Looking for a quick trick to improve your memory? Maybe a supplement for memory or memory improvement games? The answer is both simpler but more involved.
If you meant to look for things you can do to maintain your memory as you get older but you just keep forgetting–this blog post is for you. (Just in case you’re already taking that stuff for memory but can’t remember the name….It’s ginkgo, and double the dose…)
Many seniors that I come across have concerns over memory loss as they age. Today’s senior demands high expectations from his or her body and brain. Luckily, preserving memory is a conscious decision because memory loss is clearly related to lifestyle. Make the right choices and you should always remember just where you left your keys.
The reverse is also true–make the wrong decisions and you’ll pay with in cognition and memory.
But let’s get something clear. Factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and prediabetes will all affect memory. But, as I’ve stated time and time again, if you use medication to artificially fix these numbers, you haven’t fixed anything.
Blood pressure and stroke. Insulin and diabetes. Cholesterol and heart attacks. We live in a society that believes that medications are the answer, and few doctors understand lifestyle changes enough to make solid recommendations.
This particular study really sums it all up and shows how little these medications do to protect what we hold dear.
Researchers looked to determine what factors led to greater cognitive loss up to 18 years later. They lumped these factors together and called them “metabolic abnormalities.” Here’s where it gets interesting…
- Triglycerides ≥150 mg/dl OR lipid-lowering drugs
- Systolic blood pressure ≥130, diastolic ≥85 OR antihypertensive drugs
- glucose ≥ 100 mg/dl OR medications for diabetes
- HDL cholesterol <40 mg / dl for men and <50 mg / dl for women
I have emphasized the “OR” in the above for a very important reason. Basically, it didn’t matter whether you were on medication for high blood pressure, diabetes or cholesterol — you still had the same risks as if your numbers were too high an unmedicated.
When they looked at the results, those with elevated BMI and at least 2 of the other abnormalities noted above, this group experienced the fastest cognitive decline, even faster than an obese individual that did not have at least 2 other abnormalities.
So basically, the most fundamental of lab values, blood pressure, triglycerides (notice we did NOT say cholesterol), HDL and blood glucose were reflective of how the brain declined or not over time.
I’ve covered steps to protect your brain in a previous post that can be read here.
Overall, though, if you want to improve the way your brain is working and keep it that way, you’re going to have to play a very active role. There is not a single supplement or the most complex Sudoku game book that is going to hold the answer.
It will arguably take a lifetime of commitment to better health to protect your brain. And, if you happen to be coming into this information later in life, it is never too late to start.
So what have YOU done for your brain today (other than reading this blog post, of course…)