Professor Ian Robertson: Your Brain and You
Ian Robertson is professor of psychology at Trinity College, Dublin. He is a leading neuroscientist with a worldwide reputation for research into methods for improving brain function. He has written Mind Sculpture: The mind’s eye and stay sharp with the mind doctor, how can we reverse our mental aging?
How do we retrain/tune up our brain?
Challenge (doing things you don’t find easy), change (doing different things, going to different places) and (new strategies, new software for the brain). Nearly everyone finds that their memory lets them down from time to time. Tests show that people reach their memory peak in their early twenties and then this slowly declines.
Almost everyone in their forties and fifties for instance, will complain that their memories are worse than before. How do you feel your memory is now compared to when you were younger? The good news is that you can boost your memory by tuning your mind with simple methods and practice. When you tune your memory to remember better, you are switching on tens of millions of brain cells and when this happens a key principle of your brain comes into play, namely brain cells that fire together, wire together.
This builds a better connected brain, and better connected brains keep their youthful power much better and longer than brains that have not been connected up by mental exercise and mind tuning. For people of any age, the phrase: use it or lose it, is therefore as true for the brain as it is for the muscles of your body.
Maintaining Brain Health to Prevent Dementia
Coconut oil continues to receive a great deal of attention from advocates like Dr. Mary Newport. In her 2011 book, “Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure? The Story of Ketones,” Dr. Newport fervently declares that her husband has shown clear improvement in his dementia with regular use of coconut oil. In some circles, the topic is rather controversial, but many of those with concerns about their cognitive future feel it’s worth a try.
How Coconut Oil Affects the Body and Mind
Coconut oil is a hearthealthy oil that is free of cholesterol and transfats, and provides many benefits in addition to improving brain health, including:
- Improving the body’s use of insulin
- Improving cholesterol by increasing HDL (good cholesterol)
- Boosting thyroid function resulting in increased energy
- Acting as an antioxidant and natural antibiotic
- Improving overall health of skin and hair
A recent University of Oxford study suggested that although the effects of coconut oil may be temporary, Alzheimer’s and dementia patients have indeed seen short term benefits resulting from its use. This research supports Dr. Newport’s theory that Ketones, which are byproducts of the breakdown of fats in the body, play an important role in brain health. The idea is that by boosting ketones, found in coconut oil, we can improve cognitive function.
Turmeric boosts Amyloid Plaque Clearance in Human Alzheimer’s Patients. The most active ingredient in turmeric root, bisdemethoxycurcumin, boosts the activity of the immune system in Alzheimer’s patients, helping them to clear the amyloid beta plaques characteristic of the disease.
In healthy patients, immune cells called macrophages, which engulf and destroy abnormal cells and suspected pathogens, efficiently clear amyloid beta, but macrophage activity is suppressed in Alzheimer’s patients.
Using blood samples from Alzheimer’s patients, Drs. Milan Fiala and John Cashman have shown that bisdemethoxycurcumin boosts macrophage activity to normal levels, helping to clear amyloid beta. Fiala and Cashman also observed that bisdemethoxycurcumin was more effective in promoting the clearance of amyloid beta in some patients’ blood than others, hinting at a genetic element.
Lowering blood pressure
Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure. Blueberries are naturally free of sodium and contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium, all of which have been found to decrease blood pressure naturally.
Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One cup of blueberries contributes 3.6 grams of fiber.
Warding off heart disease
The blueberry’s fibre, potassium, foliate, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. The fiber in blueberries helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease.
Improving mental health
Population based studies have shown that consumption of blueberries can reduce the risk of cognitive decline as well as Parkinson’s disease a neuron-degenerative disorder resulting from cell death in parts of the brain. Studies have also revealed that in addition to reducing the risk of cognitive damage, blueberries can also improve short term memory loss and motor coordination.
Lower risk of depression: Foods containing high levels of foliate may help to decrease the risk of depression as folate helps to prevent the buildup of homocysteine, a substance that can impair circulation and delivery of nutrients to the brain. Excess homocysteine can also interfere with the production of the serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which regulate mood, sleep and appetite.
