WHAT IS ALZHEIMER’S and Is there a link between Alzheimer’s and gut health?
It is the most common cause of dementia that affects memory, thinking & behavior. It is not a normal part of aging. Of all the conditions that challenge the old age, it is the one that scares us the most. Majority of people are 65 years or older but now the disease does not limit itself to old age, people younger than 65 years are getting affected, and it is called Young onset Alzheimer’s disease or Early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s worsens over a period of time. It is a progressive disease. Initially, the memory loss is mild, but later in this disease, a person can lose the ability to have a simple conversation or interact socially. The earliest sign is difficulty in remembering a newly learned information, like an address or a new name, it causes a lot of stress, disorientation, mood changes, behavior changes, like short outbursts of violent attacks. It deepens the confusion and eventually they cannot recognize their own friends, family or caregivers, difficulty in speaking and it even limits their mobility. In this article, we are going to explore the association of Alzheimer’s and gut health and ways to improve the gut health.
CHANGES IN THE BRAIN IN ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
The brain has 100 billion nerve cells called neurons. Each nerve cell connects and communicates with many others and forms a network. Each group of neurons is assigned a particular job like learning, memory, thinking, and reasoning. Each network to function properly requires coordination.
In Alzheimer’s disease, the brain cells lose their ability to communicate and eventually die. The protein deposits known as plaques and tangles in and out of the neurons are the prime suspects in the declining brain function.
Alzheimer’s disease has no current cure, the treatment does not stop Alzheimer’s from progressing but can only slow down the process, like worsening of dementia and Improve the quality of life for the patients as well as the caregiver.
People with memory loss and other signs of dementia may be more obvious to family members. Any slightest of doubt, consult a doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and follow up can help in managing the disease well. Many types of research are going on to find a better way to prevent, delay or treat Alzheimer’s including the association of Alzheimer’s and gut health.
GUT HEALTH MAY PLAY A ROLE IN ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE:
When you look at the root cause of any health condition or symptoms, a compromised gut health plays a major part in it. An unhealthy gut is known to be the reason behind many autoimmune disorders, eczema, allergy, acne, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression and now even studies show that Alzheimer’s is linked to an unhealthy gut as well. Alzheimer’s is a condition that could strike any one of us, studies have suggested that changing your lifestyle can help reduce your risk, which brings us to an interesting research on Alzheimer’s and gut health. As it is said, “we are what we eat”. The food we eat influences our gut flora the most.
WHAT IS GUT FLORA?
Your gut flora is inhabited by trillions of different species of microorganisms collectively known as Gut flora or microbiota. It is a complex community of 1000 different species of known bacteria and about 3 million genes together known as Gut Microbiome. A major chunk of this community is very specific to each one of us, it’s more like a unique identification card for us. Each individual is different and so is his gut flora.
Babies are born sterile, then the intestine gets colonized by bacteria right after the birth and it evolves as we grow. Though this composition of gut flora evolves throughout your entire life, it is highly personalized and largely determined by our diet.
GUT HEALTH IS ESSENTIAL FOR NORMAL BRAIN FUNCTION
The interaction between our brain and gut flora has been studied for years. The bacteria do benefit from the nutrition in our gut, but it gives back a healthy brain function as well. Your gut consists of the microbes which possess a hundred times as many genes as your own DNA, you have more bacteria in your gut than a total number of cells in your body. Your body requires a balance in between the good and bad bacteria to form a healthy gut, it’s only when the bad bacteria overpower the good ones, the gut loses its ability to digest the food properly. This causes the food to ferment in our guts making it a perfect environment for the harmful microbes to take over and multiply. This leads to inflammation of the gut lining which releases harmful metabolites in the bloodstream, that can alter the neuron connections in our brain.
Certain types of harmful bacteria release amyloid protein which can cross over to the brain and deposit in between neurons as amyloid plaques as seen in Alzheimer’s. It seems that Gut Alzheimer’s and gut health are closely related.
Westernization of our lifestyle which includes fast and readymade food items at your fingertips, the stress and anxiety at the workplace have become a daily routine. It has changed the composition of our gut flora, by reducing the diversity of the good and bad bacteria. The perfect harmony of our gut flora has been compromised for decades now leading to an array of disorders, which we can very well prevent. This again highlights that Alzheimer’s and gut health could have a strong correlation.
HEALING THE GUT: Balance & Variety is a must
To have a healthy life and well-functioning brain health, we need to heal the gut first, which starts by replenishing the natural stores of the good bacteria, while eliminating the toxic ones.
My22BMI is working with the philosophy to heal gut and that would take care of number of problems. The health coaches provide a customised diet plan which address the root cause of the problem, i.e. healing the gut. To know more on the gut healing, register yourself for a free coaching at here.
The food we eat can either heal or destroy your gut health. The first step towards a healthy gut is to eat a balanced diet and include a variety of beneficial food items rather than going with one superfood. Although chronic stress is also known to disrupt the balance in our gut, which can be overcome by exercise and meditation. But your faulty diet still remains the number one culprit in compromising your gut health.
Diet rich in cereals, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, fish, poultry, nuts, berries is known to reduce the risk of dementia. A wide range & variety of healthy food in our daily diet is essential to maintain the diversity of bacteria in our gut.
Add prebiotics in your diet, they promote the growth and activity of the good bacteria. Foods like onions, leek, garlic, asparagus, tomatoes, banana, guava, apples, berries, almonds, colorful vegetables and whole grains.
Natural Probiotics like yogurt in your diet promotes a healthy microbiota.
Completely avoid refined sugars, processed food items, smoking and restrain your alcohol intake. Keep yourself physically and mentally active. Exercise helps to maintain the balance of your gut microbiome and promotes a healthy gut. To know more on diet to heal the gut, read at here. For more information, My22BMI also suggest a read at Dr. David Perlmutter
“We remember their love when they can no longer remember”