Absolutely vital nutritional supplements for your brain!
Healthy Brain SPECT Scan
Alzheimer's Disease Brain Scan
Reprinted by permission from Amen Clinics
More Nuclear Imaging of Brains
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At the MIT Media Lab, Ed Boyden, a Neuroengineer, leads the Synthetic Neurobiology Group, which invents technologies to reveal how cognition and emotion arise from brain networks -- and to enable systematic repair of disorders such as epilepsy and PTSD.
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Neuro-surgeon Limb thinks that at least a reasonable hypothesis is that, to be creative, you have to have this weird dissociation in your frontal lobe. One area turns on, and a big area shuts off, so that you're not inhibited, so that you're willing to make mistakes, so that you're not constantly shutting down all of these new generative impulses.
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Learn preventive nutritional methods & how to protect your own brain with the highest grade of professional brand nutrients on the planet!
The brain is the most complicated organ in the universe. It is estimated that the brain has 100 billion Information in the brain travels at the speed of 268 miles per hour, unless of course you are drunk, which really slows things down. and more connections in it than there are stars in the universe. Even though the brain is only about 2% of your body’s weight, it uses about 25% of the calories you consume. If you take a piece of brain tissue the size of a grain of sand, it contains 100,000 neurons and a billion connections all talking to one another. If you are not thoughtful, the brain loses an average of 85,000 brain cells a day, or one per second.
The brain is the organ of loving, learning, behaving, intelligence, personality, character, belief and knowing. Yes, it is you! "I think, therefore I am" comes from the beauty and complexity of your brain. And, consciousness can be snuffed out or diminished due to brain damage if one does not consider the nutritional needs of one's brain. So, read on as your brain cannot be replaced....
OMEGAS AND KRILL OIL
The brain relies on the delicate essential fats that make up much of its structure and are critical for brain cell function. An ideal human diet would contain an equal balance of poly-unsaturated fats of the Omega 3 and Omega 6 types with a 1:1 ratio. Unfortunately the modern diet is heavily weighted toward the Omega 6 fatty acids tilting the ratio to 20:1 or 30:1. This imbalance favors inflammation and robs the brain of the types of fats it needs to function well, those being primarily EPA and DHA.
EPA and DHA are essential for the building of the brain and brain extensions, such as the eyes, particularly the retina. It's an added benefit that the omega 3 fatty acids also help lower triglyceride levels and reduce inflammation, which takes on more importance as we age.
Although you can eat more cold-water fish to tip the balance back toward an omega ratio more favorable to the brain, that method carries with it a slightly increased toxic burden from the bad stuff that can also be stored in the fat of the fish alongside the Omega 3s due to environmental contamination. Hence, we recommend taking any one of the following pure fish oil preparations in the recommended dosage from manufacturers that use a method called molecular distillation to remove heavy metals, such as mercury, pesticides, PCBs, dioxins, and other pollutants:
Recommended dosage 1-2 grams per day
NordicNaturals Pharmaceutical grade EPA/DHA Omega oils from the purest oceans of the world
You may choose to take Krill Oil instead of pure fish oil, and here's why. Spend a little more money -- it's your brain, not your car!! And, your brain cannot be replaced.
As a rule small fish get eaten by bigger fish who get eaten by BIGGER fish, which means that the higher it is on the food chain, the greater the opportunity for all the toxins and metals from the fish it's eaten to be concentrated in its fat.
Krill, tiny shrimp-like creatures, inhabit the lowest rung of the food ladder, dining mainly on plankton, which are the actual Omega 3 factories. As a result, krill enjoy a low risk of being contaminated by the mercury or other toxins present in their large fish cousins. Krill represent the largest biomass in the ocean. Their oil is the best source of essential brain fats available on the planet.
(Maybe this is why dolphins are having so much fun!)
Not only does krill oil provide substantial amounts of EPA and DHA but it also contains a rich supply of another group of critical fatty substances necessary for brain and nerve cell membranes to function properly: phospholipids, which play important roles in signal transmission, in energy generation, and in the construction of the insulation coating myelin, which helps speed the conduction along the brain's communication pathways like a mega-hertz high speed computer.
