Nature's Secrets: Brain Health

Guest : Susanne Bennett, DC
From the Show: Wellness for Life
Summary: Each week, host Dr. Susanne Bennett shares with her listeners Nature's Secrets to a healthier body. This week: top natural approaches that support healthy brain function.
Air Date: 2/27/15
Duration: 10
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC
Nature's Secrets: Brain Health
Dr. Susanne provides natural remedies, recipes and much more so that you can effectively fight infection, avoid sickness and keep your body as healthy as possible.

In this week's edition, Dr. Susanne shares four lifestyle changes you can make today to improve your memory and cognitive function fast.

Dr. Susanne shares her favorite brain nutrients and something she takes herself to stop “oldtimer’s” in its tracks.

RadioMD Presents: Wellness for Life Radio | Original Air Date: February 27, 2015
Host: Susanne Bennett, DC

It’s time to feel better with help from Dr. Susanne Bennett. Allergies, nutrition, ultimate wellness—all discussed right here, right now. It’s Wellness for Life Radio on RadioMD.

Here’s your host, Dr. Susanne.

DR. SUSANNE: As we age, we all eventually experience a decline in our cognitive abilities. Our memory starts to fail, we may not be as alert or focused and our brain may just feel super foggy. We have a difficult time retrieving words and even trouble creating sentences. In fact, my own sweet mama, 83 years young, Sarah Chung confided in me a couple of months ago that her number one fear—her number one fear that she has-- is that she may be losing her mind. In fact, she used the word “Alzheimer’s” to me. Wait. Wait. Wait. She actually pronounced it “Old Timers”. She’s Korean with a Korean accent, but I knew exactly what she was talking about. She called it “Old Timers. I’m so afraid of it.” Now, my mom is in great health. She eats well, walks daily, watches her Korean drama shows and gets her exercise by dancing around to Korean pop. But, she does have her forgetful moments. A lot of us have experienced that as well, not remembering little things here and there, which really, really frustrates her terribly. Now, one of the things that is a constant thing is that she actually loses the place where she parked her car. She’s in a big mall and she doesn’t remember what floor she was at, so I taught her how to take a picture of it--where she’s at--so that she can always look back at it.

But, anyone who has a parent who is over 75 years old understands these little mishaps. So I reassured her. Told her to calm down. “Mom, that’s okay.” You know, that she does have these memory issues, but definitely “You don’t have Alzheimer’s”. Now, it’s called type 3 diabetes or the diabetic brain. I’ve written an article on this called, The Nine Key Strategies to Prevent Dementia and Early Alzheimer’s Disease. You can get that on my website, DrSusanne.com/OldTimers. You can find that on my radio page. Now, I expressed to her that, “You know what? We’re going to do whatever it takes and change some of your lifestyle as well as what you’re eating,” so that we can strengthen and create her brain to spark again without having any ill effects in the future. I reminded her that her mother lived to 104, so I told her, no worries. We were going to do the same for her. Then, a few days after I gave my mother her Old Timers protocol, CNN.com came out with this very interesting article about reversing dementia and ADD and how to improve the brain. That was perfect timing.

Now, the article is based on a study by Dr. Dale Bredesen from UCLA, my alma mater, at the UCLA’s Mary S. Easton Center for Disease Research and it was basically all the things that I shared with my mother about that lifestyle and you can make these changes and make these choices properly so that you can enhance your brain’s function.

Dr. Dale goes over 7 strategies and I end up going into 9 key strategies. I added a couple more. Again, you can get that at DrSusanne.com/OldTimers. Now, so let’s go into the four strategies. I talk about 9, but I’m going to give you 4 lifestyle strategies here because we don’t have that much time.

