It’s not really news for those who are aware but for everyone else, it may be an awakening that is long overdue: your lifestyle—including what you eat—directly correlates to your health.
You can’t escape it, can’t ignore it, and can’t deny it. But no matter what you’ve done in your life up to now, chances are excellent that you can reverse some, if not all, of the damage.
A new study at the University of California, Los Angeles investigated this notion. With the increase of the incidence of Alzheimer’s (AD) and neurodegenerative disease in general in the past thirty years, science continues to look for a cure and ways to prevent the onset of this debilitating condition. It is finding that the answers are not found in a pharmaceutical but in a holistic approach to the body and nourishing it as it needs to be nourished. From the study:
“Neurodegenerative disease therapeutics has been, arguably, the field of greatest failure of biomedical therapeutics development. Patients with acute illnesses such as infectious diseases, or with other chronic illnesses…have access to more effective therapeutic options than do patients with AD or other neurodegenerative diseases…In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, there is not a single therapeutic that exerts anything beyond a marginal, unsustained symptomatic effect, with little or no effect on disease progression. Furthermore, in the past decade alone, hundreds of clinical trials have been conducted for AD, at an aggregate cost of billions of dollars, without success. This has led some to question whether the approach taken to drug development for AD is an optimal one. “
Related: 9 Key Lifestyle Changes for Preventing Alzheimer’s and Dementia
A Holistic Approach to a Holistic Problem
What the research team in this case found was that changes in diet and lifestyle can reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Ten subjects with varied forms of neurodegenerative disease—including cognitive impairment and AD—were involved in the study.
Their diets were changed to exclude simple carbohydrates, gluten, and processed foods. They increased the amounts of probiotic foods, non-farmed fish, vegetables, fruits, vitamins B12 and D, and added supportive herbs and spices like ashwagandha and turmeric, and high-quality fish and coconut oils.
Patients also increased physical activity to include regular exercise, some also added yoga and meditation. They were also encouraged to ensure that they got enough good-quality sleep.
Marked improvement was found in nine of the ten subjects of the study. The only person who didn’t experience significant improvement in cognition was one with severe, last stage AD. Six of the ten had been unable to work due to their memory loss; all were able to successfully return to work after six months of the holistic therapy. What’s more–and the foundation for genuine optimism–is that the improvements were maintained when examined two years after the beginning of the study.
The therapeutic regimen enlisted for this study was aptly called “MEND” for Metabolic Enhancement for NeuroDegeneration. Your metabolism is determined not only by genetics but by how you live: diet, stress, exercise, sleep, personal relationships, physical environment. By improving the quality of all of these, you can change your metabolism to work optimally, nourishing your brain and reversing disease.