Search Term: " myelin sheath "
What Are The Health Benefits Of Vitamin B12?
August 28, 2018 09:53 AM
The array of array of nutrients that comprises B complex includes B12, a water-soluble vitamin, which is also called Cobalamin. The vitamin comes in many chemical forms. Nutritionists advocate getting the vitamin in its natural state through eating vitamin B12-rich foods, or through the use of supplements. As far as foods go, vitamin B12 is only available in animal form through animal products, such as dairy foods, beef, liver and chicken.
Once eaten, vitamin B12 converts complex carbohydrates into glucose, making the vitamin an essential component in providing energy. Vitamin B12 is also important to the human brain as it boosts cognition and impedes psychological disturbances. B12 also helps the body replicate DNA and create healthy red blood cells.
"For many ailments, experts recommend taking vitamin B12 rich foods or supplements."
Read more: https://www.epainassist.com/vitamins-and-supplements/what-are-the-health-benefits-of-vitamin-b12
Aging without disease: Scientists have discovered that nervous system function can be restored with proper lifestyle adjustments
December 08, 2017 03:59 PM
A recent study on the nervous systems of animals that have a longer life span has shown that damage from aging on nerve cells can be repaired, restoring normal function. This research is also helpful for people who suffer diseases of the nervous system such as Multiple Sclerosis. This study can lead to further research and human trials, repairing the myelin sheaths that protect nerve conduction from the usual wear that comes with normal aging.
"Myelin deteriorates when demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) target the nervous system, disrupting the flow of information between the brain and the body, and impairing the overall ability of the nervous system to function properly."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2017-12-05-aging-without-disease-scientists-have-discovered-that-nervous-system-function-can-be-restored-with-proper-lifestyle-adjustments.html
If You Feel Tired All The Time, You Really Need To Read This
December 16, 2016 02:59 PM
Feeling tired should not become part of your daily routine. When it happens every once in a while it is normal, but not every day. Many things can help like getting enough iron, vitamin b and folic acid. These can help you stay alert and get enough oxygen in your blood and throughout your body to stay active and energetic.
"Simply put, Hemoglobin is the blood protein present in the red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to most of your vital organs. It binds the iron and oxygen in the blood cells."
Brain 'fat' key to mental health
November 20, 2016 03:04 PM
A new study from the University of Nottingham has given us more insight into how the brain operates. More specifically, they researched how myelin sheaths around neurons in the brain help transmit electrical impulses to other parts of the brain. What they discovered is that the amount and functioning capability of the myelin sheath has a huge impact on how well the brain functions. This research could play a major role in how we treat brain diseases in the future.
"The research team previously pioneered new ways to measure the primary pathways of electrical transmission between brain regions."
Lion's Mane Mushroom; The Ultimate Natural Memory Enhancer
Lion’s Mane Mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) also bearded tooth mushroom, bearded hedgehog mushroom, or satyr's beard is an edible and medicinal mushroom indigenous to Europe, Asia, and North America.
Lion’s Mane for neuroprotection, brain function, and enhanced memory
Nootropic effect is perhaps the biggest draw of Lion’s Mane mushroom. Scientifically, the mushroom has been proven to have neuroprotective abilities as well as boost cognitive function such as enhancing memory. It’s also associated with the manufacture of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) which is a natural antidepressant. All these gives it the ability to help in maintaining attention and focus. It's therefore, a natural supplement for general brain function.
Other health benefits
Digestion aid - Lion’s mane contains glucan polysaccharides which improve stomach mucosa functioning that enhances digestion as well as protect the skin against aging. In addition, it contains cythan that aide in the treatment of esophagus cancer and peptic ulcers.
Enhances Immune System – the mushroom is rich in antioxidants, polysaccharides, beta-glucan and beta-glucoxylan that strengthens the immune system, by exhibiting immune-modulating features that decrease arthritis.
Lowers High Cholesterol – research carried on an animal indicated that the mushroom reduced 45% bad cholesterol and added 31% good cholesterol making it a substantial ingredient in cholesterol-free diets.
myelin sheaths Repairs- Lion’s mane does not show any toxicity when consumed. It also enhances myelin sheath growth. This explains why it’s used to treat multiple sclerosis and other conditions related to the central nervous system.
Lion's Main is a great supplement for older individuals looking to improve mental function.
What Is Solaray Phosphatidyl Serine?
January 04, 2013 01:00 PM
Phosphatidyl Serine : What are its Health Benefits?
Phosphatidyl serine is a popular medication for people who need to improve their memory and mental well-being. Not only does it work to improve your memory, it also has other health benefits to your body.
What is Phosphatidyl serine?
Each cell in your body has a membrane that protects its internal contents from the surrounding environment as well as control what enters the cell and what goes out. This serine is one of four major phospholipids that make up part of this membrane. This lipid is found in high concentrations in the cell membrane that surrounds the hippocampus of the brain, which is associated with your memory.
How does Phosphatidyl serine supplementation benefit you?
As you age, the cells around the hippocampus also lose their potential to fully function. This makes your mental processes to slow down. Providing your body with this serine will provide material necessary to rejuvenate the cell membrane, thus improving your memory. This compound is useful in stressful situations. Some situations need you to concentrate on what you are doing and yet you may be tired.
For example, you may face an exam which needs you to be at full concentration and be alert at all times. This serine helps boost your memory and concentration, which in turn increases your focus thus improve learning. When you get stressed, your body releases cortisol which damages the tissues of the hypothalamus in your brain. To reduce the effects of this hormone, you need Phosphatidyl serine to repair the tissues that have been damaged. This helps you to retain your memory after a stressful situation.
For your body to function properly, the cell membrane surrounding various organs has to be in good health. Phosphatidyl serine will work to improve the health of various membranes, such as myelin sheaths found in the central nervous system. The compound is found in small amounts in foods such as liver and soy, therefore it is advisable to use supplements which provide a high level of the compound.
Is Cod Liver Oil Good for My Health?
July 30, 2011 01:19 PM
Cod liver oil is a dietary supplement obtained from the liver of a group of fishes collectively known as cod. It is an all natural remedy for a diverse variety of disorders, and as such remains one of the most popular supplements to this day. Recent studies have confirmed many of its age-old health claims. It is now common knowledge that it aids joint health, treats skin conditions, and improves brain function.
Deactivates Pain Chemicals
The nutrient profile of cod liver oil makes it an excellent source of eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. These omega 3 fatty acids have long been identified by scientists as anti-inflammatory compounds. Numerous studies have documented that they exert an inhibitory effect on chemicals that sensitize tissues to pain, cause excessive inflammation, and bring on rheumatism.
Nourishes Joint Cartilage
Cod liver oil is a traditional treatment for joint pain characteristic of arthritis. In recent years, it has been noted as the leading therapeutic remedy for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Research has shown that it is capable of switching off enzymatic processes responsible for the destruction of cartilage tissue in arthritis. Also, its fatty acid content nourishes the proteins found in joint cartilage.
Protects Nervous Tissue
The myelin sheaths that insulate the axons of nerve cells located in the brain and spinal cord require fatty acids to support their physiological functions. In particular, DHA is the principal fatty acid that nourishes nervous tissue. Cod liver oil has been utilized as an adjunct medication for multiple sclerosis in studies, and reports suggest its potential as a mainstay of treatment for other neurological disorders.
Enhances Brain Function
In addition to their known role in the upkeep of myelin sheaths, fatty acids are directly involved in the development of brain function. In fact, they are a major component of breast milk. For years, nutrition experts have suggested consumptions of cod liver oil to combat neurodegenerative disorders as well as enhance cognitive capacities as it contains high levels of compounds proven as effective nootropics.
Alleviates Skin Conditions
The nutrient profile of cod liver oil is particularly good for the skin. Apart from the fact that it counters inflammatory agents that cause hypersensitive skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, it also promotes tensile strength and maintains skin elasticity. Cod liver oil is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, essential fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin, D, and vitamin E, all of which contribute to skin health.
Prevents Heart Disease
Cod liver oil maintains heart health and even reverses cardiovascular disorders. Medical professionals have supported this nutritional supplement as it has been clinically proven to cut the risk of heart disease. It alters the profile of lipids present in the blood and appears to reduce cholesterol. For decades, lower incidence of cardiovascular disorders has been tied to populations that consume high amounts of cod.
