The secret to what makes people into geniuses has long been a subject of scientific interest and intrigue. The brain of Albert Einstein, in particular, which devised the theory of relativity and made possible the development of nuclear fission, has been the focus of many studies into human genius. His brain is also the subject of a rather bizarre tale.
Shortly after his death, a Princeton pathologist named Thomas Harvey, M.D. conducted an autopsy of Einstein’s brain. Dr Harvey hoped to unlock the secrets to the famed scientist’s genius, and what he discovered could transform how we respond to the epidemic of Alzheimer’s that now confronts us.
But Dr Harvey did something that nearly put his discovery and career in jeopardy. Instead of replacing Einstein’s brain in his body, he put it in a jar of formaldehyde and took it home. Over the next four decades he then sent pieces of Einstein’s brain to neuroscientists. Not for any nefarious reasons, but all in the name of medical research.
Eventually, Dr Harvey realized his folly and tried to return what was left of Einstein’s brain to his daughter. But recognizing the contribution her father had made to the world of science, she told Dr Harvey to donate it to Princeton University, where it now sits in a jar to this day.
The Holy Grail of cognitive performance?
The madcap story of a doctor dissecting and mailing out pieces of Einstein’s brain is certainly remarkable. But what’s more remarkable is what his autopsy revealed.
Upon peering inside the mind of one of the world’s greatest scientific geniuses of all time, Dr Harvey discovered that Einstein had an exceptionally high ratio of glial to neuron cells in the parietal region of his brain. These glial cells produce a chemical called acetylcholine, and it has been surmised that Einstein enjoyed an abundance of acetylcholine and that it was the key to his genius, and why he maintained all his mental faculties long into old age.
The role of acetylcholine in the human brain is now attracting renewed focus on among doctors and scientists as they battle to find an answer to the incoming tsunami of cognitive decline in the baby boomer generation.
Mental aging is no longer something we have to accept
Do you ever walk into a room but can’t remember why?
Or forget someone’s name within five minutes of meeting them?
We may chuckle in situations like this. But the reason why it happens is no laughing matter.
You see, your brain is no different to any other part of your body. Over time, it breaks down.
But instead of cartilage and muscle fiber, its membranes and nerve cells that weaken and decay. And as neuroscientists are discovering, ‘age’ isn’t the only reason our brains deteriorate as we get older.
Until recently, having a slower, weaker brain was accepted as a natural part of aging. That worsening brain fog, being more scatter brained and unable to concentrate for long periods is ‘what happens’ as we get old.
But countless studies are now revealing that rates of cognitive decline are worse now than at any time in history, and getting worse every year. More alarmingly, research has found that the main culprits are common habits that millions of people do every day.
Why everybody’s wrong about mental aging
My name is Danny Murphy and I am not a doctor, a neuroscientist or a brain expert of any kind.
Who I am is someone who has researched natural health for the last ten years. I’ve seen the studies and read the reports which explain why current approaches to treating mental aging are doomed to fail (and may even be making the problem worse).
The scary reality we all face is that rates of dementia, Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline are going through the roof, and are far higher than at any time in history. And the world’s best scientists are scratching their heads at how we can avert an incoming tsunami of mental health problems.
But there is hope.
There is still time to save today’s baby boomers from moving into nursing homes en mass. But to succeed, it will need a sea change in how we look after out brains. A holistic solution that encompasses the food we eat, how we exercise and avoiding ingesting substances that make our brains worse.
But until now, all the money and resources are being thrown at treating the SYMPTOMS of cognitive decline. When we should be focusing on the CAUSE.
This is the only way we can delay or prevent the widespread cognitive decline people aged over 50 now face. Otherwise we risk becoming a nation of over medicated zombies, with no hope for the future.
The surprising truth about mental health
Just like your muscles, heart and other organs, your brain needs nutrition to stay fit, healthy and functioning properly.
When you can supply your brain with the key nutrients it needs, it can clean itself of mental plaque, repair membranes and nerve cells and even perform at a higher level than it does now.
The link between nutrition and brain function is well researched and understood. Neuroscientists even know what is the brain’s #1 driving force of optimum cognitive performance: Acetylcholine.
Acetylcholine is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain and an essential neurotransmitter for learning, memory and mood.
Neurotransmitters are like tiny messengers. They pass information between nerves, muscles and other microbiological structures so they can function properly, and your body relies on acetylcholine more than any other neurotransmitter.(1)
When your body produces enough acetylcholine your memories, focus and clarity of thought all work as they should. But if your acetylcholine levels drop, your mental performance suffers.
If you’re already forgetting where you left your keys or cant remember what you did last Tuesday, depleted acetylcholine is likely the cause. In fact, research has revealed that people with dementia nearly always have a deficiency of acetylcholine in their brain.(2)
Steer clear of these 3 daily habits
While our bodies naturally produce acetylcholine when we are young, as we get older our bodies produce less and less.(3) This is just a fact of life. But there are three common daily habits that could be making your depletion of acetylcholine and subsequent mental aging worse:
1. Prescription drugs
If you take medication for allergies, insomnia, pain relief, high blood pressure, depression or your bladder then you may be also depleting your stores of acetylcholine.
