Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Surprising Things That Affect Memory

By regularly gorging on the white bread that's complimentary at restaurants, you're spiking your insulin. You may also be causing the insulin-degrading enzyme that exists in the brain to work overtime removing insulin, rather than getting rid of beta-amyloid proteins, the toxic protein that produces Alzheimer's disease. Carbohydrates are to the brain what cigarettes are to the lungs, Fortanasce says.

Research published in the latest issue of the journal Neurology also shows that eating fish may help prevent memory loss and stroke in healthy, older adults. The study looked at the brain scans of more than 2,300 people age 65 and older. It found that those who ate broiled or baked tuna and other fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, anchovies) three or more times per week had a nearly 26% lower risk that the silent brain lesions would be linked to dementia and stroke.

The wrong dietary choices can have a significantly adverse impact. Consider a study out of Loughborough and Oxford Universities last month, funded by the Alzheimer's Research Trust, concerning the high consumption of soy foods, such as tofu.

Of 700 elderly Indonesians, those who ate tofu at least once a day had an increased risk of dementia or memory loss, particularly if they were over age 65. Researchers believe the link might be due to soy products' phytoestrogens, which may offer some neural benefits to the middle-aged and young but could harm those over 65.

Surprising Things That Affect Memory - Forbes.com
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