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Category Archives: Brain Health

No-brainer ways to boost brain health


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.

Boosting Brainpower

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.

Healthy Aging: Body, Mind, and Spirit

healthy aging

Healthy aging is something most everyone in mid-life and beyond thinks about. It is becoming a prevalent health topic these days, with advancements and treatments in anti-aging and regenerative medicine. Aging gracefully is not about trying to look like a 20-something, but it is about living your best life and having the physical and mental health to enjoy all that life has to offer. Like a bottle of fine wine, you get better with age with the right self-care.

At this point, I am assuming that you are among those of us who think that growing old is anything but graceful. Most likely, you would agree that there is nothing sexy about wrinkles, graying hair, spreading mid-sections, sagging jowls, fading vision, diminishing sex drive, and loss of memory. And maybe you are someone who has already spent more money than you would like to admit on health club memberships, diet plans, and even plastic surgery to look younger. However, you would likely be willing to spend time and effort if you could actually feel more youthful. Is there a way to stop or even reverse nature’s aging clock? Thanks to remarkably practical advances in anti-aging medicine, the answer is a resounding yes. Aging is a process, but it is not a one-size-fits-all phenomenon. Not everyone ages the same way. Our unique genetic blueprints and lifetime experiences mean that the process of aging affects each of us in different ways. Because of this, we cannot be treated in the same way. Your biochemical profile and factors that include your age, medical history, body type, gender, and lifestyle must be taken into account. It is interesting to know that we all are born with a natural repair process called anabolic drive, which continuously regenerates body tissue. Gradually over time, we lose this rejuvenating capacity and develop numerous conditions associated with aging: obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, to name a few. But again, thanks to several enlightened forward-thinking scientists and anti-aging physicians, we can actually regain that anabolic drive and innate healing system by replenishing depleted levels of hormones, the fluids that regulate our organs and tissues, and neurotransmitters, the brain’s chemical messengers.


What do we mean by age? Yes, we all know to age means to grow older in years. But, to a biologist, a measurement of aging based upon your birth date is not very useful. After all, we all know of people who look ten years younger (or older) than their actual chronological age would indicate. Four main physiological changes occur with aging: (1) decreased muscle mass, (2) decreased water content, (3) decreased bone mass, (4) increased fat levels. These changes over time are accompanied by a host of unwanted symptoms. Aging is a physiological process that, at times, is only remotely connected to chronological age. On a cellular level, aging occurs every moment as old cells are not replaced by new ones. Apoptosis or programmed cell death is a normal part of life. While the seeds of advanced aging can be sown or planted at any age, generally speaking, the most noticeable changes occur between 40 and 50. Most physiological functions peak in the twenties, ride a plateau in the thirties and begin to take a sharp nose dive or decline in your forties. The exact point at which the decline into advanced aging begins is different for everybody. But, without any lifestyle or behavioral changes, or any healthy aging interventions, here is what you can expect to happen to your fifty-year-old body:

  • Brain – the brain shrinks 6 percent in size, resulting in a loss of cognitive function. Learn more about brain health
  • Vision – farsightedness and color perception among aging baby boomers is much more common in this age group.
  • Skin – how fast you wrinkle depends on a host of factors including genetics, nutrition, and environment. The skin begins typically to lose elasticity by age 30 and beyond. Natural Solutions for Aging Skin
  • Hair – fifty percent of men have some balding by age 50.
  • Fat & muscle – the ratio of muscle to fat begins its decline around thirty, with fat deposits peaking around 50.
  • Bones – the progressive loss of mineral content and bone density results in brittle bones, especially after menopause in women. How to Prevent Osteoporosis with Lifestyle Management
  • Sex – women experience menopause usually around age 50 when estrogen levels drop, and ovulation ends. Men have less pronounced sex hormonal decline; however, more young men today are experiencing lower testosterone levels at an earlier age.
  • Heart – by age 50, the heart will have beat approximately 2 billion times. The heart muscle begins to enlarge to pump more blood to compensate for the stiffening or hardening of the arteries.Seven Powerful Ways to Strengthen Your Heart
  • Lungs – by age fifty, the lungs begin to lose some of their elasticity, and the capacity to breathe declines about 20 percent.


