Mike Zielinski

Mike Zielinski

Not to put a downer on what hopefully is a truly delicious day for you but ultimately, we’re all dead men.

Which doesn’t mean we can’t have fun while we’re engaged in life’s brutal endgame struggle. It’s best to squeeze life until the juice runs. Navigate this world with a swagger and a snarl and you can control your destiny as much as possible.

Of course, it helps if you have most of your faculties. Indeed, the toll of advancing years has this knack of making some of us mind-blown, brain-bruised, stupefied and mystified.

And it all starts with gradual memory loss. Today you forget whether you actually did shampoo, tomorrow you forget your name and by next week you twinkle with the unbalance of a madman.

Oh, well. When you’re as airy as a soufflé, you won’t even notice. Well, some things are what they are. After all, you can’t make a chicken bark. But there are things you can do to avoid memory loss.

Like pumping folic acid into your system. At least that’s what some Dutch scientists said way back in in 2005. And, yes, it’s true. The Dutch actually do have scientists. Evidently the Dutch moved onto other endeavors since they plugged the hole in the dike.

Oops, I almost forgot the point of this column.

Obviously, I need to pop a folic acid pill,. Because these Dutchmen postulated that such a pill just might slow the mental decline of aging, since then it is widely believed that folic acid can slow age-related cognitive and memory decline.

The Dutch research added to mounting evidence that a diet higher in foliate could spare us from becoming hollowed-out shells in our dotage.

Foliate – its synthetic version is called folic acid – is a water-soluble B vitamin. Besides slowing brain drain, it is a major component of prenatal vitamins in preventing major birth defects as well as protecting against a variety of cancers, helping prevent heart disorders and stroke, assisting in building muscle and forming hemoglobin, and playing an essential role in mitigating the impact of mental and emotional disorders.

If folic acid could also prevent tooth decay, male pattern baldness and arthritis, it truly would be hailed as supernatural.

While folate can be found naturally in foods like leafy greens, fruits, yeast and meat, folic acid is generally taken in its supplement form.

Since I’m now playing on the back nine of my life, my particular interest in folic acid is its effects on slowing brain drain. With every shower I glance down to make sure none of my brain is circling the drain.

Granted, depending on what sort of life we’ve led, perhaps it’s not always a bad thing to be hijacked from our memories by the time our wrinkles begin posing as beef jerky. But for good people like you and me, pop those folic acid pills at the first peep of dawn every day. Because if you wait until the day fades into dusk, you’ll forget.

Mike Zielinski, a resident of Berks County, is a columnist, novelist, playwright and screenwriter.

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