Posts Tagged Dementia
Vitamin D has been shown to improve a number of brain disorders, including dementia and its most severe form, Alzheimer’s disease,1 the latter of which now affects an estimated 5.2 million Americans.2
The latest mortality statistics places Alzheimer’s in the top three killer diseases in the US, right behind heart disease and cancer.3 Vitamin D deficiency is also rampant. Researchers estimate that half of the general population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency.
Among seniors, that estimate reaches as high as 95 percent. While certainly not the sole cause of dementia, evidence suggests vitamin D may be a very important factor for successful prevention.
A wide variety of brain tissue contains vitamin D receptors, and when they’re activated by vitamin D, it facilitates nerve growth in your brain. Researchers also believe that optimal vitamin D levels boosts levels of important brain chemicals, and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health.
Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on your brain through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, which are well established.
‘Most Robust Study of Its Kind’ Confirms Link Between Low Vitamin D and Dementia
The link between low vitamin D and dementia has again been confirmed with the publication of a robust six-year long study4 conducted by an international team of researchers. As reported by Science Daily:5
“[S]tudy participants who were severely vitamin D deficient were more than twice as likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease…
[A]dults in the study who were moderately deficient in vitamin D had a 53 percent increased risk of developing dementia of any kind, and the risk increased to 125 percent in those who were severely deficient.
Similar results were recorded for Alzheimer’s disease, with the moderately deficient group 69 percent more likely to develop this type of dementia, jumping to a 122 percent increased risk for those severely deficient.”
The authors concluded that: “Our results confirm that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk of all-cause dementia and Alzheimer disease. This adds to the ongoing debate about the role of vitamin D in nonskeletal conditions.”
The findings also suggest there’s a threshold level of circulating vitamin D, below which your risk for dementia increases. This threshold was found to be right around 50 nmol/L, or 20 ng/ml. Higher levels were associated with good brain health.
Based on previous research, I believe 20 ng/ml is still too low, and potentially dangerously so… When it comes to vitamin D, you really want to be in the optimal or clinically relevant range, and as the years have gone by, researchers have progressively moved that target range upward.
At present, based on the evaluation of healthy populations that get plenty of natural sun exposure, the optimal range for general health appears to be somewhere between 50 and 70 ng/ml, or 125-175 nmol/L—a far cry from the threshold suggested in this study.
Sun Exposure Is the Ideal Way to Optimize Your Vitamin D Level
I believe sensible sun exposure is the ideal way to optimize your vitamin D levels. As a general rule, you’ll want to expose large amounts of bare skin to the sun until it turns the lightest shade of pink, if you’re light-skinned.
This typically occurs in about half the time it would normally take you to burn. So if you know you tend to get sunburned after 30 minutes, you’d want to stay in the sun for about 15 minutes.
Those with darker skin may need to pay closer attention to notice when this slight reddening occurs. It’s really impossible to give any firm recommendations for how long you need to stay in the sun to optimize vitamin D production, as it varies greatly depending on a number of factors, such as:
Antioxidant levels and diet in general Age Skin color and/or current tan level Use of sunscreen Latitude and altitude (elevation) Cloud cover and pollution Ozone layer Surface reflection Season Time of day Weight Altitude
Other Alternatives: UVB emitting lights or Supplements
Your second-best option would be to use lights that emit UVB.
If your circumstances prevent either of these strategies, then you’re left with taking a vitamin D supplement. GrassrootsHealth has a helpful chart showing the average adult dose required to reach healthy vitamin D levels based upon your measured starting point. Many experts agree that 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight could be used as an estimate for your ideal dose.
Be sure to take vitamin D3—not synthetic D2—and take vitamin K2 in conjunction with it. The biological role of vitamin K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body, and without sufficient amounts, calcium may build up in areas such as your arteries and soft tissues.
This can cause calcification that can lead to hardening of your arteries—a side effect previously thought to be caused by vitamin D toxicity. We now know that inappropriate calcification is actually due more to lack of K2 than simply too much vitamin D.
