Friday, September 2, 2011

Three Easy Ways to Age-Proof Your Memory

Prevent memory loss, maintain and restore brain power.
1. Aerobicize – Believe it or not, studies have shown that aerobic exercise – but not weight training – can make you smarter! The physical benefits of aerobic exercise, especially improved cardiovascular health, are well-known and documented. Not so well-known is that such exercise can have profoundly beneficial effects upon the brain as well. Consider this ground-breaking research:

A 2009 study by University of North Carolina researchers used magnetic resonance angiograms to determine that elderly subjects who did regular aerobic exercise had more small blood vessels in their brains, and fewer twists and turns in those vessels, compared with non-exercising controls. The benefits of strength training, in contrast, tend to be limited to the muscles you’re using.[1]

Studies at the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City involving men and women in their 50s and 60s showed a 10% gain on a series of mental tests following a 4-month aerobic training program.[2]

Swedish researchers reviewed the military screening exams of over one million 18-year old males. It was found that those who showed the most improvement in aerobic fitness over a 3-year period, as evidenced by their grades in physical education class, scored better on cognitive tests than did those subjects whose fitness had declined.[1]

The connection between aerobic exercise and intelligence is OXYGEN. When we improve our cardiovascular system through aerobic exercise, we get more oxygen to the brain, enabling it to function more efficiently.

A good rule of thumb is to exercise at a level that enables you to just keep up a conversation. I like the advice of The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine: 30 minutes of moderately intense aerobic exercise five days a week or 20 minutes of high intensity aerobic exercise three days per week.

2. PREGNENOLONE – The superstar hormone that can convert to all other hormones in the body is also a potent memory enhancer in its own right. While pregnenolone has many additional benefits to the body – helping to lower cholesterol, improve sleep quality and vision, ease arthritic pain and gout, lessen fatigue, enhance libido, and alleviate PMS and menopausal symptoms – the news that it functions as an anti-inflammatory to protect the brain’s synapses and neurons should make this supplement a “must” for those wanting to help prevent Alzheimer’s. And its brain boosting benefits don’t stop there. Consider these sunny mental perks:

* Enhanced mental ability and productivity
* Memory enhancement
* Stress reduction
* Mood elevation
* Better clarity of thought
* Improved sense of well-being

Pregnenolone appears to increase levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the areas of the brain associated with memory, such as the hippocampus. It is produced by the body in the cells of the central nervous system (brain and spine) and in the adrenal glands. Studies have shown that individuals who suffer from depression, or have a history of depression, have a significantly lower level of pregnenolone in the fluid around their brains than do other people.

A little of it goes a long way. I stand by my previous recommendation of the Pregnenolone 5-mg tablet per day – first thing in the AM – with a slow progression to two tablets daily, preferably after you have measured the current state of your hormones with a Salivary Hormone Test. For many of my clients, one is all it takes to bring DHEA, estrogen, and testosterone levels into balance. One of the reasons that pregnenolone can work its magic at such a relatively low dose is that it has the rare ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, an ability shared by another brain booster, Ultra H-3.

3. ULTRA H-3 – The Ultra H-3 formulation is based on the findings of Romanian cardiologist Dr. Ana Aslan, who in 1949 began to treat her elderly patients with procaine at the National Geriatric Institute in Bucharest, Romania. She was hoping that the anesthetic properties of procaine would afford them some pain relief. It did that – and much, much more. Her patients became “frisky” and showed dramatic improvements both physically and mentally.

Ultra H-3 contains precise amounts of specific complexed ingredients, making it six times more effective than Dr. Aslan’s original formula. It shares many of the benefits of pregnenolone, including improved energy levels, more restful sleep, a better sense of overall well-being, enhanced mental clarity, relief from joint pain and – of course – increased libido, one of the original formula’s claims to fame.

Ultra H-3 contains a matrix of 100% bioavailable micronutrients in a base of bilberry and Ginkgo biloba extracts to optimize circulation throughout the body. Gingko is known for its ability to increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain, facilitating delivery of nutrients and removal of toxins. This sets the stage for the improved memory, better focus and increased mental clarity for which the herb is known, and compliments well the effects of the procaine and other ingredients in Ultra H-3. Ultra H-3 may repair old and damaged cell membranes, allowing them to absorb nutrients more efficiently.

There are no known side effects of long-term use of the product at the recommended dose of one or two tablets twice daily. Taken mid-morning and mid-afternoon – at least six hours apart – and you will keep a nice steady amount in your system that will result in longer term focus and a “natural high.”

Of course, exercising your brain will keep your brain sharp. Fall in love with a new hobby, a foreign language, or indulge in daily crossword puzzles. Newly acquired knowledge will help forge new neurons. Feelings of love and happiness stimulate the brain, too.

One final recipe for age-proofing your memory: Aerobic exercise + good nutrition + Pregnenolone + Ultra H-3 + love = enhanced brain power!

-Edge On Health, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman