EP169 Six Midlife Brain Killers Part 1

In this episode we talk about 6 midlife brain killers. What you do in your 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s determines the health of your brain in your 70’s and 80’s.

50% of seniors over 85 have Alzheimer’s. If you want to live longer it’s important you protect your brain.

In part 1 we talk about the first three midlife brain killers…

Muscle Mass

Muscle Strength

High Blood Pressure

A problem in any of these three in your midlife will significantly increase your risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s.


Dr. Martin Jr.: You’re listening to The Doctor Is In podcast from martinclinic.com. Although we share a lot of practical and in our opinion awesome information, what you hear on this podcast is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It’s strictly for informational purposes, so enjoy.

Hello, I’m Dr. Martin Jr.

Dr.Martin Sr.: I’m Dr. Martin Sr.

Dr. Martin Jr.: And, this is The Doctor Is In podcast. This is [00:00:30] episode 169. Today, we want to talk about the brain specifically, but more importantly we want to talk about this concept that you and I were talking about off air. It has to do with this, what you do in your 40s and 50s and really early 60s, but what you do in your 40s and 50s and let’s just say 60s determines how healthy your brain is in your 70s and 80s. Now, there is a statistic that 50% of seniors [00:01:00] over the age of 85 have Alzheimer’s. We all talk about wanting to live longer. If you ask somebody oh they like to live to 90 or whatever, but 50% of people over the age of 85 have Alzheimer. So, you want to live longer but you definitely want to have your brain.

Dr.Martin Sr.: You don’t want somebody changing your diapers.

Dr. Martin Jr.: No, exactly.

Dr.Martin Sr.: [inaudible 00:01:22] what I mean.

Dr. Martin Jr.: It’s such a side thing, right? So, you and I have talked about this before. It’s kind of interesting. So, if we talk [00:01:30] about aging in general, anti aging in general, how you look like aesthetically, skin, health, all that stuff in your 40s, 50s, and 60s has to do with lifestyle habits. So, smoking, drinking, exercise, sugar content, stuff like that. When somebody is like … looks really old in their 50s or they look really old in their 40s, 60s, that’s lifestyle stuff generally speaking. [00:02:00] That’s just like I said that’s smoking. That’s-

Dr.Martin Sr.: Bad eating.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, bad eating, drinking, and they didn’t exercise. All right. So, that’s aesthetically. Now, in your 70s is when you start to see a big difference mobility wise. So, a lot of people in their 60s, if they’re average size, average everything, can move around. When they stop to be able to move around is really in their 70s when you see a mobility issue. Again, what you do in your 40s and 50s and 60s [00:02:30] really determines how you move in your 70s which is we don’t think that, but that’s … if you’re listening now and you’re in your 40s and 50s, how you move in your 70s really you’re laying the foundation for that now. Oftentimes, people don’t think about that. Now, when it comes to your brain and we’re going to through the research on this, but when it comes to your brain, how your brain functions in your 70s and 80s [00:03:00] is determined by your 40s, 50s, and 60s.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Your habits.

Dr. Martin Jr.: That’s what we’re going to talk about because there are six midlife brain killers that we call them. So, six things that happen in midlife, so 40s, 50s that can kill your brain in your 70s and 80s. That’s the reality, right? That’s what’s going on. So, we get a lot of questions about brain health. Okay, listen. If you’re in your 70s and your brain is starting to slip, [00:03:30] there are things you can do, but you have to be very purposeful about it. You have to go really low carb. You have to cut out sugar. You have to take a lot of DHA. You have to get rid of inflammation. There’s a lot of things you have to do. More aggressively you have to do but you can definitely and we have a lot of people tell us when they do those things, their brain functions a lot better and they pass a lot more of these testing that they have done. So, for sure, but what we’re saying is this.

