I’ve written a lot about Alzheimer’s over the past few years, but you need to be reminded of some basic statistics about Alzheimer’s:
- An estimated 5.8 million Americans today live with Alzheimer’s, a disease that robs memories before taking lives.
- Alzheimer’s begins to develop in the brain 20-30 years before diagnosis.
- 2/3 of those diagnosed are women—and no one knows why.
- 2/3 of Alzheimer’s caregivers are also women, many of who will have to take time off or resign from their jobs.
- A woman in her 60s is twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s over the course of her lifetime than breast cancer
- After 60, a woman has a 1 in 5 chance of developing Alzheimer’s.
- By 2050, 14 million brains in the U.S. will be living with Alzheimer’s, and millions more family members and friends will suffer alongside those diagnosed.
- Alzheimer’s disease is NOT a natural part of aging.
- Alzheimer’s disease is still 100% fatal. There is no treatment or cure. Of the top 10 causes of death in America, it is the only disease without any effective drug or course of action.
- If Alzheimer’s runs in your family that does not necessarily mean you will get it.
- Conversely, if it does not run in your family, you are still at risk.
- Healthy habits can prevent or slow the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. This includes diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. Read more about ways to reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s under “Prevention.”
I’ve written about a number of new research into possible ways to treat and even prevent Alzheimer’s, but nearly all of them offer future promises and nothing for the here and now. However, that is about to change as a new study offers great hope HERE and NOW:
In a new study, Biodesign researchers reveal that a lifelong dietary regimen of choline holds the potential to prevent Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
Choline is a safe and easy-to-administer nutrient that is naturally present in some foods and can be used as a dietary supplement. Lead author Ramon Velazquez and his colleagues at the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center (NDRC) looked into whether this nutrient could alleviate the effects of Alzheimer’s…
Choline acts to protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease in at least two ways, both of which are explored in the new study. First, choline blocks the production of amyloid-beta plaques. Amyloid-beta plaques are the hallmark pathology observed in Alzheimer’s disease.
Secondly, choline supplementation reduces the activation of microglia. Over-activation of microglia causes brain inflammation and can eventually lead to neuronal death, thereby compromising cognitive function. Choline supplementation reduces the activation of microglia, offering further protection from the ravages of AD.
So, how much choline is recommended? In another report:
The current recommended daily intake for choline is 425 mg/day for adult women and 550 mg/day for adult men. But this study suggests those numbers may not be high enough to prevent the neurological changes that occur with Alzheimer’s disease, especially in women. To get more choline, you can either regularly consume more choline-rich foods or add a supplement to your routine.
So how much choline should you take? In the study they used 4.5 times the RDI, which is still well below the tolerable upper limit (aka, the amount that can begin to cause side effects), which “makes this a safe strategy,” according to Velazquez.
Foods rich in choline include – chicken liver (247 mg/3 oz), eggs (147 mg in large egg with yolk), grass-fed beef (55 mg/3 oz), wheat germ (51 mg/ 1 oz toasted), milk (38 mg/8 oz) and Brussels sprouts (32 mg/ ½ cup).
Choline is also available in the vitamin and supplement section of many grocery and drug stores and is affordably available online. You may want to think about taking choline, while you’re still able to think about it.