Many of the drugs for these conditions are known as ‘anticholinergics’. And as the name suggests, these drugs have been found to block and destroy acetylcholine in the brain. This includes a study by the Harvard Medical School, which linked drugs like Benadryl to increased dementia risk.(4)
If you are currently taking any prescription medications ask your doctor if they are ‘anticholinergics’. If so, you may wish to take steps to restore your acetylcholine stores to a healthy level.
2. Eating too much processed sugar
Our modern diet of food loaded with processed sugar is blamed for the massive rise in obesity rates and 60% increase in type 2 diabetes in the last decade. Recent research is revealing that eating food laden with fructose, corn syrup and other processed sugars could be rotting our brains too.
Eating too much sugar creates toxic compounds in the body known as ‘Advanced Glycation End-products’ or AGEs. AGEs can age your skin and cause inflammation to your joints and other organs. They can also cause artery damage and reduced blood flow to the brain. This in turn leads to long-term brain damage.
It’s feared that AGEs from processed sugar could be what’s driving the huge rise in Alzheimer’s. So if you’ve been considering replacing soda with a glass of water, you now have a very good reason.(5)
3. Not enough daily exercise
Your brain uses three times more oxygen than your muscles.. Oxygen is vital for getting rid of brain plaque, repairing damaged membranes and helping the brain to function properly.
Getting 30 minutes of exercise a day is the only way to ensure your brain gets the blood flow it needs to stay fit and healthy. If you don’t exercise regularly, start light with stretching, going for a walk and taking the stairs instead of the lift. Then gradually build up to jogging, cycling and other activities that get the blood pumping.
If you are currently taking prescription medications daily, eat too much processed food and aren’t getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, it’s understandable if you now feel worried. However, the good news is that if you start making healthy lifestyle changes and feed your brain with the nutrition it needs then it is possible to repair the damage and get a leaner, fitter and faster brain than you may have now.
ASA Restrictions on Health Claims
There are a lot of snake oil salesmen in the supplements world. They’ll happily tell you that their supplement can turn you into Einstein, give you biceps like Schwarzenegger and a mane of hair that would make Sansom jealous.
Because of all the quackery, the authorities are clamping down on disingenuous claims made about supplements. In my case, it’s the Advertising Standards Authority’s (ASA) key guidelines I have to satisfy, summarized by the following:
Nutrition claims are only permitted if they are listed in the Annex of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, lastly amended by Regulation (EU) No 1047/2012.
Unfortunately, few natural supplements carry approved claims in the EU Register. For this reason, I can not make any specific health claims as to how effective any of the following ingredients will be at improving your memory or enhancing your concentration. I also can not claim or imply that they will prevent, treat or cure any diseases, like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
All I can do is provide you with the results of human studies (wherever possible selected from the US National Library of Medicine Institute of Health) and allow you to make up your own mind.
When to consult your doctor
Many supplement companies will claim their product has ZERO side effects. Unless they are literally selling a sugar pill, this is unlikely to be true. While they carry fewer dangers than pharmaceutical drugs, in rare cases natural supplements can cause side effects. This includes stomach pain, nausea, sleep disturbances, headaches, dizziness, nervousness and flushing of the face. If you experience any of these symptoms then you should stop taking the supplement and consult your doctor.
You should also consult your doctor before taking supplements if you have an existing medical condition, are pregnant or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician.
Vinpocetine – Viagra for the Mind
Vinpocetine is extracted from the seeds of the periwinkle plant and has been widely used as a cognitive enhancer since the 1980s. Dubbed ‘Viagra for the Mind’, vinpocetine has been referenced in over 600 studies for its health benefits.
In Japan vinpocetine is prescribed by doctors to help improve memory, cognition, concentration and to improve blood flow to the brain. Japan is one of the most scientifically advanced nations in the world, with one of the oldest average lifespan on Earth at 83.10 years (nearly 5 years more than the US).
So the western world would be wise to take notes from Japan’s doctors on how we can protect our aging population from mental decline. One country that has taken notice is Germany, where vinpocetine is sold as a prescription drug under the brand name Cavinton.(6)
While vinpocetine has been taken as a natural cognitive enhancer for decades and is prescribed in Japan and Germany, more clinical research is needed to verify its benefits as a treatment for mental aging,
However, one recent study, reported on in the US National Library of Medicine Institute of Health, of 56 cognitively impaired patients who were given a dose of 5 mg of vinpocetine twice a day found that “there were significant improvements in memory and concentration with vinpocetine therapy” and that “vinpocetine was effective in improving memory and concentration of patients with epilepsy and dementia although the efficacy was minimal in demented patients.”(7)
Ginkgo Biloba – The Brain Herb
Ginkgo Bilboa is popularly known as the ‘’brain herb’’ and comes from a tree revered in South Korea, China and Japan for its mental boosting abilities. Referred to as yín xìng in Chinese medicine, the leaves of the ginkgo tree have long been used by herbalists as a brain tonic for improving memory, concentration and as a natural antidepressant.
