Thursday, December 15, 2005

Study Finds That Extra Folic Acid May Protect the Brain

A study published by the dutch researcher, Jane Dura of Wageningen has shown that taking 800 micrograms of Folic Acid a day slowed down the brain drain. The study followed 818 people over a three year period. One group was given the Folic Acid and one group, a dummy pill. After the three year period, their brain function was evaluated. On memory tests, the supplement users had scores comparable to people 5.5 years younger, Durga said. On tests of cognitive speed, the folic acid helped users perform as well as people 1.9 years younger.

That's significant brain protection, with a supplement that's already well-known to be safe, said Johns Hopkins University neuroscientist Marilyn Albert, who chairs the Alzheimer's Association's science advisory council.

Durga said it's not clear how folic acid might work to protect the brain. Some studies suggest folate lowers inflammation; others suggest it may play a role in _expression of dementia-related genes.

Folate is found in such foods as oranges and strawberries, dark-green leafy vegetables and beans. In the United States, it also is added to cereal and flour products. The recommended daily dose here is 400 micrograms; doctors advise women of childbearing age to take a supplement to ensure they get that much. The problem is most people do not eat a proper diet or eat enough fruits to receive enough Folic Acid for optimal brain performance. Ask yourself how many of the above foods you eat each day...each week?

It is also advised to keep the brain functioning at top level you should:

Mentally exercise the brain with chess, crossword puzzles, game shows, reading, bridge, or other games. You should always be trying to learn, gain new knowledge as in a hobby or a passion.

Exercise is also both stimulating mentally and physically. It is great for stress relief as well. Walking is one exercise that can be done by almost everyone and in the level suited to your ability and age.

Get out in social groups and have fun. When you stop seeing people-getting out of the house, it also affects mental function. This is why Senior Centers are so great. People see others their own age, enjoy all sort of activities, eat together, and have conversations that are stimulating both mentally and physically.

Diet is important as well. Often in the elderly for example, their mental function is impaired by poor nutrition and medicines. It is well known that many of the elderly in nursing homes would improve mentally is given a good multi-vitamin, better nutrition, and were not on certain medications.

I have volunteered in nursing homes. The food is overcooked and is often so tasteless that they won't eat it. Half the food is never eaten. The other problem is that many of the patients cannot eat without help. The homes are understaffed and many of the residents don't have someone to help them eat. Their hands shake to the point that the food ends up in their lap. In a cafeteria of 50 people to 4 CNAs, with the majority needing help, how many get proper nourishment? I saw it all over and over again. On the days that they generally have more visitors, they have more staff helping to feed. On the days where normally there are few family members visiting, they have many less feeding.

Most of them don't remember later if they ate, if someone helped them, or any other details to follow up with them on the quality of service staff. Many of them are not capable of talking or being understood. This all makes it very difficult to check on quality of treatment. This is true even in the places that charge big bucks. I volunteered in a couple of them as well.

Herbs and Supplements:

Ginko does help slow down the mental drain. In my years of working with clients, I have found many of the Ginko formulas to be junk. One of the ones that does work is Ginko Gold and I do not sell it. It does not cure the problem but does slow it down some. It does not help with all patients and if they are in the last stages of dementia where the brain is severely damaged, it may not have any effect at all.

Ginkgo Biloba Extract- Is generally accepted as a remedy for minor deficits in brain function, such as those that occur with advancing age. It may be useful in improving concentration and combat short-term memory loss due to clogged arteries in the brain, and to treat dizziness, ringing in the ears, headache, and emotional hypersensitivity accompanied by anxiety. Active compounds in Ginkgo extract assists in improving circulation, discouraging clot formation, reinforcing the walls of the capillaries and protecting nerve cells from harm when deprived of oxygen. These ingredients also appear to have an antioxidant effect, sparing brain tissue from the damage caused by free radicals.

Huperzine A- With advancing age the brain increasingly loses the ability to produce acetylcholine, an important chemical that is crucial too memory function and thinking ability. Huperzine A has a beneficial effect by raising acetylcholine levels. It helps to promote better memory, thinking ability, and mental clarity.

Roseox ®- Helps regenerate other antioxidants. It is made from Rosemary extract and blended with an exclusive combination of herbs. It helps to improve the total antioxidant potential of Vitamin E.

L-Glutamine- Plays an important role in many functions of the body such as energy levels, intestinal health, protein synthesis, and healthy blood sugar levels through quick conversion into glucose. This important amino acid helps brain function as it converts quickly into glucose.

Gotu Kola- Assists in improving poor circulation in the veins.

Choline- Is important for normal cellular membrane composition and repair, normal brain function and normal cardiovascular function.

Well this is all for tonight. I hope this has been of help.
This is all for tonight. If you would like any questions answered on this subject, email me at .

Updated 9-10-2016

Kate Freer, The Herbladyisin

Growing and Using Moringa and Healing Herbs Blog  (published articles on Moringa, women's health, and alternative medicine.


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