3 Important Steps to Improving and Maintaining Brain Health

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Raena Morgan: Doctor Roizen, age related cognitive decline, can it be avoided or averted?

Dr. Michael Roizen: You know, it’s a very important question because we think a lot of it can be averted, because what happens with age we call normal,-

RM: Right.

MR: -but remember it doesn’t have to be normal. Sixty percent of people die of heart attacks or strokes as they get older. Is that normal? No, but it is typical.

RM: Okay.

MR: It is normal.

RM: Typical.

MR: So what we’ve got to say is we don’t think that heart disease or vascular disease, which most age related cognitive decline is due to, is a normal aging process. It’s an abnormal process we bring about by our choices. So is heart disease needed? Well some vascular disease that is some valvular disease of the heart sometimes occurs that we can’t stop because of wear and tear.

RM: Okay.

MR: But disease of the blood vessels of the heart is never an invariable thing as far as we know, and that means that it isn’t of the brain either.

RM: Okay.

MR: So taking nutrients to the brain and away from the brain, one of the key things is keep your blood vessels normal. Most important number to know, do you know the most important number?

RM: No, what is it?

MR: It’s your blood pressure. Only your spouses birthday is more important or anniversary day if you’re a guy, because you get killed if you forget those days.

RM: Exactly.

MR: But your blood pressure, one fifteen over seventy-five, most important. It’s six times more important than knowing your HDL cholesterol for women or your LDL cholesterol for men. Now second thing is you want a little healthy fat because that DHA-

RM: Yes.

MR: -that I talk about every now and then, that DHA, they’re all fatheads, so sixty percent of your brain is fat and more than fifty percent of the fat is DHA. So we don’t get enough of it because our fish supply doesn’t have much of it in anymore,-

RM: Okay.

MR: -only salmon and trout. So I get it where the fish get it from, from algae, you want six hundred milligrams a day.

RM: All right.

MR: And then the third thing, and I’ve talked about this often, is a little physical activity. So just doing a little physical activity keeps your arteries young, keeps your nerves with new connections, because you’re got to avoid falling and you got to have coordination. The best game you can play-

RM: Yes?

MR: -is ping pong.

RM: Ping pong.

MR: Because it makes you move fast, you move from leg to leg, you have to have coordination, you have to have some skill, you have to think about where your opponent is. So if you want to play a game, play ping pong. On the other hand, cardiovascular exercise, strength training, all of those things, yoga, are all good for the brain. And I always like to mention coffee and flossing because they’re two unusual things,-

RM: Yes.

MR: -but they both help the brain.

RM: Yes, coffee and flossing.

MR: It’s actually interesting, my kids when they were growing up played Chutes and Ladders,-

RM: Chutes and Ladders, haven’t heard of that one.

MR: -and I played infinite games of Chutes and Ladders and Monopoly,-

RM: Okay.

MR: -but I also played a little ping pong, which is the game if you’re going to remember one game, remember ping pong and you want to beat one of my friends.

RM: Who is?

MR: A guy named Al Ratner.

RM: Okay.

MR: He’s eighty-nine, eighty-eight or eight-nine or something older than I am considerably and he still beats my pants off. It’s a good thing I don’t bet him because he’d own my pants now in ping pong.

RM: Okay. Coffee, flossing and ping pong.

MR: Coffee, flossing and ping pong.

RM: Among other things, and the DHA and et cetera. Thank you, Doctor Roizen.

MR: Thank you.



Dr. Michael Roizen explains that age-related cognitive decline is not normal and doesn't have to happen as we get older. Find out three important things he suggests to help keep your brain and related systems healthy. And you'll be surprised at what he calls the best exercise for your brain!

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