Monday, January 20, 2014

"Grains Are Related to Dementia: Alzheimer's and Vascular Dementia"-Dr. David Pearlmutter

What affects health and longevity? The most well respected scientific research validates what affects our health and longevity the most is our lifestyle, all of which is under our control.  When you have the knowledge and the motivation to follow those who share empowering up to date, critically evaluated information, then you can extend your healthy life by 20 years. This information is especially important for those with gluten sensitivity (celiac or non celiac gluten sensitivity) because, left undiagnosed and untreated there is a 400% increased risk of death before the age of 65, reported by Dr. Murray and others. In other words, life expectancy is 20 shorter than the average. ( It seems the people who were born before 1945, especially in a tropical areas or lived in families that used cod liver oil, are more protected from chronic illnesses, so you can't always go by how long your parents lived as a way to estimate your own longevity).

So let's move forward and explore some empowering information. One piece of information is that wheat and other grains elevate blood sugar levels and are at the top of the glycemic index . Are elevated blood sugars dangerous?

They are dangerous in many ways but to discuss how glucose and dementia are linked, see what Dr. Pearlmutter, neurologist and author of Grain Brain has to say:

New Evidence

If you haven’t visited the Science section of my website recently, you may not have noticed that I recently added a link to Neurology, one of the most authoritative, and widely read, journals on the subject of neurology. The selection of studies that I’ve linked to, document the relationship between glucose and dementia, and provide further support for the claims I have made in Grain Brain. I encourage you to browse through this area to see the great research that is being done in this field. Allow me to point out a few studies in particular that I find worthy of note:

The Hisayama Study: Published in 2011, The Hisayama study sought to understand the relationship between diabetes and dementia. This longitudinal study, conducted over fifteen years, followed a group of, initially, dementia-free patients to determine how prevalent dementia would be in communities with diabetes versus in those without. The study found that the presence of diabetes was a significant risk factor for all-cause dementia, Alzheimer’s and, probably, vascular dementia.

Longitudinal Association of Vascular and Alzheimer’s Dementias, Diabetes, and Glucose Tolerance: Another longitudinal study of the relationship between impaired glucose tolerance and dementia, this study, from 1999, is proof positive that, as much as I wish I was, I’m not onto something new with Grain Brain: the science has been there all along! While an early study that does not find 100% correlation between glucose (in)tolerance and dementia, this study does highlight and substantiate early hypotheses that there was, in fact, a correlation present between some types of dementia and diabetes. In particular, this study found a relationship between the presence of diabetes and stroke-related dementia.Studies like this created the foundation for something like the Hisayama Study to build off of.
Higher Glucose Levels Associated with Lower Memory and Reduced Hippocampal Microstructure: If you think that just because you don’t have diabetes you aren’t at a greater risk of developing dementia, think again. This very recent study sought to understand the overall impact of glucose on cognition. In studying a community of senior citizens, this study found that even in the absence of diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance, chronically high blood glucose levels would negatively impact cognition and memory. They hypothesized this may be because of structural changes forced upon certain relevant areas of the brain, an area for further research.
Gluten products, oats and other grains have unintended negative consequences including dementia. I certainly want to avoid dementia at all costs. 

To Your Health
Dr. Barbara