episode #347

Muscles, Nutrition & Supplements to Temper Cognitive Decline with Dr. Tommy Wood


Dr. Tommy Wood discusses the importance of nutrition and exercise for brain health and cognitive function. He and Dr. Stephanie also explore the benefits of brain stimulation, continued learning to prevent cognitive decline and the impact of head injuries and concussions on cognitive function.

Dr. Tommy Wood and Dr. Stephanie explore the crucial links between muscle strength, nutrition, and brain health, addressing age-related decline and prevention. Dr. Wood also covers topics ranging from the impact of muscle on cognitive health to nutrition strategies for optimal aging. The episode also delves into systemic inflammation, omega-3s, and supplementation’s role in reducing cardiovascular risks.

Discover the fascinating connection between language learning and a healthy brain, followed by a deep dive into Dr. Wood’s specialization – head injuries. Gain valuable insights into injury mechanisms, metabolic demands, and effective strategies for acute and chronic stages of concussion.

Episode Overview:

00:00 Introduction to Dr. Tommy Wood
00:13 Sleep, Exercise, and Supplementation for Head Injury Recovery
02:59 Exercise and Cognitive Function: The Minimum Effective Dose
12:47 Importance of Muscle Quality and Evaluation
17:30 Strength Relative to Body Size Predicts Cognitive Function
22:16 Working on a Simple Predictor of Muscle Quality Based on Blood Tests
25:55 Understanding FFMI and Its Importance in Healthy Living
35:53 The Importance of Omega-3s and Brain Health
39:13 Debunking Myths About Omega-3s
45:11 Creatine Supplementation and Cognitive Function in Older Individuals
49:11 Complementary Roles of EPA and DHA in the Brain
52:35 The Importance of Eggs as a Primary Source of Choline
57:09 Age-Related Cognitive Decline and Lifestyle Factors
01:01:59 Stimulating the Brain for Optimal Cognitive Function
01:10:56 The Benefits of Coordination-Based Movements and Social Activities
01:14:06 Pushing Boundaries and the Importance of Failure for Learning
01:19:16 Defining a Concussion: Impact on Neuronal Function
01:22:06 The Traumatic Impact of an Accident
01:24:57 The Challenges of Concussion Research and Individual Variations
01:27:58 Exploring the Role of Sex Effects in Brain Injuries
01:30:35 Lack of Evidence for Cooling Caps and Devices in Concussion Treatment
01:34:21 Palm Cooling Not Effective for Brain Temperature Control
01:37:57 Ketone Bodies Show Promise, but More Research Needed
01:41:12 Importance of Sleep and Supplements for Concussion Recovery


Tommy Wood MD, PhD is a neuroscientist, elite-level professional, and performance consultant to world-class athletes in a dozen sports. He received an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge, a medical degree from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in physiology and neuroscience from the University of Oslo. Tommy is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience at the University of Washington and a Visiting Scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. His research focuses on brain health and brain injury treatment across the lifespan, as well as developing easily accessible methods with which to track health, performance, and longevity in both professional athletes and the general population. Tommy serves as deputy editor of the Wiley Journal Lifestyle Medicine, is a Director of the British Society for Lifestyle Medicine, and consults for several digital health companies and charities that focus on how lifestyle and the environment can affect long-term health and chronic disease.

Resources mentioned

Cod Liver Oil

Dr. Tommy’s Podcast

Citicoline (Cognizin) in the treatment of cognitive impairment

Thorne Vitamins

Connect with Dr. Tommy on

Website drtommywood.com

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I’m Dr. Stephanie

Part geek, part magic, and all the way passionate about being a well-lived woman.

I want to throw my grandkids in the air in my 70’s. I want to be squatting even more weight than I am now, and putting my OWN luggage in the overhead bin. Sound like weird goals? For me these are just some of the little things that represent a life well-lived.

My health is MY job – I’ll be damned if I rely on luck, ‘good genes’ or a cocktail of drugs that over promise and under deliver.

The Betty Body is my first book-baby, and a collection of what I’ve learned after thousands of clinical hours, hundreds of conversations with the world’s top experts, and most importantly…

This book is an outline of what took ME from “rock-bottom health” at 38, to being my own version of a Betty in my perimenopausal mid 40’s. A woman who is physically strong, full of energy, enjoys mental clarity, great sex and a joyful family life. Is it all roses? Of course not. But I have the stamina and tools to deal with the push and pull of life so that it doesn’t turn into chronic stress.

I want this for you too. Let’s go Bettys!