Sugar and Alzheimer's: How Carb Consumption is Linked to Brain Health
You may have seen people refer to Alzheimer’s disease as Type III Diabetes and now there is some scientific evidence that has come to light that creates a strong link between the two.
Many are now finally seeing the risks that over consuming carbohydrates have on your chance of becoming insulin resistant and the potential development of Type II Diabetes. However, now there is growing evidence that carbohydrates have a big impact in regards to a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. But why?
The effects of sugar and Alzheimer's
When you eat carbohydrates (yes, sugar is a carbohydrate) your body produces insulin to breakdown glucose. A byproduct of insulin production is insulin-degrading enzyme or IDE. IDE not only breaks down insulin, but it also breaks down amyloid proteins in the brain. I know all these scientific terms might sound overwhelming, but amyloid proteins are what clump up in your brain and lead to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. If your body is not able to regulate or produce insulin, that means it is also not producing IDE. In turn, those clumps of amyloid proteins in your brain are not being broken down. If the clumps of amyloid proteins continue to build up in your brain, you are at a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other dementia related diseases.
The studies that are being produced that link Alzheimer’s disease to carbohydrates are scary for the plain fact that carbohydrates are the foundation of the Standard American Diet (sometimes referred to as SAD, which is the perfect acronym for it). How we eat does truly have an effect not only on how we look and feel, but how our bodies function on a molecular level.
Alzheimer's is an expensive disease to manage
This is one of the main reasons that sticking with a low carb or ketogenic is so essential. Not only does a person feel great, but you are truly treating your body as the temple it is. Not to mention, that once you develop something like Type II diabetes (or God forbid, Alzheimer’s disease) your medical and prescription costs can have a massive toll on your monthly expenses. The lifetime cost to treat Type II diabetes alone is estimated to be around $85,000 in the United States!
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer's is the most common cause of dementia -- a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities that are serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 percent to 80 percent of dementia cases. They also point out that as of 2018, there are over 5.7 million people living with disease, and that 1 in 3 seniors die from Alzheimer’s or other dementia related diseases.
Sticking to keto with an emphasis on high quality fats sounds like a much better option to me. There is never a better time to start if you haven’t already.
You can find a number of the studies online that link Alzheimer’s disease to carbohydrates. One such study can be found here.
Carb consuption and mental health
Aside from Alzheimer's, a low carb and ketogenic approach can have dramatic effects on other mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia.