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immune system

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A new study has found that genetics and cardiovascular health can combine to increase the risk of developing dementia. Based on this, the authors suggest that people can mitigate some of the effects of their genes by improving their cardiovascular health.

New research has found that cardiovascular health and genetics can jointly increase the risk of dementia.

The research, published in the journal Neurology, suggests that even if someone is genetically predisposed to develop dementia, maintaining good cardiovascular health can help reduce this risk.

According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), dementia describes a person’s loss of cognitive functioning, which affects their ability to think, remember, and reason. Various issues can cause this, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease.

Mild dementia may present as increasing forgetfulness or momentary confusion, accompanied by at least one other area of poor functioning, such as losing your way home (visuospatial problems) or not knowing how to pay a bill (executive function).

As it becomes moderate or severe, it can result in changes in personality, a failure to recognize family or friends, and an almost complete dependence on others for basic life activities.

Dementia occurs when a significant number of neurons — key cells in the brain — no longer function properly and ultimately die.

According to the NIA, this can happen in Alzheimer’s disease due to a combination of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

There is currently no cure for dementia. So understanding how these factors interrelate is the best way to help clinicians advise patients on what they can do to minimize their chances of developing this condition.

Genetics vs. cardiovascular health

In the present research, the researchers drew on data from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) — a long-term study organized by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute — to look at the relationship between genetics, cardiovascular health, and dementia.

The investigators assessed the data of 1,211 participants from the FHS, analyzing their relative cardiovascular health and genetic risk score for dementia.

The researchers found that participants with high genetic risk scores were 2.6 times more likely to develop dementia than those with low-risk scores.

They also found that good cardiovascular health can reduce a person’s chances of developing dementia by 55% across the follow-up period, an average of 8.4 years. Having relatively poor cardiovascular health increased a person’s risk of developing dementia.

Finally, the study made it clear that genetic predisposition and poor cardiovascular health can jointly increase a person’s risk of developing dementia.

According to Dr. Sudha Seshadri, of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and a co-author of the research, “[t]he connection between heart health and brain health becomes clearer with each finding.”

“We hope that the results of this study will send the public a message, and that message is to exercise, reduce stress, and eat a healthy diet. Then, regardless of your genes, you have the potential to lower your risk of dementia.” – Dr. Sudha Seshadri

Adding to this, co-author Dr. Claudia Satizabal noted, “[i]t is imperative to start today. [F]rom our findings, having favorable cardiovascular health mitigates the risk of dementia in persons with high genetic risk.”

While there are many unknowns around dementia, the study contributes to a growing body of research demonstrating that staying physically active and eating well can make a meaningful difference to cognitive health issues.

With the high populations of our time and therefore the prevalence of crowdedness, worrying concerning diseases has become common. There are such a big amount of people running around who might be carriers of debilitating diseases for others. a complex of viruses and bacteria that would ruin some days of your life, or probably kill you.

Not solely do diseases ruin your productivity, however, they conjointly poke a hole in your wallet. you’ll be spending an enormous portion of your money on medicine, simply to medicate yourself. If you are somebody with a weak immune system, drug prices are also a big part of your expenses. it’s even worse once poor immune could be a genetic attribute in your family.

As such, you wish to seek out ways in which to reduce back the chance of sickness as much as you can. an excessive amount of medication, whereas it’s useful, will certainly cause severe side effects that would cause death. you’ll ruin your body over time with the harmful chemicals and antibiotics consumed perpetually. Here are some powerful ways you can boost your immune system.

1. Add Some Sunshine

Researchers are quickly catching on that Vitamin D may be the secret to avoiding the cold and flu. Vitamin D plays an important role in strengthening your defence system to better fight any invading viruses and bacteria. Unfortunately, it is also the number one vitamin deficiency in Americans. Compounding the problem if the fact that Vitamin D is produced when the body gets adequate levels of sunshine, so naturally, even less is produced in the winter months. It has recently been hypothesized that this could be one major reason for the increase in cold and flu cases during the winter season.  Because of this, it’s important that we have alternative ways of getting this powerful immune-boosting vitamin. One great source of Vitamin D is cod liver oil. In addition to the Vitamin D it offers, it’s also a great source of Vitamin A, which is an immune system superstar, and Omega 3 fatty acids, which holds significant health benefits for the heart, brain, skin, and much more.

2. An Apple a Day

When it comes to fighting cold and flu, it is essential to decrease your sugar intake. Sugar has devastating effects on the immune system, and the fact that Americans consume an average of 2-3 pounds of sugar per person every year spells bad news come cold and flu season. Not only does sugar increase the production of hormones that suppress the immune system, refined sugar needs micronutrients to be metabolized. This requires your body to use stored vitamins and minerals, further harming your defences. On the other hand, eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables will make sure that your body is getting all of the vitamins and minerals that are essential to fighting off the cold and flu. Each and every fruit and vegetable is packed with thousands of phytochemicals. No supplement could ever match the power of eating a whole food. Regardless of what vitamin and mineral you take, it should always be as a supplement to a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

3. Keep Balanced

By now, we all know that stress is bad for us. However, relatively few of us are aware of how stress actually impacts the health of the body. When we experience stress, the natural balance of the body is affected in ways we could never imagine. In fact, stress takes an enormous toll on the immune system. For this reason, it is important to find ways to bring the body back into balance. Meditation, prayer, exercise, and yoga are all great ways of taking care of yourself and keeping stress levels low. Chiropractic adjustments also have a significant effect on the nervous system, creating balance, helping to restore the body’s natural healing potential.

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One fallout of too much stress in the body is the negative effect it has on the immune system.  Health experts note that when stress levels are too high, it weakens the immune system, rendering the body vulnerable to infections and diseases. This can range from ailments such as the common cold to more serious diseases like cancer and AIDS.

“The immune system helps protect the body against bacteria, viruses and micro-organisms that try to invade it,” stated Mercy Oki, a nutritionist and lifestyle expert. She explained that when the stress level in the body is too high, it suppresses the immune system, thereby preventing it from doing its job of fighting infections. “When that happens, the body is exposed and vulnerable to infection and disease. Common illnesses brought on or worsened by stress are cardiovascular disease, digestive problems, skin conditions, poor memory function and others such as cancer, AIDS and other autoimmune disorders,” she added.

Speaking further, she said: “While it is near impossible to avoid some level of stress in the fast paced, modern world we live in today, too much or chronic stress is unhealthy to the body system. So, we need to learn to control the level of stress to avoid the immune system being affected adversely. Learn to deal with stress in a healthy way.”

To reduce chronic stress, she recommends certain lifestyle, dietary and personal changes that will help boost immunity and prevent infections from invading the body. “People should learn to relax more. I know there’s a lot of pressure in the society presently for people to make it, be successful and have lots of money. All this chasing after money and material things is putting so much pressure on so many people that it’s contributing to the stress levels they are facing.  This is not good for the health as it can lead to ailments such as high blood pressure, heart diseases that can result in strokes or heart attacks among others. I just lost a cousin of mine, a young lady in her 30s who died of a heart attack. She was having marital and financial problems and probably thinking too much which must have increased her stress levels. You know, too much stress can cause high blood pressure, irregular heart beat and other symptoms of hypertension which are not good for the health. Her BP was very high and before we knew it, she was gone.

“So, if you are prone to high blood pressure, avoid situations that will raise your stress levels. Take up exercise, eat healthily especially plenty of fruits and vegetables as these contain antioxidants that can strengthen your body’s ability to fight infections and diseases; avoid too much alcohol and learn to relax more. Life is not all about chasing money or big positions,” advised Oki.

Also speaking on the issue, Joy Onukwu, a physiotherapist at the Eupraxiaphysio Clinic, Lagos stated: “Stress is the way our bodies would react to any kind of demand or load sent its way. Stress could affect us both positively and negatively. In our body, the Nervous system reacts by releasing hormones known as adrenalin which (positive stress) in time of danger helps us to flee.

“The issue comes when the stress level is very high which could be caused by place of work, school, family problems, depression, lack of sleep, and so on. When this happens, it would in turn affect our immune system which is known as the soldiers of our body, due to low immunity, diseases can attack our body.”

For good health and general wellbeing of the body, she advised: “My general advice for good health is that for good nutrition, people should eat balanced diet, a lot of fruits and vegetables as they supply vitamins and build the immune system. We should also endeavour to exercise. Ensure you exercise at least 30 minutes through walk, and do it three times a week. This would improve circulation, muscles, bones, brain function and so on. We should also sleep and rest well-as an adult, required hours of sleep is about 7 hours, ensure you rest well.”