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By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
Alzheimer, dementia and other neuro-degenerative diseases are on the rise with no real end in site. Many people aren’t aware that you don’t get Alzheimer, Dementia or neruo-degenerative disease in your 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. These are conditions that start in your 20’s and 30’s, and once enough damage and degeneration has occurred, the tell tale symptoms finally begin to manifest.
There are a few underlying patterns that tend to exist with conditions of this nature. The first being insulin resistance, and in some circles it has even been refereed to as Type III diabetes. The second being auto-immunity driving neuro-degeneration in the brain. The third underlying factor is environmental toxicity including heavy metals like aluminum, mercury and lead. Most of today’s blog will be on the insulin resistance component.
It is a scientific fact that the brain only represents about 5% of our body weight yet consumes nearly 25% of our nutrition and oxygen. As we consume excess carbohydrate and refined sugar past what our bodies can handle, our brain becomes less capable of being able to utilize the glucose in the carbohydrate for energy. The insulin resistance that builds up from the excess glucose essentially keeps the glucose trapped in the blood stream where the cells can not receive it, which then causes our brain to starve over time. If the brain is starving for glucose, the fuel needed to power our higher brain function is no longer accessible.
I know what you are thinking, we just need more glucose, glucose is good, right? It’s important to remember that it is the excess glucose that has caused this whole problem. Excess glucose in the blood causes (advances glycation end products) AGES, which are free radical magnets that damages our DNA and sets us off in the fast path for accelerated aging (AGES causes wrinkles too).
What the most up to date research is showing is that our brain can adapt to burning fat or ketones for energy. Essentially 80% of our brain can run off of ketones, so other areas that were perhaps starving, now have access to a new fuel that can bring to life parts of the brain that may have been a sleep. One of the most popular fats that are being used are MCT’s (medium chain triglycerides) which are abundantly found in coconut oil. These fats are unique because they are easily digested and converted into ketones which become brain food rather quickly.
Next time your sitting down to a meal, it’s a wise choice to avoid the excess sugar and refined junk and eat organic whole foods especially vegetables, healthy fats and proteins. The solid portion of your brain is 70% fat, so make sure you get an extra serving of healthy grass-fed meat, wild salmon and coconut oil. This will help your brain function at the highest level possible and help prevent the occurrence neuro-degenerative disease in your future.