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Help Prevent Alzheimer's Disease with a Middle Age Diet Change

Updated on November 16, 2014

A change to a healthier diet can benefit most individuals, no matter what their age.

It's Not Too Late

Middle age is not too late in life to begin efforts to reduce and prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. While the discipline of medicine is working on a vaccine and other preventative measures, middle aged individuals can do something on their own at home, with guidance from their healthcare providers.

Studies from the 2000s indicate that obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure suffered in middle age are each a major contributor to risk of incurring Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia later in life. In fact, each of these chronic health conditions nearly doubled the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other dementia.

In a recent study, participants that suffered all three health concerns showed 6 times the risk (600% more) that individuals without any of them showed. The lead enquirer in this study is Dr. Miia Kivipelto from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

The body-mass index (BMI) was figured for 1449 Finnish men and women at the age of approximately 50. They were examined again 21 years later and 61 individuals had Alzheimer’s or some other dementia. The risk of dementia approximately doubled when BMI was over 30 (obesity), cholesterol was over 250, or systolic blood pressure was over 140 at age 50. Obesity seem to cause more of a risk among women than among men.

American studies show that women overweight in their 50s are more likely to develop dementia, and that women in their 60s that eat cruciferous vegetables regularly are less likely to develop dementia [Reference: Obesity and vascular risk factors at midlife and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Kivipelto M, Archives of Neurology. 2005; 62: 1556-1560].

Obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure suffered in middle age are each a major contributor to risk of incurring Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia later in life.

Jack LaLanne, Age 95. Seniors That Look Younger.

Video Credit: YouTube - michaelwayne2's Channel

GM Jhoon Rhee at age 75

Do you know how many calories are in butter and cheese and ice cream? Would you get your dog up in the morning for a cup of coffee and a donut? -- Jack LaLanne

Jack LaLane in 2007 at age 93.
Jack LaLane in 2007 at age 93.

Three Who Know About Health

In preventive medicine classes, some of my professors said it would be wonderful if people could live a long, healthy life and die suddenly, without debilitating long-term chronic illnesses. That is the goal of some medical research, including that which targets nutrition, diet and such conditions as Alzheimer's, other senile dementia, arthritis, osteoporosis, heart disease, and several others. Because women outlive men in the US and some other nations on average, diseases of old age or more usually diseases of women.

Diet and nutrition are becoming more visibly key to a host of physical and psychological syndromes that affect males and females. Public health promotion aimed at educating the pubic and encouraging healthy eating habits may be able to delay and prevent a huge number of ills and eliminate some conditions altogether, rather than shuttling them forward into old men's or old women's diseases.

In martial arts instruction and coaching and health psychology, I have seen appropriate diets, exercises, relaxation techniques, and other effective habits increase the longevity of not only the human being but of his or her health years.

Taekyon Grandmaster and National Living Treasure, Song Duk Ki of South Korea, lived a healthy life for approximately nine decades or more. He exercised and trained students until the end of his life. He followed a tradition of appropriate diet, physical training, mental exercise, Traditional Korean Medicine, and other good health habits as he helped others.

In America, the similar examples are two famous men: Jack LaLanne, the nonagenarian fitness expert (also a chiropractor); and Jhoon Rhee (age 82 in 2014), the Father of American Taekwondo, bringing the sport to the US in the 1950s. We still see Jack LaLanne on television as he speaks about health and fitness and Jhoon Rhee teaching Tae Kwon Do to the Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill twice a week while he maintains a heavy schedule of instruction, touring, and health promotion via education, herbal supplements and others materials.

Appropriate diets helped all three individuals to avoid Alzheimer's and other "diseases of aging."

Do you know how many calories are in butter and cheese and ice cream? Would you get your dog up in the morning for a cup of coffee and a donut? -- Jack LaLanne

You don't need a silver fork to eat good food.

-- Chef Paul Prudhomme

Our minds are like our stomachs; they are whetted by the change of their food, and variety supplies both with fresh appetite.

-- Quintilian

Which Diet?

An anti-Alzheimer's diet is generally:

  1. Anti-inflammatory. - This diet also guards agaisnt arthritis, heart diease, diabetes, allergies,and other conditions. It also reduces the ingestion of hormones, pesticides, and antibiotic residues used in animal and plant agriculture.
  2. High in cruciferous and leafy green vegetables.
  3. High in Omega3 fatty acids - For instance, Jack LaLanne eats fish and egg whites, but no other animal products. Many seafood sources contain Omega3s.
  4. The Mediterranean Diet, which has its own Food Fypramid Guide, has also been found to reduce Alzheimer's risk factors (see video, below right).

