Health matters: Is your brain shrinking?

By Dr Andre Comrie

The evidence is growing that many of us are in danger of this happening because of the way we choose to eat and live our lives!

The research shows that on average people are eating more than they did in the 1970s – 2 700 J per day, in fact. That’s equivalent to a burger, chips and soft drink extra daily. Moreover, we have become much more sedentary than ever before, so we are simply not using up the added energy.

By the same author: Your heart will thank you for it

What happens to it? It gets converted into fat for storage – for a day of famine, so to speak. But how likely is that?

Research shows that in the Western world (of which we are part, at least in some respects), 50-60% of people are overweight or obese. Such people may not yet display overt diabetes, but they usually have elevated blood sugar levels. That means their blood sugar levels are in the high normal range consistently, and that is a bad thing.

As far as we are concerned here, elevated blood sugar levels result in a neurodegenerative process. This means that your nerves become damaged and your brain suffers. You begin to lose neurons and neuron function. That leads to brain shrinkage (loss of grey matter), loss of various aspects of brain function, cognitive decline, and eventually premature death.

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The bad news is that process starts early in life if you fuel the body incorrectly.

The good news is that it’s never too late to start making amends. The longer you delay, the more difficult that becomes. By midlife the damage starts to become irreversible. So this really is a case of prevention being the only cure.

Picture: Pexels

The best chance of avoiding preventable brain problems is making sure you are getting the correct nutrients, and exercising from a young age. This puts the onus on parents to do the right thing and lead by example.

Your family diet needs to be rich in nutrient-dense whole foods. You need to eliminate sugar and other processed foods. And you need to consider supplementing with nutrients that are more difficult to get on a regular basis, such as Omega 3 oils, probiotics and flavonoids.

Contact information: If you want to know which supplements I use and strongly recommend please contact me. André 084 506 3643. If I don’t answer please leave a message and I’ll get back to you.