Archive for the ‘Memory Loss’ Category

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Zinc is Critical to Forming and Retaining Memories and Cognition

December 15, 2011
Zinc is Associated with Improved Memory Retention and Cognition

Zinc is Associated with Improved Memory Retention and Cognition

Zinc is an essential mineral known to improve skin tone, aid wound healing, fight cancer and shorten the length of the common cold. Researchers publishing in the journal Neuron now identify the crucial role this super-nutrient plays in support of memory formation and cognitive stability. Additionally, they have found that zinc may also play a part in controlling the devastating occurrence of epileptic seizures.

For the first time, scientists have been able to watch zinc in action as the nutrient regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus to improve memory and learning capabilities. Ensuring proper intake of zinc is an important step toward optimal brain function and may prevent cognitive decline as we age.

Zinc Improves Communication between Neurons to Improve Cognition

Zinc Improves Communications Between Neurons to Boost Memory

Zinc Improves Communications Between Neurons to Boost Memory

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center and chemists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology collaborated to study the effects of zinc on brain function. Scientists experimenting with mice used a chemical that binds with zinc to eliminate it from the brain of the test animals. They found that in the absence of the mineral, communications between neurons was significantly diminished and that zinc is vital for controlling the efficiency between nerve cells in the hippocampus.

For more than a half century, scientists have understood that high concentrations of zinc are deposited within nerve cells, called vesicles that package the transmitters which enable nerve cells to communicate. The highest concentrations of brain zinc are found among the neurons of the hippocampus that control the high functions of learning and memory.

Researchers Find Zinc Levels in the Brain Control Memory and Learning Functions

Zinc is Essential to Improve Synaptic Plasticity and Learning Abilities

Zinc is Essential to Improve Synaptic Plasticity and Learning Abilities

By artificially regulating the level of zinc in the brain of the test animals, researchers were able to confirm that eliminating zinc from the neural vesicles also prevented enhanced communication. By increasing levels of the mineral, they were able to significantly restore enhanced communications in the hippocampal region to improve learning and memory capabilities.

The results of this study conducted using mice can be extrapolated to humans because zinc is known to play a similar role in the brain of both species. Zinc deficiency in the typical western diet is rapidly becoming a serious problem that threatens human health. Due to poor farming practices and the abundance of nutrient-deprived processed foods, many children and adults suffer from a chronic insufficiency of the mineral.

Over time, lack of zinc from dietary sources can result in immune system depression, decline in sexual health and increased risk of dementia and cognitive decline. Ideal dietary sources of zinc include liver, beef and lamb. Vegetarians can include nuts, seeds and peas to obtain the micronutrient. Alternatively, zinc supplements are available (30 to 50 mg per day) to help maintain healthy systemic levels that improve memory, learning and cognition.

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Berries and Grape Seed Promote Brain Health

February 9, 2011

(Article first published as Berries and Grapes Improve Memory and Brain Health on Technorati.)

Super Nutrients Shown to Protect Against Memory Loss

Super Nutrients Shown to Protect Against Memory Loss

Cognitive decline is unnatural. Millions of aging adults consider an impaired capacity to think, reason and form new memories as the inevitable course of declining health. By accepting brain aging as normal, we condemn our senior years and live in constant fear of whether we will remember our family and friends or retain our personal identity.

Loss of cognition as we age is not normal. There is no programmed switch that diminishes our ability to reason and remember events, names and faces. The brain is susceptible to many of the damaging effects of inflammation, free radicals and insulin resistance that lead to chronic illness. Blueberries and grape seed extract show great potential in the fight against brain aging and cognitive decline.

Blueberries are a Powerful Brain Antioxidant

Blueberries are a Powerful Brain Antioxidant

Blueberries are a Powerful Brain Antioxidant

The human brain performs millions of electrical and chemically mediated actions every second and generates a large number of free radicals in the process that can damage normal neuronal function. Any natural agent that can neutralize the effect of free radicals will provide necessary protection and prevent brain aging.

