- Dr. Allison Wills
Nutrients for Brain Health : Prevent Dementia
Heavy Metal Toxicity decreases blood flow to all areas of the body and is especially damaging to the brain and nervous system. Heavy Metal Toxicty is very common in society today - toxic metals are not only in our food and water, but also in the air we breathe. This is the #1 approach I would take to prevent Alzheimers and cognitive decline.
Taking antioxidant supplements can protect your brain from aging.
DHA & EPA: These essential fatty acids are necessary in neuron function and brain health as every neuron's membrane is composed of DHA. Both of these fats are highly anti-inflammatory and offer a number of different health benefits as well. 25% of brain fat is derived from DHA
Wild caught fish is the best source of DHA and EPA. If opting for supplementation, choose a quality brand that has been tested for mercury levels and contaminants. DHA is a delicate fat, prone to oxidization, another reason to choose quality brands.
Turmeric: Strong anti-inflammatory. All anti-inflammatories can help prevent neurodegeneration and slow the aging process. Turmeric specifically enhances growth of brain cells.
*Turmeric is poorly absorbed, consuming with fats and black pepper can increase bioavailability.
B-vitamins: Necessary for proper nervous system (and brain) function. Inadequate levels of B-vitamins can lead to inflammation. These vitamins are very fragile - they can be destroyed by microwave cooking or high heat and are easily depleted by pharmaceuticals. Some older individuals cannot absorb oral doses of B-vitamins and may require injections.
Carnitine: Readily converted into Acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter critical for learning and concentration. Acts a nerve cell energizer, essential for the production of energy in the mitochondria.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Required by the mitochondria for energy production. It also acts as a brain antioxidant to boost glutathione, the body's most important antioxidant.
Bonus: Alpha-Lipoic Acid can help to regulate glucose levels and may assist in weight loss.
Sources of Alpha-Lipoic Acid:
Vitamin D: Vitamin D acts as a hormone in the body, and functions to regulate enzymes in the brain involved in neurotransmitters and nerve growth. Vitamin D also protects neurons from damaging effects of toxins and reduces inflammation.
The best source is sunshine, but is not always properly absorbed and converted - be sure to check your levels to determine the correct dose for you.
Glycerophosphocholine: Largely composed of choline, which supports memory and the phospholipids protect the brain and nervous system.
Bonus: With proper administration, alpha-GPC can decrease appetite and increase growth hormone in athletes.
Foods that are rich in Choline include:
Micronutrient Testing identifies specific nutrients you may need to keep your mind healthy.
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