A new breakthrough study confirms that your brain cells don’t age.1
In fact, a new study from Columbia University found that you have the exact same number of young nerve cells — or neurons — as you did when you were 17!
So, why the mental decline?
It turns out that it’s not your brain cells that decline. It’s actually the number of brain stem cells and the blood vessels that feed them.
This means that aging brains have unlimited potential and all the building blocks to stay young… if they get enough blood flow.
You can increase your own blood flow and circulation easily from home. And in a minute, I’ll tell you the 3 best nutrients to keep the blood flow to your brain strong no matter your age.
First, let me tell you about this groundbreaking research. The news was no surprise to me. I’ve said this for years. But it was a surprise that the Director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health admitted that the Columbia scientists are right.2
They proved that your brain can go on making new neurons forever.
This squashes the old theory that human brains can’t build new neurons after age 13!3
The scientists at Columbia studied donated brains from older people who died of natural causes. They discovered elderly brains had the same amount of new neurons as young people do.
They also found smaller numbers of inactive, or “quiescent,” brain stem cells in an area of the brain linked to cognitive-emotional resistance.
Think of it as our reserve forces that fuel our ability to learn and adapt. How we’re able to cope with or bounce back from stressful situations or mental challenges. From traveling to even shopping at a different grocery store. Simple things that wouldn’t make us even blink an eye at an earlier age.
And with the right nutrients, you can keep a powerful, flexible brain and a beautiful mind forever.
Feed Your Brain with These 3 Powerful Brain Boosters
- Enhance your memory with DMAE. Dimethylaminoethanol, or DMAE, works with the B-vitamin choline to increase levels of your brain neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. It can improve mood, increase awareness and attention. It also prevents confusion and brain fog. Studies show 100 mg a day enhances brain functioning and puzzle solving.
You can get some DMAE in wild-caught fish like salmon and small, oily fish like sardines. You can also supplement. For the best results, I recommend 100 mg per day.
- Power-up your neurons to keep a sharp mind with acetyl-L-carnitine. Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is an amino acid. Many studies show that it can prevent brain aging and slow the progress of existing brain diseases.4
ALC promotes brain health by restoring the function of nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF is a protein produced in your brain. It controls the growth and maintenance of neurons.
As you get older your levels of NGF go down. Research shows that the decline in NGF leads to a major drop in the way brain cells perform.
And the loss of this growth factor can lead to degenerative brain diseases.5 Acetyl-L-carnitine helps reverse this drop. At the same time, it powers the survival and growth of your neurons.6
ALC also acts as an antioxidant. People who supplement with ALC also have lower levels of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), free-radical caused waste that builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Many studies show that patients with mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease significantly improved with treatment.7
Like NGF, your levels of acetyl-L-carnitine decrease with age. That can put you at risk for brain degeneration. But you can take ALC as a supplement. I suggest taking at least 500 mg of ALC every day on an empty stomach.
- Forget about regular fish oil… Feed your brain the fat it needs to grow — DHA. Your brain is 60% fat and omega-3s make up 40% of that. Omega-3 fats combat brain shrinkage and memory loss. An Oregon study found that people with a diet high in omega-3s had bigger brains for their age. They also scored higher in thinking and memory tests.8
Another study in Rhode Island also showed that people with higher fish oil intake had larger brain volume in their hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Those are the areas linked to memory and learning.9
And a specific kind of omega-3, called docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), can even help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
A University of California research team gave mice DHA. They had lower levels of two proteins linked with the beta-amyloid plaques so rampant in Alzheimer brains. The DHA blocked the production of presenilin, an enzyme needed to produce those proteins.10
DHA is the fat that’s also the main structural component of your brain. So it makes sense to get more in your diet to replenish it.
Good food sources of omega-3s are animal products like fish, eggs and meats. Oily fish, like mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon, trout and sardines are some of the richest sources.
But over the years, I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible to get enough omega-3s from your diet. You’ll probably need to supplement. Be careful though…
Most fish oil pills are from polluted waters. That’s why I recommend krill oil and calamari oil to my patients. The tiny shrimp-like krill don’t live long enough to absorb large amounts of toxins. And calamari live miles below the ocean, far from the pollution on the surface.
Take 4 to 6 grams per day to realize the full brain-boosting benefits.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Boldrini M, et al. “Human hippocampal neurogenesis persists throughout aging.” Cell Stem Cell. 2018;22(4):589-599.
2. Collins F. “New evidence suggests aging brains continue to make new neurons.” NIH Director’s Blog. April 10, 2018.
3. Sorrells SF, et al. “Human hippocampal neurogenesis drops sharply in children to undetectable levels in adults.” Nature. 2018;555:377-381.
4. Arrigo A, et al. “Effects of acetyl-L-carnitine on reaction times in patients with cerebrovascular insufficiency.” Int J Clin Pharmacol Res. 1990;10(1-2):133-137.
5. Sarter M and Bruno JP. “Developmental origins of the age-related decline in cortical cholinergic function and associated cognitive abilities.” Neurobiol Aging. 2004;25(9):1127-1139.
6. Taglialatela G, et al. “Acetyl-L-carnitine enhances the response of PC12 cells to nerve growth factor.” Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 1991; 59(2):221-230.
7. Montgomery SA, et al. “Meta-analysis of double-blind randomized controlled clinical trials of acetyl-L-carnitine versus placebo in the treatment of mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s disease.” lnt Clin Psychopharmacol. 2003; 18(2):61-71.
8. American Academy of Neurology. (2011, December 28). Diet patterns may keep brain from shrinking [Press release]. Retrieved from https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/PressRelease/1010
9. Daiello LA, et al. “Association of fish oil supplement use with preservation of brain volume and cognitive function.” Alzheimers Dement. 2015 ;11(2):226-235.
10. Cole G and Frautschy SA. “DHA may prevent age-related dementia.” J Nutr. 2010;140(4):869–874.