Whether you’re concerned for a loved one whose memory just isn’t what it used to be or are hoping to keep your own brain sharp as you age (or both!), the thought of cognitive decline and all that comes with that can feel overwhelming — but it doesn’t have to be inevitable. Recent research shows promising results, identifying the likely cause of Alzheimer’s disease and suggesting how it might be prevented.
A 2021 study in PLOS Biology looked at the brain health of mice. Researchers tested a “blood-to-brain pathway” where they genetically engineered their livers to produce fat carrying particles called lipoprotein-amyloid with the goal of seeing the negative effects it would have on their memory. They ultimately found that these lipoproteins further accelerated cognitive decline. “As we predicted, the study found that mouse models producing lipoprotein-amyloid in the liver suffered inflammation in the brain, accelerated brain cell death and memory loss,” lead study investigator John Mamo said in a statement.
Basically, they claim these toxic proteins from the liver can travel through the bloodstream, start to form on the brain, and trigger inflammation. This can cause Alzheimer’s disease over time. Thankfully, the study’s authors offer two ways to avoid memory loss and brain damage altogether.
First, they suggested to start eating a balanced diet full of brain health-boosting foods. This includes yummy everyday favorites like eggs, dark chocolate, and fatty fish including salmon and trout. Each of these foods has its own nutritional perks like being packed with omega-3s, B vitamins, and flavonoids, which are key to avoiding Alzheimer’s. Also, to keep your liver healthy and free of fatty deposits and toxins that might travel through the bloodstream and possibly cause Alzheimer’s, try eating more foods like grapefruit, turmeric, and leafy greens.
The researchers also pointed out that taking drugs designed to specifically target lipoprotein amyloid in the liver could help ward off Alzheimer’s as well. This might be a great time to talk to your doctor about to see if there are drugs he or she can prescribe to help maintain your liver and brain health as you age.
With these two simple ways to fight off Alzheimer’s, you’ll not only be eating right and feeling healthy, you can help protect your brain and memory for the long run.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.