With the aging population in the world in which we live, many of us are looking for ways to maintain or enhance our cognitive abilities. Many of us are already aware that Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. For some of us, we’re already at an increased risk or susceptibility through genetics, but let’s take a look at some things we can do to preserve our cognitive function.
- Vitamin D Supplementation – Though it’s not well-established yet how important supplementation with vitamin D is yet compared to natural sources such as diet and sunlight, Vitamin D levels and cognition has already been an established connection.
- Beta Carotene – Long-term supplementation with Beta Carotene may play a role in preventing age-ass0ciated memory loss. Studies have looked at doses of 50 mg of beta carotene taken on alternate days.
- Abdominal obesity – A recent study demonstrated that abdominal obesity is associated with smaller brain volumes. If you’re concerned about cognitive decline as you age, it’s important to maintain a healthy body mass index to limit the effects of abdominal obesity on your brain health.
- Marijuana – Though a controversial topic in itself, marijuana use particularly in those under the age of 15 may affect how your brain develops. In this case, the solution is simple by avoiding the use of marijuana, particularly at a young age, you can avert potential problems associated with its use on your brain.
- Physical activity – The importance of physical activity on cognitive function has been highlighted also in studies involving adolescents. Exercise is associated with the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF.
- Cardiopulmonary fitness – Not only is physical activity an important aspect of cognition in adolescents, but its importance is also present in those with cardiovascular disease. Research suggests that cardiopulmonary fitness preserves cognitive function in those with cardiovascular disease.
- Resistance training – Other research suggests that it’s not just cardiovascular fitness that is important to preserve your cognitive function. In a recent study involving elderly women, resistance training was found to result in cognitive improvements in elderly populations.
- Head circumference – Oddly enough, research continues to show that the size of your brain determines your susceptibility to dementia. Having a larger head is considered a protective factor against dementia.
- Fish Oil – The importance of fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids is also present in maintain or preserving cognitive function. Fish oil may help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Creatine – That’s right. Though mostly thought of for its role in enhancing athletic performance, creatine can also play a role in memory. For those who’re vegetarians, their diet is often lower in creatine since it is mostly found in meat products. Creatine supplementation improves memory for vegetarians according to recent studies.