Your brain may be aging faster than the rest of you, but thanks to advances in regenerative medicine, it’s not too late to turn back the clock!
Linda was in her mid-forties when she noticed her memory wasn’t as sharp as it used to be. She would walk into a room and not remember why she was there, and once wandered the grocery store parking lot for almost an hour trying to find where she parked her car. Even some of her fondest childhood memories were becoming hazy in her mind and losing their vivid detail.
She brought her concerns to her doctor who wrote them off as normal signs of midlife hormonal changes – without referring her for neuropsychological testing. She faithfully took her bioidentical hormones as prescribed, but it unfortunately they made no difference. At age 49, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease after she was no longer able to remember where she was going while driving.
Alzheimer’s is the fastest growing disease of our time and is a reflection of the age of your brain – not your chronological age. In fact, we are seeing more people diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s than we ever have before. The memory loss we are seeing now goes far beyond hormonal changes, and is a result of unhealthy brain aging.
Before I go any further, please understand that I am not anti-aging. Advancing in years is something to feel fortunate to achieve – not something to be ashamed of or dreaded. But, at the same time, I don’t believe the signs of ill health that are written off as “normal” signs of aging should be tolerated in any way. Memory loss – at any age – should be taken seriously and investigated to find the root cause.
My mentor, Dr. Hazel Parcells, taught me that your brain can be as sharp at 100 years old as it was at 20 years old. And advances in science have brought us to a new understanding of our DNA, giving us revolutionary new tools to keep our brains healthy and fit. We can, in fact, outsmart the aging of our brains!
Many Reasons for Memory Loss
All memory loss is NOT Alzheimer’s Disease. In fact, Alzheimer’s Disease is a diagnosis of exclusion, which means that considering all the diagnostic and clinical data that’s available about you, you don’t fit into any other known disease. In other words, Alzheimer’s is a “catch-all” diagnosis you are given when nothing else applies.
Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease doesn’t give you much information to go on in terms of the root cause of your memory loss or the cure to overcoming it. It can be much more helpful to take a step back and look at the many reasons why you may have memory loss in the first place:
- DNA damage
- Mitochondrial damage
- Excessive or chronic stress
- Hormone changes or imbalance
- Elevated blood sugar and insulin
- Candida overgrowth
- Mineral deficiency or imbalance, including copper or iron overload
- Vitamin deficiency or imbalance, especially Vitamin B12
- Heavy metal toxicity, including lead, mercury, and aluminum
- Oxidative damage from free radicals
- Environmental toxin exposure
- Chronic inflammation
- Liver disease
- Head injury
- Alcohol or drug use
- Lack of sleep and chronic fatigue
- Depression and Anxiety
- Vascular Dementia
- More than 50 other chronic diseases
Though this list may seem long and the odds insurmountable, I assure you that there’s a lot you can do to turn back the clock on your aging brain. According to the science of regenerative medicine, it all starts with your DNA.
Let’s Talk Telomeres
Every day your DNA is being damaged in some way. Maybe you inhaled the fumes while you put gas in your car, or your stress level soared through the roof and you could feel your pulse pounding in your head. Whatever assault you faced on your health, you can rest easy knowing that a healthy person replaces or repairs their damaged DNA at about the same rate that they are being damaged.
When your hair starts to gray, skin starts to sag, or memory starts to fade, these are signs your body isn’t able to do all the DNA repair it needs to, and oxidative damage is accumulating. The health of your DNA – and your cells – can be measured by looking at the length of your telomeres. Telomeres are the protective caps at the end of each strand of your DNA.
Each time the cells in your body divide, in order to replace damaged cells, your telomeres shorten and a little of your genetic information is lost as a result. Once your telomeres have been whittled away to a critically small nub, your cells can no longer reproduce and your cells – and tissues – start to die. This cycle of death leads to many chronic diseases that have memory loss as a hallmark, including dementia.
Several methods for measuring the length of your telomeres have been studied, from looking at whole blood cells to calculating a telomere score. Because you can look at your symptoms and clearly see there’s a telomere problem, I don’t find much value in investing in these tests. I’d rather see you putting your effort into protecting your telomeres from further damage. There are several antioxidant herbs and vitamins that are of great benefit for supporting the health of your DNA and your telomeres.
The Basics of Building a Better Brain
It’s scary for anyone of any age to feel like they are losing their mental faculties and might be heading to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis – but don’t let that fear stop you in your tracks. The earlier you address your memory issues, the better your chances for recovery are. I recommend starting with neuropsychological testing, done by a qualified professional.
