Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

The Talking Heads Know Nothing

talkingheads

The Talking Heads Know Nothing

 

Why the Standard American Diet (SAD) Triples Your Alzheimer’s Risk

 

There’s nothing more frightening to so many of us as the threat of losing brain function. While I avoid dwelling on what “could happen” in regards to my cognition, I definitely examine the risk factors for Alzheimer’s and strongly guard against them.

Currently, more than 46 million people have Alzheimer’s disease and the number is expected to hit 130 million over the next three decades. A person is diagnosed every 3 seconds!

 

Chilling facts about this epidemic…

 

Neurodegenerative disease is not a normal part of the aging process. Alzheimer’s is not being a bit forgetful, it is the systematic destruction of your brain function.

Currently, the United States lists Alzheimer’s as the 6th most common cause of death.

Early onset cases of Alzheimer’s account for approximately 5% of cases and strikes people under the age of 65 – often as young as in their thirties.

Most patients live less than ten years after they are diagnosed. With ongoing damage to the brain, simple skills such as eating, talking, and breathing become a struggle.

Alzheimer’s patients often wander away from a safe environment and are unable to find their way back. This contributes to higher risk of death.

 

The Talking Heads Know Nothing (By Their Own Admission)

 

The pharmaceutical industry offers several drugs to alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s but they’re proven to be effective for less than a year and are completely ineffective to many patients from the start.

Doctors uniformly insist that nothing can “stop or slow” disease progression. I always find it interesting when the medical or scientific industries shout about the “danger” or “quack science” of holistic or alternative treatments while outright admitting they can do nothing to help patients.

 

It’s well known that researchers have yet to identify the root cause of Alzheimer’s or other devastating neurodegenerative diseases. They don’t how to slow or stop it and can barely help alleviate deterioration of language skills, memory, and mood.

Despite this complete lack of anything useful, the conventional medical industry “is certain” that vaccinations, heavy metal poisoning, and chemical toxins aren’t the culprits.

Then they acknowledge that lifestyle, environment, genetics, and diet could play a part. Their ignorance and duplicity is incredibly frustrating.

 

 

Don’t Believe the Hype

 

There is much you can do – right now – to lower your personal Alzheimer’s risk factors. If I was diagnosed with a disease of my brain, I’d try every natural treatment imaginable rather than just suffer the increasing symptoms or wait to die.

Doctors who blithely suggest you do the opposite are negligent. How dare they dismiss even a glimmer of hope for patients essentially given a death sentence that will drag on for years, causing the patient and their loved ones horrific pain and stress.

I refuse to be so arrogant or close-minded.

If a holistic treatment helps even a little bit without side effects, what is the harm? If alternative modalities ease even a bit of the agony caused by slowly losing control of your own mind, why cast them aside with such disdain?

And what of prevention? Does this figure nowhere in their grand decrees?

 

Lowering Alzheimer’s Risk Factors – Naturally

 

First, let’s talk about the Standard American Diet (SAD) – an apt acronym if I ever saw one!

This is the diet known to include exorbitant amounts of sugar, unhealthy fats, few vegetables (and even those are generally over-processed), junk food laden with chemical additives, fast food restaurants on every corner, artificial sweeteners, genetically modified foods (GMO), and antibiotics in our cattle products.

There are so many things wrong with the SAD that it’s impossible to list them all. However, if you track the hijacking of our food supply, you’ll see the substantial climb of our worst diseases and conditions.

 

Heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, obesity, neurodegenerative disease, diabetes, and so much more can be laid at the feet of our garbage diet and the deplorable devolving condition of our environment.

The introduction of thousands of chemicals to our food supply, destructive cleaning products, personal care items with known carcinogens, and the rampant pollution of our soil, air, and water have devastated our immune systems and re-written our body chemistry.

If you want to lower your risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other diseases, the prevention playbook is pretty simple. Each of these factors have been studied by researchers around the world and determined to have a hand in our declining health.

You can choose (or not) to follow these common sense suggestions in your daily life. I promise you – as a doctor and a man in excellent health – there’s nothing here to harm you, only help! These are things you can incorporate now, for little or no money, to improve the way your mind and body function.

