We have all had those blank moments when you can’t find your keys, or remember your boss’s name, but is stress, your hormones or something else that is causing this? At menopause women notice these ‘brain fog’ moments more and two causative factors are oestrogen dominance and related low progesterone levels and raised cortisol levels when stressed – something that menopausal symptoms can easily bring on.
Supplementing with bioidentical natural progesterone can be very helpful, and if your are concerned your memory loss is greater than you think it ought to be, then these simple steps provide you with an action plan for any potential risk of Alzheimer’s.
Your 10 Point Action Plan
1 Test your cognitive function now (see below) – if it is below par it is very important to test your homocysteine level either via your GP, or with a home test kit and act accordingly.
2 Keep your homocysteine level low, ideally below 7 and certainly below 9, by supplementing homocysteine lowering B vitamins, eating fish, milk and eggs for B12, greens, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds for folic acid, B6 and zinc. If your homocysteine level is high you’ll need take a homocysteine friendly supplement. The evidence for this preventing both memory-loss and brain shrinkage is very strong.
3 Take a daily multivitamin and mineral to help keep your homocysteine low, providing, at least, 10mcg of B12, 200mcg of folic acid, 20mg of B6, plus 10mg of zinc.
4 Up your intake of antioxidants by eating lots of fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices. Go for the strong colours such as blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, cinnamon, kale, mustard, red cabbage, sweet potato, tomatoes and turmeric.
5 Ensure essential fats by eating oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herrings, kippers, trout and mackerel three times a week. Walnuts, flax and chia seeds are also high in omega 3.
6 Stay away from sugar and refined foods and limit your intake of carbohydrates. High blood sugar levels damage the brain and body. Eat a low GL (glycemic load) diet.
7 Stop smoking because this raises homocysteine and the oxidants in cigarettes damage the brain and body.
8 Limit alcohol and coffee. Coffee, more than tea, raises homocysteine so limit your intake to one a day. Alcohol, in excess, raises homocysteine. Stick to a unit of alcohol a day.
9 Keep your stress level in check. High stress levels raise homocysteine and cortisol, which damages the brain.
10 Keep physically, socially and mentally active. Take some exercise every day, preferably outdoors – we need exposure to the sun to make vitamin D. Keep in touch with friends and family. Social interaction keeps you sharp. Keep mentally active by learning new things and challenging your mind. If you don’t use it you lose it.
The Ten Alzheimer’s Prevention Steps are adapted from ‘The Alzheimer’s Prevention Plan’ and have been published with the permission of the author – Patrick Holfor and d and more informatin on him at his website http://www.patrickholford.com and take the cognitive function test here: http://www.foodforthebrain.org/research/alzheimers-prevention-project/cognitive-function-test.aspx