How to Maximize Your Brain Power While on BHRT
BHRT Restores Key Hormones
Once you have chosen bioidentical hormone replacement using pellet therapy, you’ve already gone a long way towards supporting a healthy brain. That’s because your sex hormones—estradiol, progesterone and testosterone—remain essential throughout your life and are especially good for your brain. When they diminish and disappear at menopause and andropause, it changes the way your brain works. You may experience moodiness, negativity, depression, foggy thinking, memory loss, trouble concentrating, forgetfulness and other cognitive issues.
Healthy, youthful levels of hormones, on the other hand, work synergistically to protect brain function and keep your mind sharp as you age. Research studies are ongoing, but considerable data exists to support the important role in cognitive health played by key hormones. 1,2,3
Maximizing Brain Power as You Age
BHRT is only one piece of the puzzle. The other piece is you. There are known risk factors for what is called age-related cognitive decline. Lack of physical activity, excess body weight, chronic low-level inflammation and uncontrolled high blood pressure are examples. So what can you do that is proactive and possibly preventive?
Diet. Focus on nutrient dense whole foods that are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids and other beneficial substances. Some great brain foods include beets, spinach, walnuts, celery, dark chocolate, apples, cinnamon, chia seeds and turmeric.
Physical Exercise. This is perhaps the best elixir you could take to improve your memory and alertness, and for building new brain cells. Exercise increases circulation and metabolism, lowers stress and elevates mood. Research has shown that physical exercise can both prevent later-life dementia4 and improve memory and learning in older adults.5
Mental exercise. Like your muscles, your brain needs to be stretched to keep it supple and strong. The best brain boosting activities take you out of your comfort zone to learn something new and unfamiliar. If it isn’t challenging, you aren’t stretching enough. Pick an activity that is mentally demanding, engaging and requires effort.
There are plenty of helpful online resources with many more suggestions on how to keep your brain healthy. For a starting point, check out some ideas at the Open Education Database, http://oedb.org/ilibrarian/100-ways-to-keep-your-mind-healthy/.
1 Antonella Gasbarri; Assunta Pompili; Maria Clotilde Tavares; Carlos Tomaz. Estrogen and Cognitive Function. Expert Rev Endocrinol Metab. 2009;5(5):507-520.
2 Brinton RD, Thompson RF, Foy MR, Baudry M, Wang J, Finch CE, Morgan TE, Pike CJ, Mack WJ, Stanczyk FZ, Nilsen J. Progesterone receptors: form and function in brain. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2008 May;29(2):313-39. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2008.02.001. Epub 2008 Feb 23.
3 Zitzmann M. Testosterone and the brain. Aging Male. 2006 Dec;9(4):195-9.
4 Laura F. DeFina, Benjamin L. Willis, Nina B. Radford, Ang Gao, David Leonard, William L. Haskell, Myron F. Weiner, Jarett D. Berry. The Association Between Midlife Cardiorespiratory Fitness Levels and Later-Life Dementia: A Cohort Study. Annals of Internal Medicine, 5 February 2013, Vol 158, No. 3.
5 Gregory MA, Gill DP, Petrella RJ. Brain health and exercise in older adults. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2013 Jul-Aug;12(4):256-71. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e31829a74fd.