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Poor dental health? You’re at risk of Alzheimer’s disease

santé des gencives

Researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway are unequivocal: there’s a direct link between gum diseases such as gingivitis, and Alzheimer’s disease (1).

Oral bacteria a key factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease

It seems that the bacteria responsible for inflammation of the gums, Porphyromonas gingivalis, can move from the mouth to the brain where it produces a protease enzyme which attacks nerve cells, leading to loss of memory. This – along with other factors – can subsequently contribute to the onset of Alzheimer´s.

Alzheimer’s disease: what are the risk factors?

Currently, around 900,000 people in France are thought to be affected by Alzheimer’s, with that figure expected to rise to 1.3 million by 2020 (2).

  • Advancing age is the primary risk factor: from 60 onwards, the risk increases the older you get – 15% of those aged 80+ have Alzheimer’s disease;
  • Women are at greater risk due to their longer life expectancy;
  • Heredity: having a close relative (parent or sibling) with the disease increases your risk by 10-30%; if one of your parents has the hereditary form of the disease involving specific genes (1.5-2% of cases), your risk doubles;
  • Those of Hispanic or African-American origin may also be at increased risk;
  • Cardiovascular risk factors also raise the likelihood of developing the disease. These include high blood pressure, hyperlipidaemia (high cholesterol), diabetes, and obesity, not forgetting the dangers posed by smoking;
  • Other factors also play a role such as repetitive brain trauma, a history of depression or repeated exposure to anaesthesia.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease and develops differently from one individual to another.

How can Alzheimer’s disease be managed?

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease though there are drugs which can slow down its progress. Steps can also be taken to help improve the quality of life of sufferers and enable them to continue with their daily activities as much as possible.

In conjunction with medication and a healthy lifestyle, supplements are available that can help with managing the disease:

  • Ginkgo biloba helps ease cognitive and functional symptoms in mild, early-stage Alzheimer’s;
  • Huperzine A : obtained from Huperzia serrata
  • Other promising avenues of investigation for prevention and treatment include: fish oils, vitamin E, omega 3, phosphatidylserine (from soya), sage (salvia officinalis), and lemon balm (melissa officinalis)…

Lastly, and as a preventive measure, it’s vital to … brush your teeth regularly and correctly, and use dental floss! The discovery of this link between dental health and Alzheimer’s disease opens up new treatment possibilities: researchers are hoping to test a drug developed as a result of this study by the end of 2019.

(1) S. S. Dominy, C. Lynch, F. Ermini, M. Benedyk, A. Marczyk, A. Konradi, M. Nguyen, U. Haditsch, D. Raha, C. Griffin, L. J. Holsinger, S. Arastu-Kapur, S. Kaba, A. Lee, M. I. Ryder, B. Potempa, P. Mydel, A. Hellvard, K. Adamowicz, H. Hasturk, G. D. Walker, E. C. Reynolds, R. L. M. Faull, M. A. Curtis, M. Dragunow, J. Potempa, Porphyromonas gingivalis in Alzheimer’s disease brains: Evidence for disease causation and treatment with small-molecule inhibitors. Science Advances. Vol 5, 2019.
(2) Dossier d'information : la maladie d'Alzheimer, Inserm. Mis à jour 01/2019.

Order the nutrients mentioned in this article
Ginkgo Biloba 60 mg

Standardized extract (50:1): contains 24% ginkgoflavonglycosides

Super Omega 3

EPA and DHA: one of the most natural, pure, powerful and stable product on the market

Oral Health

An ideal combination of probiotics for oral health


Natural alternative for cognitive deficits

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