Can Vitamin B12 Boost Mental Alertness?
July 18, 2011 12:01 PM
The body needs various nutrients in order to make vital biological reactions possible. These bodily reactions are necessary for energy production, immune system enhancement and health improvement. These nutrients are classified into two, macro and micronutrients. In addition, these micronutrients are further divided into vitamins and minerals. These vitamins are needed by individuals to help the body grow normally. Vitamins can be supplied by the food we eat. However, the body can make certain vitamins such as vitamin D and K. Individuals who are in strict vegetable diet usually need vitamin B12 supplement. In this article, we will be focusing on Vitamin B 12 or also known as cyanocobalamin.
Vitamin B 12 is also a water– soluble vitamin. It is considered as essential because it is not produced by the body. Excellent sources of this vitamin include fish, shellfish, meat, milk and milk products. Vitamin B 12 is also available in supplements in combination with other vitamin B complex. Like the other B vitamins, vitamin B 12 is also necessary in maintaining healthy brain cells and in the normal production of red blood cells. Riboflavin is also a component of DNA which is the cells’ genetic material. Vitamin B 12 in the stomach combines with a substance called intrinsic factor so that it can be absorbed into the blood stream.
Vitamin B 12 boosts mental alertness because it facilitates normal formation of body cells most especially the nerve cells. Vitamin B 12 is also an important component of the myelin sheath. myelin sheath is necessary for the proper functioning of the nerves. myelin sheath functions by increasing the speed of the movement of the impulse. With the presence of myelin sheath, the impulse hops from one sheath to another instead of just moving continuously along the nerve fiber. This is the reason why vitamin B 12 is commonly employed for boosting mental alertness and concentration. In fact, it is also commonly employed for treatment of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin B 12 can also help lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases by decreasing the concentration of homocysteine in the blood stream. Studies show that high levels of homocysteine can greatly lead to atherosclerosis which is the narrowing of arterial walls. It can also increase the tendency of abnormal blood clotting thus increasing the risk of clotting – related disorders. These factors can precipitate heart attacks and cerebrovascular accidents or commonly known as stroke.
Another function of vitamin B 12 is its involvement with energy metabolism in every cell of the body. Therefore, vitamin B 12 is not only good for enhancing mental alertness but also increasing energy levels. It is also required by the body so that other nutrients from the diet can be absorbed and readily utilized by the cells.
Vitamin B 12 is relatively safe. It usually comes in combination with other B vitamins in the form of tablets, capsules, or liquid which can be bought over –the – counter.
Can Vitamin B12 Boost Mental Alertness, Improve Stress Tolerance And Circulation?
June 28, 2011 10:58 AM
Can Vitamin B12 Boost Mental Alertness?
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient often added to energy boosters. It plays a central role in DNA synthesis in red blood cells, and deficiency leads to poor circulation of compounds necessary for brain health. It has been observed that the absence of this vitamin in the human diet for prolonged periods of time causes memory impairment, such as brain fog, or permanent damage to nervous tissue.
Also known as cobalamin, vitamin B12 is the only vitamin that contains the mineral cobalt, a chemical element that is considered rare at the cellular level, albeit essential in trace amounts. It was first linked to pernicious anemia, a condition that has been linked to cognitive impairment and neuropathic pain. In recent years, it has been suggested that this vitamin makes a healthy substitute for caffeine.
Prevents Brain Atrophy
Supplementation of vitamin B12 has been linked to the prevention and treatment of many known mental infirmities, such as depression, anxiety, and even Alzheimer’s disease. There is scientific consensus that cobalamin and other compounds that exhibit vitamin B12 activity inside the human body protect nerve cells from damage and modulate functions of the nervous system.
Several studies have noted that neuronal activities are impaired in the absence of cobalamin molecules in the body. On the other hand, their continued availability prevents brain atrophy. Vitamin B12 is necessitated in the production of myelin, which insulates nerve cells. When the myelin sheaths of neurons become fragile, the proper functioning of the nervous system is compromised.
Improves Stress Tolerance
Poor mental function often referred to as brain fog has been associated with numerous medical conditions, including sleep disorders, muscle weakness, and the like. Not surprisingly, these health problems result from physical exhaustion amid compromised nutritional well-being since all organic processes that take place in the human body must receive proper nourishment and adequate rest time.
In the event of chronic stress, regular intake of vitamin B12 provides a stronger resistance to physical fatigue. While cobalamin compounds are not a cure all for physical exhaustion and bad nutrition, they have shown great promise in improving stress tolerance. People subjected to physically demanding tasks or seemingly unending routines are certain to benefit from vitamin B12 supplements.
Promotes Healthy Circulation
Good nutrition is a component of a healthy lifestyle. Individuals who lead very active lives for long periods of time are able to do so because they get the right combinations of nutrients. Most athletes are conscious of their calorie intake and make sure they get the right amounts of nutrients in the form of supplements. In particular, vitamin B12 is an indispensable part of vitamin supplementation.
One of the few vitamins that are crucial to the upkeep of circulatory system is vitamin B12. Cobalamin is directly involved in DNA synthesis required for proper formation of red blood cells, and their presence promotes the normal functioning of red blood cells. The scientific community is convinced that this vitamin is responsible for healthy circulation, which contributes to mental clarity.
Essential Fatty Acids
July 24, 2008 11:19 AM
A balance in essential fatty acids is crucial for many bodily functions. It promotes good overall health as well. Particularly, omega-3 fatty acids are essential for human development and achieving good health throughout life. The tissues of the body require omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in order to function properly. There are many conditions that are improved by supplementing with omega-3 oils including high cholesterol levels, prevention of strokes, cancer prevention/treatment, psoriasis and eczema, heart disease, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Diets that are high in saturated fat are often linked with high blood-cholesterol levels, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease such as coronary heart disease and stroke. Many diet therapies that aim to reduce the build-up of cholesterol and risk of CHD focus mainly on reducing the total and saturated fat intake. Dietary interventions that reduce saturated fat intake by simply three percent could even prevent about 100,000 new cases of coronary heart disease within the next 7 years. Once dietary saturated fats are decreased, they may be replaced with polyunsaturated fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids that lower both total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol.
Although a person’s genetic inheritance has a lot to do with the likelihood of developing heart disease, it is becoming increasingly clear that modifying your lifestyle can improve the effects of your genes. Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S., but people can reduce their risk by adopting prevention habits. Some of the most crucial tactics are avoiding smoking, maintaining a desirable blood cholesterol level, keeping blood pressure in the normal range, and regularly engaging in aerobic exercise. Along with these lifestyle habits, alpha-linolenic acid can be taken as supplementation to improve the body’s ability to fight heart disease.
Alpha-linolenic acid has also been shown to lower the risk of stroke, which is the third leading cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to lower blood pressure by small but significant amounts and have also been able to lower levels of hypertension. Essential fatty acids also have the ability to reduce inflammation of the synovial fluid in the joints, which means that they can help in rheumatoid arthritis, a disease that affects at least forty million people in the United States.
Multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system that destroys myelin sheaths that cover the nerve and creates inflammation, has symptoms including blurred vision, dizziness, numbness, weakness, tremors, slurred speech, and staggering. Studies have shown that multiple sclerosis is at least partially caused by the deficiency of prostaglandins, which are produced from essential fatty acids.
Psoriasis, a skin disease that is characterized by patches of scaly skin on the knees, elbows, and scalp, but possibly anywhere, is considered essentially incurable by conventional methods, but dietary methods have offered some hope. Because of its rich essential fatty acid content, flaxseed oil is one of the natural therapeutic agents suggested for psoriasis. There is some evidence that suggests that a consistent supply of omega-3 oils may help to prevent fat-sensitive types of cancers, as well as inhibit breast, colon, prostate, and pancreatic cancers.
Lipid content by percentage
May 13, 2008 04:54 PM
Phosphatidylcholine (PC) 68% Assists in the introduction of DHA into the or Marine Lecithin heart muscle. Protects the mitochondria from oxidative damage, decreasing the impact of auditory and visual aging.
Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) 11% Combined with PC, helps in the building of the myelin sheath.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) 9% The most widespread of all membrane PLs, protects from ischemic attacks (stroke) or age-related dementias.