Magnesium Is Also Important for Vitamin D Activity
Magnesium is another important player—both for the proper function of calcium, and for the activity of vitamin D, as it converts vitamin D into its active form. Magnesium also activates enzyme activity that helps your body use the vitamin D. In fact, all enzymes that metabolize vitamin D require magnesium to work. Magnesium also appears to play a role in vitamin D’s immune-boosting effects. As noted by magnesium expert Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, ND:6
“The effectiveness and benefits of vitamin D are greatly undermined in the absence of adequate levels of magnesium in the body. Magnesium acts with and is essential to the activity of vitamin D, and yet most Americans do not get their recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this important mineral.”
As with vitamin D and K2, magnesium deficiency is also common, and if you’re lacking in magnesium and take supplemental calcium, you may exacerbate the situation. Vitamin K2, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D all work in tandem with each other, which is why it’s important to pay attention to their ratios. Vitamin A, zinc, and boron are other important cofactors that interact with vitamin D, and indeed, zinc deficiency has also been identified as a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease.
When taking supplements, it can be easy to create lopsided ratios, so getting these nutrients from an organic whole food diet and sensible sun exposure is generally your best bet. Dietary sources of magnesium include sea vegetables, such as kelp, dulse, and nori. Vegetables can also be a good source. As for supplements, magnesium citrate and magnesium threonate are among the best.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
By: Craig Stellpflug
[NaturalNews] Statin drugs are a sweetheart alright – a $25 billion a year industry sweetheart that is! Not only are they the best-selling drug class out there, but they provide an almost endless list of side effects that assure the hapless taker a lifetime of expensive medical treatment. Statins are a Big Pharma dream-come-true.
What you get with statin drugs
A review published in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs found nearly 900 studies of adverse effects linked to statin drugs. A recent Harvard study reveals a horrific 50 percent increase in the risk for developing diabetes if you are taking statin drugs. They called it a “small” risk increase. Researchers analyzing data on over 2 million Brits found that statin drug users had higher levels of liver dysfunction, kidney failure, cataracts and debilitating muscle weakness. Despite the purported cardiovascular benefits, other adverse effects include: nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headaches, rashes, myopathy, muscle aches or weakness, tendon problems, dementia, depression, chronic fatigue, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, peripheral neuropathies and even fatal rhabdomyolysis (breakdown in muscle).
What are the true benefits of statin drugs?
(stunning silence) *tumbleweed blows across the set*
Statin drugs were brought in with fanfare and a hero’s parade because they were purported to heal the nations of the evil causes of cardiovascular disease. However, a study analysis reported in the Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine last year concluded that even in spite of a huge rise in statin drug use, the number of people having heart attacks simply has not gone down at all – but rather has risen. Did you know that 50 percent of all heart attacks today are in people with normal cholesterol? Cholesterol is only a marker and not even the cause of the problem here.
by: Kelsey Coy
July 17, 2012
Recent research from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston suggests that chronic panic, phobia and similar anxiety disorders may lead to accelerated aging by shortening telomeres, the DNA-protein complexes whose lengths serves as biomarkers of cells’ biological ages.
Chronic Anxiety Could Result in Accelerated Aging
In the study, telomere length was analyzed in 5,243 randomly selected women, 42 to 69 years of age. High phobic anxiety, as measured by the Crown-Crisp Experiential Index, was associated with shorter telomeres, even after accounting for additional factors known to affect telomere length such as paternal age-at-birth, smoking history, body-mass-index and physical activity. Researchers noted that the magnitude of difference in telomere length in the most phobic women corresponded to six years mored aged than average.
Earlier studies have demonstrated the link between chronic stress and accelerated telomere shortening– and consequent biological accelerated aging, but this is the first to so specifically examine anxiety’s role in the process. Accelerated telomere shortening has also been linked to DNA damage that may contribute to cancer, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline and dementia.
In their discussion of this phenomenon, the authors of this study emphasize that “phobic anxiety is treatable; thus, any potential impacts on telomere shortening may be amenable to prevention through early identification and treatment.”
