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Memory Boost: Science-Based Tips for a Sharper Mind

episode art, two heads looking away from each other

Season 2 of the Science of Self-Healing Podcast has a NEW host! Please welcome Dr. James Odell, the Medical and Executive Director for BRMI, as well as a practicing naturopathic doctor for over 35 years.

Join Dr. James Odell as he unlocks the secrets to optimizing your memory and cognitive performance. In this podcast, discover strategies to overcome memory challenges and enhance your cognitive abilities for better adaptation and regulation in our fast-paced world. Learn about cognitive enhancers like herbs, fats, vitamins, and supplements, and gain valuable everyday tips for peak brain function. Tune in and empower your mind for success in our complex lives.

Transcription for Memory Boost: Science-Based Tips for a Sharper Mind

[00:05] : Hello everyone, and welcome to the Science of Self Healing Podcast for Health and Wellness knowledge from a different perspective. Produced by the Bioregulatory Medicine Institute, also known as BRMI. We are your source for unparalleled information about how you can naturally support your body 's ability to regulate, adapt, regenerate, and self-heal. I'm your host, Dr. James Odell, the Medical and Executive Director for BRMI, as well as a practicing naturopathic doctor for over 35 years. And remember, this podcast is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for the direct care of a qualified health professional who oversees and provides unique and individual care. The information here is to broaden our different perspectives and should not be construed as medical advice or treatment.

