Are expensive probiotic supplements a waste of money?
They could well be based on the latest studies.
Gut health experts have long suspected probiotic supplements don’t stay in the gut long enough to work.
This includes Matthew Ciorba, a gastroenterologist at Washington University in St. Louis. In an interview with Scientific American, he said, “There is no evidence to suggest that people with normal gastrointestinal tracts can benefit from taking probiotics.” (1)
While Emma Allen-Vercoe, a microbiologist at the University of Guelph in Ontario said, “If you’re not in any distress, I would not recommend them. [For the most part] the claims that are made are enormously inflated.”
A recent Israeli study has now verified that their suspicions that probiotics are more hype than proven science are well finded.
The study was conducted by the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel.(2)
After shoving an endoscope (long camera shaped like a cable) into participants’ intestines they found that, in many cases, their “guts expel probiotics without meaningful changes to their microbiome.”
In other words, the only evidence that they’d taken probiotics at all were found in the toilet bowl.
Just Two Ounces Has More Probiotics than An Entire Bottle of Probiotics
Based on the latest evidence, if you’re among the 4 million Americans that takes a daily probiotic you may want to consider getting probiotics from food instead.
The good news is there’s a food found to be a more potent source of probiotics than an entire bottle of expensive supplements.
That food is sauerkraut.
Natural health proponent Dr. Joseph Mercola made this discovery after sending a plate of sauerkrat to a lab for analysis.
“We found in a 4-6 ounce serving of the fermented vegetables there were literally ten trillion bacteria,” said Mercola.(3)
This means just 2 ounces of sauerkraut contains more probiotics than a bottle of 100 count probiotic capsules. While eating a 16 ounce plate full gives you the same gut enriching benefits as 8 BOTTLES of expensive probiotics.
As Mercola says, “Adding a small amount of fermented food to each meal will give you the biggest bang for your buck. Why? Because they can contain 100 times more probiotics than a supplement!”(4)
Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride, author of The GAPS Diet, is also a big fan of getting probiotics naturally from food.
At the Gluten Summit in 2013 she told a packed audience that “With every mouthful of sauerkraut you’re consuming billions of beneficial microbes which will be killing the pathogens in your gut driving them out and replenishing the beneficial flora in your digestive tract.”
Simple Sauerkraut Recipe
If I’ve now convinced you to start getting probiotics naturally from food, here’s a simple recipe sauerkraut, and save money on the pre-made jars on supermarket shelves.
1. Chop up a cabbage into thin slices.
2. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to the bowl.
3. Pound the cabbage until it goes limp and the juice starts to leak.
4. Pack the cabbage tightly into old jam jars. Pour in water until it’s an inch below the lid and screw the lid on tightly.
5. Leave in a cupboard to ferment for 2-12 days to achieve your preferred taste.
6. Put the jar in the fridge to slow the fermentation down.
Get a Daily Dose of Probiotics from Smoothies
If the idea of eating a plate of fermented sauerkraut doesn’t tickle your taste buds, there’s another way of getting a daily dose of natural probiotics that’s even more potent.
I discovered this solution after getting en email from Kelly (not her real name), who’s a single mom from Michigan.
For years Kelly had suffered from painful cramps, bloating after meals, and explosive diarrhea that hit her like a truck.
Her gut problems got so bad that one day she suffered an “accident” at the worst moment possible – When surrounded by parents waiting for her son at the school gates.
Luckily, nobody noticed. But this near disaster motivated Kelly to finally fix her gut health issues.
Probiotic + Prebiotic + Digestive Enzyme in a Single Glass
Rather than expensive probiotic supplements or struggling to follow the restrictive Low FODMAP diet, what Kelly did was track down the most potent probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes in their most natural form.
She then combined them to make a probiotic smoothie recipe.
It sounds so simple. Yet by drinking this smoothie each morning she fed her gut with a motherload of gut enriching nutrients. This led to her gut microbiome and fixing her cramps, gas and bloating in a matter of weeks.
She says her probiotic smoothie has given her more energy and helped blow away her brain fog too.
Disclaimer: Statements made in this article have not been approved or verified by the FDA. This information is not intended to be a substitute or replacement for any medical treatment. Please seek the advice of a healthcare professional for your specific health concerns. Individual results may vary. This is an advertisement and not a blog or article.
My stomach would rumble so bad at dinner people thought an alien would pop out and scuttle across the table.
