Best supplements to prevent dementia

Healthy Planet Blog Your Healthy Brain
January 08, 2012 | 1 Comment

What supplements will help prevent memory loss?

 

Mom died in her 80's but she "left us" when she was in her 70's as her Alzheimer's took over a once incredibly talented and bright mind. It's a horrible thing to watch and the Alzheimer's Association estimates that 4 million people have Alzheimer's disease just in the United States. That's a lot of people and then of course the family members become an important part of that equation first, of course, because of their loss, and secondly because they begin to worry about their own brain health. Which is why I have dedicated a lot of my time doing research on how to maintain a healthy brain and prevent dementia. Dementia is not always Alzheimers. Alzheimer's disease is, however, the most common cause of dementia in older people. If you visit my Facebook page, you will see this picture of me and Mom many years ago. I wonder if we couldn't have been able to help her knowing what we do today about brain health.

 

What is dementia?

As we age, we become more and more aware of some loss of brain function and your doctor will often tell you "you ARE getting older you know", which if you're like me makes you extremely frustrated and you'd like to hit him/her over the head with your chart. But dementia is basically a definite measurable decline in intellectual functioning which can interfere with activities of daily living and family relationships - and, of course, social situations. I still remember one time when my sister and I took Mom to lunch and she had a very difficult time trying to read the menu and order. She was still at the stage where she realized something wasn't right and it broke my heart to see her embarrassed about her inability to do so. I'm sure it was very scary to her as well. Dementia can be caused by Alzheimer's as mentioned, but it is also often caused by strokes which may be a series of strokes or only one that does the damage. A stroke is when the blood supply is blocked to your brain due to a blood clot - the same thing that causes a heart attack, except the clot is supplying blood to the brain rather than the heart. There are other reasons for dementia, but these are the two most common.

What can I do to prevent dementia?

When I was in nursing school, it was believed that brain cells could not be regenerated and once you lost them, they were gone forever. Research has shown this is not true and brain cells can be regenerated - good news for all of us! Researchers at Princeton University discovered that the formation of new nerve cells, a process called neurogenesis disproves that out-dated belief. I don't know about you, but when I first heard that, I was very, very relieved as the potential for developing Alzheimer's can be hereditary.

So now that we KNOW we can actually do something about those dying brain cells, shouldn't we be doing everything we can to make that happen? You will find past articles in our blog (see here) concerning brain health and we will be constantly informing you of new research as well as ways to increase your brain function.

The latest research that is interesting and reveals to us an easy fix is as simple as supplementing our diets with vitamin B12 and Folic Acid. This study showed that when people between the ages of 60 to 74 were given daily amounts of vitamin B-12 and Folic Acid, there was significant improvement in short and long-term memory. The improvement was documented after 2 years of supplementation, but why wait until you're 60 to start! In this study patients were given daily doses of Folic Acid (800 mcg), vitamin B-12 (500 mcg), and vitamin B-6 (20 mg).(1)

Cognitive benefits were also seen in a study that used smaller daily doses of just two of these vitamins: folic acid (400 mcg) and B-12 (100 mcg).This particular study showed that long-term supplementation of these vitamins at these dosages did "promote improvement in cognitive functioning after 24 months."

And yet another study showed additional nutrients that were effective for enhanced brain cognition. This study done with an elderly population (mean age of 87) showed that when blood levels were examined for each participant, those with higher levels of vitamins B (B1, B2, B6, folate, and B12), C, D, and E, as well as high in "marine" Omega 3 fatty acids, closely correlated with better brain functioning and increased brain volume. However, this study also showed that those participants with higher levels of trans fats (can you say hydrogenated oils?) had a lower cognitive function and lower brain volume. (3)

This should be enough to convince you to throw out those tubs of margarine and stop buying so many boxes of processed foods! What this also shows I believe is that it is obvious that what we eat or don't eat has a direct and measurable affect on the health of our brain and our future. I can't think of a better reason to change to a healthier diet. There is a lot of debate that taking supplements just produces expensive urine. I think these studies prove them wrong.

Thanks for listening!

 

(1) Celeste, A, Oulhaj, A., Jacoby, R., Refsum, H., & Smith, A. D. (21 July 2011, 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3182436598). Cognitive and clinical outcomes of homocysteine-lowering B-vitamin treatment in mild cognitive impairment: A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

(2) Walker, Janine, et al. (2012, January). Oral folic acid and vitamin B-12 supplementation to prevent cognitive decline in community-dwelling older adults with depressive symptoms—the Beyond Ageing Project: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 95.1 (2012): 194-203.

(3)Bowman, G. L. e., Silbert, L.C., Howieson, D. (Published online before print December 28, 2011,). Nutrient biomarker patterns, cognitive function, and MRI measures of brain aging. Neurology.

