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PSA: Caring For Your Heart Now Can Slow Down Brain Aging Later On

Morgan Chamberlain
mbg Supplement Editor By Morgan Chamberlain
mbg Supplement Editor
Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition.
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A new longevity study from The Lancet reveals that education level, socioeconomic status, and cognitive performance as a child have very little to do with brain longevity. But one key organ and health factor does: your heart.

Specifically, evidence suggests suboptimal cardiovascular health in middle-aged individuals is the biggest contributing factor to brain aging and lower cognitive performance later in life—especially among men.

The brain longevity study.

The study's participants come from Insight 46—a subset of the world's longest continuously running birth cohort, the 1946 British National Birth Cohort. Now in their 70s, individuals within this narrow-age birth cohort were all born in the U.K. during the same week in 1946. 

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Since then, the cohort study has contributed to 24 prospective waves of incredibly valuable data collection to gain a better understanding of population health and well-being over time—including MRI and PET imaging, extensive cognitive assessments, physical exams, and blood-based biomarkers at age 70.

Using the MRI data, researchers compared each participant's brain age to their chronological age, coming up with what's called a brain-predicted age difference (brain-PAD). Researchers then used brain-PAD scores to determine what biological factors contribute to healthy brain aging.

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How health status throughout life impacts brain longevity.

Here's what the study found:

  • The brain-PAD score of female participants was 5.4 years younger than male participants. It's worth noting the average life expectancy of women in the U.K. is 2.3 years higher than men and likely contributes (at least in part) to the discrepancy of brain aging between the two sexes.
  • An increase in brain-PAD (again, a brain age that is higher than chronological age) was associated with lower cognitive performance.
  • Additionally, suboptimal cardiovascular health at ages 36 and 69 (based on cholesterol levels, blood pressure, smoking status, etc.) significantly increased brain-PAD scores, particularly in male participants.

Interestingly, demographics and health factors earlier in life (i.e., childhood and early adulthood) had practically no impact on participants' brain-PAD scores. 

Rather, how participants cared for their bodies (especially their cardiovascular health after the age of 30) had the biggest impact on cognitive performance and brain longevity in their 70s.

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The takeaway.

It's never too early to start thinking about your cognitive longevity (though this study suggests it's especially important once you hit middle age!). 

Thankfully, there are numerous brain-healthy habits you can implement today to support your cognitive health down the road—such as exercising, getting high quality sleep, and taking a comprehensive nootropic supplement that supports brain longevity.* 

mbg’s brain health+ features three nootropic ingredients—neuronutrient citicoline, potent antioxidant resveratrol, and unique botanical kanna—in clinically rooted doses to promote blood flow to your brain, enhance mental sharpness, and bolster cognitive performance.* 

(To learn what industry-leading neurologists and psychiatrists have to say about the brain guard+ formula, check out their expert reviews here.)

brain guard+
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(17)
brain guard+

brain guard+

Brain nutrition for cognitive performance and mental clarity*

brain guard+

brain guard+

Brain nutrition for cognitive performance and mental clarity*

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(17)
brain guard+

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