Yesterday, I shared a list of simple, lifestyle-based strategies to reduce your risk of dementia. And today, I want to take that conversation a step further to talk about one key factor those researchers didn’t highlight: microcirculation.
That’s because, among many critical roles, the tiny blood vessels that make up your microcirculatory system are responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients to your brain. And of course, this blood supply is critical to maintaining a sharp memory and other key features of cognitive health throughout your lifespan.
But what happens when this system is compromised? Well, I’m glad you asked…
More blood flow, better memory
Your hippocampus is the area of your brain that’s crucial to memory formation. It begins shrinking with age—and long before an Alzheimer’s disease (AD) diagnosis.
So, researchers recently set out to investigate the role that blood supply plays in this process of degeneration. They performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on the brains of nearly 50 older men and women, and the subjects completed tests to assess for memory, speech comprehension, and concentration.
Now, here’s the thing: Since the hippocampus spans both hemispheres of your brain, you technically have two of them. It’s supplied by either one or two arteries. Though sometimes, one of the two hippocampi will get a double artery supply.
This varies from person to person, and scientists aren’t sure why. But here’s what they do know, based on their test results…
Out of all the subjects, a little over half showed no sign of brain disease. The rest showed damage in brain blood vessels linked to “microbleeding” from small vessel disease. (Cerebral microbleeds are tiny chronic brain hemorrhages.)
As you might expect, these subjects fared worse on cognitive tests. However, interestingly, study subjects with a double artery supply to at least one hippocampus scored better on cognition tests.
This shows a clear link between hippocampal blood supply and cognitive performance. But what makes for a double supply?
Well, once again, the researchers aren’t sure. It could be genetics—or, perhaps, it could be the result of healthy lifestyle choices…
Pine bark protection
It might be a mystery to these researchers, but I can tell you this much: Healthy microcirculation is absolutely critical to brain health. And one surefire way to strengthen this system is to reduce the amount of damaging inflammation in the body.
That starts by cutting out foods that promote inflammation—namely, sugar, white flour, and simple carbohydrates. Then, focus on anti-inflammatory foods instead, like organic produce, lean protein, and healthy monounsaturated fats (MUFAs)—the basis of my very own A-List Diet.
Beyond that, I recommend supplementing with French maritime pine bark extract. Clinical research has shown that one of the primary ways pine bark extract benefits your circulation is by targeting collagen and elastin, which are the building blocks that line your blood vessels and capillaries.
Unfortunately, collagen and elastin break down over time, which can lead to leaky capillaries—and, ultimately, a damaged blood brain barrier. But pine bark extract helps the body to replenish these two critical substances… and keeps your blood vessels and capillaries working the way they’re supposed to in the process.
So, I recommend 100 mg of pine bark extract every day to help preserve your brain’s health. Because the path away from Alzheimer’s might begin with diet and exercise… but it certainly doesn’t end there.
P.S. I have developed an entire protocol around preserving brain health well into your 70s, 80, and beyond—because I know just how important it is to most everyone. So, I encourage you to check out my Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment Plan. In it, you’ll learn all you need to know about the natural ways to protect and restore brain health and fight memory loss. To learn more about this innovative, online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here now.
“A good blood supply is good for memory.” Science Daily, 02/14/2020. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200214134725.htm)