Mindful Metropolis September 2011 : Page 18

living healthy Boost your Brain Power Consider principles that promote brain health over a miracle product approach by dR. JASOn gOdO, dC lderly individuals who did this daily for 24 weeks showed an 1,800 percent increase in memory, attention and cognitive function.” I’m sure you’ve noticed ads for products that claim to enhance mental performance? After hearing all the research and the hype, I always wonder, why is that working? What’s the underlying mechanism? You could take 20 or 30 diff erent nutrients to increase brain function, and each one of them has some rationale. But let’s consider principles that promote brain power rather than a specifi c, “take this miracle product,” approach. We now know, contrary to our earlier un-derstanding, that parts of the brain can re-generate though a process called neurogen-esis. To stimulate and control neurogenesis, certain chemicals called neurotrophins are involved. One of the most exciting factors and one of the most active is a protein called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Facto (BDNF). BDNF is an essential key player in creating new neurons and protecting old ones. Some of the factors that are involved in turning on BDNF are voluntary exercise, caloric reduc-tion and intellectual stimulation. Medical researchers at the University of Western Australia found that elderly indi-vidual’s who exercised the equivalent of just 20 minutes a day for 24 weeks showed an E 1,800 percent increase in memory, attention and other cognitive functions. One reason exercise may be so important is that BDNF is also found in skeletal muscle. It appears that as BDNF in the muscle increases so does BDNF in the brain. Consider caloric reduction More and more research reports the ben-efi ts of caloric reduction, and one of those benefi ts is an increase in BDNF. Th e typical American consumes an average of 500 more calories a day than they consumed in 1970. So, reducing calories from the estimated 3,700 to 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men is not a huge discomfort. Food is like a phar-maceutical compound that aff ects the brain. Another interesting note is that BDNF levels are low in those with obesity and also in pa-tients with Type 2 diabetes. Just as exercise can increase BDNF in the muscles, mental exercise can also increase BDNF in the brain. BDNF is increased with problem solving, intellectual stimulation, and even meditation, according to neurolo-gist Dr. David Purlmutter. matory stress, oxidative stress, toxic stress (both internal and external toxins) and of course, emotional stress. It takes energy to deal with these stresses. When our energy supplies are depleted, the eff ects of these stresses accumulate, and cells begin to func-tion at less than optimal rates. Cellular repair mechanisms need energy to rebuild, repair and reproduce healthy cells. Th at’s why it’s so important to follow a few core principles and enforce your brain power with core nutrients like a quality multi-vitamin/mineral as well as pure oils like omega-3 fi sh oils. More than 2/3 of the dry weight of the human brain is fat. Healthy oils are benefi cial to promote healthy brain plasticity between synapses of brain cells. We actually do reap numerous benefi ts by practicing core principles, more specifi cally, wellness principles that encourage and pro-mote life, along with voluntary exercise, ca-loric reduction and intellectual stimulation as key components for optimal brain health. Feel free to contact Dr. Godo for other tips on how you can stay sharp and how you can increase your brain power. Dr. Jason Godo, DC is in practice at 3118 N. Sheffi eld Ave., Chicago. Visit gotogodo.com, or call 773.525.0007. Stress affects brain health Of course, it will come as no surprise that stress is one of the major factors which neg-atively aff ects brain health. We can break stress into four major categories: infl am-18 september 2011

Boost Your Brain Power

Dr. Jason Godo, Dc

Consider principles that promote brain health over a miracle product approach<br /> <br /> Elderly individuals who did this daily for 24 weeks showed an 1,800 percent increase in memory, attention and cognitive function.”<br /> <br /> I’m sure you’ve noticed ads for products that claim to enhance mental performance? After hearing all the research and the hype, I always wonder, why is that working? What’s the underlying mechanism?<br /> <br /> You could take 20 or 30 diff erent nutrients to increase brain function, and each one of them has some rationale. But let’s consider principles that promote brain power rather than a specific, “take this miracle product,” approach.<br /> <br /> We now know, contrary to our earlier understanding, that parts of the brain can regenerate though a process called neurogenesis. To stimulate and control neurogenesis, certain chemicals called neurotrophins are involved. One of the most exciting factors and one of the most active is a protein called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Facto (BDNF).<br /> <br /> BDNF is an essential key player in creating new neurons and protecting old ones. Some of the factors that are involved in turning on BDNF are voluntary exercise, caloric reduction and intellectual stimulation.<br /> <br /> Medical researchers at the University of Western Australia found that elderly individual’s who exercised the equivalent of just 20 minutes a day for 24 weeks showed an 1,800 percent increase in memory, attention and other cognitive functions. One reason exercise may be so important is that BDNF is also found in skeletal muscle. It appears that as BDNF in the muscle increases so does BDNF in the brain.<br /> <br /> Consider caloric reduction<br /> <br /> More and more research reports the benefits of caloric reduction, and one of those benefits is an increase in BDNF. The typical American consumes an average of 500 more calories a day than they consumed in 1970. So, reducing calories from the estimated 3,700 to 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men is not a huge discomfort. Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that aff ects the brain. Another interesting note is that BDNF levels are low in those with obesity and also in patients with Type 2 diabetes.<br /> <br /> Just as exercise can increase BDNF in the muscles, mental exercise can also increase BDNF in the brain. BDNF is increased with problem solving, intellectual stimulation, and even meditation, according to neurologist Dr. David Purlmutter.<br /> <br /> Stress affects brain health<br /> <br /> Of course, it will come as no surprise that stress is one of the major factors which negatively affects brain health. We can break stress into four major categories: inflammatory stress, oxidative stress, toxic stress (both internal and external toxins) and of course, emotional stress. It takes energy to deal with these stresses. When our energy supplies are depleted, the eff ects of these stresses accumulate, and cells begin to function at less than optimal rates.<br /> <br /> Cellular repair mechanisms need energy to rebuild, repair and reproduce healthy cells. That’s why it’s so important to follow a few core principles and enforce your brain power with core nutrients like a quality multi-vitamin/mineral as well as pure oils like omega-3 fish oils. More than 2/3 of the dry weight of the human brain is fat. Healthy oils are beneficial to promote healthy brain plasticity between synapses of brain cells.<br /> <br /> We actually do reap numerous benefits by practicing core principles, more specifically, wellness principles that encourage and promote life, along with voluntary exercise, caloric reduction and intellectual stimulation as key components for optimal brain health.<br /> <br /> Feel free to contact Dr. Godo for other tips on how you can stay sharp and how you can increase your brain power.

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