Shedding Light in the Darkness

Aging Nutrition Tips



The May/June issue of Spirituality & Health magazine includes an article by Dr. Deborah Gordon, which includes some worthwhile tips to keep aging bodies healthy. Talking about teeth she suggests risk of tooth loss is increased if our CoQ10 levels fall. “If you’re over 50, you no longer activate CoQ10 well into ubiquinol, so you’re better off going straight for the ubiquinol to boost your CoQ10 levels. This will help your gums, your brain, your immune system, and more. Exercise for the jawbones involves chewing difficult foods like raw carrots.”

With regard to the small intestine she recommends adopting an overnight fast of 12 hours, including at least 3 hours before bedtime.

“During a long fast, the gastrointestinal tract shifts to inactive mode and sends in the housecleaners, aka the migrating motor complexes, which perform a “sweep” operation of the upper intestine, moving the majority of the bacteria, the probiotics, down to the colon where they belong. This housekeeping isn’t nearly so effective when the gut is still working on late night snacks. Meanwhile, with fewer calories in the pipeline, our brains perform a kind of triage, saving sustenance for the healthy cells and speeding up the process of sacrificing the less than healthy cells. The process, called apoptosis, removes a drain on the brain’s energy systems. Thus an additional value of the overnight fast is clear thinking and cognitive longevity.”

With regard to the brain and dementia she references the work of Dale Bredesen, a professor of neurology and director of the Mary S. Easton Center of Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA, who says cognitive function can be restored. He conducted a small study, the first to suggest that memory loss in patients may be reversed – using a complex, 36-point therapeutic program that involves comprehensive diet changes, brain stimulation, exercise, sleep optimization, specific pharmaceuticals and vitamins, and multiple additional steps that affect brain chemistry.

“Dr. Bredesen believes that dementia is like a leaky roof with 30 holes in it. The pharmaceuticals that have been tested to treat dementia may succeed at fixing a single hole, but don’t come close to solving the problem. So Dr. Bredesen worked with 10 patients with varying degrees of dementia using a comprehensive lifestyle approach. In the first three to six months, all but one of the patients showed some improvements. Here’s one case study, published in the journal Aging, that speaks for itself.”

A 67-year-old woman presented with two years of progressive memory loss. After three months on their program all of her symptoms had abated:

  1. She eliminated all simple carbohydrates and lost 20 pounds;
  2. She eliminated gluten and processed food from her diet, and increased vegetables, fruits, and non-farmed fish;
  3. She began yoga, and ultimately became a yoga instructor;
  4. She began to meditate for 20 minutes twice per day;
  5. She took melatonin 0.5 mg po qhs;
  6. She increased her sleep from 4–5 hours per night to 7–8 hours per night;
  7. She took methylcobalamin 1 mg each day;
  8. She took vitamin D3 2000 IU each day;
  9. She took fish oil 2000 mg each day;
  10. She took CoQ10 200 mg each day;
  11. She optimized her oral hygiene using an electric flosser and electric toothbrush;
  12. She reinstated hormone replacement therapy;
  13. She fasted for a minimum of 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, and for a minimum of three hours between dinner and bedtime;
  14. She exercised for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4–6 days per week.

3 responses to “Aging Nutrition Tips

  1. Claude Robichaux July 8, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Now how’s a person struggling desperately with memory supposed to remember to do all that?!
    A home littered with mindful neon posters? A Gwyneth Paltrow/Goop approved $1200hr lifecoach?
    Christ, I’m doomed. What happened to the good ol’ days (a month or two ago) when all that was needed was a spoonful of turmeric to ward off the big A? That’s not even on the above mentioned arm-long list!
    I kid, but imagine, being that one poor slob that did all on that list for 6 months and not improving at all. It just defies logic every which way unless, well …. poor Superman?


  2. Faustroll July 9, 2016 at 3:15 am

    Interesting. I’m with you Claude.

    Wilfred Bion famously enjoined his listeners to sit without “memory and desire”. After living with that remark for 40 years, on his 90th birthday old Albert Mason quipped, “That’s very convenient at my age.” Memory is a funny thing. You have to have it to miss it. I don’t know if I could even remember to take all those supplements every night, let alone remove all simple carbs from my diet and fast every night.

    There must be more simple and more gentle ways to general health. I like the idea of generally not eating too late or too soon before bed. I’d take that as a good hint.

    And as for taking supplements, could much of that be fulfilled by good foods, by fruits and vegetables? I’m really keen on berries, for example, which seem to have excellent benefits.

    I don’t necessarily recommend this and it may not be legal in your jurisdiction, but a friend showed me this research yesterday:

    It points to an interesting broader subject: the role of endogenous ligands or endocannabanoids and endorphins in emotional and mental health and in aging and memory.


  3. Claude Robichaux July 9, 2016 at 11:36 am

    That sounds about right -a nutritious berry &/or veggie smoothie accompanied by a medicinal plaque-blocking fattie over a mentally stimulating & therapeutic game of Scrabble.
    Okay, and some exercise. All natural and social to boot, no regimine, no stress.
    … oh yeah, and a spoonful of turmeric (just to be safe).


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