Do You Forget Things Easily?
How Not to Loose Your Memory from Brain Disease.
You’re Never Too Old or Young to Start Taking Care of Your Brain.
Are you frustrated that you can’t retain information as as well as you once did? After greeting your new neighbor for 2 years, you drew a blank the other day. Do you remember what you had for lunch yesterday? What if you could take a few supplements that have been proven to enhance your brain’s ability to remember? This blog aims to provide you with information for the most common natural supplements to help enhance your memory without putting your health at risk.
Unlike a problem with your foot or your back, the horror of brain disease is that it attacks your “self.” For example, losing your memory to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is more like a mind attack. AD is one of the most physically and emotionally burdensome diseases, for both sufferers and caregivers. Unlike a heart attack, which can kill instantly and without any warning, Alzheimer’s involves a slow, more subtle decline over months and months, or even years and years.
While the pathology of a heart attack and Alzheimer’s looks different, they are both united with key PREVENTION factors—a healthy diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, and proper supplementation!
So what can be done? Actually, today, quite a bit. For example, to enhance memory the following combinations of whole food supplements and botanicals have been shown to help protect the brain’s blood vessels, neurons, and improve blood viscosity (how thick or thin blood is). Although they dilate cerebral arteries, they do not increase blood pressure; in fact they can do the opposite. Yet they also work if you have low blood pressure. These supplements help prevent plaque build-up in the arteries and the destruction of blood vessels that can potentially lead to further memory loss and Alzheimer’s:
- Vinpocetine: helps in increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain. It aids in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related memory loss. Derived from the periwinkle plant, no toxic effects have been seen even at levels far above those recommended. When taken orally, Vinpocetine:
— Improves blood supply to the brain;
— Increases oxygen and glucose used by the brain;
— Maintains optimal energy of healthy brains;
— Maintains normal coagulation of blood;
— Maintains healthy levels of some neurotransmitters;
— Promotes healthy attention, memory and concentration; and
— Exerts an inhibitory effect on inflammation.
- Ginkgo Biloba: Although ginkgo biloba increases blood flow to the brain, it does not increase blood pressure. On the contrary, it appears to have an anti-hypertensive effect. It has also been demonstrated to protect against brain injury caused by lack of oxygen. The leaves of this tree have been used for over 4000 years for their many health benefits. This is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in Germany to treat patients with dementia. In the United States, it’s being used as a mild treatment for Alzheimer’s and dementia. As with any supplement, there can be side effects. Care must be taken by those people with blood circulation problems or those taking anticoagulants. People on certain types of antidepressants should also be aware of any possible interaction with their medication. Side-effects experienced can include gastrointestinal discomfort, headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations and a feeling of restlessness. However, recent studies have shown that healthy subjects are unlikely to experience any of these.
Huperzine A: protects neurons from oxidative damage and mitochondrial dysfunction caused by amyloid plaques. These actions render Huperzine-A a highly effective supplement for Alzheimer’s disease. A trial of Alzheimer’s patients who took Huperzine-A twice daily for eight weeks, found improvement in memory, cognitive, and behavior functions. A larger study on Huperzine-A that included a total of 825 participants concluded that the compound improved cognitive function and activities of daily living scores in vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Students given Huperzine-A twice daily for a month resulted in memory and learning scores that were significantly higher than those who weren’t taking it. If you suffer from abnormal or irregular heart rhythm (e.g. atrial fibrillation) or congestive heart failure, avoid Huperzine A. Consult your healthcare provider before taking this product if you are being prescribed an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Huperzine A can cause gastrointestinal discomfort for some individuals.
- Alpha GPC: (Alpha-Glycerylphosphorylcholine) has been shown to increase acetylcholine in the body, which in turn promotes blood vessel dilation. In Europe, GPC is regulated as a prescription drug used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. In the United States, Alpha GPC is available as a dietary supplement. Alpha GPC is believed to prevent and improve dementia and memory loss because it increases plasma levels of choline and therefore increases production of acetylcholine and phosphatidylcholine. A growing body of research suggests that mild cognitive decline is preventable and even reversible through the use of supplements like Alpha GPC. Alpha GPC helps protect against mild cognitive decline and is effective in helping people with Alzheimer’s disease.
- L-acetyl Carnitine: is an amino acid that is structurally similar to acetylcholine. Research has shown that L-acetyl carnitine is effective in improving cognition and delaying the progression of Alzheimer’s. Also, carnitine deficiency leads to the destruction of our mitochondria. Mitochondria reside in every cell in our bodies; they power cells by converting food into energy. Think of the mitochondria as the power company that supplies energy to your home. If the power goes out, your food spoils, your heating and air conditioning won’t work, and you have no light. The same effect occurs within your body. Fortunately, carnitine is sold as a dietary supplement in the United States, available without the need of a doctor’s prescription as it is in some other countries. Take one (1) 500 mg capsule two to four times daily, or call me in regards to your particular health situation. Carnitine is best utilized when taken on an empty stomach with water or juice in divided doses 45 minutes before breakfast and lunch.
- Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs): Eating the proper fats (Omega-3) is vital for good brain health; after all, your brain is made up of 60% fat. However, the “bad” fats found in processed foods, vegetable oils, and hydrogenated (trans) fats can lead to brain degeneration and poor brain function. But not all fats are bad!! The fats found in certain foods are called “essential” because your body cannot make them. You must consume them in your diet. These fats are critical for a healthy brain and memory function.