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Coincidentally, I’ve been trying to get on a better anti-depression regime. At my last M.D. visit, he prescribed Deplin — an Rx form of the end product of folic acid, L-methylfolate. It’s in high doses, compared to what one can buy over the counter (7.5 or 15 mg. compared to 400 mcg. in OTC drugs). Apparently a large percentage of the population (70% of those treated for depression) have a faulty form of the gene that enables folic acid or folate to be metabolized to this end stage, which is the only point at which it can cross the blood/brain barrier. Expensive, but Deplin web site has a mail order source where it can be gotten for half the retail price quoted by Walgreens.

It all comes together for me, starting with making sure pregnant women get enough folate/folic acid to prevent neural tube defects in babies, to it having a a major role in regulating the neurotransmitters in depression and helping with concentration, fatigue etc., which comes around to its role in preventing, delaying, or lessening the severity of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Will let you know how it works — am dealing with how to afford, can I get insurance to cover, can I get insurance to accept that mail order source, etc. In the meantime, I just bought a bottle of 250 400 mcg tablets of folic acid for $4 and figure I’ll take 10-15 a day. About a month’s supply — compared to nearly $100 locally for 30 7.5 mg tablets of Deplin.

Posted by Brenda on January 28, 2012

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Turmeric fights Alzheimer's! 

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Eat shrimp? Not if it's imported!

 

1.  Dirtiest of the Seafood's Dirty Dozen list.
2.  Common contaminants include antibiotics, cleaning chemicals used in farmed shrimp pens, as well as residues of toxic pesticides banned in the USA - and pieces of insects.
3.  Less than 2% of ALL imported seafood is inspected.
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METAL IN YOUR OATMEAL?

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“When health is absent, wisdom cannot reveal itself, art cannot manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless, and intelligence cannot be applied.” ― Herophilus 

Meatless Mondays? 

 

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Fertility concerns? A recent paper (August 2012) published in Biology of Reproduction's Papers-in-Press reveals that eating 75 grams of walnuts a day improves the vitality, motility, and morphology of sperm in healthy men aged 21 to 35. Read more here. 

Need a brain boost - eat protein:

Did you know that eating between 4 and 5 ounces of protein helps your brain create dopamine and norepinephrine, neurochemicals that keep you alert, says Judith Wurtman, Ph.D., author of The Serotonin Power Diet. Dopamine also increases your motivation to accomplish tasks.



Tornado's in 2012?

"The Weather Underground's Dr. Jeff Masters speculates the last two years may have been the most severe in America's history, dating back to 1816. Something has changed. It may be a temporary aberration, but an apparent eastward shift in Tornado Alley may threaten millions of Americans who still believe a tornado is something only experienced in Kansas. But Chicago, Nashville, Atlanta and Washington D.C.?" - much more very important information at the link provided. 

 

Does it seem like mercury is everywhere?

As per Dr. Isaac Eliaz - "Most vaccines contain ethyl mercury, in the form of Thimerosal—that includes everything from the flu vaccine to the vaccines given to millions of infants. Thimerosal has been used worldwide since the 1930s as a preservative in vaccines, cosmetics, eye drops, contact lens solutions and tattoo ink. Because of its mercury content, Thimerosal is known to have neurotoxin properties and in the case of vaccines, it has been linked to autism. It has been removed from pet vaccines and contact lens solutions, but still is used as a preservative in vaccines for children. This year, mercury-free flu vaccines are available, but you have to ask." Our note: Hospitals continue to use "antibacterial soaps" that contain Thimerosal - nurses and doctors wash their hands hundreds of times each day. 

Read more here.


Nuts can help you lose weight!

 

Nuts do contain fat, "BUT the surprising truth is that nuts are one of the best foods for weight loss, according to Harvard researchers. 'Nuts are loaded with protein and fiber, which can help you feel full for longer,' explains Richter. One study in the journal Obesity found that people who ate nuts at least twice a week were less likely to put on pounds over the long run than those who didn't." The fat in nuts is the heart-healthy unsaturated kind.  Keep it to one ounce - 23 almonds, 14 walnut halves, and 49 pistachios." - according to Prevention.com.


Protein to preserve lean body mass: 

Did you know that when researchers at Purdue University asked 46 dieting women to eat either 30% or 18% of their calories from protein, the high-protein eaters felt more satisfied and less hungry. Plus, over the course of 12 weeks, the women preserved more lean body mass, which includes calorie-burning muscle. Read more here:

protein to prevent overeating

Use maple syrup instead of sugar: 

"According to Rodale. com - "In 2011, a pharmacist from the University of Rhode Island discovered 54 previously unknown compounds in maple syrup from Canada, many of which were anti-inflammatory (which protects your heart) and exhibited cancer-fighting antioxidant properties. Ironically, two of the antioxidants they found were later discovered to fight enzymes that lead to type 2 diabetes." Be sure to choose grade B and 100% maple syrup, not just "flavored" maple syrup - BIG difference. 

Blackstrap Molasses - more iron than red meat!

According to Rodale.com - "Blackstrap molasses is rich in iron, potassium, and calcium, making it a healthier choice than nutritionally defunct artificial sweeteners or even regular refined sugar. In fact, one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses provides more iron—but fewer calories and fat—than a three-ounce serving of red meat."

Number one killer in the USA?

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Did you know that the organic industry is growing rapidly in spite of a poor economy. Research shows this to be true not just in produce, but also in the purchase of organic beef, eggs, milk and "even hair care categories".  Surprisingly, it is the age group under age 40 who were more likely to choose organic regardless of their income. Click on the picture below to follow the link to find out more.

 

HOW TO GET RID OF DUST MITES:

Do you have dust mites? They're way too small to be seen by the human eye. Did you know that a university study showed these results?: "This study suggests the use of the essential oils and their major constituents as ecofriendly biodegradable agents for the control of house dust mite, D. pteronyssinus." Check out our Cassia, Cinnamon Bark and Citronella essential oils which contain some of the constituents used in the study, and our Cinnamon Orange Spice air freshener. Click HERE to view the study.

Kale - is it better than beef?

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Did you know one of the best ways to ward off cold and flu germs is just getting a massage? According to a study published in The Journal of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, a good massage doesn't just feel good, it is good for your immune system too. Add to that the very antibacterial and antiviral properties of essential oils and you should have double protection. 

Castor Oil has been given a bad rap since I was a kid. But did you know that it has been found to be effective on age spots or spots referred to as "liver" spots. As easy as applying it undiluted to the particular area or spots at least three times a day for about three months. Check out our organic oils section to see our certified organic castor oil.

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Did you know? Dieters who ate eggs for breakfast lost 65% more weight than those who ate a bagel with the same number of calories according to the International Journal of Obesity. What you eat is not as simple as calories in and calories out that we've been taught for the past 50 years. Read more here! adults who eat eggs lose 65% more weight

Do what you can to prevent cancer:  

Scientists estimate that about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented by eating a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight. NOTE: Tobacco use is a separate risk factor that is itself responsible for one-third of all cancer deaths. - from American Institute for Cancer Research. Check out their website for lots of sensible and easy ways to prevent cancer and tips on what to give out for Halloween. Click here to see more info from AICR.

 "Bad" Estrogen is Problematic for Guys, Too 

The same estrogen metabolite, 2-hydroxyestrone, known to increase the risk of breast cancer, has been shown to also increase the risk of prostate cancer in men. Research has shown that both men and women can balance the estrogen metabolites toward a healthier direction by increasing intake of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussell sprouts for example).

Jeff Bland, PhD, at Institute for Functional Medicine's 20th International Symposium, Bellevue, WA. Read more about eating well to prevent cancer in our blog.


Saponification - what is it?

 

"Saponification, a chemical reaction used to create soap for millennia, literally means "soap making" in Latin. When water reacts with the fats and oils, a reaction called hydrolysis, the result is glycerol and soap." - Discovery News

FOODS THAT FIGHT CANCER!foods that fight cancer 

Some laboratory research has found that the carotenoids in dark green leafy vegetables can inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung cancer and stomach cancer.Check out details on AICR's website and while you're there take a look at what they are doing in the area of cancer research.

Are you worried about MRSA?
bottle of eucalyptus globulus

If you're not, you probably should be at least aware of it. Essential oils are powerful and have been proven to kill MRSA. "Eucalyptus globulus (at 2 per cent dilution) will kill 70% of ambient Staphylococcus aureus. Duke writes that in Cuba, essential oil of Eucalyptus globulus is used to treat all lung ailments." - Jane Buckle, Clinical Aromatherapy in Nursing. Take a look at what we've written about more information on the different varieties of Eucalyptus.

 GMO food products - another reason why not?

 

Quoted in "AlterNet" is a study done by Dr. Arpad Pusztai who was working on a $3 million grant from the U.K. gov. to test for the safety of GMOs. He found instead that GMO's are "inherently unsafe."  Within 10 days, his supposedly harmless GMO potatoes caused massive damage to rats—smaller brains, livers and testicles, partial atrophy of the liver, damaged immune system, etc. Read more here.



 Essential oils for sinus congestion?

"Charron (1997) carried out an exploratory study of 40 patients with bronchial and sinus congestion. Patients inhaled two drops of Spike Lavender (Lavendula latifolia), floating in a bowl of hot water. All patients cleared their mucus immediately with results lasting from 20 minutes to two hours. Some patients who had been on yearly repeat antibiotics no longer needed them." -- Clinical Aromatherapy, Jane Buckle, 2003

 Cell phones - what are you risking?

