PHYSICIANS’ COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE

I recently attended a medical conference and for the first time healthy lifestyles were emphasized instead of pharmaceuticals. One of the keynote speakers was Neal Barnard, MD who spoke about “Power Foods for the Brain” Dr. Barnard is an associate professor of medicine at the George Washington School of Medicine.

The highlights of his presentation showed the association between saturated fats, total cholesterol, trans fats and diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease. He also discussed the dangers of too much iron, copper and aluminum and their relationship to oxidative damage to the cells and blood vessels in the body. You can get too much copper simply from drinking water from your copper pipes at home! Unless you have an iron deficiency, you should never take extra iron. Too much iron can also come from cooking with cast iron pans. He also spoke about the importance of anti-oxidants-both from the diet and from supplements. For example decreasing homocysteine with B-vitamins can improve memory and may reduce heart disease. Studies have shown that eating blueberries or drinking grape juice (reduced sugar!) can also improve your memory.

He also spoke about the many benefits of a plant based diet. Although this is a great way to go, it is probably too difficult for most people.

To get more information, I would recommend checking out www.pcrm.org.

 

healthy lifestyle vs medication, MD, Neal Barnard

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