Forget the Gingko: True Brain-Boosting Supplements

Health Alert 89

How long has it been since your mind has felt sharp, alert, clear and quick? Can’t remember? Supplements, widely used in Europe, but little known in the U.S., can help you to regain the mind clarity of your youth.

Loosing your cognitive function is one of the most upsetting symptoms of aging. You can see yourself going grey or developing wrinkles around your eyes. It is more difficult to see that your brain is aging too.

Your brain shrinks as you grow older. The shrinking starts in adulthood and continues at an average rate of 2% per decade. This means that at 80, your brain will be 12% smaller than at 20.1

In the U.S., doctors do one of two things. They prescribe nothing at all or give elders drugs that can ultimately lead to other health problems.

Gingko is all right for short-term use. It will temporarily give you a boost of clarity by inducing a drug like dilation of blood vessels to the brain. However, I don’t recommend you take gingko long-term because this effect cannot be sustained. Neither drugs nor gingko gets to the root of the problem.

Enhancing Brain Function

Certain nutritional supplements can address the root of the problem. In Europe, they are available by prescription only. In the US, you can get these supplements without a prescription in health food stores. You can combine them for a potent anti-aging brain blend.

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is vital to accurate brain functioning. It is highly concentrated in brain cells. Its job is to house neurotransmitters and regulate their release. As we age, we need more help from PS. PS supplementation can make the difference.

Neurology published a well-done study, which proves tha

t PS supplementation can restore cognitive function. Researchers gave the subjects either a regimen of PS or a placebo for 12 weeks. Volunteers were between the ages of 50 and 75 with memory impairment due to age.

The PS subjects had an improvement in learning and recalling names. They were better at face recognition, remembering telephone numbers, remembering misplaced objects, and concentrating. Subjects began to improve in as little as 3 weeks. 2

I recommend taking 100-200 mg of the PS a day.

Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) is another exceptional brain supplement. ALC provides a range of brain protection, improving mood and memory. It protects the brain from damage due to poor circulation. ALC helps injured nerve cells to repair and function normally again. ALC also increases the release of the memory neurotransmitter, acetylcholine.

Researchers have found that ALC protects brain cells from damage even when blood flow is temporarily blocked. 3 ALC keeps the cell energy going even when there is little or no blow flow for short amounts of time.

I recommend taking 250mg of ALC daily.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) helps to produce energy in every brain cell. CoQ10 also protects the cell from byproducts of that energy. Free radicals can damage brain cells. CoQ10 destroys these free radicals.

I recommend taking 30-100mg of CoQ10 daily.

Vitamin B12 is another brain booster. Vitamin B-12 plays a role in creating and maintaining the protective coating around neurons. This coating is myelin. Not only does myelin protect the neurons; it also helps to conduct messages. As vitamin B-12 levels drop, myelin’s effectiveness plummets.

People with B-12 deficiencies often develop mental disorders. B-12 is essential for the upkeep of nerve cells. The toxic byproduct homocysteine destroys neurons. B-12 lowers the amount of homocysteine present in the body.

I recommend taking 500mcg of Vitamin B-12 daily.

1 American Foundation for Aging Research: Neurobiology of Aging Information “What Physical Changes Happen to the Brain?”

2 Crook, T. et al., Effects of phosphatidylserine in age-associated memory impairment. Neurology 1991 May; 41(5): 644-649

3 Calvani M. et al., Attenuation by acetyl-l-carnitine of neurological damage and biochemical derangement following brain ischemia and reperfusion. Int J Tissue React 1992; 21(1): 1-6