Baby boomers take note; you can reverse the aging process (you millennials should pay attention too). Previous research has found that stimulating the cellular proteins known as sirtuins can promote longer cell life, and that a compound in the skin of red wine grapes called resveratrol stimulates those proteins. Now researchers have found that resveratrol also slows aging-related degeneration that leads to balance issues, impaired motor coordination, lack of mobility, and other issues related to a lower quality of life.
Scientists studied older, aging mice that were treated with resveratrol for one year. They found that resveratrol protected the neuromuscular junction synapses from the wear and tear of aging. These synapses relay motor commands that flow from neurons in the spinal cord to muscles. The scientists also discovered that the diabetes drug metformin slowed the rate of muscle fiber aging.
But, please, don’t run out and buy a case of wine. The amount of resveratrol in wine is so small that you could not drink enough wine in a lifetime to get the benefit the elderly mice received from the supplement they were given.
BLUEBERRY JUICE AND CAFFEINE = A BETTER BRAIN
Another compound found in Nature that improves brain function in older people is blueberries. In this study, healthy seniors who drank concentrated blueberry juice every day showed improvements in cognitive function, blood flow to the brain, and activation of the brain while carrying out cognitive tests. Researchers have also found that caffeine boosted an enzyme in seniors that protects them against dementia.
Here is another age-reversing step you should take. A combination of aerobic and resistance exercise can boost brain power in people over 50. Aerobic exercise significantly enhanced cognitive abilities while resistance training had a pronounced effect on executive function, memory, and working memory. The evidence is strong enough to recommend prescribing both types of exercise to improve brain health in people of any age.
Research has found that gentle sound stimulation -- such as a recording of ocean waves or the rush of a waterfall -- synchronized to brain waves significantly enhanced deep sleep in older adults and improved their ability to recall words, which lead us to the big news from science in how we can improve memory.
SUPER-SIZING YOUR MEMORY
Memory is a distressing consequence of aging. Well, research has discovered that we can super-size our memory through a simple training technique that also achieves long lasting results. At the outset of the study, subjects could recall an average of 26 words from a list of 72. After completing 40 days of a simple 30-minute memory exercise performed each day, subjects could recall 62 word, an incredible 177% gain. Four months later, without any additional training, there was no decline in their memory performance. The training technique used in the study is was the loci method, which is available through apps that work on smartphones.
LOWERING YOUR STRESS IS HUGE!
Chronic stress means your stress response system is dumping a steady flow of stress hormones into your system. Stress hormones shrink brain mass and damage DNA causing the production of abnormal cells that prematurely age the body and lead to cancer. Most of the stress we experience is caused by an anxious and pessimistic state of mind. Forty years of research in cognitive therapy has definitively established that stress is happening in us more than to us. The simple but proven practice laid out in my book, The End of Stress can change your mindset and reverse the damage stress hormones have caused.