I’ve been talking about inflammation — and more specifically, the ravages it causes to so many different parts and systems of the body — for at least as long as I can remember writing this newsletter.
The bottom line of all of these discussions is that controlling inflammation is absolutely essential to good health. But as usual, it’s taken far too long for the message to really sink into the minds of conventional medicine.
In fact, it obviously still hasn’t sunk in… or I wouldn’t have read the following headline and its accompanying story: “Researchers believe they have uncovered a key piece of the puzzle in the connection between diet and dementia.”
Can you guess what this “key piece of the puzzle” is? That’s right — inflammation. A new study of more than 300 elderly adults has linked specific eating patterns to inflammation markers in the blood. And that’s not all.
This same diet pattern was linked to lower gray matter volume and decreased visuospatial brain function — two factors behind dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
So what type of diet are we talking about? Well, the researchers focused on a handful of nutritional factors — including omega-3s, calcium, and vitamins E, D, B5, and B2. And they found that lower consumption of these nutrients correlates with increased inflammatory biomarkers.
This is hardly surprising when you consider that Mediterranean diets (which are the basis for both my Hamptons and A-List Diets) lower Alzheimer’s risk. And this type of eating is known for its abundance of omega-3-rich and folate-packed fish, nuts, and fresh veggies.
Still, it’s always nice to see research that lays it all out with such precision. In this case, subjects kept detailed food diaries. Researchers then used that data to design an “inflammation-related nutrient pattern (INP),” based on the consumption of two dozen different nutrients.
In this study, the subjects’ INP correlated with both CRP and IL-6 levels — two key inflammation biomarkers that are easy to test for using basic bloodwork. In fact, I order this type of testing for all of my patients.
Needless to say, your doctor should too. Particularly since the study indicated both markers were linked to worse cognition and smaller brains.
One thing most doctors won’t do, however, is make nutritional and supplement recommendations based on what they see — and then follow up on progress with more blood work. Despite the fact that this research makes it clear as day how important this is.
If you aren’t getting enough of the right nutrients — and worse, if you’re filling up on pro-inflammatory foods (white foods like sugar being the nastiest culprits) — your brain is going to suffer the consequences.
Luckily, the solution to this problem is simple — just follow my A-List Diet. It’s never too late to get started. And the way I see it, you can’t afford not to… because the benefits are practically endless. And a bigger, smarter brain is just the tip of the iceberg.