But then it happens more and more often. Eventually, you start worrying. How long before these little slips make daily life difficult?
But you may be able to avoid those little slips. You may even be able to make your memory sharper and rebuild your brainpower. Several recent studies show how.
Three new studies show that fruit juice may be a key to better memory.
In one study, doctors in Ohio gave Concord grape juice to a group of adults with mild memory problems for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, they showed better ability to learn and slight memory improvements. A second group given a look-alike drink showed no improvements.(1)
When some of the same researchers gave volunteers blueberry juice, they found an even stronger effect. In this study, volunteers who drank blueberry juice had a more dramatic improvement in memory. Plus, their mood improved and their blood sugar levels dropped.(2)
Even more amazing, an animal study at the University of Houston found that blueberries may do more than help slow memory trouble… they may actually promote a reversal of memory loss.(3)
But blueberries probably can’t do much for one cause of a fading memory. That’s a shrinking brain.
By the time you reach 60, your brain has started to get a little smaller every year. If you’re fairly healthy, your brain will be 10% smaller by the time you’re 80.
If you already have mild memory trouble, it can shrink twice as fast. And people with serious cognitive problems can lose 10% of their brain volume in just 4 years!
But a team at Oxford University was able to slow brain shrinkage. And all they used were vitamins.
The researchers gave high doses of 3 B vitamins – folate, B6 and B12 – to a large group of people over 70 with mild memory problems for two years. Another group received placebo pills.
The placebo group’s brains shrank at a rate of 1.08% per year. But the vitamin B group had a much slower rate of shrinkage – just .76% per year.(4) That’s a 30% improvement over what they should have expected.
The researchers are calling for more trials to prove their success. In the meantime, there’s something easy you can do to help fight a shrinking brain. In fact, volunteers in one study actually experienced an increase in brain size!
What is this secret? Walking. Volunteers who walked just 3 times a week for a year had an average 2% increase in the size of their hippocampus – a part of the brain linked to memory.(5) And these volunteers didn’t just wind up with bigger brains. Their memories improved, too.
A similar group attended stretching classes 3 times a week for a year. This group didn’t see any benefit. In fact, the hippocampus region of their brains shrank 1.4% over the year… for a total difference of 3.4% in just one year!
The truth is, forgetfulness doesn’t have to be a part of aging. And now you have 3 new ways to help keep your brain – and your memory – in top shape.
1 Krikorian R, et al. Concord grape juice supplementation improves memory function in older adults with mild cognitive impairment. Br J Nutr. 2010 Mar;103(5):730-4. Epub 2009 Dec 23.
2 Krikorian R, et al. Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 14;58(7):3996-4000.
3 Malin DH, et al. Short-term blueberry-enriched diet prevents and reverses object recognition memory loss in aging rats. Nutrition. 2011 Mar;27(3):338-42. Epub 2010 Dec 18.
4 “B vitamins slow brain atrophy in people with memory problems,” See Oxford Science Blog, University of Oxford website
5 Erickson KI, et al. Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. PNAS. Published online before print January 31, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1015950108.
Dr. Woliner is a board certified medical physician and modern day pioneer in the world of alternative men’s health and nutritional science. Using a unique combination of modern “Western” medicine and traditional holistic healing practices, Dr.Woliner has revolutionized men’s health care treatments for many of today’s most common male health concerns – specializing in alternative treatments for Prostate enlargement (BPH) and a myriad of erectile concerns and men’s sexual health issues.
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