Improved digestion: Despite its creamy texture, an avocado is actually high in fiber, with approximately 67 grams per half fruit. Eating foods with natural fiber can help to prevent constipation, maintain a healthy digestive tract and lower the risk of colon cancer.
Natural detoxification: Adequate fiber promotes regular bowel movements, which are crucial for the daily excretion of toxins through the bile and stool. Recent studies have shown that dietary fiber may also play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation.
Protection from chronic disease: According to the Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Sciences Program of the University of Kentucky, high fiber intakes are associated with significantly lower risks of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Increased fiber intake has also been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and enhance weight loss for obese individuals.
Recommended Supplements for improved cognition:
Nutritionist Patrick Holford, STATES IN HIS BOOK,( Optimum Nutrition for the mind) that Alzheimer’s Dementia and Parkinson disease can be prevented and arrested. Holford is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on new approaches to health and nutrition. He found the institute for optimum nutrition which is one of the most highly respected colleges for clinical nutritionists. He directs the UK mental health project and has written twenty health books, many of them best sellers, including the Optimum Nutrition Bible, which sold over a million copies worldwide.
DR. Mary Newport M.D. has been married to Steve Newport since 1972. Dr Newport grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and trained in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital Medical Centre in Cincinnati, her husband Steve was diagnosed with early onset dementia at the age of 58. Due to Dr Newport’s research into dietary interventions that may benefit persons with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases, she stumbled across Coconut and MCTs, oils, Medium Chain Triglycerides, which provides ketones to the brain as a backup fuel, this can help offset the lack of energy from glucose that is common in the brain of a person suffering with Dementia. It offers a lowcarb solution to insulin resistance from Diabetes (Type 2 diabetes is common in seniors with dementia) Alzheimer’s is sometimes called (Type 3 Diabetes). Steve’s Alzheimer’s has now been reversed and on September 27th 2011, Dr Newport launched her new book, “Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was A Cure?”. Sadly, Steve passed away in 2015.
Dr Fred Pescatore: President of the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists recommends the brain boosting supplements below to patients presenting to him with (AD).
Gingko Biloba, Vit A, Vit D, NAC.
Pycnogenol, a French maritime pine tree extract supports blood to the brain.
Prevagon, a protein found in jellyfish has the ability to bind calcium ions. Everyone has calciumbinding proteins that we make naturally, they keep our brain cells working properly and communicating. These calciumbinding proteins slow down as we get older, especially after the age of 40, and if we can’t make enough calciumbinding proteins, the shortage will eventually lead to cell death in (AD) and in Parkinson’s patients and also in healthy people too.
Lion’s Mane: is a mushroom specifically formulated for brain issues, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
NADH has been shown to improve cognitive functioning in patients with Parkinson’s disease, depression and AD. http://www.drpescatore.com
Lion’s Mane: Support Nerve Food
Benefits: These are all fantastic health benefits, but perhaps the most exciting thing about lion’s mane is it’s possible on treating and potentially preventing such brain dysfunctions as senility and Alzheimer’s Disease!
Researchers are working with lion’s mane due to its ability to stimulate the production of NGF, or Nerve Growth Factor. A deficiency of NGF has been shown to be a prime cause of Alzheimer’s disease and other neural disorders.
Nerve Growth Factor is a protein molecule that is synthesized in tiny amounts in all vertebrate tissues. It plays a major role in the survival of nerve cell populations in the central and peripheral nervous system. The problem is that NGF as a protein is too large to permeate the barrier membrane that exists between your blood and your brain. So, in people with dwindling amounts of NGF causing brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s; it is difficult to get NGF to the brain where it is sorely needed in order to renew neuron growth and repair.
