Archive for March, 2016
Numerous studies prove that almost any kind of regular exercise helps protect your intellectual capacity as you get older.
But researchers recently set out to investigate which type of exercise is best at supporting your brain’s ability to make and keep memories. Let’s take a look at what they found…
4 Deadly Mistakes that
Kill Brain Cells and Wipe Out Your Memory
Every day, you’re probably doing four things that shrink your brain— literally! These common, avoidable mistakes kill brain cells. They cause you to lose not only your memory but also your ability to think fast and make decisions.
I know you’re probably making these four brain-killing mistakes because almost EVERYBODY makes them. And it’s easy to know you’re making these four mistakes because your body tells you.
Don’t wait till things get really bad and you can’t remember the names and faces of those you love—or even how to eat or go to the bathroom! Yes, that’s what happens when you have dementia. It’s tragic AND it’s avoidable!
If you take action when you first experience these symptoms, you can help avoid the risk of brain decay, age-related memory loss, foggy thinking and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Instead, you can hold on to your foolproof memory and “wow” your friends and family with your mental fitness for years to come.
This is all explained in the first chapter of our new Special Report, How to Save Your Brain—you can read it for FREE if you click here.
They focused their work on how physical activity influences the function of the part of the brain called the hippocampus. This section of the brain is crucial to navigating daily life. Scientists believe the hippocampus is the seat of much of your memory. When the hippocampus falters, your memory goes on the blink.
So it’s no surprise that this section of the brain shrinks considerably when you suffer a condition like Alzheimer’s disease. As a matter of fact, as Alzheimer’s develops, the hippocampus starts shrinking even before your memory starts to spring a leak.
Research at the University of Pennsylvania shows that the hippocampus plays a central role in helping you perform what is called “recognition memory” – recalling the events in your life and bringing to mind the people, places and things with which you are (or should be) familiar.1
In examinations of people who were undergoing intercranial monitoring of their hippocampus (recording of the electrical activity in the brain), the researchers found that the firing of neurons in the hippocampus increases greatly during memorization exercises.
The study showed that the activity of the hippocampal neurons spikes when your memory does well, but dips when it slips.
But wasn’t this article supposed to be about exercise? Yes, I’m getting to that…
How to Regnerate Neurons
Because of the important role of the hippocampus, last year researchers in Finland designed lab tests to measure the effects of various types of exercise on the neurons in this part of the brain. Their investigations were designed to compare the effects of prolonged aerobic exercises (like jogging) with high-intensity interval training (sprinting alternating with rest periods) and intense anaerobic resistance training (weight lifting).
In these investigations, scientists as the University of Jyväskylä, compared brain changes in response to the exercises in a range of lab animals.
Their findings show that you get the biggest hippocampal benefit – as reflected in the growth of new hippocampal neurons – from aerobic exercises like long distance running.2
They also found a similar, but much reduced, result in animals that took part in high-intensity interval workouts. However, weight-lifting did not lead to the production of new neurons.
According to the researchers this is a crucial advantage for aerobic exercise. The regenerated neurons in the hippocampus are vital for retaining the ability to acquire complex information. The scientists believe that by supporting this process of neurogenesis you can improve your learning abilities and create a reserve of neurons that may potentially protect you against hippocampus shrinkage.
This is Your Brain While You’re Running
If you start a running program that helps you keep your weight down, research shows that losing pounds may also keep you from losing brain cells.
A study at the University of Cambridge in England demonstrates that people who are overweight may have a less efficient “episodic memory” – the ability to remember past events.3
They point out that other studies have shown that carrying around extra weight leads to damaging shifts in the function and structure of the hippocampus.
Which all leads to one conclusion: Shedding pounds with aerobic exercise may be one of your best bets for keeping your memory from shedding neurons.
The emerging science – over 50 studies so far – suggests that tart cherries can rightly be called a ‘superfruit.’ The list of health benefits you can get from eating them gets longer every year.
They have been shown to relieve the pain of gout and arthritis, lower the risk of heart disease, help in the prevention and control of type 2 diabetes, bestow a better night’s sleep and reduce muscle soreness after exercise. They may even reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Now a new study shows this fruit improves memory and cognition in adults who suffer from mild or moderate dementia. Keep reading for the full scoop. . .
