THE PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE (PCRM) has developed new guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, which they say will reduce the risk by 70-to-80%
The guidelines were presented at the International Conference on Nutrition and the Brain by PCRM president Neal Barnard, MD, who was the lead author. Dr. Barnard stated, “We potentially have the capabilities to prevent a disease that is poised to affect 100 million people worldwide by 2050. Why wait?”
The guidelines are as follows:
1. Minimize your intake of saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fat is found primarily in dairy products, meats, and certain oils (coconut and palm oils). Trans fats are found in many snack pastries and fried foods and are listed on labels as “partially hydrogenated oils.”
2. Vegetables, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), fruits, and whole grains should be the primary staples of the diet.
3. One ounce of nuts or seeds (one small handful) daily provides a healthful source of vitamin E.
4. A reliable source of vitamin B12, such as fortified foods or a supplement providing at least the recommended daily allowance (2.4 mcg per day for adults) should be part of your daily diet.
5. When selecting multiple vitamins, choose those without iron and copper, and consume iron supplements only when directed by your physician.
6. While aluminum’s role in Alzheimer’s disease remains a matter of investigation, it is prudent to avoid the use of cookware, antacids, baking powder, or other products that contribute dietary aluminum.
7. Include aerobic exercise in your routine, equivalent to 40 minutes of brisk walking three times per week.
Each of these steps is discussed in some detail in a report, Dietary Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Prevention, published by the PCRM.
Several “Alzheimer’s experts” were asked to comment on the guidelines by Medscape Medical News and all had similar opinions: that the recommendations were for a healthy diet and exercise, which was always good general advice, but that high levels of evidence that following these guidelines would definitively reduce Alzheimer’s risk are lacking.
For more information about reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s refer to these Unfrazzled Care articles:
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