Let's get started. In this episode, I will discuss strategies for improving memory and cognitive performance. In this complicated world storing, retrieving, and retaining information are essential cognitive functions that we need in order to adapt and regulate. Many suffer from cognitive dysfunction and memory problems, brain fog, or simply CRS. The acronym for can't remember shit. This is partly because as we age and become more inundated with environmental toxins, from aluminum being sprayed in our air, to fluoride and heavy metals in the water, and insects and fungicides in our food, along with all the other electrosmog around us. This affects our body's ability to function and particularly our mental health. Fortunately, there are many cognitive enhancers, such as certain herbs, specific fats, minerals, vitamins and other supplements that can boost memory and cognitive function. First and foremost is adequate water - making sure that you're well hydrated. One of the simplest ways to support the brain and nervous system is to stay hydrated. About 73% of the brain and central nervous system is composed of water. Our central nervous system suffers without adequate hydration. One simple way to tell if you're adequately hydrated is to push on your finger pads. If this creates a pit that stays for more than a few seconds, then chances are you may be dehydrated. Dry eyes, dry skin, and dry mouth are also signs of dehydration. I enjoy drinking spring water, quality spring water, but filtered water is certainly an improvement over municipal water that contains toxic chemicals and fluoride that has been shown to cause cognitive decline. In so far as food supplementation that may enhance cognitive and memory recall, one of the top brain nutrients is omega three fatty acids. These are essential fats that benefit cognitive function because they play fundamental roles in brain activities. They are anti-neuroinflammatory, they help improve the function of the hypothalamus pituitary axis, they reduce oxidative stress, they inhibit neurodegeneration, and they're all vital for your neurotransmitter systems. These essential fats cannot be made by the body. That's why they're called essential, but may be obtained from cold water, fish, fish oil, or algae oil. Of course, fish get their fats from algae and other fish. Hundreds of other studies have been done on essential fatty acids that exert a positive effect on memory function and healthy older adults. Fish such as mackerel and salmon are rich in these fatty acids, including DHA and EPA. These fatty acids, again, are essential to the brain and nervous system as well as body function. The recommended daily intake of omega three fatty acids for all adults is usually between 1 and 2 grams a day. A typical fish oil supplement provides about 1000 milligrams, or about 1 gram of fish oil. It is important to choose a high quality pharmaceutical grade fish oil or algae oil, ideally one that does not taste like fish. While on the subject of important fats, it's also worth mentioning that conjugated linolenic acid or CLA is a group of isomers of linolenic acid present in meat and dairy products. Most CLA supplements are derived from safflower oil. CLA exerts antioxidant and antiinflammatory activity, particularly in the setting of neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders with a neuroinflammatory basis. CLA is being used for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases. Let's move on to plants or herbs. The first one I'd like to introduce is Bacopa. B-A-C-O-P-A. Bacopa. It's an herb that's been used in ayurvedic medicine in Indian medicine for centuries, where it's also called brahmi. Studies have shown that bacopa can improve memory and learning abilities, particularly in older adults. Numerous studies in India have shown bacopa can improve and prevent memory loss and even assist in the growth of new neurons and nerve cells in the brain. Not only is bacopa being used to enhance memory, learning and concentration, but it is also used to treat anxiety, depression and systemic disorders like cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hepatic, neurological and even certain respiratory problems. When taken orally in capsules, bacopa is generally dosed at about 500 to 1000 milligrams a day. It is usually taken for 3 to 4 months to determine if it is helpful. Another amazing memory herb is ginkgo biloba. Ginkgo is a tree that has been used medicinally in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. It is shown to improve blood flow to the brain and organs, which enhances memory and cognitive function. There have been hundreds of studies showing the benefits of ginkgo in improving cognitive processing and memory tasks. It can stabilize or slow the decline in cognition in participants with cognitive impairment and dementia. Ginkgo is commonly used in the treatment of early stage Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, peripheral claudication, and tinnitus of vascular origin. I've had very good success with it using it with tinnitus. Supplemental ginkgo, tinctures and capsules are considered safe and well tolerated. There is really no clearly defined maximum dose, but it's wise to start with a lower dose and work your way up to ensure tolerance. The recommended dose is about 250 milligrams per day and it may be taken long term. Most research has not evaluated doses greater than 600 milligrams a day, so it's probably not best to exceed that limit. Another unique memory herb is rhodiola rosea. Rhodiola is spelled R-H-O-D-I-O-L-A rhodiola. Rhodiola is an herb that's been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It can enhance cognitive function and memory as well. Studies show that rhodiola can improve learning and memory function, and this may be in part because of its antioxidant and antiinflammatory effects which improve coronary blood flow and cerebral metabolism. Other research has found that rhodiola calms emotions and stimulates the brain, which improves cognition and memory performance and helps in long term preservation of brain function. Another interesting herb is the root of this plant is curcumin, or curcumin - some people say. It is a compound found in high concentrations in turmeric root, the spice, turmeric. It's one of a category of compounds called polyphenols and is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Studies have found that curcumin reduces oxidative damage and inflammation in the brain and also lowers the quantity of amyloid plaques. Amyloid plaques can accumulate on neurons on nerve cells and cause cell and tissue death, leading to memory loss. All this suggests that curcumin can be effective at boosting memory and preventing cognitive decline. The last herb I want to introduce is ginseng. Everyone's heard of ginseng. It's one of the best known plants used in ancient Chinese medicine. There are different varieties. There's American and Asian ginseng varieties, and both have beneficial effects on brain function. It is one of those herbs with hundreds of studies behind it. As a medicinal and adaptive herb, ginseng can be supplemented as a tea or taken orally in capsules, and it also can be taken long term. Okay, moving on to the wonderful world of mushrooms, we have lion's mane, which can be used for a host of health benefits. Bioactive compounds derived from the fruiting body of its mycelium have many properties, including antioxidant, antidiabetic and antiinflammatory