Your Road to Wellness

Cognition

Do you want a bigger brain and better memory?

Posted by on 7:33 am Alzheimer’s, Anti-Aging, Cognition, Dementia, Exercise, General Health, Memory, Research, Stay healthy, Wellness | 0 comments

 

Is it really possible to increase the size of the brain later in life?

Data from a randomized controlled study of 155 older women, who participated in 52 weeks of resistance training showed reduced cortical white matter atrophy on MRI scans when compared with the control  group (Best JR, et.al., 2015).

This means that they ended up with a bigger brain than they would have had if they had not done the resistance exercise.

Twice-weekly resistance training also promoted memory and increased peak muscle power when they were followed up after 2 years.

The control group did balance and toning.

If you instead prefer aerobic type of exercise, that may also improve your cognition.

Research showed that an individual’s cardio-respiratory fitness was a better predictor of cognitive gains than the exercise dose (Vidoni ED, et.al., 2015).

To improve cardio-respiratory function you can do regular aerobic exercise, or you can do high intensity short interval training which will save you time.

This study compared the effects of long slow distance training with high-intensity interval training in rowers (Ní Chéilleachair NJ, et.al., 2017).

High intensity short interval training was more effective than long and slow distance training in improving performance and aerobic characteristics.

References

Best JR, Chiu BK, Liang Hsu C, Nagamatsu LS, Liu-Ambrose T.Long-Term Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Cognition and Brain Volume in Older Women: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2015 Nov;21(10):745-56.

Vidoni ED, Johnson DK, Morris JK, Van Sciver A, Greer CS, Billinger SA, Donnelly JE, Burns JM,Dose-Response of Aerobic Exercise on Cognition: A Community-Based, Pilot Randomized Controlled TrialPLoS One. 2015 Jul 9;10(7):e0131647.

Ní Chéilleachair NJ1,2, Harrison AJ2, Warrington GD,HIIT enhances endurance performance and aerobic characteristics more than high-volume training in trained rowers.J Sports Sci. 2017 Jun;35(11):1052-1058

 

Research has shown that sitting for a long time can be bad, but you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.

The program Exercise for Maximum Benefits incorporates the latest research to be sure that you really get maximum benefits.

Click here to learn more.

What else can you do to improve your cognition other than pay attention to the food you eat?

Posted by on 10:31 am Anti-Aging, Cognition, Exercise, General Health, Health, Vigorous Activity, Wellness | 0 comments

 

You actually have quite a lot of control over how functional your brain is going to be.

Research has shown we can slow down memory loss and even improve our memory.

The food we eat is extremely important, but another tool we have is exercise.  Resistance exercise is especially effective.

The following study included 155 older women participating in resistance training 2 days a week for a year (Best JR, et.al., 2015).

They were compared with a group doing balance and toning twice a week and were evaluated at the beginning of the study, after 1 year and after 2 years.

Resistance training improved executive function compared to balance and toning. It also improved memory, reduced cortical white matter.

Atrophy verified on MRI and increased peak muscle power at 2-year follow-up. The balance and toning exercises did not do that.

Men and women doing resistance exercises 2-3 times a week for 6 months significantly improved overall cognitive function, with maintenance of executive and overall benefits over 18 months (Fiatarone Singh MA, et.al., 2014).

They were compared with a group doing seated calisthenics which did not result in the same benefits.

Doing resistance exercise twice a week does not require a lot of time and can help to keep your brain healthier.

That’s time well spent.

References

Best JR, Chiu BK, Liang Hsu C, Nagamatsu LS, Liu-Ambrose T. Long-Term Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Cognition and Brain Volume in Older Women: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2015 Nov;21(10):745-56.

Fiatarone Singh MA, Gates N, Saigal N, Wilson GC, Meiklejohn J, Brodaty H, Wen W, Singh N, Baune BT, Suo C, Baker MK, Foroughi N, Wang Y, Sachdev PS, Valenzuela M. The Study of Mental and Resistance Training (SMART) study—resistance training and/or cognitive training in mild cognitive impairment: a randomized, double-blind, double-sham controlled trial. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2014 Dec;15(12):873-80.

 

Research has now documented that sitting for a prolonged time can be dangerous, but by implementing a specific principle, you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.

The program Exercise for Maximum Benefits incorporates the latest research to be sure that you really get maximum benefits.

Click here to learn more…

Dementia, Inflammation and free radical damage.

Posted by on 5:41 pm Cognition, Dementia, Inflammation, Memory | 0 comments


Low grade inflammation and free radical damage are risk factors for most chronic conditions and dementia is no exemption.

Vascular risk factors, markers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction predicted lower performance in several cognitive areas in a study which included 747 participants older than 50 years (Miralbell J, et al. 2013).

Examination of study participants with an average age of 63 years found that higher levels of the inflammatory marker hs-CRP was associated with worse performance in executive function (Wersching H, et al. 2010).

The low grade inflammation was associated with cerebral microstructural disintegration. Even if you don’t know exactly what cerebral microstructural disintegration is, it does not sound good to me. It’s probably something you don’t want to get.

High level of hs-CRP can even be used to identify individuals at an increased risk for cognitive decline because it predicted poorer memory 12 years later in elderly women (Komulainen P, et al. 2007).

Oxidative stress also plays a role in chronic conditions. Advanced glycation end products and lipid peroxidation are markers of disease progression for both diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease (Reddy VP, et al. 2009).

Autopsies have shown increased lipid peroxidation as well as protein, DNA and RNA oxidation in multiple brain regions establishing oxidative damage as an early event in Alzheimer’s disease (Markesbery WR, Lovell MA, 2007).

For these reasons using effective antioxidants and plant derived anti-inflammatory substances make a lot of sense.

