Dr Oz: Alzheimer’s Disease Breakthroughs
Dr Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon and CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, got Dr Oz’s attention when sharing the newest breakthroughs in the fight against Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr Gupta shared that a study out of Tulane University found that consistent, long-term use of a commonly-used diabetes drug called Metformin was found to reduce the risk of dementia. It’s known that sugar can have damaging effects on the brain. Sugar can damage connections in your brain, little by little, over time, and the drug can help keep sugar levels from getting too high. Understandably, the medication is getting a lot of attention.
Dr Richard Isaacson, the Director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic, explained that 86 million people have prediabetes, and they could all potentially benefit from Metformin, not only to control their blood sugar levels, but also help prevent dementia. As Dr Isaacson said, the most important thing is to know your numbers. Hemoglobin A1C is a number you need to know, and if it’s high, you should change your lifestyle and make healthier choices to improve your blood glucose number.
Dr Oz: Connection Between Gut & Brain
Dr Gupta then focused on the connection between the brain and the gut. More research is being done to find out just how much your gut can control brain chemicals associated with Alzheimer’s. A new study out of Iran found that participants who consumed milk with probiotics performed 30% better on memory tests, than participants who drank plain milk.
Dr Ayesha Sherzai, a neurologist, stressed the importance of eating a diet good for your gut, because it will, in turn, be good for your brain. Foods rich in fiber, whole grains, and a plant-based diet can increase the number of healthy gut bacteria, which you certainly want. A lot of studies have shown that probiotics can impact your mood and behavior, but there’s a lot more research that still needs to be done.
Max Lugavere, a brain health enthusiast, shared that he tries to consume probiotics like kimchi or yogurt, every single day. He also tries to consume prebiotic fiber as part of his regular diet, for the same gut-brain benefit. “You just really cant go wrong with plant fiber,” Max stated.
Dr Oz: Drink & Eat Turmeric
Dr Gupta then stated that we’re learning more and more every day that food can be the best medicine for your brain. Dr Gupta’s favorite example is circumin which is the bright yellow component in turmeric. Experts believe turmeric is one of the main reasons there is such a low rate of Alzheimer’s disease in India. Dr Gupta suggested everyone add turmeric to their meals at least once a day, to reap the benefits. He loves to drink Turmeric Tea!
Dr Sherzai also shared one of her go-to brain-healthy dishes, which was a bowl loaded with hemp and sunflower seeds, as well as cucumber, turmeric, chickpeas, greens, and more spices.
Dr Oz: Anti-Alzheimer’s Regimen
Dr Oz then worked together with his team of experts to come up with an Anti-Alzheimer’s Regimen. To help remember the plan, think of the word “neuro.” Each part of the plan starts with a letter in the word. The first part of the plan is nutrition. You should try to cut simple carbs by 10% by making easy swaps when possible. Then, you’ll want to try exercise. More specifically, high-intensity interval training. Think short burst of exercise at a high intensity, broken up by short periods of rest. My favorite HIIT exercise is bike sprints!
For the “u” think unwind. Stress can have a detrimental effect on your health, which is why it’s important to reduce stress through meditation, mindfulness, or something similar, on a regular basis. Next in the plan, you should aim for restful sleep. Try for 7-8 hours of sleep per night and make sure it’s restful sleep, not interrupted by a condition like sleep apnea. Finally, for the “o,” optimize social activity. Stay socially engaged, get out and about, and spend time with people. You can get the same benefit from learning a new skill.
Dr Oz: Netherlands Neighborhood
Dr Gupta then shared one town’s incredible, innovative approach to fighting disease. Dr Gupta traveled to the Netherlands and learned more about a neighborhood specifically for people with dementia. It’s a four-acre complex home to 23 housing units. The number one goal is creating a sense of normalcy. The residents are watched over and cared for by caregivers. There are a number of clubs that provide activities for the residents, and it’s no surprise that all-in-all, they’re healthier and happier. Across the United States, researchers are hoping to implement the same idea.