Special Message from Lee Euler
Attention Pain Sufferers:
Are You Missing
This Little-Known Nutrient?
A recently discovered plant compound, first discovered by Native Americans, can quiet pain anywhere in your body, from head to toe.
If you or a loved one suffers from daily, long-term, chronic pain – the kind of pain that’s so bad you seldom experience a day – or a night – that’s pain-free, then you need to know about this important new discovery that can change your life.
In clinical studies, it lowered CRP (a blood test that measures your levels of inflammation) by 23 percent. It neutralizes COX-2 and IL-6 enzymes that cause inflammation.
Click here and see how this discovery can help you take a giant step towards wiping out chronic pain and inflammation – and reduce swelling and stiffness for good.
A Source of Anti-Inflammatory Anthocyanins
Tart cherries owe their health benefits to a rich combination of natural plant compounds such as anthocyanins, flavanols and antioxidants.
Anthocyanins in particular possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and can cross the blood-brain barrier to improve learning and memory and hold back age-related mental decline. Anthocyanins are the reason for cherries’ distinctive red color.
Researchers have singled out tart cherries for their high concentrations of anthocyanins 1 and 2. These particular types can block COX-1 and COX-2 inflammatory compounds. Some pain medications like aspirin and ibuprofen work in much the same way. In clinical tests, tart cherry performed about as well as these pain-killing OTC drugs, without the dangerous side effects such as gastrointestinal upset.
Because inflammation plays such a huge role in dementia, the anthocyanins in tart cherries amount to a nutritional treasure chest.
Blueberries, which are often touted as antioxidant superfruits, do not contain anthocyanins 1 and 2. Nor do bilberries, cranberries or elderberries. However, these berries are rich in other anthocyanins.
Aronia berries (chokeberries) contain far more antioxidants and five times the amount of anthocyanins per serving than cherries which is why it’s important to eat a broad range of fruits to make sure you don’t miss out on any important health-promoting compounds.
You won’t find aronia berries in a grocery store (they also don’t taste very good). That’s why our sister company, Green Valley Natural Solutions, created an aronia berry extract called Antho-Soothe. It contains a very high level of anthocyanins in a convenient capsule.
Protects the Brain from Oxidative Stress
The brain is particularly vulnerable to the cell-damaging effects of oxidative stress because it consumes a fifth of the body’s oxygen intake. The harm generated by oxidation (free radical damage) increases the risk of memory loss and dementia.
Many studies now confirm that the high levels of phytonutrients in cherries protect brain neurons from oxidative damage. While sweet cherries are also beneficial, only the tart cherries variety with its richer content of phytonutrients has been shown to have “strong antineurodegenerative activity”.
Tart cherries are also called “pie cherries”. It’s surprising, but the sweet cherries sold in stores are not the preferred type for pastries. As a child, I liked to eat tart cherries right off the tree, but most people don’t see them as a snack – unless they’re baked into a pie.
Improves Memory & Protects Against Alzheimer’s
Michigan produces three-quarters of the tart cherry crop in the United States, so it’s not surprising that neuroscientists led by Gary Dunbar at Central Michigan University decided to test tart cherry extracts on a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.
They found that the mice taking the extracts (in combination with fish and emu oils) performed better on memory tests than those that didn’t take the supplement. Brain autopsy showed a protective effect against inflammation and loss of neurons.
Dunbar said, “The major thing that we found out is that it has a real effect.”
In the most recent study from Australia, conducted over a 12 week period, 49 men and women over 70 with mild-to-moderate dementia drank either 200ml (6¾ fluid ounces) a day of an anthocyanin-rich cherry juice or a control juice that had only a negligible amount of anthocyanins.
Only in the cherry group did the researchers find improvements in verbal fluency, and both short and long-term memory. As a bonus, there was a significant reduction in blood pressure.
Tart cherries – the most common variety grown in the US is called Montmorency – can be consumed all year round because they are available dried, frozen, in juice or in concentrate.
What if boosting your brain was as simple as kicking up your feet and enjoying a soothing activity that you’ve been doing since kindergarten — but may now consider a “guilty pleasure?”
New neuroscience reveals this one leisure activity can boost long-term cognition, improve memory, and reduce cognitive decline.
And you can do it from your favorite chair, morning, noon or night.
For over 60 years, heart health experts have been warning us to eat less red meat.
But now a new discovery has turned that old advice upside down…
The latest research shows red meat contains AN ESSENTIAL NUTRIENT for
keeping your mind and memory sharp…
For years, people’s consumption of red meat has gone down, down, down…and their brain and memory health has plunged at the same time. It’s no coincidence.
Click here to discover the little-known link
between red meat and today’s epidemic of memory
brain fog and other forms of mind impairment…
If you like to read, you know how it feels to get lost in a good story…
The outside world drops away as your imagination fires up.
You can practically feel your feet in the character’s shoes … and you experience the same unbridled joy or gut-wrenching pain as you walk their path with them.
I realize a great many people seldom read a book. If you’re one of them, all I can say is, “You don’t know what you’re missing.” And that goes double, because this activity also helps ward off cognitive decline.
Here’s What Scientists have Found
Scientists at Emory University in Atlanta, GA have been digging deep into the neuroscience of reading, and how your brain functions when you’re enveloped in a page-turning thriller or romance novel.
Their research reveals that reading narrative stories exercises your brain in a unique combination of areas, with significantly increased neural connectivity in just nine days.
To clarify, “narrative” means a story told in either first, second or third person that involves a protagonist, or main character.
It can be any genre of novel, short stories or creative nonfiction, but the category does not include reports or essays.
Stories Stimulate the Brain in Unique Ways
Using functional MRI, the Emory researchers first established the participants’ normal, resting brain activity for five days.
For the next nine days, participants read 1/9th (approximately 34 pages) of Robert Harris’s 2003 novel Pompeii, which was chosen for its strong narrative and compelling plot.
The researchers measured the resting-state brain activity right after reading and the morning after reading.
Immediately after, the participants showed “shadow activity,” the brain’s version of muscle memory — as though it was still processing or recovering from the “workout.”
But even more significant were the morning-after results.
The researchers discovered significant increases in connectivity in the left angular, supramarginal, and right posterior gyri each morning after they read.
The gyri are part of the folds and ridges that make up the surface of the brain. These gyri just mentioned are associated with language processing, spatial cognition, memory retrieval and empathy.1
The supramarginal gyri is also part of the mirror neuron system, which allows us to imitate social behaviors and “read” other people’s emotions. It’s also what causes us to smile when others smile, or yawn when we see another person yawn.
Mirror neurons are so important to our functioning as human beings they’ve been called “the neurons that shaped our civilization.” 2
And it appears you can strengthen them—and your memory—just by losing yourself in an engaging story.
It’s interesting to note that the highest connectivity was measured at the end of the novel, during the climax (the volcano erupting) and final scenes (Pompeii being destroyed). It’s unclear whether the neural network growth was time dependent —in other words, if the effect was cumulative, considering the subjects had been reading for nine days in a row — or if it was dependent on how exciting the book was.
However, the researchers did note that certain positive effects “washed out” after just a few days of not reading.
That’s not all they discovered.
Your Brain Feels Like It’s Really Happening
The Emory lab also observed long-term heightened connectivity in the somatosensory cortex (the outermost layer of the brain, in the same place you’d wear a headband.) This region is responsible for processing sensory information, navigation and spatial sense.
This indicates—amazingly—that even though the participants were simply reading … their brains were stimulated as though they were physically encountering the experience in the story.
A study from the journal Psychological Science also reported that your brain takes information from previous real-life situations similar to those being described in the story and activates the same neurons associated with those feelings or actions.3
For example, when a protagonist pulls the cord to an attic door, the neurons associated with controlling grasping motions are activated.
When a character moves through a doorway, your spatial sense neurons get to work. If the character is running, the area of your brain associated with running actually lights up.
To your brain, reading about someone doing something and doing it yourself are, on a biological level, much the same thing. This phenomenon helps you “exercise” specific parts of your brain, form new neural connections, and fight cognitive decline.
So, if curling up with your favorite book on a rainy afternoon has become a guilty pleasure — give yourself permission to enjoy! It’s now an important part of your brain-boosting regimen. If you haven’t been in the habit, consider starting.