Charging through shopping malls looking for a bathroom was a weekly occurrence.
And I’ll never forget seeing people’s eyes roll when I cut meetings short for the upteenth time.
Good news is I found out the root cause of my tummy troubles and how to fix it. And I didn’t have to waste money on overpriced supplements or undergo drastic dieting to do it.
What I did was implement a four step strategy for revitalising my gut health and strengthening my digestive system. I’m pleased to say that I now enjoy an active life again without scheduling around bathroom breaks:
1.Kept a food diary
Tracking what I ate each day helped me identify some of the ‘trigger foods’. In my case, low fat yogurt, granola bars, and orange juice were among the many culprits.
2. Cut back on sugar
I was never a big soda drinker. But stopping myself adding two teaspoons of sugar to my morning coffee took some willpower. However, now I’m used to it, I think my coffee actually tastes better.
Getting rid of my sugar addiction has made it easier to adopt healthy eating habits too.
3. Ate NATURAL probiotics
I’ve always thought the big claims made about probiotic supplements were hogwash. So rather than spend a fortuve on pills, I’ve been eating fermented foods to give my belly a daily dose of probiotics in their most natural form.
4. Are natural digestive enzymes
Digestive enzymes help the gut metabolise carbs and sugars. But like many things, the body’s natural level of digestive enzymes depletes with age. Good news is there are plenty of foods you can get at your local grocery store packed with digestive enzymes as mother nature intended.
Free eBook – Eat Your Way to a Healthy Gut
Those are the four tactics that worked for me.
But implementing them can be hard.
You need to know what foods to eat, what to avoid, and how best to plan your meals. Get any of these wrong and you may find yourself at square one.
The good news is there’s no need to spend hours hunting for recipes and planning your meals. I’ve created a FREE eBook that reveals everything I discovered.
Eat Your Way to a Healthy Gut is a short yet thorough guide on improving your digestive health through food. You can read it in less than an hour and get answers to many important questions on digestive health:
✔ The #1 reason why 1 in 4 people experience digestion problems (p.8)
✔ The little-known side effect of taking too many probiotic supplements (p.10)
✔ 4 clever “dinner table” eating habits for relieving bloating (p.11)
✔ A nutrient found in a common vegetable that’s great for digestion, muscle function, and relieving constipation (p.12)
✔ How long after quitting processed food you should expect an improvement (p.15)
✔ Who should avoid eating bran (and what to eat instead) (p.17)
✔ 3 foods to avoid for a healthy digestive system (p.18)
✔ Why high-stress causes havoc to your digestive tract (p.21)
✔ Recommended way to cook broccoli to reduce bloating (p.26)
✔ 6 foods everyone should eat to avoid leaky gut (p.28)
✔ How to boost levels of digestive enzymes through food rather than expensive supplements (p.32)
✔ 7 spices for bulletproofing your gut (you likely have 3-4 of these in your cupboard) (p.34)
✔ 7 probiotic superfoods for rebalancing your gut microbiome (p.38)
✔ 2 x meal plans (repair and maintenance) (p.42)
✔ 29 x gut enriching recipes with ingredients, cooking instructions (p.46-69)
29 Gut Enriching Recipes
Choose from easy to make breakfast meals, delicious lunch dishes, and mouth watering dinner recipes all made from gut healthy ingredients:
– Probiotic Superfood Burger that’s healthy to eat
– Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Fried Capers
– Broccoli Stalk, Kimchi & Zucchini Salad
– Mango, coconut and chia seed pots
– Chicken goujons with walnut & red pepper spread
…and more all with ingredients lists, easy-to-follow instructions, and most with photos.
To get a copy please enter your BEST email address:
(i) Lin, H. (2004). Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. The Journal of the American Medical Association. 292:852-858.
(ii) Pimenetel, M., Park, S. Mirocha, J. Kane, S., and Y. Kong. (2006). The effect of nonabsorbed oral antibiotics (rifaximin) on the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Annals of Internal Medicine. (145)8:557–563.
(iii) Atkinson, W., Sheldon, T.A., Shaath, N., and P.J. Whorwell. (2003). Food elimination based on IgG antibodies in irritable bowel syndrome: A randomized controlled trial. Gut. 53:1459–1464(iv) Shanahan, F. and P.J. Whorwell, M.D. (2005). IgG-mediated food intolerance in irritable bowel syndrome: A real phenomenon or an epiphenomenom? The American Journal of Gastroenterology. 100:1558–1559.
