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How to Use Peanut Butter to Tell if You are Genetically Prone to Alzheimer’s Disease

Today there is an estimated 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2011 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures.

This number is expected to rise to 16 million by 2050, and is predicted to rise to effect 1 in 4 Americans by 2020, in echoes of the current obesity and diabetes epidemics.

Early diagnosis is so important with this illness owing to the fact the treatments are few and not very effective. Medical News Today 2, however, has recently reported on a fascinating study involving a jar of peanut butter and a ruler

Jennifer Stamps, a graduate student in the University of Florida (UF) McKnight Brain Institute Center for Smell and Taste, and her colleagues reported the findings of a small pilot study in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences.
Stamps came up with the idea of using peanut butter to test for smell sensitivity while she was working with Dr. Kenneth Heilman, one of the world’s best known behavioral neurologists, from the UF College of Medicine’s department of neurology.
…The ability to smell is associated with the first cranial nerve and is often one of the first things to be affected in cognitive decline… She thought of peanut butter because, she said, it is a ‘pure-odorant’ that is only detected by the olfactory nerve and is easy to access.

The outline of the study is that it tested 24 patients who had been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment on their ability to smell . The patients were asked to close their eyes and mouth, and hold one nostril closed while breathing normally through the other.

The distance at which the patient was able to smell peanut butter was then recorded with the ruler, and the process was repeated after a 90 second delay with the other nostril.

The findings showed that those diagnosed with early stage Alzheimer’s (detected in a separate test) experienced a significant difference in their ability to detect the odor between the two nostrils. The report states:

The left nostril was impaired and did not detect the smell until it was an average of 10 cm closer to the nose than the right nostril had made the detection in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

This was not the case in patients with other kinds of dementia; instead, these patients had either no differences in odor detection between nostrils or the right nostril was worse at detecting odor than the left one. 

Although it may be too early to predict confident diagnoses of Alzheimer’s using this test, the test shows a step in the right direction to understand this illness and in turn, being able to treat and even cure it. The team is planning to study patients with mild cognitive impairment next, to see whether or not it could help predict a future diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.

Researchers in Florida are also looking to combat Alzheimer’s using coconut oil. Dr. Mary Newport’s theory purports that ketone bodies, an alternative fuel for your brain that your body makes when digesting coconut oil, could be essential in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. 

Dr. Newport’s research is being used to launch one of the first clinical trials of its kind to test her theory, the research is being done at the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute. Dr. Newport herself  has particular interest in this field as her husband has been battling the disease for years. CTV News reports:

While there is currently no clinical data showing the benefits of coconut oil on the prevention and treatment of dementia, Newport — whose husband Steve was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 51 — said she began to see improvements after starting him on four teaspoons of coconut oil per day. Before the coconut oil, he could not tie his shoes. His weird slow gait… That improved. He walked normally and he was able to start running again. He was able to start reading again, his conversation improved dramatically and then over several months we saw improvements in his memory,’ Newport said. Prior to starting him on coconut oil, Newport said none of the existing medications were working.

Your body can only use two types of fuel to convert into energy. Ketones are what your body produces when it converts fat into energy, a primary source of ketones  are known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) which are found in coconut oil (coconut oil is actually around 66% MCT’s). MCT fats go directly to your liver, which naturally converts the oil into ketones. Your liver then releases the ketones into your bloodstream where they are transported to your brain to be immediately used as fuel.

According to Dr. Newport’s calculations,5 just over two tablespoons of coconut oil will supply you with the equivalent of 20 grams of MCT, which is seen as either a preventative measure against degenerative neurological diseases, or as a treatment for an existing sufferer.

Other tips to combat Alzheimer’s as you approach old age should include:

Avoid gluten (primarily wheat)

Gluten negatively affects the blood-brain barrier, the system that keeps the brain and the blood seperate and therefore, more efficient. Gluten also affects the gut by making it more permeable, allowing proteins to wrongfully make their way into your bloodstream, aggravating the immune system, allowing inflammation which is strongly linked to Alzheimer’s.

Increase consumption of omega 3 and other healthy fats

Healthy fats are rich in ketones, which seem to be the preferred source of brain food in patients affected by both Alzheimer’s and also diabetes.

Reduce your overall calorie consumption, and/or intermittently fast

Fasting is another great way to immobilise ketones as the body enters ketosis mode after prolonged periods without food.

Exercise regularly

Exercise can trigger a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized,6 and so it can be helpful in slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s


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How to Use Peanut Butter to Tell if You are Genetically Prone to Alzheimer’s Disease How to Use Peanut Butter to Tell if You are Genetically Prone to Alzheimer's Disease Reviewed by C C on 15:59:00 Rating: 5