I recently read two articles in Health Day that
made me a little disheartened for my “vulnerable” female brain. They were both on
the same day, Tuesday in fact.
Vs. Women’s Brain- A Race In the Decline In Mental Health
The first dreary headline was on cognitive
decline. Health Day reported, “Women with
mild thinking and memory problems — known as mild cognitive impairment —
deteriorate twice as fast mentally as men with the same condition, according to
According to the same article, the researchers
offered several explanations:
1. The genetic predisposition to plaque in women
may be greater. Women with the gene “called the ApoE4 Alzheimer’s risk gene —
the rate of mental decline was even faster, the researchers said.”
2. A greater mental reserve with more
connections may exist in women. One researcher explained, “Because of this
greater mental reserve, it’s possible that women may start declining later than
men, but progress faster once the fall-off begins, he said.”
3. Women’s more complex hormonal patterns.
The study was based on 400 men and women and
they were followed for 8 years.
Vs. Women- The Impact of Anesthesia
The same day, I glazed over another read. “Older women are much more likely than men to
suffer brain dysfunction after surgery with general anesthesia, a new study
finds. Researchers who analyzed data
from hundreds of older adults in the United States found faster declines in
mental function and brain volume for both women and men who had surgery with
general anesthesia compared to those who had no surgery.”
What do I make of all this?
1. Women’s livers may have more to deal with
related to hormonal clearance. Those who had surgery may be a self-selected
group with more of a predisposition to environmental stressors.
For example, these women could have lower levels of glutathione (a master antioxidant for immune health, inflammation, and more) and genetic variations in liver enzymes
that made them not only less likely to clear the anesthesia, but more likely to
get diseases that needed surgery to begin with. (Read more on this here: http://dr-lobisco.com/tag/methylation-snps-and-detox/)
2. Estrogen modulates the immune response and the
health of the microbiome modulates estrogen and excretion. Combinations of
stress and hormonal fluctuations could impact the gut-brain axis and systemic inflammation.
Some tips to keep your brain healthy:
1. Stay active to boost
your cognitive power
2. Eat a healthy diet, include foods rich in
polyphenols, like berries, which are great for the brain
3. Keep your gut bugs happy by eating whole
foods and plenty of fiber
4. Avoid sugar, which is linked to causing
5. Avoid toxins and use natural and organic
products, chemicals can trump brain power
Women Descend Into Alzheimer’s at Twice the
Speed of Men: Study. Health Day. July 21, 2015. http://consumer.healthday.com/senior-citizen-information-31/misc-aging-news-10/women-s-descend-into-alzheimer-s-at-twice-the-speed-of-men-study-701501.html
Minds of Older Women Fuzzier After General
Anesthesia Than Men’s. Health Day. July 21, 2015. http://consumer.healthday.com/senior-citizen-information-31/misc-aging-news-10/minds-of-older-women-fuzzier-after-general-anesthesia-than-men-701372.html
Cutolo M, Sulli A, Capellino S, Villaggio B,
Montagna P, Seriolo B, Straub RH. Sex hormones influence on the immune system:
basic and clinical aspects in autoimmunity.
Flores R, Shi J, Fuhrman B, et al. Fecal
microbial determinants of fecal and systemic estrogens and estrogen
metabolites: a cross-sectional study. Journal
of Translational Medicine. 2012;10:253. doi:10.1186/1479-5876-10-253.
A common gut bacterium may protect women
against MS, study finds. Medical News Today. January 20. 2015.
References for microbiome: http://dr-lobisco.com/the-power-of-a-healthy-gut-and-the-role-of-probiotics/
Devore EE, Kang JH, Breteler MMB, Grodstein F.
Dietary intake of berries and flavonoids in relation to cognitive decline. Annals
of neurology. 2012;72(1):135-143. doi:10.1002/ana.23594.
Van Praag H. Exercise and the brain: something
to chew on. Trends in neurosciences. 2009;32(5):283-290.
Health Day. July 8, 2015. http://consumer.healthday.com/cognitive-health-information-26/brain-health-news-80/type-2-diabetes-may-damage-thinking-skills-study-701115.html