Phosphatidylinositol (PI) 5% Acts on the regulation of cellular calcium. Has shown its effectiveness on obsessive compulsive disorders, panic attacks, depression, manic depression and Alzheimer’s disease.
Sphingomyelin (Sph) 5% Its pro-apoptotic activity decreases the risks of coronary hear t disease and cancer of the bowel (colon). Decreases parietal cell toxicity of bile salts. Sphingolipids are mostly present in the myelin sheathes.
Promilin Fenugreek Extract - Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
June 28, 2005 10:44 AM
.. Your body’s ability to manage blood sugar may well be the single most crucial factor affecting your health and longevity, and the one most affected by diet and lifestyle. But today’s high-glycemic carbs and sugar-laden foods — combined with lack of exercise — are creating a serious challenge to your body’s intricate glucose/insulin regulatory system. The resulting cellular stress and deterioration have serious repercussions for both your mind and body. To promote optimal wellness through healthy sugar metabolism, Source Naturals formulated PROMILIN™ FENUGREEK EXTRACT, a potent extract from the highly valued herb fenugreek, into an advanced nutritional supplement designed to assist insulin production and support healthy glucose levels. As a complement to your diet, Source Naturals PROMILIN™ FENUGREEK EXTRACT is an excellent strategy to improve blood sugar levels, and consequently, quality of life.
The basis of Source Naturals PROMILIN™ FENUGREEK EXTRACT is fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), a respected culinary and medicinal herb used throughout history. One of the formula’s fenugreek extracts is rich in galactomannan, a mucilaginous fiber that may benefit the bowel. The other extract is Promilin, a patent-pending complex of bioactive amino acids standardized to contain 20% 4-hydroxyisoleucine. This extraordinary amino acid derivative assists the pancreas in production of insulin. Several studies with animals and with human cell cultures demonstrate this extract’s positive effect on reducing post-meal glucose levels — with little or no increase in blood insulin concentrations — a clear indicator of improved insulin sensitivity.
Athletic energy and endurance depend on the ability of muscles to recover from exercise. Because PROMILIN promotes utilization of glucose and insulin by the the body’s muscle cells, “weekend warriors” will feel less fatigue on Monday morning. In a clinical study, PROMILIN increased glycogen re-synthesis by 63% over carbohydrate alone. This is the rate at which post-exercise muscle glycogen (energy) is restored. PROMILIN may also play a role in weight management because it helps your body metabolize carbohydrates more efficiently. And the less time glucose spends in your bloodstream, the less chance it will be converted into fat. By supporting glucose metabolism, Source Naturals PROMILIN™ FENUGREEK EXTRACT may help protect against a harmful process called glycation, where excess glucose reacts with amino acids to form crosslinked sugardamaged proteins that damage the linings of blood vessels, the lens of the eye, and the myelin sheath that insulates brain cells.
Benefits and Functions of Essential Fatty Acids
June 25, 2005 08:29 PM
Benefits and Functions of Essential Fatty Acids
The body takes combinations of different triglycerides and makes fats from them to help in various processes. The basic building blocks of any fats are the fatty acids. Fatty acids are either essential or nonessential. A fatty acid is considered essential if 1) the body is unable to synthesize it and 2) the only way it can be obtained is through the diet. In addition, it is considered essential if a deficiency will cause a disease. As far back as 1930 researchers discovered that if an animal did not get essential fatty acids in the diet, it could cause symptoms such as poor reproduction, lowered immunity, rough, dry skin, and slow growth, among others. There are basically three essential fatty acids. They are linoleic acid, linolenic acid, and arachidonic acid. Linoleic acid is the most vital. Linolenic and arachidonic acids can be converted from linoleic acid, but linoleic acid must be obtained from the diet. Most people are unaware of the many vital functions of essential fatty acids. The list includes:
Cholesterol is synthesized throughout the body. It is manufactured by cells, glands, the small intestine and the liver. Cholesterol is constructed from dietary by-products of proteins, sugars and fats. If the diet contains excessive fats, especially the saturated types, the body will convert them into cholesterol. People who eat high sugar or fat diets may therefore experience elevated cholesterol levels.
Prostaglandins are found in almost all body cells, and act as catalysts for many physiological processes. They help prevent abnormal blood clotting and nerve inflammation. Prostaglandins also help promote blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels and improve immune system function. The most beneficial type of prostaglandin is called PGE-1. PGE-1 balances cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and stimulates the body’s production of T-lymphocytes which strengthen the immune capabilities. Each cell keeps tiny amounts of EFAs and produces prostaglandins from them as they are needed. The name prostaglandins was coined because these substances were originally found in high amounts in the prostate gland. To date, there have been discovered at least thirty-six different prostaglandins with a wide range of roles in the body.
Thanks for the Memory
June 11, 2005 03:49 PM
Thanks for the Memory by Estelle Sobel , February 6, 2002
Thanks for the Memory By Estelle Sobel
"I feel like every day, I lose my memory more and more. It started when I couldn't find my car keys, sometimes I forget directions. My mother has Alzheimer's so I'm concerned," says Jerry Solowitz, a 63 year old man.
Ellen Lerner, 37, sometimes worries that she can't keep track of everything in her job as a public relations executive. "I feel like stress can get to me easily, and I worry because I forget simple things like where I put a file."
Should these people be concerned?
"Yes," says Lynda Toth, Ph.D., co-author with Pavel Yutsis, M.D., of Why Can't I Remember? Reversing Memory Loss (Avery, 1999).
Jerry should start a specific program with a health practitioner who specializes in memory loss, due to lots of unsuspected new causes for memory dysfunction. Ellen needs to make lifestyle changes, as stress can definitely lead to memory loss.
"Cortisol, which is one of the stress hormones, can be harmful because it keeps calcium in the memory pathway too long and destroys the neurons, which is very damaging to the brain," notes Toth.
Why Does Memory Fail?
Memory fails for several reasons, says Augustine DiGiovanna, M.D., author of Human Aging: Biological Perspectives, (McGraw-Hill 2000), and Professor of Biology at Salisbury State University in Salisbury, MD.
Normal Aging: Much of diminished memory as we age is due to reduced blood flow to the brain from atherosclerosis, which is hardening and narrowing of the arteries. Decreased blood flow causes neurons to shrink and function less effectively.
Also, as we age we lose neurons and neuron connections that can lead to memory loss. So the way people think, how much they remember, and the mental activities they do determine how many brain cells survive through the years.
Finally, as people live longer, the chance is greater that the body's immune system and other defense mechanisms won't be able to protect against certain diseases that affect the brain and memory (Parkinson's, strokes, Alzheimers, atherosclerosis).
A Starving Brain: The brain is not getting fed the nutrients it needs (vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glucose). Without the right "food" the brain's energy levels become lowered and stop powering the memory cells. Then, free radicals can do more dirty work and continue to rust memory cells.
Drink And Sink: Alcohol passes through the blood-brain barrier and slows down the processing of information between memory neurons. Memory loss increases over time, as memory tissues shrink.
Sad Stories: Depression can imbalance the neurotransmitters and electrical charges of neurons.
Tense and Tight: High blood pressure can constrict and narrow blood vessels, limiting blood and oxygen flow to the brain.
One way to boost brain power is to take the right supplements.
Ginkgo biloba: The powerful medicinal herb ginkgo biloba increases blood flow and circulation to the head by dilating blood vessels in the brain, allowing more oxygenated blood to get to the neurons. It also protects against free radical damage.
Research: Ginkgo biloba extract displayed a significant effect on helping the mental abilities of people 50-59 years old (Phytotherapy Research 13, 1999: 408-415).
Pregnenolone: This powerful hormone regulates the balance between excitation and inhibition in the nervous system and helps enhance memory and brain function, possibly by repairing a fatty substance that is part of the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve cells. Research: A St. Louis University School of Medicine study on mice showed that pregnenolone enhanced memory and helped mice to navigate mazes better.
Huperzine A: This herbal supplement is derived from club moss found in China; in purified form it inhibits the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter produced in the brain that you need for memory.
Research: Studies conducted by Alan Mazurek, M.D., found that huperzine A in purified form improves memory, enhances focus and concentration and has been used to improve memory loss in Alzheimer's patients (Alt. Ther. in Health Med. 5 , March 1999: 97-98).
