Archive for the ‘Brain Health’ Category

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Dietary PQQ Supports Brain Health, Boosts Mitochondrial Energy

May 26, 2011
PQQ From Natural Diet Improves Energy Levels

PQQ From Natural Diet Improves Energy Levels

Nearly 95% of the energy required to fuel our daily activities is provided by the tiny cellular powerhouse structures known as mitochondria. By the time we reach the age of 70, more than half of these critical energy-producing bodies have become damaged or are dysfunctional.

Researchers now understand that the rate of mitochondrial decay is directly related to our length of life. Information presented in The Journal of Biological Chemistry provides startling evidence that a natural compound called pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) can protect mitochondria from free radical damage and stimulate the growth of fresh mitochondria.

PQQ From Diet Prevents Mitochondrial Decay

PQQ Promotes Healthy Mood, Lowers Depression Risks

PQQ Promotes Healthy Mood, Lowers Depression Risks

PQQ is ubiquitous and exists in virtually every plant species tested. Most natural foods supply the nutrient in varying concentrations, though the human body is not capable of synthesizing the compound. It is therefore considered an essential micronutrient and studies published in The FASEB Journal show that PQQ must be supplied through diet to avoid the energy draining effects of mitochondrial decay. Some experts believe that PQQ may have played a pivotal role in the development of life on Earth.

A diet deficient in PQQ can lead to stunted growth, compromised immunity, impaired reproductive capability and fewer numbers of mitochondria in critical organs including the liver, heart and brain. Foods that have been processed or refined are void of PQQ that leads to lower energy levels and ultimately to chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and dementia.

PQQ works at the cellular and genetic level to provide protection against mitochondrial damage and to promote the synthesis of new mitochondria structures. Organs with a high energy demand are the most vulnerable to loss of functional ability. The heart, brain and liver are among the most metabolically active and critical organs in the human body, and benefit most from the protective nature provided by PQQ.

PQQ Supports Brain Health, Prevents Cognitive Decline

PQQ Stimulates Brain Health, Prevents Cognitive Decline

PQQ Stimulates Brain Health, Prevents Cognitive Decline

The Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition provides research that highlights the importance of PQQ to the health and proper function of the entire central nervous system. The compound has been shown to reverse the cognitive impairment caused by chronic oxidative stress on delicate neurons, and can improve performance on standardized memory tests. As this stress is believed to be a precursor to the development of Parkinson`s and Alzheimer`s disease, nutritional researchers believe the nutrient may be a key component in the prevention of these devastating conditions.

PQQ has demonstrated efficacy as a cardio-protective agent as it provides a powerful shield against free radicals that damage the heart muscle and mitochondrial DNA after a heart attack. Studies have shown that PQQ is more effective than health-damaging pharmaceuticals typically prescribed after a cardiac event. The compound boosted the energy producing capacity of the organ by protecting against acute oxidative stress.

Many scientific researchers now believe that mitochondrial dysfunction and the loss of cellular energy are linked to the development and progression of virtually all killer diseases of aging. The combination of CoQ10 to maintain mitochondrial function and PQQ to stimulate the development of new mitochondria is a natural way to preserve energy as we age. Experts advise an intake of 20 mg per day of PQQ, the amount available from 8 to 10 servings of fresh vegetables (spinach, green pepper, parsley, tomato) to optimize energy production and lower risk from chronic disease of aging.

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Milk Thistle Protects the Brain and Liver

March 4, 2011

(Article first published as Milk Thistle Protects Your Liver and Can Slow Signs of Brain Aging on Technorati.)

Milk Thistle Supports Brain and Liver Health

Milk Thistle Supports Brain and Liver Health

The liver and brain are two metabolically active organs that are under constant attack from disease promoting free radicals. Elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels combined with blood glucose abnormalities and obesity cause damage to the cellular matrix of the liver and brain that worsen with time.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects an estimated 20 to 40% of adults in western society and dementia can touch nearly half of those reaching their 85th birthday. Silymarin is the active compound found naturally in milk thistle that is shown to provide a significant degree of protection against NAFLD and abnormal brain aging.

