Aging Brain Series: A Cause for Hope - Part 1
Dear Longevity Insider,
When you are young, your brain has 100 billion brand-new cells called neurons, and they help your brain hum like a well-oiled machine. But as you get older, things start to change.
Aging is the number one risk factor for chronic disease. Buck Institute asserts that maintaining cognitive function is the key to living better longer.
It is estimated that 45 million of currently living Americans will develop Alzheimer’s disease. One in three people will develop memory problems so severe they may die prematurely. Unfortunately, despite the billions spent every year on drug development, pharmaceutical companies have no drug that can cure severe memory loss at this time.
How the brain ages
A study published in Archives of General Psychiatry concluded that the minor memory lapses we have been told to accept as ‘normal’ age-related memory loss are actually signs of early-stage cognitive decline. Lifestyle factors such as lack of physical activity, excessive consumption of sugar, and stress can even accelerate this decline.
Typically after the age of 40, a certain protein called amyloid beta starts to accumulate in your brain. It forms into plaques that cause inflammation and damage your neurons from the inside. Some researchers have shown that this is a mechanism in the body to protect the brain from the effects of nutrient deficiency, chronic inflammation, and excessive toxin buildup, among other things. Yet there is general agreement that although this is this case, it still contributes to clinical cognitive impairment.
Another consequence of aging in the brain is oxidative stress. Your brain weighs only 2% of your body weight, but it uses 20% of your body’s oxygen, and oxygen is the primary catalyst of oxidation. Your brain also contains high levels of iron and copper, making it extremely vulnerable to oxidative damage. This slowly erodes your memory and makes you lose mental sharpness. Symptoms like forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, and brain fog have all been linked to oxidative stress.
Some say the main cause of oxidative stress is the consumption of refined carbohydrates from processed foods, like white bread, muffins, doughnuts, cakes, and so on. According to a study published in the journal, Behavioral Neuroscience, even otherwise healthy young people who ate lots of refined carbohydrates had impaired memory. Another study looked at folks over 65 and similarly found that the more refined carbohydrates were consumed, the worse their memory was.
An additional contributor to the aging brain is when your brain cells can’t communicate with each other, which threatens the brains of 95% of people over 50. Your memory neurons can’t just work by themselves – they have to be connected to other neurons, and it’s those connections that make your memory work.
One very important chemical your brain needs for these neuronal connections to work is acetylcholine (uh-seet-l-koh-leen). It acts as a communication line between your neurons and you need it to form new memories. If your brain is low on acetylcholine, your neurons can’t talk to each other, which means your memory recall will slow down, you’ll become forgetful, and lose the ability to focus. A study done at King’s College in London found that a lack of acetylcholine leads to severe age-related memory loss.
A cause for hope
Your brain has the ability to grow new neurons, which is a process called neurogenesis. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is one of a group of small protein-like molecules called neurotrophins that are responsible for neurogenesis. NGF acts like a protective bodyguard for all these new brain cells, as well as the ones you already have. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that NGF halts the breakdown and death of your brain cells as you age!
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On Thursday, let's dive into the nutrients that make Puromind so special!
To your longevity,
Anil Bajnath MD
CEO/Founder, Institute for Human Optimization
Chief Medical Officer, Longevity Insider HQ
P.S. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Puromind is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
* Today's content has been provided by the Institute for Human Optimization (www.ifho.org).