Ginkgo Bilboa is believed to help increase blood flow to the brain and to protect the membranes that surround the delicate nerve cells from damage.
Some studies have found that in healthy people, ginkgo might modestly boost memory and cognitive speed. Other studies have not found a benefit or the results were mixed.
According to WebMD:
“Several ginkgo studies have shown that it can help with memory problems caused by dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It seems to help prevent the progression of dementia symptoms, especially if the dementia is thought to be the result of atherosclerotic vascular disease. It does not seem to prevent dementia or Alzheimer’s, however.”(8)
A study entitled “A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Ginkgo biloba in Neuropsychiatric Disorders: From Ancient Tradition to Modern-Day Medicine” conducted in 2012 compiled the results from multiple medical databases and then selected 113 controlled randomized trials that had at least 10 participants and ran for at least 6 weeks.
They assessed that:
“[the] available evidence is sufficient to support the use of Gb in patients with dementia and as an adjunctive therapy in schizophrenic patients. Despite the promising results, broad recommendations for the use of Gb in other neuropsychiatric conditions, such as ADHD, autism, and AD are still premature.”(9)
Huperzine A – Chinese Club Moss
Huperzine comes from Chinese club moss and has been widely used in traditional medicine for treating age related memory impairment as well as to enhance existing memory. It is believed to increase levels of acetylcholine in the brain, the key to healthy cognitive function.
L-Tyrosine – Natural Mood Lifter
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that helps feed the body with protein. It is found naturally in eggs, nuts and wheat and is widely used in protein supplements for muscle growth. L-Tyrosine is also taken for depression, stress and improving concentration and alertness.
GABA (Gamma-Aminobutvric Acid) – Blocker of Bad Vibes
GABA is a neurotransmitter that can help block negative nerve impulses. This includes the nerves related to anxiety, mood disorders and chronic pain. For this reason, GABA is often taken as a natural supplement for improving the mood, relieving anxiety, getting better sleep and to improve attention and focus.
There is not yet conclusive evidence that GABA can pass through the blood-brain barrier in sufficient quantities to be effective at halting age related mental decline. A recent study, conducted in 2015, concluded that “there is some evidence for the claims made by hundreds of consumers online concerning the calming effects of GABA food supplements, but evidence from independent studies is needed. In addition, even if a calming effect of GABA can be reliably demonstrated, the mechanism through which these supplements work is unclear.”(10)
Alpha GPC – Growth Hormone for the Mind
Alpha GPC is found naturally in soy. Until recently it was mainly taken by athletes as it was believed to help increase strength, stimulate the release of growth hormones and provide explosive gains in performance. It is now also a popular supplement for improving memory. In Europe Alpha GPC is sold as a prescription drug for treatment of Alzheimer’s because it seems to increase acetylcholine in the brain.(11)
Bacopa Monnieri – Indian Aphrodisiac
Bacopa Monnieri is a creeping herb used in traditional Indian medicine for a wide range of conditions. This includes backache, joint pain and sexual performance, along with improving memory and reducing anxiety.
Supplements are not miracle cures for cognitive decline
The supplements listed above have a long history in alternative medicine for remedies related to mental performance. However, none of them are a miracle cure. Conclusive proof is still needed into their benefits. They are also not a replacement for getting daily exercise and eating a healthy diet filled with fruit and vegetables – the two key habits to slowing mental decline as we age.
Disclaimer – Statements made in this article have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. You should never make changes to your medication without speaking to your doctor. This article is provided for information purposes only and is not a replacement for professional medical advice.
“Sleep is what makes us brilliant because it’s the most natural powerful performance enhancer known to humankind. It’s time we started treating it as such.” – Dr Guy Meadows, Clinical Director of The Sleep School
Recent advances in neuroscience have led to the discovery of a ‘sleep shampoo system’ in the brain. This discovery could herald new progress in looking after the mental health of an aging population and averting more serious mental disorders, like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
This discovery comes at a time when insomnia is at epidemic rates. An estimated 50-70 million Americans now spend hours awake staring at their ceiling fans and not getting the 8 hours of rejuvenating sleep their brains and bodies need to stay healthy.(1) And what’s worse, new research has revealed that insomnia isn’t just making people grouchy, more accident prone and forgetful, it could be a key cause of chronic health problems.
A modern day disease
In our our always on-the-go, hyper-connected and highly caffeinated society, too few people are getting enough sleep. And it’s making us sick.
