Transform Your Brain: The Nutrient Profile Linked To Cognitive Health (M)

Brain scans and blood tests show a clear link between brain health and these nutrients.

Brain scans and blood tests show a clear link between brain health and these nutrients.

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Make Your Brain 5 Years Younger In 1 Hour A Week

‘Immense’ boost to memory and thinking skills by investing just one hour a week.

‘Immense’ boost to memory and thinking skills by investing just one hour a week.

Aerobic workouts can remove five years of brain aging, research finds.

Short workouts done three times a week are enough to roll back the clock on memory and thinking skills, the study demonstrated.

Exercise helps pump more blood to the parts of the brain vital to these functions.

Dr Marc J. Poulin, the study’s first author, said:

“As we all find out eventually, we lose a bit mentally and physically as we age.

But even if you start an exercise program later in life, the benefit to your brain may be immense.

Sure, aerobic exercise gets blood moving through your body.

As our study found, it may also get blood moving to your brain, particularly in areas responsible for verbal fluency and executive functions.

Our finding may be important, especially for older adults at risk for Alzheimer’s and other dementias and brain disease.”

The study included 206 adults with an average of age of 66 who did little exercise.

They started doing aerobic workouts of between between 20 and 40 minutes per day, three times a week.

After six months they performed 6 percent better on thinking skills and improved their verbal fluency by 2.4 percent.

Dr Poulin said:

“This change in verbal fluency is what you’d expect to see in someone five years younger.”

Blood flow also increased to the brain by 2.8 percent.

Dr Poulin said:

“Our study showed that six months’ worth of vigorous exercise may pump blood to regions of the brain that specifically improve your verbal skills as well as memory and mental sharpness.

At a time when these results would be expected to be decreasing due to normal aging, to have these types of increases is exciting.”

The study was published in the journal Neurology (Guadagniet al., 2020).

The Best Mix Of Foods For Mental Clarity, Happiness & High IQ (M)

Scientists identify four eating patterns that impact your mental state.

Scientists identify four eating patterns that impact your mental state.

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The Silent Threat Lurking In Your Home: Chemicals That Attack Your Brain (M)

How exposure to everyday chemicals might be damaging the protective insulation of your brain cells.

How exposure to everyday chemicals might be damaging the protective insulation of your brain cells.

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Reverse Brain Aging With This Surprising Juice Hack (M)

After consuming this juice, blood flows more strongly to brain regions involved in the emotions, memory, language and judgement.

After consuming this juice, blood flows more strongly to brain regions involved in the emotions, memory, language and judgement.

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This Common Supplement Fights Cognitive Decline

This ubiquitous supplement may improve memory and abstract reasoning.

This ubiquitous supplement may improve memory and abstract reasoning.

Omega-3 fatty acids may enhance brain function in middle age, research finds.

Among over 2,000 people in the study, those with higher concentrations of omega-3 in their blood had a range of cognitive advantages:

  • Larger hippocampi: a brain structure central to learning and memory.
  • Better abstract reasoning skills: the ability to think logically.
  • Carriers of the APOE4 gene, who are at greater genetic risk of dementia, had fewer signs of small-vessel disease.

People in the study were in their 40s and 50s, explained Dr Claudia Satizabal, the study’s first author:

“Studies have looked at this association in older populations.

The new contribution here is that, even at younger ages, if you have a diet that includes some omega-3 fatty acids, you are already protecting your brain for most of the indicators of brain aging that we see at middle age.”

Omega-3 levels were calculated by adding together levels of DHA and EPA.

EPA and DHA, two of the three main fatty acids, are sometimes known as the marine omega-3s as they come mainly from fish.

What makes omega-3 fatty acids so important in the diet is that the body cannot make them but has to get them from food.

Dr Debora Melo van Lent, study co-author, said:

“Omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA are key micronutrients that enhance and protect the brain.

Our study is one of the first to observe this effect in a younger population.

More studies in this age group are needed.”

In the study, people were divided into groups based on their levels of omega-3 fatty acids, Dr Satizabal said:

“We saw the worst outcomes in the people who had the lowest consumption of omega-3s.

So, that is something interesting.

Although the more omega-3 the more benefits for the brain, you just need to eat some to see benefits.”

It is not yet known exactly why omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for the brain.

It may be because they are important in the building of neurons and that they have anti-inflammatory properties.

Dr Satizabal said:

“It’s complex.

We don’t understand everything yet, but we show that, somehow, if you increase your consumption of omega-3s even by a little bit, you are protecting your brain.”

Fatty acids and dementia

Whether or not omega-3 fatty acids help prevent dementia continues to be controversial.

However, omega-3 has been linked to maintaining IQ levels with age and even reducing anxiety.