There is certainly more investigation to be done in terms of fully understanding this process, its potential consequences and its potential treatments, but it is fairly safe to say that the amelioration of anxiety disorders, the most common mental illness in the U.S., currently affecting 18% of the adult population and more children than ever before, merits our attention.
Rather than feed our anxiety epidemic with this new information, why not slow down, take a deep breath, and consider adding yoga for depression and anxiety? You can also try forest bathing, or simply known as a walk in the woods. Surely the six years you stand to gain will be worth it. Additionally, there are numerous methods to prevent aging – all you must do is recognize them and implement them in your daily life. Accelerated aging can be prevented – you just have to know how to do it!
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
By: Lloyd Burrell
[NaturalNews] Whether concern stems from the possible exposure to drifting radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan or from every day sources of non-ionizing radiation (i.e., cell phones, computers, Wi-Fi, smart meters, etc.), exposure to radiation is a reality.
The constant exposure to electromagnetic fields results in DNA fragmentation which can lead to cancers of the parotid salivary gland, the thyroid gland, and the head. Kids are even more susceptible, with evidence of brain and spinal tumors appearing in children exposed to radiation.
Powerwatch, a non-profit organization prominent in the United Kingdom Electromagnetic Field and Microwave Radiation health debate, shares further consequences resulting from exposure to radiation, including:
• Cognitive dysfunction
• Failed pregnancies
• Certain types of dementia
• Compromised immune system function
Protection from radiation and its impending consequences is imperative as well as feasible through safe, natural sources.
Potassium iodide, simply composed of the elements potassium and iodine, is the most familiar solution for protection from radiation exposure. Potassium iodide, taken in supplement form, is also used to treat overactive thyroid.
While natural, does it work? Is it safe?
Potassium iodide is effective, yet contraindicated for a multitude of medications, can damage the thyroid, and brings with it other side effects in the form of:
• Red, bumpy, itchy skin
• Painful joints
• Facial and body swelling
After using potassium iodide for a long period of time, a series of other serious health complications may also surface.
The natural approach
A strong, healthy thyroid is the best protection from radioactive iodine-131 (nuclear power plant steam), and EMF exposure. Steven Schacter, author of Fighting Radiation with Food, Herbs and Vitamins, explains, “If sufficient amounts of natural iodine are available, radioactive iodine will not be absorbed.” Schacter advises eating seaweed (kelp) to obtain natural iodine.
Eating foods naturally high in iodine will supply the thyroid with adequate amounts of iodine, discouraging the absorption of radioactive iodine, and protecting it from EMF damage.
These foods are high in iodine and part of a natural, safe approach.
• Other seaweeds and sea vegetables
• Cranberries or cranberry juice
• Potatoes with the skin
• Beans – especially navy beans
• Himalayan crystal salt
For protection from cancers induced from radiation eat a variety of:
Dark leafy greens and orange starchy foods – (sweet potatoes, winter squash, carrots).
• Milk thistle – a proven detoxifier
• Siberian ginseng – facilitates overall cellular health, strengthens body against all types of stress, including cancer treatments
• Curcumin – antioxidant and scientifically proven anti-inflammatory, protects and helps tissue healing
• Ecklonia cava – antioxidant seaweed extract
• Drink plenty of pure water every day to eliminate toxins
• Visual imagery – the power of positive thinking through the visualization of wellness throughout the body
Loss of minerals
Radiation exposure sets the stage for the release of specific minerals from the body which are necessary for optimal protection from electromagnetic fields.
These minerals are:
• Selenium – especially important as a co-factor of iodine for cell regeneration and protection
Because the body works synergistically to heal and protect, consume a variety of organic, whole plant-based foods in a variety of colors to guarantee a good supply of antioxidants and the elimination of free radicals.
Multi-vitamin supplements are a poor substitute but may be used from time to time to cover any missing nutrients.
It’s not practical in today’s society to completely eradicate all sources of radiation; however, the best protection comes from minimizing exposure in the first place. This approach along with the others mentioned here offers the best scenario for minimizing the dangerous effects of radiation exposure.
