Your Road to Wellness

Brain

How to Improve Your Brain Function

Posted by on Brain, Health, Inflammation | 0 comments

 

If you were going to focus on only 1 thing to improve your brain function, you should reduce inflammation.

When markers of low-grade inflammation and endothelial dysfunction were tested in participants between the age of 67 and 79, the study showed that both low-grade inflammation and endothelial dysfunction contributed to reduced information processing speed and executive function (Heringa SM, et.al., 2014).

The endothelium is the inner lining of the blood vessels.

 

Inflammation affects brain volume.

Lower performance on recognition memory and smaller left medial temporal lobe volumes (a part of the brain) was found in participants with detectable levels of the inflammatory marker CRP, when compared with those with undetectable CRP levels (Bettcher BM, et.al. 2012).

 

 

Mild cognitive impairment has been associated with increased levels of several inflammatory markers (Trollor JN, et.al., 2010).

The inflammatory marker hs-CRP which is a more sensitive marker of inflammation than the regular CRP is especially important both as a cardiovascular risk factor and also an important factor related to brain function.

Even at the age of 63, it was found that women in this study with higher hs-CRP levels had worse performance in executive function (Wersching H, et.al., 2010). Changes in the brain were also observed.

High hs-CRP has been found to predict poorer memory 12 years later in women between 60 and 70 years of age (Komulainen P, et.al., 2007).

 

The earlier you adopt a lifestyle and eating habits that will reduce low-grade inflammation, the better off you will be.

 

REFERENCE:

 

1. Heringa, S. M., Van den Berg, E., Reijmer, Y. D., Nijpels, G., Stehouwer, C. D. A., Schalkwijk, C. G., … & Dekker, J. M. (2014). Markers of low-grade inflammation and endothelial dysfunction are related to reduced information processing speed and executive functioning in an older population–the Hoorn StudyPsychoneuroendocrinology40, 108-118.

2.  Bettcher, B. M., Wilheim, R., Rigby, T., Green, R., Miller, J. W., Racine, C. A., … & Kramer, J. H. (2012). C-reactive protein is related to memory and medial temporal brain volume in older adultsBrain, behavior, and immunity26(1), 103-108.

3. Trollor, J. N., Smith, E., Baune, B. T., Kochan, N. A., Campbell, L., Samaras, K., … & Sachdev, P. (2010). Systemic inflammation is associated with MCI and its subtypes: the Sydney Memory and Aging Study. Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders30(6), 569-578.

4. Wersching, H., Duning, T., Lohmann, H., Mohammadi, S., Stehling, C., Fobker, M., … & Deppe, M. (2010). Serum C-reactive protein is linked to cerebral microstructural integrity and cognitive functionNeurology74(13), 1022-1029.

5. Komulainen, P., Lakka, T. A., Kivipelto, M., Hassinen, M., Penttilä, I. M., Helkala, E. L., … & Rauramaa, R. (2007). Serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein and cognitive function in elderly women. Age and Ageing36(4), 443-448.

 


Learn To Eat Program:

Recommendations that work. Foods that can reduce low-grade inflammation. This is not a regular diet.

 

How To Improve Your Memory By Drinking These 2 Things

Posted by on Brain, General Health, Green tea, Memory | 0 comments

Coffee and tea are 2 very common beverages that people drink daily. Most people, however, drink either coffee or tea, but rarely both.

Interesting research shows that you may get more benefits if you drink both coffee and tea on a regular basis.

Coffee and tea, and especially green tea provide antioxidants.

The most common ones are polyphenols in coffee and catechins in tea.

Coffee and tea also contain caffeine, but tea also contains L-theanine which is an amino acid.

Theanine provides additional benefits.

When 50 mg of caffeine was studied with or without 100 mg of L-theanine, it showed that caffeine improved subjective alertness and accuracy (Owen GN, et.al., 2008). The caffeine and L-theanine combination improved both speed and accuracy of performance.

