Prevent Cognitive Decline
We've all lost our glasses, car keys, or misplaced important documents at one time or another. Some of us even have trouble remembering the names of people we've known for years. And most of us have been unable to match a name to a face or choose the right word in conversation. These occasional moments of forgetfulness have been coined by scientists as "age-related cognitive decline."
While these annoyances in and of themselves are not cause for concern, there MAY be problem if they become consistent or progressive. If memory loss becomes substantial enough, you may be facing early Alzheimer's disease. At this point, changes to the brain are more severe and deterioration is irreversible.
That's why it's critical to develop your nutritional strategy for memory enhancement early—before it may be too late.
Your brain cells, like your heart cells, are highly specialized. Just as you should take vitamin E and coenzyme Q10 to block free radical stress and protect your heart health, it behooves you to take a positive step to preserve your brain power. Fortunately, your nervous system, like your heart, is very receptive to nutritional supplementation.
The best supplement is phosphatidylserine, due to its ability to "boost" the brain and improve the cell function of the brain. I recommend 300 mg a day as a basic foundation to preserve memory. You can purchase phosphatidylserine in health food stores.
Clinical experience with phosphatidylserine shows that it can help turn the clock back on aging in the brain. Studies show that it can help manage and perhaps even reverse memory loss, most notably for those who are under stress, as well as for those with early dementia or early Alzheimer's.
Stress: An Enemy of Heart and Mind
Your brain, like your heart, is vulnerable to oxidative stress if you lead an unhealthy lifestyle, are exposed to too many environmental toxins, and live with sustained emotional stress.
Stress can be a time bomb, manifesting itself in a host of illnesses, including degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. Unfortunately, the grip stress has on our lives and on our health usually isn't apparent until we end up in a doctor's office seeking treatment for anything from rashes and headaches to heart disease and cancer.
Surveys indicate that stress today accounts for about 80 percent of all visits to doctors' offices. While this figure may be relatively new, the premise certainly is not. For centuries, we have known of the role that psychosocial and behavioral factors play in disease. Hippocrates and Maimonides both concluded that "emotional disturbances cause marked changes in the body."
While stress has always been a factor in disease, it appears to be an even greater one now. Indeed, there can no longer be any doubt about the relationship between stress and disease. As a cardiologist who treats patients struggling with heart illness, I'm always impressed by the way in which our underlying emotions, often masked by stress, can inhibit our ability to heal ourselves.
Just as stress "chokes" your heart, it can choke your brain. The brain, like the heart, is highly vulnerable to emotional stress. Research has shown that vigilance and fear produce the stress hormone cortisol, which, over time, can cause memory decline, cognitive malfunction, and even depression.
Stress also can reduce circulation to your brain, causing vulnerable brain cells to be deprived of oxygen and nutrients. When that happens, your brain cells are even more vulnerable to damage from toxic metals, particularly aluminum and cadmium, as well as cigarette smoke, alcohol, oxidized fats, and fluctuations in blood sugar.
Overwhelming stress, manifested by the "fight/flight" response (you would like to punch something or run away from it), can sometimes put us over the edge, making us casualties of our overstimulated minds. Such an assault can compromise the intricate pathway of our brain and adrenal glands.
This pathway is important because chronic overstimulation can cause brain burnout. What do we know about this complex superhighway of neurological circuitry?
The research shows that nutritional supplements can nourish this neurological pathway and keep it healthy even under extreme stress. Taken as a dietary supplement, phosphatidylserine essentially nurtures and revitalizes brain cells so that they form better connections and build better circuitry.
It also may improve hormonal balances, restore and maintain sleep, alleviate depression, and lessen anxiety—all of which is great news, especially for the elderly, who suffer from many of these conditions.
So, always remember that prevention is easier than cure. When it comes to preserving brain function, phosphatidylserine is your ticket to clear thinking so you can make the really big, and the not-so-big, decisions in life—and remember them.
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Meet Dr. Sinatra
Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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