How ‘normal’ blood pressure accelerates brain aging

If you worry about developing dementia as you age, losing your memory and finding yourself unable to care for yourself, you might be taking steps to keep your brain healthy.

More and more people are realizing that poor brain health doesn’t have to be a “normal” part of aging and are making lifestyle changes to keep dementia at bay.

However, if you want to keep your brain young, but are only focusing on the organ itself, you could be setting yourself up for failure.

That’s because a study by researchers from the Australian National University found that while you’ve been thinking about your brain, your blood pressure’s been quietly accelerating its aging. And that increases your risks for heart disease, stroke and dementia.

Within the normal range? Think again!

The researchers examined more than 2,000 brain scans of 686 healthy individuals aged 44 to 76 across a 12-year period.  They then compared each scan with the participant’s blood pressure and determined their brain age (a gold-standard measurement for brain health).

And the results were worrisome for any of us with high blood pressure, as well as any of us relying on the changing definitions of what constitutes normal blood pressure.

Why?

Because the research revealed that people whose blood pressure was simply at the high end of normal were at risk for accelerated brain aging. Their brains even looked older on the scans.

Yes, you read that right…

When it comes to your brain, normal blood pressure isn’t good enough. It has to be optimal.

In fact, the research showed that optimal blood pressure helps our brains stay at least six months younger than our actual age. 

“This thinking that one’s brain becomes unhealthy because of high blood pressure later in life is not completely true,” said Professor Nicolas Cherbuin, Head of the ANU Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing.  “It starts earlier and it starts in people who have normal blood pressure.”  

The difference between normal and optimal

You’re probably wondering what in the world optimal blood pressure is and I can’t blame you.

For years, we’ve been told that our blood pressure was great as long as we kept it under 140/90. Then treatment guidelines for blood pressure changed to 130/80.

And now normal blood pressure is defined by pressure below 120/80.

Optimal on the other hand is still another number which the researchers say is closer to 110/70!  

So how do you maintain optimal blood pressure?

Well, when it comes to controlling blood pressure steps that are a must include exercise and reducing your intake of salt, alcohol, sugar, trans-fats and caffeine.

But supporting the health of our arteries is something we don’t think about. And we really should. After all, if you increase the water pressure to your garden hose… well, you get the picture.

Some nutrients can help your arteries maintain the healthy qualities, like flexibility, so they can better handle blood flow — like those found in Peak BP Platinum™, including:

  • Vitamin K2 – Vitamin K is known for its power to support healthy blood flow and helps maintain blood pressure levels within a normal range.
  • Grape Seed Extract – Grapes are packed with heart-healthy polyphenols that promote the nitric oxide your blood vessels need for healthy blood flow.
  • Pterostilbene – Found in blueberries, pterostilbene has antioxidant properties that support healthy circulation.
  • Green tea extract – Phytochemicals in green tea called catechins have been shown to support against oxidative stress, which can help keep your cardiovascular system strong.

Editor’s note: Uncover the myths surrounding hypertension and get the truth about easy, effective strategies for controlling blood pressure. Click here to discover Natural Ways to Reverse and Prevent Hypertension!

Sources:

Optimal blood pressure helps our brains age slower – EurekAlert!

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Virginia Tims-Lawson

By Virginia Tims-Lawson

Virginia Tims-Lawson has dedicated her life to researching and studying natural health after her mother had a stroke that left her blind in one eye at the age of 47, and her grandmother and two great uncles died from heart attacks. Spurred by her family history, Virginia’s passion to improve her and her family’s health through alternative practices, nutrients and supplements has become a mission she shares through her writing. She is the founder and Chief Research officer for Peak Pure & Natural.