SHORT GUIDE TO PREVENTING AND REVERSING MEMORY LOSS
Loss of memory affects more and more people in the world, especially the elderly. This evidence-based brief guide may help you confidently start and engage in the fight against memory loss with concrete and simple steps.
There are many factors that may lead to memory loss – from short-term dementia to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
They include excess alcohol consumption, smoking, inflammation, depression, drug effects and interactions, lung problems, metabolic disease or abnormalities, diabetes, sleep problems, anxiety and/or depression, obstructive sleep apnea, stress, vitamin deficiency, abnormal thyroid function and metabolic syndrome involving abdominal obesity, low levels of HDL cholesterol, high triglyceride levels, high blood pressure and insulin resistance. Evidences have accumulated that dementia symptoms clearly improve once these factors are well under control or reversed.
Dementia resulting from strokes and brain injuries that impair blood flow to the brain – called vascular dementia – is more difficult to improve or reverse. However, we can lower the chance of developing vascular dementia by controlling risk factors of heart disease and stroke.
The following changes in diet, lifestyles and medication have proven effective in improving and even reversing memory loss.
PART 1: Protecting and improving memory
- If you have been experiencing fatigue, anxiety, depression or restlessness and irritability you may need high potency Vitamin B complex. Deficiency in B3 is often associated with loss of memory, dementia, fatigue, depression and anxiety. Deficiency in B5 involves restlessness and irritability. Deficiency in B12 is associated with dementia, memory loss as well as anxiety and irritability while B7 deficiency may also cause depression. In fact deficiency in any one of several different B vitamins can cause anxiety. If you have been taking anti-depressant, anti-psychotic and anxiolytic drugs, talk to your doctor because sometimes they contribute to memory loss, depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Recommended dosage: 1 capsule of high potency B complex a day, 500 mg vitamin B3 three times a day.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and foods that cause diabetes, inflammation, obesity such as sugary foods, processed foods, vegetable oils (except coconut oil and raw olive oil), white bread, sugary cake, white rice.
- Eat a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein from low fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, occasional servings of eggs, poultry, and lean meats, olive oil and avocado oil.
- Increase daily consumption of special foods and herbs that can help protect memory:
- 3 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil a day. Coconut oil contains 60% of medium chain triglycerides (MCT), which have been proved to increase 8-9 % of the brain energy with as little as 20-30 mg a day. Virgin coconut oil also helps reduce many dementia risk factors including inflammation, oxidative stress, inducing weight loss, increase metabolism, enhancing the immune system.
- Edible and medicinal mushrooms such as Shiitake, Cordyceps , Veiled lady mushroom ( indusiata), Caterpillar fungus (C. militaris), Reshi, Lion’s mane, Maitakei or Hen of the woods (Grifola frondosa)
Research confirms these mushrooms are functional foods for the brain. Some of them can help regenerate damaged brain cells and stimulate nerve growth factor (Lion’s mane, Reshi, Hen of the woods). If fresh or dried mushrooms are not available in your region, they can be found as dietary supplements in powder and extract powder with instruction of use and dosage.
- Teas made from brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Gotu kola, Ginkgo biloba, or ginseng. Clinical trials confirmed these herbs are tonic to brain and memory. In particular, bacopa can effective in alleviating cognitive decline and in enhancing cognitive function while Gotu kola can increase memory and cognition, repair and reverse damage to brain cells
- One teaspoon of black cumin seed oil with 1 teaspoon of honey or some fresh orange juice before bed, especially if having enough good sleep is a problem.
- Black cumin seed oil also has other health benefits for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, memory loss, kidney disease, enlarged prostate , fatigue, depression and anxiety.
- Flax seeds, flax seed oil, fatty fish, fish oil, walnuts. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, these foods help modulate the structure of nerve cell membranes to protect the central nervous system.
- Exercise to ensure adequate flow of oxygen rich blood to the brain areas responsible or learning and memory function. Table tennis and badminton games are perfect for this purpose as they involve eye-hand coordination, decision-making, rapid information processing and increased blood circulation. It benefits the brain to get fit by having at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week (e.g. walking, running, jogging, rope skipping, swimming, water walking, cycling…). Vary your activities to avoid boredom. Even household chores and gardening are good exercise.
