It’s widely accepted that those with diabetes–people who don’t make enough insulin to turn food into energy, causing heightened blood sugar levels–are at greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s.
But even so, new research suggests that those over the age of 65 who keep glucose at healthy levels, diabetic or not, may be helping prevent themselves from developing Alzheimer’s.
The results of the National Institute on Aging‘s study adds evidence that controlling your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol could all be viable ways to help prevent dementia.
The study examined the blood sugar tests of more than 2,000 participants aged 65 and older. At the start, 232 participants had diabetes. Over the course of nearly seven years, the blood-sugar tests of participants were averaged out.
At the end of the study, just over a quarter of participants had developed Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Researchers found that those who started the study without diabetes, but whose blood sugar levels increased over the years, were around 18% more likely to develop dementia that those with lower glucose levels.
Participants who had diabetes at the beginning of the study, and whose blood sugar levels increased throughout the study, were around 40% more likely to develop dementia.
The key takeaway? Diabetic or not, those who focus on keeping their blood sugar at normal levels by eating a well-balanced diet and getting regular exercise will likely live a longer, healthier life those who do not.
Make sure your aging parent is eating healthily (which is a good idea anyways), and you may very well be helping prevent them from getting dementia or Alzheimer’s later on.
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