How healthy is your brain?

People are living longer than any other time in history.  Major nutritional and medical advancements have been made to help keep the body physically healthy.  The bad news is we are seeing an unprecedented number of mild brain health issues affecting our families and our friends.  When life spans were shorter, people simply were not living long enough to see the effects of natural brain aging that are common today.

Scientists estimate we lose between 30,000 and 50,000 brain cells every single day.  This leads not only to common occurrences like the misplacement of car keys and reading glasses, but difficulty with management of our time and household tasks.  A recent study by the Natural Marketing Institute ranked healthy mental function as the number one health concern among those over 60 years old.

In the year 1900, the average life expectancy was 47 years.  In the year 2012, life expectancy has risen to nearly 80 years.  While this increase reflects positive improvements in health care, it has led to an increase in the wear and tear on our bodies, including our brains.

Caring for our brain requires an understanding of its needs.  The brain is a demanding organ.  Despite comprising just 2% of the average adult body weight, the brain requires 20% of the body’s energy and up to 25% of the heart’s blood flow.  In each of the 100 billion neurons in the brain are energy factories known as the mitochondria; the neuronal mitochondria turn glucose into chemical energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).  Feeding your brain the right nutrients becomes more important as we age.

  • Eat the right kind of fat.  The brain and nervous system are comprised of 60% fat, so ensure your diet is rich in the Omega 3 essential fatty acids found in cold water fish and flax oil.  Avoid foods high in saturated fat or overly processed foods.  People with high cholesterol and blood pressure levels are several times more likely to experience age-related mild memory problems.
  • Drink plenty of water.  Consuming 8-12 eight ounce glasses per day will help keep skin looking healthier, regulates body temperature and helps in digestion.  Tea, coffee and soft drinks don’t count.  These will actually dehydrate you.  If you want to feel better, drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.  You can’t live without it!
  • Eat your vegetables.  Research has found that to retain health benefits associate with eating broccoli and other cruciferous veggies (like cabbage, turnips, cauliflower and kale), you must consume the real thing because the phytochemicals inside them is missing in vitamin supplements.  Cook only for 2-3 minutes or steam until still crunchy to maintain its health value.

Maintaining a healthy diet is an important part of brain health, but it isn’t the only way to better memory.  There are also many lifestyle changes that can also improve brain health.

  • Physical exercise.  Consistent, low stress workouts, like a brisk walk a few times a week or yoga is excellent.  Gardening or other everyday activities promote good brain health by helping to maintain fine motor skills and concentration.
  • Mental exercise.  Directly stimulating your brain with crossword puzzles, word games and math problems is not only fun, but also strengthens connections within your brain.  Scientific evidence is showing that you can fight aging by challenging your mind.
  • Embrace technology and balance it with real life interactions.  New technologies allow people to learn about a certain topic or communicate with a variety of people.   Networks of people can learn to collaborate globally and may help you build a sense of community.  Multi-tasking involves that part of the brain that governs social and reasoning behavior.  Use social technologies as a planning tool or to join a local group.  Interacting with people face-to-face is a great way to keep your brain sharp.
  • Engage with people.  Actively engaging with others requires using different regions of the brain.  The unpredictability of conversation requires attention in order to follow along and contribute to a dialogue.  Active listening and allowing to share our struggles and deal with stress, gives a sense of purpose and well-being.
  •  Find something to love.  Having love in your life is in itself a source of energy – helping provide reason, purpose, and direction.  You will be making the most of the positives and dealing firmly with life’s challenges.  It is important to recognize you can play an active role in the health of your brain.  Scientists have demonstrated that connections between brain cells are constantly changing.  A lack of brain activities will cause disconnections, while active care of the brain will promote greater mental acuity.

In addition to nutrition and lifestyle changes to support your brain health, a key protein supplement, Prevagen®, can play a role in addressing specific functions of the brain.

Prevagen® is a safe and effective brain health supplement shown to improve memory.  It has not been found to conflict with any other supplement or medication.

In a published study, Prevagen® has been clinically shown to support cognitive function over 90 days in a computer-assessed, randomized placebo-controlled study.

The uniqueness of Prevagen®:

  • One of a kind ingredient - Prevagen® contains “apoaequorin”, a protein found in a certain species of jellyfish.  Apoaequorin was first discovered in 1962 by Princeton researcher Dr. Osamu Shimomura, Ph.D., who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008 for the discovery of the protein.  Apoaequorin is now produced through a controlled scientific process.
  • Long research history – Apoaequorin has been a diagnostic tool used in research for decades to monitor and measure calcium.  Quincy Bioscience holds the patent on the application of the protein that includes supplementation.  Pre-clinical in-vitro research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has shown support for brain cells.
  • Unique mechanism of action – In humans, neurons express proteins as a mechanism for brain function.  Research has shown that after the age of 40, the production of these proteins diminishes which can lead to memory problems seen in normal aging.  Apoaequorin has been shown to be an effective supplemental source of these proteins.

Many patients taking Prevagen® report improved memory and mental clarity within 90 days.  Do you have memory concerns?  Call 802-655-0354 or email [email protected] to take our free Memory Screening Questionnaire and consider starting with Prevagen® today!

 

 

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