Another study in The Journal of Neuroscience Research showed that huperzine A is a potent inhibitor of cholinesterase, which penetrates the brain and produces a dose-dependent increase of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine, norepinephrine and dopamine in rat cortex (41, 1995: 828-835).
Phosphatidylserine (PS): This substance, which occurs naturally in nerve cell membranes, helps keep fatty substances soluble and cell membranes fluid and helps reduce levels of cortisone which are damaging to tissues.
Research: Phosphatidylserine encourages a sense of calm by raising the levels of alpha brain waves and increasing the production of acetylcholine (Neuropsychobiology 24, 1990-1991: 42-48).
Vitamin E: This potent antioxidant attaches to bad cholesterol and helps prevent free radical damage to cells.
Research: Age-related processes like memory function and problem solving can be affected by free radical damage. Several studies show that vitamin E might slow the effects of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease (JAMA 282, August 18, 1999: 621). Acetyl-l-carnitine: Increases cognitive performance because it rejuvenates cellular membranes of mitochondria, the storehouses of energy contained in every living cell.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid: Preserves memory tissue by increasing glutathione levels, which protect fat stores in neurons from being damaged.
Nine Ways to Remember
Dr. Lynda Toth suggests the following ways to make the most of what you've now got.
1) Power Up Your Smile. Remove dental fillings and replace them with porcelain or ceramic ones. The mercury in metal fillings may be harmful (some believe) and can affect the brain and nervous system, inflaming memory tissue and preventing the entry of nutrients into the cells.
2) Don't Be a Tin Man/Woman Avoid exposure to aluminum. Don't use aluminum pots to cook in. Aluminum accumulates in memory tissue, damaging cells. In fact, autopsies of Alzheimers patients show they have unusually huge amounts of aluminum in the brain. But no one knows where this aluminum comes from.
3) Eat Right. Eat organic and pesticide-free foods. Pesticides get into the cells and can damage DNA.
4) A Matter of Taste. Avoid foods with artificial coloring, monosodium glutamate (MSG, often called "natural flavors" or "natural seasoning"). Also avoid processed foods with taste enhancers called exito toxins such as l-cysteine and aspartic acid.
5) In the Raw. Make sure that your diet consists of enzyme-rich 50% raw foods (fruits and vegetables) to feed the brain. Eat less animal fats.
* Drink green juices to support levels of the brain's clean-up enzymes.
*Eat lots of fiber, which helps remove toxins from the body. Pick up psyllium fiber.
*Limit intake of processed sugar, caffeine and alcohol to lessen the load on the liver and pancreas.
6) Cut Bait. Watch the fish that you eat. Lots of ocean and inland-caught fish are contaminated with mercury. Go for deep, cold water fish such as cod. Avoid shark and swordfish.
7). Oil Up. Supplement your diet with omega-3 fatty acids, such as cod liver oil or flaxseed oil. These fats lubricate memory cells.
8) Work That Body. Stay fit and exercise. Exercise helps oxygenate the body, reduces cholesterol, and builds and energizes new memory cells which reduces wear and tear on the brain function.
9) Do Mind Games. Read, listen to music. Tune into different radio stations than the ones you normally listen to. Do crossword puzzles and a wide selection of word games which can stretch your brain and give it a tough workout.
Student of Life
You need to keep learning your whole life to keep your brain and memory in tip top shape. The brain is adaptable, and you are always building new neurons, says Dr. Toth, which means that there is no limit to how long it can develop. Anything that stimulates the brain will help it to grow. That's why as you get older it's even more important to take classes, start a new hobby, travel. In fact, the challenge of learning and doing new things (without stopping in a fit of frustration) causes your brain to grow, says Dr. Mazurek.
The Good News
As people get older, their brains may actually improve and repair themselves through a complicated process that is designed to eliminate faulty neurons that are prone to making mistakes. At the same time, brain activity goes on that results in the development of new and improved connections with neighboring neurons.
Research also shows that memory improves if you train people to have faith in themselves. (The brain helps those who help themselves.) Apparently, a confident perspective can encourage the brain to actually improve to the point where its new-found abilities may increase to the point where it fulfills expectations.
So keep your chin up and stay away from the artery-clogging saturated fat that can cut off the brain's blood supply. It's all in the attitude, says Dr. DiGiovanna. And, of course, the key to a long and happy life with your brain is also on the end of your fork and in that bottle of supplements.
Estelle Sobel, is the co-author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman's Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age (Adams Media, May 2000).
R-Lipoic Acid - Fulfilling the Potential of Lipoic Acid
June 04, 2005 02:23 PM
Lipoic acid may be the body’s most versatile nutrient. Its critical importance for health is scientifically documented. Not only is it a powerful antioxidant, it supports healthy sugar metabolism and liver function, and is integral to energy generation, which affects all biological functions. But few know that the commonly available form, alpha lipoic acid (ALA), is not the same compound that occurs naturally in our bodies. ALA is a 50/50 combination of natural form r-lipoic and synthetic s-lipoic acid—and the synthetic form may actually block the activity of r-lipoic acid, resulting in a weaker product. Because it is the natural form, r-lipoic acid is better absorbed and safely metabolized. And it is up to 10 times more effective at producing cellular energy, according to in vitro research, and may be a more potent antioxidant. Source Naturals, the science company, is proud to be one of the first to offer this breakthrough nutrient: R-LIPOIC ACID
R-Lipoic Acid: Key to Cellular Energy Generation
Plants capture solar energy in their carbohydrates. In a reverse process called oxidation, animals extract that energy. R-LIPOIC ACID is a vital link in the metabolic pathway that gives us the power to move and the energy of intelligence. R-LIPOIC ACID is synthesized in the mitochondria, the tiny power plants inside every cell that produce energy in the form of ATP. It is safely metabolized and up to 10 times more effective than other forms of lipoic acid in mitochondrial ATP production, according to an in vitro study.
Supports Glucose Metabolism
Human and animal studies show that R-LIPOIC ACID can increase glucose uptake by muscle and nerve cells. By enhancing sugar metabolism, R-LIPOIC ACID may protect cells from glycation. In this detrimental process, excess glucose reacts with proteins to create tough crosslinked bonds that damage vital proteins, including the myelin sheath of neurons and the lens of the eye. Scientists believe glycation is a major source of tissue degradation and cellular aging. Collagen, another important protein, is also subject to crosslinking, which inhibits the flexibility of blood vessel walls—one of the most important indicators of cardiovascular health.
Increases Antioxidant Protection
R-LIPOIC ACID also neutralizes the harmful byproducts of glucose metabolism, free radicals. The body synthesizes barely enough R-LIPOIC ACID for its metabolic needs, and this decreases with age. As mitochondrial energy production becomes less efficient, more free radicals are generated. R-LIPOIC ACID protects cells, particularly in the mitochondria, where most oxygen damage occurs. R-LIPOIC ACID is a leading component of the body’s antioxidant network. Unlike other antioxidants, it is water and fat-soluble, so it neutralizes a greater number and broader range of free radicals, providing more protection. In animal studies, R-LIPOIC ACID slowed the aging process, which may be the result of cumulative oxidative damage. Lipoic acid, known as the “universal antioxidant,” is a strong antioxidant in its own right, but it also directly recycles vitamin C and indirectly recycles vitamin E for continued use. And R-LIPOIC ACID is more efficient than other forms of lipoic acid at increasing levels of the key antioxidants, CoQ10 and glutathione. Commercial alpha-lipoic acid is 50% synthetic s-lipoic acid, which can interfere with natural form R-LIPOIC ACID when both forms compete for binding sites. Tests showed 40% better absorption by R-LIPOIC ACID, as measured by plasma concentration levels.
Integral to Your Wellness Program
Because it is central to such critical functions as energy generation, antioxidant protection, anti-glycation activity, and liver support, R-LIPOIC ACID belongs at the center of your wellness program. Source Naturals is happy to join forces with your natural foods retailer in bringing you this advanced nutrient.
MYELIN SHEATH SUPPORT™ - Herbal-Nutrient Nervous System Support!
June 04, 2005 10:15 AM
Planetary Formulas is pleased to introduce myelin sheath SUPPORT: a comprehensive formula designed to support the fat-like insulating sheath (myelin) that surrounds nerve tissues. Properly formed myelin is necessary for optimal nerve conduction. myelin sheath SUPPORT is the first formula developed for Planetary Formulas by herbalist and Ayurvedic specialist Alan Tillotson. It consists of some of the most highly regarded tonifiers of Chinese and Ayurvedic herbalism, along with additional key botanicals and supporting nutrients used with success in his practice.
