How To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

How To Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s is NOT part of the natural ageing process. 

While severe memory loss is at epidemic levels today, a new analysis of classical Greek and Roman medical texts suggests that it was extremely rare 2,000 to 2,500 years ago.

So if the ancients weren’t experiencing Alzheimer’s anywhere near the rates that we are, what is it about our modern existence that's causing this devastating condition?

Controversies in Alzheimer’s research

Unless you closely follow developments in Alzheimer’s research, you probably think that the disease is caused by a buildup of amyloid plaque in the brain. 

Known as the “amyloid hypothesis”, it traces back to Dr. Alois Alzheimer's observations in 1906 which suggested a buildup of beta-amyloid in the brain caused the symptoms we associate with Alzheimer’s.

However, decades of research and drug development focused on reducing this plaque buildup have proved fruitless.

The failure to develop successful treatments have created doubts about the amyloid hypothesis. 

Doubts were strengthened in 2022 when it was discovered that a series of very influential papers on amyloid and Alzheimer’s disease contained doctored images.

The fraudulent images were an attempt by presumably well-paid researchers to push through the approval of an experimental drug for Alzheimer’s disease called Simufilam, developed by pharmaceutical company Cassava Sciences.

This is a perfect example of how research can be nudged in certain directions to profit drug developers rather than to actually benefit patients. 

Root causes of Alzheiemer’s

The research on the Greeks and Romans, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, supports the idea that Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are diseases of modern environments and lifestyles.

While it's true that amyloid plays a role in Alzheimer's disease, it is not the underlying cause. 

The root cause is not one molecule but more likely a range of environmental influences. And this is what a handful of researchers are now focussing on with promising results. 

There is growing interest in the idea that Alzheimer's is a metabolic disease - meaning it is characterised by imbalances in the way that the brain uses and processes energy. 

This theory represents a new way of understanding Alzheimer’s and suggests that addressing the root causes of these imbalances could be a more effective way to treat them. 

Viewed from this perspective, the main culprits of Alzheimer’s would be factors that negatively affect metabolism, including sedentary behaviour, poor diet, nutrient deficiencies, stress, infections and exposure to toxins.

Let’s take a quick look at some of these causes and the evidence of the harm they cause…

Sedentary behaviour

A lack of physical exercise is one of the clearest causes of Alzheimer’s, impaired cognition and overall poor health. 

Studies looking at the effect of exercise in middle-aged or older adults consistently report improvements in thinking and memory, and reduced rates of dementia.

Put simply, engaging in regular exercise is one of the most reliable ways to reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. 

Poor diet

It’s been proven that a diet high in processed foods like soft drinks, crisps, sweets, ice-cream and packaged soups leads to brain inflammation, cognitive problems and impaired memory.

In addition, a number of diets based on whole, natural foods (the Mediterranean diet and MIND diet, in particular) have shown some positive cognitive effects in trials. 

A small pilot study of 10 participants who followed a ketogenic diet (high fat, low carb) for three months showed a statistically significant improvement in cognitive test scores.

There is also ongoing scientific interest in the potential health and lifespan benefits of intermittent fasting or caloric restriction

Research has also shown that a diet that includes regular fish consumption is associated with higher cognitive function and slower cognitive decline with age.

Many of these strategies may work in part by reducing insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes and has been linked to problems with brain energy metabolism and Alzheimer's.

Other signs that diet plays an important role in Alzheimer’s is found in research on nutrient deficiencies and the gut microbiome.

For example, a study found DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), an omega-3 fatty acid found in salmon and certain other fish, improved learning and memory in the cognitively impaired compared to those who took a placebo.

Another study found rats who received microbiota transplants from rats with Alzheimer's exhibited impaired memory. 

While researchers may disagree over which diets are best for preventing Alzheimer’s, the main takeaway from research are to limit processed food, prioritise natural, nutrient-dense foods, and to maintain steady blood sugar levels to avoid insulin resistance.  


