some of its mental vigour. In fact, research has found that the speed at which
we process information, as well as our recall ability, begins to decline
starting at about the young age of 40!
Memory decline is one of the most common health concerns. But what are the causes of memory loss? And more importantly, what can be done to prevent it?
Transcript: The Top 8 Causes of Memory Loss In Adults
Do you feel like your brain is not quite as sharp as it once was?
Well you’re not alone.
As we age, most people find that their brain, just like the rest of their body, loses some of its mental vigour. In fact, research has found that the speed at which we process information, as well as our recall ability, begins to decline starting at about the young age of 40!
While I’m telling myself that life begins at 40, unfortunately many people say that so does aching joints, faulty eyesight, and the tendency to tell a story to the same person, three or four times.
Well unfortunately for some people, cognitive decline isn’t just about retelling a story multiple times, forgetting to lock the front door, or not remembering your loved one’s birthday. For some, it’s a serious and debilitating set of diseases that robs them of their memories and often, their identity.
Neurodegenerative diseases affect millions of people worldwide.
In fact, an estimated 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's, and this number is expected to more than double by 2050! Despite its prevalence, the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still largely undetermined, the prognosis is poor, and current conventional treatment only provides moderate and temporary improvements.
But I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way for you. I want to share with you now the top 8 things to avoid if you want to protect your brain and prevent against neurodegenerative disease.
1. A diet high in saturated fats
A diet high in saturated fats found in meats, dairy products, and eggs has been shown to promote the production of beta-amyloid plaques within the brain. This build-up of beta-amyloid is considered one of the primary contributing factors to Alzheimer’s Disease. In fact, one study found that those who had the highest intake of saturated fat had more than triple the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, compared with those who generally avoided these foods. The consumption of saturated fats can also increase your blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk of obesity and diabetes which are also associated with the development of dementia.
2. Trans fats
Trans fats have also been shown to increase Alzheimer’s risk more than fivefold. They also increase the production of the beta-amyloid protein that collects in plaques in the brain as Alzheimer’s disease progresses.
3. Too much sugar
Another reason to go easy on those donuts.
When there’s too much sugar in the body, some of it turns to fat. These fats attach to the vital organs of the body and subsequently release inflammatory protein, leading to inflammation in the brain.
One study that followed over 5000 people for 10 years found that people with high blood sugar had a faster rate of cognitive decline than those with normal blood sugar. Research has also shown that unstable blood sugar levels not only changes the function of the brain, but also the structure of the brain
4. Toxins in foods
Toxins in foods such as pesticides, herbicides, nitrates, nitrites, artificial sweeteners, artificial colorings, antibiotics and hormones, can also wreak havoc on our brain.
The artificial sweetener aspartame, for example, is associated with systemic inflammation, memory problems, migraine headaches, dementia, and even depression. Research suggests that the bi-products of aspartame can cross the blood-brain barrier and lead to cognitive decline.
Another example is diacetyl, which is a chemical that is used to give butter-like flavors to food products, including popcorn. It has recently been linked to the development of dementia as it accelerates the build-up of beta-amyloid protein.
So if you want to protect your health, it is best to avoid packaged, processed foods and cook as much as you can from scratch.
5. Alcohol use, drug use and smoking
Frequent and excessive alcohol use can damage memory circuits and accelerate the decline in mental aging. In patients already diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, studies have shown that it may hasten the progression of the disease and quicken the rate of cognitive decline.
Chronic smoking is also associated with increased risk of cognitive impairment and possibly dementia. The toxins in cigarette smoke cause inflammation and oxidative stress to cells, both of which have been linked to the development of Alzheimer's disease.
6. Aluminum exposure
Aluminum is the most abundant neurotoxic metal on earth. Research has repeatedly shown aluminum to accumulate in the brain cells of those susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease. Some sources of aluminium include deodorants, cosmetic products, drinking water, cookware.
7. Copper Exposure
Studies have shown that copper exposure prohibits the removal of the harmful beta-amyloid protein from the brain. This causes the protein to accumulate in the brain and form the plaques that are characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. Research has also found that copper exposure can lead to a breakdown of the blood-brain barrier, making it easier for copper to cross into the brain as well.
8. Excess iron
Research has shown that excess iron can accumulate in the brain, triggering the production of harmful free radicals, increasing oxidative stress and causing the development or progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Sources of excess iron include cast-iron cookware, meats, and iron supplementation.
There you have it- the top 8 things to avoid to protect your brain. If you want to find out more about inflammation in the brain and the source of that inflammation, check out our video here.
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