Age reverse – stay sharp

As we age the brain can become damaged by reduced blood flow, free radical damage and neuro-connections dying.  The result is brain atrophy. The good news is that through lifestyle choices we can build up a ‘brain resilience’ so that the brain is less affected by the aging process.  Please see ‘Love your brain’. Brain deterioration is by no means inevitable – read on!
Take care of your general health now if you are not already doing so (40plusandalliswell is here to help!). Cardiovascular disease can cause brain shrinkage by reducing blood flow to the brain depriving the brain of oxygen and nutrients which keep your brain healthy.  Please see ‘Love your heart’. As well as build up of plaque reducing blood flow another marker of cardiovascular disease, that is high levels of homocysteine, is also linked to brain shrinkage. This is because it damages arterial walls allowing plaque to ‘stick’.  This in turn leads to reduced circulation to the brain. To prevent raised levels of homocysteine ensure your diet includes the B vitamins especially foleate from leafy green vegetables and B12.  Vegans in particular can be lacking in B12 so take a supplement. Please see 'Supplements for vegans-Iron and vitamin B12'.
Raised blood sugar levels in non-diabetics can also lead to brain shrinkage. This may be because high blood sugar is linked to inflammation.  If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that, in my opinion, inflammation underlies most disease and degeneration including brain atrophy.  I recommend serrapeptase to combat inflammation.  Please see ‘Beating inflammation with serrapeptase’.
As we age, neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the brain can decline but again this need not be the case. Excitingly the gut and the brain are closely linked.  In fact the gut can produce up to 90% of the body’s serontin (the feel good neurotransmitter) as well as other neurotransmitters.  It can also influence receptors in the brain – for instance the gut can increase the receptors for the neurotransmitter GABA which plays a vital role in the transmission of nervous impulses in the brain.  Research is in its infancy but the message is clear – look after your gut health in order to help prevent age related brain changes.  Please see ‘Beat post-Christmas bloat’ .  I would also add take care with pesticides in the garden (be an organic gardener?) and try to eat organic where you can.  My dad developed Parkinson’s disease at the age I am now.  This is due to decline in dopamine.  He was a keen gardener and I suspect that using chemicals in the garden was linked to his illness.

Don't forget meditation which has been scientifically proven to increase grey matter in the prefrontal cortex.  For help to get started please see Meditation- ancient help for 21st century stress

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