Nervous System Support
myelin sheath SUPPORT is a broad-range herbal-nutrient formula that supports your nervous system with traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese botanicals as well as scientifically researched nutrients. Vitamin B-12 is key to the MYELIN SHEATH SUPPORT formula. It plays two critical roles: 1) it is essential for normal health of blood; and 2) it may function as a coenzyme in the synthesis of either the protein or lipid part of myelin.
Comprehensive Botanical - Nutrient Formula
Ayurvedic botanicals: Ashwagandha has been widely used throughout India for 3,000-4,000 years. It is one of the most highly regarded tonics in the 6,000-year old Ayurvedic tradition. Bacopa has been reported by Ayurvedic scholar Charaka to promote mental ability. Yogaraj guggul is one of the most valued botanical compounds of Ayurveda. The boswellic acids in boswellia inhibit leukotriene synthesis. Shilajit, a mineral resin that oozes from steep rocks in the Himalayas, is used extensively in Ayurveda. Curcuma (turmeric) has been used both internally and externally in Ayurveda. Curcuma is included in a dosage clinically shown to inhibit a group of enzymes that influence metabolism of arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid found in most animal fats and is a precursor of prostaglandins. Chinese herbs: Included are the Chinese tonifiers panax ginseng and tienchi ginseng, as well as licorice extract (which is also prominent in European herbalism). myelin sheath SUPPORT delivers panax ginseng in amounts clinically shown to have adaptogenic (anti-stress) effects. Nutrients: Vitamin B-12, central for supporting the nervous system and specifically the myelin sheath, is included in the form of methylcobalamin. While a few forms of B-12 have been used clinically, it has been shown that methylcobalamin is a highly assimilable form of B-12, leading to increased retention in tissues. MYELIN SHEATH SUPPORT also includes zinc, copper, L-selenomethionine, boron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, chromium and pantothenic acid.
Alan Tillotson is the newest member of the Planetary Formulas formulation team. He has been an ardent student of Ayurvedic herbalism, having engaged in an apprenticeship since 1976 with Ayurvedic scholar Mana Bajra Bajracharya, a practitioner whose family’s Ayurvedic lineage dates back 700 years. Planetary Formulas myelin sheath SUPPORT is available in bottles of 45, 90 and 180 tablets. Planetary Formulas: More than Herbs— Herbalism!
Mental Edge - Support proper Brain Function...
June 03, 2005 06:07 PM
Aging and nutritional imbalances can disrupt the multiple body systems that affect healthy brain function. The result: cognitive symptoms* such as forgetfulness, inability to focus, and mental fatigue. MENTAL EDGE® is a Bio-Aligned Formula™ that supports the interdependent body systems involved with healthy brain function. These include neurotransmitter production, myelin sheath generation, stress response, energy metabolism, and antioxidant defense.
Mental Edge®: A Bio-Aligned Formula™
Many scientists believe that only a small portion of the brain is fully utilized. MENTAL EDGE is a literal multivitamin for your brain. This comprehensive herbal-nutrient formula optimizes brain function by addressing the multiple body systems involved with cognitive health.
Neurons (nerve cells) communicate with each other when neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) cross a small gap called a synapse to convey a message from one neuron to the next. Second messengers help transmit the message from the membrane of a receiving neuron to its inner environment. MENTAL EDGE supports neurotransmitter production with L-glutamine, L-phenylalanine, L-pyroglutamic acid, taurine, L-tyrosine, manganese, vitamins B-1 and B-6, and inositol.
Acetylcholine is one of the most important neurotransmitters. It is vital for memory and muscle movement. The ingredients DMAE, phosphatidylcholine, L-pyroglutamic acid, vitamin B-5 and choline are precursors to acetylcholine. DMAE is particularly important because it crosses the protective blood-brain barrier more easily than the others. DMAE also enhances mental concentration.
Adaptogenic herbs help provide the brain with the support and energy it needs to deal with the physical and mental stresses of an ever-changing environment. MENTAL EDGE supports stress response with the botanicals gotu kola, schizandra, and Siberian ginseng, and with the nutrients taurine, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamins B-5 and C, and inositol.
Just as every cell needs the proper nutrients to survive, so do neurons. The brain accounts for 2% of our body weight, yet uses 15% of our total energy supply. Adequate levels of energy-generating nutrients are vital to the high-powered functioning of this organ. MENTAL EDGE supports energy generation with ginkgo biloba, L-glutamine, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc, B-vitamins, biotin and folic acid.
myelin sheath Generation
Myelin, composed of fat and protein, makes up the myelin sheath that forms a protective insulating covering around certain nerve fibers. Properly formed myelin increases nerve impulse conduction. MENTAL EDGE contains vitamins B-5 and B-12, which are needed for myelin sheath generation.
Lifestyle Tips for Cognitive
Health: A Strategy for WellnessSM Eat Well: Recent research suggests that diets rich in beta-carotene and vitamins C and E help reduce memory problems, probably by lessening oxidative stress. And new animal research at the University of Toronto found that a highfat diet slowed the ability of rats to learn new tasks. Use Your Brain: Learn a foreign language or new hobby, do crossword puzzles, read books, and cut back on TV. Scientists at Case Western found that people who were less mentally active in middle age were three times more likely to experience memory decline as they got older. Stay Active: Vigorous walking can improve mental processes in aging individuals, according to research. Aerobic exercise increases oxygenation and blood flow to the brain, resulting in improved memory, organization, and the ability to juggle intellectual tasks. Manage Stress: Long-term anxiety or depression can make a person more forgetful. Try to regulate stress, increase social contacts, and, if necessary, seek professional help. Get Organized: Make the most of your cognitive abilities through the use of memory aids such as “to-do” lists, notes, or calendars.
Neurotransmitter Production: L-Glutamine, L-Phenylalanine, L-Pyroglutamic Acid, Taurine, L-Tyrosine, Manganese, Vitamins B-1 & B-6, Inositol
Acetylcholine Production: DMAE, Phosphatidylcholine, L-Pyroglutamic Acid, Vitamin B-5, Choline
Antioxidant Defense: DMAE, Ginkgo Biloba, Zinc, Vitamin C
Stress Response Gotu Kola, Schizandra, Siberian Ginseng, Taurine, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamins B-5 & C, Inositol
Energy Metabolism: Ginkgo Biloba, L-Glutamine, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Zinc, Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, & B-12, Biotin, Folic Acid
myelin sheath Generation: Vitamins B-5 and B-12
Mega Mind - re-align your body systems ...
June 03, 2005 05:24 PM
Aging and nutritional imbalances can disrupt the multiple body systems that affect healthy brain function. The result: cognitive symptoms* such as forgetfulness, inability to focus, and mental fatigue. MEGAMIND™ is a Bio-Aligned Formula™ that helps align multiple systems: neurotransmitter production, antioxidant defense, energy generation, circulation, and myelin sheath generation. Complementary Formulations Source Naturals can help keep your mind sharp and alert. Use MENTAL EDGE® Bio-Aligned Formula for foundational support, or MEGAMIND, when memory symptoms* are severe. HIGHER MINDTM is an additional Bio-Aligned choice. Take these formulas alone or as the core of a program that includes additional ingredients such as DHA (NEUROMINS®), GINKGO-24™, PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE, VINCAMINE, and VINPOCETINE.
In today’s complex world, we are bombarded with information. Our ability to process this massive input depends on how well we nourish the multiple body systems related to brain health. In addition, normal aging is associated with impairment of certain mental functions, according to the National Institute on Aging. The brain undergoes changes including functional decline in neurons important to learning, memory, planning, and other complex mental activities, as well as increased oxidative stress. In healthy people, these changes may result in varying degrees of age-related memory decline. Source Naturals can help, with a full line of cognitive support products.
