Healthy ageing is my new favourite health focus. It used to be that I was worried only about my hormones and so ageing was not something that I really thought about until just lately. Although I have only just recently hit the 40’s, I can’t help but think about how the next 20-40 years might play out for me.

The niggles are starting to kick in, and recovery from exercise takes a day longer than it used to 10 years ago. I am acutely aware of my genetic tendencies and make sure my nutrition works to keep the “switch off”. But let’s face it! Ageing is natural part of life. And understanding what we can do to support healthy ageing is key to ensuring we reduce the risk of chronic disease or disorders.

Our members are “Minties” for a reason, you guys are already incorporating an important tool towards healthy ageing. This is one of the key aspects of working towards being in MINT CONDITION.

But there are also other tools you should consider for healthy ageing. So the next three articles will focus on different aspects of healthy ageing and what we can do to support our bodies through the natural process of ageing and making sure we live to our fullest potential – being in MINT CONDITION!

Healthy brain function – anyone in the midst of brain fog?

Brain fog is a common complaint and although not a medical condition in itself is a common symptom of several medical conditions. Brain fog can be described as a feeling of fuzziness, forgetfulness, lack of mental clarity or lack of focus. Sound familiar?

Brain fog may be caused by several different factors including:

  • Stress
  • Lack of quality sleep
  • Medication
  • Digestive issues
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s, dementia or early onset dementia
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Uncontrolled diabetes

The thing with brain fog is that it is a cue/clue for you to listen to.  Take a look at some of these conditions….not really a sign of healthy ageing huh?

Alzheimer’s disease, also referred to as Diabetes type 3

One thing that has been researched more recently is the theory that Alzheimer’s could be described as Diabetes type 3. This is because several studies have identified that with Alzheimer’s disease there is evidence of insulin resistance in the brain.

This type of diabetes happens when the neurons in the brain become unable to respond to insulin, which is actually essential for basic everyday tasks such as memory and learning. This type of cognitive dysfunction is commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease which is why the two disorders are now very closely regarded as being the cause and effect.

It is now known that people who have insulin resistance – especially where it is associated with type 2 diabetes – have an increased risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Genetic factors also play a huge role here. A recent study has shown how a particular gene known as APOE4 increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease as this gene produces the protein that can bind more aggressively to insulin receptors on the surface of neurons. What this means is that the protein blocks the way for insulin to get into the cells of the neurons. Not only this the protein can also damage the brain structure by clumping together and becoming toxic.

But I don’t have diabetes…how can this affect me?

So you may think you might not have diabetes. And you may in fact not have it. But actually a lot of people walk around with no obvious symptoms but have what might be regarded as sub-clinical symptoms and these are quite varied.

Typical signs that we as Clinical Nutritionists would look out for, for any type of metabolic disorders would be:

  • Craving for sweet/savoury/processed foods
  • Increased urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Fatigue
  • Sore limbs or complaining of numbness
  • Family history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease
  • Family history of dementia
  • Hormonal issues

– Stress hormones

– Sex hormones

– Thyroid issues

In clinic we would send you away for a simple test that gives a really good picture of what the glucose in your blood is doing. The test is HBA1c, and it gives a picture of how much glycation is occurring which is where the sugar molecule binds to a protein or lipid molecule without the controlling action of an enzyme. Glycation is known to be pro-ageing.

When reading your blood test, even if you are within range, but at the higher end of the range, a good Clinical Nutritionist will make you aware of this and look at ways to get this down to a healthier range.

I have seen cases where people have had high HBA1c with no obvious signs of diabetes but enough for it to be driving low grade inflammation, high cholesterol and impact upon sex hormones.

We also have access to genetic testing if that’s avenue you want to go down to see what you might be at risk of. Remember nutrition can literally turn genetic switches on or off. Having this knowledge is what I consider to be empowerment to long term

 Healthy ageing – first step

Ok so what can you do to be pro-active towards healthy ageing? There are so many aspects that need to be considered which I have already touched on such as digestive health and managing stress.

How about booking in with a Clinical Nutritionist. Using us a tool to get yourself into MINT CONDITION which will ultimately promote healthy ageing. We can let you know of the important foods and supplements that will feed your body with those important nutrients necessary for healthy ageing.

Remember food can be safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.