Top Supplements for Your Brain

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Brain Function SupplementsDid you know that there are natural vitamins that can enhance your brain function and boost memory retention?

By taking the proper “brain-boosting” vitamins, you can rest assured that you’ll be supplying your noggin with the essential nutrients needed for it to function at optimal performance.

Let’s take a look at a few of the top brain-boosting supplements.

Top Brain Supplement No. 1: Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the safest and most popular vitamin supplements on the market today. It could help shorten the duration of a cold, improve components of the immune system, reduce the risk of heart disease and eye disease, and is even a primary component to many anti-aging skin care products—but what about vitamin C’s effects on the brain?

• Neurotransmitter production: Did you know that the average brain has over 100 billion neurons that communicate with each other through brain chemicals called neurotransmitters? Neurotransmitters can help you stay focused; they control your mood, sleep patterns, and more. Vitamin C is vital in the production of neurotransmitters.

• Improves your mood: Vitamin C increases serotonin—this neurotransmitter helps maintain a “happy mood balance,” while a serotonin deficiency can lead to depression.

• Increases intelligence: Vitamin C supplements can improve memory and mental functions. Research shows that higher blood levels of vitamin C can boost brain and memory function for people of all ages.

• Reduces the risk of brain degeneration: Vitamin C can protect against certain age-related symptoms associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

• Defends against free radical damage: The brain is more prone to free radical damage, due to its high-oxygen usage. For proper biological function, there needs to be a healthy balance between free radicals and antioxidants. Vitamin C, thankfully, is one of the most effective antioxidant vitamins.

• Improves circulation: Vitamin C helps build collagen, the main protein of our connective tissues that helps keep the arteries flexible, which helps improve blood flow with oxygen and nutrients to the brain.

A daily dosage of 2,000 mg of vitamin C is recommended to take full advantage of its benefits.

Top Brain Supplement No. 2: Vitamin D

Vitamins May Help Cure Alzheimer’sThis sunshine vitamin has been known to help protect against cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. But let’s take a look at its effects on the brain:

• Brain development for babies: According to a 2012 study published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers discovered that a vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy could hinder the baby’s brain development. Researchers measured the vitamin D levels of approximately 2,000 pregnant women and studied the mental capabilities of their babies after they reached the 14-month-old mark. Children of vitamin D-deficient moms scored lower than children of mothers who took adequate levels of vitamin D during pregnancy.

• Helps fight age-related diseases: The brain needs sufficient nutrients to keep functioning, especially as we get older. Research shows that vitamin D can play an important role in improving or even preventing the effects of certain brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s. Vitamin D has powerful anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Many brain tissues contain vitamin D receptors; when they are triggered by vitamin D, it can facilitate nerve growth in the brain.

• Improves symptoms of depression: In a 2015 study published in Psychiatry Research, researchers discovered that low levels of vitamin D are linked to symptoms of depression in people who are otherwise healthy. For this reason alone, researchers concluded that vitamin D supplementation is warranted.

More Brain Supplements

• Folate: Part of the vitamin B family, folate can increase your alertness, memory, and concentration. It will lower the blood levels of the chemical compound called homocysteine, which is well known for damaging brain cells.

• Magnesium: This mineral protects the brain from neurotoxins.

• Vitamin E: This essential vitamin contains a component called gamma tocopherol, which is a protective antioxidant that can help control neurodegenerative disorders.

Sources:
Mann, D., “Nourishing Your Noggin,” MedicineNet web site, September 22, 2004; http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=55784.
Alban, D., “Brain Vitamins: Essential Vitamins for a Healthy Brain,” Be Brain Fit web site; http://bebrainfit.com/brain-vitamins-essential-healthy-brain/, last accessed June 15, 2015.
Storrs, C., “Vitamin D in Pregnancy Critical for Brain Development, Study Says,” HealthDay web site, September 17, 2012; http://consumer.healthday.com/cognitive-and-neurological-health-information-26/brain-health-news-80/vitamin-d-in-pregnancy-critical-for-brain-development-study-says-668675.html.
Mercola, J., “Link Between Vitamin D Deficiency and Dementia Confirmed,” Mercola.com, November 6, 2014; http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/11/06/vitamin-d-deficiency-dementia.aspx.
Davenport, L., “Vitamin D Levels Predict Depression,” Medscape web site, March 25, 2015; http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/842008.

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