“To me, old age is 15 years older than I am.” – Bernard Baruch
You can see yourself going gray or developing wrinkles around your eyes. It’s more difficult to notice that your brain is aging too – yet losing cognitive function is one of the most upsetting symptoms of aging.
Your brain shrinks as you grow older. The shrinking starts in adulthood and continues at an average rate of 2% per decade. This means that when you’re 80, your brain will be 12% smaller than it was when you were 20. Studies show that for most of us, even our IQs begin to decline in our 30’s.
I have found that you can do something to slow, stop, or even reverse the loss of mental sharpness. Little-known nutritional supplements can help you build mental strength. Using this approach, I’ve seen improvement in most patients – some with very dramatic reversals.
Notice I used the term “nutritional” supplements. That is not a redundancy. Not all supplements are nutrients. This is an important distinction, because you should avoid using herbs to boost brain power long-term.
A good example of an herb that boosts mental performance is coffee. It works in the short run – but, over time, the stimulation makes you dependent on the caffeine and it depletes important brain nutrients.
Gingko is also an herb. Herbs alter physiology. Think of them as weak mixtures of relatively safe, naturally occurring drugs. Gingko is all right for short-term use. It will temporarily give you an increase in clarity by inducing a drug-like dilation of blood vessels in your brain. However, I don’t recommend you take gingko long-term. The effect is not sustainable.
In contrast to nutrient-depleting herbs and drugs, we are learning that some nutrients can give your brain what it needs to perform functions like recalling, calculating, and concentrating. DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) is a natural brain nutrient found in anchovies, sardines, and other fish. Studies show it increases levels of a chemical in our brains called acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter that is responsible for learning and memory.
The FDA once planned to approve DMAE to treat learning and behavioral problems. We had great hopes that it would help impaired motor conditions associated with a variety of diseases – even aging.
So what happened? The FDA pulled the plug when the manufacturer couldn’t pay for FDA testing and licensing procedures. (Without patent protection, this has often been the fate of naturally occurring nutrients.) Shortly after that, the FDA approved Ritalin for treating attention deficit in children and adults, as well as a new category of synthetic drugs for Alzheimer’s disease.
Unlike those synthetic drugs, natural DMAE provides a safe and non-addictive solution to a variety of cognitive and behavioral problems. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, DMAE naturally replaces the chemical that causes mental decline. Doctors in Europe prescribe the drug Centrophenoxine, whose central ingredient is DMAE, to boost cognitive function in the aged.
DMAE can also temper mood and ease behavioral and learning problems. In one study, 50 hyperactive kids showed improvement with just 10 weeks of DMAE supplementation. In another study, children with learning disabilities performed better on concentration and skill tests. Better still, there were no side effects like jumpiness or an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.
DMAE also has the potential to fight aging in other ways. The Vitamin Research News gives DMAE its “high ranking on the list of proven anti-aging supplements.” DMAE helps to stabilize cell membranes, naturally protecting them from the changes that
cause aging. In a study with mice, DMAE directly increased their lifespan.
Many users say they notice an improvement in their memory, concentration, focus, mental clarity, and even sleep within a week.
How much should you take? For adults seeking anti-aging benefits or a mental boost, I recommend 100 to 300 mg in the morning. In some users, it may cause a mild perceived stimulation..
I’ll be talking about more brain-boosting strategies during the “health track” of the upcoming ETR Wealth-Building Bootcamp. See you there.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, M.D.
Dr. Sears will be one of the featured speakers at ETR’s upcoming Wealth Building Conference.
One of Dr. Sears’ first recommendations to his patients for memory and brain health is Memorin. You can view this product and others by going to www.vitalmaxvitamins.com and clicking on products.]