Other research has suggested that omega-3 needs to be combined with B vitamins to help the body deal with mental decline.

Still further studies have found:

→ The dietary change with some of the best evidence for keeping the brain healthy is the MIND diet.

The study was published in the journal Neurology (Satizabal et al., 2022).

The Polyphenol-Rich Diet That Lowers Brain Age And Weight (M)

The study tested a variation on the now well-known Mediterranean diet.

The study tested a variation on the now well-known Mediterranean diet.

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Brain Health: 4 Habits That Reverse Brain Aging

Brain health can be improved, concludes a study of ‘super-agers’.

Brain health can be improved, concludes a study of ‘super-agers’.

The keys to ‘super-aging’ are embracing aging, quitting negativity, moving more and meditating, research on brain health suggests.

Super-agers are people in their 70s or 80s who have the mental and physical capabilities of someone decades younger.

In recent years, scientists have begun studying what separates super-agers from the rest.

Dr Joel Kramer, a neuropsychologist has been studying super-agers.

One particular super-ager inspired Dr Kramer:

“He talked about how his attitude toward life is one of embracing it—not getting stressed out by the little things and valuing the importance of relationships.

I was so impressed.

It was inspiring.”

1. Brain health: embrace aging

The first key is to embrace the aging process because emotions tend to be more balanced with age.

Dr Elissa Epel, co-director of the UCSF Aging, Metabolism, and Emotions Center, explains:

“When we’re older, we seek positive situations in our life much more and cut out things we don’t like.

We take more control of our environment.

It’s because of the brains of elders.

We are more pro-social.

We are more likely to give to people in need than younger people.

This is not a huge surprise … but we’re now able to think of the biology of this.

We really need our elders.”

2. Quit negativity for brain health

Fear of aging can be dangerous in itself — research suggests it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Dr Epel said:

“We hold these tremendously negative stereotypes about aging, and these start from when we’re really young.

By the time we’re older, these are actually having a negative effect on our health.”

Negative attitudes about aging can accelerate aging, so better to banish them.

3. Keep moving for brain health

Study after study shows the benefit of exercise.

It produces more new brain cells, improves well-being and physical health.

Exercise may even help protect against Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

4. Meditate for brain health

Meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety, depression and to have physiological benefits.

The research on super agers is from a range of scientists working at UCSF and elsewhere.

What High Blood Pressure Does To Your Brain

The findings are alarming, especially for younger adults, because it takes time to see the negative health impact to the brain caused by elevated blood pressure.

The findings are alarming, especially for younger adults, because it takes time to see the negative health impact to the brain caused by elevated blood pressure.

High blood pressure, technically called hypertension, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and the leading cause of early death worldwide.

High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels and so reduce blood flow to the brain, leading to vascular dementia and cognitive declines such as memory loss.

A study has found that high blood pressure is associated with increased brain age.

According to the research, a hypertensive person is at greatly increased risk of brain aging, with every 1 mmHg increase above optimal blood pressure there is a 5 to 7 day increase in brain age.

For example, a person with pre-hypertension whose systolic pressure is 135 mm Hg and diastolic pressure 85 mm Hg has a brain more than 6 months older than a person with optimal blood pressure (110/70 mmHg).

The normal recommended range for blood pressure is considered 120/80 mmHg, but a healthier or optimal blood pressure is about 110/70 mmHg.

Professor Nicolas Cherbuin, the study’s first author, said:

“This thinking that one’s brain becomes unhealthy because of high blood pressure later in life is not completely true.

It starts earlier and it starts in people who have normal blood pressure.”

High blood pressure puts extra pressure on internal organs like the heart, brain and kidneys, all of which worsens sleep.

Lack of sleep, in turn, can make it harder for the body to regulate stress hormones, which leads to high blood pressure.

Compared to a hypertensive person, someone with optimal blood pressure is predicted to have a healthier and younger brain at midlife.

Professor Walter Abhayaratna, study co-author, said:

“It’s important we introduce lifestyle and diet changes early on in life to prevent our blood pressure from rising too much, rather than waiting for it to become a problem.

Compared to a person with a high blood pressure of 135/85, someone with an optimal reading of 110/70 was found to have a brain age that appears more than six months younger by the time they reach middle age.”

The research team carried out brain scans and blood pressure checks on 2,000 healthy adults over 40 for 12 years.

The findings are alarming, especially for younger adults because it takes time to see the negative health impact to the brain caused by elevated blood pressure.

Professor Cherbuin said:

“By detecting the impact of increased blood pressure on the brain health of people in their 40s and older, we have to assume the effects of elevated blood pressure must build up over many years and could start in their 20s.

This means that a young person’s brain is already vulnerable.”

The study was published in the journal of Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience (Cherbuin et al., 2021).

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