If you are over the age of fifty years, you may have started to notice some change in memory functioning. The medical community once felt that memory impairments were a ‘natural’ part of aging, but new clinical studies support the idea that brain age is cognitive impairment are more strongly linked to two age related factors; decreased nutrition, and lower levels of antioxidants in the body.
This article by the Harvard Medical School, suggests that the effects of cognitive decline and dementia, can be reduced by maintaining healthy habits as we age. What helps to protect brain functioning as we age? A healthy diet, physical activity, eliminating tobacco use, and limiting alcohol consumption to one drink or less per day. Findings also reveal that a diet that is low in saturated and trans facts, but high in whole grains and healthy fats help to reduce or delay age related cognitive impairment.
Can a strategic alteration of lifestyle and dietary habits, help all of us to age while protecting our memory and cognitive processes? We’ll take a look at some clinical studies that support the idea that we can all work to reduce and delay some of the impact of memory impairment as we age, by prioritizing healthy habits on a daily basis.
Is There a Link Between Alzheimer’s Disease and Oxidative Stress and Damage?
Free radicals are produced as part of the respiratory process, or absorbed through metabolic functioning, from the food we eat, the fluids we drink, and toxic compounds in the environment around us. In the brain however, free radicals create damage to healthy brain cells, by robbing cells of electrons (oxidative damage).
The body produces natural antioxidants, that attach themselves to free radicals and essentially remove them. Some antioxidants like glutathione, are rapidly recycled, meaning that they return to duty after they have successfully removed a free radical. They are recycled in the liver, and deployed to find other cells damaged by free radicals.
When your body is unable to balance a building volume of free radicals, or when it is impaired from producing sufficient amounts of glutathione, the danger begins, and real oxidative damage can start to occur in the brain. In degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s, some clinical research has demonstrated that increased antioxidant nutrients provided a slowing of the progression of neurological decline. Read more about clinical studies that link increased glutathione with improved symptoms for individuals with Parkinson’s Disease.
Other diseases are also known to worsen the impact of cognitive performance, for adults over the age of sixty years. Individuals with Type II diabetes have been studied, linking unregulated glucose control to brain damage over time. In a Harvard’s Nurses’ Health Study, women aged 70 through 81 years performed poorly on cognitive tests and showed more deterioration of brain processes, if they had Type II diabetes. The impairment was lessoned for women in the studies, who exercised regularly and successfully controlled their glucose, with physician supervision and prescription medications.
High blood pressure, or hypertension, has been understood as a leading cause of memory lapses and dementia in both men and women. In 2009, a study was published in the clinical ‘Neurology’ journal, that suggested memory problems increased by 7% for each 10-point increase in diastolic blood pressure. The study noted that the impact of high-blood pressure on cognitive impairment, was greater for women than men.
Unregulated high-cholesterol, decreases blood flow to the brain, which also strongly correlates unresolved cholesterol with memory loss and age related cognitive decline. Other health conditions like sleep apnea, hyper or hypo thyroid dysfunction, and depression are all causally linked to memory loss.
What Memory Impairment Tells Us About Aging in the Brain and Free Radicals
Imagine that every cell of your body, is fighting a daily battle against free radicals. From fried and processed foods and preservatives, to environmental pollutants, some types of prescription medications and air pollutants, free radicals begin to damage healthy cells, organs and brain tissue with a cumulative impact over time.
Antioxidants are free range, free radical scavengers, that have two functions; they strengthen cells to make them more resistant to damage, or antioxidants donate an electron to the free radical, to stop the oxidation of other vital cell components. Once paired with an antioxidant, a free radical becomes non-toxic to the cells. Free radicals are essential to cellular health, but lifestyle and dietary factors impact our ability to produce enough of them, and the problem gets worse as we age.
That’s why investigating all sources that promote increased free radicals is important. A healthy diet, lifestyle changes, activity and high-quality nutritional support that gives your body the building blocks to restore latent production of glutathione matter. Dr. Robert Keller (our founder), called glutathione a ‘fountain of youth’ for the antioxidants ability to help reduce cellular oxidation, and the correlation between high antioxidant functioning, and healthy aging.
Learn more about Dr. Keller’s Original Glutathione Formula™, a daily multivitamin that provides the essential nutritional building blocks your body needs to produce more antioxidants. It is never too early to get on track, and do everything you can to support healthy aging, and protect your memory and cognitive functioning. Eat well, take the right supplements, keep active socially and physically, and consult with your physician about other ways you can help your body (and brain) age healthfully. Learn about the link between antioxidants and osteoarthritis.