properties. Lion's mane has the potential to treat neurological disorders as it contains neurotropic compounds that can cross the blood brain barrier. Lion's mane mushrooms support oxygen flow to the brain and can enhance memory, focus and concentration. A starting dose of 250 to 500 milligrams of lion's mane mushroom daily is a good way to begin to gauge your body's tolerance, working up to around 1 gram a day. And lion's mane may also be taken long term. Next, there are several amino acids that can improve cognition and memory. One of my favorites is l-theanine. That's spelled T-H-E-A-N-I-N-E theonine. It's an amino acid commonly found in green tea and certain mushrooms. It can enhance relaxation, reduce stress, and these things may improve cognitive function, including memory. Some take theanine for anxiety as well as to help sleep at night. Research shows that theanine improves concentration and cognitive function. Theanine may be obtained from drinking green tea or can be taken as a supplement. Like any supplement, the ideal dosage of l-theanine will vary from person to person, depending on what it's used for. Generally it's taken in doses of about 200 to 400 milligrams per day. Most practitioners recommend starting l-theanine at about 200 milligrams in order to help cognition, anxiety, and improve restful sleep. Next we have creatine. Creatine is formed from three amino acids. You have l-arginine, glycine and l-methionine. It makes up about 1% of the total volume of the human blood. Creatine is found in meat and fish, but it can also be made in the body by the liver, kidneys and pancreas. It's converted into creatine phosphate or phosphocreatine and is stored in the skeletal muscles in the brain, where it is used for energy. Research suggests that creatine also can enhance cognitive function, including memory. Creatine is often found in sports supplements because it's so important for the muscles and giving the muscles energy. Many B vitamins play critical roles in the brain and in cognition, particularly B1, B6, and B12. B one or thiamin, is a vitamin necessary for proper cell function. It exists in a free form as thiamine or as mono or dio triphosphate. Thiamine plays a special role in the body as a coenzyme necessary for metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. In addition, it participates in the cellular respiration and oxidation of fatty acids. In malnourished people, high doses of glucose can result in acute thiamine deficiency. It also participates in energy production in the mitochondria that's the powerhouses of the cell and in protein synthesis. In addition, it is needed to ensure the proper function of the central and peripheral nervous system where it is involved in mainly neurotransmitter synthesis. The brain needs glucose to function and thiamine is essential for brain function because of the coenzyme role of thiamine diphosphate and glucose in energy metabolism. If thiamine is deficient or insufficient for a very prolonged period of time, then this can result in brain death. Also, B12 plays a critical role in brain health and cognitive function. It is found in animal products such as meat and fish, but is also created in the intestines by the intestinal microbiome. If the intestinal microbiome is corrupted like many people's intestinal microbiome, then there is often inadequate B12 that is manufactured there. And B12 can become deficient. There's also the issue of methylation of B12. In order for B12 to be active and utilized by the body, it must be methylated. And some people have a genetic deficiency that affects the enzyme responsible for methylation. Thus there is supplemental methylated B12. It's often called methylcobalamin and usually it's taken at about 5 milligrams a day. The last supplement I want to introduce for cognition and memory enhancement is phosphatidylserine. You may not have heard of this, of course. Serine is an amino acid. This is an amino acid serine bound to phosphorus. But phosphatidylserine is a primary phospholipid in the brain cell membranes. It improves cell communication to support memory and focus, as well as it helps to regulate cortisol during stress. So many people take it when they are very stressed out and have high cortisol levels, usually taken at night. Other mechanisms of action include enhancing cell metabolism, such as glucose utilization and neurotransmitter formation. Phosphatidylserine also appears to have an antioxidant effect which would protect brain cells from free radicals. So studies show that phosphatidylserine is absorbed efficiently in humans. It crosses the blood brain barrier and supports cognitive function that includes both short and long term memory as well as the retrieval of memories. Usually, doses of phosphatidylserine range from about 300 to 500 milligrams a day, and most of it is free of any side effects. Now, before embarking on any of these supplements, it is important to consult your healthcare provider. All supplementation should be individually tailored and carefully monitored. So aside from adequate pure water intake, we also want to eat less sugar and carbohydrates, and that helps to restore memory and decreases brain fog. Studies show that people with a high intake of sugary beverages like sodas have lower total brain volumes. This means their brain shrinks and poorer memories on average, compared with people who consume less sugar. Next, we also have sleep. It's important to get adequate sleep. Lack of proper sleep has been associated with poor memory. A few other tips may be like reading books and magazines, playing board games, doing puzzles, going to museums, and playing musical instruments can all help reduce the risk of cognitive decline. Exercise also improves circulation and neurohormones. There's many types of exercise such as brisk walking or hiking, swimming and biking, or my favorite is dancing. All this helps with cognition, balance and functional mobility and fatigue. Lastly, remember, the true art of memory is the art of attention. Just paying attention. Well, this concludes another episode of the Science of Self Healing Podcast. Please visit us again in two weeks for another episode. Until then, be well.

[17:12] : Thank you for your time today, and remember that this podcast is made possible by the Bioregulatory Medicine Institute, also known as BRMI, a non profit, global, non political, non commercial institute to promote the science and art of bioregulatory medicine. We extend our gratitude to each and every one of you for listening today. And if you haven't already, make sure to visit us at A treasure trove of invaluable information awaits you there. Connect with us across various social media platforms as well. Come and become a member of our thriving tribe. If you've enjoyed today's episode, we invite you to show your support by rating us, leaving us a review, or sharing the podcast within your circle. Our podcast and mission flourish through sharing, and your participation means the world to us. Our organization is sustained by donations, each of which is tax deductible and fuels projects like this. Visit our website, to contribute or simply to explore the wealth of uncensored and impartial information we offer. No contribution is too small in just two weeks, we'll be back delving into another captivating topic. Until then, we thank you once again for listening. May wellness and wisdom be your path. Be well.

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