weight, especially women, so why not hit two birds with one stone and decrease your sugar intact. In addition, eat only natural sugars, and include coconut oil in your diet. These may help prevent a decrease in cognition over the years. Seniors if you want to live a long and happy life and still have a sharp brain at the ripe old age of 80 or 90, then start now with a change in diet. Alzheimer’s research is still ongoing and research also includes the correlation of sugar and its effect on the cells in the brain.