Walk To Build A Bigger Brain
- Walk for 30 minutes or 3 times a week for 60 minutes. Walk as fast as you can while still being able to hold a conversation if you had to. Walk 3 to 4 miles in an hour. You can do this outdoors, on a treadmill, in a gym, wherever. You can also use small hand held weights (2 to 3 pounds) to increase your benefit. Be sure to get medical clearance from your doctor, especially if you have hypertension, heart disease, or diabetes. A study by Arthur Kramer Ph.D. demonstrated an increase in brain volume on MRI and a 15 to 20 per cent improvement in memory in people after 6 months of regular aerobic exercise. These benefits accrue because of increased levels of BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) triggered by aerobic exercise.
Get Enough Sleep
In a mouse model of Alzheimer’s Disease, David Holtzman, Chairman of Neurology at Washington University, found that levels of toxic amyloid- beta, an insoluble protein that accumulates in the brains of people with the disease, dropped significantly when the mice got plenty of sleep, but rose when they were sleep deprived.
Other researchers have found that inadequate sleep increases abdominal fat which raises your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes, increasing your risk for developing Alzheimer’s Disease.
Finally, a “glymphatic system” (mediated by glial cells, hence the name) has been discovered in the brain that cleanses your brain while you sleep. Yes, a form of brainwashing that is beneficial! Although the full extent of the glymphatic system’s involvement in Alzheimer’s disease (and other neurodegenerative disorders) remains unclear, researchers have demonstrated through experiments with genetically modified mice that the proper function of the glymphatic clearance system is necessary to remove soluble amyloid-beta from the brain
Melatonin can help you sleep better and is also a neuroprotective antioxidant in the brain that unfortunately declines with age due to pineal gland calcification. The optimal dosage is actually only 300 mcg (timed- release formulation ideal). Higher doses of melatonin cause melatonin resistance due to down regulation of melatonin receptors and can actually worsen insomnia.
Add Mediterranean Foods To Your Diet
Olive oil alone can do wonders for you. A study of older southern Italians found that higher levels of olive oil intake (about 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per day on average) reduced the odds of developing age-related memory decline by 33 percent! Be sure the olive oil you purchase is genuine extra virgin olive oil. There are a lot of olive oils sold that are adulterated or diluted with other less beneficial oils. I purchase my olive oil from a certified vendor.
Eat Fatty Fish
They are a rich source of DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), an omega-3 fatty acid essential to brain structural integrity. Early in life DHA is rapidly accumulated by neural tissue contributing to development of the brain and eyes. High levels of DHA predict less dementia.
A study done at Tufts found that 55 to 85 year old people with the highest blood levels of DHA were half as likely to develop dementia compared to those with the lowest levels.
Another study demonstrated that older persons who took 900 mg DHA (algae-based) daily for 6 months scored remarkably higher on memory and leaning tests. In fact, their skills were comparable to people 3 years younger.
Aim for at least two servings weekly of fatty fish. Ounce for ounce you get the biggest omega-3 bang for your buck with salmon, herring, mackerel, lake trout, anchovies and sardines.
Be sure the salmon you eat is wild caught. Farm-raised salmon do not have the same benefit.
If you don’t like fish, then consider taking a high quality Krill Oil or Calamarine Oil supplement.
- Learn more about the benefits of Krill Oil Here from Dr. Al Sears
Take “Activated” Folic Acid, B6, and B12
A Dutch study of 618 men and women (50 to 70 years old) who either took 800 mcg of folic acid or a placebo for 3 years revealed memory performance equivalent to people 5.4 years younger in the group supplemented with folic acid. Their information processing speed was equal to that of people 2 years their junior. The placebo group actually (but not surprisingly) suffered a decline in memory capacity.
Investigators at UC Irvine found that just 400 mcg of folic acid daily reduced the risk of progression to Alzheimer Disease by 55% in persons over 60.
Mark Mattson PhD, then at the National Institute on Aging, discovered that feeding older animals folic acid reduced age-related brain damage and increased their brains’ ability to repair damage.
