Does this nutrient hold the key to fighting Alzheimer's?

November 16, 2013
Volume 3    |   Issue 91

Last year, I told you that the real cause of diabetes wasn't the sugar or fat in your diet. Instead, it has more to do with the bacteria in your gut. If you have too much "bad" bacteria in your gut, you're far more likely to develop the disease. Well, new research suggests that your gut impacts far more than whether you have diabetes or not. It also can determine whether you develop Alzheimer's.

In this new study, the researchers weren't looking at the bacteria in your gut. They were looking at the production of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) production in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a part of the brain that looks like a seahorse (thus the name - hippo meaning "horse" and kampos meaning "sea monster"). It plays a major role in your short-term and long-term memory. And it helps with spatial navigation.

What does the hippocampus have to do with your gut? Believe it or not, there are sensory neurons in your gastrointestinal tract that signal your hippocampus to produce IGF-I. And, while IGF-I is a hormone that's similar in structure to insulin, it plays a very different role in your body. In fact, your body needs sufficient IGF-I to produce new cells, repair tissue, and create leaner, meaner muscle mass. And, at the same time, it also helps you burn fat.

What's more, other studies have found that people with low levels of IGF-I have a much higher risk of developing Alzheimer's. In fact, it's quite possible that IGF-I is the real secret to preventing Alzheimer's.

Here's the proof. Remember, there are sensory glands in your gut that tell your brain to produce IGF-I. This is new information. Many people think the liver is the only producer of IGF-I, just like they think the liver is the only producer of cholesterol. But it's not. Your brain produces ample amounts of both. And both cholesterol and IGF-I are vital for protecting your memory.

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In this study, the researchers gave mice resveratrol to see if it would enhance your brain's production of IGF-I. Objective measurements found that the mice taking resveratrol had significant improvement in their levels of IGF-I in just three weeks. But that's not all. The mice taking resveratrol also were able to improve their scores on the Morris water maze test. This is the most widely accepted test for evaluating rodents' ability to learn spatial navigation. Because spatial navigation is connected to memory, the improvements showed that boosting IGF-I with resveratrol also boosts memory.

This is huge news. Combining the results of this study with previous studies about IGF-I and Alzheimer's shows that resveratrol can play a major role in keeping your memory sharp and fully functioning. Apparently, the resveratrol stimulates the sensory neurons in your gut that tell your hippocampus to produce more IGF-I.

In my opinion, resveratrol is one of the most important supplements you can take. You can get it in red wine and grapes, and this will help. In fact, I recommend both of these for keeping your heart and brain in great shape. But if you want to ramp up your protection - or fight Alzheimer's - then you'll need to take resveratrol supplements, such as Advanced Resveratrol Formula.

One final note: If you're fighting disease with resveratrol, talk with your integrative physician about how much you should be taking. Sometimes higher doses are needed to fight serious disease effectively.

Your insider for better health,

Steve Kroening

Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.

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