Health Coach: Arthritis, Alzheimer's, and Magnesium

Stay in the game with the latest breaking news about Integrative Health.

“Sidestep Dementia by Avoiding Animal Protein” Advises Leading British Psychotherapist

Leading UK psychotherapist Peter Field advises his patients to abstain from eating meat and animal protein if they value their longterm mental health. According to him, there is a direct link between consumption of animal protein and cognitive dysfunction, which may result in Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia.

Field, who is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Health and a regular BBC contributor, says that there is a clear connection between dementia, cognitive impairment and meat eating, as well as other diseases such as certain types of cancer and diabetes. “The research is very convincing,” he states. Field quotes Cornell University Professor T. Collin Campbell, author of The China Study and internationally acknowledged authority in the area of disease and diet: “Cognitive dysfunction tends to be much higher among people who are consuming an animal based diet. People with cognitive dysfunction have now been shown to have about a 6 fold increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Agreeing with Professor Campbell, Field says that the best way to avoid such problems is to adopt a whole food plant-based diet, which provides all of the elements necessary for good health—mental and physical.

 

Republican Candidates Make Fight Against Alzheimer’s a National Priority

2012 Presidential Candidates are answering the calls from thousands of Alzheimer’s disease advocates around the country asking leaders how they would stop Alzheimer’s, a disease that affects 5.4 million Americans and cost the nation $187 billion last year.

Presidential candidates – Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman —are the first to release videos discussing how they would address the Alzheimer’s crisis and lead a national effort to stop the disease. The videos represent the first indication that the fight against Alzheimer’s will be an issue in the 2012 Presidential race. To view all three videos, please visit: http://www.usagainstalzheimers.org/alz2012/.

“Alzheimer’s disease will cost our nation $2 trillion over the next decade if we don’t act,” said George Vradenburg, co-founder and chair of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, who led the effort to gather comments from all 2012 candidates. “These candidates emphasize that a strategy of curing Alzheimer’s disease can be a critical driver in reducing health care costs, with the proper regulatory environment and private and philanthropic partnerships and investment. We look forward to hearing from the other candidates, including President Obama, on how they would address Alzheimer’s.”

In the past month, USAgainstAlzheimer’s reached out to the campaigns of all 2012 presidential hopefuls, including President Obama, seeking a video response to how they would address the Alzheimer’s crisis. The following are excerpts from the videos received thus far:

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich has long made Alzheimer’s disease one of the centerpieces of his campaign, outlining a series of proposals in his new “21st Century Contract with America” that emphasize the need for greater brain science research, medical innovation and a more agile Federal Drug Administration. “Alzheimer’s affects millions of people, and it affects the families of millions of people because an Alzheimer’s caregiver is twice as likely to have a health problem as somebody who’s not a caregiver. Alzheimer’s is going to cost us between now and 2050, as much as 20 trillion dollars, and that’s why it’s very important that we take steps such as I’m proposing in my brain science initiative,” Gingrich said.

Currently, 5.4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s and the disease impacts 14.9 million caregivers nationwide. In the coming decades, the number of Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s will triple. Without a cure, over 10 million baby boomers will die from the disease.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and remains the only disease in the top ten with no means of prevention, treatment or cure. It is a disease that destroys not only one’s memory and shortens one’s life, but disables one’s physical capacities as well. Despite the personal and financial toll Alzheimer’s inflicts, the National Institutes of Health invests only about $450 million per year toward Alzheimer’s research --less than $90 per person living with the disease.

 

Arthritis Major Contributor to Physical Inactivity

People with arthritis are significantly more likely to be physically inactive than those without the disease despite the proven benefits of physical activity for arthritis management, cites new CDC data. The study, published in the December 9 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, found that a substantial portion (25 to 47 percent) of inactive adults in every state are adults with arthritis. In a typical state, approximately one-third of the inactive adults reported arthritis.

“People with arthritis have specific barriers to being physically active, such as fear of increasing pain or making their symptoms worse,” says Arthritis Foundation Vice President of Public Health, Dr. Patience White. “However, arthritis-appropriate physical activity helps reduce the risk of developing other health problems, and helps manage the disease. No matter your ability level, you can engage in activity to help fight arthritis pain and symptoms.”

 

Arthritis Foundation Physical Activity Tips

• If you’ve been sedentary, starting out gently is essential. Talk to your doctor about what types of activities will be appropriate for your mobility level. He or she may advise you to begin with simple, low-impact exercises, such as walking or water aerobics.

• Aim for 30 minutes a day, five days a week which will achieve the recommended 2.5 hours of at least moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week. You should do at least 10 minutes at a time and spread your activity throughout the week. Do muscle strengthening activities at least two days per week.

• Incorporating a mix of different activities will not only keep you moving, but can enhance your enjoyment of your exercise time. Consider including in your routine exercise like jogging, swimming or yoga.

 

Magnesium Helps Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety disorders can be triggered by fear and thus, affect cognitive functioning. When in danger, fear is essential for survival. This fear triggers the brain to respond with many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm.

But in anxiety disorders this reaction is enhanced so that the fear memory continues even when one is no longer in danger, affecting cognitive ability on a daily basis.

“Through our study, we found that increasing brain magnesium with Magtein [a new magnesium compound] enhances not only the learning and memory ability, but also top-down inhibition of fear memory of rats,” explains Dr. Guosong Liu, one of the study’s principal scientists. “When the cognitive ability is enhanced, fear responses such as anxiety-like and PTSD-like behaviors, are controlled.”

According to Liu, the use of a high magnesium treatment induces a unique pattern of action on brain regions involved in and responsible for the body’s emotional processes. It heightens the function of the prefrontal cortex; a brain region involved in controlling fear responses, without affecting the function of amygdala–the brain’s evolutionary conserved region involved in fear memory formation and storage. “By increasing brain magnesium through Magtein, cognitive ability goes up, fear memory remains unchanged”.