Brain on Chalkboard

6 Powerful Nutrients That Fight Brain Decay

Brain on ChalkboardThis article originally appeared on Live in the Now.

If you expect to live into your 80s, which most of us certainly do, here is an important statistic you need to know. According to NIH’s National Institute on Aging, by the time you reach your 80s, you have a 50 percent chance of suffering from a significant loss of mental function.[1] That’s right. The odds are no better than the toss of a coin.

Experts are increasingly alarmed by the sharp increase in the rates of brain decay, with cases surging by 46 percent in the past decade.[2] The cause for this troubling increase is not known; however, factors such as poor diet, environmental toxins and a less active lifestyle certainly play a role.

One thing is for sure — if you want to keep your mind and memory intact as you age, you can’t risk adopting an “it won’t be me” mentality.

If You Wait for Treatment, It’s Already Too Late

If you bring up prevention with most doctors, you’ll get nowhere fast. The current medical system expects you to wait until you are showing signs of cognitive decline before treatment is even discussed. But here’s the sad truth – if you wait until you’ve been diagnosed, it will be too late.

According to the National Institute on Aging, current drugs are only marginally effective at treating brain decay and have many side effects.[3] So why is it that doctors are not focusing their attention on prevention, especially since many methods have been proven to be extremely effective?

6 Specific Nutrients Play a Critical Role

New research is proving that specific nutrients can be the secret remedy long overlooked by traditional medicine. The science shows that these nutrients have an undeniable, positive impact on brain health.

The following six nutrients are the “best of the best” and the most promising with regards to preventing cognitive decline.

1. CoQ10: The Brain’s Fountain of Youth

Your brain depends on the powerful antioxidant CoQ10 to keep it healthy. Deficits of CoQ10 severely compromises brain function, leading to sluggish thinking and memory decline.

According to a UCSD study, maintaining adequate levels of CoQ10 can slow brain deterioration by 44 percent.[4] Furthermore, people with high levels of CoQ10 have better mental acuity, motor abilities and mental energy. CoQ10 also benefits your heart and overall energy levels.

2. DHA: The Omega-3 Your Brain Needs Most

By now, you have probably heard that omega-3 fatty acids are good for your brain. However, one particular omega-3 called DHA is absolutely critical to optimal brain function.

As you age, your brain cells lose the ability to absorb DHA and levels can drop significantly, starving your mind and compromising both brain function and memory retention.[5] So having high levels of DHA literally feeds your brain. Sadly, too many people have critically low DHA levels.

3. Curcumin: India’s Brain Miracle Spice

Research shows that a compound called curcumin, a component of turmeric spice that is used in curry, can stop the buildup of a destructive plaque in brain tissue that can severely hamper mental function. In fact, studies conducted at UCLA show that curcumin can slash this plaque by up to 50 percent.[6]

It’s interesting to note that India has the highest consumption rate of curcumin in the world, and perhaps not coincidentally, the lowest rate of cognitive decline.[7]

4. Berries: Nutritional Superstars for the Brain

New research is pointing to the fact that daily consumption of specific berries can supercharge brain function. Berries have powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-clotting properties, and they also contain brain-boosting antioxidants like resveratrol, quercetin and vitamins C and E. According to studies done by a leading neuroscientist, berries also protect brain cells from inflammation.[8]

5. Alpha Lipoic Acid: The Antioxidant Your Brain Loves

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA), an extremely powerful antioxidant found in vegetables such as broccoli, has a unique molecular composition that allows it to essentially “purify” brain cells. This makes ALAa highly effective antidote to age-related memory decline.[9] However, few people get enoughALA from their diet alone to realize its therapeutic benefits.

6. Vinpocetine: Europe’s Secret Brain Booster

For decades, doctors in Europe have relied on vinpocetine, a natural extract of the periwinkle plant, as a treatment for cognitive decline. And it appears as though they have been on to something. The latest research proves that vinpocetine can improve blood flow to the cerebellum, the part of the brain responsible for motor control.[10] Good blood flow is essential to keeping your brain nourished and working optimally. Vinpocetine is just starting to become more popular in the United States.

Start Protecting Your Brain Today

A mind is a terrible thing to lose, so don’t wait until it’s too late. Do your own research and learn more about these incredible brain saving nutrients. And if you’re interested in a supplement that contains all six of the brain boosters discussed above, you can simply click here.

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[1] http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/topics/alzheimers-basics

[2] http://www.alz.org/downloads/Facts_Figures_2011.pdf

[3] http://www.nia.nih.gov/alzheimers/publication/alzheimers-disease-medications-fact-sheet

[4] Shults CW et al. Effects of coenzyme Q10 in early Parkinson disease: evidence of slowing of the functional decline. Arch Neurol. 2002;59, 1541-50.

[5] Lukiw W and Bazan N. Docosahexaenoic Acid and the Aging Brain. J Nutr. 2008;138:12, 2510-2514.

[6] Yang F et al. Curcumin inhibits formation of amyloid beta oligomers and fibrils, binds plaques, and reduces amyloid in vivo. J Biol Chem. 2005;280, 5892-901.

[7] Vas CJ et al. Prevalence of dementia in an urban Indian population. Int Psychogeriatr. 2001;13, 439-50.

[8] Shukitt-Hale B et al. Berry Fruit Supplementation and the Aging Brain. J Agric Food Chem. 2008;56:3, 636-641.

[9] Packer L et al. Neuroprotection by the Metabolic Antioxidant α-Lipoic Acid. Free Radic Biol Med. 1997;22:1-2, 359-378.

[10] Gulyás B et al. PET studies on the brain uptake and regional distribution of [11C]vinpocetine in human subjects. Acta Neurol Scand. 2002;106, 325–332.