Mental Edge®: Bio-Aligned Formula
MENTAL EDGE is a literal multivitamin for your brain. MENTAL EDGE supports production of neurotransmitters including acetylcholine, antioxidant defense, energy generation, stress response and myelin sheath generation. It features nutrients needed for production of neurotransmitters— chemical messengers in the brain’s communication system. One of the most important of these is acetylcholine, which is necessary for memory and muscle movement. MENTAL EDGE also contains antioxidants—vitamin C, ginkgo, DMAE, and zinc—to protect the neuron cell membranes where electrical signaling takes place. Adaptogenic herbs provide the brain with support and energy to deal with environmental stress. Energy-generating ingredients such as ginkgo and B-vitamins are vital to the high-powered functioning of your brain. Vitamins B-5 and B-12 are also important for formation of myelin, a substance that forms a protective insulating cover around certain nerve fibers and increases nerve impulse conduction.
MegaMind™: Bio-Aligned Formula When memory symptoms* are severe, you may need a formula with extraordinary cognitive support. MEGAMIND addresses many of the same body systems as MENTAL EDGE, but does so with megadoses of brain nutrients, such as L-pyroglutamic acid and vitamin B-1 for neurotransmitter production. It also adds bacopa and the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA to support neurotransmitter production, and higher potency vitamin B-12 for myelin sheath generation. Like MENTAL EDGE, MEGAMIND supports energy generation and antioxidant defense. MEGAMIND augments basic support for the brain’s immense energy requirements with higher potency vitamin B-1, and with one of nutritional science’s most advanced, high-tech nutrients, alpha-lipoic acid. Lipoic acid is also an antioxidant, as are gotu kola and grape seed. MEGAMIND also supports circulation with ginkgo and gotu kola.
Mega Mind: Bio-Aligned Formula HIGHER MIND is another multi-system support formula, which features phosphatidyl serine, a structural component of nerve cell membranes, and the botanical vinpocetine. HIGHER MIND nourishes neurotransmitter production, cell membrane stability, energy generation, antioxidant defense and myelin sheath generation.
Neurotransmitter Production: Bacopa, GABA, L-Glutamine, L-Pyroglutamic Acid, Taurine, N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine, Manganese, Vitamins B-1 & B-6
Acetylcholine Production: Acetyl L-Carnitine, DMAE, Gotu Kola, L-Pyroglutamic Acid, Vitamin B-5
myelin sheath Generation: Vitamins B-5 & B-12
Energy Metabolism: Acetyl L-Carnitine, Ginkgo Biloba, L-Glutamine, alpha-Lipoic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Zinc, Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6 & B-12, Biotin,Folic Acid
Circulation: Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola
Antioxidant Defense: DMAE, Ginkgo Biloba, Gotu Kola, Grape Seed, alpha-Lipoic Acid, Zinc, Vitamin C
Complementary Cognitive Support Products
For additional support, you can supplement Source Naturals Bio-Aligned formulas with these single ingredient products: ACETYL L-CARNITINE and DMAE are both important to the synthesis of acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter associated with higher cognitive functions, such as learning and memory. DHA (NEUROMINS®) is an omega-3 fatty acid that plays a significant role in cerebral development, especially during fetal development and infancy. GINKGO is renowned for promoting blood flow to the brain. Source Naturals GINKGO-24™ is a standardized concentration of Ginkgo biloba leaves, yielding 24% ginkgo flavone glycosides and 6% terpenes (the key constituents). PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE is necessary for the health of nerve cell membranes, where electrical signaling takes place. These membranes are critical to information processing. VINCAMINE, an alkaloid obtained from the periwinkle plant, supports cerebral metabolism by promoting blood flow and oxygen and glucose utilization. VINPOCETINE is a derivative of vincamine, shown in research studies to improve cognitive performance and alleviate the short-term memory loss that may accompany stress or aging.
Lifestyle Tips for Cognitive Health: A Strategy for Wellness SM
Eat Well: Recent research suggests that diets rich in beta-carotene and vitamins C and E help reduce memory problems, probably by lessening oxidative stress. And new animal research at the University of Toronto found that a high-fat diet slowed the ability of rats to learn new tasks. Use Your Brain: Learn a foreign language or new hobby, do crossword puzzles, read books, and cut back on TV. Scientists at Case Western found that people who were less mentally active in middle age were three times more likely to experience memory decline as they got older. Stay Active: Vigorous walking can improve mental processes in aging individuals, according to research. Aerobic exercise increases oxygenation and blood flow to the brain, resulting in improved memory, organization, and the ability to juggle intellectual tasks. Manage Stress: Longterm anxiety or depression can make a person more forgetful. Try to regulate stress, increase social contacts, and, if necessary, seek professional help. Get Organized: Make the most of your cognitive abilities, through the use of memory aids such as “to-do” lists, notes, or calendars.
Higher Mind - Smart Nutrients for the Performance of a Lifetime...
June 02, 2005 12:18 PM
Our adult years are the time to reap the fruit of an active, meaningful life – appreciated by family and friends who value our experience and knowledge. For some, however, their later years are clouded by a mental decline that erodes their capacity to enjoy life. More of us are becoming apprehensive about the future health of our minds. Will we still be able to communicate our needs as well as our wisdom? As science focuses its investigative might on the workings of the human brain, new findings suggest that it is possible to enjoy a vital, healthy brain and mind – well into old age. Based on compelling research, Source Naturals formulated HIGHER MIND. It contains the most important Neuroceuticals™ now recognized by nutrition scientists – including phosphatidyl serine, a natural nutrient that promotes cognitive function. The connection is clear: nourish your brain; enrich your life.
To have a healthy, well-functioning brain and nervous system, we need the correct nutrients. Our diets must provide the necessary raw materials for nerve cells to grow, for the synthesis of neurochemicals, and for the maintenance of nerve cell membranes. Nutritional deficiencies can alter the brain’s metabolism, which is expressed by changes in perception and thinking, behavior and mood.
Brain Cells – Issued at Birth
Before birth, neurons (nerve cells) are created at the amazing rate of 15 million per hour. As infants, we have over 100 billion neurons, but this is the most we will ever have because – unlike most other cells in our body – nerve cells do not reproduce. A different strategy is used to replace the neurons that are naturally lost throughout life: nerve cells repair themselves and grow by extending branches of nerve fibers called dendrites (from the Latin word for tree). These are the communication links with other neurons that form the circuitry of the brain. A single neuron may be in contact with up to a hundred thousand others! When the density of this fragile organic communication network decreases, we experience a corresponding decline in mental acuity.
Brain Cell Membranes
The membrane is the working surface of a cell. It needs to be strong yet flexible, so the cell can maintain its integrity and be able to move and change shape. The membrane regulates the flow of nutrients into the cell and the removal of waste, plus controls the passage of molecular messages from outside the cell to its interior. Membrane ion pumps use a third of the cell’s energy just to maintain the correct ratio of sodium to potassium. In neurons, a rapid exchange of sodium and potassium ions across the nerve membrane is responsible for their unique ability to generate the electrical impulses that are the basis of all communication in the nervous system. As cells age, their membranes become less fluid and more rigid. Key membrane molecules called phospholipids are crucial to the health of neuron membranes, allowing the brain to maintain its youthful quality. The phospholipids in HIGHER MIND – especially phosphatidyl serine and phosphatidyl choline – are essential nutritional supplements for the aging brain.
