Two ways to fight dementia

The best way to beat dementia is to make sure you never get the disease in the first place -- and new studies reveal two simple actions you can take right now to help slash your risk and avoid the causes of dementia.

First, take care of your mouth.

Bleeding gums are an invitation for oral bacteria to enter the body, where they can cause all kinds of problems -- and one of the new studies finds these germs may even play a role in some cases of and causes of dementia.

The oral bacteria responsible for gum disease were found in the brains of four out of 10 Alzheimer's patients tested -- versus none of the brains of the 10 healthy patients tested.

It's a sign these germs not only can get into your bloodstream, but they can also cross the blood-brain barrier. And once inside your head, they can do to your brain what they've done to your gums.

Since these same germs have been implicated in heart disease, heart attack, stroke and more, you want to keep them out of your mouth and away from your bloodstream -- so remember mom's advice and be sure to brush and floss after meals.

And that's not the only change you can make to help avoid the causes of dementia. If you've let your belly go over the years, it's time to tighten the belt and bring it back down to size -- because a second new study confirms the link between obesity and dementia.

The key is a protein called PPARalpha, used by the liver to metabolize fat. When you get too fat, levels of this protein fall -- and not just in the liver. You can also fall short in the brain, where the same protein is used by the hippocampus for memory and learning.

Studies on mice show that injecting PPARalpha into the brain can restore memory, and the researchers want to see if this works in humans as well -- but injecting anything into the brain sounds like a bad idea to me, especially when there's a much simpler solution: Lose some weight.

Finally, remember that not all dementias are really dementia - they're cases of mistaken identity. And in many cases, they can be treated and even reversed.

Read this free report from my House Calls archives to learn more.