Vitamin Junkeys

Are You Losing It? Preventing Memory Loss Ep 47


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Are you losing it?  Preventing Memory Loss
Vitamin Junkeys Episode #47 (running time 9:56)
Date: July 14, 2009
Podsafe Music: Ice Cream by Christopher Dale Courtesy of the Podshow Music Network
Show hosts: Jennifer Lyall & Dr. Jean Jacques (Dr. JJ) Dugoua, ND HBSc PhD (Cand.)

Special Guest: Rosalie Moscoe, RHN, RNCP, Health in Harmony

This episode examines:

How do we know if we are losing it a little bit or becoming senile?

Is stress a contributing factor to memory loss?

What supplements can you take to help improve your memory?

How can brain exercises help someone's mental health?

What are some other strategies to prevent memory loss?

What's Dr. JJ taking today?

Dr. JJ is taking a memory combo.  There are a number memory enhancing, memory supporting, natural health products you could take. So fish oils is 1 example, ginkgo biloba. That is one of my favorite ones for memory which is great. Phosphatidylserine (PS) that is a great one. I actually took that when I studied for my board exams.  The combo that he takes today contains the herb bacopa, the amino acid acetyl-L-carnitine and Gotu Kola.

How do we know if we are losing it a little bit or becoming senile?

People start to worry over silly things.  A friend of Rosalie's kept forgetting things and couldn't seem to find her words.  She started to think that she was getting Alzheimer’s and she was scared.  The reality is that a lot of it is just due to her lifestyle.

Many of us are guilty of it.  We rush around too much, don't eat well, don't get enough sleep.  If someone has a concern, they should always get it checked out to ensure it is not something more serious.  For 90% of people though, they just need a lifestyle tune-up.

Is stress a contributing factor to memory loss?

Yes.  There are lots of things in life that can be stressful on someone: children, caring for elderly parents, computer crashes, traffic jams, daily hassles.  Sometimes you go into a room and forget why you went in there.  Yes, definitely stress can contribute to making you forget things.

What can you do nutritionally to improve your memory?

Everyone needs to eat well, you need to feed your brain.

Fish is a great food to incorporate into your diet.  It contains lots of antioxidants that will stop the "rusting" in your body.

Your diet should be rich in fruits & vegetables-7-10 servings/day.  The best ones to select are dark in colour, like blueberries and dark green leafy vegetables, as they are rich in antioxidants.  Antioxidants helps your brain to function.

Ensure you get enough protein in your diet.  Vegetarians especially need to ensure that they are getting enough protein and B vitamins, particularly B12.

What supplements can you take to help improve your memory?

In addition to the herbs and supplements Dr. JJ mentioned earlier to improve memory earlier.  Rosalie also recommends the B vitamins are co-factors that help make neurotransmitters in your brain.    

Dr. Hoffer with the American Schizophrenia Association and Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine at has done a lot of research on brain health, and mental illness.  You'll find a lot of information there on how we can improve our physical and mental health using the proper nutrients.  Some people are tired and foregetful and they just need a shot of B12, particularly vegetarians.

Rosalie personally found that Phosphatidylserine helped her a lot.

How can brain exercises help someone's mental health?

Rosalie's friend that she mentioned earlier investigated a "brain gym" where you perform a series of mental exercises, like a patterning to ensure that both your left and right sides of your brain are getting used.

What are some other strategies to prevent memory loss?

Someone can also take a course, to learn something new.  Like a learning a new language or an instrument.

Jennifer's mother does crossword puzzles, and that seems to help keep her sharp.

Being mindful and focus on one thing at a time.

Get a good night's sleep.  Sleep deprivation can definitely make you forgetful.  Practice good sleep hygine.

Staying social is also important for brain function.  Anyone who may be isolated, like seniors should ensure that they get together with others.

Test Homocysteine.  This will show if there is inflammation in the body and inflammation is one of the biggest contributors to poor health.  Homocysteine is a protein in the body.  If it is too high, it is a sign of inflammation, which can affect your brain.  It can be brought back into check by supplementing with B Vitamins. 

A CRP test is another test for inflammation.

If you would like to find an alternative healthcare practitioner to help you address a health issue, you can find a naturopath, holistic nutritionist and other practitioners in your community through the Find a Practitioner link on our website

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Camera: Jerome Marrin,  Jerome Marrin Media Production 
Editor: Jerome Marrin,  Jerome Marrin Media Production
Sound Recordist: Jeffery Magat, Eqtion 

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Join Jennifer Lyall and Naturopath, Dr. JJ Dugoua as they have fun exploring alternative therapies and healthy living. Weekly episodes are released every Tuesday.

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