1. Milk thistle reduces Alzheimer's memory loss

    Shield your brain with this thorny plant

    It's true what they say: laughter is the best medicine. And as we age, we sure need a healthy sense of humor.

    You find yourself turning the house over looking for your glasses... blanking on the word you want mid-sentence... even walking into a room unsure of why you went in there.

    Those "senior moments" of forgetfulness can make life feel like a comedy of errors!

    We've all been there -- and finding humor in these "brain burps" reminds you how universal they really are.

    But if your senior moments keep stacking up, then it may be time to get serious -- because they could signal the beginning of Alzheimer's disease, which is no laughing matter.

    Alzheimer's turns mild memory blips into devastating memory loss: forgetting the name of your better half, where home sweet home is, and even what the heck that fork in your hand is used for.

    There's no known cure for Alzheimer's, but according to a new study, you may be able to protect your brain from Alzheimer's damage naturally -- by supplementing your diet with a prickly plant called milk thistle.

    The study out of China found that the plant compound silibinin -- a flavonoid derived from milk thistle -- can suppress many of the abnormal brain processes associated with Alzheimer's and even REVERSE memory loss.

    We still have a lot to learn about what causes Alzheimer's, but we do know that the disease is linked to the formation of brain "plaques" and "tangles" made of excess proteins called beta amyloid.

    In the study, rats were injected with beta amyloid to mimic Alzheimer's. But after they were given silibinin, the rats improved significantly on memory tests like running through a maze and recognizing objects.

    The results suggest that silibinin can help guard against HUMAN memory loss, too!

    The researchers noticed a bunch of positive brain changes from the silibinin that could explain the rats' memory improvements.

    Previous research has identified brain abnormalities that come along with Alzheimer's disease, including inflammation, oxidative stress, and impaired "autophagy" -- which is how brain cells clear out damaged or mis-folded proteins that can turn into plaques.

    In the study, silibinin put all of these problems in reverse: It reduced brain inflammation, alleviated oxidative stress, and improved autophagy.

    That makes silibinin a promising candidate for protecting your noggin from developing Alzheimer's plaques in the first place.

    You probably don't want to start munching on the thorny leaves of the milk thistle plant, and luckily you don't need to -- because you can get a daily dose of silibinin by taking a milk thistle supplement in capsule form.

    A doctor well-versed in integrative medicine can work with you on the right dosage for you.

    Milk thistle has also been shown in studies to protect against liver damage, kill colon cancer cells, and reduce hay fever symptoms.

    But it can interact with certain drugs, so talk to your doc before adding it to your regimen.

  2. Pomegranates protect the brain from Alzheimer's

    Keep your brain youthful with this ancient superfruit

    Like Ol' Blue Eyes himself, you've lived a life that's full... and you've traveled each and every highway.

    And as you age, there are two things become more important than anything else: maintaining your independence and holding onto your precious memories.

    That's why Alzheimer's disease is so devastating: It robs you of your memory and of your ability to do things YOUR way.

    But according to a recent study, you can keep your brain sharp long into your "golden years" -- thanks to an antioxidant "goldmine" fruit known as the pomegranate!

    We already consider pomegranates "superfruits" -- not only because they're loaded with antioxidants, but also because they can reverse aging in your muscles and may even stop cancer cells from spreading!

    And now this latest study out of Australia found that eating pomegranates -- an ancient Middle Eastern fruit filled with jewel-like, ruby-red seeds -- can protect against many of the abnormal brain changes associated with the development of Alzheimer's.

    We still have a lot to learn about what causes Alzheimer's, but we do know that the disease is linked to at least three abnormalities in the brain: inflammation, the loss of what's known as "synaptic structure" (which is important for memory), and the formation of brain "plaques" and "tangles" made of excess proteins called beta amyloid.

    After 15 months, the researchers found that supplementing the normal diets of mice with pomegranate extract actually shielded their brains from those three Alzheimer's-related irregularities.

    The pomegranate group saw their brain inflammation reduced... their synaptic structures maintained... and less precursor proteins accumulating to form amyloid plaques.

    That's promising evidence that getting enough pomegranate over a prolonged period of time may protect against brain plaques forming in the first place!

    And not just in mice -- but in humans, too.

    With one in 10 people over 65 living with the disease, you may worry that your "senior moments" of forgetfulness will become full-blown Alzheimer's down the road.

    So, if you or someone you love is having a few too many "brain burps," it's time to add some delicious and refreshing pomegranate to your diet.

    Fresh pomegranates are in season in North America from late summer through winter, but you can find pomegranate seeds year-round. Sprinkle some onto a salad or Greek yogurt for a pop of color and a juicy burst of natural sweetness.

    Or you can drink your pomegranate, too -- just make sure it's 100 percent juice and not loaded with sugars or fillers.

    You can also find pomegranate supplements in capsule form at your local health food store.

  3. New link between Alzheimer's and diabetes

    Control your diabetes to prevent Alzheimer's Let's face it: Alzheimer's disease is a thief. It can steal your memory, your sense of time and place... and maybe even your personality. You want to do everything you can to put Alzheimer's in handcuffs before it starts breaking and entering! And that's especially true if you have diabetes. Scientists have known for...
  4. Loneliness may be early indicator of Alzheimer's

    Before cognitive decline begins, one of the first signs of Alzheimer's disease may be feeling lonely -- even if you're surrounded by loved ones.
  5. Women's sharp memory can mask Alzheimer's

    Study shows women are likely to show signs of cognitive impairment at a later stage than men, even when their brains show early signs of Alzheimer's.
  6. Vitamin E can slow Alzheimer's decline

    Vitamin E can slow the functional decline that accompanies Alzheimer's disease, helping patients to stay independent and out of the nursing home.
  7. How diabetes can turn into dementia

    Diabetes can cause dementia as excess insulin wipes away the enzyme responsible for brain repair, according to new research.
  8. Soda can cause brain damage

    Soda can damage proteins in the brain, specifically the proteins that play a role in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, schizophrenia and even cancer.
  9. Stiff arteries lead to brain damage

    Hardened arteries can increase your risk of memory loss and dementia, according to the latest research.
  10. Cocoa protects against dementia

    Nutrients found in cocoa can protect brain cells from the damage linked to dementia, according to new research.

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