 

The Alternative Doctor’s Tips to Prevention

 

  1. Strip down your entire diet. You don’t need or want the Standard American Diet in your life. Not now, not ever. All it’s done is make people sick. Choose whole foods and opt for organic options if you have them (especially in regards to animal products). Get rid of foods in bags or boxes. Kick out all artificial sweeteners. Avoid those fast food joints. A truly healthy diet consists of proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, and very few (or none) refined sugars and carbs. Drink half an ounce of water for every pound of body weight every day and don’t stop!
  2. You must get more sleep. There have been hundreds of studies that confirm the massive toll sleep deprivation takes on your body and mind. Without enough sleep, you’re unable to get “downtime” to store memories and repair damaged cells. Starving humans of sleep is a known method of torture. It increases your risk of every major disease.
  3. Clean out your house. Discard the chemical cleaners, toxic personal care products, and use natural substances wherever you can. Never use antibacterial products (you get far too many unwanted antibiotics as it is). If you live in an old house, make sure you check for mold and lead paint. Mold must be remediated (that’s some dangerous stuff) but lead paint can be sealed behind fresh coats of paint if you’re unable to have it fully removed. Get rid of very old room carpeting and always filter your tap water with a quality carbon filter.
  4. Purge negativity in your inner self. Your emotional and mental state directly impacts your physical health. Ongoing depression, anxiety, and stress raises inflammation that is a listed root cause of every modern disease. No matter where your turmoil originates, you can take back control. Remove toxic people, evaluate what you need for yourself, and let go of what you can’t change. Holding onto past fears, guilt, and sadness will never allow you to be happy. There’s no room for true peace if all the available space is taken up with negativity.

 

  1. You need activity in your daily life. Even mild to moderate exercise has an extraordinary impact on your overall mental and physical health. Yoga, tai chi, swimming, or a walk will give you movement and boost your emotional state. As important as physical activity is, keeping your brain active is crucial to keeping your neurons firing properly well into oldest age. By pushing even an elderly mind to engage socially, work on puzzles, or read, it “flexes” the basic cognitive functions and makes them stronger. Never stop learning and never stop moving.

Naturally, there are some obvious steps you can take such as quitting tobacco, limiting alcohol, and avoiding burning your skin but I wanted to talk more about the areas that seem hardest for people to implement.

You don’t have to be a super human. You simply have to care about what you eat, what you put on your body, and make a concerted effort to love that only home you’re ever going to have.

Can you do all these things and still get sick?

Unfortunately,. Even otherwise healthy people can be diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. However, I guarantee that these steps absolutely lower your risk factors for Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, and more. That’s a fact.

It’s not a bulletproof plan but it’s a better plan than convention medicine shrugging their shoulders and telling you, “Sorry, nothing can be done.”

Take an active role in your own life. Start these prevention measures now.

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Prof. Keith Mumbly

312-972-WELL

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Yoga Benefits Your Brain Function and Mental Healt

yoga

Yoga Benefits Your Brain Function and Mental Health

 

Low-impact exercises such as yoga have a number of benefits. Not only can it provide the physical benefits of exercise, yoga may also help stave off cognitive decline, according to a recent study of older adults with early warning signs of waning memory.

 

While I believe most benefit from high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for optimal health, there’s no doubt that yoga can also be beneficial. It has mental, emotional and even spiritual benefits that can be very helpful for those struggling with stress-related health problems.

 

Yoga can be viewed as a form of moving meditation that demands your full attention as you gently shift your body from one asana (yoga position) to another.

 

As you learn new ways of moving and responding to your body, your mind and emotions may shift and change as well. In a sense, you not only become more physically flexible, but your mental outlook and approach to life may gain some needed flexibility as well.

 

Yoga Helps Mitigate Cognitive Decline

 

Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that physical activity helps keep your mind sharp with age, and this goes for activities such as yoga as well. Overall, inactivity is enemy No. 1 if you seek to optimize your cognitive function. According to The New York Times:1

 

 

“There also is growing evidence that combining physical activity with meditation might intensify the benefits of both pursuits.

 

 

In an interesting study2 … people with depression who meditated before they went for a run showed greater improvements in their mood than people who did either of those activities alone.