When you fail to get 8 hours of sleep a night over a period of time the damage to your brain and body can compress. In the short-term it can cause:
- Higher risk of illness
- Worsening attention span
- Weakened ability to focus
- Heightened risk of accidents
- Irritability and crankiness
- Increased appetite
“We tend to treat sleep as a health non-entity instead of a vital component to a healthy lifestyle. It is past time that the medical community “wakes people up” to the importance of a proper amount and quality of sleep. This will make our patients healthier, and 1our roads safer.” – Brendan Duffy, of St. Charles Sleep Disorders Center (2)
Why we’re struggling to sleep
There are many reasons for today’s insomnia epidemic.
People are suffering from higher levels of stress, anxiety and the relentless bleep from our smartphones are stopping us from reaching the relaxed state of mind we need for sleep. This was the assessment of Dr Gottfried, a sleep expert. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, she revealed how our modern lifestyles are placing severe stress on our ‘circadian rhythm’.
The circadian rhythm regulates all manner of biological processes, including our brainwaves, body’s cells, hormones and even our ability to turn food into energy. And Dr Gottfried believes that insomnia may be to blame for the huge rises in obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, depression and heart disease.(3)
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that sleep is vital for reducing high blood pressure and high cholesterol.(4)
“Sleep can definitely reduce levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure. It’s also believed that sleep affects cholesterol levels, which plays a significant role in heart disease.” – Raymonde Jean, MD, director of sleep medicine and associate director of critical care at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York City (5)
Insomnia ages our brains by five years
Over the last 10 years advances in neuroscience have revealed that poor sleep may be aging our brains prematurely too.
It has been discovered that our brains have what is called the ‘glymphatic system’. This is a system of tiny tubes that release a fluid that acts as ‘shampoo’ to cleanse our brain of toxins, waste products and plaque that accumulates during the day. This explains why sleeping pills can make you feel groggy because they prevent your brain’s ‘sleep shampoo’ from working properly.
“During sleep, the space between brain cells expands 60 per cent more than when you’re awake. This allows the brain to flush out built-up toxins with cerebral spinal fluid, the clear liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.” – Dr Gottfried
The discovery of the glymphatic system explains why just one night without much sleep can make you feel mentally drained, irritable and forgetful. Multiply the buildup of toxins in the brain over a few weeks, months or years and you have the recipe for a public mental health crisis.
In fact, recent studies suggest that the build up of brain plaque may be to blame for premature mental aging and even the onset of dementia. The Harvard School of Public Health, for example, found that sleeping less than five hours a night can age the brain up to five extra years.(6)
7 tips for better sleep
- Have a bedtime routine that starts one hour before you need to sleep. This could include a relaxing bath, reading a book (rather than Facebook posts) and writing a list of the things you need to do tomorrow.
- Avoid using blue screen technology, such as your smartphone or tablet, one hour before you need to sleep.
- Get up earlier in the mornings so you have one hour to yourself before work or the kids wake up.
- Keep your smartphone away from your bed. Otherwise you’ll get woken by message alert pings and be tempted to check your emails or social media updates
- Address any troubling thoughts that are making you feel anxious and keeping you awake. Write down what the problem is and a plan for how you’ll solve it tomorrow
- Avoid stimulants, like alcohol, tobacco or caffeine late at night. A couple of beers or a glass of red wine may make you feel drowsy. But your sleep will be poor quality sleep and you won’t feel as rested the next day.
- Try natural insomnia remedies, like eating a banana, a warm glass of milk or chamomile tea
These tips can help with mild bouts of insomnia.
But if you suffer from chronic sleeplessness due to anxiety or depression then you should always speak to your doctor. They may recommend medication or talk therapy as a first line of treatment.
What is talk therapy?
Talk therapy, also known as ‘cognitive behavioural therapy’ (CBT), has been found to be highly effective for treating anxiety, depression and also insomnia.
It works by teaching you how to replace negative, troubling thoughts with more positive ways of thinking. This in turn helps to improve your mood and makes getting to sleep much easier.
“We know the effectiveness of medications tends to wear off when the medication has stopped, whereas the efficacy of CBT persists over time, even after therapy is discontinued,” – Dr. Sateia.(7)
Dangers of prescription sleeping pills
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recently released a set of guidelines for doctors on prescribing medications and supplements for chronic insomnia.(8)
These guidelines are needed because too many people are being prescribed habit forming pharmaceutical drugs when a natural supplement could have been more effective.
While most people can restrict themselves to taking only one sleeping pill, some people develop a reliance, believing popping a pill is the only way to sleep at night.
This can lead them to taking up to 50 pills per day to reduce their anxiety or, in some cases, because they enjoy the high. Then when their prescription runs out, many try getting more sleeping pills on the black market, and all the dangers that entails.
Even if you don’t succumb to a physical dependence, taking pharmaceutical sleeping pills for chronic insomnia is not a healthy option. According to WebMD, their side effects can include:
- Burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulty keeping balance
- Daytime drowsiness
- Dry mouth or throat
- Impairment the next day
- Mental slowing or problems with attention or memory
- Stomach pain or tenderness
- Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- Unusual dreams
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should always stop taking the sleeping pill immediately and contact your doctor.
“Under-sleeping is the next sugar – it’s a health time bomb.Our lives are more hectic than ever, more people live in cities where they’re less attuned to light-dark cycles, we binge-watch TV shows, tablets emit sleep-disrupting blue light all evening, and it’s become normal for our bosses to email us at 9pm (they never could 20 years ago).” – Dr Gottfried.
How to produce the ‘sleep hormone’ naturally
Insomnia is not a new problem.
But it’s prevalence, with up to half of people now suffering from interrupted sleep patterns, could be because of staring at our smartphones all day.
The reason may be because the ‘blue screens’ of smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs are preventing us from producing one of the key hormones we need for sleep.
It’s called ‘melatonin’ and it is our body’s natural hormone that’s released when we need to sleep. However, staring at blue screens all day can prevent your body from producing enough of the melatonin you need to sleep at night.(10)
This is why it’s recommended that you switch off the TV, put your tablet and smartphone in a drawer and turn down the lights one hour before bedtime.
What are good supplements that may help with sleep?
There is no miracle cure to insomnia. However, there are natural supplements available which have helped some people to get to sleep more easily.
The following four supplements have been found in some studies to help people fall asleep:
Melatonin – The body’s natural hormone for regulating your sleep patterns. A study, reported on by the US National Library of Medicine, found that Melatonin may be effective at helping people fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper, more restful sleep:
PR-melatonin is the first drug shown to significantly improve quality of sleep and morning alertness in primary insomnia patients aged 55 years and older-suggesting more restorative sleep, and without withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation. (US National Library of Medicine).
Magnesium (as Oxide) – Many people suffer from a magnesium deficiency because of eating too much processed food. A lack of magnesium has been linked to insomnia and poor sleep quality.
Valerian Root – This herb comes from the root of a tall, flowering plant and has been used to treat sleep problems for thousands of years. Studies suggest that valerian root may help the brain to release chemicals that calm the body and mind so sleep becomes easier.
L-Tryptophan – An amino acid naturally found in turkey meat, L-Tryptophan may help regulate the production of melatonin and serotonin, to help improve your mood and to sleep better at night.
As mentioned, these supplements are not miracle cures for insomnia. They are also not a replacement for making healthy lifestyle changes, such as getting more exercise and lowering stress, that can help reduce insomnia over the long-term.
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Disclaimer – The statements on the website or in the ads have not been evaluated by the FDA and are for informational purposes only. Please consult with your health care practitioner for all your health care needs. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication.
How’s your brain performing these days? Does your concentration plummet in the afternoon? Do you forget people’s names, birthdays and what you did last Tuesday? If so, you’re not alone.
A recent seven-year study of 2,000 people, published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging, found that mental performance declines after the age of 27.(1) Even more worryingly is the explosion in dementia, which is predicted to claim the lives of a third of seniors.
Many of America’s baby boomers are leaving nothing to chance. They’re getting more exercise, eating cleaner and taking supplements that may help protect their brains from cognitive decay.
One of the most popular supplements for the brain is vinpocetine, found naturally in the leaf of the periwinkle plant.
There are over 600 scientific references on its benefits in the National Library of Medicine.(2) And a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society found that vinpocetine provided significant improvement in elderly patients suffering from cognitive decline.(3) However, it is not a miracle cure and further study is needed to confirm its benefits.
Dubbed ‘Viagra for the brain, vinpocetine has been taken safely as a dietary supplement since the 1980s. But that could soon be about to change.
The FDA has announced that it now believes vinpocetine is so potent that it was incorrectly classed as a supplement. It now believes it should be classed a ‘synthetic compound’ instead.
This means vinpocetine may have to be sold as a prescription drug and, no doubt, at a much higher price.
Can the ban be stopped?
The millions of baby boomers who rely on vinpocetine to keep their brain fit and healthy are outraged that it may soon be seized from their hands and passed to the drug companies to dispense as they see fit.
The most active critic of the ban is the Life Extension Foundation. It’s created a special website for members of the public to download a letter to send to the FDA and members of Congress to protest against the vinpocetine ban.(4)
The letter states that the proposed ban is an “unscientific and illegal attempt to remove an effective and safe dietary supplement from the market.”
It also states:
“The removal of vinpocetine will endanger the health of Americans who take this supplement daily to protect against neurodegeneration, If Americans are denied access to vinpocetine, healthcare costs will skyrocket as circulatory deficits to the brains of aging Americans will increase vascular and Alzheimer’s dementia risk.”(5)
Pharmacists join the protest
It’s not just the Life Extension Foundation challenging the FDA’s imminent ban. Pharmacists are also worried that a cost effective way of helping to prevent mental decline may soon be unavailable to America’s 76 million baby boomers.