If you want to have a healthy brain, [00:04:00] if you want your brain to last as long as your bod does, then you have to pay attention to these six midlife brain killers because they will absolutely destroy your brain when your older. So, we’ll talk about those. We’ll try to get through them in this episode. If not, maybe we’ll carry it over to a second episode, because it is important, because this really is … you think of the heart, right? People are worried about their heart, but I’ll tell you. If you go look at the cause of death charts, [00:04:30] well, I’ll pull one up as we’re talking here.

I’ve been collecting these … sounds morbid but it’s really not that morbid. I have like the top causes of death. So, I have … right in front of me, I pulled up three charts. Ten leading cause of death in the 1900s, 10 leading cause of deaths the year 2000 and then 10 leading cause of death in the year 2016 I think it is. Yes. I’ll tell you … here we go. So, I got the 1900s. [00:05:00] Alzheimer’s is climbing that list. Back in the 1900s, everything was an infection. The top killers pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis, diarrhea. Then you got disease of the heart, then accidents and cancer was way down the list.

Dr.Martin Sr.: We were one of the first ones to coin, right? I like that. I remember one time when you had … it really came out of you but I love that. It was inflammation without infection, right?

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. That’s what it was.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Sickness [00:05:30] without infection, because like you said, if you look back at the 1900s and before antibiotics especially, people died and they died young but it’s because they got infection.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yes. So, back then, everything was … the top killers you were likely to die from an infection of some kind, right? That wasn’t-

Dr.Martin Sr.: It wasn’t heart disease.

Dr. Martin Jr.: No.

Dr.Martin Sr.: It wasn’t cancer.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Then there was a switch around the 50s when all of a sudden, infections weren’t the leading cause of death anymore. Inflammation became the leading cause. So, inflammation [00:06:00] is the new fever, right?

Dr.Martin Sr.: Yeah.

Dr. Martin Jr.: I’ve talked about that and I find that interesting. Back in the early 1900s, you got a fever. You had an infection and your body tried to fight it. Then either you did or you didn’t. Now, people still get fevers. They get the flu and stuff like that, but now we’re loaded with inflammation. The top killers are all inflammatory based. They just show up differently. You can have them under the same heading as inflammation, but … so in the year 2000, [00:06:30] heart disease is number one. Strokes, then you get into lower respiratory infections. They go down the list, but nowhere in the top 10 is anywhere with Alzheimer’s.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Nothing to do with your brain.

Dr. Martin Jr.: No, nothing and then worldwide, diabetes is not even on the list.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Yeah, 2000.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Now, 2018 in the United States. So, it’s heat disease again.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Cancer.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. Cancer, accidents, [00:07:00] just unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, a lot of people at the end of their life they get an infection and die.

Dr.Martin Sr.: They get pneumonia and they die.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah.

Dr.Martin Sr.: That’s a big cause of death.

Dr. Martin Jr.: But, on the list, Alzheimer’s, past diabetes and then diabetes. So, Alzheimer’s is in the top killers. Diabetes is as well.

Dr.Martin Sr.: We would say, okay, again, just because I find it interesting, because what you and [00:07:30] I would say and the Martin Clinic have this for a long time that even the top ones that are at the top like heart disease, most of it the inflammation didn’t come out of nowhere, we would say that most of it was due to high circulating insulin. They were a diabetic, they just never got diagnosed, right? So, when you see diabetes down the list a little bit, in terms of what caused the killing, but a lot of people have heart disease just as an aside because they have high circulating insulin. [00:08:00] It was the sugar that was killing them. They just never got the diagnosis. They were literally a diabetic without getting the diagnosis.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. Here’s the thing. When it comes to even the heart disease, really the two main causes of heart disease is insulin or inflammation. Insulin can lead to inflammation, but there are other things that can cause heart disease because of inflammation. So, it is interesting. Yeah, a lot of … like these killers can all be classified as a form of inflammation [00:08:30] because at the root of them is inflammation, but the cause of the inflammation can vary from condition to condition. So, those are the top killers, right? Alzheimer’s is climbing that list. We know that it’s an epidemic. It’s becoming a real problem. If you read research, drugs are failing miserably. In fact, I was just reading about a big company that had a lot of money riding on a drug trial and they pulled the plug on it. They cannot treat yet [00:09:00] in any way Alzheimer’s with drugs. They’re not reversing Alzheimer’s with drugs. So, your best bet is still natural eating. In fact-

Dr.Martin Sr.: Lifestyle.