Phosphatidyl Serine – Key to Cognition
For the past decade, researchers have been investigating the role in brain health of a remarkable neuroceutical, phosphatidyl serine (PS). This key structural molecule is integral to the matrix of fats and proteins that compose cell membranes. Although PS is found in all the cells of the body, its highest concentration is in nerve cell membranes. PS is rarely found in the foods we eat, so the body has to synthesize it, but the process is energy- intensive and becomes less efficient with age. Consequently, our levels of PS tend to decline as we get older. PS taken as a dietary supplement is well-absorbed, readily reaching the brain, where it helps create more effective, well-structured nerve cell membranes. The positive effects of PS supplementation have been demonstrated by 23 clinical studies with over 1200 human subjects, ages 43 to 90. Consistent and statistically significant results have confirmed the value of PS in improving age-related cognitive decline, as well as in improving behavioral aspects such as apathy and withdrawal.1 A major study concluded that for one particular measurable parameter of higher mental functions, PS recipients achieved scores of persons roughly 12 years younger.2 Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) is one of the most important proteins the body makes. It enables neurons to extend dendrites out to other neurons, allowing the brain to maintain an effective communication network. In experiments, PS enhanced the production and reception of NGF, which tend to drop off radically with age.3 The effects of PS at the cellular level are manifest in the performance of the brain as a whole. Subjects taking PS showed increased levels of brain energy metabolism. This enhancement corresponded to higher performances on cognitive tests.4
The Chemistry of Thought
Science now understands the role of neurotransmitters in regulating the body’s complex network of behavior. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals used by neurons to communicate with each other. Activated by a neuron’s electrical impulse, neurotransmitters travel between nerve cells, where they excite or inhibit (in various degrees) the electrical impulse in neighboring cells. One of HIGHER MIND’S key strategies is to improve the brain’s ability to produce and use acetylcholine, a key excitatory neurotransmitter. Acetylcholine is essential for both the storage and recall of memory, and partly responsible for concentration and focus. It also plays a significant role in muscular coordination. Patients showing cognitive decline may exhibit reduced ability to synthesize and utilize acetylcholine.5 The chemical building blocks of acetylcholine and other neurotransmitters are called precursors. The most important one for acetylcholine is DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol). This natural substance is found in various fish, such as anchovies and sardines. Supplements of DMAE (and phosphatidyl choline) promote increased levels of choline in the brain. Acetylcholine is created when an acetyl group is attached to the choline molecule, with the help of choline acetyl transferase (CAT), a key brain enzyme. Acetyl L-carnitine is an amino acid that activates this enzyme. Acetyl L-carnitine may also help reduce lipofuscin deposits in the brain because of its involvement in the metabolism of fatty acids.6 Lipofuscin is composed of oxidized fats and proteins; the brown “age spots” on the back of an elderly person’s hand are made of lipofuscin. The amino acid L-pyroglutamic acid sensitizes the acetylcholine receptor sites on a neuron membrane. A given amount of acetylcholine will then have a larger, more powerful effect. Studies have shown that supplements of L-pyroglutamic acid seem to enhance the ability to focus, remember, and learn.
Total Nutrition for the Brain
The neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenalin are critical to motor coordination, motivation, concentration, and alertness. Like acetylcholine, their production tends to decline with age. The precursors and activators of dopamine and noradrenalin included in HIGHER MIND are the amino acids N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine and DL-phenylalanine (DLPA), plus folic acid, vitamins B-3, B-6, and C. DLPA is also a precursor to PEA, a neuroamine that has a stimulating effect on the brain. Glutamine is an amino acid precursor to glutamic acid, a major excitatory neurotransmitter involved in mental activity and learning. Glutamine acts as an alternative fuel source for the brain when blood sugar levels are low. It also helps the brain dispose of waste ammonia, which is a natural result of protein breakdown but is irritating to neurons even at low levels. GABA is a dietary amino acid which is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter. GABA works to calm and balance the mind, enhancing mental focus. Along with taurine, these two relaxing neurotransmitters provide a balancing influence to the other, excitatory neurotransmitters. Taurine is found in brain tissue more than anywhere else in the body. It has antioxidant properties and serves as a nerve cell membrane stabilizer, preventing excessive or erratic electrical activity in the brain.
The Importance of Magnesium
Magnesium must be present in adequate amounts in the synaptic gaps between neurons or the neurons become hyper-reactive: causing noises to sound excessively loud and emotional reactions to be extreme. Magnesium also activates a key enzyme responsible for maintaining cellular sodium- potassium balance, which is absolutely essential to the electrical activity of nerve cells, as well as to the existence of the cell itself. (Cells would burst if the sodium-potassium ratio were wrong.) Magnesium also helps relax cerebral blood vessels and is important to the manufacture of ATP, the chief energy molecule of the brain. A buildup of aluminum has been found in the brains of some elderly. In 1989, the British medical journal Lancet published a study showing that drinking water with aluminum can increase the risk of damage by up to 50%. An abundant natural element, aluminum is now a common feature in our culture. It’s found in tap water, cookware, deodorants, beverage containers, baked goods, and of course as aluminum foil. In the brain, aluminum breaks down the structure of neurons – causing them to starve – by displacing magnesium from tubulin, a glycoprotein responsible for making microtubules. These tiny pipe-like structures within a neuron provide needed rigidity, as well as transport nutrients from the nucleus down the dendrites to the ends of the nerve cell. Magnesium malate is an excellent form of magnesium that ensures neurons receive this vital mineral.
B is for Brain Vitamins
HIGHER MIND also contains a high profile of B vitamins and other key nutrients that are often N A T U R A L S S O U R C E Strategies for Wellness SM ¤ lacking in older individuals. A deficiency in any of the B vitamins can alter nerve function and psychological well-being. Thiamine (B-1), known as the “nerve vitamin,” was first recognized because its deficiency caused beriberi, a degenerative nerve disease. Thiamine is part of the structure of nerve cell membranes and is important to the reparative process that neurons need to offset the stress of continual firing of the electrical impulse. Low amounts of thiamine can cause cell malnutrition in the hypothalamus, the brain’s memory center. 7 NAD and NADH, two coenzyme forms of Niacin (B-3), are the most plentiful coenzymes in the brain. They are essential to hundreds of enzymatic reactions, including ones that produce energy. NADH can stimulate the synthesis of key mood-elevating neurotransmitters. It is also one of the body’s most potent antioxidants. Pantothenic acid (B-5), cyanocobalamin (B-12), and folic acid are required to form the myelin sheath – the insulating covering of nerve fibers. A diet low in pantothenic acid has been shown to make test subjects emotionally upset, irritable, and depressed.7 A lack of B-12 can result in poor concentration and, in severe deficiencies, hallucinations. Pyridoxine (B-6) is precursor to over 60 enzymatic reactions and is involved in the synthesis of several neurotransmitters.
Brain cells almost exclusively burn glucose for their energy (other cells can also burn fat), and typically require 50% of all the glucose in the blood. Two B-like vitamins help in the utilization of glucose: PAK (pyridoxine alpha-ketoglutarate) may potentiate the effects of insulin and improve glucose utilization to the cells;8 Biotin is important for the transformation of glucose into energy in the brain. Lipoic acid and coenzyme Q10 are metabolic energizers that help produce ATP, the primary energy molecule in the body. Since the brain uses 20% of the body’s total energy supply, efficient ATP production is vital. Lipoic acid and CoQ10 are also powerful antioxidants that help regenerate other antioxidants in the body. The blood vessels feeding the brain become less efficient as we pass middle age. Since the brain depends on the bloodstream to deliver nutrients and oxygen and to remove waste, the quality of this blood flow is paramount to proper brain nutrition. Ginkgo biloba leaf extract has been shown in scientific studies to increase blood flow to the brain by helping vessels to dilate. It also promotes the smoothness and healthy integrity of blood vessel linings.
For the Life of Your Mind Without proper nutrition, the brain will deteriorate; therefore strategies are needed to both enhance current brain function and protect it throughout life. Based on the latest scientific findings, Source Naturals HIGHER MIND is formulated with neuroceuticals that support the mental functions that tend to decline with age. They give your brain the nourishment it needs to integrate perception, memory, and learning into a more comprehensive awareness – so you can excel for a lifetime.
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Cholesterol control.
May 12, 2005 10:00 AM
Under-Reported (and Underappreciated) Solutions for Cholesterol and Triglyceride Controlby Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.
Fat and human existence are inseparable. Setting aside the fear and loathing over fat in the body that pervades our culture, we understand that fat is our friend. We cannot live without fat.
The human body contains many different kinds of fats and fat-like molecules. Collectively known as "lipids" these fatty substances include fatty acids, lipoproteins, phospholipids, glycolipids, triglycerides, steroid hormones and the infamous, dreaded cholesterol.
Lipids (fats) are found everywhere in the body, performing a variety of vital functions. The brain is a fat-rich organ. Brain neurons and all other nerve cells are protected by a myelin sheath, made largely out of fatty material. Cell membranes consist almost entirely of phospholipids (lipids that contain phosphorus) arranged in a sandwich-like double layer embedded with proteins. Sex hormones are lipids, belonging to the group of complex lipid molecules known as "steroids." Vitamin D is a lipid.
The body stores and transports fatty acids in the form of triglycerides. A triglyceride contains three fatty acid molecules, which have a chain-like structure, linked to glycerol. (There are also mono- and di-glycerides, which have one and two fatty acid chains, respectively, attached to glycerol.)