Healthy Eating Through the Life Span

Will it is advantageous to develop healthy eating habits in childhood and maintain them throughout our lives, it is not too late in middle life to begin healthy eating habits.

Adopting any of the diets listed above can bring increased health, happiness, and longevity in one's later years and delay or prevent Alzheimer's and other dementia.


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I don't know about the aluminum, but if blueberries remove it from the brain, so much the better! Thanks for your comments.

    • conradofontanilla profile image

      conradofontanilla 5 years ago from Philippines


      You hit one nail on the head, so to speak, by mentioning berries. Fruits and vegetables containing anthocynins remove aluminum fibers that if they lodge on brain cells cause Alzheimer's. In other words, aluminum fibers cause Alzheimer's. Infusion chelation therapy also removes aluminum from brain cells in much the same way as it chelates lead. I have a Hub on Alzheimer's where I elaborate causes and control in the framework of alternative medicine.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      S0me reports talk about coffee containing anti-oxidants as well, so it may be useful for many conditions. Thanks for mentioning it, BlissfulWriter.

      And thanks to all the people that read and made copmments!

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 6 years ago

      Definitely want to eat high-antioxidant foods such as berries. And avoid saturated fat, while getting the good fats in the fish, nuts, and avocados.

      Anti-inflammatory diet is a good idea not just for Alzheimer, but for many other diseases as well such as arthritis.

      Coffee is anti-inflammatory. I just wrote a hub about how caffiene may also be protective against Alzheimer's.

    • profile image

      sord87 7 years ago

      It is good if we can catch alzheimer early ,most prevention could be taken before we reach that alzheimer age. This phrase shows us something that alzheimer can be prevented before happen!

      "Being able to diagnose and monitor Alzheimer's long before mental damage is evident raises the hope that doctors can develop therapies to prevent the disease".

    • ElectricFireplace profile image

      ElectricFireplace 7 years ago from Florence, AL

      Good info! Thanks for including the resource links, too.

    • What Is Best profile image

      What Is Best 7 years ago from Burlington, VT

      Thank you so much for this hub. The Mediterranean Diet is becoming bigger in my life by the day.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Great hub. Anything that helps prevent the awful disease of Alzheimer is a good thing. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • bonny2010 profile image

      bonetta hartig 7 years ago from outback queensland

      guess I had better get started - good hub and lots of good links - thanks

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a great informative hub. A healthy diet has definitely something to be said about whether it is preventive or not. I am sure it will improve your health.

    • Explosive INK profile image

      Explosive INK 7 years ago from Austin Texas

      Alzheimers is hereditary, But can be time triggered by the bodys imbalance of supplemental fluid/chemicals. I feel all the junk/preservatives in food today trigger these chemical mishaps. Exercise and drink a good portion of water and this should filter your veins filled with bad stuff and if you follow a healthier diet then you will suceed even better.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Good that retirement centers are helping Alzheimer's folks in the 21st Century! Progress, finally.

      Heredity - Familial Alzheimer's Disease affected a young Ohio man, aged 21 in the 1990s. Adults of all ages in his extended family contracted the disease. Dementia is horrid. We will develop effective preventive measures beyond diet and exercise and can use those two methods now as much as we can, thank God any times. Blessings to you and your mother.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      There is a lot believed about Alzheimer's and what causes it, but no one knows for sure...each person is so different...and yes all these things COULD help, along with doing many mind keep your mind healthy is one known fact...

      As always eating the right, organic, healthy, un-chemicaled foods is the best thing, along with exercise no matter what age.

      At the home my mom is living they have a really well planned exercise program which has proven to be very good. People walking keeps their blood flowing, they play games that exercise different parts, and they have dancing class that most love...even in a wheelchair you can exercise...

      Very good Hub my dear...thanks for updating, but you just don'tknow if you will get it or not, there is no proof it is hereditary or who,why or how one gets it,just a lot similarities that they are researching...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks for reading, Putz Ballard! Senior Citizens have a lot of years left yet. :)

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 7 years ago

      Great hub.