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Four tips to reduce your chances of Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's Disease is expected to affect 16 million Americans by 2050.

NEW ORLEANS — After more than 400 studies for an Alzheimer's Disease cure, there's still no answer.

And this most common form of dementia is growing. It's expected to affect 16 million Americans by 2050.

Now, there are four everyday lifestyle choices that you can do, that could lower your risk of Alzheimer's in the future.

Study 1: Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil, and cold water fish, such as salmon and tuna, improves brain health and learning ability in middle age. Even people with a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer's show improvement in the memory area, and brain blood vessels.

When asked should people be taking fish oil every single day, from the womb to the tomb, Dr. Nicolas Bazan replied, “The answer is yes.”

Director of the LSU Health Sciences Center’s Neuroscience Center of excellence, Dr. Bazan has made several discoveries on how fish oil protects the brain and eyes. 

His research and published findings have been ongoing since 1970. He found fish oil is protective even when the brain is damaged, like from a stroke. Daily fish oil pills should be two parts DHA to one part EPA.

Study 2: This one was done at LSU Health.  

More fiber in your diet is more likely to keep your gut bacteria, called the microbiome, in balance. That could lower the risk that bad bacteria can damage the brain.

“The connection gut-brain is there, is a fact, is very important. There are nowadays in fact hundreds of papers published per week on this,” Dr. Bazan explained.

Study 3: The antioxidants in honey could protect against the destructive free radicals made in the body, and restore cell defense systems. And that could reduce brain decline.

“The point is, honey, plus fish oil could be helpful because the honey will prevent the destruction, the oxidation of the fish oil," Dr. Bazan explained as an additional benefit.

Study 4: Viagra is the health gift that keeps on giving. The Nobel prize-winning scientist, and Dr. Bazan's colleague, discovered how this now E.D. drug produced nitric oxide that makes blood vessels relax. Later it was found to reduce heart muscle damage after a heart attack. Now there are new findings. Men on Viagra-class drugs are 69 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's over six years.

Dr. Bazan offered more about its benefit when the active ingredient in the medication was put in a petri dish with brain cells, called neurons.

“And those cells look healthier, function better, and the memory areas of the brain look stronger.”

As always, check with your doctor about this prescription.

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