Silymarin Shown to Prevent and Reverse Liver Damage

Silymarin Can Prevent Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Silymarin Can Prevent Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

The liver is called upon to perform more than 300 critical metabolic functions within our body. One of those functions is the formation of cholesterol and essential lipids that are required for cellular synthesis and repair. A diet high in processed carbohydrates and synthetic hydrogenated fats can result in excess blood triglycerides that become lodged in the hepatic cells and NAFLD can develop.

NAFLD is a chronic disease that is characterized by inflammation of the organ that releases a flurry of free radicals and liver enzymes. Left unchecked, NAFLD can progress to cirrhosis, carcinoma and death. The result of research published in the journal Hepatitis Monthly demonstrates the effectiveness of treatment with silymarin for the treatment of NAFLD. Researchers noted a significant decline in liver enzyme markers that indicate reversal of the disease, and no serious side effects were reported as a result of the natural treatment.

Silymarin Found to Protect Nerves, Slow Brain Aging Process

Milk Thistle Protects Against Nerve Damage in the Aging Brain

Milk Thistle Protects Against Nerve Damage in the Aging Brain

Silymarin is one of a small number of compounds able to cross the blood-brain barrier and affect neural function and chemical neurotransmitters. Long known for its ability to detoxify the liver, silymarin also exerts a powerful protective edge against nerve damage and brain preservation.

Information from the journal Neurochemistry International shows that the nutrient is able to protect delicate glial cells in the brain against free radical damage that occurs as a result of low grade bacterial infection common in overweight and obese individuals.

Silymarin Inhibits Plaque Formation, Prevents Alzheimer`s Disease

One of the key indicators of Alzheimer’s disease are the protein amyloid plaques that form and prevent electrical and chemical signaling between neurons. It is known that plaque exists as a normal byproduct of metabolic activity in the brain and is not properly cleared in those exhibiting symptoms of dementia. The result of a study published in the journal Molecular Gerontology demonstrates that silymarin helps the brain to naturally clear amyloid plaque before it becomes tangled and restricts normal cellular communication.

Silymarin from milk thistle is shown to be a powerful nutrient that assists multiple biological pathways in the liver and brain to maintain optimal organ function. Milk thistle is available as an inexpensive nutritional supplement. Nutritional experts recommend 250 to 450 mg per day to provide optimal effectiveness. Take advantage of natural silymarin to boost liver detoxification, prevent NAFLD and prevent the damage from free radicals on the delicate brain matrix.

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Super Nutrients Slow Brain Aging, Improve Memory

January 22, 2011

(Article first published as Super Nutrients Shown to Reverse Brain Aging and Cognition on Technorati.)

Brain Aging and Cognitive Decline Are Not a Normal Part of Getting Older

Brain Aging and Cognitive Decline Are Not a Normal Part of Getting Older

Cognitive decline and memory loss are considered a normal function of aging by millions of people. A `senior moment` is the term coined to describe momentary forgetfulness that some people experience from time to time. Lapses in memory are not normal and are a strong indicator of brain decline that typically progresses over a period of several decades.

Our brain requires nutrition, healthy blood flow and oxygen just as any organ to remain `plastic` and be able to function at optimal capacity. Years of dietary abuse and exposure to toxic household and environmental chemicals cause brain stress, inflammation and insulin resistance. A trio of super nutrients demonstrates the capacity to improve brain health and lower the risk of cognitive decline.

Memory Decline is Not a Normal Part of Aging

The brain receives 20% of your body`s supply of freshly oxygenated blood. When this supply is restricted through narrowing of the arteries and inflammation, the brain experiences stress and cognition is diminished. Any nutrient that can specifically target and increase the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain can slow or even reverse brain decline and restore memory and learning abilities.

