“People with higher than normal blood sugar called prediabetes, are more likely to experience cognitive decline and vascular dementia according to a study published in Diabetes, Metabolism, and Obesity.
Researchers analyzed UK biobank data from almost 450,000 people averaging 58 years old who underwent an HB A1C test, which determines average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months.
Based on these results, they were divided into one of five groups: low normal blood sugar, normal blood sugar, pre diabetes, undiagnosed diabetes, and diabetes. Pre diabetes was classified as having a hemoglobin A1C blood test reading of 6.0% – 6.5% %. Ideal A1C levels are under 5.5%
Results show that people with above normal sugar levels were:
42% more likely to experience cognitive decline over four years and 54% were more likely to develop vascular dementia over eight years. Vascular dementia is caused by reduced blood flow to the brain.
People with prediabetes and diabetes had similar rates of cognitive decline, 42% and 39% respectively.
MRI brain scans revealed that pre diabetes was associated with a smaller hippocampus and more strongly associated with having lesions on the brain, both of which are associated with age related cognitive impairment.”
Diabetes is thought to be prevented by making some easy lifestyle adjustments in diet and exercise, in other words a diet that restricts refined carbohydrates, sweetened drinks (including fruit juice) and keeping your weight at a reasonable level with more emphasis on the lower carbohydrate side (less than 40 percent of total calories.) Please consult with your physician before you begin any calorie restricted diet, however.
“The prevalence and severity of today’s hypertension crisis cannot be overstated. Too many people over ages 65 and 75 have dangerously elevated systolic blood pressure. On the basis of the available evidence, we can roughly estimate years of life lost attributable to hypertension. From the data we were able to collect and analyze, we estimate that approximately 37,712,740 years of life may have been lost between 1980 and 2014 due to hypertension as an underlying cause in adults aged 45 to 85+ years.”
Source: Add Five More Years with One Therapy, Life Extension, The Science of a Healthier Life”. Executive Summary, 2021
Blood pressure has typically been measured by a doctor visit and if needed, the patient is given at least one (or two) prescriptions for lowering your blood pressure if necessary)(like a diuretic, e.g.) These drugs have served us fairly well in blood pressure control; however, one therapy is hardly mentioned as part of prevention or treatment along with the proper drug therapy, that if followed could enhance this goal.
That would be a diet that has been tested by research and shows up in the popular media as the second most popular diet known as the DASH Diet (Dietary Approach to STOP Hypertension not only for weight control but for blood pressure control also. In the list below, hypertensive disease ranked third as the top underlying medical conditions linked with COVID-19 deaths often associated with a more severe infection.
The following are the top underlying medical conditions linked with COVID-19 deaths.
* Influenza and pneumonia
* Respiratory failure
* Hypertensive disease
* Vascular and unspecified dementia
* Cardiac Arrest
* Heart failure
* Renal failure
* Intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events
Greater Cruciferous Vegetable Intake Associated with less Aortic Calcification
“Aortic calcification, also known as aortic valve calcification (or sclerosis) is a condition where large calcium deposits get accumulated in the aorta of the heart. These calcium deposits can cause the opening of the aortic valve to become narrow and reduce the flow of blood to the heart resulting in chest pain and heart attack.”
“Aorta – the main artery of the body, supplying oxygenated blood to the circulatory system. In humans. “
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed an association between an increased intake of Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables and less extensive abdominal aortic calcification (AAC defined above) in older women. The study population included 684 women with a mean age of 75 who previously had enrolled in the Calcium Intake Fracture Outcome Study (1998) conducted at the University of Western Australia. Diet intake questionnaires were given to participants and calcification detected as extensive or not extensive was determined by imaging techniques.
A correlation was observed between greater cruciferous vegetable intake and a reduction of AAC. Women whose intake of the vegetables was more than 44.6 grams a day (equivalent of 1/4 cup of steamed broccoli or 1/2 cup of raw cabbage had a 46% lowered adjusted risk of extensive AAC, compared to those whose intake was less than 15 grams a day. Total vegetable intake, including other types of vegetables, was not related with risk.
Interestingly, cruciferous vegetables have had positive results with lessening disease risk not only in heart calcification but in cancer prevention. Vegetables in this family not only include broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, but bok choy, kale, kolrabi, and Swiss chard. These vegetables are excellent sources of a family of anticancer phytochemicals called isothocynates that fight cancer by neutralizing carcinogens.
Broccoli also contains high levels of a phytochemical called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane increases the activation of enzymes known as phase-2 enzymes, which help fight carcinogens. According to the Department of Urology at Stanford University published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, sulforaphane is the most potent inducer of phase-2 enzymes of any phytochemical known to date.
SOURCE: Life Extension, February, 2021
Bowden, Jonny, Ph.D., C.N.S. The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, 2007
Approximately 1.8 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and more than 600,000 will die from it. But there are ways to protect yourself. American Cancer Society researchers estimate that at least 42% of new cancer cases may be avoidable , with 18% being related to lifestyle factors like diet and physical activity.
Foods contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber and phyto- chemicals that help prevent DNA damage or assist in its repair. These substances are particularly found in plant foods and appear to work together in ways that provide the protection from certain cancers.
Attempt to prevent cancer by giving large groups of people vitamin supplements or phytochemical extracts thought to account for the plants beneficial effects on cancer development have not been successful. In fact, a number of studies have noted that more harm than good results from the use of high amounts of individual supplements such as vitamin C, beta carotene, and vitamin E. Particular types of food clearly provide greater levels protection against cancer than supplements.