The Omega 3 fatty acids in krill oil are bound to these phospholipids. This unique relationship greatly facilitates the passage of the fatty acid molecules through your intestinal wall making them much more bioavailable (easily incorporated by the body). The predominant phospholipids in krill oil is phosphatidylcholine, making it a rich source of choline, which many studies have demonstrated as being important in brain development, learning, and memory. It is also the precursor for the vital memory neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACH).
Krill oil also naturally contains high concentrations of a number of healthy antioxidant compounds that not only protect the krill oil, but also protect your brain when you consume it. These include Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Canthasanthin, and Astaxanthin. The latter forms a special linkage with EPA and, thus making it more readily available to the body than other antioxidants on the market. For this reason, while consumption of fish oil breaks down, and therefore decreases your body's antioxidant concentration, krill oil actually increases levels of antioxidants in the body.
If you obtain Krill Oil in gel caps, do not store in the refrigerator as the gel caps weep and stick together. Just keep them in a cool, dry, dark place. Recommended dosage 2-4 capsules per day of Antarctic pure Neptune Krill Oil. After 30 days, one capsule per day is sufficient to maintain the fatty acids required for your brain health.
ACETYL L-CARNITINE (ALC)
Carnitine is an amino acid found in meat. Carnitine acts in the body in the energy-production department, oiling the wheels of the mechanism that ferries fats into the mitochondria within each cell of the body, where they are burned for energy.
Acetyl L-Carnitine is carnitine with a chemical attachment - the acetyl group, which makes it particularly useful for the brain. ALC serves to drive fat molecules efficiently into the energy furnaces to boost energy production. The acetyl part promotes the manufacturing of the memory messenger acetylcholine, which is needed for both the storage of new memories and the retrieval of older memories. ALC offers protective benefits to the brain cells. It works to keep a lid on free radical production, which protects the delicate fats in the brain from being damaged by oxygen, and going rancid (oxidized fats - that's why we recommend anti-oxidants!).
ALC also retards the age-related drop in nerve growth factors, such as brain -derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF), which helps rebuild new brain and nerve tissues. ALC serves to protect the myelin sheath (which helps speed conduction along the brain's communication pathways).
Recommended dosage 100-500 milligrams.
ALPHA LIPOIC ACID (ALA)
For anti-oxidants to do their work - neutralizing the harmful effects of free-radicals - they must take the fight to the neighborhood where free-radicals breed and thrive. This means in and around the energy-generating powerhouse - the mitochondria.
Some anti-oxidants cannot get to the mitochondria. For example, Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene can dissolve in water but are repelled by oil and fat. Others, such as CoQ10, can dissolve in oil and fat but not in water. Alpha Lipoic Acid dissolves in either water, fat or oil, which gives it a major advantage over other anti-oxidants in getting to where the free-radicals live.
Why, you ask? The outside surface of every cell or every mitochondrion or intracellular compartment in the body is a fatty membrane or shell that encloses the watery interior of the cell. Because oil and water do not mix, it is difficult for the fat-soluble antioxidants to move around in the watery portion and for the water-soluble antioxidants to get through the fatty cell membrane. Alpha Lipoic Acid is a "switch hitter" that can easily navigate through both the fatty outer layer and the watery inner portion of the cell. ALA can even take its free-radical quenching power straight through to the mitochondria, where most of the free radicals arise.
ALA is manufactured in small amounts in the body, but it declines dramatically as we age - when we need it more! ALA can cross the blood brain barrier and gain entry into the brain cells and its mitochondria where it protects the delicate fats from oxidizing and becoming rancid.
There are few good food sources for ALA. We would have to eat 7 pounds of spinach (Yikes, Mom!!) to get just 1 milligram of ALA! The miracles of modern technology come to the rescue with good nutritional supplements.
Recommended dosage 50-300 milligrams per day.
COENZYME Q10 (CoQ10)
CoQ10 is a fat or oil soluble antioxidant found in the cellular membranes and within the interior of every one of the trillions of cells in the body. Its highest concentrations are found in the mitochondria in the most metabolically active tissues: brain, heart, kidneys, and liver.
