Cardiovascular Health Linked To Transition From Mild Cognitive Impairment To Dementia
The study found the presence of vascular disease—including high blood pressure, high LDL- cholesterol, high triglyceride levels, and coronary artery disease—was the most prominent risk factor in the transition from MCI to dementia. About 94 percent of the participants who developed dementia during the study period had two or more vascular risk factors, versus 29 percent of the patients who had not transitioned to dementia by the end of the study. Other significant risk factors included advancing age and level of education.
Most people undergo some degree of cognitive decline as they get older. MCI is more serious than this “age-related” decline in cognition, but it does not meet the criteria for dementia. Not everyone with MCI develops dementia. (While approximately one to two percent of individuals over age 65 develop dementia each year, this rate is about 10 to 15 percent in patients with MCI).
To date, no medications have been demonstrated to slow the progression of MCI to dementia, however, this study adds to the evidence that diet and physical activity patterns that are good for the heart may also be good for the brain.
𝗛𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗙𝗿𝘂𝗶𝘁 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗩𝗲𝗴𝗲𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗠𝗮𝘆 𝗗𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁
A study published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that diets rich in fruits and vegetables are associated with decreased signs of heart damage. The study looked for biomarkers of sub-clinical cardiac damage, cardiac strain, and inflammation in blood samples of 326 healthy individuals.
The blood samples had been stored from the original DASH diet trials. These randomized controlled studies fed participants either a typical American diet, a diet higher in fruits and vegetables and lower in snacks and sweets, or the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet for eight weeks.
In this new analysis, both the fruit and vegetable-rich diet and the DASH diet (which also emphasizes fruits and vegetables, along with fat-free or low-fat dairy products) were associated with lower subclinical cardiac damage and strain within an 8-week period. No significant association was found between any of the diets and a marker of inflammation.
The four DASH trials, completed in 1996, provided evidence that still forms the basis of dietary guidelines for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk prevention. These studies did not, however, indicate whether the observed improvements in CVD risk factors directly protected the heart. The authors of this study concluded that what we eat does impact our cardiac health. They recommend focusing on consuming more fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes and eating fewer snacks and sweets.
If you’re a regular reader of my posts, you’ve probably learned by now that our body’s systems are all very complex and intertwined. But the one constant to experiencing good general health is proper nutrition and physical activity.
We know that most Americans don’t eat a proper, well-balanced diet. And as I’ve said before, 90 percent of Americans don’t eat nearly enough fruits and veggies on a daily basis. Making matters worse is our consumption of chemical-ridden processed foods and sugar has increased dramatically over the past century. Our sodium intake has also skyrocketed which studies have proven to cause increased cardiovascular morbidity.
I can’t stress enough the importance of taking care of your body before various diseases overtake your health and happiness. That begins with retooling your habits which means educating yourself, making good decisions with food, and staying active.
Don’t over-complicate matters thinking extreme diets, starvation, juice cleanses, or hours in the gym are required. They are not! I’m living proof that getting and staying in shape is relatively easy once you change some basic habits.
Any group members wanting to talk privately about weight and/or health problems you’re struggling with are welcome to PM me. Better yet, please share your story with the Group. You’ll find it liberating to share your problems with others that are experiencing the very same problems. Plus, there’s nothing better than the support of others on your mission to health. I’m excited to share my recipe for success with you and hopefully motivate you to get on the right track to long term health.
Jump on board the health train with me and start living life to its fullest. You can do it! All you need is a commitment to return to the basics — eat more fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and replace refined carbohydrates with whole grains. You’ll be amazed at the changes you see and feel.
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