Take Care of Your Brain

By Ken Hare

Chicago Defender Staff Writer

brainA low-fat, low-cholesterol diet actually starves the brain of certain nutrients according to a report by Life Extension Magazine. As Blacks have jumped on the bandwagon and  switched to the trendy diets of decades past we are beginning to find out about the cumulative results. And the results are somewhat disappointing as more Blacks are showing signs of memory and cognitive dysfunction.

According to Alan  Smithee, the author of the report “Heart-healthy diets that restrict eggs, meats, cheese, and other sources of cholesterol and saturated fats may not be so healthy for the brain. Such diets can lead to shortages of two essential nutrients, choline (as alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine) and serine (as phosphatidylserine), required by the brain to manufacture memory-related neurotransmitters and functional membrane lipids.”

Alzheimers, which is clinically more common among elderly Blacks than elderly European Whites has been proven to affect our brains differently. In a 2015 study, researchers looked for typical signs of Alzheimer’s disease (plaques and tangles) as well as other brain changes that can cause dementia, such as infarcts (the brain changes associated with stroke) and Lewy bodies (associated with Lewy body or Parkinson’s disease). They noted whether people had just one pathology or more than one. They also looked at small and large blood vessel disease.

What they discovered was that almost three-quarters (71 percent) of African-Americans had Alzheimer’s disease pathology mixed with another type of pathology, compared to 51 percent of European-Americans.

New research suggests that the biochemical processes that lead to cognitive decline represent a modifiable risk factor for the development of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, and that two essential brain nutrients, phosphatidylserine, and alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (GPC), may enable baby boomers to forestall or even reverse declines in memory and cognitive performance.

For more information on Alzheimers and preventative care, visit http://www.aan.com/patients.

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