Dr. Martin Jr.: A lot of drugs people are taking are actually causing the dementia. It’s a big chunk of that, right? So, that’s a whole other … and I think we did an episode on that a long time ago talking about the common drugs that can affect your brain. So, it is interesting, but nevertheless, what you do now, so if you’re listening you’re in your 40s, your 50s and even early 60s, [00:09:30] what you do now will really ultimately determine the health of your brain, because remember, you and I in our training on our website we have this called age proof your brain. In there there’s a graphic where we talk about the normal effects of aging. So, there are certain things that happen as we age that are considered normal. Now, one of the things for example is muscle wasting to a certain extent. Its harder to maintain muscle as you age because your muscle wastes as you age. It doesn’t mean you can’t maintain it, [00:10:00] however, it’s harder to maintain it. Now, it’s interesting.

You get to a certain age like early 60s, late 50s, the person has the same frame they’ve always had, right? Then they get to late 60s, early 70s, if they don’t have a lot of muscle mass, also and they look small, they just look shrunken in a sense, right? They don’t have that frame anymore. It’s because they went into that crucial time in their life where mobility matters and they [00:10:30] didn’t have that foundation of muscle there to begin with. So, muscle wasting is a normal aspect of aging. What’s abnormal is when you lose too much. That happens to a lot of people. Other things that happen normally when you age, your lung volume decreases. Your VO2 max as they say decreases as you age. Your ability to produce and secrete digestive enzyme decreases which compounds the problem, because it leads to less digestion, less nutrients and-

Dr.Martin Sr.: Especially for [00:11:00] protein and your amino acids that you need. You’re not taking them up. Your essential vitamins like the people are chronically low in B12 which is a real thing for every part of your body including your brain.

Dr. Martin Jr.: We’re going to do an upcoming episode on the effect that has on aging, but specifically low stomach acid and gallbladder, because as you and I, we talk about this. We get fascinated about that stuff, but it really is the cause of a lot of issues for people. It’s such an undiagnosed, untalked [00:11:30] about thing. Rarely do we find somebody over the age of 40 that has a fully functional normal stomach acid and gallbladder. So, a lot of the symptoms we get are associated with that. Then, one more thing that happens as we age that’s normal is the volume of our brain. Our brain actually shrinks. That’s somewhat normal. It becomes a problem though because a lot and lifestyle things will actually shrink our brain faster. When that happens, [00:12:00] you’re in trouble, right?

So, here are some of the biggest threats to your brain. I’m not talking about midlife things. Here’s what you have to protect against in general. These four things really will kill your brain as you age. They’ll kill it. So, brain shrinkage, right? We just mentioned it. Your brain naturally shrinks as you age, but there’s a lot of things and we’re going to talk about these in a minute, but there’s a lot of things that can speed that up. So, [00:12:30] excessive brain shrinkage will cause dementia Alzheimer’s. That’s one. Inflammation is another. Inflammation is a brain killer. Well, any inflammation really.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Yeah.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Inflammation of the brain will lead to dementia Alzheimer’s, right? Insulin, we talked about that. Too much circulating insulin messes your brain up and it actually will shrink your brain faster as well, but also affects the way you use energy in the brain and your brain is the energy hog. So, a lot of issues with that as well. [00:13:00] Then there’s a fourth thing and it’s really coming to the news more lately. So, I gave it its own category. The fourth thing is infection, an infection of the brain. You know it’s funny because they’re starting to see that candida can cross the blood brain barrier.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Yeah, we talked about that.

