Drinking coffee or tea, eating walnuts, taking regular exercise and spending time in the sun could all help prevent Alzheimer’s. This disease and other forms of dementia afflict more than 800,000 Britons presently. That number is expected to double within a generation because of the increased aging population. Alzheimer’s progressively attacks the brain, causing people to lose their memory, become confused and experience mood swings. This process is devastating to not only the person with the disease, but also those close to them. In the final stages of the disease sufferers lose the ability to walk, talk and swallow.
But studies show that a daily cup of tea or coffee could help protect against the disease. Both drinks have been shown to reduce memory loss by 40 per cent, according to research presented at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease, in Hawaii
Scientists from the University of California said that over-65s who regularly drank tea showed up to 37 per cent fewer signs of dementia than those who didn’t drink any. Those who had coffee at least five times a week reduced their memory loss by up to 20 per cent compared to those who didn’t drink it at all. Eating walnuts could also ward off the disease , as indicated by a seperate research study. Mice which had a diet rich in the nuts were found to drastically improve their learning and memory abilities, according to a study carried out at New York’s Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities . Scientists say the results suggest walnuts could have similar benefits on humans, but will need to carry out further work.
‘Our results suggest that dietary supplementation of walnuts may have beneficial effect in reducing the risk, delaying the onset or slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease,’ they concluded in their study, which was presented at the same Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease. But it’s not just what you eat – research has also found that your lifestyle could cut the risk of dementia .
A study at Boston University School of Medicine fount that elderly people who do ‘moderate’ amounts of exercise, such as golf, walking or jogging, could be at 40% less risk for Alzheimer’s . The study looked at 1,200 people whose average age was 76 and concluded that physical activity plays a major part in reducing memory loss, particularly among men . Professor Clive Ballard, from the Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘This robust and influential study provides strong support to the already comprehensive evidence that exercise is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of dementia.
As the adage claims, what is good for your heart is also good for you . Whether you enjoy a round of golf, a brisk walk, a session on the treadmill or a yoga class, 30 minutes of exercise five days a week is ‘just what the doctor ordered’ at any age. . Spending time in the sun could also reduce the risk of getting the disease . Those who do not have enough vitamin D – which is produced by the body when sunlight hits the skin – could be more likely to develop Alzheimer’s . Scientists from Exeter University looked at more than 3,300 people over the age of 65 and found that those deficient in the vitamin were nearly five times more at risk . Although vitamin D is found in some foods such as oily fish and eggs, most of it is produced via sunlight. Figures suggest that half of Britons are deficient by the time winter ends.
The Pacific Northwest also experiences lengthy overcast weeks of weather. Applying the information gathered from these studies could positively affect the quality of life for people as they age ~ Understanding the results from these studies and applying the conclusions to our daily lives appears to carry a positive benefit in our later years. }