Disclaimer – Statements made in this article have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always consult your doctor before making changes to your diet or medications.
The keto diet is supposed to make weight loss simple.
When you replace processed “Frankenfoods” loaded with additives, sugars, sweeteners, and other artificial gunk with natural healthy fats…your body can burn off stubborn weight like it’s supposed to.
switching your body’s energy source from glucose to healthy fats can be a tough slog in the first few weeks.
You see, when your body is suddenly starved of the sugars and carbs it’s used to…things can start to break down. In fact, the withdrawal symptoms can be like you’re coming off an addictive drug (which sugar actually is!!)
Symptoms of the “keto flu” include…
- Difficulty focusing (“brain fog”)
- Lack of motivation
- Sugar cravings
- Muscle cramps
It’s for these reasons that…
….every Keto dieter needs a powerpack of nutrition at their disposal for warding off the keto flu!
The problem is, the damage we’ve done to the soil with crop sprays, fertilizers and GMO has meant it’s practically impossible to get all the nutrition you need from food.
And while there are plenty of stores selling supplements to fill the gap – they arent formulated specifically for keto dieters.
The good news is…
…there now exists a company in America that delivers all the keto specific nutrition you need…straight to your door: KetoLogic
KetoLogic’s supplements are designed to make your transition to keto smooth and hunger free.
They also top up your levels of vital minerals and nutrients to reduce the risk of plummeting energy, brain fog, irritability, and other symptoms that make many keto dieters give up in the first few weeks.
Even better, KetoLogic has partnered with one of the most famous fitness trainers in America to create a special program for keto dieters.
The program is called “Drew’s Keto Jumpstart Program”
5 Reasons Why I Recommend KetoLogic’s “Drew’s Keto Jumpstart Program”:
Reason #1 – Backed by America’s #1 Keto Fitness Coach
Fitness instructor Drew Manning sent the weight loss world into meltdown when he got fat ON PURPOSE so he could better understand what his clients went through trying to lose weight.
After swapping clean eating for the typical American diet, he ballooned from a cut 193 lbs to a doughie 263 lbs in just 5 months. Yet more remarkably, he then regained his chiselled physique in about the same time.
How did he do it? KETO!
Drew was so impressed with the keto diet that he partnered with KetoLogic to create his Jumpstart Program to help more new starters achieve their body goals.
Reason # 2 – Smoother Transition to Keto
Normally, switching to keto can mean afternoon slumps when your brain and body are craving carbs and sugars. But thanks to KetoLogic, allowing this to happen can be a choice.
As in Drew’s Keto Jumpstart Program you get a kit containing the following:
- 30 or 60 servings of KetoLogic BHB Fuel
- 30 or 60 servings of KetoLogic Meal Replacements
- 30 or 60 servings of FBomb Nutbutters
- Keto Jumpstart Meal Plan ($96 Value)
- Keto Challenge Workouts ($500 Value)
Drew’s Keto Jumpstart Program gives you everything you need to control cravings and fuel your brain and body while switching to keto. These supplements are specifically designed to support a low-carb high-fat diet and lifestyle. They’re convenient, great tasting, and guaranteed to help you lose weight.
Reason # 3 – Proven
Drew’s Keto Jumpstart Program has already featured on Dr Oz, The Doctors, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, CNN and Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit. All of them were eager to share with their audiences how effective it is at helping people lose weight without the hunger pangs, deprivation, or misery of normal dieting (or the keto flu).
It’s helped thousands of people to not only achieve their weight and fitness goals, but also their life goals too. As when you lose stubborn pounds of fat it makes you feel more energized and active. You naturally start to achieve more in your daily life as a result.
Reason # 4 – Guaranteed
KetoLogic are so confident that Drew’s Keto Jumpstart Program is the most effective way of losing weight, boosting your energy, and enhancing your health that they offer a no questions asked 60 day money back guarantee.
Either you succeed at losing the 5, 10 or 15 lbs you need to attain your dream body, along with gain roadrunner energy levels, diabetes destroying blood sugar levels, and all the other health benefis of keto – or you won’t pay a cent.
Reason # 5 – It’s affordable!
KetoLogic want to help as many people succeed in switching to keto as possible. So they’re offering a deep discount on the Drew’s Keto Jumpstart Program. As for a limited time, you can get up to a $200 discount on the normal price of a 60 day supply.
