4 Mind and Memory Killers
You spend a lifetime making memories. Adventures and misadventures with friends… special moments with your children and grandchildren… personal achievements and milestones. For too many, though, these precious memories begin to fade all too soon.
For generations, doctors thought memory loss, confusion, and brain fog were all a “natural” part of aging. Today, we know better. Here are 4 mind killers… and 3 ways to preserve your memories.
But first, do you want to be a superager?
Inside the Brains of “Superagers”
We all get older. But some people do it more gracefully than others. These “superagers” breeze through their 70s, 80s – and even beyond – with their minds and memories intact. Recently, a group led by Harvard University researchers set out to see what makes superagers different.
So, they gathered volunteers aged 60 – 80 who scored as well as 18- to 32-year-olds on a test of cognitive ability. Then they measured different areas of their volunteers’ brains. And compared the results with both young adults and typical mature adults.
The Harvard-led team discovered superagers have a thicker cortex than typical mature adults in two key areas of the brain. Plus they have a larger hippocampus than their peers. These brain regions are all linked to memory and cognition.
The superagers’ brains looked more like those of people 20 – 30 years younger.1
So can you become one of these superagers? The evidence seems to say you can. First, avoid these 4 problems that speed up brain shrinkage.
Turn These Brain Killers Around
According to University of California (UC) scientists, your health in middle age can have a big impact on your mental clarity later in life. In a 2011 study, they identified 4 issues that appear to speed up the loss of brain matter.
The UC team followed 1,352 for 10 years. Their volunteers had an average age of 54 at the start. They used modern imaging equipment to measure the volunteers’ brains – both at the start and end of the study.
The first issue is entirely under your control… smoking. It’s also the issue that seems to make the most difference.
Smokers lost overall brain volume faster than non-smokers. They also developed more “hyperintensities” – tiny areas of blood vessel damage that kill brain cells – in their white matter, the brain’s communication system.
People with high blood pressure developed more hyperintensities than those with healthy blood pressure in middle age.
They linked blood sugar problems to a faster shrinkage rate within the hippocampus – your brain’s memory center.
Finally, middle-aged obesity speeds up brain shrinkage, too. Volunteers with a high hip-to-waist ratio were far more likely to be among the 25% of brain matter loss.2
And this isn’t the only study that’s made the connection.
Healthy Habits May Save Your Brain
I won’t lecture you about smoking. Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re not a smoker anyway. For that matter, you may well be trying to control your weight, too.
But obesity, high blood pressure, and blood sugar problems are pretty common. And they can be a challenge to control. And the evidence they accelerate brain shrinkage is growing.
For instance, a 2014 study looked at more than 1,400 volunteers with an average age of 80. Those who had high blood pressure or blood sugar problems in middle age were more likely to have thinking or memory problems.
Like the UC study, this study linked blood sugar problems to greater shrinkage of the brain’s memory center. And high blood pressure to a greater number of hyperintensities.3
A study of 4,057 volunteers in their 70s had similar results in 2014. Researchers at the National Institute on Aging found people with blood sugar trouble or high blood pressure in middle age were far more likely to have cognition problems in their 70s.
They also found the same physical issues in their volunteers as in the other studies I’ve mentioned.4
So what can you do?
A Simple 3-in-1 Solution
One simple habit can help with weight, blood sugar, and blood pressure. It’s physical activity. And the more you move, the bigger the benefit.
But don’t worry. You don’t have to spend hours sweating in a gym or jug till you drop. Brisk walking, riding a bike, canoeing or kayaking, ballroom dancing, or even gardening all count.
Studies show regular moderate activity promotes mental clarity… and people who are more active hold on to more brain volume.
A brand-new university study found active adults cut their risk of brain fog by one-third over couch potatoes. It also uncovered another good reason to stay active…
Physical activity triggers release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).5 BDNF helps preserve existing neurons and promotes the growth of new ones.
Altogether, these factors make regular physical activity one of the best ways to hold on to your mind and memory. But it’s not the only way.
Parlez Vous Mental Clarity?
When you work out your muscles, you keep them strong… and can even build additional muscle. The same is true for your brain. If you have the right workout. Learning a new language appears to be among the best.
A new study has shown as little as one week spent learning a new language can improve some cognitive functions.
Scientists enrolled a group of English-speakers in a Scottish Gaelic language course. A second group entered art, film or other less demanding programs. Finally, a third group didn’t take any courses at all.
Before the first lesson, all the volunteers took a test to measure cognitive ability.
After just a week, the Gaelic students achieved higher scores on the cognitive test. None of the other volunteers showed improvement. And here’s where it gets even more interesting…
9 months after the program ended, the scientists followed up with the volunteers from the Gaelic class. Those who continued to practice their new language for 5 or more hours a week held on to all the gains they’d made on the cognition test. Even the oldest participants.6
Finally, here’s one last way to help hold on to your precious memories.
The “Miracle” Memory Mushroom
For centuries, Eastern herbalists have prized an odd-looking mushroom. They used this shaggy edible for many purposes. But one really stands out.
Lion’s mane, as it’s called, appears to ease brain fog and memory problems. And there are solid reasons it should.
Modern animal studies show it promotes repair and regrowth of injured nerves.7
Other studies revealed it boosts levels of nerve growth factor (NGF).8 Which may explain its effect on injured nerves.
This is an important feature, too. You see, you can’t take NGF to promote nerve repair or regeneration in the brain. It can’t pass the blood-brain barrier. To boost levels of NGF in your brain, you have to trigger your body to release more.
And lion’s mane can do it.
Plus, human trials yield remarkable results. People suffering with brain fog and memory problems improve after taking lion’s mane. In one trial, a group of patients showed continuous improvement throughout out the study. After 16 weeks, they were still improving.9
That’s why lion’s mane is the backbone of Best Life Herbals’ My Healthy Memory. To learn more about this potent memory formula, just visit BestLife-Herbals.com.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Sun, F.W., et al, “Youthful Brains in Older Adults: Preserved Neuroanatomy in the Default Mode and Salience Networks Contributes to Youthful Memory in Superaging,” The Journal of Neuroscience. Sep 14, 2016, 36(37): 9659-9668.
2 “High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Smoking and Obesity in Middle Age May Shrink Brain, Damage Thinking,” American Academy of Neurology. Aug 01, 2011.
3 Roberts, R.O., “Association of type 2 diabetes with brain atrophy and cognitive impairment,” Neurology. Apr 1, 2014; 82(13): 1132-1141.
4 “How High Blood Pressure in Middle Age May Affect Memory in Old Age,” American Academy of Neurology. Jun 4, 2014.
5 “Even a Little Exercise May Help Stave Off Dementia,” Healthfinder.gov. Aug. 26, 2016.
6 Bak, T.H., et al, “Novelty, Challenge, and Practice: The Impact of Intensive Language Learning on Attentional Functions,” PLoS ONE. 2016; 11(4): e0153485.
7 Wong, K.H., et al, “Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers., a medicinal mushroom, activates peripheral nerve regeneration,” Chin J Integr Med. Oct 2016; 22(10): 759-767.
8 Mori, K., et al, “Nerve growth factor-inducing activity of Hericium erinaceus in 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells,” Biol Pharm Bull. Sep 2008; 31(9): 1727-1732.
9 Mori, K., et al, “Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial,” Phytother Res. Mar 2009; 23(3): 367-372.
The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure and disease.
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