3 New Ways Kirtan Kriya Helps Keep Your Brain Sharp


An easy, low cost, side effect-free way to boost your brain power and help you be healthier and more spiritually attuned as you age would have a major impact on your quality of life and happiness. It would also reduce some of the staggering health care costs seen today.

Recently The Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation (ARPF), of which I’m the founding president and medical director, presented a summary of our innovative yoga meditation research at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Boston.

For the past 12 years, the ARPF has organized, helped design, and fund innovative research on a simple 12-minute singing yoga meditation called Kirtan Kriya (KK). This work has specifically focused on reducing risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and the enhancement of total brain fitness.

Our studies utilized recognized methods to measure aspects of brain health and specialized scans such as SPECT and fMRI, as well as sophisticated memory and blood tests, to determine the results of our studies.

I’d like to divide the outcome of our research into three categories: mind, body, and spirit, all of which optimize brain and body aging.

A. Mind: Here are the ways practicing KK improves your mind and brain power.

1. Improved Memory: People with memory loss improved on important memory tests. In our study of stressed caregivers, the KK practitioners had a better memory after KK meditation training.

2. Reduced Stress: Studies show cognitive decline caused by both acute and chronic stress secondary to the hormone cortisol’s brain cell-killing effect in the memory center of your brain, the hippocampus. Meditation reduces stress and lowers cortisol levels and, as seen above, can help reverse memory loss.

3. Enhanced Brain Blood Flow (also called cerebral blood flow or CBF): Patients with cognitive decline and stressed caregivers had increased CBF in critically important areas of their brain, including those well known to influence attention, concentration, focus, memory (hippocampus), depression, trauma and resiliency. Moreover, the first area that goes down in function when a person loses their memory increases with the practice of KK.

4. Increased Healthy Brain Size: Compared to beginners, long-term meditators have a larger and healthier looking brain.

5. Improved Brain Chemistry: It is well known that people who have a decrease in brain energy and function have a reduction in certain brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Hence, the development of drugs that tried to increase these transmitters. Unfortunately, they are not very effective. KK, however, can help increase neurotransmitters in a more natural way and improve communication between brain cells, thus enhancing brain and memory function.

B. Body: Here are the ways KK improves your body all the way down to the level of your genes and DNA.

6. Increased telomerase: Telomerase is the enzyme that controls the length of your telomeres, the cap of your DNA. Longer telomeres equal better health. Shorter telomeres equal Alzheimer’s disease and accelerated aging and a shortened life. An increase of 44 percent in telomerase was shown in our study on highly stressed caregivers doing KK for 12 minutes a day for eight weeks. This is the largest increase in telomerase ever seen.

7. Decrease in bad genes: 39 stressed caregivers utilizing KK for 12 weeks had what is known as down regulation of inflammatory genes, which signifies a reduction in the activity of the genes that cause inflammation. This is important because inflammation is a hallmark of many illnesses, including Alzheimer’s.

8. Improvement of good genes including those that boost your immune system.

9. Improved Sleep: Sleep is critically important for optimal brain and body health. Disrupted sleep is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. KK can help improve sleep.

C. Spirit: You have a spirit that impacts your health and well-being. KK touches your spirit in a positive way. Here is how:

10. Less depression: 65 percent of subjects showed improvement on Depression Scales. Depression may be a risk factor for cognitive decline.

11. Clarity of Purpose: Meditators discover clarity of purpose and other aspects of psychological well-being such as acceptance, personal growth, and positive relationships. This has been shown to improve overall health and lower Alzheimer’s risk.

12. Spiritual Well-Being: Practicing KK creates peace of mind and spiritual well-being, which is something we all can use more of in today’s incredibly hectic and fast paced world.

As I’ve shared in this blog, studies on Kirtan Kriya meditation, a simple 12-minute singing memory yoga meditation, reveal many positive health benefits for your mind, body, and spirit, including a profound anti-aging effect all the way down to the level of your DNA.

To discover how to do it, simply go here. In the meantime I wish you all health, happiness, and a soaring spirit.

Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D.

For more by Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D., click here.

For more on Alzheimer’s disease, click here.


Dr. Joel Wallach, Dead Doctors Don t Lie: Alzheimers and Cholesterol

This isn’t very good news for vegans and the vegetarians who won’t eat eggs…that is if they want to do everything they can to avoid Alzheimer’s disease.

Published on Feb 8, 2013

Dr Wallach explains the correlation between cholesterol and Alzheimers.

Actually, Alzheimer’s disease is a disease that didn’t exist 40 years ago. Alzheimer’s disease, even by another name, could not be found in any medical dictionary or textbook or taught in any medical curriculum. It only became an entity in the medical literature in 1979. And today it is apparently the number 4 killer of adults in the United States over the age of 65, behind cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and then comes Alzheimer’s disease. It appears to me, with no doubt, that it is due to what I call a ‘physician-caused disease’. Because doctors have encouraged people, in fact demanded that people give up saturated fat and cholesterol and move towards a cholesterol restricted diet to get their blood cholesterol down below 200, and they have created no less than 25 of these cholesterol diseases. And to me, Alzheimer’s disease is one of the big ones.

75% of our brain weight is pure cholesterol, it’s called myelin, it’s this fatty stuff that insulates each nerve fiber of the brain and spinal cord, and we can only make about 10% of our daily need of cholesterol. The other 90% must come from the diet. And if a person is very good about giving up chicken skin and red meat, and dairy and eggs, like a doctor would have them do, after about 6 or 8 or 10 years they’re not going to be able to keep up with the maintenance and repair needs of the cholesterol for the myelin and the brain and spinal cord, so you can just expect that a person is going to develop one or more of these 25 physician-caused diseases, including acquired seizure disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.