Although we can get some CoQ10 from foods such as salmon, liver and other organ meats, it's almost impossible to get enough from diet alone. The body does not make CoQ10. Therefore, supplementation with this key nutrient is important for anyone who cares about preserving and optimizing brain health.
Recommended dosage 25 - 100 milligrams per day, 300 milligrams per day for statin users. Recommended form encapsulated in an oil base (usually rice bran oil).
DOPAMINE - body's primary catecholamines
Dopamine is essential for the normal functioning of the central nervous system and is associated with attention, learning, movement, balance, and mood regulation. This may be necessary in the clinical support of degenerative neurological disorders related to dopamine activity, such as Parkinson's disease and dopa-responsive dystonia (DRD).
VITAMIN D - The Sunshine Vitamin
When sunlight hits the skin it acts on cholesterol naturally making vitamin D. When sunlight hits the skin it triggers the brain's production of serotonin, the "feel good" neurochemical. This effect accounts for why getting out in the sunshine makes most of us happier and why sunlight deprivation makes us feel blue.
Beyond elevating mood, vitamin D is both a potent antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent. As an anti-inflammatory, it protects the brain against the toxic effects of the inflammatory compounds that increase in all humans as they age. Inflammatory compounds will ultimately disrupt the cell-to-cell communication connections, short-circuit memory, and can lead to cell death if not treated. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that can readily enter the brain delivering a one-two punch against both inflammation and free radical oxidation.
Recommended dosage 400 IU to no more that 2,000 IU per day - note that Vitamin D can store in the body making it possible to build up to toxic levels.
Taurine is a naturally occurring sulfa-containing amino acid that plays a key role in the development and well-being of brain and nerve cells. In the brain, its primary action is to exert a relaxing effect that offers a counterbalance to overexcitement brought on by too much calcium. Taurine steps in when an excess of calcium flow into the brain cell or when exposure to excitotoxic compounds, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) leads to calcium overload. A sudden rise in calcium within the brain cell spurs a release of taurine, which acts like a fire extinguisher to quiet the riot and protect the cell from damage. Taurine and magnesium work as a team to balance overstimuation of nerve cells.
Research has shown that taurine is low in people with Alzheimer's and diabetes. Supplementation appears to raise the level of free taurine in the blood and in the fluid that surrounds the brain. Research has shown that adding taurine to the diet increases brain levels of acetylcholine (ACH), the most critical neurotransmitter involved in memory. As ACH levels fall, memory fails. Making more ACH available to the brain's communication network improves memory.
Recommended dosage 1 gram each morning and 1 gram each evening.
Vinpocetine is an extract of the periwinkle plant, vinca minor. It is recommended for the elderly and those with known atherosclerotic disease (hardening of the arteries) or with other medical conditions known to contribute to artery hardening, such as diabetes or insulin resistance syndromes. Hardening of the arteries in the heart predisposes the patient to heart attack; in the extremities it can cause muscle cramping and difficulty walking. In the head and neck, the narrowing of arteries by plaque cuts blood flow to a trickle, depriving the brain of sufficient oxygen, glucose, and other nutrients necessary to function properly, so that thinking, reaction speed, and memory decline. Hardening of the arteries in the brain also increases the possibility of having a stroke.
Physicians in Europe and Japan have used supplemental vinpocetine for more than 20 years to treat people for conditions caused by inadequate blood flow to the brain. Results from more than 50 clinical studies demonstrate its usefulness in improving blood flow to the brain, promoting better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, assisting the brain cells in powering themselves more effectively, and even helping prevent the formation of blood clots in tiny arteries.
In addition, vinpocetine is a potent antioxidant capable of enhancing the power of other antioxidants, such as Alpha Lipoic Acid, CoQ10, Vitamins A, C, and E; and the group of more than 5,000 flavonoid compounds found in fruits, vegetables, and spices. It has also demonstrated an ability to protect brain cells from excessive stimulation, which occurs early on in the cascade of events triggered when blood flow to a section of the brain diminishes markedly.