Sources for this article include:
by: Elizabeth Renter
July 11, 2012
Want to know how to avoid dementia? Just change your diet. Once again, science is substantiating what many of us already know—that diet can prevent disease, and that fruits and vegetables provide a far reaching range of benefits—specifically, that a group of compounds within produce could help protect people from Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.
How to Avoid Dementia with Food
Dr. Robert Williams of Kings College in London spoke at the British Pharmacological Society’s Summer Meeting a few years ago highlighting the potential benefits of flavonoids found in vegetables, fruits and red wine. The research shows how to avoid dementia and related diseases through simple dietary changes, with these flavonoids being able delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.
He says his own research has countered many previously held beliefs that such antioxidants were broken down by the body before they could have any beneficial effect on the brain. Also, some clinical trials on other antioxidants showed little benefits on dementia symptoms or prevention, further boosting skepticism.
He says, however, that flavonoids don’t only act as antioxidants, but “exert their biological effects through other mechanisms,” according to Phys.org. Limited studies looking at the effects of green tea flavonoids and those found in grapes can potentially reduce brain pathology and even possibly improve cognition.
Dr. Williams’ research has focused on a specific flavonoid, known as epicatechin.
“We have found that epicatechin protects brain cells from damage but through a mechanism unrelated to its antioxidant activity and shown in laboratory tests that it can also reduce some aspects of Alzheimer’s disease pathology…This is interesting because epicatechin and its breakdown products are measurable in the bloodstream of humans for a number of hours after ingestion and it is one of the relatively few flavonoids known to access the brain suggesting it has the potential to be bioactive in humans.”
His research is admittedly limited at this time and Dr. Williams says that further research is needed to better know what specifically is causing the protective effect.
“The challenge now is to identify the single flavonoid or combination of flavonoids that exert the most positive effects and to define the mechanisms of action and optimal quantity required before embarking on clinical trials to treat their effectiveness in dementia.”
Not only is fruit and vegetables consumption the answer for how to avoid dementia, but consuming these foods could also make you more attractive.
This isn’t the only research to suggest that Alzheimer’s and diet could be linked, or at least that diet could have positive effects on the symptoms of dementia.
Friday, March 02, 2012
By: Ethan A. Huff
[NaturalNews] Based on the facts, U.S. Transportation Security Administration pat-downs and naked body scans belong at drug company factories, doctors’ offices, and drug stores, rather than at American airports. A new report published in the British Medical Journal has found that dangerous antipsychotic drugs are responsible for killing at least 1,800 dementia patients a year, which means that more people are killed by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved dementia drugs every two years than died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
For their study, researchers from Harvard Medical School tracked more than 75,000 dementia patients living in nursing homes that were being prescribed antipsychotic drugs like haloperidol (Haldol) and quetiapine (Seroquel) for their conditions. Antipsychotic drugs are not typically administered to dementia patients, which means this is an “atypical” or “off-label” use of these drugs, despite the fact than an increasing number of doctors and nursing home personnel are prescribing them to dementia patients.
In the end, it was confirmed by the team that the use of antipsychotics by dementia patients is responsible for a surge in drug-related deaths, presumably as a result of negative side effects both internally to the body, and externally in the form of altered behavior. The findings also confirmed previous ones that identified an uptick in at least 1,800 additional deaths a year as a result of dementia patients taking antipsychotic drugs.
“For a minority of people with dementia, antipsychotics should be used, but then only for up to 12 weeks, and under the correct circumstances,” said Dr. Anne Corbett, research manager at the Alzheimer’s Society, commenting on the research. “For the majority (of patients), they do far more harm than good.”
These 1,800 deaths, of course, are just the additional deaths caused by antipsychotic drugs when they are used for off-label purposes in those with dementia, which means there are tens of thousands — and perhaps even hundreds of thousands — of deaths every year in other patients taking antipsychotics for other purposes. This means that far more people die every single year than have ever died from so-called terrorist attacks.
