Nearly 40% of dementia can be avoided through lifestyle improvements:

Body weight

People with a high body mass index (BMI) are more likely to develop dementia than people of normal weight. Body mass index (BMI) is a common international measure of obesity. Bmi is equal to your weight in kilograms divided by your height in meters squared. Asians are considered overweight if they have a BMI above 22.9, according to the World Health Organization.

hyperglycemia

Because elevated blood sugar levels can damage almost every organ, including the brain. If you’re older than 45, it’s important to get a yearly blood sugar screening to keep track of your blood sugar.

inactivity

Exercise boosts levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that prevents the death of existing brain cells and helps build new ones. People with the highest levels of BDNF had a lower risk of developing dementia. If you don’t exercise, it’s never too late to get moving. Brisk walking is a good option, and about 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise (including brisk walking and jogging) is recommended every day.

Vitamin D deficiency

Basking in the sun and synthesizing vitamin D is well known, but many Chinese people don’t get enough sun, which is related to our traditional culture. And, as you age, you actually need more vitamins. There is growing evidence that vitamin D also helps regulate the immune system, lower blood pressure, prevent depression, and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and hypertension. Vitamin D is currently recommended at 600 IU for those under 70 and 800 IU for those over 70.

Vitamin D has recently been found to be important in maintaining brain health. People with the lowest levels of vitamin D had a 53 percent increased risk of dementia compared to participants with higher levels, according to a study published in the journal Neurology. And those with severe deficiencies had a 125 percent increased risk. In addition, vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of bone diseases such as osteoporosis, as well as symptoms such as insomnia, poor mood and lack of desire to exercise.

If middle-aged and elderly people are deficient, on one hand, they should first go to the hospital for blood tests. On the other hand, they should take extra supplements and check regularly to see if vitamin D is back to normal levels.

Eat less fat

Eating fat doesn’t always make you fat, and some “good fats” may protect the body and brain. It is recommended to keep your carbohydrate intake below 50 per cent of your daily capacity and increase your intake of fats that are good for your cardiovascular system and brain, such as olive oil, flaxseed, nuts and salmon.

Inappropriate beverages (sugar, artificial sweeteners)

Sweetened drinks, whether they contain sugar or artificial sweeteners, can trigger inflammation that damages the brain and may predispose people to diseases that increase the risk of dementia, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Therefore, recommend quoting water, unsweetened tea, coffee, is a better choice.

Congested life

If you live within 50 metres of a busy road, you are 7 per cent more likely to develop dementia than if you live more than 300 metres away, according to a study in the Lancet. The likely cause is a link between air pollution, as well as traffic noise, and heart disease. In addition, researchers suspect that air pollution itself can enter the bloodstream and cause chronic inflammation, which can affect the heart and brain.

Live alone

Lifelong singles were 42 percent more likely to develop dementia than married people, and widowers were about 20 percent more likely. Older people without a partner may feel more lonely and depressed, which are risk factors for dementia. Whatever your relationship status, make sure you have plenty of social support. Spending time with friends, volunteering, and taking a job is a good way to go.

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