Our bodies are operated by a complex network of neurotransmitters and hormones. The way they communicate and interrelate with each other determines the metabolic function for energy and movement and how we feel daily, both physically and mentally. At the same time, these neurotransmitters and hormones keep the body in homeostasis or balance. Your lifestyle and behaviors are unique to you. How you live, and the choices you make daily in terms of diet, exercise, nutrition, and relationships are cumulative and determine your overall sense of well-being and how you age. This further points to the importance of having the right balance between the physical body, the mind, and the spiritual component for improving your odds of healthy aging while minimizing your risk of chronic diseases. To appreciate the benefits of anti-aging intervention, you need to be an active participant, take responsibility for your healthcare, and work with your anti-aging provider to optimize your health. This means taking a few specific nutritional supplements, checking your hormone levels several times per year, eating a well-balanced diet (sometimes calorie-restricted), exercising, getting quality sleep, intaking adequate water, exercising your mind, meditating or praying (or both), and maintaining positive relationships (both personally and professionally). Working with a physician trained through the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine is usually your best option. It is not uncommon for your primary care physician or internist to not be trained in the specialty of anti-aging medicine.

We are the first generation in history to have a say in our biological destiny or journey. To take full advantage of the wonders that await us in the next few years, we must bridge the gap with the treatments and self-care modalities available now that dramatically enhance the quality of our lives. Aging gracefully and healthy aging is possible, but you must take action today!

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Brain Health: The Role of Nutrition in Dementia

brain health

Dementia affects approximately 50 million people worldwide, with a new case of dementia occurring somewhere in the world every three seconds. Dementia can also affect individuals under the age of 65 (young-onset dementia). Greater awareness and understanding of dementia is essential to challenge the myths and misconceptions that surround the condition. There is currently no cure for most types of dementia, but treatment and support are available.

Dementia is a collective name for progressive brain syndromes that affect memory, thinking, behavior, and emotion. Dementia is the leading cause of disability and dependency among the elderly. Although each person will experience dementia in their own way, eventually, those affected cannot care for themselves and need help with activities of daily living (ADL). There are more than one hundred forms of dementia. The most well-known is Alzheimer’s dementia, which accounts for 50-60% of all cases. Symptoms may include loss of memory, difficulty finding the right words, or understanding what people are saying.

Types of Dementia

Many underlying conditions cause the symptoms of dementia as a result of changes that happen in the brain and the ultimate loss of nerve cells (neurons). The most common causes are (1) Alzheimer’s disease, (2) Vascular dementia, (3) Lewy bodies dementia, (4) Frontotemporal dementia. The boundaries between the different types are not necessarily distinct. Alzheimer’s disease and Vascular dementia are responsible for up to 90% of the cases of dementia. It is becoming more evident that a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is more fearful than any other medical diagnosis, including cancer. This is basically for two reasons: first of all, it is the only one of the nation’s ten most common causes of death for which there has been no effective treatment, and secondly, it robs its victims of their lives long before they are gone.

Alzheimer’s Disease- The Most Common Form of Dementia

As stated, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, or decline in intellectual function. It afflicts 10 percent of Americans over 65 and as many as 50 percent of those over 85. Unfortunately, we see Alzheimer’s disease diagnosed in much younger people, even as young as early forties. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by progressive mental deterioration to such a degree that it interferes with one’s ability to function socially and at work. Memory and abstract thought processes are impaired. Alzheimer’s disease is, again, an irreversible, progressive disorder. Deterioration in critical areas of the brain may precede symptoms by as much as twenty to forty years. As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, there is severe memory loss, particularly in short-term memory or recall of recent events. The person may recall events far in the past, but not remember the events in the last two minutes. Since the behavioral symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease result from changes in the brain, the person neither intends nor can control this behavior.

