Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen: Slash Your Risk for Alzheimer's Disease

Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen
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If you're worried about your risk for developing Alzheimer's disease, you're not alone. Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Mike Roizen say that it's North America's most feared disease. And although no definitive cure exists, these experts contend that you can take steps to reduce your risk significantly.

There are five key ways to reduce your risk of Alzheimer's by nearly 40 percent, say Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen:

Manage stress: You overslept, you can't find your car keys and you have a major presentation at the office. You've just started your day, and you're already stressed! What can you do to control your stress? Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen recommend learning to meditate, practicing yoga or discovering how to do progressive muscle relaxation.

What are you passionate about? Gardening, a pet, knitting? Pursue your passions to reduce your stress. In addition, "spend more time with good friends or a loving spouse."

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Exercise: If you're fit and in your 40s and 50s, you reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease by about 35 percent. What can you do? Something as simple as walking daily to boost your blood flow and oxygen intake. And you're never too old to start: Exercising "improves cognitive function and growth in two brain regions, the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, even in your 60s, 70s and 80s!"

Also helping: Doing strength training two to three days weekly and intensifying your workouts.

Go Mediterranean: Reduce your risk by 15 to 40 percent by enjoying a diet that contains vegetables, fruit, beans, lean protein, whole grains, olive oil, fish and nuts. Combined with exercise, "you’ll be 59 per cent less likely to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s than a couch potato with a high-fat diet."

Key factors to control: If you smoke, have high blood pressure or diabetes or have high cholesterol, it's time to do your best to manage those concerns. Stop smoking as soon as possible, and talk with your doctor about your conditions.

The diseases listed all can be helped by the right diet. For example, the Mayo Clinic notes that cholesterol-lowering foods include fish and high fiber foods, both of which are part of the Mediterranean diet recommended by Dr. Oz.

Test and train your brain: Worrying doesn't help. If you think you might be increasingly forgetful, discuss possible tests with your doctor. And try doing memory and brain exercises. You can try out different brain-stimulating games on the Dr. Oz site.

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