How can Alzheimer's disease be prevented?

Prevention of Alzheimer's disease is very difficult, as there is no known cause.

Although genetics is a possible cause, this doesn't mean that if Alzheimer's disease has claimed some members of a family, all the other family members will also develop it.

If you're concerned about developing dementia, it's best to follow a healthy lifestyle:

  • Follow a balanced diet that includes lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and dairy
  • Exercise regularly to keep your body, including your brain's nerve cells, in shape
  • Stop smoking
  • Drink less alcohol (2 drinks or less per day if you're a man; 1 drink or less if you're a woman)
  • Stay mentally active
  • Stay socially active

A few other considerations:

  • High doses of vitamin E and ginkgo biloba are no longer recommended.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids may have some preventative role in Alzheimer's disease. Try to include fatty fish such as mackerel, sardines and pilchards in your diet.
  • Don't limit your daily intake of zinc in accordance with the theory that there's a link between this mineral and Alzheimer's disease. Zinc is an important mineral and, although you shouldn't take an overdose of it, restricting your intake to below the recommended daily allowance (15mg for men and 12mg for women) will do more harm than good. 

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