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Preventing Alzheimer's Disease

MagazineAugust 2007 (Vol. 18 Issue 5)Preventing Alzheimer's Disease

Drinkwine regularly, but in moderation-it can halve your risk of Alzheimer'sdisease (AD)

  • Drink wine regularly, but in moderation-it can halve your risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The data are less clear for beer, however (Neurology, 2002; 59: 1313-9).
  • Coffee reduces AD risk by a third (Am J Epidemiol, 2002; 156: 445-53).
  • Get your amalgam fillings removed. See The WDDTY Dental Handbook for the correct procedure for having this done.
  • Take a good selenium supplement. A nine-year study of over 1000 old people showed that those with the lowest selenium levels had the greatest "cognitive decline" (Epidemiology, 2007; 18: 52-8).
  • Take an omega-3 supplement or eat fatty fish three times a week-both contain the essential fatty acid DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). A nine-year survey found that older people with relatively high DHA levels almost halve their risk of Alzheimer's (Arch Neurol, 2006; 63: 1545-50).
  • Supplement with folic acid, or choose foods naturally high in folic acid, such as green, leafy vegetables. High folic-acid levels destroy harmful homocysteine, with clinical trials showing that high folate levels can halve the risk of AD (Arch Neurol, 2007; 64: 86-92).
  • Exercise regularly. Exercising three times a week reduces the risk of AD by about 30 per cent, even if you're over 65 (Ann Intern Med, 2006; 144: 73-81).
  • If you can't or don't feel like exercising, drink three glasses of fruit or vegetable juice a week. It can reduce your risk of AD threefold (Am J Med, 2006; 119: 751-9).
  • Have your water supply checked for aluminium (it's a free service from your water provider). If it contains more than 0.1 mg/L of aluminium-and one study even suggests that 3.5 mcg/L can be a problem-and has a pH of less than 7, drink mineral water containing high levels of silica, which will neutralize the effects of the metal (Epidemiology, 1996; 7: 281-5).

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