So in short, KetoLogic’s Drew’s Keto Jumpstart Program is a hunger reducing, energy boosting, less stressful way of switching to the keto lifestyle. It’s also convenient, as the entire pack can be delivered straight to your door.
Here’s what Michelle had to say after completing Drew’s Keto Jumpstart Program:
“Losing weight does not even compare to what I’ve gained– more self-control over my eating habits…more muscle mass and strength to push through my heavy lifting workouts…and most importantly more hormonal balance…”
So you can see why I believe Drew’s Keto Jumpstart Program is THE best way of switching to the keto diet without the normal pain or misery after going cold turkey on carbs and sugars.
To make your decision to sign up today as simple and easy as humanly possible, I’ve decided to make a…
SPECIAL OFFER FOR BUYING VIA MY AFFILIATE LINK
If you go to KetoLogic.com and sign up for Drew’s Keto Jumpstart Program (either 30 or 60 days) via the links in this article I’ll give you three free bonus gfts.
Each of these gifts normally sell for between $19.95 and $29.95 each – but they’re yours free when you sign up for Drew’s Keto Jumpstart Program via this page.
Bonus Gift # 1 – Sugar Sweet & Dangerous – The Hidden Dangers of Sugars & Sweeteners and How to Reprogram Your Body to Break Free of Addiction…For Quicker, Safer Weight Loss with Fewer Cravings!
Bonus Gift # 2 – Mindful Eating – Avoid Overeating, End Your Junk Food Addiction and Banish Cravings – Develop a Healthier Balanced Relationship with Food
Bonus Gift # 3 – Intermittent Fasting Foundations – Managing Your Weight By Harnessing Your Body’s Feast and Famine System
I’m hoping that giving you these extra gifts will motivate you to take that extra step towards making your transition to keto successful – a decision that could transform your weight, health, and life.
After you’ve signed up, simply email your receipt to email@example.com to get your bonus gifts sent to you.
Think you know everything you need about switching to the Keto diet?
If you’ve still got questions or doubts, I’ve a comprehensive report to share with you later in this email. It contains everything (I believe) there is to know about keto (including the complicated biological stuff).
But first, let’s recap…
this is post 6 in the series. In the other 5 posts I shared already…
The Keto Transformation – Ultimate Keto Report
Now it’s post 6, I decided to drop the motherload of reports on you.
I don’t want anybody to get to the end of this series of emails and still not think they know enough about why and how they can swap a diet high in toxic carbs and sugars for the fat burning, health enhancing, energy lifting power of keto.
So, to make sure every base is covered, I spent countless hours compiling everything I knew and could find out about keto.
I then sat down and burned the candle at both ends to get it all down on screen.
Until I’d completed what I consider to be the most complete report ever on keto. I’ve called it “The Keto Transformation”
Until my mid 30s I hardly exercised at all. Now I wish I’d started sooner.
A quick 30 mins workout in the morning gets my blood pumping, my muscles primed, and my brain firing on all cylinders ready for the day ahead.
Exercise doesnt have to mean dreary hours on a treadmill or risking back strain doing bench presses. It can be smashing tennis balls against a wall, dancing to your favorite music, or going for a bike ride.
However you do it, the key to sticking to an exercise routine is staying MOTIVATED!
To help you stay focused and achieving your exercise goal, I’ve created a report with 30 days of motivational advice.
Why am I sharing these with you?
To prove a point…
… that adopting the keto lifestyle isn’t just about swapping pasta and pizza for eggs and avocado. It’s also about getting more exercise, so you can take better care of your brain and body.
The advice in my 30 Days of Workout Motivation guide may be just what you need to keep your blood pumping, your hormones in balance, and ensuring you maximize your fat burn in every workout.
I wouldn’t be doing my job as a natural health researcher unless I discussed something I bet you hoped I’d never mention – EXERCISE!
I know lots of so called diet gurus claim you can lose weight without leaving your sofa…
And that your body can burn all the fat on its own…by magic!
But this is simply not true.
The fact is that losing weight is a complex biological process. And there are two hormones that stop it happening: Cortisol & Insulin.
When these are running amok in your body, it makes it harder for stored fat to be released from your cells.
If anything, these hormones cause even more fat to get clogged up around your belly, upper arms, and thighs. Then you’ll never reach your weight loss goals no matter how many eggs and avocados you eat.
So to make things easier for you, I’ve created a simple guide on “cyclical keto dieting”.