Dr. Martin Jr.: We read another study a while ago. This brain researcher saying that the things that they’re finding in the brain now are scary, that are living in the brain.

Dr.Martin Sr.: They always thought the brain was sterile, there’s be nothing in it.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. Anything but no. In fact, there’s a [00:13:30] study going on at Harvard called the brain microbiome project.

Dr.Martin Sr.: So, it’s looking at the bacteria in the brain and there’s something that came out too that I saw the other day, like even you get a root canal done, right? You get bacteria siting in there. They were talking about it being one of the root causes of heart disease, but you and I know better that once that stuff gets into your blood stream and it gets across that blood brain barrier because you don’t have that bacteria, the microbiome, you don’t have the wall, [00:14:00] the gatekeepers at the wall to keep that stuff out of your brain, and we’ve talked about this too. Now, add heavy metals like mercury and lead and cadmium and stuff like that-

Dr. Martin Jr.: Well, and what you just described we have a series coming out next week. So, we’re recording this in January but we have an email series coming out next week talking about autoimmune disorders. What you just described is one path of getting an autoimmune disorder. These things get into the blood. [00:14:30] They cause inflammation. That messes up the way your immune system works and it starts to attack its own cells. So, it’s interesting. So, those are the four things that really ultimately lead to dementia Alzheimer’s. So, your brain shrinks too fast, inflammation, infection, and high insulin.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Yeah. Again, let’s just for a second on candida because people said you seek … they accuse me of seeing candida behind [00:15:00] every tree type of thing, but I always tell people, “Look, what is the most insidious thing that happens in your body that people just … ” It was so off the charts for most physicians, they just couldn’t see it, because they always said, “Nah.” Today, what is so prevalent is fungus. It’s a fungal candida. Yeast gets into your bloodstream and it’s worse than a parasite in my opinion, because almost everything you eat feeds it, [00:15:30] and the overuse of antibiotics and these pain killers and like you say all these drugs, most of it creates an atmosphere in your body that makes it conducive to candida. You talked about the gallbladder and that’s a problem because the candida should never even … you wrote a tremendous [crosstalk 00:15:51]

Dr. Martin Jr.: Well, and they have a … your body has a bunch of fail safes. You may consume candida but it should never get into your blood unless the fail safes aren’t working. The initial [00:16:00] fail safes is the acid in your stomach and your gallbladder. So, when those things aren’t doing their job which very few people have a normal functioning stomach acid and a normal gallbladder, but even then, then it gets into your gut, and then there’s a barrier between your gut and your blood that should never get past … it should never pass through, but guess what? It does. So, now, there’s a-

Dr.Martin Sr.: So microscopic that [crosstalk 00:16:26]

Dr. Martin Jr.: All your fail safes aren’t working, and then they get into your body. It’s [00:16:30] funny, because blood used to be sterile. Now, we know things can transport there. Brain, no way, brain sterile. Now, I read a study maybe a year and a half ago talking about the percentage of Parkinson that had fungus in the brain. They didn’t even attribute it to that. They just said, “Oh, that’s kind of weird. A lot of them do have some fungus.” So, is it possible that some people have Parkinson’s because of fungus? Absolutely. Absolutely, right?

Dr.Martin Sr.: Big time.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Do some people have Alzheimer’s and dementia because of fungus? Yes, they do. [00:17:00] Just like they have other symptoms in their body, but yes, that’s the reality we live in. So, infection is a big brain killer. Then, we talk about insulin. All right. Now, for the rest of this podcast because we have been going on a little bit here, we’ll talk about three midlife brain killers in this episode and then in the next episode, we’ll finish it off and then talk about how you can help your brain.