People drinking 3-5 cups of coffee daily at midlife provided good observations to have a decreased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by about 65% at late-life (Eskelinen MH, Kivipelto M., 2010).

 

Caffeine is beneficial.

Research has also shown that the moderate amount of caffeine found in coffee protected against both cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease (You DC, et.al., 2011).

Both coffee and tea have a protective effect on the nervous system. They also have been associated with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease (Hu G, et.al., 2007).

How To Improve Memory By Drinking Tea and Coffee

How to improve your memory can be as simple as drinking coffee and tea daily. If you are already doing that, you may even want to increase the amount you are drinking, unless you are very sensitive to caffeine.

You should not drink either coffee or tea too late in the day, since the caffeine may affect your sleep. Moreover, you will spend more than 6 hours to eliminate caffeine from your body.


References:

Eskelinen, M. H., & Kivipelto, M. (2010). Caffeine as a protective factor in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 20(s1), S167-S174.

You, D. C., Kim, Y. S., Ha, A. W., Lee, Y. N., Kim, S. M., Kim, C. H., … & Lee, J. M. (2011). Possible health effects of caffeinated coffee consumption on Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease. Toxicological research, 27(1), 7.

Hu, G., Bidel, S., Jousilahti, P., Antikainen, R., & Tuomilehto, J. (2007). Coffee and tea consumption and the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Movement Disorders, 22(15), 2242-2248.

Owen, G. N., Parnell, H., De Bruin, E. A., & Rycroft, J. A. (2008). The combined effects of L-theanine and caffeine on cognitive performance and mood. Nutritional neuroscience, 11(4), 193-198.


If you like to drink green tea, you should drink it rather than taking it in capsule form. But, if you don’t like drinking tea, capsules are a good alternative.

 

Read this for more information…

3 Reasons Why Improving Insulin Sensitivity Will Improve Your Memory

Posted by on Brain, Insulin resistance, Memory | 0 comments

An association between hyperglycemia (which is high blood glucose levels) and cognitive dysfunction have been found in relatively healthy older individuals (Umegaki H, et.al, 2017). Insulin resistance which happens when the insulin sensitivity in your tissue decreases was found to be associated with memory impairment and the individuals with diabetes were worse.

The research makes it clear that if you want to improve your memory or prevent it from getting worse, you need to implement strategies to improve insulin sensitivity.

Even in young adults, hyperglycemia is associated with subtle brain injury and impaired memory and attention (Weinstein G, et.al., 2015).

When you eat a meal consisting of high glycemic index carbohydrates, your blood glucose levels will increase too much.

While you may tolerate that occasionally, eating that way every day will affect your insulin sensitivity, and it will not be good for your memory.

It has been proposed that toxins generated by insulin resistance transit across the blood-brain barrier into the brain, where they induce insulin resistance to the brain tissue, creating inflammation and cell death (De La Monte SM, 20120.)

Diets high in trans-fat and saturated fat adversely affect cognition. Fruit, vegetables, cereal, and fish are associated with lower risk of dementia and better cognition (Parrot MD, Greenwood CE, 2007). As you get more insulin resistant, ingestion of rapidly absorbed, high-glycemic index carbohydrates increase oxidative stress and inflammatory compounds.

Cereals were listed as associated with lower risk. But, you have to be careful with cereals because most cereals are not low glycemic index. For that reason, cereals may adversely affect your insulin sensitivity and not be your best choice. That does not mean you should avoid all carbohydrates. There are some healthy, very low glycemic index carbohydrates like beans, lentils, and vegetables.                                                                                                           

Also keep in mind that fish is contaminated now, especially with mercury. Contaminants have shown to interfere with the benefits of fish. It is better to use a high-quality fish oil to increase your omega 3 fatty acid intake. If you eat fish, wild salmon is still your best choice.

This is a summary of the 3 reasons why improving insulin sensitivity will improve your memory.                

