Memory and Cognitive Function

brainThis one’s for you Parents and grandparents.

I will summarize a few key points and let you read the article (link at the bottom).

1. Exercise increases brain function and reduces the chances of decline (Dementia and Alzheimer’s). You need to shoot for at least 30 minutes 5 times a week. Do I need to remind you that this will help the waist line, sleep, mood, and you’ll help establish this way of life for your children and grand children?

2. Increased Omega-3 (especially DHA) intake while pregnant improves your child’s IQ (don’t worry grandparents, you don’t have to get pregnant).  Omega-3 (DHA) also improves brain function as we age and indeed having especially low levels has been shown to promote brain aging.  While this article promotes eating fish, I would caution that most fish comes with a high price; very high mercury and pesticide contamination. I suggest that men and women who are done bearing children eat smaller species fish in moderation.  We should probably all take a purified DHA supplement daily. For pregnancy, take at least 100 mg daily.

3. Higher Estradiol levels for post-menopausal women relative to testosterone was associated with better memory. I have studied this topic extensively, and sadly, due to a small subset of older high risk women in the famous WHI (Women’s Health Initiative) study, many women are being denied the benefits or hormone replacement. I agree wholeheartedly with this recommendation that you should take a little Estrogen (if bio-identical, all the better!).

4. Energy drinks and caffeine at low to moderate levels (less than 200-300 mg a day) are safe for adults and do provide some benefit in the area of alertness. Deaths can occur at doses around 500 mg of caffeine per day and at lower doses for teens. At the higher doses, energy drinks and caffeine will produce palpitations, tremor, anxiety, jitteriness, atrial fibrillation, and serious health consequences if one has prolonged use of high doses.

Caffeine content:
12 ounces tea- 60 – 180, brewed coffee- 150-300, Starbucks- 240,
Mountain Dew- 54, Coke- 34
8 ounce red bull- 80,  1 ounce Powershot- 100,  2.5 ounces redline Powerpush- 350
16 ounce Full Throttle- 144, Monster-160
24 ounce Wired- 505mg.

The younger the child or teen, the more dangerous caffeine can be. Caffeine is also more dangerous when mixed with alcohol.


Dr. Paul


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