Could Chronic Inflammation Be Raising Your Risk for Alzheimer’s?
6 minute read
Inflammation has been linked to a number of serious diseases, including heart disease, asthma, and cancer. Recent research has identified a potential link between chronic inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease, which is just another in a long list of reasons why fighting chronic inflammation is so important.
This is especially true when inflammation can impact the health of your body and damage your brain irreparably.
An Important Link Discovered
While scientists believed there was a link between inflammation and Alzheimer’s. The latest findings confirm that a specific gene is involved.
The ApoE4 gene has strong ties to inflammation and is now understood to be a significant genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s. The discovery of this genetic link may provide a solution for effectively preventing the development of the neurodegenerative disease.
Low-grade inflammation is common among elderly individuals, usually as a result of another health condition such as heart disease, urinary tract infections, or diabetes. By identifying those with the gene and treating their inflammation, it may be possible to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Studies done to date have found that patients with low to moderate grade inflammation who are also carriers of the ApoE4 gene have an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. When inflammation is diagnosed in an individual, testing for this gene could be the next step in their care.
Proactive Actions Against Alzheimer’s
Identifying the presence of this gene and inflammation is the first step. The next step is the treatment of the inflammation.
Some medications can be prescribed to control chronic inflammation, but these may cause unpleasant side effects or additional health problems. Thankfully, there are a number of things you can do yourself to keep your inflammation under control.
By adding certain foods and removing others, you can significantly reduce levels of inflammation in your body. Sugars, processed foods, saturated fats, alcohol, too much caffeine, and spicy foods are all known to trigger inflammation.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best at keeping inflammation under control, so grab more broccoli, spinach, and berries along with green tea, nuts, and whole grains.
Regular exercise helps to reduce fat storage, and, because fatty tissues and inflammation are strongly linked, you can keep inflammation under control by staying active. In addition to this, regular exercise keeps your muscles healthy, which causes an increase in certain chemicals known to inhibit the actions of inflammatory markers.
Any regular activity will go a long way in reducing inflammation, so you don’t need to start training for a marathon. Even gardening and household chores keep you moving and keeps the fat off.
Keep Your Cool
Stress is often unavoidable, but you can control how you deal with it. The body’s natural response to stress, whether it is perceived or real, is inflammation.
The more tension you are feeling, the more inflammatory markers are circulating your body. The more stress you are under, the more chronic the inflammation will be, and your blood pressure increases, which will force your heart to become overworked.
Learning to cope with stress will be your best defense, and this can be easily done with meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga. Getting the occasional massage is also a good way to relax the mind and body, as well as promote the release of toxins that can contribute to inflammation.
Make Sleep a Priority
Getting enough sleep is an ideal way to lower inflammation and promote health. The lack of sleep itself disrupts your chemical balance, which can trigger inflammation. Plus, when you are tired, you are more likely to be stressed.
Inadequate sleep has been linked to increased sensitivity to stress, so make sure you get your 7 to 8 hours each night. Sleeping also helps to allow time for your brain to recharge and reset, helping promote cognitive health and wards off dementia and Alzheimer’s.
More Than a Spice
Outside of the possible methods above, inflammation can be controlled by a spice hiding in your kitchen cupboard. Turmeric can do more than just spice up your meals. Curcumin is the main compound in this flavorful spice, and it happens to be a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and potential preventative for Alzheimer’s.
| Related: Curcumin May Bring New Hope to Alzheimer’s Patients |
Curcumin inhibits the travel of the NF-kB molecules that are known to trigger inflammatory-related genes once they reach their target cells. By preventing these molecules from reaching the cell nuclei, curcumin is able to reduce inflammation in a more natural way.
In case fighting inflammation wasn’t enough, curcumin is also a strong antioxidant that protects your cells from oxidative damage. By scavenging the free radicals that can damage your cells and tissues, curcumin supplements can provide an additional defense against disease.
Turmeric extract, or curcumin, has been used for centuries and is deemed safe to consume and can be easily added to your meals or consumed as a supplement.
Curcumin alone does have a low bioavailability, which means it is not easily absorbed by your body. To get maximum anti-inflammatory benefits, be sure to get a clinically proven, high-quality supplement with enhanced bioavailability.
The Bottom Line
Inflammation can spread and take hold of your body, causing serious damage to vital organs. Now linked to some of the most dangerous diseases we face, inflammation is a condition you need to get control over.
When it comes to Alzheimer’s, lowering risk as much as possible is the key because there is no cure. For those that are identified as at-risk, working to reduce inflammation will give you the most significant advantage in the fight against Alzheimer’s.