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Type 3 Diabetes?

By Jodie Parus, RD, LDType 3 Diabetes

We'll pick up where we left off in the previous post, "Carbohydrates, Fats and Conflicting information."  To quickly review, we considered the following:

  • There is not a one-size-fits-all plan for everyone; this is called bio-individuality
  • Our ancestors' diet was comprised of 5% carbohydrates, 20%protein and 75% fat
  • The often recommended diet in the U.S. today is 60% carbohydrates, 20% protein and 20% fat
  • The number of cases of diabetes doubled between 1997 and 2007 and tripled between 1980 and 2011
  • Diabetes doubles your risk for Alzheimer's disease

Although several factors play into the development and progression of brain disorders, the origin of brain disease is in many cases predominantly dietary. However, it was not until much more recently that studies have not only linked poor diet and Alzheimer's, but also how this is happening. News of this proportion is exciting. Just think, the food you eat could prevent brain disorders; including the most dreaded neurological disease, Alzheimer's.

Studies describing Alzheimer's disease as a third type of diabetes began surfacing in 2005. Insulin resistance activates the formation of plaque that is often found in diseased brains; thus the description of Alzheimer's as Type 3 Diabetes among researchers. A fact that cannot be ignored is that a parallel rise can be seen in the rates of obesity, diabetes and Alzheimer's. This is not to say that diabetes causes Alzheimer's; only that they share an origin. 

Finally, it has long been known that dementia, Alzheimer's and other brain disorders are associated with brain shrinkage. Modern research shows that individuals with blood sugar on the high end of the "normal range" have a much greater risk of brain shrinkage, forcing the reconsideration of normal parameters. One study found that high "normal" blood sugar accounted for 6-10% of observed brain shrinkage, suggesting that non-diabetics' blood sugar levels can also have an impact on brain health.

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