Anthocyanins and flavanols are natural protective compounds found in high concentration in blueberries and are known to be able to cross the critical blood-brain barrier and influence brain function. The result of research published in the journal Nutrition shows that dietary supplementation with blueberries for as little as 30 days can slow and even reverse the decline in mental function associated with age. The study authors concluded “this illustrates a surprisingly prompt and powerful effect of an antioxidant dietary intervention.”

Blueberries Enhance Critical Neuronal Communications

Researchers know that blueberries and other members of the purple berry family are linked with lowered incidence of age-related dementia and Alzheimer`s disease. While the exact mechanism of action is not fully understood, prior studies have shown that the active compounds in berries exert their effects on learning and memory by enhancing existing neuronal connections, improving cellular communications and stimulating neuronal regeneration.

Grape Seed Extract Can Rebuild Brain Cell Networks

Grape Seed Extract Imporves Brain Structure Integrity

Grape Seed Extract Improves Brain Structure Integrity

Grape seed extract is a significant source of naturally occurring phenolic compounds that are known to bolster the structural integrity of brain cells and brain cell networks. Research provided by a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research documents the ability of grape seed extract to stimulate the production of new brain cells. Researchers were able to show that compounds in grape seed extract activated genes that controlled cellular rejuvenation. Additionally, grape seed extract strengthened existing brain cell connections in the memory control center of the brain (hippocampus).

Loss of memory and the ability to learn and form thoughts are functions that should not be lost as we age. Cognitive decline can be prevented by eating a diet void of processed foods, sugars and damaging hydrogenated fats. Eat a cup of wild blueberries each day and supplement with grape seed extract to provide critical antioxidant support and prevent the assault from free radical damage.

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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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B Vitamins Help Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

October 20, 2010

(Article first published as Can B Vitamins Help to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease? on Technorati.)

Alzheimer’s disease robs a person of their memories, thoughts and individuality. When surveyed, people indicate that of all diseases, this form of dementia is the most dreaded and misunderstood. Medical science can offer little more than palliative care and ineffective pharmaceuticals to those suffering from Alzheimer’s as the number of people afflicted continues to grow at an alarming rate. While there is no known cure for Alzheimer’s disease once it has begun its progression toward darkness, new research is beginning to shine a light on a super nutrient that could help compliment a healthy lifestyle toward prevention.

High Homocysteine Linked to Alzheimer’s Disease

Homocysteine is a naturally occurring amino acid commonly seen in excess due to a diet high in meat and protein sources. High blood levels are known to be a risk factor for heart disease as the amino acid damages the delicate inner lining of the coronary arteries. Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated that elevated homocysteine levels double the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and B12 dramatically lower levels of homocysteine in the blood as they help to convert excess amounts of the amino acid for excretion.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Linked with Alzheimer’s Disease
Evidence is mounting to suggest that a vitamin B12 deficiency may be connected to increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. The results of a study released in the journal Neurology studied the level of homocysteine and vitamin B12 in elderly subjects. They found that for every single unit increase in the blood level of homocysteine, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease jumped by 16%. Similarly, risk decreased by 2% for each unit increase in blood concentration of Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is known to become dangerously low with age, and represents a significant factor in the development of Alzheimer’s disease that requires more research.
Brain Shrinkage Cut in Half with B Vitamins

The normal shrinking of the brain with age has been viewed as normal, but scientists have been able to show that shrinkage can be halted and reduced with high doses of B vitamins. While smaller brain size is not directly linked with dementia, it does represent a major risk factor for progression to Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at Oxford University supplemented test participants with full spectrum B vitamins for a period of 2 years and found that they were able to reduce brain shrinkage in half as compared to a group receiving a placebo. The study authors conclude, “It is our hope that this simple and safe treatment will delay development of Alzheimer’s in many people who suffer from mild memory problems.”