One major role plant foods play in reducing cancer risk appears to be related to the antioxidant function of certain vitamins and chemicals. These antioxidants in food neutralize reactive oxygen and other molecules to prevent them from damaging the DNA and also to repair DNA when necessary. Many brightly colored vegetables and fruits contain phyto – chemicals that act as antioxidants, and their consumption is being encouraged. Taking antioxidants as supplements have not been shown to have the same beneficial effects as those found in foods. It is thought that these chemicals work best synergistically.
There are other ways that some phytochemicals help to fight cancer formation. Vegetables from the cruciferous family for example broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower, appear to turn off genes that help produce proteins that increase the ability of cancer cells to grow blood vessels that support the continued spread of cancer. Substances in food that reduce inflammation may also decrease cancer risk by reducing the number of oxidized particles in cells that can damage DNA.
Dietary patterns and lifestyles related to reduced cancer risk
Consume a plant-based diet that includes five plus servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits daily, including those that are dark green, orange, and red.
Consume 3 plus whole grain products daily.
Regularly consume dried beans nuts and seeds.
Include fish and seafood lean beef, chicken, pork and other meats.
Avoid alcohol in excess.
Include 30 minutes 5 plus days a week of physical activity.
Maintain normal weight.
What does recent research say? From Eating Well Magazine, Nov. 2020
Consume more soy. Studies have shown that flavonoids in plants like soy can alter certain aspects of cells related to tumor growth. These flavonoids may protect against hormone related cancers like breast cancer. One recent analysis in the International Journal of Cancer looked at data from Chinese women enrolled in the Shanghai Women’s Health study and found that those who reported eating high amounts of soy in adulthood had a lower chance of both pre and post-menopausal breast cancer than those who rarely ate this nutrient packed legume.
Eat red and purple. The antioxidant called anthocyanin found in red, blue, and purple fruits and vegetables may also have anti cancer properties. One trial in Cancer Prevention Research had 25 colo rectal cancer patients ingest varying levels of anthocyanins before their surgery dates. The scientists found a 7% drop in tumor proliferation in patients with the higher anthocyanin consumption doses.
Increase the Fiber. A systematic review and meta analysis published earlier this year in the journal Cancer found that participants in the US who ate the most fiber had a 8% lower risk of breast cancer than those who consume the least. The researchers noted that fiber rich foods like whole grains, fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts and seeds as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against the disease by leveling post meal blood glucose spikes and improving insulin sensitivity. Fiber also increases the activity of compounds that lower circulating estrogen levels in the body. Another reason is that the nutrient has been linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer.
More About Diet and Cancer Relationships
Specific characteristics of diets that have been linked to the development of cancer include low vegetable and fruits intake and a lack of variety of vegetables and fruits excess alcohol intake, or more than one drink a day by women 2 drinks a day by men is associated with the development of a number of cancers of the digestive system. Diets routinely low in whole grain products and fiber appear to promote the development of colorectal cancer. Regular intake of charred meats or the black charred outer parts of high fat meats cooked at high temperatures may also promote DNA damage and cancer development. Other major risk factors for many types of cancer include smoking, physical inactivity, and excess body fat.
Frequent consumption of certain types of foods is sometimes more strongly related to particular cancers than to other types. For example, regular consumption of tomato products is related in particular to decreased risk of prostate cancer, and regular intake of black and green tea appears to reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Bogus cancer treatments
Unorthodox, purported cancer cures such as macro- biotic diets, hydrogen peroxide ingestion; laetrile tablets, vitamin, mineral and herbal supplements, and animal gland therapy have not been shown to be effective treatments for cancer. Such remedies have been promoted since the early 1900s. They still exist, although not proven to work, they offer some cancer patients a last ray of hope. They should not be used as a substitute for conventional cancer treatments.
We may be approaching another healthcare crisis other than the pandemic. In both crises, the numbers keep rising and no one really seems to earnestly do much about it. Both can be frustrating and prevention can be a key factor. Prevention always is the best medical advice but it’s difficult to find help due to a lack of interest or funding. In my opinion, many cases of diabetes type 2 can be prevented if enough attention is paid to understanding certain aspects of the disease. Studies of previous prevention programs have shown to make a difference. One particular study compared lifestyle modifications with the anti-diabetes drug, metformin and found that lifestyle modifications were just as effective as taking the drug. This finding is an important result in that it suggests that lifestyle can influence our health and help to prevent some of the chronic diseases that have become leading causes of death in the U.S.
Even weight loss of 5-10% of body weight is the first line of defense against diabetes type 2 as well as learning about which foods you eat can help control blood glucose levels thus resulting in insulin secretion and/or insulin resistance.
There is a lot of attention being paid to the importance of lifestyle factors in the onset of chronic diseases we may encounter as we age. Alzheimer’s disease is dreaded by many people as well as other diseases such as heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes.
For a comprehensive article on the latest findings and facts for prevention and/or delay of onset, CLICK HERE.
It’s important to realize that these factors are still controversial and need more studies to follow up their effects on chronic diseases; however, drug therapy is sadly lacking at the present time and healthy living is not toxic and may be less inflammatory to our bodies. Hopefully, as we learn more, healthy people can practice these lifestyles earlier in life rather than waiting until the disease process has begun.