Control your diabetes to prevent Alzheimer’s
Let’s face it: Alzheimer’s disease is a thief.
It can steal your memory, your sense of time and place… and maybe even your personality.
You want to do everything you can to put Alzheimer’s in handcuffs before it starts breaking and entering!
And that’s especially true if you have diabetes.
Scientists have known for awhile that having type 2 diabetes may increase your chances of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis — and that the poorer your blood sugar control, the greater the risk.
In fact, they’ve gone so far as to coin the term “type 3 diabetes” to describe this mind-robbing disease!
But what they haven’t known is how diabetes might cause or contribute to dementia — a link that’s now been made much clearer by a new study published in the journal Nature.
Researchers at the University of Bath have discovered a potential “tipping point” between the two diseases.
And it turns out that excess blood sugar may be the domino that tips off a cascade of events allowing Alzheimer’s to progress.
The researchers studied brain samples from people with and without Alzheimer’s to see how elevated blood sugar affects cells in the brain.
They already knew that excess glucose (a.k.a. sugar) in the blood could damage delicate proteins in these cells, a process known as glycation.
When these abnormal proteins build up in the brain, an enzyme called MIF — short for the tongue-twisting “macrophage migration inhibitory factor” — comes on the scene to respond to the inflammation.
In other words, MIF is like a good cop trying to protect your brain cells from the development of tangles and plaques that are associated with Alzheimer’s.
And here’s the key: The researchers found that high blood sugar can reduce or hamper MIF’s ability to do its job.
The study showed that MIF is already affected by glucose even in subjects who are in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s.
It appears that as Alzheimer’s progresses, the damage to MIF from blood sugar increases.
Though there’s still a lot to learn about the changes diabetes sets off in the brain, this is strong new evidence that diabetes isn’t just correlated with a greater risk of Alzheimer’s — it plays a part in its development.
So, the message is obvious: You don’t want your brain cells awash in excess sugar!
But you don’t want to suffer the potentially nasty side effects of blood sugar meds, either.
Luckily, there are many natural ways to keep your blood sugar at healthy levels without the risks of drugs:
- Try eating a Paleo (“caveman”) diet of natural fats, proteins, fruits, and vegetables to improve your blood sugar control.
- Add cinnamon to your dishes — it’s a warm, delicious spice that studies show helps diabetics regulate glucose.
- Take berberine (a.k.a. “Emperor’s Salt”), a natural supplement extracted from plant sources that’s proven to be as effective in regulating blood sugar as the drug metformin — but much safer.