Nutrition and Neurodegenerative diseases

“You are what you eat”. The importance of nutrition for the human health has been known since the ancient times. There is no doubt that nutrition is one of the prime factors that affect the health of any living being, plants or animals alike.

Recently, a lot of research has been focused in the role of nutrition in human health. Epidemiological studies in human and experimental animal studies have been conducted to see if there is any particular association between human diet and diseases.

One of the areas that scientists are prioritizing is Neurodegenerative diseases which include dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It has been estimated that 30% of the total population will be over 65 years of age by 2050. With the increasing population, there will also be an increase in the economic burden to take care and to treat the age related disorders which might call for the measures for preventing or even reversing the age related health disorders. Among the potential option for achieving this is the use of nutritional substances for the prevention of the age related diseases.

The relationship between nutrition and cognitive decline is complex and it might be multifactorial involving several environemental factors such as nutrients, pollutants, chemicals, physical activity, lifestyle, physical and mental stress.

Epidemiological studies have shown that micronutrients such as Vitamin B, C D and E, flavonoids, polyunsaturated omega-3-fatty acids to have protective role in the prevention of cognitive decline, dementia and AD. So, consumption of these foods containing these micronutrients might help in preventing the neurodegeneration and other health related disorders associated with aging.

One of the mechanisms behind the age related disorders is oxidative stress. It is involved in almost all of the diseases associated with old age such as neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. To decrease the oxidative stress in our cells, we have to have proper nutrition containing antioxidants. In addition meditation, exercise might also help in reducing the stress which might be involved in oxidative stress.

Brain is a plastic organ that can be molded into different ways and nutrition definitely plays a big role in molding the brain by facilitating in creating the good brain environment. However, we should not forget a big picture that a proper nutrition is beneficial not only to our brain, but also to all the organs of our body.

 

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