 

 

But many people do not have the physical capacity or taste for running or other similarly vigorous activities. So for the new study … researchers … decided to test whether yoga, a relatively mild, meditative activity, could alter people’s brains and fortify their ability to think.3,4

 

 

They began by recruiting 29 middle-aged and older adults … who … were anxious about the state of their memories and who, during evaluations … were found to have mild cognitive impairment, a mental condition that can be a precursor to eventual dementia.

 

 

The volunteers also underwent a sophisticated type of brain scan that tracks how different parts of the brain communicate with one another.”

 

The participants were divided into two groups. One group enrolled in a brain-training program consisting of mental exercises for one hour per week. They were also asked to practice at home for 15 minutes a day.

 

The second group participated in a Kundalini yoga class for one hour per week. They were also taught Kirtan Kriya meditation, which involves the use of mantras and fluid hand movements. They were asked to practice this meditation at home for 15 minutes each day.

 

Yoga Outperforms Standard Brain Training

 

After 12 weeks, all subjects again underwent cognitive tests and brain scans. Overall, all participants had improved to some degree, but the yoga group not only fared slightly better on memory tests, they also reported improvements in their mood. As reported in the featured article:

 

 

“The brain scans in both groups displayed more communication now between parts of their brains involved in memory and language skills.

 

 

Those who had practiced yoga, however, also had developed more communication between parts of the brain that control attention, suggesting a greater ability now to focus and multitask.

 

 

In effect, yoga and meditation had equaled and then topped the benefits of 12 weeks of brain training. ‘We were a bit surprised by the magnitude’ of the brain effects, said Dr. Helen Lavretsky … who oversaw the study.”

 

Why Yoga Is so Beneficial for Your Brain

 

Over the years, a number of studies have honed in on the brain benefits of yoga. For example, studies have found that:

 

 

  • Twenty minutes of Hatha yoga improves your brain function (speed and accuracy of mental processing) to a greater degree than 20 minutes of aerobic exercise (jogging).5,6 Potential mechanisms include enhanced self-awareness and reduced stress.

 

  • Yoga helps improve mental health, including psychiatric disorders like depression, anxiety, attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and schizophrenia.7,8,9,10

 

Some of the studies suggest yoga can have a similar effect to antidepressants and psychotherapy.

 

  • Yoga helps improve teenagers’ emotional resilience and ability to manage anger. As noted by yoga educator and writer Iona Smith:11

 

 

“During adolescence, the frontal lobes of the brain (the seat of language and reason) are still being formed, leaving teens to overly rely on their amygdala (the seat of emotions) …

 

 

The brain’s malleability during adolescence marks a crucial stage in both cognitive and emotional development.

 

 

Luckily, researchers are now able to paint a clearer picture of some of the factors that allow students to thrive throughout high school and into adulthood, such as self-awareness, managing distressing emotions, empathy, and navigating relationships smoothly.

 

 

When students hone these skills, they are not only happier and healthier emotionally, but are also better able to focus on academics.”

 

  • By improving stress-related imbalances in your nervous system, yoga can help relieve a range of symptoms found in common mental health disorders.

 

Researchers also believe yoga can be helpful for conditions like epilepsy, chronic pain, depression, anxiety and PTSD by increasing brain chemicals like gamma amino-butyric acid (GABA).12

 

Other Mind-Body Benefits of Yoga

 

Other studies have demonstrated that regular yoga practice can impart a number of different physical, mental and emotional benefits, including the ones listed below.13,14,15,16

 

One explanation for yoga’s wide-ranging effects is that it actually alters genetic expression — through its beneficial effects on your mind! In fact, the relaxation response triggered by meditative practices has been shown to affect at least 2,209 genes.17

 

 

Improved immune function18

 

Improved sleep19,20

 

 

Reduced risk for migraines21

 

Lowered risk of hypertension and heart disease22,23

 

 

Lowered cortisol (stress hormone) level by down regulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and calming sympathetic nervous system24

 

Improved sexual performance and satisfaction in both sexes25,26

 

 

How Yoga Aids Weight Loss and Promotes Good Health

 

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, yoga has also been shown to aid weight loss. In one study,27 overweight yoga participants lost an average of 5 pounds whereas the non-yoga group gained 13 pounds. This held true even when accounting for differences in diet. Typically, HIIT is the most effective for weight loss, and the key to its effectiveness is the intensity. So how can the effectiveness of yoga — which is the converse of HIIT in terms of intensity — be explained?