Now the best way to avoid Alzheimer’s is to eat a couple of eggs every morning for breakfast, not cooked in margarine or fried, you want to consume as much as 72oz of red meat every single month. I know that sounds like a lot, but it’s just a quarter-pounder a day, and you want to supplement with all 90 essential nutrients, and when you get to the Vitamin E level you want to have at least 2,000 international units of Vitamin E, and you want 500mcg of Selenium, and if you do that, even if you already have Alzheimer’s disease, you can honestly expect to have a significant amount of return of memory. Great studies done by University of California at San Diego and the Salk Institute that says by taking 2,000 icu of Vitamin E alone, even if you have advanced Alzheimer’s disease, you can get a significant amount of memory return. There’s hope for you!

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How Cannabinoids May Slow Brain Aging

More and more research is coming out exposing the NUMEROUS health BENEFITS of cannabinoids, so isn’t it time WE stop the scandalous, corrupt war on drugs? It’s become apparent that industrial corporations and bigpharma have been fueling the fear propaganda and disinformation campaigns that have kept so many well meaning people ignorant of the facts surrounding marijuana’s health benefits. Thankfully Colorado is among many states to pass an initiative to legalize marijuana, so the tide is swelling against ignorance and control issues in a manner that will eventually force corrupt laws off the books as American’s rise up to say “we will no longer accept  the war against marijuana and our freedom to choose”.

Oct. 29, 2012
Cavan Images / Getty Image

Stoners aren’t known for their memory prowess but a new review suggests that drugs similar to marijuana’s active ingredients may hold promise for preventing— or even reversing— brain aging and possibly Alzheimer‘s and other degenerative brain diseases.

Since the mid 2000′s researchers have been building an appreciation for the power of marijuana-like substances that make up the brain’s cannabinoid systems. In animal experiments, for example, synthetic compounds similar to THC—marijuana’s main psychoactive component—have shown promise in preserving brain functions. A 2008 study even demonstrated that a THC-like substance reduced brain inflammation and improved memory in older rats.

The latest review, published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, suggests that activating the brain’s cannabinoid system may trigger a sort of anti-oxidant cleanse, removing damaged cells and improving the efficiency of the mitochrondria, the energy source that powers cells, ultimately leading to a more robustly functioning brain.

Previous studies have linked cannabinoids to increased amounts of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a substance that protects brain cells and promotes the growth of new ones. Since new cell growth slows or stops during aging, increasing BDNF could potentially slow the decline in cognitive functions.

Activation of cannabinoid receptors can also reduce brain inflammation in several different ways, which may in turn suppress some of the disease processes responsible for degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Andras Bilkei-Gorzo of the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry at the University of Bonn in Germany and an author of the study, is encouraged by the expanding knowledge of the brain’s cannabinoid system and its potential for leading to new understanding of aging in the brain. “[C]annabinoid system activity is neuroprotective,” he wrote, and increasing it “could be a promising strategy for slowing down the progression of brain aging and for alleviating the symptoms of neurodegenerative disorders.”

Still, Gary Wenk, professor of neuroscience, immunology and medical genetics at Ohio State University, who conducted some of the research Bilkei-Gorzo included in the review, is aware of the delicate nature of cannabinoid research, given the controversial nature of medical marijuana issues. “The literature is a mess and he’s done a nice job organizing it,” he says. “He was positive about developing cannabinoid drugs without going overboard.”

Other studies covered in the review showed that mice bred to lack the cannabinoid receptors have better memories early in life but have more rapid cognitive decline as they age, including inflammation in the hippocampus, a key region for memory. “This finding suggests that, at some point during aging, cannabinoid activity helps maintain normal cognitive functions in mice,” says Daniele Piomelli, professor of neurobiology, anatomy and biological chemistry at the University of California – Irvine, who was not associated with the study.

Piomelli cautions that the review doesn’t support the idea of using marijuana to improve brain aging among the elderly, not least because of its psychoactive effects. “This is definitely an important area of investigation but we are still far from a consensus,” he says.

Moreover, some of the research covered in the review had conflicting results. Although three clinical trials studied cannabinoids for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, these studies “did not provide a clear answer whether cannabinoids modify the progression or the outcome of the disease,” wrote Bilkei-Gorzo. He found similar results for Huntington’s Disease, which, like Parkinson’s, is a progressive, degenerative brain disorder. And for the most common form of dementia, “Despite the promising preclinical results, the detailed clinical evaluation of cannabinoids in [Alzheimer’s] patients is missing,” he said in the paper.

The social and political challenges to conducting such research, however, mean that it may be a while before we see such scientific gaps filled. Scientists have yet to conduct, for example, a solid study in which they follow marijuana smokers to see if they are more or less likely to develop Alzheimer’s— or to compare the cognitive decline of marijuana smokers to those who do not smoke. Doing so is too controversial to attract funding.

“In my experience, working in this area is like touching the third rail,” says Wenk, “I get hate and love mails that are bizarre and phone messages from people too high to talk. Some of my colleagues have left the area after seeing their names in the National Enquirer… I do not blame a war on marijuana but rather the public’s prejudice and extreme bias. I’ve now discontinued my research on this system.”

He and others in the field are not completely pessimistic, however. He says, “I’ve been trying to find a drug that will reduce brain inflammation and restore cognitive function in rats for over 25 years; cannabinoids are the first and only class of drugs that have ever been effective. I think that the perception about this drug is changing and in the future people will be less fearful.”

Given that Alzheimer’s already affects one in eight people over 65— and nearly half of those over 85—and there have been few successes at treating or preventing it so far, that would certainly be a welcome change.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/29/how-cannabinoids-may-slow-brain-aging/#ixzz2Bsy1moPC