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Your Road to Wellness

Dementia

This antioxidant is lower in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Posted by on 8:32 am Alzheimer’s, Antioxidents, Brain, Dementia, Depression, Nervous System | 0 comments

 

This antioxidant is lower in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

 

There are good reasons why the body produces its own antioxidant enzymes.

All tissues including the nervous system and the brain are exposed to free radical damage.

The most important antioxidant the body is making is probably glutathione.

Humans with neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders have demonstrated altered levels of glutathione and oxidized glutathione (Gu F, et.al., 2015).  A decreased ratio of glutathione to oxidized glutathione has been found in the blood and brain of these individuals.

 

 

Glutathione depletion can lead to abnormalities of mitochondrial function where the cells make energy. A few studies have shown that a glutathione deficiency occurs prior to neuropathological abnormalities.

These researchers found that glutathione was significantly decreased in the red blood cells from male patients with Alzheimer’s disease (Liu H, et.al., 2004).

 

 

The most common form of glutathione is reduced glutathione, but don’t take that. This form of glutathione is oxidised in the stomach and does not provide much benefits.

S-acetyl glutathione on the other hand gets into the cells where it’s needed (Cacciatore I, et al., 2010).

 

References:

Cacciatore I, Cornacchia C, Pinnen F, Mollica A, Di Stefano A.Prodrug approach for increasing cellular glutathione levels.Molecules. 2010 Mar 3;15(3):1242-64.

Gu F, Chauhan V, Chauhan A.Glutathione redox imbalance in brain disorders.Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2015 Jan;18(1):89-95.

Liu H, Wang H, Shenvi S, Hagen TM, Liu RM.Glutathione metabolism during aging and in Alzheimer disease.Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Jun;1019:346-9.

 

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The neurovascular system, oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. What can you do to protect yourself?

Posted by on 7:31 am Alzheimer’s, Cardiovascular Disease, Dementia, Nervous System | 0 comments

oxidative stress

 

It is very important to have a good blood supply to every tissue in the body.  All tissues, but especially the brain, depending on the good blood supply to function properly.  This is most important for the brain because it has a very high energy demand.

Neurons, glial cells, and blood vessels communicate with each other to regulate cerebral blood flow.

This study gathered information on the importance of oxidative stress as it relates to vascular changes observed in brain aging and neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s (Carvalho C, Moreira PI, 2018).

One of the emerging causative factors associated with Alzheimer’s pathology is oxidative stress.  This Alzheimer’s-related increase in oxidative stress has been attributed to decreased levels of the brain antioxidant, glutathione (Saharan S, Mandal PK, 2014).

Glutathione protects cells against oxidative stress, and protecting brain endothelial cells under oxidative stress is key to treating cerebrovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease (Song J, et.al., 2014).  The endothelium is the inner layer of the blood vessel wall.

The body makes glutathione, but it is making less as we get older, and that’s when we need more.

We can, however, take glutathione orally.   Regularly reduced glutathione which is the most common form you will find for sale is not very bioavailable, most of it is oxidized in the stomach and is not going to provide much protection.

You can instead take S-Acetyl Glutathione which gets into the cells and provides very valuable protection from free radical damage.

 

References:

Carvalho C, Moreira PI, Oxidative Stress: A Major Player in Cerebrovascular Alterations Associated to Neurodegenerative Events.Front Physiol. 2018 Jul 3;9:806.

Saharan S, Mandal PK. The emerging role of glutathione in Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2014;40(3):519-29.

Song J, Kang SM, Lee WT, Park KA, Lee KM, Lee JE.Glutathione protects brain endothelial cells from hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress by increasing nrf2 expression.Exp Neurobiol. 2014 Mar;23(1):93-103. 

 

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Can being exposed to heat help your memory, and reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease?

Posted by on 9:00 am Alzheimer’s, Cardiovascular Disease, Dementia | 0 comments

 

If you follow us regularly you saw that the stress of high heat as in sauna use provided protection against cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease and memory disorders share some of the same risk factors. Does that mean sauna use would provide some protection from Alzheimer’s disease as well? The following research investigated just that.

 

 

2,315 apparently healthy men aged 42-60 years at the start of the study, were followed for an
average of 20.7 years (LaukkanenT, et al., 2017). Of these men, 204 ended up being diagnosed with dementia and 123 were diagnosed with
Alzheimer’s disease. 4-7 sauna bathing sessions per week were found to be associated with lowered risks of
dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This was the same frequency of sauna use that helped prevent death from cardiovascular
disease. Sauna baths also make you very relaxed afterward. Give it a try.

 

Reference:
Laukkanen T, Kunutsor S, Kauhanen J, Laukkanen JA, Sauna bathing is inversely associated
with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in middle-aged Finnish men. Age Ageing. 2017 Mar
1;46(2):245-249.

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Can your blood glucose regulation affect your memory?

Posted by on 12:45 pm Bloodsugar, Cognition, Dementia, Diabetes, Diet, Eating, General Health, Glucose, Health Risk, Insulin resistance, Memory, Wellness | 0 comments

This study investigated how the ability to control the levels of blood glucose was related to mood and cognition (Young H, Benton D, 2014).

155 adults, aged 45-85 years,  without a diagnosis of diabetes, were given an oral glucose tolerance test and cognitive tests. 

The researchers found that those with poorer glucose tolerance forgot more words and had slower decision times, but only if they were 61 years or older. 

The next study on the same topic included 93 healthy male and female non-diabetic participants who ranged in age from 55 to 88 years (Messier C, 2010). 

The researchers measured cognitive function as well as other things. The participants also had a glucose tolerance test during which glucose and insulin were measured.This was done after drinking a saccharin solution and on another occasion after drinking a glucose solution (50 g).

The results showed that progressively worse glucose regulation predicted poorer performance on measures of working memory and executive function.

The researchers stated that the results suggest that cognitive functions may be impaired before gluco-regulatory impairment reaches levels consistent with a type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

The change from being insulin sensitive to being insulin resistant is a gradual process. This shows that it is really important to keep your blood glucose at a low and normal level not only after you have fasted, but also after eating. Ideally it should be below 90 two hours after a meal.

The sooner you  implement strategies to stay insulin sensitive the better it is.

You can stay insulin sensitive by making changes to the way you eat and by incorporating exercise into your routine.

References

Messier C, Tsiakas M, Gagnon M, Desrochers A. Effect of age and glucoregulation on cognitive performance. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2010 Oct;32(8):809-21.

Young H, Benton D.The nature of the control of blood glucose in those with poorer glucose tolerance influences mood and cognition. Metab Brain Dis. 2014 Sep;29(3):721-8.

 

 

 

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Want to slow down brain atrophy?

Posted by on 5:46 am Anti-Aging, Cognition, Dementia, Fish Oil, Flaxseeds, General Health, Stay healthy, Supplements, Vitamin B, Vitamin B12, Vitamins | 0 comments

Most likely everybody would like to slow down brain atrophy.  Who wouldn’t like more brain power? But is that even possible?  Take a look at the results from this research.

168 elderly people (≥70 y) with mild cognitive impairment were included and randomly assigned to either a placebo group or to a group taking a high-dose of B vitamins.

This is what they  took daily, 0.8 mg of folic acid, 20 mg of vitamin B-6, and 0.5 mg of vitamin B-12 (Jernerén F, et.al., 2015).

The participants underwent cranial magnetic resonance imaging scans when they started and 2 years later. The omega 3 fatty acid levels of EPA and DHA was also measured.

This what the researchers found.

The B vitamin treatment slowed the average atrophy rate by 40.0% compared with the placebo group. This happened however only in the participants who had high levels of omega 3 fatty acids at the start of the study.

Another study investigating cognitive decline in 266 participants 70 years or older found similar interesting results (Oulhaj A, et.al., 2016).

When omega-3 fatty acid concentrations are low, treatment with B vitamins had no effect on cognitive decline, but when omega-3 levels were in the upper normal range, B vitamins slowed cognitive decline.

Eating a lot of fish is not a good way anymore to increase your omega 3 fatty acid levels because all fish is now contaminated. A better choice is to use a high quality fish oil with high amounts of EPA and DHA, since that would not expose you to the same levels of contaminants.

It is also a good idea to take a B-complex formula that has the metabolite of folic acid, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, because many people does not metabolize folic acid effectively.

References

Jernerén F, Elshorbagy AK, Oulhaj A, Smith SM, Refsum H, Smith AD. Brain atrophy in cognitively impaired elderly: the importance of long-chain ω-3 fatty acids and B vitamin status in a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jul;102(1):215-21.

Oulhaj A, Jernerén F, Refsum H, Smith AD, de Jager CA.Omega-3 Fatty Acid Status Enhances the Prevention of Cognitive Decline by B Vitamins in Mild Cognitive Impairment. J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;50(2):547-57.

 

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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

 

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