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Could a Mouth Bug Be Causing Alzheimer’s? 5 Reasons to Be Wary

New Scientist is reporting that the bacteria that causes gum disease could be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease — probably the most dreaded human health issue next to cancer. The good news, New Scientist says, is that not only is a drug to block gum disease toxins just around the corner, but there might even be a vaccine for it in the future.

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While the reported research hints that Alzheimer’s may be a response to the body’s defense against bacteria, there are many other things we already know about Alzheimer’s that should give you pause to think before you stand in line for a new drug or another vaccine.

For example, here are five things that could help you decrease your risk for it:

1. Improving your cardiovascular function could help you decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s by 90 percent — Cardiovascular fitness may slash dementia risk because exercise increases levels of the protein PGC-1alpha, which is responsible for improving mitochondrial biogenesis.

2. Restoring your mitochondrial function is a cornerstone of successful dementia prevention and treatment — In addition to exercise, one of the most powerful ways to optimize mitochondrial function is cyclical ketosis. A ketogenic diet calls for minimizing carbohydrates and replacing them with healthy fats and adequate amounts of high-quality protein.

3. Even among those at high risk of dementia, cognitive decline can be reduced with a comprehensive program addressing diet, exercise, brain training and managing metabolic and vascular risk factors — Exercise initially stimulates the production of a protein called FNDC5, which in turn triggers the production of BDNF, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

In your brain, BDNF not only preserves existing brain cells, but also activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons and effectively makes your brain grow.

4. Sugar (which also contributes to gum disease) has been increasingly linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s — Even mild elevation of blood sugar is associated with an elevated risk for dementia. Several studies have shown this connection; one of the most striking studies on carbohydrates and brain health revealed that high-carb diets increase your risk of dementia by a whopping 89 percent, while high-fat diets lower it by 44 percent.

5. Rather than looking for an expensive new drug with possible unwanted side effects, it’s possible a look in your kitchen cupboard could give you a product that might lower your risk for Alzheimer’s and memory loss — In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, study participants taking a turmeric (curcumin) supplement saw significant improvements in memory and concentration, while the control group experienced no improvement.

PET scans confirmed the treatment group had significantly less amyloid and tau buildup in areas of the brain that control memory, compared to controls. Overall, the curcumin group improved their memory by 28 percent over the year-and-a-half-long treatment period.

While these are just a few ways to preserve your health and, ultimately, your brain function, the bottom line is there are several things you can do right now to help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s, without the help of drugs. From exercising to implementing a ketogenic diet to optimizing vitamin D and other hormones, to increasing sleep, meditation, detoxification and eliminating gluten and processed food, you have the power in your own hands to keep your brain — and body — healthy.

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