So, let’s talk the first three brain killers. We might as well talk about the study that kind [00:17:30] of brought this on the first place because I find this interesting. So, I’m just going to read a study that we came across. It says this, “Leg exercise is critical to brain and nervous system health.” There is a brain leg access. What they found is that weight bearing exercises for legs, right? Everybody hates leg day. Leg day, I’ll tell you I did leg day on … just two days ago and I’m still sore. I [00:18:00] hate doing legs. I do. You know what? Now, after reading the study when I do legs-

Dr.Martin Sr.: Now, you’re encouraged to do them, right?

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, because now I’m thinking, “I’m helping my brain. I’m helping my brain. I’m ensuring a longer healthier brain.” What they found is when you do these weight bearing and resistant type of exercises, it’s funny. There’s a connection between the brain and the leg. What they’re finding out it’s actually vital for the production of healthy neural cells. So, when you do leg exercises, you’re actually [00:18:30] exercising your brain as well. So, think about this. The volume of leg muscles and it’d be an interesting study to look at the correlation. Again, it’d be hard to prove but the amount of people with Alzheimer’s that have not enough leg muscle, what percentage-

Dr.Martin Sr.: Oftentimes when I see it in the office, a lot of times you see a lot of sarcopenia with that.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Well, that’s the anatomy.

Dr.Martin Sr.: They are just wasted away.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Now, they didn’t get wasted away. They were wasted away before the brain [00:19:00] went in a lot of ways. They were that really aged body like you said. Yeah, there’s youth correlation with that.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah, okay. So, the first midlife brain killer they found that midlife muscle mass is correlated to brain volume on the back end of your life. That’s interesting.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Yeah.

Dr. Martin Jr.: So, again, when you go to the gym and you’re working your muscles, [00:19:30] remember, you’re working your brain. That’s the first thing. So, just the muscle mass. I’m not talking about strength because we’re going to talk about strength in a second, but muscle mass. So, even I’m going to read you just a headline of a study that says that if you’re in your 60s and 70s right now and you’re listening, you can actually lower your risk of dementia by simply maintaining muscle mass. Think about that. That’s such a weird thing to think about.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Who would ever thought of the connection?

Dr. Martin Jr.: [00:20:00] Yeah. Again, it goes to show you how important muscles, right? How-

Dr.Martin Sr.: Well, we talked about that even in osteoporosis, right?

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yes.

Dr.Martin Sr.: We talked about leg. Just don’t think bone. You’re thinking bone. We’re thinking about like your bone has got a lot-

Dr. Martin Jr.: What percentage of people have osteoporosis and not sarcopenia? Not much.

Dr.Martin Sr.: No. It’d be a rare exception.

Dr. Martin Jr.: So, the first midlife brain killer is muscle. If you don’t have enough of it, your brain is at risk. Let’s just say that. There’s study just showing that. Now, [00:20:30] staying on that theme of muscle, so you need muscle mass. The second thing is they’re showing a direct correlation between stronger muscles. They’ve shown this. We talked about this in a previous episode. Strong muscles equals strong brain. We talked about strong muscles equals strong heart, because studies have shown that as well, but stronger muscles lead to a stronger brain. In fact, even a recent study was done one out in Australia and they found that when you increase [00:21:00] muscle strength, it actually improves your cognition, what I find is interesting. For a while when Alzheimer’s and dementia was starting to really climb and people are getting worried about it, they were selling a lot of these apps and a lot of these computer games that would get the brain thinking, right? These puzzle thing.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Yeah.

Dr. Martin Jr.: I’m not knocking those in any way, but they’d be better off going to the gym for an hour for their brain. No question. There’s no question. They’d be better off going to the gym for an hour [00:21:30] and-

Dr.Martin Sr.: Yeah. So, when you’re sitting there and doing a puzzle or doing word things or whatever, you’re sitting there. You’re defeating maybe the purpose of exactly what you’re trying to accomplish, right?

