Friday, January 11, 2008

The Brain Trust Program: A Scientifically Based Plan to Improve Memory, Elevate Mood, Enhance Attention, Alleviate Migraine and Menopausal Symptoms

Discussion of a new book The Brain Trust Program by Larry McCleary, M.D.


Here is a new book for discussion:

The Brain Trust Program: A Scientifically Based Three-Part Plan to Improve Memory, Elevate Mood, Enhance Attention, Alleviate Migraine and Menopausal Symptoms, and Boost Mental Energy
by Larry McCleary, M.D., Perigee Trade; 1 edition (September 4, 2007)

This new book is written by a medical doctor for lay public with practical advices on how to delay deterioration of our brains with age.

Some of these practical recommendations are rather unusual indeed, see for example, pages 78 - 79:
Make the versatile egg a regular part of your diet -- all of it, including the yolk! And no, that is not a misprint. But before you gasp and say, "Eggs? Are you nuts? They're full of cholesterol; I can't eat eggs!" hear me out. Granted, in the last 15 years or so, the poor egg has been demonized (unfairly) as a health risk because of its cholesterol content; but, fortunately, science marches on and, as Bob Dylan once reminded us, the times, they are 'changin.'

While it's quite true that eggs are a source of cholesterol, science now agrees that eating them doesn't particularly raise the cholesterol level in your blood. In fact, dietary cholesterol only accounts for 10 to 15 percent of the cholesterol in your bloodstream. Your body, itself, makes the other 85 to 90 percent. In a fail-safe maneuver to be sure you have enough of this important raw material, if you eat less, your liver will simply crank up production.

What's more, you need cholesterol to make many hormones as well as vitamin D. It also plays a vital role as a structural molecule in the membrane of every cell in your body. The brain, especially, is a cholesterol-dependent organ. Research in animals, including nonhuman primates and humans, shows that deficiency of dietary cholesterol results in depression, aggression, and agitation. It is interesting that the average cholesterol level among prison inmates is lower than the average of the general population.

But eggs contain more than just cholesterol; they are an excellent and inexpensive source of complete protein and of important vitamins, such as A, E, B12, and folate. The yolk is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin -- two nutrients that research has shown will reduce the risk of macular degeneration of the eye. The macula is the most important portion of the retina, the screen at the back of the eye onto which we focus images to see. Macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness. Also, don't forget that the eye is merely an extension of the brain, so it stands to reason that what's good for the eyes is good for the brain as a whole.

But there's even more. Eggs are also rich in choline, another B vitamin family member and key player in maintaining brain health. Choline and folate work hand in hand to lower levels of homocysteine, which, if you recall, puts the brain at heightened risk of memory failure when allowed to build up. If you've been avoiding eggs because you thought they were bad for you, think again. If optimal brain health is your goal, it's time to bring the versatile egg back into your kitchen, yolk and all. As part of a sensible eating plan, it won't raise your cholesterol and your brain will thank you.

Any comments on this eggs recommendation, and on the book?

The book also recommends:

-- berries
-- coffee and green tea
-- avocados
-- red wine

-- Fish and seafood:
---- salmon,
---- tuna,
---- mackerel,
---- herring,
---- trout,
---- sardines,
---- anchovies

-- Dark green leafy vegetables:
---- spinach,
---- turnip,
---- mustard,
---- collard greens,
---- kale,
---- chard

-- Spices:
---- turmeric,
---- cinnamon,
---- sage,
---- rosemary

-- Nuts and seeds:
---- flaxseeds,
---- sunflower seeds,
---- sesame seeds,
---- pumpkin seeds

-- Marine lipids:
---- eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 1-2 grams per day
---- docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), 1-2 grams per day
---- krill oil, 2-4 capsules per day

-- B vitamins (daily doses):
---- thiamin (B1), 20 mg
---- riboflavin (B2), 20 mg
---- niacin, 20 mg
---- pantothenic acid, 20 mg
---- biotin, 300 mg
---- pyridoxine (B6), 20 mg
---- cobalamin (B12), 100 mcg
---- folic acid, 800 mcg
---- choline, 20 mg

-- magnesium, 600 mg at bedtime
-- taurine, 1 gram each morning and 1 gram each evening
-- acetyl L-carnitine, 100-500 mg a day
-- alpha-lipoic acid, 50-300 mg a day
-- Coenzyme Q10, 25-100 mg a day
-- Vitamin D, 400 IU in oil as a soft gel a day
-- Huperzine A, 75-100 mcg twice a day
-- Vinpocetine, 5-10 mg twice a day

The book also suggests the so-called "Ketogenic Cocktail" to treat hot flashes in menopausal women:
-- Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil, 1-2 tablespoons
-- Flaxseed oil, 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon
-- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 50 mg

Have you seen this Book?
Post your comments below!:

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The Brain Trust Program: A Scientifically Based Plan to Improve Memory, Elevate Mood, Enhance Attention, Alleviate Migraine and Menopausal Symptoms
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BamaGal said...

I have to tell you I'm a walking testament to the benefits of following Dr McCleary's suggestions. For several years I have followed a low carb way of eating. This past year I have significantly upped my fat intake to nearly 80% of my diet. 50% of that is in the form of saturated fat.

It has made a tremendous difference in my bipolar disorder. My medications have been decreased significantly.

If you look at the rise of mental disorders, violence, ADHD, it makes you wonder if the typical high carb, lower fat diet recommended today has anything to do with it.

I whole heartedly believe it does.

Dr. Leonid Gavrilov, Ph.D. said...

Thank you for your interesting comments!

Recently I have found that the author of this book has also developed a nutritional formula Lucidal, which is claimed to be:

"... the first and ONLY cognitive enhancing supplement of its kind that has been clinically tested by an independent 3rd party and shown to dramatically reduce or eliminate feelings of sadness, anxiety, moodiness, irritability, mental fatigue, and "brain fog". And there are no side effects with Lucidal because Lucidal is not a drug; it's a proprietary, patented nutritional formula of fifty natural and organic ingredients."

Has anybody here tried this formula to comment on its efficacy?