Is Inflammation Causing Your Brain To Shrink?
A new study published in the journal Neurology has shown that suffering with chronic inflammation during middle age is associated with brain shrinkage and raised incidence of Alzheimer’s disease in old age.
The study analysed 1,633 people with an average age of 53, between the years 1987-89. Each participant had blood tests measuring their white blood cell count and numerous blood proteins such as ESR and CRP, which indicate inflammation. The participants were monitored for 24 years. In 2011-13, when their average age was 77, the scientists gave them an MRI to measure their brain volume. They also had their mental agility tested with a word memorization task.
The researchers discovered that the greater the number of elevated inflammatory markers in middle age, the smaller the volume of several critical parts of the brain, including those associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Having higher levels of inflammation was also associated with poorer performance on the memory tests.
According to Keenan A. Walker, a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins and lead author of the study, “It’s important early in life that we prevent diseases like diabetes, heart disease or hypertension that cause systemic inflammation. This study shows a temporal relationship between early inflammation and later brain volume loss.”
Those aren’t the only conditions that raise inflammation in the body. Unhealthy foods, combined with insufficient fresh vegetables will make your body inflamed. Autoimmune disease, chronic unresolved infections and allergies also significantly raise inflammation. Your brain is comprised of approximately 60 percent fat. Fatty acids are delicate and fragile. They are easily damaged by the oxidative stress created by inflammation.
To protect your brain, I strongly recommend a high vegetable intake, along with raw vegetable juices. It is important to treat any chronic health conditions that are leaving your body inflamed. My recommendations are explained in detail in the book Healing Autoimmune Disease: A plan to help your immune system and reduce inflammation.