Episode 1

In the first-ever podcast episode, Jesse interviews Dr. Ward Dean, the author of “Smart Drugs and Nutrients: How to Improve and Increase Your Intelligence Through Neuroscience.”  [Amazon link]  Dr. Dean discusses drugs, diet and supplements that effect aging, disease and diabetes and new smart drugs that increase productivity.  Below are some highlights:

Preserving Cognitive Function

Dr. Dean explains how his groundbreaking book evolved from a technical manual for his patients into a widely-known book to improve brain performance.  “We were really focusing more on improving cognitive abilities of normal people who realized they weren’t quite as sharp as they used to be – or could be,” says Dr. Dean of his work.  “I’ve found that a lot of the readily available nutrients and drugs from overseas are much more effective and obtained at less cost [versus the few expensive drugs touted by pharmaceuticals today.]”

Insulin and Aging

“As we get older, we become insulin resistant, and essentially we are all turning into diabetics,” Dean says.  He details how a natural substance originating from lilacs can be used to regulate the body’s insulin production and thus blood sugar levels.  Sugar is a pro-aging factor, according to the doctor, and this lilac-derivative can treat diabetes, burn fat, stimulate brain cell growth and extend overall lifespan.

Diet & A Longer Life

“[You] should get as low on the food chain as you can,” says Dean. The advice of famed nutritionist Jack LaLanne rings true for the doctor.  He eats food with minimal processing, avoiding both refined and complex carbohydrates.  All carbohydrates, he reminds us, turn into sugar inside the body and increase insulin, which is an aging factor.

What about natural fruit sugars?  Dean advises keeping overall sugar intake down, but stresses that natural fruit sugar is a far lesser sin than the alternatives.  Speaking of fruit, red grapes (and red wine) contain a chemical which can be used to lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, and increase lifespan.  Another key nutritional nutrient Dr. Dean is a fan of?  DMAE (Dimethylethanolamine), a substance offering short-term gains in increased alertness, combating ADHD, and extending lifespan and overall health.

Does caloric restriction really extend life expectancy? The doctor explains recent studies and their surprising results, conflicting several earlier studies.

Looking Ahead

What is the future of neuroscience?  The newer class of alertness-promoting unscheduled pharmaceuticals (Modafinil, etc.), will be the next substances to likely gain widespread use. Expect an update on a revision of Dr. Dean’s original book on smart drugs and additional articles on life-extension and more on his website: www.WardDeanMD.com

Bonus Topic: The Secret History of the “Date Rape Drug”

Dr. Dean gives a pharmacological history of the drug GHB (gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid) also known as “The Date Rape Drug.” He talks of its original uses, the many benefits of GHB and why it was demonized and essentially removed from the market.

This Week in Neuroscience:  High Blood Pressure Ages The Brain

UC Davis researchers have found a link between high blood pressure and brain function. Test subjects with hypertension or pre-hypertension at age 40 were found to have the brain of someone approximately 7.2 years older – a definitive early warning sign for Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.  [Full Article]

Key Terms Mentioned

Written by Juliet
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