The Carnivore Connection
Whether you are a vegetarian or meat-eater also can rig the chances of becoming demented or “senile” later in life. In fact, eating meat may more than double your odds of eventually becoming demented, compared with being a strict vegetarian. That’s what researchers at Loma Linda University School of Medicine found when they studied 272 California residents as part of a Seventh Day Adventist study. Definitely, there was a delayed onset of dementia in vegetarians. Why? Does meat inflict harm on the brain or do the high quantities of vegetables convey special brain protection, presumably by acting as antioxidants? Probably both.
Meat contains both high amounts of saturated fat and iron that can damage brain cells. It’s well established that iron acts as a catalyst in promoting generation of brain damaging free-radical chemicals. Consuming excessive iron and meat is blamed for contributing to other free radical diseases—heart disease and cancer. It seems likely the same iron- and meat-inspired free-radical bombardment of the brain promotes cellular damage that is manifested as dementia.
BOTTOM LINE: One of the most important actions you can take to save your brain from gradual deterioration that may start in your twenties is to eat a diet rich in various antioxidants. And it appears it’s never too early or too late to start. Eating antioxidants even late in life might help reverse mental decline that has already occurred.
How Calories Steal Your Brain
Everybody knows that overeating can pack on pounds that strain your heart. But the fact that excessive calories are also extremely hazardous to your brain is largely unknown. As Americans grow ever more overweight, so does the prospect of impending brain damage from ordinary aging, as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, say scientists.
Today’s epidemic of obesity could well become an epidemic of brain degeneration in the years ahead, says neurobiologist Mark Mattson, Ph.D., a leading brain researcher at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. He sees cutting down on calories as one of the most effective things you can do to save your brain. There’s compelling evidence, he says, that reducing calories can help stem everyday damage to neurons that over the years compromise normal aging brains, as well as brains afflicted with neurodegenerative disease.
DO YOU HAVE AN ANTIOXIDANT DEFICIENCY?
One way to find out whether your brain is being deprived of protective antioxidants is to have your blood tested. That test will reveal your levels of various antioxidants, including vitamins E and C, as well as lycopene and coenzyme Q10, in comparison with others of your age and gender. It will provide an antioxidant profile in percentiles for the important antioxidants in your blood, thus telling you whether you are eating enough fruits and vegetables and/or taking adequate supplements.
One lab highly recommended by antioxidant researcher Dr. Lester Packer is Pantox. You can contact them at 1-888-726-8698 or through their web site: http://vvww.pantox .com.
The cost of the test is around $300, and of course, requires supplying a blood sample taken by a health professional.