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Connection between Cardio Health and Brain Functions
- The growing risk of heart disease may have a connection between our cardio health and brain functions. Our poor diets and reliance on fast food have a serious consequence on our brain functions
- Not much is known about Alzheimer’s Disease but there may be a link between cardiovascular health and this disorder
- A poor diet also plays a role in heart disease. Following a healthy heart diet plan is important
Most of us understand that the brain and our hearts are linked. In matters of love and romance, we might not think so but in matters of science and health the fact remains inescapable. For this reason, medical researchers are now beginning to take a look at the consequences our poor diets, reliance on fast food, and growing risk of cardiovascular disease may have for this connection between our cardio health and brain functions.
Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
One of the most terrifying diseases for many of us is Alzheimer’s Disease which affects the brain and slowly destroys our memories of the past and our ability to function properly in the present. Although much is not understood about the disease, two studies published in January 2008 found a potential link between cardiovascular health and this frightening disorder.
The first study of 135 patients recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease gave the individuals regular memory tests to determine how their brains were coping with the disorder. In patients who suffered from hypertension, the rate of memory loss was 100% faster than those of patients with normal blood pressure. The patients who had irregular heartbeats also showed a faster memory loss (75% faster) than that of patients without such health problems.
Another study found that patients with hypertension had decreased blood flow to their brains. While blood is important for brain functioning, the findings were also interesting because one of the signs of Alzheimer’s Disease is reduced blood flow to the brain. Researchers are going to be looking into the possible connection further in future studies.
Memory and Poor Diet
You’ve probably been told countless times that a high fat diet is going to be dangerous for your heart and a healthy heart diet plan is very important. All of the saturated fat found in fast food, for example, can lead to higher cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, an increased risk of diabetes, and a lack of proper nutrients found in a more balanced diet. However, you may not have known that evidence suggest eating too many high fat meals can have a tremendous impact on your memory.
Back in 2001, researchers published the findings of studies conducted with rats. The study found that rats who were fed a high fat diet actually suffered from greater memory loss than those who were fed a low-fat diet. The researchers believe the cause is that high fat diets are also linked to a reduced level of glucose in the brain. Glucose plays two important roles in the brain when it comes to memory. First, the brain needs twice as much glucose for memory storage and retrieval as it does normally. Second, one of the neurotransmitters directly linked to memory requires glucose in order to be produced.
Other Points about the Heart and Brain Connection
While the studies above are just three that illustrate the importance of heart health for brain health, other research has consistently shown that people who lead healthier, longer lives because of a good diet and exercise have better brain functioning well up into their older years. That means people who want to live a long life without having to worry about losing their mental stamina should start paying more attention to their cardiovascular health as well.
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The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Heart Health Care22 Dec 2008|