Using a cell phone continuously for 50 min or more produces significant changes in brain glucose metabolism, according to a study recently published in JAMA. Studies in Turkey, US, Australia and Greece all showed that men who carry phones in their front pants pockets had reduced sperm counts; 5 breast cancer cases in young women have been traced to carrying phones inside bras.Is it worth it? Pass it on.

Organic milk is healthier!

A new study in the Journal of Dairy Science confirms once again that organic milk is healthier than non-organic milk, containing more beneficial omega-3 fats and conjugated linoleic acid. Researchers at Newcastle University studied 22 different milk brands over different years and found omega-3 levels averaged 60 percent higher in organic milk and CLA levels 30 percent higher. They said the differences are due to the grass-centered diet of organic cows. (Dairy Reporter)

 Is there an "organic" label on that fish you bought?

Did you know? The percentage of 95% of ingredients must be organically produced in order for a food product to be labeled "organic." The one exception to this is seafood - the USDA does NOT have standards for fish products, so an organic label on these foods means nothing. Check out Greenpeace for a list of toxin-laded fish and sustainable fish.

 What do aniseed oil and fishermen have in common?

Anise oil  or otherwise called Aniseed Oil has been used by fisherman since history was written and tales were told. You can use a couple drops on your fingertips before adding your bait or use this recipe here. You can also check out our already made Hunters and Fishermen's products that use aniseed oil.


 Jasmine instead of Valium?

Well, yes, according to a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. Injected and inhaled jasmine caused a definite change in behavior by relieving anxiety and promoting sleep. The study showed that the Jasmine worked just as well as traditional sedatives but with fewer side effects. To quote:  "Applications in sedation, anxiety, excitement and aggression relieving treatment and sleep induction therapy are all imaginable. The results can also be seen as evidence of a scientific basis for aromatherapy."

 Lean and green, from the inside out!

"Today's fashion is driven by the look of natural beauty and lighter cosmetics. The healthier our body becomes, the more we obtain clear skin, shiny hair, strong nails, bright eyes, and more energy.  Our skin is our largest organ, and its health reflects the purity of our body on the inside. Eating healthy raw foods will give you the shine of glowing skin and the radiance of overall vitality and natural beauty." - Ani Phyo

Concerned about GMO products?

 

Look at produce stickers. The PLU code on stickers for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers, organically grown fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number nine, and GM fruit has five numbers prefaced by the number eight.

 Calcium from milk is NOT your best answer for osteoporosis!

milk on the shelf

Did you know that fracture rates are significantly higher for those that drink 3 or more cups of milk daily? (Harvard Nurses Study).  190,000 men & women were evaluated over an 18 year period.Studies concluded, “Neither milk nor a high-calcium diet reduces osteoporosis.”Consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, especially high-calcium leafy greens such as spinach, kale, Swiss chard and broccoli. Leafy green vegetables such as kale and spinach contain higher calcium values than milk. One cup of kale has 350mg of calcium!

Quality essential oil production: 

Production of essential oils is a risky business - just as any farming endeavor - the distillers depend on Mother Nature along with their own ethical and knowledgeable practices. Did you know that even just the time of the year and/or the time of day the plant is actually harvested can be crucial according to Sue Clarke, "Essential Chemistry for Aromatherapy".  Just to give you two examples: Jasmine should be picked in the evening, rose in the morning before the dew dries off. That's why we search very diligently to find suppliers for our essential oils.

Vitamin D3 is not vegan!

Did you know that Vitamin D3, the more easily absorbed and recommended form of vitamin D supplementation, is usually derived from lanolin, the oil in sheep's wool. Vegans should opt first for sunshine and then for the D2 form.

Cancer prevention and raw food!

 

"More than 200 studies show that raw vegetables have the most powerful potential to protect against cancer." - Dr. Fuhrman

Vitamin D and hunger pains.

 

Did you know that when your vitamin D levels are low you will "feel" hungry all the time? Why is that? According to studies, when our vitamin D levels are low this interferes with Leptin in the blood that tells your brain you should be full. Did you know 2/3's of the American population have low levels of vitamin D? Optimize your nutrients and you will optimize your body according to Dr. Amen.


Are you in your 30's? Are you overweight?

"When someone is overweight during their thirties, they face a 60% increased risk for developing pancreatic cancer.  Obesity at that age increases the risk of pancreatic cancer by 200% to 300%."

 GMO's - what are we doing to our great-grandchildren?!

The third generation of hamsters fed genetically engineered soy suffered slower growth, a high mortality rate, and a bizarre birth defect: fur growing in their mouths. Many also lost the ability to have pups. Check out this slide show of "Top 10 Reasons to Label Genetically Engineered Foods."  If it's not organic and has been processed, the food most likely contains GMO ingredients.