Why dementia could start in your blood vessels with Dr. William Li

Why dementia could start in your blood vessels with Dr. William Li

ZOE Science & Nutrition · 2024-05-23

55 million people suffer dementia worldwide with numbers expected to double every 20 years. Understanding the link between our heart health and brain function is critical, illuminating the profound impact that heart health has on preventing dementia.

Dr. William Li, an expert in cardiovascular and metabolic health. He reveals how caring for our heart is not just about longevity but maintaining sharp, effective brain function as we age. His groundbreaking work has impacted more than seventy diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Dr. Li is also a New York Times best-selling author.

In today’s episode, Dr. Li explains how simple lifestyle choices in diet, exercise and sleep can drastically shape our brain's health and stave off dementia.

If you want to uncover the right foods for your body, head to zoe.com/podcast, and get 10% off your membership.

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00:00 Introduction

01:23 Quickfire questions

03:30 Understanding dementia and Alzheimer's disease

04:50 Dementia versus ageing

06:35 The role of blood vessels in brain health

07:55 How circulation affects brain function

09:23 What causes blood clots and strokes?

11:06 The importance of maintaining healthy blood vessels

12:15 The impact of lifestyle choices on brain health

15:01 What happens in our brains when we sleep?

19:35 What is the glymphatic system?

22:40 Vascular dementia may be the most common form of dementia

24:35 The role of glucose in brain function

27:10 What causes dementia and why does it happen when we get older?

29:00 Preventing dementia with lifestyle changes

31:10 What are healthy blood vessels like?

37:50 The surprising role of EPCs in brain repair

41:30 Can you slow down or reverse dementia?

52:08 The connection between gut health and brain health

51:40 The importance of exercise for brain health

56:30 How to avoid dementia

01:01:16 The link between mental health and cardiovascular disease

📚 Dr. William Li’s books:

Eat to Beat Disease Eat to Beat Your Diet

📚 Books from our ZOE Scientists:

Every Body Should Know This by Dr Federica AmatiFood For Life by Prof. Tim Spector

Relevant studies:

A human brain vascular atlas reveals diverse mediators of Alzheimer’s risk, published in NatureHeart-brain connections: Phenotypic and genetic insights from magnetic resonance images, published in ScienceCocoa flavanol consumption improves cognitive function, blood pressure control, and metabolic profile in elderly subjects: the Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study—a randomized controlled trial, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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ZOE Science & Nutrition

The world’s top scientists explain the latest health, nutrition, and gut health research and translate it into practical advice to improve your health & weight. Join ZOE Science & Nutrition, on a journey of scientific discovery.
Hosted by Jonathan Wolf.

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