Carnitine Promotes Brain Rejuvenation

Carnitine Helps to Prevent Premature Brain Dysfunction

Carnitine Helps to Prevent Premature Brain Dysfunction

Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid that has been shown to benefit brain health, improve stress tolerance and protects against excitotoxic damage to brain neurons. Carnitine helps to prevent the nerve-related wear and tear that promotes the buildup of amyloid plaque and is associated with Alzheimer`s disease. Information released in the European Journal of Pharmacology demonstrates that the amino acid inhibits the secretion of nerve cell proteins that become tangled plaque in the brain.

Curcumin Reduces Brain Mediated Stress

Curcumin is a Powerful Antioxidant That Promotes Brain Health

Curcumin is a Powerful Antioxidant That Promotes Brain Health

The normal process of metabolic function creates free radicals that are damaging to the brain. We can limit the effects of free radicals by eating a naturally raw diet filled with fresh vegetables, nuts and seeds and limiting stressful situations. Super nutrients such as curcumin can help keep free radicals at bay by absorbing the impact of these damaging particles. The results of information published in the journal Neurotoxicity show that curcumin deactivates one of the most damaging free radicals known as peroxynitrite by boosting antioxidant defenses in the brain and lowering inflammatory responses.

DHA Required for Optimal Brain Function

The Omega-3 fat DHA continues to gain importance for its ability to rejuvenate brain cells and prevent cognitive decline. Not only is this essential fat required for neuronal and synaptic connections, but research also confirms that it actually controls the genetics that power the development of neural stem cells. Research published in the journal Neuroscience details how DHA helps to maintain brain plasticity and can prevent the decline that often leads to vascular dementia and Alzheimer`s disease.

Too many people take brain health for granted and accept a steady decline in memory and learning to be normal and acceptable. While the brain remains well protected, it`s still susceptible to many of ravages brought about by poor diet, stress and the environment. Natural nutrients including carnitine, curcumin and DHA are shown to prevent cognitive decline, improve memory and ensure vibrant brain health through advancing age.

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Purple Vegetables and Fruits Halt Brain Aging

January 17, 2011

(Article first published as The Color Purple Helps Prevent Brain Aging and Dementia on Technorati.)

The Color Purple Can Help Prevent Brain Aging

The Color Purple Can Help Prevent Brain Aging

The world of natural science is rapidly painting a clear picture that helps us better understand the underlying mechanism behind devastating diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis and conditions that lead to preventable brain aging. Researchers are revealing that these illnesses develop as a result of poor dietary and lifestyle choices and can be prevented by adopting a raw, organic diet including plenty of purple colored fruits and vegetables.

Study Implicates Unbound Iron with Declining Brain Health

Excess iron in the blood is associated with an increased risk for heart disease and heart attack and new research now highlights the metal with a decline in brain health. The result of a study published in the journal Archives of Toxicology shows that the brain is particularly sensitive to unbound iron that crosses the blood-brain barrier to cause free radical damage as well as toxins known as hydroxyl radicals.

Purple Berries and Green Tea are Excellent Iron Chelators

Green Tea is Known to Halt Dementia Including Alzheimer's

Green Tea is Known to Halt Dementia Including Alzheimer's

In order to protect yourself from these damaging iron particles it’s necessary to ensure a healthy intake of binding nutrients known as iron chelators. Purple fruits and vegetables are a particularly potent source of compounds that bind tightly with iron to neutralize their effect on the brain. Blueberries, acai berries and green tea have been cited as excellent foods that help protect the brain.

This study underscores the importance of avoiding red meat as a source of unbound iron in the diet. Most of the iron in red meat is unbound and freely released into the blood where it can wreak havoc throughout the body. Conversely, vegetarian sources of iron such as leafy greens and spinach are tightly bound with fiber and do not elevate iron levels. The study author noted that the antioxidant effect of vitamin C is negated with high levels of unbound iron and is dramatically improved with a diet high in vegetables and fruits.

Acai Berry Extract Shown to Improve Brain Housekeeping

Acai Berries Directly Limit Brain Plaque Formation

Acai Berries Directly Limit Brain Plaque Formation

A significant pathway that leads to declining brain health occurs when the normal cellular housekeeping cycle is disrupted in a process known as autophagy. Researchers from the USDA`s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging have found that berry extracts can enhance the process in aging adults in part due to their powerful antioxidant properties.

