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Alzheimers Research UK explain 'what is dementia?'

In a bid to arrest the growing number of dementia cases, researchers around the world continue to identify risk factors for the mind-robbing condition.

Worryingly, the latest research has pinpointed a new surprising factor that could be influencing your brain health – constipation.

Dr Michael Mosley explained that the common problem that affects around 14 percent of the population at any one time doesn’t only spell bad news for your bowels.

The doctor penned for MailOnline: “Some rather alarming research presented at a meeting of the Alzheimer’s Association in the Netherlands last month, strattera ebay showed a link between being constipated and an increased risk of dementia.

“This disturbing claim is based on a study of more than 12,000 American doctors and nurses carried out by Harvard Medical School.”

READ MORE Dr Mosley shares protein-packed breakfast that could protect against Alzheimer’s

The participants in the research were asked to do cognitive tests as well as to fill out questionnaires about their bowel movements.

The study findings showed people who have three or fewer bowel movements a week were 73 percent more likely to show signs of dementia. 

Fortunately, taking a stool with you into the toilet could aid in overcoming constipation.

Dr Mosley said: “The way our anatomy is designed means that the optimum position for opening our bowels is squatting — this keeps the rectum straight and relaxes the muscle at the bottom of it.

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“A more practical alternative is to sit on the loo with your feet on a small stool, as this lifts your knees to your chest.”

Don’t just take the doctor’s word for it as research also suggests that just two weeks of using a stool could see your time on the loo reduced.

However, this isn’t the only way to tackle constipation as one of the drivers behind constipation could come down to fewer levels of good bacteria in your gut.

Those who were constipated in the research cited above had less of bacteria that turn the fibre from diet into butyrate, a chemical that reduces inflammation.

The doctor added: “Butyrate helps maintain the blood-brain barrier, which protects our brain from viruses and other toxins that travel in our blood. 

“Having fewer ‘good’ bacteria in our guts, and more ‘bad’ ones, could help explain the link between constipation and poor brain health.”

Fortunately, you can boost your butyrate levels by eating high-fibre food, including garlic, leeks, onions, dandelion greens and Jerusalem artichokes.

Another tip that could help tackle constipation is drinking plenty of water every day.

However, the doctor added you should talk to your GP if you are experiencing constipation for two weeks without improvement.

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