Alzheimer’s update

Headlines like these always grab my attention, especially when it looks like they invovle actual research:

Researchers Get Closer to Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease

Basically, they’ve discovered that an enzyme your body makes, IDE (Insulin-Degrading Enzyme), to break down insulin also breaks down beta-amyloid plaques. The body’s production of IDE decreases with age, as the cells in the body become naturally more insulin resistant so the body makes too much insulin. They recommend using pharmaceuticals to boost IDE production for people with Alzheimer’s or who are at risk. Obviously we’re still a long way off from a cure, but still – this is good news.

It reminded me of this article: Alzheimer’s may be a Type 3 diabetes. Insulin is made in both the pancreas and in the brain. The brain’s ability to make and process insulin decreases with age and scientists think there’s a link between glycation and the formation of the amyloid plaques which seem to be the cause of Alzheimer’s.

All the more reason to consider how much sugar you’re eating and what you’re doing to your insulin sensitivity over time. I made the switch to diet sodas years ago and never looked back. I don’t think the occasional Krispy Kreme or root beer float will do me in as long as I keep them occasional. Still, I haven’t seen a lot of meds or supplements that improve insulin sensitivity or do anything at all for IDE. Anyone else seen anything about this?

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