• Hana Kovac

A Healthy Brain

The time to repair a roof is when the sun is shining. – John F. Kennedy.

Do you often forget your keys, don't know where you put your wallet or forget names of your friends? Does your doctor tell you this is normal and that it is part of aging? As the newest research suggests, your doctor is ultimately wrong. Forgetfulness is not normal and it is a manifestation that something is wrong with your gut.

For decades, doctors did not make the connection between brain and the gut but it is now fairly clear that our gut is our second (or first?) brain. In fact, brain and gut are so intimately connected that it sometimes seems like one system, not two. If your gut is disturbed, you are at risk of developing multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, now affects some 5.4 million Americans (and 900 000 persons in France). This number is predicted to double in just the next 15 years! Moreover, women are disproportionately at risk, representing 65% of Alzheimer’s cases. The annual cost for caring for Alzheimer’s patients is huge and this is a disease for which there is currently no meaningful treatment. What is empowering though, that we have the possibility of both prevention and treatment of neurological difficulties via proper gut health.

The renowned neurologist Dr.Perlmutter gave a very interesting talk during the Awakening from Alzheimer's summit which I hope you had a chance to view (replay will start on October, the 6th). He outlines the importance of low-carbohydrate, higher-fat diet as an intervention designed to help preserve functionality in a patient’s brain. That literally means, that you should definitely swap your bowl of pasta for a wild caught salmon with veggies. We already knew, that eating a carbohydrate rich diet leads to diabetes and obesity, but the information that eating a low-carb diet is good for your brain health is quite new. Also, for decades we have been told, that eating a low-fat diet is good for us but as it turns out, healthy fats, such as coconut oil can actually improve your memory.

From all the above mentioned it is quite clear that a simple diet change can prevent and even cure dementia. A good sleep, exercise and relationships are also helpful to prevent cognitive decline. On the other hand, research showed that solving crossword puzzles doesn't really help as a prevention, who knew, right?

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