Brain Fitness: Is Your Brain Fit Enough?

Updated: Sep 22, 2019

How fit is your brain?

If you are of a certain age, it’s probably happened to you: You walk into a room and forget what you came for. You misplace your car keys. You try and try to remember the name of that acquaintance in front of you, your mind goes blank. Perhaps your brain feels tired and exhausted easily as compared to the past? Or does your brain feel foggy and no longer as clear and sharp as it used to be? If these happen to you often, perhaps you should start taking care of the most important organ that master mind your whole body and life – your Amazing Brain.

Human brain is truly the most amazing part of the body. How you experience your life is all in the mind and brain! Your brain comes up with creative ways to express your thoughts and emotions, coordinates movements from chopping onions to running an obstacle course, stores your most precious childhood memories, and solves the Sunday crossword. But it's easy to take those powers for granted.

Our brain controls our thoughts and emotions. How fit is your brain?

Modern world is assaulting our brain

In this fast paced and competitive modern world, our brains are busier than ever before. We are all now required to working overtime often, staying up late and multitasking all the time. According to a long-term study of British civil servants, the overused of brain power may hasten the aging-related decline in memory and thinking skills, Due to the circumstances, more of the 20s are now experiencing those same slight memory lapses compared to before.

As we age, all our body systems gradually decline - including the brain. "Slips of the mind" are associated with getting older. People often experienced those same slight memory lapses in their 20s and yet did not give it a second thought.

There is no doubt that medical advancements in the past 2 decades have inevitably been proven to save many lives since the discovery of penicillin antibiotics. Infectious diseases that were once fatal are curable nowadays. Unfortunately, improved survival rates also mean people live longer, therefore the brain needs to stay productive constantly. In order to live independently well into the 70’s it is vital for the brain to stay sharp, smart and alert all the time. Hence, improving brain health and keeping the brain functional as long as possible should be the ultimate goal for everyone nowadays. Like buying insurance, it is never too early to start preventing the brain from deteriorating.

Modern days work culture of working overtime, staying up late and multitasking all the time cause the younger generation to experience the decline in their brain functions.

How does the brain work?

Despite just having a weight of 2% of the total body weight, human brain requires as high as 20% of the total body energy. The brain itself generates enough energy to power up a light bulb. Hence, any lack of energy supplied to the brain will affects the normal brain functions and you will lose your focus, clarity and brain power, your brain gets tired and fatigue easily.

What actually happens inside our brain? The highways of the brain – neurons or nerve cells - develop cracks and potholes. Thus, the arrival time of a thought is less reliable or slower and actions which need coordination are less precise. For example, an old brain would have a slower response and processing speed.

In addition, like the highways with vehicles constantly moving, the brain has chemicals that travel between the neurons or nerve cells to pass messages. These chemicals are known as neurotransmitters. Thoughts and feelings are the results of communications between the neurons that release neurotransmitters. However, as the brain starts to age, the imbalances in neurotransmitters will occur and this will slow down the communication between the neurons in the brain. This explained why an old brain has difficulty in deciphering what one sees or hears, having trouble in controlling feelings and develop mood disorder such as depression or anxiety, or constantly could not focus and remember things compared to the young brain.

Once we hit our late twenties, the brain’s aging process begins and we begin losing neurons—the cells that make up the brain and nervous system. By our sixties, our brains have literally begun to shrink. Though these brain changes may sound a bit scary, the process is natural and it happens to everyone.

The neurons and neurotransmitters are like highways with vehicles moving on a high speed mode and transferring messages.

Brain aging is inevitable

The brain performance is usually called cognitive function and includes a variety of mental processes such as perception, attention, memory, decision making, and language comprehension. Cognitive function serves a critical role in everyday behavior and social behavior that enable us to learn about the world.

The brain hits its peak performance at the age of 30 and will start to deteriorate slowly after that with significant changes setting in later in life. It may take some time, even years later before the brain functions start to slow down and fuzziness in recalling information starts to kick in. University College London researchers found a 3.6% decline in mental reasoning in women and men aged 45-49 and the brain starts to shrink slowly in volume by 60 years of age.

Common signs and symptoms of declining cognitive functions that are associated with normal aging and effects from modern world include:

  • Difficulty learning something new: Committing new information to memory can take longer.

  • Multitasking: Slowed processing can make processing and planning parallel tasks more difficult.

  • Recalling names and numbers: Strategic memory that helps memory of names and numbers begins to decline at age 20.

  • Remembering appointments: Without cues to recall the information, appointments can be put safely in storage and then not accessed unless the memory is jogged.

  • Lack of focus: Having difficulties in focusing on things for long hours.

  • Brain exhaustion: Your brain is exhausted, hampering your productivity and overall cognitive function.

Brain aging is inevitable to some extent, but not uniform; it affects everyone, or every brain, differently. Slowing down brain aging or stopping it altogether would be the ultimate elixir to achieve eternal youth. Is brain aging a slippery slope that we need to accept? Or are there steps we can take to reduce the rate of decline?

People are having longer life expectancy but are we ready to embrace the inevitable brain aging?

Getting the brain active again with SAM-e

The fuel required for the brain to function optimally affects the structure and neurons within the brain. Good quality “fuel” enhances performance, much like how premium fuel works best in an expensive car. Put simply, the “fuel” comes from food, which get broken down into nutrients. The nutrients are then used to create neurotransmitters, the vital molecules that play major roles in healthy brain functions and mood.

SAM-e, also known as S-adenosyl-L-Methionine, is a natural molecule produced in the body. SAM-e is an important component to facilitate the unique but very natural process in the body called “Methylation”. This critical process is involved in more than 100 biochemical pathways in the human body such as synthesizing hormones, enzymes and other protein chemicals such as the neurotransmitters in the brain etc.

In the brain, SAM-e acts as the good quality ‘fuel’ and is involved in critical processes to

  • generate energy

  • improve brain nerves communication

  • protect brain cells from damage

In short, SAM-e helps to keep the brain balanced, energized and protected from many brain disorders such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other brain related diseases. However, just like other good substances in the body, the level of SAM-e declines as one aged. The body can also be deprived of SAM-e due to:

  1. Lack of protein intake and reduction in gastrointestinal functions as one aged. This will lead to the body lacking of important nutrients that are required to build SAM-e such as vitamin B12, folate and betaine.

  2. High toxins accumulation due to excessive exposure to alcohol, cigarette smoke, petrochemical, pesticides and herbicides in the body leading to huge amount of SAM-e being used up at the liver to clear the toxins, thus depriving the brain of SAM-e.

Unhealthy lifestyle such as excessive exposure to cigarettes, alcohol and daily toxins cause the decline of SAM-e level in the body resulted in the impairment of the brain and liver functions.

Adonat®, the patented SAM-e with many other benefits

In its native form, SAM-e is labile and degrades rapidly at room temperature. Gnosis, an Italy pharmaceutical company managed to address this issue and successfully developed a commercially stable SAM-e, called Adonat®. It is produced through the extraction of selected highly productive yeasts, using a patented fermentation technology, which generate SAM-e with superior quality.

Adonat® contains the highest potency of active SAM-e which allows it to deliver maximum health benefits and is supported by more than 83 human clinical trials worldwide. Adonat® has also been clinically proven to be effective in improving brain health.

Apart from its invaluable and unique benefits on the brain, SAM-e by Adonat® has also shown numerous positive clinical outcomes for liver health, lung health, bone health, skin health and even for certain types of cancers.

This health information is brought to you by the panel pharmacists of Cambert (M) Sdn Bhd.

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*Kordel's range products are available in Guardian, Watsons, Caring Pharmacy, and all leading pharmacies nationwide. Also available online in Shopee and Lazada.