Alzheimer’s Disease – a form of dementia affecting 5.6 million Americans , currently incurable – is preventable, according to The Lancet Neurology, an established medical journal for brain research.

In Dr Joseph Mercola’s interview of board-certified neurologist and nutritional authority, Dr David Perlmutter what it brought out and emphasized is the important role of aerobic exercise and healthy lifestyle choices: that eating a diet high in ‘good’ fats and oils, and low in carbs can positively affect brain health and lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Dr David Perlmutter is author of the best-selling book, ‘Grain Brain: the Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killer.’ In the book, he states: ‘Lifestyle choices, like aerobic exercise, healthy fats, reducing carbs, including whole grains, affect overall brain health, as well as risk of Alzheimer’s.’ Further, says Dr Perlmutter, ‘a hi-carb diet, of which 20% comes from wheat-based food,’ can lead to Dementia, ADHD, Anxiety, Chronic Headaches , Depression and other neurological diseases.

Gluten in wheat leads to gluten-sensitivity and the production of Zonulin in the gut, according to Dr Dasano, a pediatric gastroenterologist and research scientist directing the Center for Celiac Research & Treatment at Mass. General Hospital, Boston. Zonulin is the cornerstone of diseases characterized by permeability of the gut and inflammation in the brain – Alzheimer’s, Autism, Parkinson’s and Attention Deficit Disorders as well as auto-immune diseases’- related to consumption of carbohydrates, says Dr Perlmutter. Dr Fasano’s research shows that reaction to Zonulin is not confined to the 1.85% with Celiac, but is present in 100% of the population.

According to a recent German study at the University of Bonn, published in Neurology, a hi-carb diet has been directly related to atrophy, or brain shrinkage, particularly of the memory center. A blood test for hemoglobin, A1C, which assesses average blood sugar, is used to correlate blood sugar level to disease processes, such as Alzheimer’s, mild cognitive impairment and Coronary Heart Disease. Researchers concluded that elevated hemoglobin A1C is directly correlated with brain shrinkage, including the brain memory structure, the hippocampus.

Dr Perlmutter, in his book, ‘Grain Brain’, recommends aerobic exercises, plus a diet rich in vitamin D, good fats’, such as coconut, sesame and nut oil, flax seed oil – the brain is 60-70% fat, and maintained by fats consumption – rich in above-ground vegetables, and aggressively low in carbohydrates (60 gm / day). The book clearly emphasizes restriction of gluten, wheat and carbohydrates and its impact on brain health.

A switch to such a healthy diet and lifestyle can, says Dr Perlmutter, effect neurogenesis, whereby we can have some control, or programming of our genes, and neuroplasticity, renewing brain function. Studies show that as a result, our memory centers can expand at 1-2% per year, and increase connection of brain cells. He says that this dietary approach can also apply to Heart Disease and brain health.

– Dr, Dr Joseph Mercola’s interview of Dr Perlmutter, 2013, PBS Grain Brain series.