If you reach the age of 80 there is a 50% chance that you will have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. That number is staggering and can be significantly reduced if patients had a road map on what they can do to reduce their odds. The purpose of this blog is not to bore you with details or physiology but to give you the basic steps you need to take.
1. Optimize Hormone levels: Estradiol (estrogen): there are hundreds of published medical studies linking estradiol levels to memory and cognitive decline. One of them most important studies was the Cache County study which demonstrated a 50% reduction in the development of Alzheimer’s disease in women who start estrogen replacement in their 50’s (within 10 years of starting menopause). In men, the majority of estradiol is produced from the metabolism of testosterone which is why it is important for men to maintain testosterone levels in the upper quartile of “normal” (950-1200). There is also excellent literature on thyroid in improving mood, eliminating brain fog, curing depression and improving the efficiency of which every neuron utilizes nutrients.
2. Exercise: there is excellent research that demonstrates that cardiovascular exercise increases Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor which helps regenerate and repair areas of the brain damaged by stress and high cortisol levels. There are additional studies that show exercise alone is more effective then Zoloft (SSRI antidepressant) in treating depression.
3. EPA/DHA Omega 3 Fatty Acids: these nutrients are essential to brain development and function. Every patient should either eat 8oz of fish daily or take 4-5 grams of a pharmaceutical grade fish oil. I prefer Arctic Oils by Xymogen because of the quality and concentration. 3 capsules per day = 4.2 grams.
4. Eliminate all glutamte (MSG) and aspartate in the diet. Glutamate and Apartate are excitatory neurotransmitters that if ingested in the diet in large amounts directly injure brain cells by causing them to get over-excited. MSG is a food flavor enhancer but is found in tons of foods. The problem is that food companies can call glutamate and aspartate “natural flavoring” and you are unaware that you are even getting it. DIET SODA is the biggest offender for destroying our populations brain cells. People get fooled into drinking them by the “Zero Calorie” claims but do not realize that the aspartame in diet soda is literally destroying their brain cells.
5. Brain Fitness Nutrients: Xymogen makes an excellent product called NeuroActive Brain Sustain. It contains the majority of the nutrients most important to cognition and brain health. It contains N-Acetyl Cysteine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Phosphatidylserine, Coenzyme Q10 and acetyl L-Carnitine. I personally use this product around times of studying and testing and find it makes a huge difference in my ability to retain information.
If you can take all 5 steps I believe you will considerably reduce your likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about what your next step is.