- Be sure to have enough good sleep ( about 7 hours a day) by developing a healthy sleeping habit. A teaspoon (or a capsule) of black cumin seed oil with honey one hour before bed is beneficial for your sleep.
- Stay socially active to keep your brain active through having meaningful interactions with others. Make friends if you don’t have any friends.
- Stay mentally active by frequently engaging in mentally challenging activities such as reading news, playing chess, chinese chess or scrabbles, taking dance lessons, memorizing favorite quotes, scriptures or memorizing and singing favorite songs, hymns.
PART 2: REVERSING SEVERE MEMORY LOSS.
If you are the carer for a loved one of yours who has severe dementia (Alzheimer’s or Parkinsons) the following may stop the condition from getting worse and bring back the memory. These have been well researched and proved effective for many people even though not every one.
- Vitamin Bs: Serve our loved one with the following doses of vitamin Bs – used successfully in an Oxford University study to stop brain shrinkage : 0.5milligrams of Vitamin B12, 20 milligrams of B6, and 0.8 milligrams of folic acid (or B9) a day.
- Herbal extracts: Serve the patient once a day : 300-500 mg of bacopa monnieri extract, 2000 IU Vitamin E and 1000-4000 mg of lion’s mane mushroom hot water extract (containing a minimum of 15% beta glucan).A clinically proven effective supplement called Redimind , containing bacopa monnieri extract, lion’s mane extract, ginkgo extract, alpha GPC and Huperzine A (firmoss) extract, is available online at https://www.nutreance.com/products/redimind/
- 21 day diet plan: Every 6 months, use the following 21 day diet plan as recommended by Dr. Ron Goldman based on a study undertaken by the Yale University of Medicine. Foods in this diet plan provide the components of TC-2153 – a compound that improves the potential to reverse Alzheimer’s as discovered in the above study – and fall into 1 or several of the 4 main groups:
- Group A contains foods rich in hydrochloric acid, alkaline foods and nitrogen, the mixing of which will give amine hydrochlorides, a component that has been found to benefit the fight against AD in the above study.
- Hydrochloric acid subgroup includes apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, black olive, celery, spinach, apples.
- Alkaline foods subgroup includes almonds, grapefruit, mushroom, soy beans, peaches, bell pepper, radish, pineapple, cherries, wild rice, strawberries, bananas, apricot, avocados, green tea, lettuce, celery, sweet potatoes, peas, egg plant, green beans, beets, blueberries, pears, grapes, kiwi fruits, melons, tangerine, figs, dates, mangoes, papayas, spinach, broccoli, artichokes, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, cucumbers, lemons, limes, seaweed, asparagus, kale, radish, collard greens, onion.
- Nitrogen subgroup includes beef, pork, chicken, turkey, goose, duck, mussels, sardines, anchovies, scallops, crab, shrimp, lobster, oyster, cauliflower, spinach, green peas, asparagus, eggs, nuts, oats, milk, yogurt.
- Group B contains Benzyl alcohols, which are needed to enable neurotransmitters to move freely around the brain. Foods in group B include beets, carrots, leafy vegetables, lettuce, raspberries, tea and essential oils (jasmine, ylang-ylang).
- Group C contains the Catalyst or Iron nitrates, needed to “catalyze amine hydrochlorides and benzyl alcohols so that they can actually work within the brain”. Foods in this group include arugula, rhubarb, cilantro, butter leaf lettuce, basil, beet greens, oak leaf lettuce, Swiss chard, beet juice, spinach, dark chocolate (75% cocoa), coffee, raspberries, salmon.
- Group T contains foods that induce Trifluoromethyl, a compound that helps reverse Alzheimer’s and can be promoted in the body through a diet that is rich in carboxylic acids. This group therefore consists of foods rich in carboxylic acids such as pickles, ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, marinades, vinegar, apples, grapes, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, pineapple, lemons, lime juice, oranges, persimmons, green tea, beer, chocolate, rhubarb, artichokes, lettuce, apple juice, apple cider, oranges, red beans, lentils, cinnamon, thyme, cloves, vanilla, tomatoes.