Studies have shown that chronic stress increases the risk of cognitive impairment and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Chronic stress is defined as experiencing stress without recuperation for at least six months.

Avoiding long-term stress and engaging in stress-reducing activities like exercise, socialising and mind-body therapies like mindfulness meditation can, therefore, help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. 


Certain toxins found in foods and pollutants in the environment can have a negative impact on brain function and energy metabolism. 

Things like heavy metals, air pollution and pesticides can also cause inflammation and negatively impact the gut microbiome, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s. 

Some toxins and allergens can even cross the blood-brain barrier, leading to neurological symptoms and cognitive decline.

By avoiding these toxins and allergens, it can help improve cognitive function and protect the brain from neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s.

How to reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer’s 

Based on what we have covered so far, what follows is a concise list of things you can focus on to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's.

By focusing on these factors, you will reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and promote overall brain health and cognitive function.

Engage in Regular Physical Exercise:

  • Regular physical activity has been consistently linked to improved cognitive function and reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease.
  • Exercise helps in maintaining overall health and cognitive function.

Take a sauna regularly

  • Middle aged men in Finland who take a sauna more than four times a week are two thirds less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia over a 20 year period.
  • A large study found the best sauna duration and temperature associated with lower dementia risk were 5-14 minutes per session at a temperature between 80 and 99 °C.16 Aug 2023

Follow a Healthy Diet:

  • Prioritise nutrient-dense, natural foods over processed foods.
  • Consider adopting diets such as the Mediterranean diet or the MIND diet, which have shown positive cognitive effects.
  • Some evidence suggests that diets like the ketogenic diet may improve cognitive function.
  • Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, to support brain health.
  • Reduce carbohydrates and sugar to minimise inflammation and insulin resistance.

Consider Intermittent Fasting or Caloric Restriction:

  • There is ongoing scientific interest in the potential cognitive benefits of intermittent fasting or caloric restriction.
  • Research suggests that these dietary practices may help improve brain energy metabolism and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Manage Stress Effectively:

  • Chronic stress increases the risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.
  • Engage in stress-reducing activities such as exercise, socialising, time in nature, and mindfulness meditation to help mitigate the effects of stress on cognitive health.

Avoid Exposure to Toxins:

  • Certain toxins found in foods and pollutants in the environment can negatively impact brain function and energy metabolism.
  • Be mindful of exposure to heavy metals, air pollution, pesticides, and other harmful substances.

Maintain a Healthy Gut Microbiome:

  • Research suggests that the gut microbiome plays a vital role in Alzheimer's disease.
  • Consume foods that support a healthy gut microbiome, such as mushrooms, fermented foods, and foods containing probiotics.

Address Nutrient Deficiencies:

  • Certain nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and antioxidants, may support cognitive function and brain health.
  • Consider incorporating foods or supplements rich in these nutrients into your diet to help maintain cognitive health and reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.


  • Certain supplements have been shown to protect the  brain and promote brian health, including lion’s mane mushroom, tiger milk mushroom, L-theanine,  Bacopa Monnieri.
  • Our Super Nootropic Mushroom Coffee contains a number of these substances and has been developed to enhance brain health

Read: Can lion’s mane mushroom help with Alzheimer’s?

Final thoughts

Alzheimer's, a rarity in ancient times, is not a natural part of ageing.

With controversies and failed drug developments confirming the amyloid plaque hypothesis as far too simplistic, it’s clear we need new explanations.

Cutting edge researchers are today understanding that it’s our modern lifestyles, leading to metabolic imbalances, that are the true cause behind the Alzhemiers epidemic. 

And the good thing about this is  that we have a lot of control over these influences and, therefore, our chances of getting Alzheimer’s. 

Solutions lie in regular exercise, natural and nutritious diets, stress management, toxin avoidance, lifestyle interventions and supplementation. 

By merging ancient wisdom with modern insights, we can prevent Alzheimer's and enjoy lasting brain health.

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