Although potentially beneficial for all brains, we consider vinpocetine a required nutrient for people with artery narrowing that results in vascular dementia. Because of its blood thinning action, people who take blood thinners, such as Coumadin, should use vinpocetine only under a doctor's supervision.
Recommended dosage 5-10 milligrams twice daily
Huperzine, a botanical extract, is an extract of Huperzine serata or a Chinese club moss. For centuries Chinese medical practitioners used this to treat swelling, fever inflammation, and to enhance memory in the elderly.
Huperzine A acts to prevent the breakdown of the most important brain chemical involved in memory - Acetylcholine (ACH) in much the same way that current prescription medications, such as Aricept. By slowing down the breakdown of ACH, Huperzine A allows more ACH to remain available to the communication network in the brain. At the rate that brain cells talk to each other, even extending ACH's useful life by a few milliseconds can make a profound difference in memory and focus in young and old.
Huperzine A acts as a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. By limiting the flow of calcium into brain cells, it promotes cell survival and protects against over stimulation and excitotoxicity. It acts in the same way as Namenda, one of the newest drugs to treat Alzheimer's disease. Huperzine A does so with far less for unpleasant or dangerous side effects. Because Huperzine A slows the breakdown of ACH, people with seizure disorders, heart rhythm disturbances, emphysema, ulcers, or enlarged prostate should consult with their physicians before taking this supplement.
WARNING; Huperzine and Huperzine A is contra-inidicated if you are currently taking Aricept prescribed by your MD.
Recommended dosage Huperzine 75 - 100 micrograms twice a day for adults; 50 micrograms twice daily for adolescents; only under medical supervision for younger children. Synthetically manufacture red supplements are amenable to precise dosing; for Chinese herbal form, the product should be third-party tested to ensure that it contains what it should and is free of heavy-metal contamination.
The B Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Folic Acid, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, Choline
The B-Vitamin Group are abolutely critical nutrients for the brain-related tasks, from driving energy-generating pathways to balancing hormone levels, to helping manufacture neurotransmitters (chemical-signaling messengers) such as acetylcholine.
Vitamin B12 and Folate are necessary for the formation of myelin. Deficiency of these two vitamins in the adult can result in severe weakness, loss of mental function, and depression of mind and motion, and if left uncorrected can lead to memory loss and even dementia. It is absolutely mandatory that pregnant women get The B Vitamin Group as deficiency has shown to result in brain defects in the infant and/or spina bifida.
The B Vitamins are water soluble and not stored in the body or body fat. The B Vitamins MUST be present in the diet every day. As the American diet often does not provide these vital nutrients on a daily basis, it is absolutely mandatory for optimal brain functioning to supplement of the B Vitamin Group with nutritional supplements.
If you are concerned about preserving, restoring or improving brain function and memory, we recommend supplementation of B Vitamins complex containing the entire Vitamin B Group.
Recommended dosage: take one DFH B-Supreme capsule per day with a meal.
Magnesium is plentiful in dark green leafy vegetables and nuts. Magnesium is the brain's calcium channel blocker, able to put the brakes on excessive flow of calcium ions into the brain or nerve cells. The flow of excessive calcium actually over stimulates the brain cell and will destroy it. Pharmaceutical companies have spent billions of dollars in developing drugs that slow down the entry of calcium into the cells (Namenda), but magnesium chelate works in similar fashion without the potential for side effects and at substantially less cost.
Research has shown that magnesium supplementation improves memory and other troublesome symptoms in patients with dementia. Magnesium not only slows down the degree of brain/nerve cell excitement by calcium flow, but also acts to increase the forces within the cell that offset excitement, leading to a better balance to these opposing forces. This action accounts for its ability to relax tight muscles and facilitate restful sleep.
Recommended Dosage: 200 milligrams for a few weeks, advance to 400 milligrams, and then to 600 milligrams as intestinal tolerance permits. Recommended form: Magnesium Chelate.
All recommended dosage amounts for all Vital Brain Nutritional Supplements are for adults; adolescent and teen dosages should be cut in one-half of the adult dosage.
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If your budget is modest consider:
Brain Vitale • Neurolink • Omega3 or Krill Oil
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