Each day of the 21 days diet cycle, consume (yourself and your loved one with memory problem) a bowl of salad mix made up of foods/drink in all 4 groups. It is best to have it eaten within a 15 minute time period between 6 and 8 o’clock in the evening (or between 10 am and 11:30 am in the morning if taking coffee). You can make the salad mix /drink differently each day according to the following amounts of foods for different groups:
- Group A: 1 ounce (or 30 grams) of foods in each subgroup’s list or 1 glass of milk, or 1 cup of yogurt, or 1 medium size boiled egg. E.g. 1 ounce (or 30 grams) of boiled sweet potatoes plus 1 ounce of roast beef (or pork or chicken..) and 1 cup of low fat yogurt.
- Group B: 4 ounces or 120 grams of different products or a pint or a large glass (480 mls) of tea leaves infusion. E.g. 60 grams of carrots plus 60 grams of beet or 480 mls of tea infusion
- Group C: 1 ounce (or 30 grams) of an ingredient in the list or 1 cup strong coffee or 1 glass of juice. E.g. 30 grams of dark chocolate or 30 g of spinach
- Group T: 2 ounces or 60 grams of different products or 1 glass of drink from the list. E.g. 2 ounces or 60 grams of tomatoes or 1 glass of apple juice.
It is best to plan in advance to save time in grocery shopping and food preparation.
It is not statistically known how effective this plan works. But it is worth trying if you want to prevent or reverse memory loss because it is very healthy, easy to follow & cheap.
Disclaimer: This short guide is for information only and does not replace the advice of the physician in charge.
Download PDF here Preventing and Reversing Memory Loss
Courchesne-Loyer, A. (2013) – Stimulation of mild, sustained ketonemia by medium-chain triacylglycerols in healthy humans: Estimated potential contribution to brain energy metabolism. Nutrition. April 2013 Volume 29, Issue 4, Pages 635–640
Croteau et al (2018) Ketogenic Medium Chain Triglycerides Increase Brain Energy Metabolism in Alzheimer’s Disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2018;64(2):551-561. doi: 10.3233/JAD-180202.
Goldman, R. & Lynch, A. (2014). The Memory Healer Program. Reverse the effects of memory loss. firstname.lastname@example.org 2014. http://www.memoryhealers.com/memory-healer-program/
McPhee, G.M., Downey, L.A., Noble, A., Stough, C. (2016) Cognitive training and Bacopa monnieri: Evidence for a combined intervention to alleviate age associated cognitive decline. Med Hypotheses. 2016 Oct;95:71-76. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2016.09.002. Epub 2016 Sep 7.
Morgan, A. & Stevens, J. (2010) Does Bacopa monnieri improve memory performance in older persons? Results of a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jul;16(7):753-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0342.
Mucci Dde B. et al (2015). Flaxseed mitigates brain mass loss, improving motor hyperactivity and spatial memory, in a rodent model of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2015 Jun;97:13-9. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2015.03.001. Epub 2015 Mar 31.
Navneet Kumar et al (2016). Efficacy of Standardized Extract of Bacopa monnieri(Bacognize®) on Cognitive Functions of Medical Students: A Six-Week, Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016; 2016: 4103423. Published online 2016 Oct 10. doi: 10.1155/2016/4103423
Nutrition. MCT contribution to brain energy. Nutrition. 2013 Apr;29(4):635-40 https://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007(12)00365-6/abstract
Phan, C.W., David, P & Sabaratnam, V. (2017), Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms: Emerging Brain Food for the Mitigation of Neurodegenerative Diseases. J Med Food. 2017 Jan;20(1):1-10. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2016.3740.
Sahak et al (2016) The Role of Nigella sativa and Its Active Constituents in Learning and Memory. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016; 2016: 6075679. Published online 2016 Feb 28. doi: 10.1155/2016/6075679
Syntyche Ling-Sing Seow et al (2013) Potentiation of neuritogenic activity of medicinal mushrooms in rat pheochromocytoma cells. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2013; 13: 157. Published online 2013 Jul 4. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-13-157
Tomen, D. (1) Lion’s Mane. https://nootropicsexpert.com/lions-mane/
Tomen, D. (2). Gotu Kola. https://nootropicsexpert.com/gotu-kola/
UHN staff (2017). Coconut Oil for Memory Loss? Helps Alzheimer’s Patients Stay Active Longer. https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/memory/coconut-oil-for-memory-loss-helps-alzheimers-patients-stay-active-longer/