A lot of research has been indicating that Alzheimer's may have dietary causes. The evidence seems to be mounting to reclassify Alzheimer's as a form of "type 3 diabetes," at least partly caused by eating too much sugar and possibly nitrates (as in processed food and prepared meats).
Alzheimer's: Is it actually Type 3 diabetes?
It may have dietary causes.
Diabetes and Alzheimer's are linked by insulin, and insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone that tells your cells to start sucking up sugar from your blood stream. When you eat something sweet, your body dumps more insulin into your blood stream, so that your cells will soak up the sugar. But when you do this too often, your cells become numb to insulin's message.
It's similar to the way that your nose becomes numb to something that you smell too often. You have probably had the experience of using a nicely scented plug-in air freshener, only to have your nose stop smelling it after a few days. Or known a coworker who combated this phenomenon by wearing more and more of their own cologne or perfume because they stopped being able to smell it.
In this metaphor, insulin is the smell, and your cells are your nose. The same way that your nose becomes resistant to smells it smells all the time, your cells become resistant to insulin if they are getting exposed to it all the time. This is a big problem because, just like your coworker's perfume, your blood stream can start building up dangerously high levels of sugar.
When someone is born with this problem, we call it Type 1 diabetes. When they develop it later in life we call it Type 2 diabetes.
When your blood cells develop insulin resistance it causes a lot of problems, particularly in your circulatory system. It damages blood vessels and causes heart disease and other circulatory problems. But when the cells in your brain develop insulin resistance it causes memory loss, disorientation, and "you may even lose aspects of your personality." In other words, it causes something that is very like - or may actually be- Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimer's disease is marked by the appearance of unusual plaques on your brain cells. And it seems that insulin resistance is related to the formation of those very plaques. Alzheimer's has long been associated with low levels of insulin in the brain, and people with diabetes are twice as likely to get Alzheimer's as people without.
Want to prevent Alzheimer's disease? The answer may be as simple as it is boring: eat right and exercise regularly!