This is the second of a two part series about Aging Healthfully. Find part one here.
Keeping Your Brain Young
Mary brought in her mother-in-law, Jane, for evaluation. Jane was in her 80’s, had some dementia, never spoke, and sat motionless in her chair all day long. Her doctors had given up on her. My evaluation suggested Jane needed some nutritional support. I prescribed an all-in-one liquid supplement, extra essential fatty acids, and extra vitamin C. Within one week, Jane was happily pursuing the men in her senior care home. That was 3 years ago. She is still taking the supplements and is still going strong.
What do our brains and nervous system need to stay young?
1) We need to keep inflammation to a minimum.
Chronic inflammation affects all our organs and systems contributing to and causing major diseases, including dementia. What causes inflammation?
If you suffer from allergies or asthma, you know your symptoms are from exposure to allergens. Anything might be an allergen. We often think only of pollens and mold as allergens. Chemicals (i.e. perfume scent) and foods can also be allergens. Allergens produce irritation in the body. This ignites the immune system which includes a separate immune system in the brain. When the irritant aggravation continues for an extended time, the immune system stays very active. Some allergens affect specific organs. Chronic infection also can affect specific organs. The immune system senses these irritants and attacks to remove the irritant. Unfortunately, when the irritant is located in an organ, the immune system also attacks the organ and can damage it. The solution is to treat any latent infection and/or toxicity state (such as from heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium) as soon as possible.
2) Our food can cause inflammation.
The worst offender is sugar. Sugar initiates the release of insulin from the pancreas which aids in the breakdown and storage of sugar. When we eat too much sugar, occasionally or habitually, the pancreas is required to increase the output of insulin. At some point insulin becomes less effective. This is called insulin resistance which causes the body to put out even more insulin. Problem: Significant increases of insulin cause major inflammation. Insulin resistance is associated with increased average blood sugar as well as other ailments. When a body has reached the stage of insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome can occur. This syndrome is denoted by high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure. In addition, high insulin levels are associated with damage to the kidneys, prostate enlargement, abdominal obesity, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, liver disease, cancer, and a shortened life span. Solution: Eliminate processed sugar from the diet, eat a balanced diet, and take supplements that assist the body’s management of carbohydrates and sugars (as in fruit).
Conclusion: Reduce inflammation and increase your health and longevity potential.
For a customized evaluation of your health, contact my office: 310-289-8430.