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Paleo and Alzheimer Protection

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative, terminal formation of dementia that can strike people both young and old. The illness is expected to triple in its incidence in the next fifty years, striking about one in every ninety humans in the world with its debilitating effects. Over time, Alzheimer’s disease causes brain shrinkage, resulting in complete loss of memory and greater bodily abilities.

Studies of the Paleo diet, however, show that the diet decreases the effects of the disease and further prevents future risk of the disease. Most notably, studies show that a high-carbohydrate and high-fructose diet increases the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other debilitating diseases.

Cholesterol levels are important in order to maintain healthy brain function, which isn’t surprising given that the brain utilizes about twenty-five percent of your total body cholesterol. (Remember that your brain generally creates your hormones, and your hormones are generally made up of cholesterol.)

 Furthermore, cholesterol acts as a brain antioxidant, thus protecting your brain from free radicals and cytokines; it also acts as a lubricant in the gaps between your nerve cells, allowing ready communication down the nerve endings. It insulates electrical impulses and maintains greater safety for your brain’s cellular structure.

Most notably, patients with Alzheimer’s disease have cerebrospinal fluid with very low levels of cholesterol when compared to non-Alzheimer’s affected people. Cerebrospinal fluid provides immune protection and greater cushion to the cortex of the brain; it becomes unable to process with extremely low levels of cholesterol. In fact, people who have general low levels of cholesterol throughout their brain and body are at a greater risk for dementia.

Further links to high blood sugar levels caused by high carbohydrate consumption yield better understanding of Alzheimer’s disease. High blood sugar creates advanced glycation end-products, also known as AGEs. This AGE is made up of a sugar molecule bonded to a lipid or a protein molecule; these links further affect cholesterol and decreases its levels in the brain.

Therefore, a diet rich in cholesterol and low in glucose—offered readily in the Paleo diet—is essential toward off Alzheimer’s disease. Know to stay away from grains, breads, and processed items for your brain’s sake.

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