This includes Mark Burger, a pharmacist from California, who’s sold vinpocetine for more than 12 years. In his letter to the FDA he wrote:
“There is no need to re-classify this compound. It serves no purpose and will have profound economic impact on those that manufacture the products, on pharmacies like ours and on patients who must seek prescription drugs to maintain the level of cognitive recall that they have enjoyed with vinpocetine.”(6)
Others have gone further and accused the FDA of implementing the ban at the behest of big pharma. They suspect that it’s little more than a cynical ploy to allow drug companies to take over the marketing of this hugely popular brain supplement and fill their coffers with the profits.
People campaigning against the FDA Ban
“I am [a] 69-year-old female and have been using this supplement for over 25 years as a preventative because of extensive stroke history in my family. Because my mother died of Alzheimer’s, it also gives me great peace of mind that I am doing what I can to keep my brain neurologically sound.” – California resident Beth Rees (7)
“Removing vinpocetine will likely cause skyrocketing prices for pharmaceutical substitutes and/or nursing home care,” – Florence Brunner of Eastport, Maine (7)
“Why would you want to ban something that older people like myself use to maintain our cognitive health? It sure makes me think that you people are on the side of the pharmaceutical companies.” – Sam Pinder (7)
“Please do not take this out of the public domain and hand it over to pharmaceutical companies who have profits, profits, profits on their mind. My mental decline has definitely [been] slowed down.” – Mark Harrison (7)
Five Supplements for the Mind
If the ban is enforced and vinpocetine is removed from the shelves, people may have to find a replacement. Five popular supplements people take for their mind are:
1.Gaba – A ‘downer’ neurotransmitter found to relieve anxiety and provide a calmness that helps to improve mental focus.
2. Huperzine A – A naturally occurring sesquiterpene alkaloid compound that may help to enhance learning and reduce age related memory impairment
3. Alpha GPC – A natural choline compound found in the brain that has shown some evidence of helping to relieve cognitive disfunction
4. L-Tyrosine – An amino acid that may improve mental alertness, performance and concentration
5. Bacopa Monnieri – Found in a creeping herb native to the wetlands of southern and Eastern India. It may help increase cerebral blood flow and cognitive function
None of these supplements are miracle cures for age-related mental decline, and further study is needed to confirm their benefits. The best way to look after the brain is daily exercise, to eat lots of fruit and vegetables and keeping the brain active. However, if vinpocetine is removed from the shelves, then these supplements might be replacements worth considering.
Disclaimer – Statements in this article have not been evaluated or approved by the Federal Drug Administration. Individual results vary and results discussed in these materials are not necessarily typical or average results. You should never make changes to your medication without speaking to your doctor. The information provided is not a replacement for professional medical advice.
4. http://www.capwiz.com/lef/issues/alert/?alertid=73977626&type=ML5. https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/blogs/insider-law/2016/11/consumers-urge-fda-to-keep-vinpocetine-on-market.aspx
Is your drinking water safe?
It may not be based on some alarming reports. Some of the stats look so alarming that the Flint water disaster could be just the tip of the iceberg.
During a three-year investigation, the Environmental Working Group conducted a three year quality test of 20 million water samples and found:
- 200 unregulated chemicals in the tap water of 45 states
- 316 contaminants – including industrial solvents, weed killers, refrigerants and the rocket fuel component perchlorate – in water supplied to the public between 2004 and 2009
Speaking of the findings Jane Houlihan, the group’s senior vice president for research, said, “Utilities do the best job that they can treating a big problem with limited resources, but we must do better…It is not uncommon for people to drink tap water laced with 20 or 30 chemical contaminants. This water may be legal, but it raises serious health concerns.” (1)
This research supports the findings of a more recent Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis of nationwide drinking water. It found that the water supplies for more than 200 million Americans in all 50 states are contaminated with chromium-6. (2)
And this isn’t the only contaminant causing rising concern.
Prior to being muzzled by the Trump administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessed that there are dangerous levels of prescription drugs in America’s drinking water supply:
“We’re not trying to scare anyone, but we need to know what these chemical compounds will do to the environment and what are the long-term effects for humans. No one seems to know.” – Nick Schroeck, executive director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center in Detroit (3)
3 Widespread Drinking Water Contaminants
Fluoride – This is actually added on purpose to reduce tooth decay. But a study by Harvard Research found that fluoride could be lowering IQ levels in children by as much as 7 points. (4)
Lead – Traces of copper, lead, arsenic and mercury have all been found in our drinking water. It was excessive levels of lead from aging pipes that caused the Flint water disaster, which is still ongoing.
Chromium-6 – Pesticides are used to kill plants. And they’re also in our drinking water. The worst of all is Chromium-6, which has been linked to cases of cancer, liver and kidney problems. Its presence in the water supply was famously exposed by Erin Brockovich 25 years ago in a real life courtroom drama.
