Brain and neurological conditions such as memory loss which is associated with Alzheimer's Disease have been on the rise for the last 50+ years.
According to the Alzheimer's Association:
"An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018. This number includes an estimated 5.5 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have younger-onset Alzheimer’s, though there is greater uncertainty about the younger-onset estimate.
This number will escalate rapidly in coming years, as the population of Americans age 65 and older is projected to grow from 53 million in 2018 to 88 million by 2050."
Dementia and Alzheimer's, which contribute to memory loss - a primary symptom of this condition - are perhaps some of the most feared, well-known and little understood conditions there are.
According to the Alzheimer's Association:
One in 10 people (10 percent) age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s dementia. The percentage of people with Alzheimer’s dementia increases with age:
- 3 percent of people age 65-74
- 17 percent of people age 75-84
- 32 percent of people age 85 and older have Alzheimer’s dementia.
In those who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia, 81 percent are age 75 or older.
Dr. Brian Perlmutter, M.D. neurologist and author has studied the reasons why our population is trending toward increases in brain and neurological dysfunction. From his book Grain Brain:
"There are plenty of perpetual myths about the basket of brain-degenerating maladies that includes Alzheimer’s: It’s in the genes, it’s inevitable with age, and it’s a given if you live into your eighties and beyond.
Not so fast.
I’m here to tell you that the fate of your brain is not in your genes. It’s not inevitable. And if you’re someone who suffers from another type of brain disorder, such as chronic headaches, depression, epilepsy, or extreme moodiness, the culprit may not be encoded in your DNA.
It’s in the food you eat."
Dr. Heather Wolfson, DC and her husband, Dr. Jack Wolfson, D.O. and board certified cardiologist maintain that memory loss can occur as a result of the following scenarios that can be treated holistically:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Use of prescription medications
- Stress and / or depression
- Sleep deprivation
- Substance use and abuse - alcohol, drug and tobacco
- Head injuries
Natural ways to support our brains and neurological systems and recover from the symptom of memory loss include the following:
Avoid prescription drugs which interfere with your body's natural healing processes, conceal the cause of disease and produce dangerous side-effects (including brain fog, memory loss and other related issues). Some commonly used drugs that can contribute to memory loss include anti-anxiety and cholesterol-lowering drugs:
Eliminate processed foods from your diet and kitchen which can contain substances and harmful ingredients that are a major culprit of chronic disease including issues with the brain and nervous system
Include real, organic, and traditional foods in your diet - including grassfed and finished meats, pasture raised eggs and poultry, raw dairy including milk, cheese and cultured foods such as yogurt, kefir, sour cream and cream cheese, and safe-sourced seafood. These foods contain critical nutrients for cognitive neurological function including Omega 3s and DHA, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), fat-soluble Vitamins A, D, E and K2, folate and minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and iron.
Consume foods rich in traditional fats containing saturated fat which support brain and memory due to their essential Omega 3s, cholesterol, and fat; nutrients which naturally support brain and neurological development and function : butter, ghee, tallow from beef, schmaltz from chicken, coconut, olive and palm oil from organic and sustainable sources.
Eliminate vegetable oils from your diet which can contribute to brain and neurological dysfunction including canola, soybean, cottonseed, corn and other modern, industrial oils that become rancid from high-heat processing, contain too many polyunsaturated fats as compared to saturated with Omega 3s essential fatty acids, cause oxidative stress to the body and brain, and are typically genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), which pose health risks for those who consume them.
Consume organic fruits and vegetables that don't contain pesticide, herbicide or chemical fertilizer residue (see next item in list for references about these toxins and how they can affect our brains and neurological systems)
Eat naturally prepared fermented foods with probiotic cultures including sauerkraut, pickles and other cultured vegetables (made with sea salt), and cultured raw dairy such as yogurt, kefir, sour cream and cream cheese
Reduce or eliminate toxins in your home and work environments including harmful cleaning, laundry, personal and beauty care products, scented items such as air fresheners and candles, plug-ins and other products, and addressing of environmental factors including air pollutants/toxins including pesticides and formaldehyde.
Reduce or eliminate (preferably) grains. Grains can be inflammatory due to a number of factors including that conventional grains are treated with chemical herbicides which interfere with the human body and also the nature of their hybrid production which has increased the amount of protein (gluten/gliadin) that causes digestive issues and also penetrates the blood / brain barrier, producing various symptoms which includes neurological disturbances and can be a precursor to chronic or acute disease such as Alzheimer's
Reduce or remove exposure to blue light and EMF (electromagnetic frequencies), which means being mindful of time spent with electronic devices such as computers, cell phones, tablets and in close proximity of modems, routers, Wifi and cell phone towers.
Obtain adequate sleep to support wellness and healing of your brain and neurological systems and function
Seek rest/stress relief and relaxation to allow your body to replenish and restore itself. Stress is one of the main reasons why our immune systems, brains and digestive tracts become compromised