In this guide you’ll find out how to switch your body between carbs and ketones for fuel. By following its advice, you can maximize your energy levels when working out or just have more energy for higher all day productivity.
Going to restaurants and knowing what to pick can be challenging on the keto diet.
Without this information, reading a restaurant’s menu can seem like navigating a minefield and you have no clue where the mines are buried.
So to help, I’ve created a report all about dining out on keto.
This report is free, my gift to you.
It’s called, “Eating Out On Keto – 35 Tips to Go Keto When Eating Out”
Did you know that in Iceland only 1.6% of the population has type 2 diabetes (compared to 10% in the US)?
Or that France has much lower rates of heart disease despite eating a diet high in fat?
While in India dementia is far lower than Western countries?
Yet their remarkable health would still dive bomb in weeks if they changed their diets to include more of the cheeseburgers, sodas, pizzas, and foods high in sugars that make up the average American diet.
This is why I’m such a big fan of the keto diet.
Keto is proven in countless studies to help revitalise the body’s metabolism, digestive system, energy levels, and all round health.
If you’re new to keto, here’s what you need to know:
- The keto diet is packed with healthy fats, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices.
2. It does NOT contain high quantites of processed sugars, grains, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, trans fats, MSG, or other nasty additives found in processed Frankenfoods.
3. It replicates how our ancestors ate for thousands of years. It’s why they had such lean, strong, healthy bodies, with lots of energy. It’s also why they had much less disease than we do now.
- Less heart disease.
- Less obesity.
- Less diabetes.
- Less arthritis.
- Less dementia.
- And even less cancer.
Instead of eating foods processed until all the nutrition has been bled out…they’d hunt, forage, fish, and farm for their food. And it was also free of the pesticides, crop sprays, and genetically modified crops doing so much damage nowadays.
Yet, this damage is reversible.
When you stop polluting your body with sugars, sweeteners, additives, and artificial junk…
And instead feed your body with the nutrient dense foods it craves…
Your body can naturally absorb more minerals to feed your brain, muscles, and vital organs while also releasing stores of fat to be burned off as energy.
The result is what keto lovers refer to as “effortless weight loss” and a complete health transformation.
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly people can melt away ugly stores of fat and gain newfound vim and vigor after switching to keto.
Within just 60 days of eating and living the keto lifestyle, people have…
- Lost weight – People finally lose the 5, 10 or even 15 lbs of stubborn weight they need to attain their dream bodies (and without gruelling “boot camps” or cutting calories to the point of starvation)
- Reduced their diabetes – Diabetics can get their blood sugar under control, allowing them to gain the energy to get off the sofa and live their lives again – while enjoying the thrill of throwing their meds away (and the relief of knowing they arent going to go blind or have a leg amputated).
- Reversed their heart disease – People with heart disease have seen their cholesterol rebalance for the first time in a decade, as toxic plaque flushes from their arteries. Their doctor is equally shocked to see their blood pressure has plummeted and they no longer need the statins he’d said they’d have to take for the rest of their lives.
- Cured digestive problems – Sufferers of heart burn, chronic bloating, IBS and gas have all cleansed their digestive systems so they can eat at their favorite restaurants again and even treat themselves to cake
WHY KETO IS BETTER THAN OTHER DIETS:
There are tons of diets to choose from these days…Paleo…vegan…cave man…South Beach etc. So why do I think Keto is the best?
Well, as hundreds of thousands of people all over the world have experienced, switching your body’s fuel source from sugar and carbs to healthy fat can trigger remarkable transformations in your body.
Here are just three reasons why I think it’s the best way of feeding your body with nutrition and energy:
- Burns fat as fuel – By restricting your intake of carbs and sugars, keto switches your body to burn stored fat as fuel, rather than the glycogen stored in your muscles. This naturally turns stores of fat in your upper arms, thighs, and belly into energy bars just waiting to be burned off.
- Lowers your blood sugar – As many as 1 in 2 Americans has high blood sugar. And the reason is simple: Our diets. Keto reduces your intake of processed sugar, naturally lowering your blood sugar and insulin resistance so you can lower your risk of type 2 diabates (in fact, many people have reversed their diabetes through the keto diet)
- More energy – The Keto diet gets its name from “ketones”. These are blocks of energy your liver produces from stored fatty acids by a process known as “ketosis”. Ketones are a much more potent source of energy than glucose. So with these flowing through your body, you can power through the day without having to “top up” on coffee or soda.
