TN50#119, Protect the Brain, 5 June 2023

Hi Team,

Happy Monday and welcome to The Next 50 #119.  I like to think of personal performance in 3 parts: physical, mental and emotional; my frameworks focus on 4 Buckets: Eat, Sleep, Move and Think.  This blog is my sandbox for sharing information that you might find useful regarding your personal performance.

Are you worried about your brain?  You may remember that I’ve mentioned on multiple occasions that my scariest personal future imaginable is one in which I lose my mind to some form of dementia.  So if you’re like me and don’t want to lose your mind OR you have people in your life who may eventually suffer from dementia related disease please read on.

Let’s get right to it: “Nearly 50 percent of all dementias, including Alzheimer’s, begins with the breakdown of the smallest blood vessels in the brain and their protective “gatekeeper cells,” according to a Keck School of Medicine of USC study.” (

The reference to “gatekeeper” cells is what we generally call the “blood brain barrier”.  We should all agree that being very proactive in protecting these very tiny blood vessels and the blood brain barrier is a must.

Here are 3 things you should be doing right now to protect those tiny blood vessels:

  1. Keep your Omega3 levels high, this includes EPA, DHA and SPMs. I am not a big fish eater, so I take a lot of Omega3 supplements, Thorne and Nordic Naturals are two brands I like and both are available on Amazon!
  2. Don’t skip the Aerobic Exercise. You want to spend time at a minimum of 80% of max HR; which corelates with it being very hard to have a conversation but not impossible, also know as Zone 2 training.  Obviously, there are a lot of ways to get above the 80% max HR threshold besides Zone 2, Most CrossFit (HIIT) WODs get you well above there as well as Tabata and other sprint protocols.
  3. Maintain healthy blood pressure; plenty of exercise, good sleep and regular dry sauna use are key players in maintaining healthy blood pressure.

If you have been reading my blog for a while you know that all 3 of these items are already on my To Do list and that I think they should be on your To Do list as well.  So if your already maintaining high omega 3’s, hitting your aerobic training for hours a week and maintaining low blood pressure pat yourself on the back for looking out for the smallest blood vessels in your brain.

Hat Tip to Dr. Rhonda Patrick, this blog is just a taste of her discussion with Dr. Axel Montagne.  The entire discussion and show notes are here.

As always share the post with your team and anyone who might find it useful and let me know what you think!

Have a good one, Alex

PS. Concerned about dementia? Here’s the good news. The same personal performance factors that support avoiding heart disease, cancer and metabolic disease also support avoiding or degrading dementia related diseases.  If you’d like help improving your personal performance as an individuals or group, please let me know: