Dementia is a group of quite common disorders related to aging and caused by serious chemical processes and shrinking of human brain. This health condition is linked to memory loss, inability to think and make proper judgements, impairment of language and behavior problems, etc. This condition is caused by degeneration or loss of certain nerve cells resulting in the loss of mental functions. Nowadays, more and more aging people are suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but currently there is no safe and effective cure to treat or at least slow the condition down. However, the findings of numerous related studies are being published: for example, recently it was found out that one of the common spices and herbal remedies, curcumin, can slow down the progression of dementia-like brain disorders.
A new suggestion from the scientists came out recently and is being discussed in national mass media. According to the findings which are going to be published this month in Nature Neuroscience, fasting diet (fasting as much as two days a week) can work great for preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as lowering the risks of serious cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and many more. Fasting diet has been a great therapeutic approach in alternative medicine for ages, and today’s scientists are rediscovering the advantages and health benefits of fasting diet. In particular, reducing animals’ calorie intake can substantially lower our chances of premature death and also boost our longevity. In addition, it was found out that fasting diet has positive effects on our cholesterol levels and can control the levels of hormone linked to the development of diabetes and cancer.
Moreover, as the latest studies suggest, health benefits of fasting diet include reduced levels of inflammation and dropped down levels of free radicals, the damaging compounds associated with aging and many serious health conditions. According to the findings of a group of scientists at the U.S. National Institute On Ageing, using fasting diet can be a good solution to prevent brain damage and lower our chances to suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Professor Mark Mattson, one of the study leaders and a head of neuroscience scientific group, comments on the findings as the following: ‘Suddenly dropping your food intake dramatically — cutting it by at least half for a day or so — triggers protective processes in the brain.’
Thus, fasting diet or regular calorie restriction can not only protect our brain cells fro damage, but also boost our resistance to stresses. Most likely, these effects are linked to the activities of appetite hormones known as ghrelin and leptin, and their response on limited calorie intake. In those people who do not have extra weight these hormones boost new brain cells development, especially in the hippocampus, the area of brain responsible for memory. However, in overweight people the levels of gherin tend to drop, this way slowing down brain cell replacement. Moreover, the process of replacement tends to slow down with age, therefore being overweight for those people who are in their 40s or 50s is among the main warning signs of developing cognitive problems, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.