Lion’s Mane is also one of the best reputed natural nootropic available, known for increasing Nerve Growth Factor levels in the human brain. This hormone has been linked to increased neuronal growth rates and may improve the synaptic plasticity of the brain. Lion’s Main is a source of at least 32 different active ingredients, such as the minerals Potassium, Zinc, Iron, and Selenium. All of the major amino acids are present as well, along with a variety of polypeptides and polysaccharides. You may want to add Lion’s Mane to a nootropic stack for improved neuron health and for longterm positive effects on memory and reasoning.
NGF is also integral to the growth of neurons, the generation of synapses and even the development of new neurons. Your brain contains a network of approximately 86,000,000,000 which are largely formed within the first two years of life. Until recently, it was believed that no new neurons develop later in life, but we now know that NGF can actually restart this process. Furthermore, NGF makes it easier for your neurons to form new connections with other neurons and may improve communication between different hemispheres of the brain.
Several theories of intelligence centre on the idea that the more neuronal connections you have the more fluid intelligence you will have. We also know that Long Term Potentiation – the process by which memories are encoded as connections between neurons – is made more efficient with higher levels of NGF. For this reason, Lion’s Mane may be effectively added to a Chemically Induced Long Term Potentiation Stack. This hormone is often cited in connection with the idea of neuroplasticity and maintaining the brain’s ability to adapt, learn and change even as we grow older. By increasing levels of this factor, Lion’s Mane may be able to protect against cognitive dysfunction and age related memory loss. This supplement might eventually be used for helping Alzheimer’s patients and those who have other age related cognitive issues.
Lion’s Mane taken with Ganoderma and Spirulina is a great combination.
Studies of these antioxidant-rich super berries and the bioactive phytonutrients that give them their deep-blue color reveal a wide range of potential health benefits. From immune system booster, gut and heart health to cancer prevention, improved urinary tract function and a reduction in diabetes risk, these researches are changing the way people look at blueberries.
James Joseph, Ph.D., and his team of researches at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, in 1999, discovered that a diet of blueberries may improve motor skills and reverse short-term memory loss. The research team continues to demonstrate protective effects against Alzheimer’s disease and memory decline. Also recent studies led by Dr. Robert Krikorian at University of Cincinnati, suggest that regular consumption of Wild Blueberries may slow the loss of cognitive function and decrease depression in the elderly.
This is because they offer very high levels of vitamin C, getting enough vitamin C is vital to anyone that wants to keep their immune system working at the highest level. Other important nutrients that are found in blueberries to help with overall health include manganese, vitamin a, b-complex, copper, selenium, zinc, and iron. All of these nutrients combined help people to be more healthy and as a result their bodies are more resistant to the common cold, flu, and other viral infections.
Blueberries are loaded with a ton of anti-oxidants that have been scientifically proven to help people reduce their risk for cataracts, dementia, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s, and many other diseases.
Blueberries have a high level of anti-oxidants. One of those anti-oxidants is known as Anthocyanin and is known for helping to reduce free radicals that are a known contributor to cancer. Having blueberries regularly to get enough anti-oxidants can go a long way in helping someone avoid cancer.
Having a regular and constant diet that includes blueberries has been proven to help people reduce their risk for heart disease and even reduce belly fat. The nutrients in blueberries along with their low fat and low sugar all work together to help reduce their triglycerides and cholesterol and in turn lower their risk for a heart attack.
Eating blueberries regularly is an excellent way to support a healthy urinary tract and avoid urinary tract infection. Beyond this blueberries are so beneficial at supporting a healthy urinary tract that in some cases blueberry juice is actually prescribed by doctors to help people get over a UTI.
As people get older their vision tends to get worse and worse. Blueberries, with their high concentration of anthocyanosides have been shown to help slow this deterioration of vision.
Blueberries are high in sodium, copper, fructose, and acids that all help improve digestion, . they are also high in fiber which helps to prevent constipation.
Everybody needs to get 3-4 servings of fruit each day. the problem with this is that fruits contain a lot of sugar. Blueberries however are really low in sugar in comparison to other fruits. A cup of blueberries has roughly 80 calories and they are very low on the glycemic index. Are a result blueberries are a better choice than many other