Today the average American eats too many omega-6 compared to omega-3 fats. This is due largely to an over consumption of processed foods. This extreme imbalance between omega 6 and omega 3 fats creates a destructive inflammatory environment for your brain. The way to prevent this toxic overload is to increase your consumption of omega-3 fats and lower your intake of omega-6s. Researchers recommend a ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 from 1:1 to 4:1 for optimal health.
Today the average Standard American Diet (SAD) consumes a ratio of as high as 25:1 of omega-6 fats compared to omega-3 fats. Two options to increase your Omega 3 intake are: Super Omega-3 by Life Extension and certified Krill Oil by Sports Research.
Be Brain-Active Now, Enjoy Life Later
Let’s face it: a life without memories is not much of a life. Whether those memories are lost all at once from a massive heart attack or destroyed from within by dementia or Alzheimer’s, eating and living healthier can help eliminate some of the worst risk factors for the most serious brain diseases.
But the key is starting early. High cholesterol and high blood pressure may begin hurting your brain as early as your twenties. By your sixties and seventies, when the damage often becomes apparent, it may be more difficult, and sometimes too late. Like many other organs, the brain possesses a miraculous ability to heal itself, to forge new synaptic connections around old ones, to learn and relearn. That is, however, if you don’t keep damaging it three times a day. A wholesome diet and moderate exercise may offer you the best hope for remaining sharp and healthy into your twilight years.
Remember — regardless of where you are in life, now is the time to start putting your brain health into full focus. Exercise your brain daily, take on new hobbies or learn something new, and consider giving some of the supplements mentioned in this post a try. Being brain-active now could mean many more enjoyable years later, filled with the memories you’ve spent your life creating.
Even people with good brain function and no signs of brain degeneration, you may notice an immediate improvement of focus when taking these supplements—more alertness and less brain fatigue. Some people find them life changing. It’s as if suddenly someone turned on the lights and colors become brighter and crisper, concentration and focus improves, brain fog lifts, and intellect sharpens.
As with all nutritional supplements for the brain, your dose depends on the degree of degeneration of your brain. Start with Juice Plus+ and one other supplement. Keep Juice Plus+ at the forefront while dosing up the other supplement(s) until you feel an effect. Add another supplement every few weeks to see whether you feel even more improvement. Adjust your dose to the amount at which you last noticed a benefit. For your personalized supplement and dosage schedule please call me, Reinhard Hermes, MS, at 301-882-7765 for an appointment.
One of the most vital nutrients for the brain is oxygen. If your brain becomes deprived of oxygen for more than five minutes, you will suffer permanent brain damage. You would think as long as you’re breathing you’re brain is getting sufficient oxygen. However, while it may be getting enough oxygen to survive, it may not be getting enough to function very well. Oxygen is one of the vital ingredients neurons use to make energy. When a neuron is starved of oxygen it can’t make enough energy to function properly and survive.
Many factors today can lead to poor circulation and starve the brain of oxygen. The most common perhaps is stress. Stress not only causes shallow breathing, but also keeps the body in a state of fight or flight, while most of the body’s blood supply, and hence oxygen, is shunted to the limbs, the heart, and the lungs. Other factors include:
- Low blood pressure,
- High blood pressure,
- Poor lung function,
- Poor cardiovascular function, and
- Any disease that impairs the health of your blood vessels, such as diabetes.
When the body is frequently in some degree of stress, the brain gets kicked toward the bottom of the to-do list for oxygen supply. As a result, brain inflammation sets in and can be very hard to calm down. The result is a spiral into worsening brain degeneration in what can become a vicious cycle. Depending on the state-of-your-mind, these supplement may help—a lot–and that’s a good thing! But the most important factor that reverses cell aging isn’t the sleep or exercise or supplement, but the food. In fact it turns out that a more plant-based diet may help prevent, treat, or even reverse every single one of our top fifteen leading causes of death.
Unlike with medications, there isn’t one kind of diet for optimal liver function and a different diet to improve our kidneys. A heart-healthy diet is a brain-healthy diet is a lung-healthy diet. The same diet that helps prevent cancer or reverse Alzheimer’s just so happens to be the same diet that may help prevent type 2 diabetes and every other cause of death on the top-fifteen list.
That one unifying diet found to prevent and treat many of these chronic diseases is a whole-food, plant-based diet. Now let me be clear, I don’t advocate a vegetarian or a vegan diet. I advocate an evidence-based diet, and the best available science suggests that the more whole plant foods we eat, the healthier we are. Period.
Are you eating at least 10 servings (fistfuls) of a wide variety of organic, mostly raw fruits and veggies every day? Who is? For a simple and convenient way to shift your diet toward meeting this dietary challenge the research and evidence is clear–start with a good vegetable extract like Juice Plus+.
“A vegetarian diet that includes some animal foods in the form of eggs, dairy and fish, makes for a healthy balanced diet that supplies all the critical nutrients your body needs for optimal health. An estimated 6 million Americans are vegans, which is typically considered to be a healthy choice. However, there are drawbacks to strict veganism that need careful consideration.” Dr. Mercola
The Case Against Veganism
“Vegan Betrayal: Love, lies, and hunger in a plants-only world,” delves deep into the history and science of veganism, revealing many often ignored facts about this strictly plant-based diet.
In conclusion, for thousands of years some of these supplements have been a part of medicine around the world to help improve memory and cognition. Each individual is different, therefore the response each person has will be different. Keep track of the physical, mental and emotional progress you experience. But remember, none of these supplements are substitutes for a healthy diet and lifestyle.