- Less hunger – Healthy fats, like eggs and avocado, are among the most nutrient dense foods around. They give your body what it needs faster and keep you full for longer, which means less snacking between meals.
If any of this sounds good to you, I’ve created a quickstart report that reveals everything you need to know about the keto diet in 20 mins.
It’s called “Keto FAQ – 23 More Frequently Asked Questions about the Keto Diet”.
You can download a copy right now. Just click the link below:
A few years back, my dad was diagnozed with type 2 diabetes.
We were both shocked as he ate (what we thought at the time) was a healthy diet.
But we should have spotted the warning signs. He had the energy levels of a sloth and the irritability of a grumpy bear.
He’d become a different person to the happy, care free father I remembered as a child.
Life was passing him by as he spent his days collapsed in front of the TV, too drained and depressed to move.
The doctor’s answer was to prescribe him metformin (blood sugar lowering medication).
But as we later discovered, this drug does nothing to reverse the underlying causes of diabetes.
All it does is manage the symptoms.
So it was little better than delaying his deterioration from the disease.
This wasn’t what either of us wanted.
I wanted my joyful dad back.
Not someone who spent his days under a cloud of misery worrying about if he’d lose a foot or go blind as his diabetes got worse.
It was clear mainstream medicine was short of ideas.
So we did our own research.
Now to make a long story short, my Dad’s diabetes…and lack of trust in mainstream doctors…led us to the Keto diet.
Because we soon discovered that chronic high blood sugar results from all the processed sugars, refined carbs, additives, and other chemical nasties found in foods that come in a packet or box.
That all changes when we threw out all the processed “Frankenfoods” and switched my dad to a diet high in healthy fat, nuts, fish, and greens,
Now, his health didn’t miraculously improve over night.
But as dad’s cravings for soda faded (“diet” soda packed with aspartame is just as bad) and he fuelled his body with the nutrients missing from processed foods, he gradually found the energy to get off the sofa.
Then he started going for daily walks.
Until he felt strong enough to get back into cycling.
Long story short…
He shed 27 lbs of lethal belly fat.
Best of all, he was able to throw his metformin drugs in the trash – which were never going to help him get better anyway.
My dad’s transformation is another of the reasons why I launched this website.
Sadly, too many people are falling victim to an industry that pushes treating symptoms over making healthy lifestyle changes that be result in cures.
I want to help others on their journey to discovering how they can heal their bodies from within to gain lasting health.
It’s also why I created my ‘Keto 30 Day Meal Plan + Recipe Book’.
All I ask is that if you put it into action, you drop me an email to let me know how you get on.
Do you struggle to remember words for things?
Do you go into rooms but can’t remember why?
Do you get told that you keep asking people the same questions?
Or do you suddenly get into a bad mood but dont know why?
These may just be signs of getting old, or they may be early warning signs of dementia. The problem we face is that there’s still no reliable way of dementia being diagnosed. Possible methods in the pipeline include a blood test for proteins, an eye test for the thickness of the retina or a special memory test to help gain an early diagnosis.
We are, at least, making progress in identifying dementia’s possible causes. Genetics, nutrition and lifestyle factors are all risk factors. And as awareness spreads, more people may start taking steps to reduce their dementia risk through adopting healthier lifestyle habits.
Until a pharmaceutical magic bullet is found (current progress doesnt look good), in the battle against dementia we need to focus on PREVENTION rather than cure.
- Avoid “Anti-Cholinergic” Medications
The precise cause of dementia is still unknown. Although the latest research suggests that a main cause is chronic inflammation causing toxic amyloid plaque to appear on the brain.
It’s also feared that some OTC treatments for colds and flu, hay fever, allergies, high blood pressure, bladder problems, depression and heartburn that contain ANTI-CHOLINERGIC drugs could make the risk of dementia worse.
The Indiana University School of Medicine conducted MRI scans of the brains of 451 people with an average age of 73 to see what effect these drugs may have on cognitive impairment and dementia. They also held memory and cognitive tests.
The people taking anticholinergic drugs were found to do worse in the memory and problem solving tests. They also had SMALLER brains and BIGGER cavities inside the brain. In other words, the drugs appeared to make their brains SHRINK.
The study’s authors have warned: “Use of AC [anti-cholinergic] medication among older adults should likely be discouraged if alternative therapies are available.”
