By Dr. Stan Headley, natural health consultant for Cypress Pharmacy
Whether you’re 16 or 60, we can all experience similar moments of mental fog. We misplace keys. We forget names. We even rely on social media to remember important dates.
Contrary to what some might think, forgetfulness isn’t just something that happens as we age.
Brain cells are the most complex and nutritionally demanding cells in the body. Fortunately, steps can be taken to not only stop memory loss and mental decline but also to reverse it by targeting key lifestyle habits.
Alzheimer’s & Dementia
Alzheimer’s Disease International says over 50 million people worldwide live with dementia, and by 2050, it’s expected to rise to 152 million.
Alzheimer’s – the most common form of dementia – is often seen as a sad, unpreventable illness that can happen to aging loved ones. However, recent research provides hope for reversing, mitigating and preventing the disease, including hereditary factors of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
A 2020 report by the Lancet Commission shows 40% of dementia cases could be prevented or delayed by targeting 12 risk factors: Excessive alcohol consumption, head injury, air pollution, less education, hypertension, hearing impairment, smoking, obesity, depression, physical inactivity, diabetes and infrequent social contact.
Growing evidence confirms that intelligence, focus and memory are all influenced by the quality of your environment and lifestyle choices.
While the exact causes of dementia are still unknown, certain actions can play a significant role in boosting brain health.
It’s never too late or early in life to achieve maximum benefits for the brain and body. Health-focused habits include:
- Fueling your mind with good nutrition
- Getting enough sleep
- Breaking a sweat with daily exercise
- Connecting and socializing with others
- Engaging your brain in activities
Supporting Brain Nutrition
We are learning more today as functional medicine identifies the connection between the gut and brain pathway. In fact, 90% of our neurotransmitters are located in the gut and send signals to the brain.
Many leading neuroscientists and doctors that study Alzheimer’s and dementia often point to nutritional deficiencies in their research. In other words, feeding your brain the right fats, complex carbohydrates, protein and nutritional supplements can help keep your mind sharp and active.
A few well-researched supplement recommendations include:
- High-potency multivitamin: Once daily
- Vitamin B-Complex: 100 mg daily
- Vitamin C: 1,000-2,000 mg daily
- Vitamin D3: 5,000 IU daily
- Omega-3 fish oil: 2,000-3,000 mg daily
- CoQ10: 100 mg twice daily
- Probiotic: 5 billion CFU daily
- A comprehensive blend of ginkgo biloba, phosphatidylserine, choline, inositol, L-carnitine, bacopa monnieri, alpha lipoic acid and huperzine A, which are all in one capsule taken twice daily.
There is, without question, a direct link between higher nutritional status and higher level of mental function. If you show signs of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), it’s important to act now and be aggressive in your diet, lifestyle and supplements.
Be sure to discuss your lifestyle changes and nutritional supplements with a qualified health care professional, doctor or pharmacist, especially if you take prescription medications. A medical professional can help provide you with personalized supplements and dosage recommendations for achieving optimal brain health, while evaluating any risks, side effects or negative interactions with other medications you may be taking.