Q. Dear Terry, “I’ve watched several close family members suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s. I’m trying to take steps to minimize my risk of going down the same path. Diet and exercise are of course important, but I want to know if there are any herbs I should take too?” – Sean K., Sioux City, IA
A. Dear Sean, The brain is prone to oxidative stress and damage, which can lead to changes in cognitive function and memory. Adding ingredients that help protect the brain and neurological system are very important in the fight against memory loss.
Low levels of vitamin D at age 65 means you are twice as likely to experience mental decline. In a human study, participants with even moderate vitamin D deficiencies had a 53% increased risk of dementia and a 69% increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease. When it comes to supplementing with vitamin D, I prefer vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol. I would take 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.
Curcumin protects brain cells from damaging inflammation. It has been shown to reduce the beta-amyloid levels and shrink the size of accumulated plaques that interfere with brain cell signals by over 30% in experimental models of Alzheimer’s disease. Other studies have shown that curcumin plays a role in regenerating neurons and damaged brain cells, while also helping to create new brain cells. The curcumin I recommend is enhanced with turmeric essential oil in a patented process and has been clinically studied.
Concentrated plant oils are powerful medicines that can also help improve brain function. Both rosemary and Spanish sage are important botanicals that preserve acetylcholine, an important messenger in the brain that is crucial for memory and learning. Low levels of acetylcholine are associated with memory issues and Alzheimer’s disease. Make sure to choose concentrated plant oils that are approved for internal use. Unlike essential oils used for massage and aromatherapy, these plant oils are tested and their biochemical profiles are verified based on specific molecular makeup, species, marker compounds, purity, and safety for internal use.
I think a combination of curcumin, Spanish sage, and rosemary oil extracts taken daily could be very beneficial for preserving memory and cognitive function. You could take these ingredients once or twice per day.
Terry . . . Naturally
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