Anthocyanins in the skins of the berry protect against the pro-inflammatory agents including COX-2 and TNF-alpha. The researchers conclude ‘these results suggest that acai may contribute to ‘health span’ in aging, as it is able to combat some of the inflammatory and oxidative mediators of aging at the cellular level’. Acai berries can be consumed in their natural form, as a concentrated drink or as a supplemented extract.

The purple compounds found in the skins of many fruits and vegetables are important to brain health as they are able to cross the critical blood-brain barrier. Extensive research demonstrates that these chemical structures help to reduce brain inflammation and bind with iron to protect sensitive brain cells. Be certain to include a variety of purple foods to naturally protect your brain and lower your risk from devastating diseases that threaten your ability to walk, learn, think and make new memories.

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Acai And Berry Family Protect Against Brain Aging and Heart Disease

December 25, 2010

(Article first published as Acai and the Berry Family Promote Health for the New Year on Technorati.)

Acai Berries are Potent Antioxidants

Acai Berries are Potent Antioxidants

Each day our cells are bombarded with negatively charged ions known as free radicals that cause damage leading to accelerated aging and increased risk of heart disease, cancer and dementia. It`s estimated that each of our trillion or so cells is assaulted by up to 10,000 free radicals each day.

This damage must be repaired by our body to prevent disease and slow the aging process. Free radicals are a natural part of metabolism and represent the byproducts of respiration, digestion and physical activity. Fortunately nutritional research has confirmed a host of natural compounds found in berries. Start your New Year off on a healthy note with a bowl full of tasty berries.

The Free Radical Theory of Aging

Berries are Shown to Reduce Signs of Aging

Berries are Shown to Reduce Signs of Aging

One well accepted theory of aging explains how free radicals cause cellular degeneration and damage to nuclear DNA. As we age our ability to repair this damage becomes limited due to poor diet and lifestyle choices over the course of decades. Researchers have found that as we age, as many as one in three proteins have become dysfunctional due to free radical damage.

Proteins are the backbone of life and essential to health. Loss of protein function results in many of the outward signs of aging including wrinkles and grey hair and leads to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and dementia. Any nutrient that can neutralize free radicals will help to lower risk of disease and extend natural life.

Acai Berry is the Top Ranked Antioxidant Food

Acai berry has been shown to exhibit the highest antioxidant capacity of all natural food sources demonstrating the ability to attract and neutralize free radicals before they can cause cellular damage. Scientists at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center have developed a standardized index known as ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) designed to measure the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals. Acai berry has the highest recorded ORAC score of 18,400 providing validation for its ability to provide protection to cellular mitochondria that are most susceptible to free radical damage.

The results of a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry shows that people who supplemented with acai berry increased the antioxidant capacity of their blood threefold. Supplementing with acai provides a significant shield to our genetic foundation as well as the protein structures that we rely on for disease free health and natural aging.

Blueberries Improve Cognitive Health

Blueberries rank in the middle of the ORAC spectrum at 3,200 yet have been shown to enhance cognitive function due to their unique ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. Blueberries target the area of the brain associated with learning and memory and protect neurons by absorbing free radicals that limit the activity of neurotransmitters and electrical impulses necessary for optimal brain function.

Bilberries are Good for the Heart

Bilberries Improve Heart Health

Bilberries Improve Heart Health

A relative of the blueberry, bilberries have a demonstrated efficacy in lowering risk factors for heart disease. This berry significantly inhibits the angiotensin-converting enzyme that contributes to blood vessel constriction and high blood pressure. A major class of drugs has been developed by Big Pharma to accomplish this same task with many dangerous side effects. Bilberries are powerful antioxidants that naturally lower blood pressure and improve vascular health.

Acai and virtually all members of the berry family are potent antioxidants that promote vibrant health by neutralizing age-inducing free radicals. Health conscious individuals will want to include a variety of different colored berries as part of their diet to reap a multitude of life extending benefits and start the New Year with vibrant health.