Like many other things necessary to life, fat is a two-edged sword. Fat insulates us from the cold, cushions and protects our vital organs and serves as a storehouse for energy. Yet, when present in excess to the point of obesity, fat threatens health, happiness, self-esteem, social standing and longevity. The same is true of other lipids, most notably triglycerides and cholesterol. Transported throughout the body in the bloodstream, these essential lipids become a health liability when the blood contains too much of them.
Keeping fat in it its proper place, not eliminating or drastically reducing it, is the goal we should seek. In the blood, lipids must be maintained at healthy levels and ratios. When they are, an important foundation of good health is established.
How do we keep the blood lipids we need——triglycerides and the various forms of cholesterol——balanced at healthy levels? Diet and exercise are indispensable, these basics must come first. Along with the recommended dietary practices, a number of nutritional approaches offer help for maintaining healthy blood lipids. We will now give several of these a closer look.
In 1990, an herb used for centuries in the Far East was introduced to U.S. consumers. This herb, called "gum guggul," is proving to be one of the most effective natural cholesterol-lowering agents ever discovered. It also brings triglycerides down and raises HDL, the "good" cholesterol. The changes are substantial; gum guggul single-handedly normalizes the entire blood lipid profile, even in people with high starting levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Gum guggul, also called simply "guggul," is a gummy resin tapped from the Commiphora tree. A cousin of myrrh gum, guggul has been used by Ayurvedic herbalists of India for at least 3,000 years; texts dating from around 1,000 B.C. mention the herb. Guggul was traditionally given for rheumatism and poor health caused by excess consumption of fatty foods. One ancient Sanskrit text describes in detail what happens in the body when blood fats are out of balance, due to sedentary lifestyle and overeating. The name of this condition has been translated as "coating and obstruction of channels."
Intrigued by the obvious similarity between "coating and obstruction of channels" and arteries clogged by fatty plaque, Indian researchers initiated a series of experimental and clinical studies in the 1960's to see if gum guggul would lower excess blood lipids.1 Both human and animal studies consistently showed cholesterol and triglyceride reductions.
Detailed pharmacological studies showed that guggul's lipid-lowering effects are produced by compounds in the resin called "guggulsterones."2 An Indian pharmaceutical firm then patented a standardized extract of gum guggul under the trade name "Gugulipid." The product contains a uniform 2.5 percent guggulsterones, which is higher than guggul resin in its natural state.
Because Gugulipid guarantees the necessary intake of guggulsterones needed for blood fat reduction, it has become the product used in clinical research. Phase I efficacy safety trials and Phase II efficacy trials have yielded more positive data.3,4,5 Most of the studies on gum guggul have used relatively small numbers of subjects; this tends to make mainstream medical scientists reluctant about natural remedies. A large, well-publicized double-blind Gugulipid trial on 400 to 500 people would go a long way toward giving this herb the credibility it deserves.
Another effective natural solution for blood fat control that should be better known is a relative of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Pantethine is the active form of pantothenic acid in the body. Pantethine forms CoA, an essential co-enzyme for utilization of fat. CoA transports "active acetate," an important byproduct of fat metabolism that provides fuel for generating cellular energy. By promoting the burning of fats for energy, pantethine helps keep triglyceride levels down.6 Pantethine also helps regulate cholesterol production, by facilitating the conversion of fat into other lipid-based molecules needed in the body.6
Japanese researchers began studying the effect of pantethine on blood fats nearly twenty years ago. They reported their promising results at the Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, held in Milan, Italy in 1980.7 Few in the medical or scientific communities took notice. Italian researchers followed up with several small clinical trials that confirmed the preliminary reports.6,8,9 An excellent cholesterol and triglyceride lowering agent that is safe and free of side-effects, pantethine remains, for the most part, ignored by mainstream science, although its usage is growing in alternative medicine circles. Pantethine it will no doubt prove to be one of the most important supplements for maintaining healthy blood fat levels.
When taken in high enough doses, niacin (vitamin B3) substantially lowers cholesterol. This has been known to medical science for many years.10 studies on niacin as a cholesterol-lowering agent go back to the 1950's. There was a fair amount of initial enthusiasm for niacin because it improves, unlike most lipid-lowering drugs, all parameters of the blood lipid profile. Niacin reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It also raises HDL cholesterol quite well. Interest in niacin has faded, in part because the necessary dose, 1200 milligrams a day or more, can cause flushing and gastrointestinal disturbances. Very high doses may be harmful to the liver if taken for too long.
There is a solution to the side-effect problem with niacin which, again, has failed to gain widespread attention. Inositol hexanicotinate is a flush-free form of niacin composed of six niacin molecules bonded to one molecule of inositol, another B-complex nutrient. Absorbed as an intact structure, inositol hexanicotinate is metabolized slowly, releasing free niacin into the bloodstream over a period of hours following ingestion.11 Inositol hexanicotinate has all the benefits of niacin for controlling blood fats. The flushing effect of ordinary niacin, which metabolizes much more rapidly, does not occur. Taking as much as four grams per day has not been reported to raise liver enzymes or cause other side-effects, but prudence dictates that people with liver problems should avoid very high doses of inositol hexanicotinate, or any form of niacin.12
We often think of vitamin E as synonymous with d-alpha tocopherol. Vitamin E is actually a whole family of compounds that includes various tocopherols and a group of lesser known but highly beneficial substances called "tocotrienols." All have vitamin E activity. Tocotrienols are similar in chemical structure to tocopherols, but they have important differences which give them unique and highly beneficial properties for human health.
Vitamin E is one of the most recognized antioxidants, nutrients that deactivate potentially toxic byproducts of oxygen metabolism known as free radicals. Vitamin E neutralizes peroxides, which result from the free radical oxidation of lipids, making it a key antioxidant in cell membranes. While d-alpha tocopherol has generally been regarded as the form of vitamin E with the strongest antioxidant activity, tocotrienols are even stronger.
The tocotrienol story is another example of a natural product slow to gain recognition. A Univeristy of California research team discovered that d-alpha tocotrienol is over six times more effective than d-alpha tocopherol at protecting cell membranes against free radical damage.13 In the presence of vitamin C, which recycles vitamin E-like compounds, its antioxidant activity is 40 to 60 times higher than d-alpha tocopherol. This study was published in 1991. Its safe to say few cardiac physicians know about tocotrienols, and we have yet to see 60 Minutes do a piece on "the powerful new form of vitamin E."
It would be a tremendous service to public health if they did, because the benefits of tocotrienols go far beyond their stellar antioxidant ability. Tocotrienols also lower total cholesterol and LDL, by impressive percentages. In one double-blind controlled study, tocotrienols reduced total cholesterol by 16 percent and LDL by 21 percent after twelve weeks. Another study recorded drops of 15 to 22 percent in total cholesterol along with 10 to 20 percent decreases in LDL levels.14 Now appearing on health food store shelves, tocotrienols are a health-protecting nutrients whose long overdue time has come. Derived from food oils such as palm oil and rice bran oil, tocotrienols have the same lack of toxicity as ordinary vitamin E.
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7. Kimura, S., Furukawa, Y., Wakasugi, J. Effects of pantethine on the serum lipoprotiens in rats fed a high cholesterol diet (Abstract) Seventh International Symposium on Drugs Affecting Lipid Metabolism, Milan, Italy, 1980.
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9. Avogaro, P. Bittolo Bon, G. Fusello, M. Effect of pantethine on lipids, lipoproteins and apolipoproteins in man. Current Therapeutic Research 1983;33(3):488-93.
10. Crouse, J.R. New developments in the use of niacin for treatment of hyperlipidemia: new considerations in the use of an old drug. Coronary Artery Disease 1996;7(4):321-26.
11. Welsh, A.L. Ede, M. Inositol hexanicotinate for improved nicotinic acid therapy. International Record of Food Medicine 1961;174(1):9-15.
12. "Inositol hexaniacinate" (Monograph). Alternative Medicine Review 1998;3(3):222-3.
13. Serbinova, E., et. al. Free radical recycling and intramembrane mobility in the antioxidant properties of alpha-tocopherol and alpha tocotrienol. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 1991;10:263-275.
14. Qureshi, N. Qureshi, A.A. Tocotrienols: Novel Hypercholesterolemic Agents with Antioxidant Properties. in 'Vitamin E in Health and Disease' Lester Packer and Jürgen Fuchs, Editors. 1993; New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc.
Control Cholesterol with the following Supplements