This testing is well researched, with up to 95 percent accuracy for pinpointing any areas of concern in your mental health and memory. What’s important about this testing to me is that it gives you a benchmark to know whether the steps you are taking to restore your memory are actually effective. Often times, when we are in the thick of it, we don’t see a clear picture of what we are truly dealing with, and neuropsychological gives you an objective point of view of what’s really going on and what needs work.
The next step after testing is to take a good look at your diet. Many people with Alzheimer’s Disease are described by their friends and family as “sugar addicts.” Sugar is necessary for brain function, but is not the preferred fuel for the brain – fat is. Insulin in the brain is essential for memory formation and cognitive function, and when the brain becomes insulin resistant from too much sugar in the diet, it leads to diseases associated with memory loss, including Alzheimer’s.
If you need to restore your memory and build a better brain, then it’s time to get Radical. My Radical Metabolism plan is well-balanced and helps you transition to burning fat as your primary fuel source, while still providing enough healthy carbs in your diet to feed your brain the glucose it needs to thrive – without developing insulin resistance. In this plan, I teach you about the oils your brain needs to thrive, and how to eat to reduce inflammation and repair your damaged cells.
Anti-Aging Herbs and Vitamins for Your Brain
There is so much we can learn from the “blue zones” in our world, where people regularly live vibrant, healthy lives to 100 years and beyond. It would take a book to teach you all the valuable lessons I’ve learned researching these populations, so for now, I’ll share what I’ve learned about the herbs that are commonly used to restore brainpower.
In the tiny town of Accaroli, Italy, 1 in 10 people live to the age of 100, with their sharp minds (and healthy sex drives) still in tact. It isn’t unusual to see someone in their eighties riding a bike, swimming, or walking up the steep hills. It isn’t just the anchovies and sunshine that are behind their radical longevity – it’s the rosemary. They cook almost everything with rosemary, and the variety they grow there is particularly pungent, smelling 10 times as strong as what you can grow in your garden.
Rosemary has long been known to researchers to aid in brain functioning. There are plant polyphenols in rosemary that are antioxidant, metal chelating, and anti-inflammatory for the brain and nervous tissue. Rosemary is also a good source of calcium and is known to raise blood levels of vitamin D, which is especially beneficial for people with the VDR gene mutation.
Dried rosemary can be made into a tea to drink daily, using 1 teaspoon of dried herb per 8 ounces of water. The fresh herb can also be infused into your favorite oil to be used for cooking and salad dressings. Finally, add the fresh or dried herb to your meats, soups, and stews while cooking to add a rich Italian flavor and release the potent antioxidants.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is famous for its focus on wellness, rather than illness. It should come as no surprise then that have an herb they’ve used for more than 2000 years because of its ability to turn back the clock on your aging brain. They revere astragalus root for its age-defying effects on your DNA – and even your telomeres. Studies show it has neuroprotective effects and can significantly improve memory and learning. I recommend 2 to 6 grams of the powdered root daily.
I’ll let you in on the little secret I use to keep my mental clarity as sharp as a tack – UNI KEY Health’s Ultra H-3. Developed by Romanian cardiologist Dr. Ana Aslan, this formula has been called the “fountain of youth” because of its rejuvenating properties. In the 1960s, celebrities and world leaders came to Romania just for her formula, which has now been enhanced and updated in Ultra H-3. The ingredients in this new formula support repair of damaged cell membranes – including in the brain, allowing the cell to absorb nutrients more efficiently. It also supports the restoration of the cell’s electrical potential, which leads to the cell’s ability to rebuild and regain its health. I recommend 1 to 2 pills twice daily before late afternoon.
This potent plant antioxidant has been studied and found to slow – or even stop – the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease in people who are mild to moderate. Resveratrol also activates your own anti-aging genes called sirtuins, which gives your body more time to repair DNA damage. A dose of 10 to 20 milligrams per day is needed to be effective.
EGCG and Vitamin C
Dr. Matthias Rath and the Linus Pauling Institute are near and dear to James Templeton’s heart, as he explains in his book, I Used to Have Cancer. James (the founder of Uni Key Health and the Templeton Wellness Foundation) used a Vitamin C and EGCG formula that was created by Linus Pauling and is now sold by his research predecessor, Matthias Rath, MD, that he believes helped him overcome his terminal melanoma cancer diagnosis more than 30 years ago.
EGCG is a powerful catechin extracted from green tea that helps protect telomeres while preventing and repairing cell damage throughout your whole body – including your brain. And while vitamin C is well known as a potent antioxidant that protects your cells from free radical damage, it has also been found to significantly slow down the loss of telomere length. I recommend 50 milligrams of EGCG daily with vitamin C taken to bowel tolerance (the highest dose that doesn’t give digestive discomfort or loose stools).
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