Power Memory and Brain Health: Mitochondria Nutrients
Power Memory and Brain Health
By: Jerry Hickey, R. Ph. Follow on Google+
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As we age, our brain function slows down naturally. This happens for two main reasons. First off, there is a drop that occurs in the concentration of growth factors that repair spaces between nerves (known as the synaptic region). This leads to a slower healing process of the synapse and a decrease in the efficiency of nerve transmission – therefore, cell-to-cell communication falters. Secondly, the numerous tiny power plants called mitochondria found in each nerve cell become old and wrinkled. Their efficiency decreases, therefore decreasing the creation of energy in the brain.
As it turns out, we can retool these mitochondria in order to restore energy production in the brain. When energy production is restored, memory and brain efficiency improves. When the brain has adequate energy and efficiency, healing can then take place. You can literally restore your brain’s healing ability by restoring some level of function to its neurons (the brain’s nerve cells). This also protects the brain from the increased level of toxic free radicals that are generated as we age. Increased levels of toxic free radicals lead to deteriorating brain function and loss of cognitive function, resulting in poor memory.
With a proper cocktail of nutrients that address the health of these tiny power plants you can protect your brain, improve its health, and restore mental energy. You will most likely notice an improvement in focus, attention span, creativity, energy, mood, memory function and learning skills. This is especially true if you eat the right foods in addition to taking the correct supplements – your brain’s energy production and healing process are both likely to improve significantly, leading to improvement in brain metabolism as well. With the correct nutrients, supplements and diet, you can literally turn back the hands of time on an aging brain!
The nutrients ALCAR, ALA, and Ubiquinol are true mitochondrial nutrients that are known to restore function to brain cells by improving energy production and metabolism. DHA is a fat derived from fish that helps protect, restore, and improve the health and functionality of the brain. Foods very high in antioxidant value such as blueberries, spinach and Spirulina also help by improving the rate of healing in the brain. These nutrients and foods are known to restore the level of growth factors that heal the space between nerve cells. Healing these synaptic regions is very important for restoring all manners of brain function. By improving energy production and metabolism, as well as restoring the ability to heal, you may truly reverse aging in the brain to a degree – this is, of course, superior to simply slowing down the aging process.
Nutrients & Supplements
Ginkgo Biloba functions as an antioxidant for the brain and also restores circulation to the most advanced region of the brain, the cortex, where higher mental processes take place.
Phosphatidylserine occurs naturally in the body – it is part of the cell structure and is essential in the maintenance of brain function. Phosphatidylserine supplements are known to improve attention, language, and memory loss in aging people who suffer from inadequate brain function by promoting energy flow and cellular health.
NADH is known to aid in rebuilding the brain’s neurotransmitters as well as increase the production of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that either increases or decreases the activity of neurons (nerve cells). Proper dopamine production in the brain has a positive impact on memory, mood, strength, coordination, mobility and many more important brain functions. In addition to dopamine, NADH supplements may also improve the production of other neurotransmitters, including serotonin, norepinephrine and noradrenaline.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine, or ALCAR, is an amino acid, or a building block for proteins. It occurs naturally in the body and helps to produce energy. Its energy-boosting properties are crucial to proper brain function. ALCAR is also known to repair and produce new brain cells, as well as metabolize fat and cholesterol which prevents extra lipids from building up in the brain.
Huperzia Serrata, also referred to as Chinese Club Moss, is known to modestly improve the level of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter in the brain involved with memory and learning. Brain cells require acetylcholine to send and receive messages between brain cells and other body parts. Reduced levels of acetylcholine are associated with lower levels of cognitive activity – Huperzia Serrata may help support cognitive function in aging brains.
DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that naturally occurs throughout the body, particularly in the eyes, heart and brain. DHA ensures proper brain function and is known to support mental capacity, specifically in aging adults. DHA accomplishes this by providing fluidity to cell membranes, allowing the proper flow of energy for cellular communication. DHA has been shown to improve mood in those suffering from depression, as well as to reduce stress and anxiety, aid cognitive function, increase self-control and improve learning ability in both children and adults. It is a powerful protector of mental function in the elderly. DHA can be sourced from either fish or algae.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid is a powerful antioxidant – it is the currency for energy production; it creates the gasoline that fuels the engine. Alpha-Lipoic Acid has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, a wall of blood vessels and structural cells, to enter into the brain. Use of ALA supplements results in an improvement in mental energy, restoration of memory functions, improved verbal fluency, and a restoration of youth to the brain and nervous system.
Ubiquinol is the most technologically advanced form of Coenzyme Q10. Coenzyme Q10 is the spark plug for energy use and without it, you become tired and sluggish. Coenzyme Q10 has been studied and used for decades. Current research demonstrates its effectiveness for improving brain health. However, it is notoriously difficult to absorb and doesn’t work as well in the people who need it the most – the elderly and the unhealthy. These two groups of people have trouble converting Coenzyme Q10 to its active form. Ubiquinol is identical to the active form created in healthy young adults. Ubiquinol is easier to absorb, achieving higher blood and organ levels. Richer levels equates to greater results – improved mental function and greater brain protection.