According to the 2003 report Death by Medicine, which was authored by Drs. Gary Null, Carolyn Dean, Martin Feldman, Debora Rasio, and Dorothy Smith, more than 783,000 people in the U.S. die every year as a result of conventional medicine, which is more than 261 times more than the number who died on 9/11 (http://www.naturalnews.com/009278.html).
You can read the entire Death by Medicinereport here:
So with all this in mind, why is the U.S. government’s primary concern about terrorism these days when far more people die as a result of government-sanctioned medicine every single year?
By: Dr. Mercola
November 13, 2010
A study in the Journal of the American Dental Association found once again that, contrary to what most people have been told, fluoride is actually bad for teeth.
Exposure to high levels of fluoride results in a condition known as fluorosis, in which tooth enamel becomes discolored. The condition can eventually lead to badly damaged teeth. The new study found that fluoride intake during a child’s first few years of life is significantly associated with fluorosis, and warned against using fluoridated water in infant formula.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is of a similar opinion. According to their website:
“Recent evidence suggests that mixing powdered or liquid infant formula concentrate with fluoridated water on a regular basis may increase the chance of a child developing … enamel fluorosis.”
Dr. Mercola’s Comments
It was 2007 when the American Dental Association (ADA) first warned that parents of infants younger than a year old “should consider using water that has no or low levels of fluoride” when mixing baby formula, due to concerns about fluorosis.
Now the Journal of the American Dental Association has published a study that found increased fluorosis risk among infants who were fed infant formula reconstituted with fluoride-containing water, as well as used fluoridated toothpastes.
The authors noted:
“Results suggest that prevalence of mild dental fluorosis could be reduced by avoiding ingestion of large quantities of fluoride from reconstituted powdered concentrate infant formula and fluoridated dentifrice.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also followed suit, warning on their Community Water Fluoridation page that mixing powdered or liquid infant formula concentrate with fluoridated water on a regular basis may increase the chance of a child developing enamel fluorosis.
They also state:
“In children younger than 8 years of age, combined fluoride exposure from all sources—water, food, toothpaste, mouth rinse, or other products—contributes to enamel fluorosis.”
This is as far as the CDC warnings go, however, and they continue to state that water fluoridation is safe — and dental fluorosis is only a “cosmetic” problem. In reality, neither of these assertions is true.
Dental Fluorosis is a Sign of Excessive Fluoride Intake
Dental fluorosis results in white and brown spots on your teeth. It is only caused by fluoride — typically due to ingesting too much fluoride during your developing years, from birth to about 8 years of age. According to the CDC, about one-third of U.S. children aged 12 to 15 years have very mild to mild forms of enamel fluorosis on their teeth.
Promoters of fluoridation say that these markings are “just cosmetic,” but it can also be an indication that the rest of your body, such as your bones and the rest of your organs, including your brain, has been exposed to too much fluoride also.
As Dr. Paul Connett, a chemist specializing in environmental chemistry, explained in our recent interview:
“We know that 32 percent of American children have been overexposed to fluoride because you have this telltale sign of dental fluorosis, which in its mildest form is little white specs. But when it gets more serious, it affects more of the surface of your teeth and it becomes colored; yellow, brown and orange mottling of the teeth …
The teeth are the window to the bones. If you’ve seen the damage to the teeth, what damage can you not see?”
In other words, if fluoride is having a detrimental, visual effect on the surface of your teeth, you can be virtually guaranteed that it’s also damaging something else inside your body, such as your bones.
Bone is living tissue that is constantly being replaced through cellular turnover. Bone building is a finely balanced, complicated process. Fluoride has been known to disrupt this process ever since the 1930s.
Why it’s Dangerous to Swallow Fluoride
The United States is one of only eight countries in the entire developed world that fluoridates more than 50 percent of its water supply. It is added under the guise that it helps prevent and control tooth decay …
This is in spite of the fact that there never been any demonstrated difference in tooth decay between countries with fluoridated and non-fluoridated water, and no difference between states that have a high- or low percentage of their water fluoridated.
Even promoters of fluoridation concede that the major benefits are topical; fluoride works from the outside of the tooth, not from inside of your body, so why swallow it?
