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Home> Alzheimer's Disease
by Dave Foreman
Years ago, I watched my grandmother change from an active, loving, laughing woman to someone I didn't recognize. This occurred in a very short period of time. Back then (20 years ago) we called it Alzheimer's disease, but were never sure that's what she really had. In preparing to write this article, my research confirmed something the doctors back then couldn't; she died from Alzheimer's disease. I have written in past newsletters about ARCD (Age Related Cognitive Decline) which is not at all related to Alzheimer's disease. ARCD is a slow steady decline in memory and is not considered life-threatening. When I found out Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death, I was compelled to get the word out.
As with most diseases, there are known risk factors. The following are the risk factors currently linked to developing Alzheimer's disease:
As I read over the risk factors for Alzheimer's disease, one thing really popped out. Most of these have nothing to do with lifestyle choices. Of them, environmental toxins and heart disease were the only two that I feel we have any control over. Modern medicine is still looking for the answer to this dreadful disease. Currently, all modern medicine really offers us is a slowing of the progression. Regrettably, natural medicine is in the same boat. Addressing Alzheimer's disease once it appears may be too late. I believe we can slow and even halt the progression naturally, but the best way to address this deadly disease is with prevention.
My approach to all health challenges is to prevent them rather than wait until you get them. Since environmental toxins are considered a risk factor, I recommend regular cleansing and detoxifying the body (read my past newsletter article on Cleansing). Perhaps starting with a multi-system cleanse like CleanseSmart, Whole Body Cleanse or Perfect Cleanse. I like utilizing these two times a year (spring cleaning and fall cleaning). After a 2 week break, perhaps moving on to a Liver Cleanse for 2-4 weeks would be a great follow-up. Lastly, perhaps the use of a heavy metals detox to address the potential links between heavy metal toxicity and memory decline would be the third part of my program.
Besides cleansing, there are several supplements that show promise in dealing with Alzheimer's disease. Antioxidants would be a great place for most of us to start. As mentioned in my cover article, antioxidants neutralize free radicals which in the case of Alzheimer's disease play an important roll. The list of antioxidants used for those with Alzheimer's concerns is a who's who of antioxidants: Grape Seed Extract, C, E, Green Tea, Ginkgo Biloba, Acetyl-L–Carnitine, CoQ10, Ubiquinol, N–Acetylcysteine, Garlic, Phosphatidyl Serine and Vinpocetine. Any and/or all of these would be additions to your dietary supplement program. Looking for a combination product would be best.
I also recommend using a powerful anti–inflammatory supplement. Recently, Alzheimer's disease has been associated with being an inflammatory condition. For this reason, supplements that help the body's ability to decrease inflammation may be helpful. My favorite is Zyflamend because it not only helps with inflammation, but many of its components are also known to be powerful antioxidants. (I call this a 2 for 1 special)
Another approach often overlooked by many is to support the body's ability to manufacture and balance neurotransmitters as well as overall support of the nervous system. I do this with four basic supplements: Lecithin Granules, B–Complex, Magnesium and Fish Oil (DHA to be specific). Some of my suggestion is based on science and part is based on theory (mine). I believe if I give the body the tools it needs it will repair itself. I have had great success with this combination in the past, but regretfully this is just my opinion and not based on solid scientific evidence.
One last suggestion is the supplement Huperzine A. This supplement comes to us from Chinese medicine and small recent studies show it can help some people with the symptoms of memory decline, behavioral functions and cognitive function. You will be more likely to find this in a combination product than by itself. Sticking with that comment, my approach for a year or more now is to have you seek formulations/products that contain more than one ingredient (read the cover article). The following are products I would consider using if I were having concerns with Memory or Alzheimer's disease. Mental Clarity (New Chapter), Cognitex w/ Neuroprotection (Life Extension) or Advanced Brain Sharp (M.D. Select). There are other great combination products available so don't worry if you can't find one of these three, consult with a store associate for the product that is right for you.