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Christine Dreher, Nutritionist, Herbalist, & author of "The Cleanse Cookbook" founder of TransformyourHealth.com
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 "The Cleanse Cookbook"

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Memory Loss & Neurological Support
By Christine Dreher, CCN, CCH

 

The statistics regarding age-related memory loss are shocking. It is estimated that there are over 24 million people living with some form of dementia worldwide. It is projected that this number could jump to as high as 84 million who have age-related memory loss by the year 2040, unless breakthroughs are made into the prevention and treatment.

The following article describes several natural nutrients and herbs noted for their ability to support brain health. Included are those that are formulated together with other beneficial co-nutrients to enhance their effectiveness and those optimized in a delivery system that can cross the blood-brain barrier, to support neurological and cognitive function and to protect brain tissue from free radical attacks. Also included is information and resources on how to protect your cognitive health with a balanced, healthy lifestyle.


AcetylCholine is the primary neurotransmitter in the central nervous system involved in memory formation, alertness, and muscle movement. AcetylCholine production tends to decrease with age and this decline has been implicated in cognitive impairment.

RememBRAIN™ by Protocol for Life Balance is a clinical strength dietary supplement formulated with clinically evaluated, brain-specific ingredients and designed to preserve and support healthy neurological function, including AcetylCholine production. The four ingredients that have been included in this formulation are Huperzine A, Alpha-GPC, Phosphatidyl Serine, and Methylcobalamin.

  • Memorzine™ Huperzine A (helps to maintain AcetylCholine in the brain) has been shown to be an effective and a highly selective acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Acetylcholinesterase is an enzyme responsible for the breakdown of AcetylCholine in the brain.
     
  • Alpha-GPC is a bioavailable form of choline shown to cross the blood-brain barrier. In the brain it serves as a precursor of AcetylCholine, the neurotransmitter that Huperzine A can help to preserve by inhibiting its breakdown.
     
  • Phosphatidyl Serine is critical for efficient signaling in nerve cells and is a phospholipid found in high concentrations in the brain, where it supports cellular membrane fluidity and facilitates the function of neurotransmitters including AcetylCholine.
     
  • Methylcobalamin is a methylated form of Vitamin B12 with demonstrated bioavailability when administered at high doses. Methylcobalamin has been shown to reduce homocysteine levels associated with cognitive decline. Vitamin B12 deficiency has high prevalence among people 65 years and older and results in accumulation of homocysteine, which is linked to cognitive decline and depression.

More information on RememBRAIN available online here.


Curcumin is found in the rhizomes of Turmeric (Curcuma Longa). It is used as a spice and food coloring, predominantly in Asian cooking (curries). Curcumin is known for its anti-inflammatory, free-radical scavenging, anti-carcinogenic and anti-atherogenic (prohibits plaque in arteries) properties. Multiple underlying mechanisms include curcumin’s ability to suppress the Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kB) involved in expression of pro-inflammatory gene products, down-regulation of cyclooxygenases (COX-2), and enhanced synthesis of glutathione.

Of particular importance here is that Curcumin has been shown to have a beneficial effect on neuroinflammation and helps to prevent β-amyloid protein aggregation typically associated with cognitive decline. Curcumin has long been studied for its neurological support properties; however, it is also known to exhibit generally poor bioavailability, especially with respect to the brain. Cogumin SLCP™ by Protocol for Life Balance features Longvida® Optimized Curcumin, which utilizes Solid Lipid Curcumin Particle (SLCP™) Technology. SLCP™ allows for the absorption and circulation of free, unmetabolized Curcumin, which is generally unavailable from generic or soluble forms of Curcumin. Cogumin SLCP™ allows free Curcumin to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, where it helps to protect brain tissue from free radical attack and supports normal cognitive function.

More information on Cogumin SLCP available here.


Taurine is an amino acid that is produced by the body, is most abundant in the heart, brain, and muscles, and is involved in a broad spectrum of metabolic processes. As people age, it becomes less abundant and supplementation is helpful to prevent deficiency. Taurine has been shown to support nervous system, muscle function, cardio health and function, brain cell health, eye health, and calm mood.

In several recent research studies, Taurine has shown to promote new brain cell formation. Researchers shared that Taurine increased the growth of brain cells by activating sleeping stem cells and was shown to increase the survival of new neurons. Taurine appears to be able to trigger new brain cells to grow in the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain most concerned with memory, cognition, and recall.

More information on Taurine Extra Strength by Protocol for Life Balance available here.

More information on these Taurine studies available at the US National Library of Medicine here.


