Preventing dementia might all boil down to what you eat

Not too long ago, I told you about a trial conducted by drugmaker Novartis to see if it could generate enough data to allow it to pitch its niche drug Ilaris to the FDA for treating heart disease.

And that large study turned up some fascinating information about how to keep your ticker in good shape.

It turns out that by putting a lid on inflammatory triggers, you may be able to slash your risk of suffering a heart attack by 50 percent!

Now, three more studies have come out linking chronic inflammation to everything from dementia to gut problems to cancer.

Those findings, along with reams of other research on the causes of disabling diseases, is telling us one thing loud and clear: If you want to be healthy, especially into your golden years, you must incorporate as many inflammation busters as possible into your daily routine.

Fortunately, that’s a very easy thing to do!

The key to good health

In this latest study, researchers at Johns Hopkins started by giving over 1,600 people in their mid-50s brain scans and blood tests to look for inflammation “biomarkers.” Fast forward 20 years, and those same people were tested again.

It turns out that for the ones who had signs of inflammation all those years ago, some areas of their brains were actually smaller than those in the group with no apparent inflammation.

Now, as we’ve shared with you before, any “shrinkage” in the brain is a bad thing — and loss of brain mass in that particular area has been previously associated with Alzheimer’s.

It’s no surprise, then, that those same folks with inflammation (and brain shrinkage) also performed worse on a follow-up memory test.

But this new research shows that the damage had actually begun decades before this memory-robbing killer had become apparent.

Dr. Keenan Walker, who led this study, said that the inflammation they found decades earlier is on par with the Alzheimer’s risk of having a defective gene — one called ApoE, which makes it much more likely you’ll come down with the disease.

Of course, those findings alone would certainly be enough reason to have you including plenty of anti-inflammatory foods in your diet (I’ll tell you about some of them below), but, as they say in those late-night infomercials, “Wait, there’s more.”

A just-out study from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine has found that “chronic liver inflammation also promotes cancer.”

It appears that when your liver is inflamed, it actually suppresses a natural way your immune system works to protect you from cancer.

And yet another new study, one called a “breakthrough,” has found how controlling inflammation can prevent colon cancer!

Researchers from the University of Warwick in the UK discovered that inflammation caused by “dysfunctional” cell processes can open the floodgates for nasty gut diseases including IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and colon cancer.

But the exciting part of this study is that they also found a way to “control and regulate” that cell function… simply by including more anti-inflammatories in your diet!

In fact, the researchers went so far as to recommend certain foods that can help do that, such as pomegranates, red grapes, pears, mushrooms, and green peas.

Other ways to start fighting back against inflammation include these three important steps:

#1 Ditch any food containing HFCS or with pure fructose added to it, as well as agave syrup (which is sometimes promoted as “healthy”). Those sweeteners are well known to cause liver inflammation and disease.

#2 Add more foods to your diet that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as chia seeds, walnuts, and fatty fish like salmon and sardines. Also, start taking a high-quality fish oil supplement. Omega-3s are famous for stopping inflammation in its tracks. Just make sure what you’re buying contains plenty of DHA and EPA.

#3 Use more anti-inflammatory flavor-boosters such as ginger, chives, garlic, onions, and shallots.

And at the other end of the inflammatory spectrum, cut down on foods that cause inflammation, such as sugar and dairy products. Especially watch out anything containing partially hydrogenated oil, which is fortunately due to be phased out of processed food by next summer.

To Keeping a Lid on Inflammation,

“New finding hints at clue to dementia” Robert Preidt, November 3, 2017, HealthDay,