After 18 years and over 100 million man hours NASA scientists and engineers, at a cost of £8 billion, are now getting images from deep space from the James Webb Satellite, launched at Christmas and now orbiting a million miles from Earth. What a bold vision that is, looking back into the beginning of the universe, just after the Big Bang, when stars were born.
Yet, here we are, looking forward into the abyss of declining physical and mental health, with life expectancy falling and incidence of cancer, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s and mental illness rising. No telescope is needed to know why and how to reverse this worrying trend.
The science already exists. The solution is even in the stores. That is, health food stores. We already know how to eliminate the vast majority of people’s unnecessary suffering through optimum nutrition, at a fraction of the cost. We may learn more about where planets came from, but if we don’t learn quickly to put nutrition at the very top of our own, and our nation’s, health agenda our quality and quantity of life will continue to degenerate. Brain size has already shrunk from 1.49 to 1.35kg in the last 10,000 years. IQ is falling by about 7% a generation.
Next month Food for the Brain Foundation will launch its Alzheimer’s Is Preventable Campaign with our support. Already they’ve tested 375,000 people on their free Cognitive Function Test, which now calculates a person’s Dementia Risk Index and how to reduce it by targeting eight well-established areas of risk. Many are well known to you – eating a low carb & GL diet; more antioxidant-rich plant foods; getting enough homocysteine-lowering B vitamins; optimising brain fats from omega-3; supporting a healthy gut; promoting good sleep and less stress; and having an active mind and body.
In research, targeting just one of these – lowering homocysteine with B vitamins – produced up to 73% less brain shrinkage, no further memory loss, and 30% of these people with pre-dementia ending the year with a clinical dementia rating of zero. No drug has shown any clinical dementia benefit and a maximum of 2% less brain shrinkage. Interestingly, this research from Professor David Smith’s group at Oxford University found no benefit from B vitamins if omega-3 was lacking. The best effect was seen in those with sufficient omega-3 given homocysteine lowering B vitamins – B6, B12 and folic acid. So these prevention steps are synergistic. Food for the Brain hopes to find out what happens if you target them all.
Everyone gets rated on a traffic light system, from red to green. In October they are launching a personalised, interactive brain upgrade app called COG-NITION which leads people, step by step, towards dementia-proofing their diet and lifestyle. Dementia is now the number one cause of death, the most expensive and the most feared disease. Their top international team of scientific advisors estimate that this simple strategy can cut the number of people developing Alzheimer’s by a third with a healthcare cost saving in the UK alone of over £10 billion per annum, which is more than the entire cost of the James Webb satellite. But the real saving is the tragedy of watching our elders lose their minds unnecessarily. Only 1% of Alzheimer’s is in the genes. This is a disease of diet and lifestyle. It is not the normal consequence of ageing. And we can be part of the solution.
How? Firstly, do the Cognitive Function Test at www.foodforthebrain.org yourself so you know where you stand and understand how it works. Secondly, send your version of this email to everyone you know over 40 to do the same. The charity needs all the help it can get so would appreciate anyone signing up as a ‘Friend’, which gives access to the COG-NITION app once launched. To find out other ways you can help, and more about this vital and positive project download the Alzheimer’s is Preventable Manifesto [embedded link is https://foodforthebrain.org/aipmanifesto). On November 1st they’ll be a Masterclass of leading world experts explaining why Alzheimer’s really is preventable. [embedded link is https://foodforthebrain.org/aipmasterclass.]