Lowering the Risk of Developing Alzheimer’s Disease with Diet
More than enough evidence is mounting to show that poor diet and lack of B vitamins represent independent risk factors for developing Alzheimer’s disease that are within our control. Additional research has pointed to abnormal glycation of proteins and fats as a trigger for the deadly disease. Some have even gone so far as to call the condition Type III diabetes as high blood sugar and insulin resistance wreak damage on the electrical signaling circuits of the brain. You can lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by eating a diet low in animal protein to restrict production of homocysteine. Eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates that raise blood sugar and lead to insulin dysfunction.
From the research presented, it’s clear that supplementing with B vitamins in excess of the recommended daily allowance is essential. While the entire family of B vitamins can promote brain health, most studies concentrate on B6 and B12 taken in quantities that are 300 to 500% higher than the RDA values. Lower your risks of Alzheimer’s by taking the necessary dietary and supplemental steps and avoid joining the growing ranks that continue to spiral out of control.
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Improve Memory, Lose Weight, Burn Fat

July 27, 2010

(Article first published as Lose Weight to Improve Memory, Burn Belly Fat on Technorati.)
The extra weight carried by nearly three-quarters of the American adult population increases the risk of many diseases ranging from heart disease and stroke to metabolic disorders such as diabetes. New research indicates that memory loss and dementia should be added to the long list of health afflictions exacerbated by excess weight.

Excess Weight Leads to Memory Loss in Women

Excess Weight Leads to Memory Loss in Women

A study assembled with data from the Woman’s Health Initiative indicates that the memory of woman as they age declines by approximately 1% for every single-point increase in Body Mass Index, a statistical indicator used to determine normal and excess weight. Researchers believe that excess weight around the hips increases inflammation in the body which is known to be detrimental to the normal function of many organ systems, including the brain.

Reversing Memory Loss and Belly Fat

Cut Junk Foods and Drop Belly Fat

Cut Junk Foods and Control Metabolism

Excess weight, especially when stored as abdominal fat causes high levels of cortisol to be released which creates metabolic disturbance, increased blood pressure and weight gain. It’s essential to control your metabolism through dietary and lifestyle changes that will reduce your risk of memory loss and lead to natural weight loss. Fortunately, there are important steps you can follow which will specifically target belly fat and lead to improved health and reduced risk of illness.

Proper Diet is Key to Burning Belly Fat

Abdominal fat is caused by a poorly balanced diet and lack of physical activity leading to metabolic disruptions in the body. The food you eat is the single most important signal you send to your body, and the composition of every calorie instructs your metabolism to either burn or store fat.

Establish a New Dietary Lifestyle

Establish a New Dietary Lifestyle

Consuming a diet full of refined junk food causes a surge of excess sugar in the blood. This is interpreted by your body as a sign that food is plentiful and the excess energy should be stored as fat. Your belly is the primary target for fat storage, and this is the most dangerous type of fat as it forces the release of cortisol and other hormonal and chemical messengers throughout the body.

Read Nutrition Labels and Make Smart Food Substitutions

You can break this fat storage cycle and release belly fat from storage by modifying the type of foods you eat. Begin by replacing high calorie junk foods and snacks with healthier choices such as nuts, seeds and limited amounts of fruit. Read the nutrition labels, and avoid any food which has more than 10% of calories in the form of sugar, or 20% of calories from carbohydrates. This provides a general guideline of foods which will cause an excessive blood sugar spike.

Compliment Diet with Exercise

Exercise is a natural component to any lifestyle modification to reduce abdominal fat. It’s important to note that while exercise will provide toning and re-shaping benefits, it has less effect on directly removing belly fat. Stick to moderate physical activity for 20 to 30 minutes on most days of the week. Excessive exercise will lead to higher food intake and work against your weight loss goal.

Less Stress, Less Fat

Continual stress causes the release of cortisol, which leads to abdominal fat storage. It’s critical to determine the cause of your stress and resolve the problem quickly. Many people find that aerobic exercise and yoga techniques are helpful in reducing stress levels.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep to Increase Metabolism

Studies show that people who receive less than 4 hours of sleep each night are 70% more likely to be overweight or obese. Sleep affects hormone levels in the blood which control the effectiveness of insulin. Too much insulin signals the storage of fat, especially when you sleep. Always be careful not to eat at least 3 hours before going to sleep to improve your metabolic efficiency and fat burning ability.

