Chapter 5 Nutrition And Your Health Answer Key

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When your mind starts leaving you, you are profoundly helpless. This is why Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are so scary.

Unfortunately, medicine provides few answers to these diseases.

None of the medications used for dementia actually stop memory loss. They seem to only slow down progress a little. These medications come with side effects such as digestive issues that usually make it difficult for people to continue using them at the recommended dose.

In sharp contrast, when it comes to strategies for keeping your brain sharp, natural health has many satisfying answers. One of these natural solutions is promising for chlorella.

Proven to boost the brain power of Chlorella

We’ve known for some time that chlorella may help ward off memory loss.

In 1989, the Serology Department of the Kanazawa Medical College conducted a study to see if chlorella was effective in keeping your memory sharp. A total of 49 men and women were selected for the study. All of them were suffering from amnesia. The participants split into a control group, a group that received ten chlorella tablets and one “cup” of the extract three times daily. Chlorella was given for six months.

More than two-thirds of the participants benefited from the chlorella supplement. In total, 32% of the elderly who took chlorella showed signs of some improvement while 36% experienced a complete end to the memory loss. The control group and the remaining 32% of patients taking chlorella worsened.[2] However, the researchers note that most of these patients who took chlorella but did not show any benefit had a brain hemorrhage before the study began.

While the results of this initial, small-scale experiment excited the researchers, no-one has been able to determine what caused the emergence of chlorella.

Some research published in 2013 sheds some light on this question. And some of these answers seem to stem from the way our brain uses oxygen.

The oxygen paradox

Look, your brain is a hungry organ. Although it is only 2% of your body weight, it consumes about 20% of your calories. Have you ever noticed how it feels like to snack when you do some heavy mental work? Your brain craves fuel to do its job.

In order to metabolize this fuel, your brain uses oxygen. Oxygen keeps the fires of life burning throughout your body – most especially in your gas-consuming brain.

However, there is a downside to all of this burning calories. When your brain uses oxygen to metabolize nutrients, it also produces dangerous oxidizing molecules. You may have heard about these molecules before. Also known as free radicals.

These free radicals continue to wreak more havoc throughout your body including – paradoxically – The same cells that your body relies on to transport oxygen to your brain: Red blood cells.

It turns out that people with Alzheimer’s disease have abnormally high levels of oxidized fats in the membranes of red blood cells. Since red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen to the predator brain, some researchers speculate that the disrupted red blood cells may be linked to brain degeneration. If these cells are not able to transport oxygen properly, your brain may lose this essential element.

Additionally, elderly people with Alzheimer’s disease have significantly lower levels of the antioxidant nutrient, lutein, in their red blood cells. Lutein provides antioxidant protection for fats such as those found in cell membranes subject to oxidation.

In 2013, a group of Japanese researchers decided to find out if antioxidant-rich chlorella could help solve this problem. Chlorella is rich in lutein and beta-carotene, which is a nutrient in the same family of lutein.

A group of 12 healthy elderly people participated in the study. Half of them were given 8 grams of chlorella tablets every day for two months. This amount of chlorella gave them 10.67 mg of lutein every day. This is slightly more than the normally recommended 10 mg of lutein. It’s about the amount of lutein in half a cup of cooked spinach.

The other half took a placebo pill.

After one month of taking chlorella tablets, the researchers noticed a significant increase in the levels of lutein and carotene in the participant’s blood. But they haven’t yet seen significant changes in the oxidative fats in red blood cells.

But after two months, that changed. Lutein levels in red blood cells were close to 5 times what they were at the start of the study. More impressive, The level of oxidized fats in the red blood cell membranes of the same chlorella group was halved!

This study adds an important chapter to the story we’re starting to put together on how chlorella helps the brain stay healthy. The lutein-rich supply of chlorella appears to make a noticeable difference in protecting red blood cells from oxidation.[2] Hence, it may also be a key to keeping your mind healthy as well.

Keep your brain healthy with oxygen … and with oxygen

Feeding your brain can be a challenge! It’s not easy to balance not getting enough oxygen … protecting your brain from the damage of oxygen. That’s why we have a sophisticated body that knows how to use nutrition the smart way.

All you have to do is make sure your body gets what it needs. And – as this research indicates – Chlorella may be a strong ally in doing so.

However (as this research also demonstrates) it is important to focus on long-term nutrition. While your body will appreciate any dose of the good nutrients you provide it with, the real benefits come with a long-term commitment to good nutrition.

Sources:

[1] Effects of long-term administration of chlorella preparations on human aging. Scientific Reports on Chlorella in Japan, 1992; Silpaque Publishing, and Kyoto Corporation, Japan.

[2] Miyazawa T et al. Chlorella intake decreased the number of oxidized RBCs membrane fats in older Japanese. Oleo Science, 2013 62 (11).

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