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HealthBrief – Type 2 Diabetes And Alzheimer’s

 

There is a 45% increased risk of Dementia even in people without Diabetes if your blood sugar averages 120 compared to if your blood sugar averages 90. (Solid black line.)

Alzheimer’s Disease costs the US $130 billion in 2011 alone. One of the biggest risk factors is having Type 2 Diabetes. This kind of diabetes occurs when liver, muscle and fat cells stop responding efficiently to insulin, the hormone that tells them to absorb glucose from the blood. The illness is usually triggered by eating too many sugary and high-fat foods that cause insulin to spike, desensitising cells to its presence. As well as causing obesity, insulin resistance can also lead to cognitive problems such as memory loss and confusion.

In 2005 & 2008, Susanne de la Monte’s group at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, identified a reason why people with type 2 diabetes had a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s. In this kind of dementia, the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in learning and memory, seemed to be insensitive to insulin. Not only could your liver, muscle and fat cells be “diabetic” but so it seemed, could your brain.

(Suzanne M. de la Monte, M.D., M.P.H., et al, Alzheimer’s Disease Is Type 3 Diabetes–Evidence Reviewed, J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2008 November; 2(6): 1101–1113.)

Since Lifestyle has the greatest impact on Health, this is great news because it means most Type 2 Diabetes is preventable, which also means Alzheimer’s can also be prevented. The culprit in both these diseases is the low-fat diet (which means high-carb) diet of which we in America have been the unwitting experimental subjects. Our high-carbohydrate diet has contributed to the epidemics of Obesity, Diabetes and Alzheimer’s. The graphs below tell the story:

Iris Shai, R.D., Ph.D., et al, Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet, N Engl J Med 2008; 359:229-241 July 17, 2008 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0708681

Weight Loss

 

 

 

 

A Low-Carb diet and a Mediterranean diet consistently and sustainably  improve weight over time.

 

 

 

 

 

Fasting Blood Sugar

 

 

In people who do not have Diabetes, the diets all maintain the blood sugar at normal for a 2 year period.

But in people with Diabetes, the Low-Fat diet causes their blood sugar to increase. And the Mediterranean diet is the best for reducing blood sugar.

 

 

 

Fasting InsulinTHIS IS THE PICTURE THAT TELLS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE STORY:

THE HIGHER THE FASTING INSULIN – THE GREATER THE RISK OF TYPE 2 DIABETES THAT OCCURS WITH THE LOW-FAT DIET

TO PREVENT TYPE 2 DIABETES, IT IS THE LOW-CARB DIET THAT DOES THE BEST!

ONCE YOU HAVE DIABETES, THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET IS BEST!

 

Taken together these studies show that by educating yourself and consciously choosing what you eat – especially when combined with exercise – you can prevent both Type 2 Diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease!

Read my article on the development of Type 2 Diabetes: “Diabetes – How Did I Get Here” on page 28 of this months (February 2014) Tampa-Bay Natural Awakenings!

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