There is No Reason to Lose Your Mind As You Age
Everyone has memory lapses from time to time.
You might not remember where you left your wallet or
keys or ou may have forgotten someone's name. Most people don't worry about this when
they are young, but as you grow older you may start to believe that something is going wrong
with your brain. That's because we've been led to believe that memory naturally declines
with age. This simply isn't true. Losing memory and cognitive power is not an inevitable
part of the aging process. You are capable of producing new brain cells at any age, so there
is no reason why your mental abilities have to decline as you grow older.
Understanding Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
Dementia is a loss of cognitive and intellectual function, without the loss of perception.
It is a syndrome, rather than a disease, which means it can have multiple causes. Symptoms include disorientation, impaired memory and judgment, and a loss of intellectual capacity.
Dementia is caused when brain cells get damaged. The damage can come from Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, with Alzheimer's being the cause of between 50-70% of all cases.
Dementia can also be caused by infections, cardiovascular disease, strokes and drug use.
Alzheimer's is a progressive, degenerative disease of the central nervous system. In Alzheimer's abnormal protein deposits form plaques in the brain, which causes neurons to lose their connections. There is no way to objectively diagnose Alzheimers while a person is alive, but doctors are about 90% accurate in assessing through symptoms. According to the Alzheimer's Association, the people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's typically die within four to eight years. This makes Alzheimer's the sixth leading cause of death in America according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Alzheimer's generally develops in old age. It afflicts about one out of nine Americans over 65 and about one out of three over the age of 85. Currently about 5.7 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease and about 44 million people have it worldwide. It's most common in Western Europe and North America and rare in less developed countries, which suggests it is associated with Western diets and lifestyles.
Most importantly, since there is no cure for Alzheimer's, the best "cure" is to prevent it and other neurological disorders that can cause memory loss before they occur. So, that's why we're focusing on it in this issue.
Don’t “Fry” Your Brain
There is a growing body of research that shows numerous mental problems are linked to inflammation of the brain. Inflammation is the immune system’s first response to irritating substances, tissue damage or infection. When the immune system is activated by these factors, pro-inflammatory messengers signal white blood cells to enter the tissues to clean up the damage. Once this job is complete, anti-inflammatory messengers return tissues to their normal state.
Inflammation can become chronic when there are insufficient signals to turn inflammation off. This allows the immune system to be stuck in a hyperactive mode, which leads to destruction of tissues. This is what appears to happen in neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, ADHD, autism and schizophrenia.
Mood disorders like anxiety and depression have also been linked with chronic inflammation damaging tissues in the brain. Numerous other degenerative diseases like heart disease, cancer and arthritis are also linked to inflammatory processes, so if you want to be healthy as you age, you need to reduce chronic inflammation.
What Causes Chronic Inflammation?
Acute inflammation can be caused by anything which damages tissue chemicals, infection, mechanical damage and so forth.
Chronic inflammation appears to be linked to factors such as:
1. Fatty Acid Imbalances
Generally speaking, pro-inflammatory messengers are produced from omega-6 essential fatty acids and anti-inflammatory messengers come from omega-3 fatty acids. Most people’s diets have too many omega-6 and too few omega-3 fatty acids, which appears to contribute to chronic inflammation. Furthermore, the brain contains a great deal of fat, with omega-3 essential fatty acids like EPA and DHA being the predominate fats in the brain.
So, if you want to keep your brain healthy, avoid vegetable oils and margarine, which are high in omega-6, and take an omega—3 fatty acid supplement like Super omega-3 EPA. Avoid fried foods and use good fats like coconut oil and organic butter.
2. Lack of Antioxidant Nutrients
Oxidative or free radical damage and inflammation are interlinked. The body needs oxygen to burn fuel, but it must also control the oxidative (burning) process carefully. This is done through nutrients like fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), zinc, selenium, alpha lipoic acid, glutathione and coenzyme Q10. Fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidant nutrients, which are primarily responsible for their bright colors.
Increasing your intake of brightly colored, fresh vegetables and fruits (and using antioxidant supplements) helps to reduce the oxidative damage that appears to be at the root of dementia in most cases, as well as other chronic and degenerative diseases.
Key Products for the Pancreas
Some other products to consider
2018 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures
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