Now, where’s my Go Away, I’m Reading mug? I’ve got to find out what happens in the end of this book…
Stop Worrying or You’ll Lose Your Mind
At one time or another you’ve probably said, “I was so worried I thought I was going to lose my mind” – or words to that effect.
It turns out those words may be all too true, because chronic anxiety speeds up cognitive decline. Keep reading for the full story…
Cancer is finally in the crosshairs?
One out of every two Americans will develop cancer in their lifetime.
But now a breakthrough can vanquish your concerns about cancer.
By showing it can target 7 different forms of cancer (and counting) in the lab, its power is all-encompassing. Researchers are calling its potential “unprecedented” with up to 99% prevention power witnessed in animal studies. And because it’s affordable and plentiful—Big Pharma is going to race to rip off the shelves. But you can hear about the details now. You can put your mind to rest knowing a cancer-targeting ally is working in your body, night and day.
Discover this time-tested, scientifically-verified secret to finally putting cancer in the crosshairs. Click here
While psychological problems including depression have been linked to an increased risk of dementia, research on anxiety has only been published in the last twelve months. I guess it’s no surprise they discovered that constantly being anxious is a drain on your brain power.
The More You Worry,
The More You Damage Your Memory
The first study looked at patients already diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), the occasional memory loss which affects up to one in five people over the age of 65.
This condition is characterized by thinking and memory changes that are noticeable by the patients or people they associate with, but these changes don’t disrupt everyday life.
Doctors assessed 376 such patients aged between 55 and 91 every six months for three years. The participants received brain scans, cognitive tests, and were questioned about levels of anxiety and depression.
The research team found that anxiety by itself speeded up the rate of cognitive decline. Those with mild anxiety saw a one third (33%) increase in Alzheimer’s risk. This rose to over three quarters (78%) for those with moderate anxiety. Patients with severe anxiety incurred a whopping 135% increased risk of Alzheimer’s.
The researchers also discovered that those who suffered anxiety at any time during the study period experienced greater levels of brain shrinkage in regions that are critical for hanging on to memories.
Anxious People 1½ Times
More Likely to Develop Dementia
In the second study, published in November 2015, 1,082 Swedish twins — who did not have dementia at the start of the study — received regular anxiety and dementia assessments over a period of 28 years.
The researchers found that symptoms of anxiety were associated with an increased risk of dementia. Those who experienced high levels of anxiety at any time during the study period had a 48% increased risk compared to those that had low levels. This anxiety-dementia association was independent of the role of depression.
According to lead researcher Andrew Petkus from the Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, “Anxiety, especially in older adults, has been relatively understudied compared to depression. Depression seems more evident in adulthood, but it’s usually episodic. Anxiety though, tends to be a chronic lifelong problem, and that’s why people tend to write off anxiety as part of someone’s personality.”
Dr. Linda Mah, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto, who led the earlier study, said that people with memory problems should be routinely screened for anxiety. For the most part, this is not happening. Memory clinics only screen for depression.
What Can You Do?
Since there is no evidence that treating anxiety with drugs would be of value, Dr. Mah said “at the very least, behavioral stress management programs could be recommended.”
“In particular, there has been research on the use of mindfulness-based stress reduction in treating anxiety and other psychiatric problems in Alzheimer’s, and this is showing promise.”
In other words, take up meditation, prayer, yoga, Tai Chi and similar practices that are known to reduce anxiety.
I can attest that these relaxation and centering techniques DO work and you should absolutely make time in your day – every day – to put at least one or two of them into practice.
About 20 years ago there was a best-selling book called “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. . .and It’s All Small Stuff.” Good advice. Remember the problems you were upset about ten years ago; does any of it matter now?
Some things are so big we’re going to worry about them – a loved one’s serious illness, for example. Or an unhappy marriage or a dissatisfying job. Do what you can to fix things, and learn to let go of the things you can’t.
They’re not worth permanently damaging your mind.
The brain depends on a steady supply of nutrients to perform at its best. Otherwise, your cognitive ship will sink in the storms of old age.
Now, new research shows you need four specific nutrients to protect your brain against a molecule that can do a great deal of harm. . .
