Here is a little joke that will start your day with a chuckle:
Two elderly women (Mildred and Harriet) were out for a drive. As they were cruising along, they came to an intersection. The light was red, but Mildred just went on through. Harriet thought to herself, "I could have sworn we just went through a red light."
A few minutes later they came to another red light and again Mildred drove right through it. Now Harriet was getting nervous and started paying close attention to the road.
At the next intersection, sure enough, the light was definitely red, and they cruised right through. Harriet said, "Mildred! Don’t you know we just ran three red lights in a row! You could have killed us!"
Mildred turned to Harriet and said, "Oh, am I driving?"
There are many jokes and memes about forgetfulness or “CRS disease” as we age, and although some decrease in mental function is not unusual in the elderly, dementia is a whole different animal.
Currently one in three senior citizens dies with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, and over six million Americans (and 75 million people worldwide) are living with the condition.
But it’s not just limited to the elderly! While dementia is typically found in people over age 65, there’s been a troubling surge in the number of people with early-onset cases.
Currently at least 10 percent of people with dementia are UNDER 65 years old.
Let’s take a closer look at dementia and see how you can help keep your brain function sharp and strong at all ages.
What is dementia?
Simply put, dementia results from damage to brain cells.
The human brain has various distinct regions, and each region is responsible for different functions including things like memory, judgment and movement.
When the cells in a certain region or regions are damaged, that region cannot carry out its functions normally, and the particular person may start to develop…
Signs and symptoms of dementia
Typical signs and symptoms of dementia include:
- Memory loss
- Impaired judgment
- Difficulties with abstract thinking
- Faulty reasoning
- Inappropriate behavior
- Loss of communication skills
- Gait, motor and balance problems
- Neglect of personal care and safety
- Hallucinations, paranoia, agitation
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease—accounting for between 60 - 80 percent of all dementia cases.
So what causes the damage?
There are a number of factors that can cause or contribute to brain cell damage including:
Heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure
Heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure are all linked to dementia.
Decreased blood flow to the brain from these conditions is linked to the formation of the classic plaques and tangles that disrupt brain activity in Alzheimer’s.
Type 2 diabetes
Your brain needs glucose to function properly, and when there is impaired glucose function with Type 2 diabetes, it can damage brain cells. Plus high blood sugar causes inflammation which is harmful to brain cells.
And heaven knows we are in a diabetes/insulin resistance epidemic at all ages!
Use of acid reducers
Studies have shown that regular users of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Nexium had a 44 percent increased risk of dementia compared with those not using the medications.
Use of statins
Studies have shown that having lower levels of LDL cholesterol is linked to a higher risk of dementia!
One study in particular examined 4,000 individuals aged 50 and older, and after collecting the data, the researchers noted, “There was a significantly higher proportion of participants with low levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in the dementia group than in the group without dementia.
This makes sense when you consider your brain contains up to 30 percent cholesterol and it is an essential component of neurons. In fact, cholesterol is critical for synapse formation--the connections between your neurons which allow you to think, learn new things and form memories.
So, artificially lowering your cholesterol with statins puts you at higher risk for dementia (and a plethora of other side effects).
Lack of exercise
Regular exercise improves blood flow throughout the body, including the brain.
Unfortunately, many people would rather walk through a pit of snakes than exercise. But being sedentary is the worst thing you can do for SO many reasons, including increasing your risk of dementia.
For over 30 years, high levels of aluminum have been observed in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s.
People are exposed to aluminum from various sources including drinking water, pots and pans, foil, beverage cans, antiperspirants, baking powder and flu shots.
Aspartame (Equal and NutraSweet) has been linked to Alzheimer’s as well as a variety of other neurological conditions.
Studies have shown that drinking just one diet soda a day TRIPLES your risk of dementia!
Lack of sleep can negatively impact the brain and accelerate the rate of development of dementia.
How to help prevent your number from coming up!
Now that you’ve seen several possible factors behind the development of dementia, it’s time to do all you can to keep it far away from you.
Here are 6 Sharp Brain Strategies that can help prevent, slow or in some cases even reverse cognitive decline:
Sharp Brain Strategy #1- Omega-3 essential fatty acids
A deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids makes it impossible for your cell membranes to perform their vital functions, and your brain is heavily dependent on the Omega-3 EFA Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Unfortunately, our typical diets are severely deficient in Omega-3 EFAs, so daily supplementation with these nutrients is essential!
VitalMega-3 fish oil formula provides an impressive 1,200 mg of Omega-3s in every daily two-capsule serving, including 600 mg of EPA and 400 mg of DHA--two of the very best Omega-3 EFAs for sharp brain functioning.
Fish oil also naturally helps lower blood pressure, which is a dementia risk factor I mentioned above.
Sharp Brain Strategy #2- Have a healthy diet
Your brain cells are very vulnerable to free radical damage, so the protection of antioxidants is extremely important.
In addition, zinc deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies associated with the development of dementia!
Having a diet that concentrates on nutrient-rich real foods (including lots of fruits and vegetables) is a great way to help get the antioxidants and zinc your brain needs.
Sharp Brain Strategy #3- Regular exercise
Numerous studies have shown that physical exercise helps prevent cognitive impairment and dementia as we age.
In addition, regular exercise helps lower your risk of high blood pressure and diabetes, which are also dementia risk factors.
And exercise helps improve poor sleep, which is yet another factor.
So get your doctor’s OK and get moving! Even brisk walking is helpful.
Sharp Brain Strategy #4- Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is needed for your body to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter which allows the nerves and brain to communicate and can help you maintain clear-thinking abilities.
But getting enough B12 can be tricky, especially if you’re prone to digestive problems, use acid reducers or have had gastric surgery. To ensure you get enough of this vital nutrient, Hydroxaden 2.5 is your ticket.
Hydroxaden 2.5 is an easy-to-use vitamin B12 spray that you spritz under your tongue so it can be absorbed by the mucus membranes in your mouth.
This helps avoid any absorption problems in the GI tract, and the B12 can get where it needs to go—your brain!
Sharp Brain Strategy #5- Eliminate aluminum
Here are ways to eliminate sources of aluminum:
- Drink filtered water—never tap water.
- Use stainless steel or cast-iron cookware.
- Use natural deodorants instead of antiperspirants.
- Use aluminum-free baking powder and unbleached flour in baking.
- Buy beverages in glass bottles instead of cans.
- Rethink flu shots. Having a healthy diet, getting good sleep, reducing stress and getting enough Vitamin D can help your body fight off sickness. Our Optimum DK Formula with FruiteX-B can help ensure your Vitamin D level is where it should be.
- Use parchment paper instead of foil.
Sharp Brain Strategy #6- Avoid acid reducers
If you are prone to heartburn, you can help ease it safely and naturally with Gastro BeCalm Blend.
Gastro BeCalm Blend’s effective formula includes herbs that have been easing digestive distress for centuries!
Do what you need to do to help your brain stay healthy and sharp for a lifetime!
To your health,