Increasing insulin sensitivity and eating low glycemic index food, what you eat will not increase your blood glucose that high. It will also not increase oxidative stress and inflammatory compounds. You will end up with less cell death and brain damage and instead see the improved memory.


References:

Umegaki, H., Makino, T., Uemura, K., Shimada, H., Hayashi, T., Cheng, X. W., & Kuzuya, M. (2017). The associations among insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, physical performance, diabetes mellitus, and cognitive function in relatively healthy older adults with subtle cognitive dysfunctionFrontiers in aging neuroscience9.

Weinstein, G., Maillard, P., Himali, J. J., Beiser, A. S., Au, R., Wolf, P. A., … & DeCarli, C. (2015). Glucose indices are associated with cognitive and structural brain measures in young adults. Neurology84(23), 2329-2337.

Suzanne, M. (2012). Metabolic derangements mediate cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease: role of peripheral insulin resistance diseases. Panminerva medica54(3), 171.

Parrott, M. D., & Greenwood, C. E. (2007). Dietary influences on cognitive function with aging. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences1114(1), 389-397.

Greenwood, C. E., & Winocur, G. (2005). High-fat diets, insulin resistance and declining cognitive function. Neurobiology of aging26(1), 42-45.


Learn To Eat Program:

Recommendations that work. Improve your memory with the food you eat. This is not a regular diet program

Improve Your Memory By Reducing Oxidative Stress

Posted by on Brain, Memory, Stress | 0 comments

Oxidative stress occurs when there are too many oxidants and not enough antioxidants to protect the tissue from damage.

Therefore, oxidative stress been recognized as playing a major role in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease (Manoharan S, et.al., 2016, Hroudova J, et.al., 2014, Chen X, et.al., 2012).

All tissue including nerves are exposed to free radicals from the body’s own metabolism as well as from the outer environment.

It has been found that cognitive function positively correlates with antioxidant levels in patients with mild cognitive impairment (Baldeiras I, et.al., 2008). This research also shows that most of the oxidative changes found in mild Alzheimer’s disease are already present in mild cognitive impairment. The progression of Alzheimer’s disease might be accompanied by antioxidant depletion.

Neurons which are the major cells of the nervous system are susceptible to direct injury from free radicals. But also, they are indirectly susceptible. Oxidative stress activates mechanisms that result in inflammation causing additional damage (Wang JY, et.al., 2006).

I think you agree that it is crucial to have good antioxidant protection to protect your nervous system from injury.

Glutathione is an important antioxidant the body is producing which is present in the brain and other tissue.

Research has demonstrated that increased cellular levels of glutathione protect neurons against damage from oxidation. It also protects the loss of mitochondrial function (Boyd-Kimball D, et.al., 2005). The mitochondria is the energy producing entity of the cell and is very important.

Neuronal death has been associated with glutathione depletion in nerve cells (Abramov AY, et.al., 2003).

Glutathione is a very effective antioxidant. But, there is one problem. The body is producing less of it as we get older. We need more protection as we get older, not less.

There is, however, an effective way to supply glutathione to your cells, and that is by using S-Acetyl Glutathione.

S-Acetyl Glutathione is the only form of glutathione that has been found to get into the cells where it is needed (Caccaiatore I, et.al., 2010). This could provide you with valuable protection.


References:

Manoharan, S., Guillemin, G. J., Abiramasundari, R. S., Essa, M. M., Akbar, M., & Akbar, M. D. (2016). The role of reactive oxygen species in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Huntington’s disease: a mini reviewOxidative medicine and cellular longevity2016.

Hroudová, J., Singh, N., & Fišar, Z. (2014). Mitochondrial dysfunctions in neurodegenerative diseases: relevance to Alzheimer’s diseaseBioMed research international2014.

Chen, X., Guo, C., & Kong, J. (2012). Oxidative stress in neurodegenerative diseasesNeural regeneration research7(5), 376.

