Good news / bad news
I think I’ll make this a regular Wednesday science news post. Starting with this week’s bad news: A gigantic 12.4 kilometer square slab of ice has broken off the Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland. To put that into perspective (for those who have visited NYC) imagine a sheet of ice as tall as the Chrysler building that would pretty much cover all of Manhattan.
The good news is that fears about increasing rates of dementia appear to be unfounded. Four large population studies show that the chance of experiencing dementia at any particular age is actually less than previous generations. Here are my top three factors that may account for this improvement, based on current research.
1. Maintaining better fitness delays cognitive decline (muscle is magic, remember)
2. People are becoming more connected socially, which provides a wider range of thought and expression. This does not include angry tirades on Face Book.
3. Attention to nutrition. Dementia occurs rapidly in people with low levels of B12 and folic acid. On the other hand, nutrients associated with better memory and cognition include resveratrol, DHEA, polyphenols from brightly colored fruits and vegetables, and perhaps most important, the omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.
Those who have read The Metabolic Makeover will (or should- ha!) remember the value of intermittent fasting: See Chapter 7. And, for those who want a deep learning experience, here’s an excellent review entitled, Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function.
Full text, available free at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2805706/