In The Alzheimer's Alternative with have discussed in detail the advantages of a Mediterranean diet and how simple dietary changes can improve mental health and brain function - and this is confirmed once again by a new study.

Junk food, cured meats, cheap beer and over-use of agricultural fertilisers may be linked to an increase in Alzheimer's, diabetes and Parkinson's disease, according to new research.

A study led by Professor Suzanne de la Monte, one of the worlds leading Alzheimer's researchers, has found ''a substantial link'' between the disease and increased levels of nitrites and nitrates in processed foods, soils and water.

Professor de la Monte, a pathologist at the Rhode Island hospital in the United States, said the rising rate of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and diabetes in the US mirrored “classic trends of exposure-related disease” and could not be explained by genetic factors.

Her findings are published in the July 2009 issue of The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

“If this hypothesis is correct, potential solutions include eliminating the use of nitrites and nitrates in food processing, preservation and agriculture,” she said.

Nitrites and nitrates belong to a class of chemical compounds that have been found to be harmful to humans and animals. More than 90 percent of these compounds that have been tested have been determined to be carcinogenic in various organs. They are found in many food products (they are added to foods as a preservative, to kill bacteria and to enhance colour) including fried bacon, cured meats and cheese products as well as beer and water. Exposure also occurs through manufacturing and processing of rubber and latex products, as well as fertilizers, pesticides and cosmetics.

So, stick to your fish, vegetables, nuts and fruit and you shouldn’t go far wrong!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Steffan H. Abel D.C. has been involved in Chiropractic and healthcare research for over 20 years. He has run his own successful practice in the north of England for the last 19 years. During which time he has treated over 10,000 patients and given over 100,000 treatments. He has lectured and taught extensively in both Europe and America to students, chiropractors and medical doctors.

He has studied Hypnotherapy, N.L.P. and qualified as a Life Coach. He has also studied various Chiropractic-based treatments (gaining a M.Sc. in post graduate Clinical Chiropractic in 2003) as well as energy therapies such as Seichem and Reiki. In 2001 he became a Fellow of the College of Chiropractors and a Fellow of the Association of Osteomyology and in 2007 became a Fellow of the European Academy of Chiropractic.

In his spare time he spends between 15 and 25 hours per week researching all areas of “alternative” and allopathic healthcare in order to bring the best advice to his patients through his practice and writing. When not working he is to be found enjoying life with Sue, his partner, – whom he loves tremendously!