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What can I do to prevent memory loss as I age?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
You can cultivate your memory, quick recall, and mental sharpness even if you can't fit all your candles on a birthday cake. For sustainable brainpower and to help prevent memory loss, what matters most is what you do with your mind -- and not just before age 60, but after also.

That's a revolutionary idea. The old battle plan to prevent memory loss was to use tricks to help you cope. Well, humbug! You want brain maintenance, not indulgence. The key to a clear-headed old age is physical activity, good nutrition, mental challenges, and social connections:
  • Move it or lose it. Physical activity helps prevent loss of gray matter and promotes the growth of neurons that process thoughts and shuttle memories. Walking for 15 minutes every day is good; 30 minutes six days a week is even better. What's best, however, is to walk 10,000 steps a day.
  • Groove it or lose it. Turns out dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control info, especially memory), decreases with age, but increases with sexual activity. Need we say more? Cuddle, kick up your heels, and make memories together.
  • Grill it or lose it. Lean, mean, thinking machines are fueled not by oil and fat (saturated fat actually kills memories), but by lean protein (never fried), fiber, 100% whole grains, and dark greens, such as broccoli. Add docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3s, turmeric, caffeine, and aspirin (if your doc recommends) and you'll remember those fun parts!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.