Another indicator - the lower you are in the birth order, the more likely you are to develop the disease. For instance, first born, rarely/never - second/third, slight increase in risk, fourth and beyond, huge jump in probability...and if you're eighth, ninth, tenth...about 95% risk. Maybe this would encourage people to stop having so MANY kids...?
Low vitamin D linked to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease
like most people, you're deficient in the sunshine vitamin, you're also at risk for life-robbing diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
One new study out of England's University of Exeter found that seniors with the lowest levels of D had a dramatically higher risk of dementia warning signs.
Researchers followed 858 seniors for six years, and found that those with less than 25 nanomoles of D per liter of blood were 60 percent more likely to experience general cognitive decline, and 31 percent more likely to start losing their abilities to plan, organize and prioritize.
But what's truly bizarre about this new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine is the accompanying editorial, which is straight out of the Dark Ages. In it, Dr. Andrew Grey of the University of Auckland in New Zealand urges people NOT to take a D supplement. He also writes that most people shouldn't even bother to have their D levels measured.
I wonder if this guy even bothers reading these journals. Let me help him out here, because a second new study finds that high levels of D can help save you from Parkinson's disease.
The study in the Archives of Neurology looked at the D levels of 3,173 Finns between the ages of 50 and 79, and found that those with the most had a 65 percent lower risk of Parkinson's than those with the least.
Meanwhile, a new report in Endocrine Today says it's now clear beyond all doubt that vitamin D is needed by the immune, pancreas, cardiovascular, muscle and brain systems.
That's in addition to all the other well-established benefits of vitamin D, which can help everything from your bones to your longevity. Low levels of vitamin D have also been linked to diabetes, multiple sclerosis, autism and schizophrenia.
Cancer organization endorses the sun
After decades of telling people to avoid sun exposure, one of Britain's leading cancer charities is getting ready to do a major about-face.
London's Independent newspaper has obtained a confidential report being drafted by Cancer Research UK along with a number of other charities, and instead of the usual about hiding inside, wearing a hat and sleeves, and slathering on sunscreen at all times, it will instead tell people that a little exposure is necessary and healthy.
"Cancer Research UK's SunSmart campaign encourages people to enjoy the sun safely and avoid exposures that lead to sunburn," the draft reads, according to the newspaper. "However, for most people, sunlight is also the most important source of vitamin D, which is essential for good bone health."
The draft even advises people to "get to know their own skin" and understand for themselves how much sun they can take, since it's different for everyone.
. I'm sure it will still approve of sunscreen most of the time and still urge people to cover up after a brief period of exposure. A new report in Endocrine Today shows just how bad the situation has become: Half of North America and Western Europe are now deficient in D, and in some regions as many as two-thirds of all people are missing out on this critical hormone. All you need is about 15 minutes out in the sun then put on sunscreen
a new study from Sweden shows that adding just one powerful antioxidant to your regimen may cut your Alzheimer's risk by more than half.
Unravelling the mystery of Alzheimer's disease
The overt signs of Alzheimer's disease don't usually appear until after the age of 60. But we now know that damage to the brain begins much earlier, often up to 20 years earlier.
The disease begins when abnormal bits of protein called plaques and tangles begin to form in the brain. As a result, a person with Alzheimer's appears more forgetful or has trouble completing complex tasks, like handling money or paying bills.
As the plaques and tangles take root, more healthy neurons in the brain begin to die. Eventually, the carnage spreads to the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for building and storing memories. By the final stages, damage is so widespread that even basic functions -- such as speaking or swallowing -- become impossible.
Unfortunately, the top three Alzheimer's drugs on the market haven't been proven to slow the progression of this disease one iota. Not one iota!
In fact, one independent study in the UK showed that patients taking the drug Aricept had virtually the same timeline for decline as patients taking a placebo (42% taking Aricept ended up in an institution after 3 years, versus 44% taking the placebo).
Seniors cut Alzheimer's risk by up to 54 percent
Scientists from Sweden began their study with a hunch...a hunch that a powerful antioxidant could protect the brain against Alzheimer's disease.
The scientists recruited 232 patients over the age of 80 with no signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease. They took samples of the patients' blood to check for vitamin E, an antioxidant typically associated with supporting the heart and immune system.
Then, the scientists checked back in with their patients six years later. During that time, 57 of them developed Alzheimer's. But the patients who had plenty of vitamin E in their blood at the outset of the study had a clear advantage. In fact, these patients had a 54 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's. That's right. One simple vitamin cut their risk by more than half!
So exactly how does vitamin E protect the brain?
Well, scientists have no definitive answer. But generally, they think that it simply helps to gobble up free radicals that contribute to nerve damage in the brain. It also seems to play a role in preventing oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is bad, no matter where it happens in the body. But in the brain, it can lead to the build-up of protein. And as you'll recall, protein in the hippocampus causes the early, overt signs of Alzheimer's disease. The person becomes more forgetful or has trouble handling money or paying bills.
The good news, it seems that good 'ole E seems to help prevent all this.
Vitamin E: More than just the sum of its parts
With all the positive effects it has on your overall health and well-being, there's never been a better time to add vitamin E to your regimen. As this study showed, even men and women in their 80s benefited from this powerful antioxidant.
Just remember, there are eight different naturally occurring forms of vitamin E. They all play a different role in the body. In fact, the participants in the study who garnered the most protection against AD had all eight forms of the in their blood. So if Alzheimer's is a concern of yours, make sure to look for an all-natural gel cap that contains all eight fractions of vitamin E.
By Dr. Allan Spreen
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