Herbs for Brain Health: Part 2

Hello again: Last blog I mentioned how Curcumin and Berberine are beneficial for blood sugar issues and are neuroprotective. Here is more information about brain health and how these herbs fit in: https://aanddjournal.net/article/S1552-5260(17)32470-6/fulltext Conclusions: "Neurovascular inflammation and metabolic dysregulation driven mainly by poor diets likely serve as an essential underlying etiology of LOAD (Late Onset Alzheimer’s Disease). Human clinical trial evidence of plant-based diets for eliminating comorbidities and risk factors of LOAD support its potential as a powerful prevention strategy. In particular, plant-based diets as well as a number of anti-inflammatory nutrients or plant-based foods have been shown to reverse cognitive deficits in clinical trials or protect against LOAD in epidemiological studies." So here is some more info about the anti-inflammatory ... Read more

Spice Up Your Brain!

In a previous blog I mentioned that Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), brain fog and cognitive decline are linked to blood sugar problems. Specifically, that one form of AD is due primarily to problems with insulin resistance: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/193229680800200619 The authors state: “We conclude that the term “type 3 diabetes” accurately reflects the fact that AD represents a form of diabetes that selectively involves the brain and has molecular and biochemical features that overlap with both type 1 diabetes mellitus and T2DM (Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus).” Since that is the case, it appears to be a great preventive health measure to keep our blood sugar under control. Because it is estimated that at least ½ of all of us have some degree of insulin resistance (pre-diabetes), it is important to know what tools can help us keep our blood sugar in the optimal ... Read more

Depression

Statistics reveal that there is an alarming increase in depression worldwide, and depending upon whom you read, the number of people with some level of depression approaches more than 1 in 10, and accounts for anti-depressant prescription medications being the number one class of drugs prescribed in the U.S. http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/major-depression/depression-statistics/ Most of us think that medications for depression are effective, yet those with depression who are on anti-depressant medications frequently know a different reality. Only 30% of those on prescription medications are helped, and many only partially, meaning 70% or more are not helped with prescriptions. A thorough review of the literature will reveal the following information taken from the references below: http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045 “Meta-analyses ... Read more

Brains and Fat: Ketones Feed Healthy Function

In the last blog, I mentioned that I would be exploring nutritional ketosis, which is eating in such a way to fuel brain and body energy mostly by fat sources as opposed to carbohydrates. It turns out that carbohydrate rich diets actually harm and age our bodies and brains. There are now many papers that reveal that some types of Alzheimer’s Disease is actually a form of diabetes of the brain, and that over-consumption of carbohydrates (especially processed carbs like grains, sugars etc.) leads to brain and body degeneration and too rapid aging. Personally, I have found ketogenic diets to be very challenging for most of us, and it turns out that there are easier ways that work almost as well for the majority of us. This easier way is a combination of intermittent fasting, low processed carbohydrate consumption, high vegetable intake, higher fat intake, lower protein and supplements. ... Read more

t-VNS and Migraine

In the past decade or longer, it has been recognized that certain functional brain problems often co-exist with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). This includes a well-known migraine and IBS link, and recently it has become clearer what that link is. What is exciting about this is that there is a non-invasive, non-drug therapy that actually addresses that connection. Here are some links about IBS and co-morbidities, such as migraine headache: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16419571 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23875096 https://www.google.com/search?sitesearch=www.neuromodulation.com&q=t-VNS&gws_rd=ssl#q=ibs+migraine+link So now you know these health concerns are connected, what is it exactly that can explain that link? New research shows that Vagus Nerve dysfunction can result in migraine, depression, anxiety, digestive disorders, seizure and insomnia. Here are a few ... Read more

Healthy Fats Help Our Brain Keep Our Memories!!

Here is a great article showing how essential fatty acids assist our brain to keep functioning optimally: https://www.alzheimersanddementia.com/article/S1552-5260(09)01564-7/fulltext Basically, the authors research involved 485 healthy older individuals (average age 70 years) with mild memory problems who they gave either a supplement containing DHA from marine algae or placebo for six months. The authors commented: “In our study, healthy people with memory complaints who took algal DHA capsules for six months had almost double the reduction in errors on a test that measures learning and memory performance versus those who took a placebo ... The benefit is roughly equivalent to having the learning and memory skills of someone three years younger.” Bottom Line: Make sure that you employ multiple strategies to keep your memories alive. DHA (an Omega-3 essential fatty acid), ... Read more

Bad Carbs Kill Your Brain

One of the toughest things I have to do is to convince people to reduce their bad carb intake (mostly grains in things like breads, pasta, baked goods etc.). I hear many loud groans and moans and the typical cry of “there is nothing left to eat!!” People do want to save their brains, reduce the fog and feel better, yet they do not want to give up the foods that are causing their very distress. This is understandable, considering how addictive carbs are to most of us, and make no mistake here, these are powerful addictions!!! It is not that people are weak willed, it is that their blood and brain chemistry are subverted into powerful addictive cravings by bad carbs and sugars (this includes artificial sweeteners!). Here is a brief article with good points about how foods can alter brain ... Read more

Special Fats for Brain Health

There are some special fats that are an intricate part of our brain cell membranes that are crucial to normal brain functioning and overall health. These fats (phospholipids) can be damaged and/or deficient, especially by the Standard American Diet of fried foods, excess sugars, excess carbs, unbalanced fat consumption, oxidative stress, stress chemistry, poor sleep and of course, my favorite subject, inflammation. Check out this article, and consider supplementing if you have any of the symptoms or a history of brain health problems in your family tree: https://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(14)00452-3/fulltext Results: "A large body of scientific evidence describes the interactions among phosphatidylserine, cognitive activity, cognitive aging, and retention of cognitive functioning ability." Conclusions: "Phosphatidylserine is required for healthy nerve cell ... Read more

Multi-Vitamins

What about multi-vitamins? I hear a lot of negative views from patients, whose physicians tell them that multi-vitamins are a waste of money, and offer no help at all. I often wonder how they can make such statements given such papers as these: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12069675 Just read the opening line: “Although vitamin deficiency is encountered infrequently in developed countries, inadequate intake of several vitamins is associated with chronic disease.” I hope you caught that important fact: insufficiency of nutrients is associated with the development of chronic disease. And this is what insufficiency does: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12069676 “…suboptimal intake of some vitamins, above levels causing classic vitamin deficiency, is a risk factor for chronic diseases and common in the general population, especially the elderly.” Not only the ... Read more

Better Diet = Bigger Brain

Hello everyone, Here is some pretty good news for those that have taken the time and effort to learn how to eat better: http://n.neurology.org/content/early/2018/05/16/WNL.0000000000005691 Basically, the better we eat, the healthier and larger our brains become. Here is the summary of what the author's found: Results: We found that better diet quality related to larger brain volume, gray matter volume, white matter volume, and hippocampal volume. Diet quality was not associated with white matter lesion volume, lacunes, or microbleeds. High intake of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, dairy, and fish and low intake of sugar-containing beverages were associated with larger brain volumes. Conclusion: A better diet quality is associated with larger brain tissue volumes. These results suggest that the effect of nutrition on neurodegeneration may act via brain structure. ... Read more