Patricia Adams, BS, NHC, CNC

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February 19, 2008
By Patricia Adams, N.H.C.

Leaders Conference in Houston was awesome. I think it was the best one yet! (My friends say I always say that, but this time I really mean it. :)

One of the highlights for me (as an aging baby-boomer, one more of us turning 50 every 7 seconds) was a talk on longevity and brain health by Dr. Daniel Amen of the infamous Amen clinics. He is a practicing psychiatrist who says, "Psychiatrists are the only doctors who never look at the organ they treat!" He has established several clinics for SPECT brain scanning, to detect a brain that isn't able to work properly because it has been damaged, not just assuming neurotransmitter failure.

One couple he talked about had been having marital difficulties and therapy for three years to the tune of 25,000.00. When they were finally referred to Dr. Amen, he scanned the husband and found the brain to be similar to that of a severe alcoholic or drug abuser. The husband denied use of either, and the wife confirmed, "No, he doesn't drink, and he's never used drugs, he's just a jerk."

It turns out he had been a 'jerk' since he had been working in a furniture factory exposed to solvent chemicals. This is one of those things that make you go, "Hmmm." I wonder how many of us have 'brain damage' from our lifestyles of not enough rest, poor quality food, chemicals in our foods and beverages, in our perfumes and room deodorizers, in our cleaning products, and in our medications! Not to mention stress...and hectic lifestyles...lack of exercise...not enough hydration....

Rather than medicate everyone for hormone imbalance, or depression, or ADD, or ADHD, or just plain meanness, maybe we should take a look at what's going on in the brain. The brain is about 2% of your body weight but uses 20-30% of your daily caloric intake. Would it make sense then to severely cut calories? Especially the essential fats that the brain needs to function properly?

This is another great example of what happens when we jump on the low fat bandwagon. Not to mention that your heart needs fat to beat! People still believe that low fat is better despite the studies linking low fat to higher blood sugar levels and diabetes. Remember that the food manufacturers just want to sell food, and there is very little truth in advertising. You have to use your brain! As Dr. Amen says, "You have to eat right to think right", and yes, that means breakfast every day, no skipped meals, and protein with every meal and snack.

It turns out that the brain loses 85,000 cells each day, and the anti-aging therapy is to rebuild them faster than you lose them.

According to Dr. Amen, doctors who think forgetfulness is a natural part of aging only think so because they are forgetful, and true 'normal' aging is an intact brain until the age of 100. Apparently the brain regenerates itself every couple months, based on the energy and information it gets from your food! I'm scared to think what that means for most of America.

What about medication? According to 'Health Journal', vice chairman of medicine at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Orli Etingin, says "This drug makes women stupid!" referring to a popular statin drug. The same article points out that the brain is largely cholesterol, much of it in the myelin sheath that protects nerve cells (and is lost in MS) and in the synapses that transmit nerve impulses (where pain is felt and motor response is generated, or lost in the case of Parkinson's). Lowering cholesterol could slow the connections that facilitate thought and memory, and using statins to lower cholesterol may also lead to the formation of abnormal proteins seen in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

The Townsend letter for doctors annotates an article published in 2007 Journal of the American College of Cardiology about "Statins and Increased Cancer" (Vol. 295/96; page 87-92), and USA Today asks the question, "What will it take to make the drug companies open up?" (2-1-08, 10A)

Another article in Health Journal (2-12-08, D4) points to a drug that has been suspended from production for 350 possible allergic reactions including four deaths, but sales will not be suspended. What?? They can still sell it?? Oh, I guess it's okay because they can't make it anymore.

My thought is that if sick people need these medications, I don't want to be one of them! Give me my Nature's Sunshine Thai Go antioxidant juice, Super Omega 3 essential fatty acids, Psyllium Hulls Fiber to clear toxins, Probiotic Eleven and Proactazyme Plus to assimilate and absorb. I'll throw in some Brain Protex for my memory, some Milk Thistle Combination for my liver, and some Master Gland for my pituitary, hypothalamus, adrenal and thyroid glands.

Take a look at the document I've written about 'Why I Choose Nature's Sunshine', and a protocol based on Dr. Amen's talk; 'Twelve Steps to Brain Health.'

We will remember!

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