Live Longer Retreat: Update, Dementia & Alzheimer’s

Live Longer Retreat: Update, Dementia & Alzheimer’s

This summer, the Telluride Ski Resort and The Peaks Resort & Spa are hosting a series of week-long wellness intensives under the banner of Live Longer Retreat. The Big Idea is to support your (recurring) New Year’s resolution to get really healthy and therefore live longer – and well.

The intensive includes personal consultations, talks and demonstrations related to nutrition, hiking, Pilates, spinning, yoga and more.

Dates this summer are June 3 –  June 9; July 15 – July 21; August 19 – August 25; and September 27 – September 30.

The program is led by Dr. Alan Safdi, a world-renowned internist and gastroenterologist with encyclopedic knowledge of mind-body wellness and preventative medicine. Dr. Safdi also has a gift for delivering evidence-based medical findings for healthier living in easily digestible sound bytes.

In the run-up to the retreats, Dr. Safdi is posting regular updates on Telluride Inside… and Out based on the latest, closely vetted research about subjects in the field of health, wellness and longevity. 

This week, for example, Dr. Safdi provides an update on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Feel free to sign up now to participate in a Live Longer  Retreat here  or call 1-877-448-5416 for further information.


In a recent longitudinal British study on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, the benefits of being active were nothing short of astounding.

The study, which started in 1968 and followed participants for 44 years, was published online on March 14 in Neurology. Results indicate that a high level of cardiovascular physical fitness in middle-aged women is associated with close to a 90% reduction in dementia risk in later life.

Specifically, compared with women who were moderately fit in midlife, those with high fitness levels had an 88% lower risk of developing dementia.

In addition, when the highly fit women did develop dementia, they the disease occurred an average of 11 years later than with women who were moderately fit: at age 90 instead of age 79.

Those results are particularly compelling because similar studies have tended to follow people only for  up to seven years.

Previous research published in 2013 in the Annals of Internal Medicine found high midlife fitness on a maximal treadmill test was associated with a lower risk for dementia over a mean follow-up of 24 years.

Another fascinating study completed in 2014 found that among 18-year-old men in Sweden, low cardiovascular fitness on a bicycle ergometer test was associated with onset of dementia before age 60.

Older men may face premature death if they spend most of the day sitting around. But even a small amount of exercise increases their chances of living longer.

Subjects in that study were followed for up to six years. A subset of 1,274 men without cardiovascular disease or heart failure logged a daily average of 616 minutes of sedentary time; 199 minutes of light activity; and 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise. But for each additional 30 minutes of sedentary time on a typical day, men were 17 percent more likely to die during the study. Every extra half hour of light activity, however, was associated with 17 percent lower chance of death.

It must determined whether those associations are due solely to the influence of heart health on brain health or whether exercise influences the brain independent of cardiovascular effects.

In my opinion those studies provide additional evidence that what’s good for the heart is good for the brain too. Engaging in exercise training early in midlife may just protect the brain from dementia in later life.

Is exercise really the magic bullet?

At the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, a comprehensive report from The Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care concluded that the best chance for preventing dementia is a “life course” approach, particularly with regard to suspected modifiable risk factors.

The report found that more than one-third of global dementia cases are preventable simply by addressing nine lifestyle factors that affect an individual’s risk.

Those factors are completing secondary education in early life; hypertension; obesity and hearing loss in midlife; smoking, depression, physical inactivity, social isolation, and diabetes in later life.

It is not just diabetes that is a risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s, rather the sugars in our diet.

A recent study published in Diabetologia followed 5,189 people over 10 years and found that those with high blood sugar had a faster rate of decline than those with normal blood sugar — whether or not their blood-sugar level technically made them diabetic. In other words, the higher the blood sugar, the faster the cognitive decline.

Tohoku University researchers found some evidence to suggest that daily intake of citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons or limes could reduce the risk of dementia developing among older adults by almost 15 percent.

The edible parts of citrus are rich in citrus flavonoids. Some cell and animal experiments have shown that citrus flavonoids can cross the blood-brain barrier and play a part in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. That, according to previous studies, could reverse and repair some forms of cellular damage. However, more factors need to be weighed before a definitive conclusion about citrus consumption and dementia can be reached.

There are numerous diets that show up every year promising everything under the sun and more. While these Hollywood diets go in and out of fashion, the Mediterranean Diet  – comprised of eating mostly plants (vegetables, fruit, beans, fish, and nuts) – has maintained its golden reputation, backed by decades of scientific research.

Repeated studies have shown that this diet protects against obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. New evidence also suggests that the Mediterranean Diet can lessen the risk for cognitive decline and lifetime risk of dementia.

Such studies continue to build on the increasing evidence that suggests a Mediterranean-style diet rich in oily fish, fresh vegetables and nuts can help to maintain your memory as you get older, as well as maintaining heart health.

One of many studies showed the easy-to-follow Mediterranean Diet can have lasting benefits for brain health. That study of 6000 older adults demonstrated a 30-35% lower risk of memory impairment when sticking to a Mediterranean-based diet.

Evidence has clearly started to mount that lifestyles can change your risk for cognitive decline and various dementias.

More about Dr. Alan Safdi:

Dr. Alan Safdi is a board-certified in Internal Medicine and in Gastroenterology and a Fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology. A proven leader in the healthcare arena, Safdi has been featured on the national program “Medical Crossfire” and authored or co-authored numerous medical articles and abstracts. He has been an investigator in over 581 studies and is President of both the Consultants For Clinical Research and the Ohio Gastroenterology and Liver Institute.

Dr. Safdi has been involved in grant-based and clinical research for about 35+ years and is passionate about disease prevention and wellness, not just fixing what has gone wrong. He lectures internationally on the subjects of wellness, nutrition, and gastroenterology.

More about the other lectures:

A series of lectures given by Dr. Alan Safdi and Dr. William Renner in Telluride is planned for the Spring. The talks on health, wellness, and longevity research target health care providers as well as the general public.

A new workshops targets the veterinary world with lectures and hands-on training for veterinarians in the field of endoscopic therapy in animals. Multiple stations with direct hands-on learning with in-depth lectures with regards to GI disease that can be treated or prevented with endoscopic therapy. For more information, visit the following;; and

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.