“It’s INEXCUSABLE that the government has done so little to protect us from this chemical that has been shown to cause cancer at even insanely low levels.” – Erin Brockovich
What about bottled water?
Switching to bottled water may not be the solution.
Up to a half of bottled water companies are estimated to get their water from the municipal water supply. In other words, they get their drinking water from the same place as you: The tap.
They then charge you $0.99 for the pleasure of getting it in a plastic bottle.
This means that bottled water may still contain fluoride, lead and chromium-6, among many other contaminants, at dangerous levels.
In fact, a 2008 EWG study of bottled water found:
- Cancer-causing contaminants in bottled water purchased in 5 states
- Toxic byproducts of chlorination at levels no different than routinely found in tap water
- 10 popular brands of bottled water contained 38 chemical pollutants altogether, with an average of 8 contaminants in each brand
- 2 out of 10 brands tested were chemically indistinguishable from tap water. The only striking difference: the price tag. (5)
And it gets worse…
Even the bottle you drink from may be toxic. The BPA plastic used to make plastic drinking has been linked to cases of breast cancer, prostate disease, diabetes and obesity. This is why mothers are urged to ONLY use BPA-free bottles to feed their babies. (6)
While there are various codes you can check to see if a bottle is BPA-free, the ONLY way to be sure the water you’re drinking is safe is to NOT drink bottled water at all.
Filtered Water is 99.99% Clean
Now that the EPA has been gagged and prevented from talking to the press, we have no way of knowing whether ANY tests are being done on water quality. We also have no way of finding out if our water is no longer safe to drink.
For this reason, American families are urged to get a device that can ensure their drinking water is 99.99% clean of contaminants and they can protect their water supply at all times.
This device is called the Fixt water filter.
While it looks like any other water filter, what makes Fixt special is that it removes 99.99% of contaminants. It’s also certified as being able to remove lead, fluoride, chromium-6 and 66 other contaminants commonly found in the water supply.
This is something your average water filter cannot do. You can see a demonstration of how much more effective Fixt is at cleaning water than an average filter in this video:
Five Fixt Benefits
Safe – Removes 99.99% of waterborne bacteria, contaminants and parasites
Healthy – It creates alkaline water free from contaminants, making it the cleanest, healthiest water you may ever drink
Saves money on bottled water – A single filter can clean 160 gallons of water. This can save the average family lots of money per year on bottled water
100% BPA free plastic – There is far less risk of suffering from the health problems that can arise from drinking from bottles or containers with BPA plastic.
Environmentally friendly – In the US, 60 million plastic bottles are thrown away in a SINGLE day. This can be vastly reduced if more families use the Fixt water jug.
When you consider how much the average family spends on bottled water in a year, the Fixt water filter can pay for itself within a couple of weeks.
As well as saving lots of dollars, you’ll also gain the peace of mind knowing your family isn’t drinking water that contains fluoride, lead, arsenic, chromium-6 or the 65 other contaminants now revealed to be in the water supply for 200 million Americans.
Disclaimer – Erudite Lifestyle Magazine will earn commission if you choose to buy a Fixt Water Pitcher via one of the links in this article. However, the stats quoted are all 100% real and can be verified in the references listed. The Fixt Water Pitcher is the ONLY pitcher certified to be able to eliminate fluoride, lead, arsenic, chromium-6 and 65 other contaminants from your drinking water, which is why it’s the only water filter we promote to our readers.
Kidney disease’s symptoms can include low energy, moodiness, fatigue, swelling, headaches, depression and a loss of appetite. But unfortunately, many people don’t realize these symptoms are from kidney disease until it’s too late and the damage is so advanced that they’re forced to undergo dialysis for the rest of their lives.
Even more alarmingly, 1 in 5 people DIE in their first year on dialysis because kidney disease makes you 16 to 40 times more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.
For the last few decades the only way to treat kidney disease has been by dialysis. Or, if you’re lucky, a donor kidney. But in both cases you can face a life sentence of pharmaceutical drugs with unpleasant side effects.
Thankfully, kidney problems may be alleviated by followng these 5 healthy lifestyle habits:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
1. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
This will help to prevent the mineral build up that leads to kidney stones. Recommended foods for preventing or reversing kidney disease include grapes, spinach, beets and asparagus.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
2. Drink lots of water
This will help to keep your urine diluted and your kidneys healthy. Check your urine is light colored when you go to the bathroom. If not, you need to drink more water.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
3. Check your blood pressure
High blood pressure can increase your rick of kidney and heart problems. So you should see your doctor or a nurse regularly to get it checked. To keep your blood pressure at a safe level, improve your diet and get more exercise.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
4. Keep potassium levels low
Your kidneys regulate potassium so make sure they don’t get overloaded with foods high in potassium. Otherwise you can risk a stroke or heart attack.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
5. Eat foods rich in iron
Iron is essential for red blood cells which regulate your body’s health and give you energy. Leafy green vegetables and eggs are potent sources of iron that can keep your red blood cell count high.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Disclaimer – Statements made in this article have not been evaluated or approved by the Federal Drug Administration. Individual results vary and results discussed in these materials are not necessarily typical or average results. Some of the discussions of results are based on anecdotal reports or individuals’ personal experiences, not necessarily representative of typical results and, in some cases, representative of exceptional results. You should never make changes to your medication without speaking to your doctor. The information provided is not a replacement for professional medical advice.
