You might want to sit down for this. I have some bad news.
Your brain is shrinking.
Okay, it’s not just your brain. ALL of our brains shrink a bit as we age.
But certain things can set the shrink on fast forward. And if you aren’t careful your noodle may end up kind of looking more like a dried up prune.
A smoking habit, for example, can contribute to faster brain shrink.
As can many heart-linked health issues, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity according to a new study published in the European Heart Journal.
And that brain shrink isn’t cosmetic. It can have MAJOR real-world consequences.
Past research has found links between heart and mental health. And scientists have suspected that changes in our brain structure might be involved too.
So a team of British researchers decided to take a closer look. And they just completed a MASSIVE study on the links between specific risk factors and brain shrink.
After carefully poured over 9,700 MRI scans of folks between the ages of 44 to 79 they spotted some patterns.
Beware of dementia linked brain shrink
Heart-linked risk factors weren’t only associated with a more rapid brain shrink. SPECIFIC areas were being affected too.
In other words, the shrink didn’t occur evenly throughout the brain.
According to the researchers, poor cardiovascular health was associated with shrinkage in both the…
- gray matter on the brain’s surface
- deeper, healthy white matter near the center
The brain shrink was occurring in areas responsible for our more complex thinking and reasoning.
And some of those areas are the very same ones we know are affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as well.
Poor circulation harms your heart AND brain
Here’s what appears to be happening…
Heart–linked diseases like diabetes and obesity mess with your circulation.
Over time, diabetes damages your blood vessels and reduces blood flow, for example. Carrying around extra weight raises your heart rate and reduces your body’s ability to move blood through your vessels.
And of course stiff arteries make it hard for your heart to move blood around your body. And that causes reduced circulation and high blood pressure.
But the heart isn’t the only organ to suffer. These health issues reduce blood flow to the brain too. And that causes faster brain shrink and loss of brain function.
Boost blood flow to avoid brain shrink
Which means caring for your heart health can help keep your brain healthy too.
But don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest popping a pill. Or going under the knife to slice and dice your arteries.
Because you can improve your circulation and heart health WITHOUT resorting to heavy duty drugs and dangerous surgeries.
Start with unseating your seat and moving more. Any kind of exercise that helps get your blood pumping will do including a swift walk, swimming laps, golfing, or dancing.
If you haven’t already go ahead and cut back on the junk carbs in your diet. You’ll improve your blood sugar, fight insulin resistance, and probably drop a few pounds while you are at it.
And you can add more circulation friendly foods to your meals. Beets, basil, garlic, pumpkin seeds, and fruits high in vitamin C are all great for blood flow.
Take care of your heart health, and you’ll slow your brain shrink down to a crawl too.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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