As an antioxidant I can’t think of anything more effective than the antioxidant glutathione which the body makes, but makes less of as we get older. You just have to be sure to take it in a form which works.

A plant derived anti-inflammatory substance with a lot of research behind it is curcumin.  This would also be beneficial, as long as you take it in a form which is well absorbed.

 

 Effective S-Acetyl GlutathioneEffective S-Acetyl Glutathione Transparent Glutathione is your primary defense against aging, but regular glutathione is oxidized (destroyed in the stomache) and provides little value. S-Acetyl Glutathione is easily absorbed and provides protection.

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Better Curcumin

Better CurcuminResearch has documented the many benefits of curcumin (found in turmeric spice), but regular curcumin is hard to absorb. Our formula improves the intake of this beneficial substance into the cells.

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 Komulainen P1, Lakka TA, Kivipelto M, Hassinen M, Penttilä IM, Helkala EL, Gylling H, Nissinen A, Rauramaa R. Serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein and cognitive function in elderly women. Age Ageing. 2007 Jul;36(4):443-8. Epub 2007 May 30.
 Markesbery WR1, Lovell MA. Damage to lipids, proteins, DNA, and RNA in mild cognitive impairment. Arch Neurol. 2007 Jul;64(7):954-6.
Miralbell J1, López-Cancio E, López-Oloriz J, Arenillas JF, Barrios M, Soriano-Raya JJ, Galán A, Cáceres C, Alzamora M, Pera G, Toran P, Dávalos A, Mataró M. Cognitive patterns in relation to biomarkers of cerebrovascular disease and vascular risk factors. Cerebrovasc Dis. 2013;36(2):98-105. doi: 10.1159/000352059. Epub 2013 Sep 11.
Reddy VP1, Zhu X, Perry G, Smith MA. Oxidative stress in diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2009;16(4):763-74. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2009-1013.
Wersching H1, Duning T, Lohmann H, Mohammadi S, Stehling C, Fobker M, Conty M, Minnerup J, Ringelstein EB, Berger K, Deppe M, Knecht S. Serum C-reactive protein is linked to cerebral microstructural integrity and cognitive function. Neurology. 2010 Mar 30;74(13):1022-9. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181d7b45b.

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Protect your memory with something you enjoy eating.

Posted by on 8:28 am Anti-aging, Brain, Cognition, Dementia, Memory | 0 comments

pieces of chocolate on whiteThe reviewed research first mapped out the precise brain location for age-related dysfunction using functional MRI.
The researchers then had 50-69 year old participants either consume a high or a low cocoa flavanol diet for 3 months(Brickman AM,et al. 2014).

The results showed that a high flavanol diet was found to enhance dentate gurus function, that is the function related to memory dysfunction, when measured with functional MRI and cognitive testing.

To increase your cocoa flavanol intake you can either eat some dark chocolate with a high flavanol content or drink some cocoa. Dark chocolate and cocoa are bitter; for that reason sugar is added of course, so be sure to watch your sugar levels with chocolate. The more bitter you can handle the better.

 

Brickman AM, Khan UA, Provenzano FA, Yeung LK, Suzuki W, Schroeter H, Wall M, Sloan RP, Small SA. Enhancing dentate gyrus function with dietary flavanols improves cognition in older adults. Nat Neurosci. 2014 Dec;17(12):1798-803. doi: 10.1038/nn.3850. Epub 2014 Oct 26.

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Elevated levels of common lab test associated with increased risk for Alzheimer's.

Posted by on 6:46 pm Brain, Cognition, Dementia, General Health, Glucose, Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, Low glycemic meals | 0 comments

img_salad_steakThere is no single test available at the time to specifically diagnose Alzheimer’s disease or to only show the risk for it. New research, however, indicates that a common test like fasting glucose may tell us something about the risk (Burns CM, et al. 2014).

When regional cerebral metabolic rate for glucose in brain regions usually affected by Alzheimer disease was measured, a correlation with fasting glucose levels was found. Higher fasting glucose levels in cognitively normal, non diabetic adults were correlated with lower regional cerebral metabolic rate.

This means that higher fasting glucose levels may be associated with the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease and increase the risk for this disease.

What is the solution? A diet consisting of high nutrient, low glycemic index food, exercise and meditation for better handling of stress. This type of lifestyle will also reduce the risk for all other chronic conditions as well.

 

 

 

Burns CM1, Chen K, Kaszniak AW, Lee W, Alexander GE, Bandy D, Fleisher AS, Caselli RJ, Reiman EM.Higher serum glucose levels are associated with cerebral hypometabolism in Alzheimer regions. Neurology. 2013 Apr 23;80(17):1557-64. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31828f17de. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

Taking this vitamin regularly could reduce your risk for dementia.

Posted by on 6:00 pm Brain, Cognition, Dementia, General Health, Memory, Supplements, Tissue Recovery Blog, Vitamin D | 0 comments

FullSizeRender2The reviewed research included 1658 elderly participants who were free from dementia at the start of the study(Littlejohns TJ et al. 2014).

The vitamin they were tested for was vitamin D.
 

During the average follow-up of 5.6  years, 171 participants developed dementia including 102 cases of Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers concluded that the results confirmed that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a substantially increased risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

In my experience, just by taking 2000 IU of vitamin D 3 per day would keep you above the level of what this research indicates as increased risk for dementia.

Find our Vitamin D formula here.

 

 

 

 

  Littlejohns TJ, Henley WE, Lang IA, Annweiler C, Beauchet O, Chaves PH, Fried L, Kestenbaum BR, Kuller LH, Langa KM, Lopez OL, Kos K, Soni M, Llewellyn DJ. Vitamin D and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease. Neurology. 2014 Sep 2;83(10):920-8. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000755. Epub 2014 Aug 6.