Alarming new facts on our current brain health...

Alarming new facts on our current brain health...

Author -  Good Health

When it comes to the functioning of your brain and your memory the saying is “use it or lose it”. But there are plenty of other things you can do to stay mentally sharp and keep your memory strong. There are even ways to get a better memory at any age. Find out more here…

A lot of us have moments when we don’t feel as sharp as we used to.  We forget things we would’ve previously remembered; places we’ve been to, people’s names or even where we put something.  Sometimes words are on the tip of our tongue, but we just can’t quite bring it to the front of our mind! 

Once in a while is normal, but when it becomes a regular occurrence and starts to affect people’s lives, it not only becomes frustrating, it can become a problem and needs to be addressed.

Research suggests that it’s more common for people from the age of around 45 to 65, particularly those who are in the workforce, to find themselves struggling to keep up with their younger work colleagues.  Not grasping new concepts quite as quickly or having trouble remembering newly learned information (like a new computer program) where a younger person only needs to be shown things once and they remember it.

Whilst this can be justified as a normal part of ageing, could it also be the beginning of something more serious. 

There was an interview with Alzheimers’ NZ CEO Catherine Hall on Breakfast News very recently (Thursday 18th September 2014) regarding the release of a global report on  on dementia risk reduction. Check it out here: Breakfast News Interview.

‘Change your unhealthy lifestyle habits now or face a much greater risk of developing Alzheimers…healthy heart = healthy brain’

Here’s a few alarming statistics about our current brain health;

  • 50,000 Kiwis living with Alzheimers now
  • This has increased over 18% in three years
  • By 2050 nearly 150,000 New Zealanders will have dementia – more than triple current numbers
  • This is only the tip of the iceberg – 2 in every 3 NZers are affected in some way (friends & family affected)
  • A recent Harvard University survey found that adults fear Alzheimer’s more than heart disease, stroke or diabetes—only cancer is feared more.
  • The anxiety is justified: Deaths from Alzheimer’s jumped 66 percent between 2005 and 2008 while deaths from other major diseases decreased

Why are our memories getting worse? 

Sometimes this can be due to the effects of stress or poor sleep and most of us, unfortunately, have probably had plenty of experience in this area.  Genetics also plays a part, but diet and lifestyle are the most important factors that could be the missing link.  Modern diets and lifestyle just aren’t giving us the same brain nutrients that we need.

Recommendations to help reduce the likelihood we will develop dementia:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Look after your heart – deal with high blood pressure/cholesterol
  • Be physically active
  • Follow a healthy diet
  • Keep brain active throughout life
  • Keep social engagement

The importance of a healthy diet and brain nutrients

When we are in our teens or twenties we can generally get away with not eating healthy foods or having a healthy lifestyle, but once you get into your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s it can catch up with you; important brain nutrients start to decline and need to be replenished by eating better quality food and taking specific brain food supplements.

So what are these important brain nutrients?

The brain needs some quite specific nutrients to keep it functioning properly - without them – memory, mental sharpness, focus, concentration and general brain function all start to go haywire.


Phosphatidylserine (abbreviated to ‘PS’) is one of these nutrients.  High concentrations of phospholipids are found in the brain – the most abundant of which is Phosphatidylserine. It increases the communication between cells in your brain by increasing the number of membrane receptor sites for receiving messages.
PS and its effect on people’s memory has been the subject of a number of scientific studies. Studies have  shown that PS restores the brain’s supply and output of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that is crucial to memory.

Studies have shown that taking Phosphatidylserine can improve certain memory functions by up to 13.9 years.

The body gets most of the PS it needs from foods. However, modern diets don’t supply the amount of PS we need and vegetarian diets have even less.  The suggested daily consumption of phosphatidylserine is 250mg, however it is estimated that vegetarian diets only proved 50mg and reduced-fat diets 100mg while a diet rich in fish and meat may supply 175mg. The impact of this short supply of PS to the brain becomes greater over the years.  It is often seen as worsening memory and sometimes difficulty with focus and concentration.

DHA Fish Oil

This is a very important brain nutrient! The brain is made up of 60% fat and DHA is the most abundant fatty acid in the brain.  DHA is vital for brain and eye development and maintenance right throughout life.  Babies born with low levels of DHA test lower in IQ tests than babies with higher levels.

Other brain nutrients include:

Iodine – deficiency is associated with lower intelligence and learning disorders.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is commonly associated with neurological problems including memory loss & dementia.  B12 absorption decreases as we age.

Folic acid – needed in the manufacture of brain neurotransmitters (the brain’s chemical messengers) responsible for memory, mental clarity, alertness and mood stability.

Good Health’s new product Mind Sharp contains phosphatidylserine, DHA, iodine, folic acid & Vitamin B12 to help support brain function and activity, clear thinking and mental sharpness. 

You can find the article on the report here: Alzheimers Report

Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time.

Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time.Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time.

Post New Comment

Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time