Poor Dental Health and Eating Red Meat Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease continues to explode among Americans. Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP reports on two preventative measures that can be done to decrease the susceptibility to developing Alzheimer’s.

Many genetic and environmental risk factors have been implicated in causing Alzheimer’s disease.  Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Chiropractor and Naturopath Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP notes that over 5.4 million Americans are afflicted with Alzheimer’s, which will also effect an additional 14 million baby boomers (born 1946 to 1964) during their lifetime.

In the United States, 10% of those in their sixties suffer from Alzheimer’s, increasing to 20% of those in their seventies, and an incredible 30% of those reaching 80 years old.  Alzheimer’s disease is a rather recent epidemic that first appeared about 100 years ago, especially exploding in the last 50 years.

The Research team led by Professor Stjohn Crean and Dr. Sim Singhrao at the University of Central Lancashire (United Kingdom) School of Medicine and Dentistry recently found that there is a connection between dental health and Alzheimer’s disease.  They published their findings in the May 2013 Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease titled “Determining the Presence of Periodontopathic Virulence Factors in Short-Term Postmortem Alzheimer’s Disease Brain Tissue.”  Ten patients with dementia were compared to ten patients without dementia.  All ten of the subjects with Alzheimer’s showed the presence of products from Porphyromonas gingivalis bacteria in the brain, which were absent in those with dementia.

P. gingivalis is the most common cause of chronic gum disease.  The researchers conclude that the bacteria enters the blood stream with chewing food, brushing teeth, and especially with invasive dental treatment.  From the mouth, the bacteria are transported directly to the brain, triggering an immune system reaction.  The immune system releases chemicals that kill neurons in those parts of the brain vulnerable to Alzheimer’s.  The damage to the brain leads to symptoms such as confusion and memory deterioration.  The researchers conclude that people with poor oral hygiene or gum disease are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Professor Stjohn Crean, “Whereas previous studies have indicated a link between dementia and other bacteria and viruses such as the Herpes simplex virus type I, this new research indicates a possible association between gum disease and individuals who may be susceptible to developing Alzheimer’s disease, if exposed to the appropriate trigger!” 

Dr. Sim K. Singhrao adds, “We are working on the theory that when the brain is repeatedly exposed to bacteria and/or their debris from our gums, subsequent immune responses may lead to nerve cell death and possibly memory loss. Thus, continued visits to dental hygiene professionals throughout one’s life may be more important than currently envisaged with inferences for health outside of the mouth only.”

The accumulation of iron in the brain has been found to be the third most common cause of Alzheimer’s disease.  The research group led by Erika P Raven at the University of California—Los Angeles examined the connection between iron accumulation in the brain and Alzheimer’s.  They published “Increased Iron Levels and Decreased Tissue Integrity in Hippocampus of Alzheimer’s Disease Detected in vivo with Magnetic Resonance Imaging” in the  June 2013 Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.  As people age, iron accumulates in the areas of the brain related to Alzheimer’s.  The researchers compared 31 patients with Alzheimer’s to 68 healthy subjects.  Using MRI, they assessed iron levels and brain damage in the hippocampus (which becomes heavily damaged in Alzheimer’s) and the thalamus (rarely damaged).  It was found that in the Alzheimer’s subjects, increased iron levels in the hippocampus correlated with significantly increased brain damage, while the thalamus showed little iron accumulation or neuronal damage.  It was noted that eating too much red meat may increase the iron levels in the brain.

The latest research points out the benefits of decreasing the consumption of red meat and the benefits of good dental hygiene in decreasing the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

Using the latest research findings, Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. uses a comprehensive package of Chiropractic care, decompression traction therapy, active therapeutic movement training, cold laser therapy, and nutrition for the natural treatment of neurological conditions, neck and back pain, and other health conditions without drugs or surgery.  Additional information about Chiropractic, Naturopathy, and other forms of natural health care has been provided by Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. at http://www.all-about-wellness.com.

About: Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP
Dr. J G Moellendorf, DC, ND, LCP attended the University of Wisconsin—Superior where he majored in Physics and Mathematics, with a minor in art photography. While attending the University of Minnesota—Minneapolis, he assisted in research on ribosomal proteins. Completing his Chiropractic studies at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, he graduated Cum Laude (with high honors) in 1983. He started Moellendorf Chiropractic Office, Ltd. in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin in 1983. In 1996, Dr. Moellendorf was awarded his Doctorate in Naturopathy from Trinity School of Natural Health. In 2001, he received Chiropractic’s most prestigious award, the honorary Legion of Chiropractic Philosophers degree, for his thesis “The Workings of Innate Intelligence in Obsessive/Compulsive and Addictive Behaviors.” This paper was chosen for publishing in the book Philosophic Contemplations vol. 2 in 2002. In June of 2012, Dr. Moellendorf authored his first book titled Healthcare’s Best Kept Secret which can be ordered on Amazon.  Dr. Moellendorf can be contacted by phone (920) 493-2126, fax (920) 743-1145, email jgmoellendorf(at)itol(dot)com, his website at http://www.all-about-wellness.com, or send a carrier pigeon to 44.84722N and 87.36416W.