Lion's Mane: A medicinal mushroom called Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus) is known for its brain function support. New Chapter's LifeShield Mind Force mushroom formula is formulated with select species of tonic mushrooms, including Lion’s Mane, to provide cognitive support and promote normal brain function.


Ginkgo Biloba has been traditionally noted for its ability to promote optimal circulation and healthy cognitive function, while providing antioxidant protection against free-radical destruction. Although, current research studies now indicate that Ginkgo Biloba is specifically helpful for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s for improving memory and day-to-day quality of life. The Ginkgo Biloba by Protocol for Life Balance is an award-winning formula that combines Ginkgo Biloba with Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) and Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) for enhanced cognitive support.

More information on these Ginkgo Biloba studies available here at the US National Library of Medicine.


Healthy Diet & Lifestyle: In addition to nutritional supplementation, a healthy, balanced lifestyle is important. The following “Healthy Diet for prevention of Dementia” is provided by HelpGuide.org:

“In Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation and insulin resistance injure neurons and inhibit communication between brain cells. Alzheimer’s is sometimes described as “diabetes of the brain,” and a growing body of information suggests a strong link between metabolic disorders and the signal processing systems. Eating habits that reduce inflammation and promote normal energy production are brain-healthy. These food tips will keep you protected:

  • Enjoy a Mediterranean diet. Several epidemiological studies show that eating a Mediterranean diet dramatically reduces the risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease. That means plenty of vegetables, beans, whole grains, fish, and olive oil—and limited dairy and meat.

Christine’s Comment: Also see “The Maker’s Diet” book by Jordan Rubin for a health diet, as well as the “Maker’s Diet Meals” for healthy cooking resource guide.

  • Eat to protect glial cells. Researchers believe that glial cells may help remove debris and toxins from the brain that can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. Consuming foods such as ginger, green tea, fatty fish, soy products, blueberries, and other dark berries may protect these important cells from damage.

Christine’s Comment: See the article “Ginger is Much More than a Spice.”

  • Avoid trans fats and saturated fats. These fats can cause inflammation and produce free radicals—both of which are hard on the brain. Reduce your consumption by avoiding full-fat dairy products, red meat, fast food, fried foods, and packaged and processed foods. Watch out for trans fats on labels, where they are listed as “partially hydrogenated oils.” To reduce Alzheimer’s risk, focus on healthy fats.

Christine’s Comment: Also see the article “Organic, Virgin Coconut Oil – The ‘Good’ Saturated Fat.”

  • Get plenty of omega-3 fats. Evidence suggests that the DHA found in omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by reducing beta-amyloid plaques. Food sources include cold-water fish such as (wild) salmon, tuna, trout, mackerel, and sardines. You can also supplement with fish oil.

Christine’s Comment: See the article on Ocean’s 3 Better Brain by Garden of Life for an Omega-3 fish oil specifically designed for supporting brain health.

  • Stock up on fruit and vegetables. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, the more the better. Eat up across the color spectrum to maximize protective antioxidants and vitamins. Superfoods to emphasize include green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, and berries.

Christine’s Comment: See article “Go for the Green – ‘Super Green Food’ that is.”

  • Maintain consistent levels of insulin and blood sugar. Eat several small meals throughout the day. Avoid packaged, refined, and processed foods, especially those high in refined carbs such as sugars and white flour, which rapidly spike glucose levels and inflame your brain.

Christine’s Comment: See the article “Cinnamon – The Spice that Makes Blood Sugar Nice.” Also see Master Herbalist Paul Stamets comments about maitake medicinal mushroom’s ability to help modulate glucose levels, which can be especially important for limiting the development of Type 2 diabetes.

  • Enjoy daily cups of tea. Regular consumption of green tea may enhance memory and mental alertness and slow brain aging. White and oolong teas are also particularly brain healthy. Drinking 2-4 cups daily has proven benefits. Although not as powerful (or healthy) as tea, coffee also confers brain benefits.”

Christine’s Comment: Also see the Green & White Tea Force caps by New Chapter.

More information available on the HelpGuilde.org website Healthy Diet for prevention of Dementia.

Resources:

Read the article:
Technology Can Zap the Brain (& Body)
by ExtraOrdinary Health Writers

Read the Article:
 “Finding Your Better Brain”

 by Healthy Living Experts”.

Read the Article:
The Power of Antioxidants
By Jordan Rubin: Extra Ordinary Health & Garden of Life

 

For more specific information on a healthy, balanced lifestyle to help prevent age-related memory loss and for more information on prevention and detection of dementia, visit the Age-Related Memory Loss page here at HelpGuide.org.

Note: The content provided in this article is intended for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of professional medical advice. You are encouraged to consult with your medical health care provider regarding any health concern or health-related condition you may have.

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