On the surface, it may appear that diabesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia have nothing in common. After all, diabesity affects the body and Alzheimer’s and dementia affect the brain. Right?
Well…not exactly. Would it surprise you to learn the brain is also involved with weight gain/loss, making it a crucial player in the diabesity epidemic? And would it surprise you to learn that symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia do not just manifest mentally, that they also manifest physically?
It’s true. Turns out, Diabesity, Alzheimer’s, and dementia have more in common than most people think.
Diabesity is a condition in which obesity and type 2 diabetes occur together. Overweight and obesity are major factors in the development of this condition. In fact, obesity is the biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control estimates approximately 90% of those who are obese will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.
This is because obesity and type 2 diabetes are symptoms of the same underlying cause; primarily insulin resistance. Studies show obesity causes insulin resistance — and insulin resistance causes obesity.
Dementia is a term referring to a group of symptoms associated with a decline in cognitive skills severe enough to affect a person’s quality of life. Someone with dementia often has trouble performing day-to-day tasks. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.
But how can diabesity possibly lead to Alzheimer’s and dementia? Well…many clinical research studies show a link between obesity and Alzheimer’s. One such study, published in Physiological Reports, suggests that eating a high-fat, high-sugar diet that leads to diabesity can contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s — when combined with the normal aging process.
Researchers have long known that advancing age is the biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s. According to the Mayo Clinic website, your risk of developing Alzheimer’s significantly increases after the age of 65. Plus, the rate of dementia doubles for every decade after you turn 60. This new research indicates a low-quality diet leading to diabesity may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related disorder in older individuals. In other words, diet may be the deciding factor in who develops these conditions — and who doesn’t.
Diabesity, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia by the Numbers
And the growing rate of these diseases is another link between them.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 70% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. In addition, the CDC recently released a report stating more than 100 million U.S. adults live with diabetes or prediabetes.
Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes, however, is not a benign condition. Rather, the elevated blood sugar levels still damage major organ systems leading to serious health problems.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg because statistics show that, if left untreated, prediabetes usually turns into diabetes within 5-10 years after diagnosis.
Meanwhile, the CDC expects the number of people who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s to double by 2060. (An estimated 5.5 million people in the U.S. currently have Alzheimer’s.) Like diabesity, the rates of those with Alzheimer’s and dementia are spiraling out of control.
Clearly, something is going on. Why are the numbers of those with diabesity, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia growing so rapidly? Research shows one of the biggest reasons for the rapidly increasing rates of these conditions is nutrition. Specifically, poor-quality nutrition creates huge problems in the biological system that keeps hormones and the metabolism from working properly. When this happens, disease is sure to follow.
How Poor-Quality Diet Can Lead to Diabesity, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia
Diabesity, which could be the precursor to Alzheimer’s and dementia, is caused by an elevated body weight and blood sugar setpoint. These elevated setpoints are caused by these three things:
Let’s discuss each of them in-depth.
You’ve probably heard how dangerous chronic inflammation is. Many doctors and scientists consider this type of inflammation to be the underlying cause of most health conditions. You may not have heard of neurological inflammation, though, because until recently, this condition didn’t exist.
Let’s back up a minute.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to protect itself from toxins, pathogens, viruses, or any other type of trauma or injury. The inflammation traps bacteria, toxins, and other foreign invaders, while the white blood cells attack and kill them. The white blood cells then heal the damage they caused. Once the danger has passed and the healing process is sufficiently underway, the body releases an anti-inflammatory chemical that returns your body back to normal.
Inflammation is only dangerous if it becomes chronic. When this happens, the inflammation stays longer than it should, damaging organs and tissues. Every part of the body is subject to the inflammatory response, but until recently, researchers believed the brain was exempt. That’s because the brain is protected by the blood-brain barrier, which let’s necessary nutrients and blood in while keeping dangerous bacteria and toxins out.
However, If this fragile blood-brain barrier becomes damaged, it becomes “leaky” — a condition called “leaky brain syndrome” — allowing toxins, pathogens, and bacteria to enter. They activate microglia cells and cause neurological inflammation.
This inflammatory response can then shut down energy production in brain cells, causing mental fatigue. It actually causes your brain to literally slow down as your neurons are firing slower. As you can imagine, shutting down energy production in brain cells and slowing down the firing of neurons severely breaks down every system in the body.
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Conditions Linked to Neurological Inflammation
It’s not a surprise, then, that researchers have linked many mental, emotional, and physical conditions to neurological inflammation. These conditions include depression, anxiety, obesity, type 2 diabetes, diabesity, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. (Please check out the Diabesity Docu-Series for a more thorough explanation of neurological inflammation.)
How Neurological Inflammation Causes Weight Gain and Diabesity
A major symptom of neurological inflammation is a slower metabolism and increased weight gain through hormone dysregulation. The hypothalamus is the part of your brain that is in charge of balancing calories in and calories out so that ideally the body never becomes too fat or to thin.
