Aging is a natural process in humans as well as in animals and I just love growing older and hopefully wiser. But what is of concern to most people is the fact, that aging process often also comes in form of memory loss, depression, mood disorders, and low cognitive performance, just to name few. Some of these symptoms can be mitigated by increasing the level of the DHEA hormone in our bodies. Later on a will let you know about the one and only anti-aging medicine that I’m using on a daily basis.
Of course, everyone wants to age with grace. No one wants to struggle with one ailment or the other during the latter adult life. The good news I’m bring to you today is that there is a natural way to protect the aging mind and improve memory and cognition in older adults. DHEA can increase the number of brain cells as well as combat specific features of metabolic syndrome. It’s found to be the most abundant steroid hormone in the human body with positive biological impacts on the entire body system.
Have You ever Heard of DHEA
DHEA is a hormone we pump out plenty in our 20’s, but after that it starts to decrease. And if we are living stressful live with overdose of work, small kids and noisy city life, the level of DHEA drops even faster and as we reach our 70’s it’s only 10% of its peak levels.
Studies have shown that using DHEA supplementations in the form of capsules, tablets, chewing gum, sublingual (under the tongue) drops, and topical (on the skin) creams, can have positive effects on aging, mood, memory function, menopausal symptoms, bone density, cognitive performance, and sexual performance. So these supplements can work as anti-aging medicine, but are they save?
But there have also been some effects of DHEA, that are not so positive, like acne, oily skin and unwanted hair growth. That’s why I don’t recommend taking DHEA as a supplement. But before we go on my recommendations of anti-aging medicine, let’s see how DHEA actually works to protect the brain, stabilize the mind, improve memory function, and increase cognitive performance. Find out as you read on!
How does DHEA Behave as You Grow Older?
In human beings, the DHEA levels get to the peak at about age 25. It then starts to diminish gradually as you get older to the extent that by the time you get to 70 or 80 years old, the DHEA level may not be more than just 10% of what it was at the peak level. The correlation, however, is that as the level of DHEA decreases, age-related diseases always seem to be on the increase. Now, let’s see how the DHEA works to affect the brain, memory, mood, and cognition.
DHEA and the Brain, Memory and Cognition
DHEA has unique impacts on many cells in the body including cells in the brain. It has the capacity to increase the number of brain cells. Numerous studies have shown that higher levels of DHEA have positive impacts on the brain. It’s rare to see people with higher DHEA levels to have problems associated with brain-health. DHEA works on your brain to make you mentally more alert and bring clarity of thoughts.
As we grow older, the secretion of DHEA by the adrenal gland begins to reduce, leading to gross reduction in the function of the brain. Experts have found correlation between low DHEA levels and brain shrinkage in major depression cases. And furthermore, studies have showed that supplemental DHEA can have considerably positive impacts on the brain by helping it to function optimally.
Insufficient DHEA constitutes a risk factor also for declining cognitive and memory function in old age. Interventions with DHEA supplementation have again had positive impacts on memory recollection, cognitive improvement and enhancing a variety of cognitive skills in postmenopausal women, especially in the area of perception and judgment. People with higher levels of DHEA hardly show any symptom of mental health problems. This suggests that DHEA has some antidepressant functions, making it a promising addition in the treatment of mental health challenges.
Having discovered the essential functions of DHEA hormone in wellbeing and rejuvenation of older adults, the question now is: How can we enhance DHEA naturally to take full advantage of its anti-aging medicine benefits?
Forest Bathing Works as Anti-Aging Medicine By Increasing Our DHEA Level
There are lots of nutritional supplements on the market that can help to raise the level of DHEA as you age on. If you choose to go with supplements, be sure to choose excellent quality one and have the correct dosage. This is important because aside the reports of inadequate quality DHEA products on the market, cases of wrong dosage are next commonly issues being reported.
My choice to increase DHEA levels is – surprise, surprise – forest bathing!! As already mentioned in my previous posts, trees and plants of forest floor emit antimicrobial organic compounds, called phytoncides. These compounds are meant to exterminate fungi and bacteria amongst plants. Fungi and bacteria cause problems also for human immune system.
Trees in the forest are often hundreds, if not thousands of years old. So, they have been through a lot and their immune system is familiar with far more factors than ours. That’s why it’s of great benefit for us to immerse ourselves into the immune system of the forest. Effects can last up to one or two months.
It’s concluded in studies, that a day trip to the forest significantly reduces blood pressure, urinary noradrenaline and dopamine levels and significantly increases serum adiponectin and DHEA levels. According to a study published 2011 in European Journal of Applied Physiology, a habitual walking in forest environments may have beneficial effects on blood adiponectin and DHEA-S levels. So, we can say, that forest bathing works as anti-aging medicine according to scientific evidence.
Older adults, who walk 3 kilometers daily, have higher DHEA levels and lower risk to develop dementia than non-walkers. And furthermore, walking in the forest park significantly increases the level of DHEA, but walking in the urban area does not. In respect to that, we can say, that forest environments may have a beneficial effect on our DHEA levels.
Ways to Enhance Our DHEA Levels
We can affect our DHEA levels also by reducing stress and stress factors. And what could be better way to do that than spending time in nature? According a Japanese study, forest settings were associated with lower levels of cortisol, slower heart rates, lower blood pressure and enhanced activity of parasympathetic nervous system. Parasympathetic nervous system promotes relaxation.
Cortisol is the stress hormone, that over prolonged periods can harm our immune system, along with other negative effects. Even just gazing at forest scenery for 20 minutes reduces salivary cortisol levels by 13.4%. Researchers have concluded that, forest trips may effectively decrease the risk of stress-related diseases.
The truth be told, your DHEA level has a great deal of influence in your aging process, but it is not the only contributory factor that affect the process. There are many other factors you must consider if you really want to take control of your hormonal health. Some of these factors are following.
Nature exercise: Obviously you need stay active if you really want to slowdown your aging process. So, you need regular doses of exercises to increase not only your DHEA levels but that of other essential hormones. Regular nature strolls bring us the cross benefits of forest compounds and exercise.
Stress: Always look for ways to manage stress conditions both at home and at workplace. A little stress can be health, but prolonged stress kills hormones, including DHEA. So, bring some plants on your office desk and take breaks from work to connect with nature by gazing nature scenery, listening some nature sounds or taking your lunch outside to park.
Sleep: A good night sleep reenergizes and revitalizes you from the stress resulting from the previous day’s work. Deep sufficient sleep enhances also DHEA levels. Enhance your sleep by bringing some plants into your bedroom. That way you get your anti-aging medicine also during the night time.
Following plants are well known in purifying the air and releasing oxygen. Snake plant releases even more oxygen at night that during the day. And we all know the relaxing effects of lavender, right? It makes the atmosphere calm and even slows down our heartbeat. Next, who wouldn’t love English ivy! It eases our breathing by removing toxins from the air and releasing oxygen. Finally, aloe Vera, which releases huge amounts of oxygen when you are having your beauty sleep.
Good night and sweet dreams you Precious,
Heidi – Forest Therapy Today