 

According to Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, yoga’s benefits are related to the fact that it does the opposite of more strenuous exercise. Rather than boosting your heart rate and stimulating your nervous system, yoga puts you in a parasympathetic state that lowers both your blood pressure and heart rate, and this helps promote a positive cascade of health effects.

 

This makes sense if you consider the adverse biological effects of stress. By promoting systemic inflammation, chronic stress can be a factor in everything from weight gain to high blood pressure and heart disease. It’s also been shown to trigger the onset of dementia. What’s worse, stress-induced weight gain typically involves an increase in belly fat, which is the most dangerous fat for your body to accumulate as it increases your risk for cardiovascular disease.

 

Stress actually alters the way fat is deposited because of the specific hormones and other chemicals your body produces when you’re stressed. For example, recent research28 shows that chronic stress stimulates your body to produce betatrophin, a protein that blocks an enzyme that breaks down body fat. So by reducing stress you reduce inflammation, and along with it your risk for any number of health problems, including stubborn weight.

 

A 2011 review29 of published clinical studies on yoga also concluded that yoga movements stimulate skin pressure receptors that boost activity in your brain and vagus nerve, both of which influence the production and release of various hormones. As vagus nerve activity increases, the levels of stress hormones like cortisol decrease. It also triggers the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a role not only in your mood, but also in appetite control and sleep patterns.

 

The Importance of a Comprehensive Fitness Program

 

Yoga and other simple restorative exercises tone and strengthen your body, increase circulation and oxygen flow, energize you for the day and help you unwind in the evening. However, studies support the use of yoga to strengthen brain function and improve common psychiatric disorders (along with many other health benefits, including pain relief and increased flexibility and strength).

 

I believe it’s important to incorporate a variety of exercises into your routine for optimal results. Ideally, you’ll want a comprehensive fitness program that includes HIIT and resistance training, along with flexibility- and core-building exercises like yoga. Daily non-exercise movement is also important, and simply walking more each day can go a long way toward warding off many common health problems.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived: JM

P Carrothers

312-972-WELL

 

 

Lifestyle, Vitamins and Supplements

Reverse Aging

antiaging

 Seven Super Supplements to reverse Aging

A brain-healthy, Alzheimer’s-fighting diet has properties that extend far beyond just decreasing your daily carb load. To truly provide your body with brain-boosting nutrients and vitamins that help stave off brain disease and other illnesses, you should consider a regular regimen of supplements. These seven supplements will go a long way towards helping you with prevention:

  1. DHA: An omega-3 fatty acid that represents more than 50% of the omega-3 fatty acids in the brain. Numerous studies link high levels of DHA with a decreased risk for dementia, Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases . Look to take in about 1,000mg/day.
  2. Resveratrol:  you can thank this natural compound which slows down the aging process, boosts blood flow to the brain, and promotes heart health. In addition to the role it plays in stimulating brain function, resveratrol is also a key ally of our body’s immune system. Target 100mg twice daily.
  3. Turmeric:  Turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. We can thank turmeric for protecting our mitochondria (thanks to its role in stimulating antioxidant properties), and it also improves glucose metabolism — both of which are essential for reducing one’s risk for brain disease. Try to get 350 mg twice daily.
  4. Probiotics: Research conducted in just the last few years has started to conclude that eating food rich in probiotics can influence brain behavior, and may modulate the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression.  Ideally, get your probiotics through a supplement that contains at least 10 billion active cultures from at least ten different strains, including lactobaccilus acidophilus and bifidobacterium.
  5. Coconut Oil: If you follow this blog, you know I am a big fan of coconut oil and probably know why it’s an important part of our diet. Go for at least 1-2 tablespoons of an organic variety daily.
  6. Alpha-lipoic Acid: Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that works to protect brain and nerve tissue. Look to get 600 mg/day.
  7. Vitamin D: I can’t say enough about the importance of Vitamin D, and that’s why I devote five pages to it in Grain Brain. It’s ideal to start with 5,000 units of Vitamin D3 daily, get tested after three months, and adjust accordingly.

As with any dietary/health changes, these are suggested guidelines only, and you should consult with your physician before making any changes to, or beginning, a supplement plan.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article:  Dr. Perlmutter

Let the medical staff at Health and Wellness Associates help you with your vitamin and supplement routine.