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The controversy over self-reported memory loss: Gluten-stimulating zonulin?

Results of an ongoing study by a researcher from the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging suggests a correlation between self-reported incidence of memory loss and development of cognitive memory impairment later in life. Could gluten-stimulating zonulin be involved in any way when the issue is self-described memory loss?

The controversy over self-reported memory loss: Gluten-stimulating zonulin?
Anne Hart, photography.

In another study with different researchers, scientists in Australia are saying eating junk food for even a short amount of time can cause irreversible memory loss. The conclusions from tests with mice who ate a diet full of sugar and fat show the mice were unable to recognize places as well as the controls.

Could it be that certain types of high-carbohydrate diets stimulate so many blood sugar surges followed by high insulin spikes in the bloodstream that the arteries and brain eventually get aged out prematurely?

On one hand, there's the self-reported memory loss issue. And on the other hand, people may ask can prematurely aging brains be influenced by too much sugar in the bloodstream from high carb diets, especially diets containing wheat and gluten, in some instances?

A recent study suggests that self-reported memory complaints might predict clinical memory impairment later in life. Erin Abner, an assistant professor at the University of Kentucky's Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, asked 3,701 men aged 60 and higher a simple question: "Have you noticed any change in your memory since you last came in?"

That question led to some interesting results. "It seems that subjective memory complaint can be predictive of clinical memory impairment," Abner said, according to the February 21, 2014 news release, If you think you have Alzheimer's, you just might be right, study suggests. "Other epidemiologists have seen similar results, which is encouraging, since it means we might really be on to something."

The results are meaningful because it might help identify people who are at risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease sooner

"If the memory and thinking lapses people notice themselves could be early markers of risk for Alzheimer’s disease, we might eventually be able to intervene earlier in the aging process to postpone and/or reduce the effects of cognitive memory impairment." Abner, who is also a member of the faculty in the UK Department of Epidemiology, took pains to emphasize that her work shouldn’t necessarily worry everyone who’s ever forgotten where they left their keys.

"I don't want to alarm people," she said, according to the news release. "It’s important to distinguish between normal memory lapses and significant memory problems, which usually change over time and affect multiple aspects of daily life."

Established in 1979, the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky is nationally recognized for its research, education and outreach, and clinical programs on healthy brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders. In 1985, the SBCoA was named as an Alzheimer’s Disease Center, one of the original ten centers funded by the National Institute on Aging. You also can check out the abstracts site of the Clinical Trials Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (after February 27, 2014).

In another study by different researchers, scientists found that an important health issue is preventing constant high blood sugar surges after eating carbohydrates

They cause insulin spikes that age-out your arteries, brain, and other organs. You may wish to check out an interview with David Perlmutter, MD, "Rethinking Dietary Approaches for Brain Health," on the topic of whether a diet high in carbohydrates increases your risk of dementia. Studies in the past have focused on a diet high in simple carbs as contributing to cataracts and other health conditions. The issue is the rise in blood sugar from foods. Will a diet for brain health also clog the coronary arteries if it's high fat in the case where dietary fat is clogging the arteries?

There's the issue with gluten-stimulating zonulin in increasing the permeability of the blood-brain barrier. So why does this diet recommend high fat, which is opposite the low-fat except for ground flax seed diets of numerous doctors trying to help unclog and reverse clogged arteries by focusing on plant sterols and stanols instead of the high-fat diet that clogs the carotids?

The issue is preventing surges in blood sugar caused by eating a high carb diet

People wonder what happens when a person is told to go on a mostly vegan diet to reverse the clogged arteries caused by genetic predisposition where the same condition to clogged arteries runs in the family and those family members ate high fat diets? Even small increases in blood sugar caused by a diet high in carbohydrates can be detrimental to brain health.

Recent reports in medical literature link carbohydrate calorie-rich diets to a greater risk for brain shrinkage, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, impaired cognition, and other disorders. David Perlmutter, MD, best-selling author of Grain Brain, explores this important topic in a provocative interview in the journal Alternative and Complementary Therapies from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Alternative and Complementary Therapies website.

Dr. Perlmutter, a board-certified neurologist and fellow of the American College of Nutrition, has just been appointed Editor-in-Chief of a new peer-reviewed journal, Brain and Gut, that will debut in the summer 2014. The journal will publish leading-edge research dedicated to exploring a whole systems approach to health and disease from the intimate relationship between the brain and the digestive systems.

In the interview “Rethinking Dietary Approaches for Brain Health,” Dr. Perlmutter says, according to the February 21 news release, Does a diet high in carbohydrates increase your risk of dementia? “We live with this notion that a calorie is a calorie, but at least in terms of brain health, and I believe for the rest of the body as well, there are very big differences between our sources of calories in terms of the impact on our health. Carbohydrate calories, which elevate blood glucose, are dramatically more detrimental to human physiology, and specifically to human health, than are calories derived from healthful sources of fat.”

Dr. Perlmutter will explore how brain health and cognitive function are linked to nutrition in his presentation, “The Care and Feeding of Your Brain,” to be delivered at the Integrative Health Care Symposium 2014 taking place this week in New York City. The 2014 Integrative Healthcare Symposium where forward thinking practitioners and like-minded professionals gather seeking a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care. Healthcare professionals are invited to join the integrative healthcare community to hear from nationally recognized practitioners and experts.

The 2014 symposium's focused tracks include: Nutrition, Cardiovascular, Musculoskeletal/Sports Medicine, Integrative Nursing, Mind Body Spirit and Integrative Approaches (to include: Oncology, Hormone, Pediatrics, and more. CME credit certified by Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke’s & Roosevelt Hospitals.
Also, check out the Free Webinar: Cranberries and Their Bioactive Constituents in Human Health presented by Dr. Amy Howell which will be offered on March 13, 2014. Or take a look at the March 14 to March 16, 2014 event, Mind, Mood & Food: Optimal Nutrition for the Brain.

Upcoming events this month include the Free Microbiome Webinar: The Microbiome in Clinical Practice on February 27, 2014. Also upcoming in May 2014 is the 11th Annual Nutrition & Health Conference and the 8th Congress International Society of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics. See the Events Calendar for more meetings. For example, today, February 22, 2014 is the Integrative Health Care Symposium 2014. Also, see, "Does a diet high in carbohydrates increase your risk of dementia?"

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