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yep. So, they’d be better off. So, the first two midlife brain killers are this, one decrease muscle mass. You’re going to have an increase risk of dementia Alzheimer’s, decrease muscle strength. Not only are you going to have a hard time moving around in your 70s. The first two things that we just talked about [00:22:00] will guaranty that you’re not going to have a pleasant 70s. You’re not going to move around, but it also guaranties your brain is not going to be there when you need it, right? So, those are the first two things. So, we’ll talk about one more and then we’ll wrap this one up and then we’ll finish off with the other three, because … The other one is this. Midlife high blood sure-

Dr.Martin Sr.: Kills.

Dr. Martin Jr.: … significantly increases your risk of dementia later in life. So, if you have high blood pressure in your 40s, 50s, and 60s, you’re going to have dementia in your [00:22:30] 70s and 80s. That’s how it works. So, blood pressure is not only a cardiovascular warning, it’s a check engine light. It’s a check engine light for your brain.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Crazy, but again, you think of it, we always said, “Well, what is the biggest indicator of … or the number cause of high blood pressure is insulin.” Right? It’s the number one cause, high circulating insulin.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. High blood pressure is an indication that you have too much insulin for [00:23:00] a majority of the people.

Dr.Martin Sr.: It’s not the only thing.

Dr. Martin Jr.: No, but it’s a big chunk. It’s the 80-20 rule for sure.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Yeah. You got bad genetics or whatever and you say, “Well, bad genetics.” Well, yeah but that’s a small part of what’s going on. Really, lifestyle is you got high blood pressure. You’re under a lot of stress or you got high circulate … the perfect storm is high circulating insulin, you’re a bad eater and you got stress. Add that to the mix and you got trouble coming.

Dr. Martin Jr.: So, [00:23:30] again, how many people in their 40s and 50s have high blood pressure? Fair amount.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Yeah.

Dr. Martin Jr.: So, that’s a check engine light for your brain. High blood pressure is a check engine light for your brain and it significantly increases your risk. Now, here’s what I find interesting and we’re going to carry this conversation over because it’s going to apply to the other three after. Here’s the thing and this is the kicker. High blood pressure increases your risk of dementia Alzheimer’s, however, studies have shown that. That’s a fact, but what new studies are … what [00:24:00] they’re looking at now and they’re also finding high normal blood pressure. So, you’re not even diagnosed with hypertension. So, you have normal blood pressure, but it’s a little bit elevated but not diagnosed also increases your risk of dementia Alzheimer’s. It’s amazing.

So, high normal blood pressure will increase your risk of dementia later in life. So, you don’t even have to have hypertension. You can have consistently higher than normal, and what’s normal? [00:24:30] Depends on the person. It really does. Hypertension is 140/90. That’s when they start to diagnose you with hypertension, but even if you’re not 140/90, you can still be putting your brain at risk. So, it’s normal. That’s interesting. Goes to show you how-

Dr.Martin Sr.: Well, it’s like blood sugar, right?

Dr. Martin Jr.: Yeah. That’s exactly what we’re going to talk about in the next-

Dr.Martin Sr.: [inaudible 00:24:54] like you.

Dr. Martin Jr.: Also, let’s just recap the three and then we’ll end with that. Muscle mass, muscle strength [00:25:00] and high blood pressure are midlife brain killers. If those are off, your chance of being in the 50% of 85 that have dementia are … you’re in that 50%. You’re in that 50%. All right. So, we’re out of time in this one. We’ll wrap up this discussion on the next one, then we’ll talk about also how to protect your brain. So, again, thank you for listening and have a great day.

Dr.Martin Sr.: Thanks for listening to The Doctor Is In podcast from martinclinic.com. [00:25:30] If you have any questions, you can reach us at info@martinclinic.com. If you’re not a newsletter subscriber, you can head to our website and sign up for free. We also have a private Facebook group that you can join. It’s a community of awesome people. Finally, I do a Facebook Live every Thursday morning at 8:30. Join us again next week for a new episode.