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6 Simple Ways to Lower Alzheimer's Risk
Published: 9/5/2013

September is Healthy Aging Month - look for aging-related Daily Tips throughout September, brought to you by Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging.

While the exact cause of Alzheimer's remains unclear, the greatest known risk factor is increasing age: the chance of developing Alzheimer's seems to double every five years after age 65. After age 85, the risk of developing Alzheimer's is about 50 percent. While you can't do anything about getting older, there are some simple measures that can help:

  1. Challenge yourself. A growing body of medical evidence suggests that lifelong stimulation is the key to building and maintaining brain cells, staving off memory loss and maybe even preventing Alzheimer's disease. Try doing interesting work (paid or volunteer), pursuing hobbies, engaging in an active social life, taking music or language lessons, or learning a new computer program.
  2. Take a daily low-dose aspirin. Some studies link the use of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) with reduced risk of Alzheimer's.
  3. Use healing spices in your cooking. Turmeric, ginger and red pepper can add zing to meals and are all natural anti-inflammatories.
  4. Eat a diet rich in omega-3s, including wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, freshly ground flaxseed and walnuts.
  5. Incorporate plenty of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables in your meals.
  6. Reduce your intake of polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as sunflower, corn and safflower oils), replacing them instead with extra virgin olive oil.
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