Do Women Suffer From Dementia Earlier Than Men?

Childbirth and menopause are not kind to women's brains. It's a proven fact that women lose brain cells when they give birth, and menopause can make women feel like they’ve lost even more. The brain is the only major organ in our bodies that doesn’t regenerate cells — when brain cells die, they are gone forever. That’s why it’s so important to take control of your health and protect the brain.

Menopause and childbirth aside, it now seems as if the deck is stacked even further against women. Last month, researchers at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine suggested that just being female means women's brains are slower men’s at drumming up a response to a question or remembering names and places. These changes begin when women hit their 40s, and a bit later for men.

Now, as many women know, when men are forced to drum up quick responses to explain away their foolish actions they aren’t exactly setting records for speedy higher-level thinking (uhm, ahh, err…, and so forth). But the UCLA study does present a very real challenge for women: females are at an early, elevated level of risk for dementia and cognitive decline, and they need to begin safeguarding their brains at a much earlier age than initially considered. We all want to live life without disease.

The UCLA study doesn’t imply that brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia affect women more than they affect men. Both genders experience some worsening of brain function with aging, including:

  • Lack of concentration: Older people often find it harder to concentrate and multitask.
  • First signs of "senior moments:" Memory begins slipping away and older people sometimes can't remember names and places as well as they used to.

These signs of brain degeneration can be daunting and quite scary when they appear in midlife. But they seem to happen to most people. It’s of utmost importance for both genders to begin protecting their brains against cognitive decline. How? By consuming nutrient-rich foods every day, the key to living life without disease.

A healthy diet is the No.1 defense against worsening cognition. Our brains need key nutrients each day to function at their highest level. These include the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid [B5], B12, B6 and folate), as well as vitamins E and C and omega-3 fats. The B vitamins also are particularly important to improving mood and decreasing stress and anxiety — and women struggle with depression twice as much as men.

Our brains also need all the essential amino acids (leucine, lysine, tyrosine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, isoleucine, valine, arginine, methionine, cysteine, threonine, histidine) in order to make new brain tissue. All of these nutrients can help prevent decline in mental function.

It may seem like the deck is stacked against us as we age, but that’s not the case. Both women and men can be proactive in the fight against cognitive decline by consuming nutrient-rich foods every day for improved memory, focus, performance and to protect our brains as we age. Peak Health’s nutrient-rich Chocolate Brain Shake (also in coffee flavor) has 119 total nutrients, plus BrainCareTM, a proprietary blend of nutrients that target memory, focus, cognition, performance and long-term brain health. Who wants to go through life with a brain not performing at peak levels? We owe it to ourselves and to our loved ones to consume nutrient-rich meals and do all we can to keep Alzheimer’s and dementia at bay.

— Peak Health, February 2017

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