Dr. Mehmet Oz revealed how to prevent memory loss and Alzheimer's disease on the April 1 episode of the Dr. Oz Show ("3 New Ways to Prevent Alzheimer's").
Alzheimer's disease has exploded during the past 20 years, but you can ward off this debilitating neurological illness by taking a few precautions. "We'll reveal new science that can change your future right now," said Dr. Oz.
Dr. Oz's guest was brain-health expert Dr. Cynthia Green, author of Your Best Brain Ever, who outlined three steps to reduce your risk of memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer's:
- Avoid foods sprayed with the pesticide DDT.
- Get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.
- Keep your pulse pressure low.
Dr. Green said new research shows that people with Alzheimer's disease had shockingly high levels of the pesticide DDT in their systems than people who don't have Alzheimer's — four times more, to be exact.
This news especially disturbing since DDT was banned in the United States in the 1970s, but Dr. Oz said we still get exposed to DDT from foods imported from countries where DDT is used.
Dr. Green, who also wrote Brainpower Game Plan, warned against consuming these imported fruits and vegetables, which are likely infected with DDT:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Folic Acid Protect the Brain
The second way to prevent memory loss and Alzheimer's is to make sure you consume enough omega-3 fatty acids. Dr. Oz said new research show that not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids can lead to brain shrinkage, especially in women.
Amazingly, almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's are women. Dr. Oz said simply adding more omega-3’s to your diet can dramatically reduce your Alzheimer's risk:
- Eat fatty cold-water fish such as salmon, herring and sardines three times a week.
- Take 1,000 IUs of a fish oil supplement a day.
Finally, Dr. Green said keeping your pulse pressure low can help prevent Alzheimer's, as a high pulse pressure indicates your arteries are stiff and therefore at higher risk for dementia.
You calculate pulse pressure by subtracting the low number number from the high number in your blood pressure. For example, if your blood pressure is 120/80, your pulse pressure is 40. Dr. Oz said a pulse pressure of 60 or higher indicates an elevated risk of Alzheimer's.
To keep your pulse pressure low, you should do the following:
- Reduce stress.
- Take 5 mg of folic acid a day.
Dr. Oz previously spoke with neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, who said a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet not only promotes rapid weight loss, but prevents Alzheimer's, dementia and ADHD.
"Carbs are devastating for the brain," said Dr. Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain. "Even slight elevations in blood sugar have been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease."