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Worried about your memory and thinking? Exercise for those with MS (and others) helps beat memory loss and cognitive problems November 10, 2011

Posted by Rebecca Hoover in Uncategorized.
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You can help yourself be smart by eating right, exercising and kicking the bad habits. Of course, these same steps will keep you looking like a babe! Whoa!

Those with multiple sclerosis (MS) are not the only ones to experience memory and cognitive problems. So, not surprisingly, the same steps that may help those with MS beat memory and thinking problems help everyone.These steps involve getting exercise, eating right and avoiding soy.

Exercise is one key because it helps both increase both memory and brain power. In one study,  with a report entitled Physical activity associated with increased resting-state functional connectivity in multiple sclerosis, researchers found that exercise actually improves connectivity in the brains of those with MS and their memory. In another study, scientists found that physical activity improves brain processing speed: Physical activity and cognitive function in multiple sclerosis. Of course these are just two studies but many other studies have showed the same results.

It is not just exercise that is needed for brain power — a healthy diet is also needed. When diet does not provide essential nutrients, all kinds of neurological problems can develop including diminished intellectual capacity. For a sense of the ability of poor nutrition to severely hamper intellectual functions, see Effects of poverty on cognitive function: a hidden neurologic epidemic. To preserve robust thinking abilities, an ultra healthy diet such as the Swank MS Diet or the diet recommended by Professor George Jelinek, M.D. can help everyone not just those with MS.

Finally, avoiding some soy foods may help prevent cognitive problems. While fermented soy found in tempeh and miso has not been found to be problematic, other soy foods are associated with early loss of memory as well as other cognitive issues. Avoiding tofu may be a good idea (see High tofu intake is associated with worse memory in elderly Indonesian men and women). Other unfermented soy foods seem to have similar results. One study, for example, showed use of some soy products by older women reduced both memory and processing abilities in women (The effects of soy milk and isoflavone supplements on cognitive performance in healthy, postmenopausal women).

All of this points out the importance of following an ultra healthy living program of the type recommended by The Intelligent Person’s Guide to Beating Multiple Sclerosis. By eating right, exercising, avoiding bad habits such as smoking, etc. one maximizes each of the following: mind, body, good looks and fun! So live healthy and have fun. Remember, you only get to live once so it makes sense to take full advantage of the experience and enjoy!

Remember too that MS does not necessarily cause memory and cognitive problems. I took a class a couple of years ago and was, as usual, at the top of my class. Likewise, many with MS have gone to law school, serve in public office, work as doctors and professors, etc. Some of what happens depends on making smart choices. It is important to follow an ultra healthy living program — no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Please let me know if you find my blog helpful. Please add a comment. What did you like? What would you like added? Thanks! Together we can change the way the world views MS. Please also join the Intelligent Guide to MS page on Facebook. I will use that page to make timely posts on new research and other issues likely to be of interest to others.

Please remember to consult your with doctors about how to stay as healthy as possible. Nothing here should be interpreted as medical advice. Instead, please use the information you find here in your discussions with your doctor.

Copyright 2011 Rebecca Hoover

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Comments»

1. Julie Calder - November 10, 2011

I used to have soya milk on my cereal, but I stopped this over a year ago now. I didn’t realise this was a problem for people with MS. I still sometimes have soy sauce in Chinese dishes. Is this going to cause problems? I rarely have tofu.
Cheers
Julie

Rebecca Hoover - November 10, 2011

Julie,

It is interesting about soy. The problems with soy are, of course, for everyone — MS or not. Soy sauce gets its flavor from fermentation so I would not worry about it too much. Anyway, soy sauce doesn’t really have that much soy in it.

Cheer to you too,

Rebecca


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