As we get older, getting a bigger belly can come with the territory.
But belly fat doesn’t just look unattractive but it may be slowly killing you.
Fat around the abs, belly and liver is a key cause of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, low testosterone, kidney failure and premature death.
So if you’re a man and your waistline is above 40 inches (102cm) or 35 inches (88cm) if you’re a woman then it is sensible to take steps to try and reduce it.
1. Replace Processed Junk with Healthy Food
Processed foods are often loaded with refined sugars, like sucrose, dextrose, fructose, or sweeteners like aspartame or agave nectar. These can cause havoc for your liver and metabolism.
Only your liver can process refined sugars. If it gets overloaded, the sugar gets stored as fat. Fat encased around your belly then causes “cellular inflammation” which is blamed for all sorts of serious health problems.
The key is to slowly start replacing processed junk with fruit and vegetables. These natural foods are packed with nutrients that give you energy and encourage fat burning.
Brian Flatt is a fitness coach who was fed up with seeing so many of his clients struggle to lose weight and get in shape. Clearly, “calorie counting” wasn’t working. So Flatt developed a science based food plans for eating the right foods at the right time for maximum fat burning potential.
If you’re fed up with fad diets, overpriced supplements and endless exercise without seeing results, Flatt’s science based food plans may offer a road map to eating cleaner, losing weight and better all round health.
2. Switch to the Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet is now actively recommended by UK doctors to patients at risk of type 2 diabetes. This is because it contains foods low in carbs and with a low glycemic index. Low glycemic foods take longer for the gut to digest, absorb and metabolise. This means the body absorbs more nutrition from the food and avoids blood sugar spikes and insulin resistance.
When you eat fewer carbs your sugar cravings can naturally reduce, and your appetite may go down. Even better, you can eat as much low carb food you like (within reason), unlike low fat diets where you have to count calories and feel like you’re starving yourself.
Low carb diets also help to reduce belly fat by putting your body into a state known as ‘Ketosis’. This causes your body to stop relying on sugar for energy but instead starts burning belly fat as fuel.
3. Exercise for 30 mins a day
The idea that doing hundreds of sit ups and crunches a day will give you a lean, toned stomach is a complete myth.
The exercises that help to lose belly fat are ‘aerobic’ exercises, like walking, running or swimming. And some studies have suggested that 30 minutes may be the optimal time for weight loss and boosting energy levels.
This includes a study (published in the journal Scandinavian Journal of Public Health) which found that shorter exercise sessions can give you more energy as well as burn more fat than longer routines.
In the study, 60 moderately overweight men were tracked for 13 weeks. Those that exercised for half an hour lost 7.9 lbs while those exercising longer lost just 6lbs. The group that exercised for just 30 minutes also reported having more energy and feeling more motivated to stay healthy.
4. Try a multi-supplement to help reduce food cravings
There is no miracle cure to losing belly fat. The only way it can be achieved is by committing yourself to making healthy lifestyle changes. The key to success is to make these changes gradually so they don’t feel like punishment. However, once these new habits, of eating proper food and getting more exercise, take hold they can lead to long-term improvements in your weight, health and happiness.
One of the biggest challenges to losing weight is the food and sugar cravings. While your gut adjusts to a healthier diet of fruit and vegetables, it may help to take a supplement designed to reduce these cravings.
Dr Sam Robbins created his supplement, Lean Optimizer, to help suppress both sugar cravings and the hormones linked to fat being retained around the belly. Lean Optimizer is also designed to trigger the fat burning hormones, Thyroid and Leptin, into action to encourage better fat burning.
Since its launch 17 years ago, Lean Optimizer has helped 817,400+ people to safely suppress appetite and increase metabolism and energy levels.
Disclaimer – Lean Optimizer not a magic pill. To claim all the health benefits, it needs to be taken in combination with a healthy diet and daily exercise. Lean Optimizer is not designed to treat or cure any serious illness or disease. Statements made in this article have not been evaluated or approved by the Federal Drug Administration. Individual results vary and results discussed in these materials are not necessarily typical or average results. Some of the discussions of results are based on anecdotal reports or individuals’ personal experiences, not necessarily representative of typical results and, in some cases, representative of exceptional results. You should never make changes to your medication without speaking to your doctor. The information provided is not a replacement for professional medical advice. Erudite Lifestyle has a monetary relationship with Dr Sam Robbins and will be compensated for purchases made via the links in this article. This page is an advertorial and not purely a blog or information article