Low folate levels contribute to elevated homocysteine. This is also true for low levels of vitamin B12 and B6. In order to derive a brain benefit from B vitamins, there must be adequate omega 3 fatty acid intake.
A study by Jerneren et al. on elderly people with MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) randomly assigned them to receive Folic acid (800 mcg, B6 20 mg, and B12 500 mcg or placebo. Brain MRI imaging was done at baseline and again 2 years later. Despite the fact that these dosages were likely insufficient in potency (explained below), brain atrophy in the vitamin-supplemented individuals who had the highest blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids was reduced by 40% compared to placebo. No significant benefit was seen in those with low baseline omega-3 levels.
Folic acid and vitamin B12 neutralize homocysteine via methylation (adding a methyl group) and B6 through transsulfuration (adding a sulfur group). Only the activated form of these vitamins (5-methyltetrahydrofolate or MTHF), methylcobalamin, and pyridoxal-5-phosphate) feed directly into these homocysteine neutralizing pathways.
Incorporate Coconut Oil Into You Diet
Take Magnesium Threonate
Magenesium Threonate is a chelated (attached to amino acid threonine) form of magnesium with absorption into the brain superior to any other form.
Susumu Tonegawa (Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine) and his colleagues at MIT, have demonstrated magnesium threonate-induced enhancement of learning and memory in older rats due to the formation of new pre-synaptic boutons on neurons, an anatomic substrate of memory.
Chinese researchers have reversed Alzheimer Disease pathology and memory loss in a mouse model of the disease (“knock-in mice” with two Alzheimer Disease gene mutations, one for Presenilin and one for the Amyloid Precursor Protein)
Drink Green Tea
Drinking Green Tea reduces the risk of Cognitive Decline. Green Tea contains beneficial Catechins (a type of polyphenol), mainly Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG).
There are multiple benefits of drinking Green Tea or taking a Green Tea Extract. These include a lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, protection against the oxidized form of LDL which promotes atherogenesis (hardening of the arteries), enhanced fat burning for energy, inducing early cell death (apoptosis) in cancer cells, and inhibiting proinflammatory pathways such as nuclear factor kappa B and cyclooxygenase.
Furthermore,EGCG may prevent Alzheimer’s Disease by reducing production of ß-amyloid as well as the resulting inflammation which otherwise destroys brain cells. In addition to increasing survival of brain cells, EGCG also promotes neurogenesis (new brain cell production) in the memory-critical hippocampus.
Ground Yourself To Earth
Sleep on a pillow or sheet that is grounded to earth. This will reduce your blood viscosity (thickness) and improve blood flow to your brain and entire body. Lack of grounding causes Red Blood Cells (RBCs) to clump together like stacks of coins (Rouleaux Formation: see live blood photomicroscopy below) which impedes delivery of oxygen to cells. Ungrounded RBCs are electron deficient and stick to each other in an attempt to get electrons. Grounded RBCs have a normal charge and repel one another, allowing for smoother blood flow. Grounding reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack via reduction of blood viscosity.
Before Grounding After Grounding
- Grounding (or Earthing) also has been shown to reduce cortisol levels. This is important for hippocampal function, because excessive cortisol due to stress causes hippocampal shrinkage. This is one of the reasons why depression causes memory impairment.
Take Lion’s Mane
Lion’s Mane (Hericeum Erinaceus) is a mushroom that promotes the synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) in the brain (including the hippopcampus) and in peripheral nerves. This enhances memory and recovery from peripheral nerve injury. I recommend it routinely to people with peripheral neuropathy or memory impairment. For more information on the benefits of NGF visit: Self-Hacked
I have taken Host Defense and Relentless Improvement brands myself. Both are organic. Purchase of Host Defense brand contributes to supporting Honey Bees against Colony Collapse Syndrome.
Eat Blueberries or Take Blueberry Extract
Blueberries contain polyphenols called anthocyanins which give blueberries their deep blue color. Anthocyanins act as anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants in the brain, protecting areas crucial to memory in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. There are also cardiovascular, immune (anti-cancer), and longevity benefits of blueberry consumption.