Baldeiras, I., Santana, I., Proença, M. T., Garrucho, M. H., Pascoal, R., Rodrigues, A., … & Oliveira, C. R. (2008). Peripheral oxidative damage in mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease15(1), 117-128.

Wang, J. Y., Wen, L. L., Huang, Y. N., Chen, Y. T., & Ku, M. C. (2006). Dual effects of antioxidants in neurodegeneration: direct neuroprotection against oxidative stress and indirect protection via suppression of gliamediated inflammation. Current pharmaceutical design12(27), 3521-3533.

Boyd‐Kimball, D., Sultana, R., Abdul, H. M., & Butterfield, D. A. (2005). γ‐glutamylcysteine ethyl ester‐induced up‐regulation of glutathione protects neurons against Aβ (1–42)‐mediated oxidative stress and neurotoxicity: Implications for Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of neuroscience research79(5), 700-706.


EFFECTIVE S-ACETYL GLUTATHIONE

Glutathione is your primary defense against aging.

It’s a very effective antioxidant that the body makes to protect itself from free radical damage (oxidative stress). You can take this to help repair cells that are damaged by stress, radiation, pollution, infection, and other illnesses.

Research has established increased oxidative damage from lipid peroxidation as well as protein, DNA and RNA oxidation in areas of the brain has as early events in Alzheimer’s disease (Markesberry WR, Lovell MA, 2007).

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Improve Your Memory By Reducing Inflammation

Posted by on Brain, General Health, Inflammation, Memory | 0 comments

You don’t have to have severe inflammation for it to affect your memory.

What is called low grade inflammation will increase certain inflammatory markers which have shown to be good indicators of how well we will perform when it comes to cognition and memory related tasks.

Endothelial dysfunction which means dysfunction of the inner lining of the blood vessel wall, and low grade inflammation show a connection between vascular risk factors and cognitive function (Heringa SM, et.al., 2014).

In addition, individuals with increased inflammation, as measured with CRP one of the inflammatory markers, were found to have decreased recognition memory and decreased volume of a certain area of the brain (Bettcher BM, et.al., 2012).

Moreover, specific inflammatory markers are associated with mild cognitive impairment. These markers also show how systemic inflammation impacts cognition (Trollor JN, et.al., 2010). That being said, systemic inflammation is the type of inflammation that is present in the whole body. This is different from having a swollen inflamed joint. Most people don’t even know they have a problem with this type of inflammation. However, it is very common.

Hs-CRP is an inflammatory marker which is recognized as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. But, it has also shown to be associated with decreased executive function like planning and carrying out tasks (Wersching H, e.al., 2010).

Furthermore, measurements of hs-CRP has even predicted poorer memory in women 12 years later (Komulainen P, et.al., 2007).

Hs-CRP is a very inexpensive blood test which will help you determine if you have increased low grade inflammation. You can also determine if you are at increased risk for memory impairment later in life. If the hs-CRP is increased, then it can also mean that you have increased risk for cardiovascular disease.

Next time you have a checkup at your doctor, I would recommend that you have it tested.

I suggest that you implement strategies to keep your inflammation low. This is mainly because inflammation will increase your risk for all chronic diseases.

In, conclusion, a healthy lifestyle and especially a low glycemic index, high nutrient, plant based diet would be very beneficial for you.


References:

Heringa, S. M., Van den Berg, E., Reijmer, Y. D., Nijpels, G., Stehouwer, C. D. A., Schalkwijk, C. G., … & Dekker, J. M. (2014). Markers of low-grade inflammation and endothelial dysfunction are related to reduced information processing speed and executive functioning in an older population–the Hoorn StudyPsychoneuroendocrinology40, 108-118.

Bettcher, B. M., Wilheim, R., Rigby, T., Green, R., Miller, J. W., Racine, C. A., … & Kramer, J. H. (2012). C-reactive protein is related to memory and medial temporal brain volume in older adults. Brain, behavior, and immunity26(1), 103-108.