Physiological Brain Changes of Alzheimer’s Disease

Once considered to be a psychological phenomenon, Alzheimer’s disease is now known to be a degenerative disorder that is characterized by a specific set of physiological changes in the brain. Nerve fibers surrounding the brain’s memory center become tangled, and information is no longer carried properly to or from the brain. New memories cannot be formed, and memories formed earlier cannot be retrieved. Characteristic plaques accumulate in the brain as well. These plaques are composed mainly of a protein-containing substance called beta-amyloid. Scientists and doctors believe that the plaques accumulate in the brain and damage nerve cells leading to the downward spiral of mental decline.

Other Causes of Dementia

There are many factors to consider when trying to understand the direct cause and effect of the most common dementias. The following have been associated directly or indirectly as a contributing factor or possible cause of dementia:

  1.  polypharmacy-taking multiple prescription or over-the-counter drugs
  2. drug reactions or drug interactions
  3. a nutrient-poor diet with too many empty calories, excess sugar, and processed foods
  4. chronic stress
  5. genetics or positive family history in immediate family members

Nutritional Deficiencies and Dementias

It is important to note that lifestyle factors can play a significant role in brain health. The precise cause or causes of Alzheimer’s dementia are still virtually unknown, but research by some leading neuroscientists and doctors reveals several interesting clues. Many of them point to nutritional deficiencies. For example, people with Alzheimer’s tend to have low levels of vitamin B12 and zinc in their bodies. The B vitamins are essential in cognitive functioning, and it is well known that the processed foods constituting so much of the modern standard American diet (SAD) have stripped these essential nutrients. The development of the neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques in the brain that are characteristic of the disease have been associated or linked to a zinc deficiency. We are learning more today as functional medicine has identified the connection between the gut and brain pathway and that 90 percent of our neurotransmitters are located in the gut sending signals back and forth to the brain. Also, common antioxidants like vitamins A, C, E are typically low in people with Alzheimer’s dementia. Other common nutrients like CoQ10, potassium, and selenium are generally lacking or in short supply.

Boosting Brain Health With Nutrition

The human brain is the most astonishing structure in the universe. Brainpower should definitely last and not be affected by aging!  Let me be clear. Memory loss and decreased brain health are not inevitable as we age. Steps can be taken to not only stop memory loss and mental decline but also many times to reverse it. Brain cells are the most complex, long-living, and nutritionally demanding cells in the body. There are plenty of scientific studies that confirm intelligence, memory, focus, and concentration are all influenced by the quality of brain nutrition. In other words, feeding the brain the right fats, complex carbohydrates, and protein, plus the addition of targeted nutritional supplements to increase blood flow and activate key neurotransmitters, can keep your mind sharp and active. There is, without question, a direct correlation between higher nutritional status and a higher level of mental function. If you show signs of mild cognitive impairment (MCI), you must act now and be very aggressive in your diet, lifestyle, and supplement strategies.

Here are well-researched supplement recommendations for optimal brain health:

  1. High potency multivitamin/mineral complex 1 daily
  2. Vitamin C 1,000-2,000mg daily
  3. Vitamin D3 5,000IU daily
  4. Omega-3 fish oil 2,000-3,000mg daily
  5. CoQ10 100mg twice daily
  6. Turmeric (curcumin) 1,000-2,000mg daily
  7. Ortho Molecular Products Cardio B -vitamin B6, B12, folate, and betaine- daily
  8. Memory Plus -a proprietary blend of l-carnitine, phosphatidylserine, nattokinase, bacopa monnieri, DMAE, ginkgo biloba, alpha-lipoic acid, and huperzine- twice daily
  9. Brain Health Support – a proprietary blend of ginkgo biloba, phosphatidylserine, DHA, choline, and inositol – twice daily
  10. Selenium 200mcg daily
  11. CBD oil softgels or liquid tincture

It is always recommended that you discuss your nutritional supplement protocol and dosages with a qualified healthcare professional, your doctor, or pharmacist, especially if you are also taking prescription medications. Remember, it is important to only select high-quality supplements from trusted sources. Learn more here: https://cypresspharmacy.blog/2020/09/10/are-your-supplements-toxic/

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