Prevent Neurodegeneration in Six Easy Steps

Written by Anil Bajnath, MD
Posted October 1, 2020

Dear Reader,

Despite what you might think, aging and neurodegeneration doesn’t have to go hand in hand.

Blue zones are locations on the planet where people are living longer than everyone else and recently, a team of researchers set out to discover what they were doing right.

“In the blue zones region of Ikaria, Greece, dementia among people over 85 is rare — over 75 percent less common than it is in the United States. (About half of Americans over 85 years old show signs of Alzheimer’s disease.)”

Blue Zones. “Diet and Dementia: What Foods Increase or Decrease Alzheimer’s Risk?”

These blue zones show that with a variety of lifestyle changes (what Blue Zones’ founder calls the Power 9) aging doesn’t have to mean losing your mental faculties. With the knowledge of how your brain works and some simple tips, you can take proactive steps towards improving your own neural health and keeping a functioning mind through the years.

  1. Normalize blood sugar imbalances and promote optimal mitochondrial function. This means avoiding foods and beverages that will spike your blood sugar levels and throw off your insulin production. Stay away from sweets, sodas, and processed foods. Stick with natural, whole foods like lean meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
  2. Improve Phase I and II detoxification. This is all about helping your liver do its job of removing toxins from your body. The best way to aid this process is by reducing the toxins you’re putting in so your liver isn’t overloaded. Eating organic foods, avoiding environmental toxins (like smoke), and supplementing with key nutrients all help improve Phase I and II detoxes.
  3. Optimize essential fatty acid metabolism. You’ll find most preventative medicine focused heavily on diet and exercise, and this is tip is no different. Studies show “maximal rates of fat oxidation have been shown to be reached at intensities between 59% and 64% of maximum oxygen consumption in trained individuals and between 47% and 52% of maximum oxygen consumption in a large sample of the general population.” This means steady, consistent exercise to get your heart rate up can greatly reduce the symptoms of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity.
  4. Optimize glutathione production. Glutathione is an antioxidant produced in cells. Having a reduced amount can affect many health markers and even increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Eating plants with natural sulfur such as broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, and legumes can boost glutathione production. Getting quality sleep also helps optimize glutathione production.
  5. Optimize gastrointestinal pathogens. There is always something growing in your stomach. Some of its helpful. some of it may be harmful. The best way to keep your gastro-flora healthy is by eating whole foods, including fermented foods such as kimchi and kombucha, or supplementing with a quality probiotic formula. 
  6. Optimize methylation. Methylation is the atomic process that turns on and off your biological systems. It helps your metabolism, DNA production, neurotransmitter production, liver health, detoxification, and many other mechanisms. You can optimize methylation in your own body by adding key nutrients such as folate, choline, and B vitamins into your diet.

At the Institute for Human Optimization, we believe brain aging doesn’t have to be a part of chronological aging. It all begins with you and your lifestyle choices. We strive to give our patients personalized preventative care to keep their minds sharp as they age. To discuss how we can help you on your journey to a longer healthspan, schedule a discovery call today.

To your longevity,

Anil Bajnath MD
CEO/Founder, Institute for Human Optimization
Chief Medical Advisor, Longevity Insider HQ

* Today's content was provided by the Institute for Human Optimization (www.ifho.org).