‘Given all the research evidence, physicians might want to consider alternatives to anticholinergic medications if available when working with their older patients. The impact of these drugs have been know about for over a decade, with a 2013 study finding drugs with a strong anticholinergic effect cause cognitive problems when taken continuously for as few as 60 days. Drugs with a weaker effect could cause impairment within 90 days.’ – Dr Shannon Risacher
Why is this?
The reasons why these anti-cholinergic medications are feared to worsen memory and concentration is because they’ve been found to block the chemical acetycholine in the brain.
Acetylcoline is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the brain, and is responsible for sending signals the brain relies on to function properly. Less acetylcoline naturally means the brain works slower, and explains why people with dementia typically have lower levels of this vital neurotransmitter.
2. Stop eating processed junk
Dr Marilymn Grenville, PhD and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine, was the first medical professional I’ve heard refer to dementia as “type 3 diabetes”.
If you have diabetes you’ve a 50% higher risk of Alzheimer’s. So it makes sense that to limit your risk of dementia, you should observe the same lifestyle habits that lower your risk of diabetes too.
The 60% rise in type 2 diabetes in the last decade is stongly linked to processed sugars, like sucrose, dextrose and fructose, as well as sweeteners, like aspartame and agave nectar. They are believed to cause a condition known as “glycation”, which has been linked to premature aging of the skin and aging of the brain.
The problem is that processed sugars are tough to avoid. You’d be amazed at what foods contain sugars and sweetners these days. This includes spagetti sauce, mayonaise and white bread.
To prevent these processed sugars rotting your brain, you need to start replacing junk processed food with a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.
With diabetes and dementia so strongly linked, it makes sense to adopt a diet recommended for reversing the symptoms of diabetes to help protect your mind.
The best foods for diabetics are foods with a low glycemic index. These are foods that are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised. This in turn prevents blood sugar spikes and keeps insulin at a safe level.
One of the most popular low glycemic index diets is the Mediterranean diet. This diet is rich in fruit, vegetables, oily fish and olive oil. All foods packed with brain enriching nutrients.
3. Boost Omega 3 and Vitamin D Levels
Another benefit of eating oily fish is that it’s packed with Omega 3 fatty acids. Multiple studies have found that Omega 3 has an anti-inflammatory response that can help improve blood flow in the brain.
However, you’re body can’t produce it on its own. So unless you eat oily fish once a week, it’s a good idea to top up your levels with an Omega 3 supplement over the age of 50. Omega-3 also contains DHA, which may help prevent amaloid plaque formation on the brain.
Another supplement to consider is Vitamin D. A Vitamin D deficinency, from not getting enough natural sunlight, has been found to cause a 53% higher risk of dementia. Unfortunately, your body isnt able to produce much vitamiin D from food. So unless you can get outdoors more often, It’s may be worth taking a daily vitamin D supplement as well.
4. Daily Brain Training
Your brain is a muscle. Like the muscles in your arms and legs, you need to exercise it daily to keep it fit and healthy. To put it bluntly – use it or lose it.
One of the wonderful things about the human brain is that its function is not fixed. You’re never too old to improve how well it performs. And you can continue to learn new tricks as you get older.
Instead of passive Netflix binges, consider doing things in the evenings that give your brain a workout. Play board games, do crossword puzzles, learn a language or take up dancing. Engaging in pursuits that force you to think on your feet have been found to delay cognitive decline.
5. Get 7-8 Hours Sleep
Recently it was discovered that the brain has a type of shampoo that cleans it when you sleep. It was discovered that when we sleep our brain actually shrinks. A fluid then washes it of the toxins and waste products that have accummulated during the day.
It’s called the “glymphatic system” and its discovery has reinforced the vital health benefits of 7-8 hours sleep a night. Although not yet proven, the discovery of this “sleep shampoo” has raised concerns that sleeping pills may interfere with the process and increase your dementia risk. It could explain why we feel groggy the next day after taking sleeping pills as it’s possible they may stop the glymphatic system working properly and prevent the brain being cleansed of toxins when we sleep.
Widespread lifestyle changes are urgently needed in the war against dementia
In the UK there are now over 850,000 people living with dementia. This costs the health system £26 billion a year, but still pales in comparison to the emotional cost of seeing loved ones losing their identities and living their lives lost and confused.
Unless there is a big change in how we diagnose, treat and PREVENT dementia occuring in the first place, the numbers are expected to double by 2051.
Following the five steps outlined may help people to reduce their risks and avoid the terrible toll dementia can take on the lives of sufferers and their loved ones.