Alzheimer’s disease is at epidemic proportions, with over 320,000 Australians living with the condition. There are 1700 new cases of dementia each week, and 1 in 4 people over the age of 85 have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Poor diet and lifestyle choices are the main contributors.
Sadly, many of these could have been preventable, with diet and lifestyle the major contributors to the development of the disease. Gluten is being singled out as a major inflammatory driver, a sensitivity that may be involved in most chronic disease. Studies have shown that a diet high in gluten will increase the pro-inflammatory markers in the body, whilst a gluten-free diet will produce an anti-inflammatory effect.
This is because we all create something called zonulin in the intestine in response to gluten. This protein, found in wheat, barley and rye, makes your gut more permeable, which allows proteins to get into your bloodstream that would otherwise have been excluded. That then sensitizes your immune system and promotes inflammation and autoimmunity. This kind of gut permeability is also promoted by things like antibiotics and chlorinated water.
Once gluten sensitizes your gut, it becomes more permeable and all manner of previously excluded proteins—including casein and other dairy proteins—have direct access to your bloodstream, thereby challenging your immune system. Many people don’t realise that our biggest exposure to the environment is not our skin, but our gastrointestinal tract. Inflammatory foods, like those that include gluten and are highly processed, will contribute to inflammation and put us at risk of developing chronic disease, like Alzheimer’s.
Beneficial health-promoting fats that your body—and your brain in particular—needs for optimal function include olives, organic virgin olive oil and coconut oil, nuts like pecans and macadamia, free-range eggs, and avocado, for example. The brain requires good fats.
The foods we eat instruct our genes…
Poor diet, little exercise and exposure to toxins and other pollutants is a sure-fire way of ensuring that the human body ends up with some sort of chronic illness, be it dementia, heart disease, diabetes and so forth. The foods we eat are actually instructing our genes. This concept can be both frightening and empowering, but used in the right way, it can have a massive impact on the choices we make regarding our diet and what we choose to put in our bodies.
Prevention really is better than the cure.
 Antvorskof. J.C et al .Dietary gluten alters the balance of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in T cells of BALB/c mice. Immunology. 2013 Jan;138(1):23-33