Dr. David Perlmutter on the Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer’s Disease

As noted by Perlmutter, even though there’s no conventional treatment for Alzheimer’s, research shows this devastating degenerative neurological disease can be effectively prevented by lowering sugar exposure, increasing exercise and improving the quality of your sleep.

“The science is now completely lined up behind us, showing that our dietary choices are having a huge influence on the decay of the human brain … We’re really hammering away at this profound relationship between even mild elevations of blood sugar and risk for dementia.

And certainly, the ideas that we put forward about becoming Type 2 diabetic and quadrupling your risk for Alzheimer’s have been validated. The data that we did not have [five years ago] that we have now, with reference to what’s causing diabetes, I think is really very intriguing, and is cause for us to take a step back and take a breath.

Because what we’re now looking at is powerful data that connects statin use in both males and females with the development of diabetes. In males, it’s about a 41 percent increased risk of diabetes in statin users [and] … a 71 percent increased risk of developing diabetes in women who are put on a statin medication.

They become diabetic and their risk for Alzheimer’s goes up dramatically — as much as three- or fourfold. Do I wish I would have had that information five years ago? Well, it wasn’t published, so I didn’t have it. But it’s really hugely important that we, as physicians, try to practice under the notion of ‘Above all, do no harm.’

We are making men and women diabetic and magnifying their risk for Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease. I mean women have a three to four times increased risk of coronary artery disease if they become diabetic. For men, it’s a two- to threefold increase, which is huge … That’s new information.

The dietary information … now lines up [with] the idea that fat is actually good for us and that the real relationship that’s damaging to us is our relationship with sugar and carbs.

That was our original message that was accepted by most, but certainly experienced a bit of pushback from mainstream medicine that wanted us to believe that we should all be low-fat and no-fat. We now know with great confirmation that [low-fat] is absolutely the wrong approach.”