Wersching, H., Duning, T., Lohmann, H., Mohammadi, S., Stehling, C., Fobker, M., … & Deppe, M. (2010). Serum C-reactive protein is linked to cerebral microstructural integrity and cognitive functionNeurology74(13), 1022-1029.

Komulainen, P., Lakka, T. A., Kivipelto, M., Hassinen, M., Penttilä, I. M., Helkala, E. L., … & Rauramaa, R. (2007). Serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein and cognitive function in elderly womenAge and Ageing36(4), 443-448.

Trollor, J. N., Smith, E., Baune, B. T., Kochan, N. A., Campbell, L., Samaras, K., … & Sachdev, P. (2010). Systemic inflammation is associated with MCI and its subtypes: the Sydney Memory and Aging StudyDementia and geriatric cognitive disorders30(6), 569-578.


Learn To Eat Program:

Recommendations that work. Improve your memory with the food you eat. This is not a regular diet program.

Improve Your Memory By Improving Circulation

Posted by on Brain, General Health, Memory | 0 comments

 

Good circulation and blood flow are important for all tissue including the brain.

It is the blood that provides the nutrients to the tissue and removes the waste products.

Based on a recent research, atherosclerosis of the carotid artery, that’s deposits in the artery which goes up to the brain, has been associated with worse cognition among those at higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease (Gardener H, et.al., 2017).

Another study found that stenosis of the carotid artery was associated with cognitive impairment. It is independent of other known vascular risk factors for vascular cognitive impairment (Lai BK, et.al., 2017).

In addition, patients with carotid artery plaque instability have shown vascular cognitive decline. Moreover, it also predicted the decline (Dempsey RJ, et.al., 2017). This means dangerous unstable deposits in the artery wall are also bad for cognition.

The following research is interesting because it shows how important it is to have good circulation to the brain.  In this study, the researchers removed unstable plaque in a group of patients with vascular cognitive decline (Dempsey RJ, et.al., 2017). A year after the surgery these patients showed significant improvement in 2 tests, and no further decline in cognitive function.

Triglycerides are known to be related to cardiovascular risk. In this study, triglycerides were also found to be inversely correlated with executive function (Parthasarathy V, et.al., 2017). Executive function is the skill which enables us to plan, focus and achieve goals.

As you probably agree, circulation is as important for the brain as it is for the heart.

One important habit that will have a big impact on circulation is the type of food we eat.


References:

Lal, B. K., Dux, M. C., Sikdar, S., Goldstein, C., Khan, A. A., Yokemick, J., & Zhao, L. (2017). Asymptomatic carotid stenosis is associated with cognitive impairmentJournal of Vascular Surgery.

Gardener, H., Caunca, M. R., Dong, C., Cheung, Y. K., Elkind, M. S., Sacco, R. L., … & Wright, C. B. (2017). Ultrasound Markers of Carotid Atherosclerosis and Cognition: The Northern Manhattan StudyStroke48(7), 1855-1861.

Dempsey, R. J., Jackson, D. C., Wilbrand, S. M., Mitchell, C. C., Berman, S. E., Johnson, S. C., … & Hermann, B. P. (2017). The Preservation of Cognition 1 Yr After Carotid Endarterectomy in Patients With Prior Cognitive DeclineNeurosurgery.

Parthasarathy, V., Frazier, D. T., Bettcher, B. M., Jastrzab, L., Chao, L., Reed, B., … & Kramer, J. H. (2017). Triglycerides Are Negatively Correlated With Cognitive Function in Nondemented Aging Adults.

Dempsey, R. J., Varghese, T., Jackson, D. C., Wang, X., Meshram, N. H., Mitchell, C. C., … & Wilbrand, S. M. (2017). Carotid atherosclerotic plaque instability and cognition determined by ultrasound-measured plaque strain in asymptomatic patients with significant stenosis. Journal of Neurosurgery, 1-9.


Learn To Eat Program:

Recommendations that work. Reduce stress with the

food you eat. This is not a regular diet program.