It’s not surprising to find a link between belly fat and a decrease in memory. Excess abdominal fat causes a cascade of chemical and hormonal alterations in the body which have a broad reaching impact on all key organs, including the brain. Develop a plan to improve your diet, drop the refined junk foods and make the necessary lifestyle changes which will improve your life, burn belly fat and lead to natural weight loss.

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Memory Affected By Weight and Belly Fat

July 27, 2010
(Article first published as Lose Weight to Improve Memory, Burn Belly Fat on Technorati.)
The extra weight carried by nearly three-quarters of the American adult population increases the risk of many diseases ranging from heart disease and stroke to metabolic disorders such as diabetes. New research indicates that memory loss and dementia should be added to the long list of health afflictions exacerbated by excess weight.

A study assembled with data from the Woman’s Health Initiative indicates that the memory of woman as they age declines by approximately 1% for every single-point increase in Body Mass Index, a statistical indicator used to determine normal and excess weight.

Researchers believe that excess weight around the hips increases inflammation in the body which is known to be detrimental to the normal function of many organ systems, including the brain.

Reversing Memory Loss and Belly Fat

Excess weight, especially when stored as abdominal fat causes high levels of cortisol to be released which creates metabolic disturbance, increased blood pressure and weight gain. It’s essential to control your metabolism through dietary and lifestyle changes that will reduce your risk of memory loss and lead to natural weight loss. Fortunately, there are important steps you can follow which will specifically target belly fat and lead to improved health and reduced risk of illness.

Proper Diet is Key to Burning Belly Fat

Abdominal fat is caused by a poorly balanced diet and lack of physical activity leading to metabolic disruptions in the body. The food you eat is the single most important signal you send to your body, and the composition of every calorie instructs your metabolism to either burn or store fat.

Consuming a diet full of refined junk food causes a surge of excess sugar in the blood. This is interpreted by your body as a sign that food is plentiful and the excess energy should be stored as fat. Your belly is the primary target for fat storage, and this is the most dangerous type of fat as it forces the release of cortisol and other hormonal and chemical messengers throughout the body.

Read Nutrition Labels and Make Smart Food Substitutions
You can break this fat storage cycle and release belly fat from storage by modifying the type of foods you eat. Begin by replacing high calorie junk foods and snacks with healthier choices such as nuts, seeds and limited amounts of fruit. Read the nutrition labels, and avoid any food which has more than 10% of calories in the form of sugar, or 20% of calories from carbohydrates. This provides a general guideline of foods which will cause an excessive blood sugar spike.

Compliment Diet with Exercise
Exercise is a natural component to any lifestyle modification to reduce abdominal fat. It’s important to note that while exercise will provide toning and re-shaping benefits, it has less effect on directly removing belly fat. Stick to moderate physical activity for 20 to 30 minutes on most days of the week. Excessive exercise will lead to higher food intake and work against your weight loss goal.

Less Stress, Less Fat
Continual stress causes the release of cortisol, which leads to abdominal fat storage. It’s critical to determine the cause of your stress and resolve the problem quickly. Many people find that aerobic exercise and yoga techniques are helpful in reducing stress levels.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep to Increase Metabolism
Studies show that people who receive less than 4 hours of sleep each night are 70% more likely to be overweight or obese. Sleep affects hormone levels in the blood which control the effectiveness of insulin. Too much insulin signals the storage of fat, especially when you sleep. Always be careful not to eat at least 3 hours before going to sleep to improve your metabolic efficiency and fat burning ability.

It’s not surprising to find a link between belly fat and a decrease in memory. Excess abdominal fat causes a cascade of chemical and hormonal alterations in the body which have a broad reaching impact on all key organs, including the brain. Develop a plan to improve your diet, drop the refined junk foods and make the necessary lifestyle changes which will improve your life, burn belly fat and lead to natural weight loss.