PREVENTING BRAIN DEGENERATION
24TH NOVEMBER WRITTEN BY FLORA CRICHTON
The brain needs three essential things to function at its best: oxygen, glucose and stimulation.
Stimulation: this refers to intellectual challenges, social support, good diet and physical activity- these will all help to slow brain ageing. Physical activity and mental challenges will ‘exercise’ the neurons and are necessary to keeping the neurons healthy and active.
Oxygen: this refers to reduced blood flow to the brain, such as from poor circulation, which reduces the amount of oxygen the brain receives. Whilst we are all breathing, it doesn’t mean our brains are getting enough oxygen. Anemia is a condition of low iron and can rob the body of oxygen; red blood cells are not healthy enough to deliver sufficient oxygen to it.
Certain metabolic disorders, such as low blood pressure or hypothyroidism, can also inhibit oxygen flow to the brain. Poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking and being sedentary, can dramatically reduce blood flow to the brain. Exercise is an excellent way to keep the blood oxygenated.
Glucose: Lack of glucose is common in those who suffer from poor blood sugar stability, especially low blood sugar (people become spacey and light headed when they go too long without eating). People with blood sugar disorders; hypoglycaemia, insulin resistance (too much carbohydrates and sugar in the diet causes too much glucose being delivered to the brain) or diabetes, can be depriving their brains of oxygen. Blood sugar disorders create a state of chronic stress in the body, which inhibits blood flow/fuel to the brain.