[Yes or No] Are You Eating
THIS Secretly Fattening Ingredient?
There is a dangerous ingredient that’s lurking in your food.
It travels straight to your liver, which turns this tasty ingredient right to FAT.
How does that happen?
It doesn’t cause the pancreas to produce insulin so, our bodies are “tricked” into eating food that gets immediately stored as body fat and never feeling full.
What’s even worse?
THIS “science created” ingredient is associated with blood sugar problems, ADD/ADHD,
depression, fatigue, indigestion, and most importantly… WEIGHT GAIN.
Couldn’t you just avoid it?
Unfortunately it’s not that easy.
What you don’t realize is that IT is added to many foods that never had sugar, like peanut butter, bread, yogurt and juices, making it difficult to avoid completely.
There’s another step you have to take first…
P.S. What’s this mysterious ingredient? It’s called High Fructose Corn Syrup. And in my professional opinion, is a major factor in the obesity epidemic around the world. Here is what to do…<==
At the center of the new finding is a substance called homocysteine, a damaging protein produced by your own body. When homocysteine accumulates at high levels, it’s a threat to the well-being of both the heart and the brain.
As I’ve pointed out before, the body needs the B vitamins folate, B6 and B12 to keep homocysteine under control.1
But when scientists test the benefits of giving these three vitamins to older people, different tests come to different conclusions. In some studies, the three B vitamins don’t seem to provide any benefit at all. In other studies, the vitamins rescue people from what’s called “mild cognitive impairment” or MCI – the condition we often mention in this newsletter that signals the start of dementia.
Now, though, researchers at the University of Oxford say they’ve solved the mystery of the inconsistent brain benefits of B vitamins. They point out that the studies that showed no brain help were often performed on people who already were getting enough B vitamins anyway or who weren’t suffering ill effects from homocysteine.
The Oxford team says that when scientists give the vitamins to folks in their 70s who are having problems with homocysteine and MCI and are short on folate, B6 and B12, the subjects of those studies do, in fact, frequently experience improved memory.2
But You Need a Fourth Supplement. . .
These researchers, who collaborated with scientists in Norway, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, say that if you add another class of nutrients to these B vitamins, you get consistent, dependable benefits to the brain.
The class of nutrients that have to accompany the B vitamins are omega-3 fatty acids, the types found in fish oil.
In their study of these nutrients, the British researchers looked at the brain function of 250 seniors who were beginning to suffer from MCI.3
The research started out with tests of the subjects’ mental powers and recall ability as well as an analysis of the blood levels of the two most important omega-3s – docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
The two-year study found synergistic brain benefits of B vitamins along with omega-3s.
“We found that for people with low levels of omega-3, the vitamin supplements had little to no effect. But for those with high baseline Omega-3 levels, the B vitamins were very effective in preventing cognitive decline compared to the placebo,” says researcher Abderrahim Oulhaj.
“This result complements our previous finding that B vitamins slow the rate of brain atrophy in MCI only in those with a good omega-3 level to start with.”
The researchers also concluded that the omega-3 fatty acid DHA seems to be more important to the brain than EPA.
The researchers say that they now want to see if supplements containing both B vitamins and omega-3s can reliably prevent people with MCI from progressing to full blown Alzheimer’s disease.
But because these nutrients don’t offer the possibility of big profits to a pharmaceutical company, the scientists are having trouble getting funding for further tests.
Still, this is an important finding for all of us who worry about how our brains will function as we grow older. There’s no need to wait for further research, much less a product from a big drug company. For a variety of reasons – not just brain health – all of us should be supplementing with these B vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids.
There’s no downside to taking these nutrients. Personally, I take a 1,000 I.U. B12 supplement every day, in the methylcobalimin form considered most bioavailable. You can get that dose of B12 in Maximum Memory Support from our sister company Green Valley Natural Solutions (along with some other super brain nutrients).
My choice for omega 3s is Carlson’s Fish Oil. I take a tablespoon per day. Green Valley doesn’t offer an omega 3 product because, frankly, we haven’t found anything better than Carlson’s. It’s a liquid as opposed to a gelcap; I have my doubts about the latter as a good way to deliver omega 3 oils. PLUS Carlson’s has NO taste problems.