Number one, we’ve got to look at your gut health and how diet has everything to do with it. Now, Dr. Eli Metchinikoff, who was an old scientist way back when, believed that death begins in the gut. Same thing with Hippocrates, our father of medicine. He stated that all diseases begin in the gut. So, that means we’ve got look at why. Why do we have to look at the gut? You know, it is often referred to as our second brain. There’s the brain with our gut nervous system and our brain with just our head brain that has a communication physiologically. They mirror each other in our health, so if we’ve got inflammation in our gut because we’re eating the wrong foods; you’re not having enough probiotics; if you’re eating, also, toxins; and then you might even have a real bad overgrowth of bacteria or yeast overgrowth, then it’s going to affect your gut, too. Remember, it communicates with one another. So, the most important thing is they’re finding that sugar--when you eat too much sugar and you have a condition that’s caused insulin insensitivity and that’s literally pre-diabetes--it causes inflammation in our body and that is what is causing the possible dementia and rapid deterioration which then goes into Alzheimer’s. So, if you want to have a healthier body, healthier brain, we’ve got to change the food that we’re eating and reducing our sugar level. By reducing our sugar level, we end up digesting better, the insulin effect is less and we’re not going to have as much damage to our brain.

A four-week study that focused on diets and consisted of healthy foods as well as unhealthy foods, found that definitely it had a positive impact on reducing the beta amyloid levels and that beta amyloid levels are actually the plaque in the brain. It’s one of the biggest signs of Alzheimer’s. Also they found that strategic fasting or intermittent fasting, another word for that, has suggested also it will reduce the beta amyloid levels. What you want to do is, you want to fast from 7 PM to 7 AM. So that means, after dinner—have an early dinner--and don’t eat anything else until after that time. So, if you eat at 7 PM, don’t eat anything until after 7 AM when you wake up and that’s thought to help give us time to break down those beta amyloid proteins.

The number two factor that I want you to think about is sleep. You want deep, uninterrupted sleep because studies showed that during our sleep, we detox out chemicals like heavy metals and arsenic and lead, chemicals that we breathe in the air and foods that we might be eating loaded with pesticides, fungicides and fertilizers. So, we need 7-8 hours as adults. When you have children, they need a lot more—anywhere from 9-11 hours depending on their age.

Number three, we need to change the lifestyle of exercise and circulation. Circulation improving the blood flow into the brain through exercise and massage will help decline the dementia and Alzheimer’s because we’re getting more blood flow to the brain, detoxing out those toxins, reducing those cortisol levels. Cortisol, which I’m going to talk about next, is about the stress and actually, cortisol will start to degrade the hippocampus, the brain’s memory center.

So, the next one, the fourth factor that I want you to know is about mindfulness and stress reduction. There’s no way we can have a healthy brain without reducing our stress. It may sound like a “no-brainer” but living with less stress and a more positive attitude is really key to a healthy brain function. So, you can do things where you can relax, go and meditate, go ahead and have a positive outlook, do meditation tapes and things like that. For me, I love to relax in the sun or go and play with my dog. That reduces my cortisol and it helps me relax more.

Now, I’m going to go over the brain healthy nutrients. These are brain boosters. So, I’m just going to go one by one so that you can get an idea of what it takes to have a healthy brain and healthy outlook.

So, acetylcarnitine is one of those neuroprotector formulas. Acetylcarnitine, it’s called, and it really helps improve mental energy, mental clarity and reduces any of these memory issues that you have because it helps the connection from nerve to nerve. Vitamin B12 is really important. It lowers our homocysteine level, but it also is excellent in increasing blood flow as well as developing healthy nerve cells. It reduces the depression and stress. Glycerophosphocholine, phosphatidyl serine, phosphatidyl choline are all fatty acid supplements for brain health. They increase the flexibility of the nerve cell and makes it more fluid to exchange nutrients and excrete toxins. Vitamin D is so important to improve your immunity as well as help you with modulation of your immune system and increase mental fitness. Omega-3s are so important to get those DHA polyphenol like EG, CG and resveratrol.

Wow. We all have those powers to change our brain by changing our lifestyle and what we take nutritionally.

Until then, thanks so much for giving me this opportunity to serve you. I’m dedicated to helping you feel better and the best that you can today.

This is Wellness for Life radio on RadioMD.

See you next time. Stay well, everyone.