But if the hypothalamus becomes inflamed it cannot receive proper signals from your hormones, which leads to hormonal dysregulation. This increases your setpoint weight… the 10-15 pound range that your hypothalamus and hormones work to keep your weight within. The key is that new cutting-edge obesity research is finding that neurological inflammation leads directly to raising this setpoint weight and therefore slowing your metabolism and promoting weight gain.
How does this work?
The hypothalamus, located in the center of your brain, is regulated largely by the hormones leptin and insulin. When the brain is healthy, these hormonal signals are received correctly so that when calorie intake increases your body simply burns more calories. In other words your weight balances at your setpoint weight. A healthy non-elevated setpoint means you automatically maintain a healthy weight… no dieting, calorie, point, or carb counting required.
However, neurological inflammation causes these signals to stop working. Instead of striving to keep you naturally slim, your hypothalamus and hormones now work to hold on to extra fat, no matter how hard you try to lose the weight.
This means that neurological inflammation raises your setpoint and makes it is nearly impossible to lose extra weight until the brain inflammation is healed.
And research also shows that neurological inflammation is linked to insulin resistance, a major factor in the development of both obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Digestive dysbiosis is a condition in which the good and bad digestive bacteria are imbalanced. You need a certain balance of good versus bad bacteria in your digestive system to maintain health. An imbalance can lead to many health conditions, including digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases, and diabesity.
That’s because digestive bacteria do not just affect digestion. Consider this: 100 trillion cells make up your body. Do you want to guess how many of them are human? Would you say 80% or 90%? Not even close. Only 10% of your digestive bacteria are human. And most of them live inside your digestive system.
Even though they are inside your digestive system, however, their influence is far-reaching. Bacteria in your gut and digestive tract have a profound effect on your setpoint and therefore your vulnerability to Diabesity.
These bacteria are responsible for many tasks, including extracting calories from the foods you eat and storing these calories for later use as body fat. They can even cause neurological inflammation, leading to diabesity. Your gut and intestinal bacteria may also be responsible for many of your cravings. Research shows certain species of bacteria favor certain types of food!
Hormones are chemical messengers that travel throughout the body. They coordinate most major biological activities, such as metabolism and the immune system.
As regards your metabolism, leptin, and insulin signal the hypothalamus when you’ve eaten enough food — or when you’ve not eaten enough. The hypothalamus responds by ordering the release or increase of certain hormones to keep near your setpoint, that level of fat your body “thinks” you should have. The brain has many hormones it can use to make sure you stay near your setpoint.
Thanks to a variety of biological feedback systems, your brain knows how much body fat you’re supposed to have. Ideally, this system guarantees you’ll never become too fat or too thin. But if the system is broken, the brain cannot receive signals from the hormones. It gets confused, and because it doesn’t know how much fat you’re supposed to have, it gives you more fat.
Due to dysregulated hormones, your body doesn’t know you are actually overweight or obese. So, if you try to go on a starvation diet to lose down to your “ideal” weight, your body sees this as starvation. It does everything it can to save your life. To that end, the hypothalamus orders an increase of ghrelin to make you hungry. It orders hormones that make you weak, tired, shaky, cold, irritable.
And that’s not all. To keep you close to your setpoint weight, the hypothalamus will slow your metabolism, send most of the calories you consume to your fat cells, and prevent your body from burning fat. This is the exact opposite of what you want. The only way you can lose weight long term is to lower your setpoint weight. When you do that, you’ll lose weight effortlessly.
Causes of an Elevated Setpoint
There are several causes of elevated setpoint weight and blood sugar levels. The most common and one of the most important factors in elevating your setpoint, however, is poor-quality diet.
Research shows that overconsumption of heavily processed foods, fast foods, refined carbs, and sugars break your biological system. These foods cause neurological inflammation, digestive dysbiosis, and hormonal dysregulation.
One study shows more than 60% of the average American’s calories come from heavily processed foods and that 90% of the added sugars in our diet comes from these foods. Obviously, cutting out heavily processed foods will go a long way toward healing your metabolism.
If you cut out heavily processed foods, though, what can you eat? Well…the best way to lower your setpoint weight to prevent diabesity, Alzheimer’s And Dementia are to eat MORE whole foods, as close to their natural states as possible. Also, limit or eliminate your consumption of grains and foods with added sugars.
The SANE Way to Prevent Diabesity, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia
Fortunately, cutting out heavily processed foods, grains, and added sugars is not difficult when you go SANE.
With SANE, you simply eat more of the right foods to heal your hormones and reverse diabesity. There is no deprivation or starvation. You do not need to count calories or follow a strict menu or memorize complicated food lists. SANE foods fill you up fast, keep you full for a long time, and trigger fat-burning hormones.
Just choose foods from the following 3 food groups at every main meal: Non-Starchy Vegetables
Non-Starchy Vegetables: 10+ servings per day
Nutrient-Dense Protein: 3-5 servings per day
Whole-Food Fats: 3-6 servings per day
You can also enjoy up to 3 servings of low-fructose fruits, generally from the berry- and citrus-fruit families, if you wish.
Going SANE opens up a whole new world of enjoyable cuisine, a world where you can actually eat amazingly delicious food until you’re full. How awesome is that?!!!
Next Step: End Diabesity, Alzheimers, Dementia with the SANE
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