Mar 18, 2019 • Longeviti

12 Things You Can Do Now to Lower Your Risk of Dementia Later in Life

Most people don’t want to contemplate a future where they or their loved ones suffer from dementia. While we don’t have a cure, we do have good data showing that lifestyle changes made in mid-life can reduce the risk of dementia later on.

To lower your risk of dementia, consider making as many of these changes as you can.

  1. Eliminate Gum Disease (Periodontitis)

Numerous studies indicate that gum disease is correlated with increased cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease, possibly due to the body’s inflammatory response.

  1. Give up “Heavy” Drinking: the biggest preventable risk factor for early-onset dementia 

CAMH)–Canada’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital assessed an observational study of over one million adults diagnosed with dementia in France. They concluded that of the 57,000 cases of early-onset dementia (before age 65) discovered in the study, the majority (57 percent) were related to chronic heavy drinking. (Lancet Public Health). 

  1. Get at 7+ hours of sleep each night

Poor sleep hampers the brain’s ability to clean up the toxic buildup of beta-amyloid protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Use hearing aids, if you need them 

Those with hearing loss are often deprived of vital social interaction and stimulation (dementia risk factors).

  1. Avoid Head Injury

A recent study of 164,000 people who had suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI) showed that serious injuries doubled the risk of dementia, while repeated injuries nearly tripled it.


  1. Improve Your Cardiovascular Health

Obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking make it much more difficult for your circulatory system to do its job ensuring your brain receives the oxygen and nutrients it requires to function normally.

  • Obesity:
    • According to the journal, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, each 5 unit increase in BMI (roughly 30 lbs. for a person 5’7”) raises one’s dementia risk by about a third
  • Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes:
    • Even slight elevations in blood sugar cause inflammation that can damage the brain. People with an average blood sugar of 115 mg/dl (pre-diabetic) were nearly 20% more likely to develop dementia vs. those with normal blood sugar, according to a Harvard study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. 
  1. Begin Exercising

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a protein that prevents the death of existing brain cells and supports the proliferation of new ones. People with the highest BDNF levels have the lowest levels of dementia, according to a Boston University study published in JAMA Neurology. Exercise raises BDNF levels!

Ask your Longeviti Health physician for your personalized fitness plan. 

  1. Eat enough of the right kind of fats 

According to a 2012 Mayo Clinic study, people who sourced a third or more of their total calories from fats were 42% less likely to suffer from cognitive impairment than those whose diets were less than 25% fat.

  • Examples of the right kind of fats include: olive oil, flax seed, nuts, and fatty fish like salmon

Ask your Longeviti Health physician for your personalized eating plan.

  1. Get enough Vitamin D

According to a study published in the journal Neurology, people with the low levels of vitamin D have a 53% increased risk of developing dementia compared to those with higher levels. Those severely deficient in Vitamin D have a 125% increased risk.

Ask your Longeviti Health physician to check your Vitamin D levels.

  1. Give up drinking soda and any other kind of artificially sweetened diet drinks

Drinking 1+ artificially-sweetened beverage per day leaves you almost three times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over a decade than those who don’t, according to a Boston University study published in the journal Stroke.

  1. Avoid living near heavy “traffic”

According to a recent Canadian study published in Lancet, people living within 50 meters of high-traffic roads have a 7% higher likelihood of developing dementia vs. those living 300+ meters away. They theorized that air pollution contributes to harmful inflammation.

  1. Marry…being single is bad for your health

According to a study published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, Never married individuals are 42% more likely to develop dementia vs. married couples.

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