The fluoride added to your drinking water is in fact a chemical waste product! It is NOT something you should use as a supplement to your diet.
There are plenty of studies showing the dangers of fluoride to your health, such as:
- Increases lead absorption
- Disrupts synthesis of collagen
- Hyperactivity and/or lethargy
- Muscle disorders
- Brain damage, and lowered IQ
- Bone fractures
- Lowers thyroid function
- Bone cancer (osteosarcoma)
- Inactivates 62 enzymes
- Inhibits formation of antibodies
- Genetic damage and cell death
- Increases tumor and cancer rate
- Disrupts immune system
- Damages sperm and increases infertility
As far as tooth decay is concerned, this is not caused by lack of fluoride.
Tooth decay is caused by acids in your mouth, typically created from sugar being metabolized by bacteria (Streptococcus mutans), and as you may already know, the number one source of calories in the United States is high fructose corn syrup.
The acid produced then attacks your enamel. Eventually the bacteria can get into the dentine, at which point tooth decay sets in. So there are far better options for decreasing tooth decay than using a topical or ingested poison, with a chief one being minimizing your intake of sugary foods and eating a healthful diet.
You typically don’t find dental caries in more primitive societies that do not consume vast amounts of sugar like in the United States.
Make Sure Your Children are Not Exposed to Fluoride
One of dentist Bill Osmunson’s main concerns is water fluoridation for infants. The ADA and the CDC now both recommend that infants NOT receive fluoridated water for drinking, nor for making their formula, as fluoridated water contains 250 times more fluoride than mother’s milk.
“We shouldn’t fluoridate water and harm our most vulnerable,” Dr. Osmunson says.
It is my strong belief and recommendation to avoid giving your children fluoridated water.
Unfortunately, the only way to ensure your water is pure enough to drink is by installing ahigh quality water filtration system in your house, such as a reverse osmosis filter that can filter out much of the fluoride and other dangerous water contaminants like disinfection byproducts (DBPs).
Remember that most bottled water also typically contains fluoride, even though it’s not stated on the label, and whatever you do, avoid using “nursery water,” which is fluoridated water sold specifically for infants.
Fluoride in your drinking water is one more reason why breastfeeding your infant is so essential. Nature has kept breast milk virtually fluoride-free for a reason.
If you are unable to breastfeed and are instead using formula, make sure the water you use is fluoride-free. Again, for now the best way you can provide pure, fluoride-free water to your family is by using a reverse osmosis filter, which you can install in your home.
Even better, if you are unable to breastfeed use this recipe to make homemade infant formula using raw milk and no water at all.
Keep in mind also that if you are a pregnant woman it is equally important for your water to be fluoride-free, as this chemical can harm your developing fetus.
The Ultimate Solution is to Get Fluoride Out of Tap Water
Even though the ADA and the CDC have issued warnings that parents not use fluoridated tap water to make infant formula, neither of them has openly informed the public!
So there are millions of parents out there using tap water to make up formula, oblivious of the fact that the agencies that promote fluoridation in this country have issued a specific warning against using fluoridated water for this purpose.
Not only that, but by fluoridating the municipal water supply you doom many low-income families to fail to protect their young children from this dangerous drug, even if they have this information, as they simply don’t have the resources to install a reverse osmosis system.
This is why the only real solution is to stop the archaic practice of water fluoridation in the United States.
The Fluoride Action Network is an absolutely phenomenal resource for further education, and they’re doing much to pressure the US government for change. We will be working together to devise a complete game plan to tackle this issue head on. Once we reach the tipping point, which may be as little as 5 percent of the population, we will be able to reverse the policies of water fluoridation.
Our strategy will begin with addressing Canada, because 60 percent of Canada is already un-fluoridated. If we can get the rest of Canada to stop fluoridating their water, we believe the U.S. will be forced to follow.
In addition, I highly recommend getting a copy of Dr. Connett’s new book, The Case Against Fluoride, for more information on the bad science and political agendas that got this toxic chemical in our drinking water and is, at least for now, keeping it there.