Not a week goes by without someone asking if we have something to help with brain health and memory. As one ages, our brain changes and so does our mental function. Mental decline is most certainly one of the most frightening consequences of aging. This is a normal part of the aging process and fortunately, although it is common, mental decline is not inevitable.
As you age, you may recognise the subtle changes that take place in mental function. These include fatigue, memory lapses and brain fog. Cognitive deterioration can result in a decline in working efficiency, unpleasant temperament and considerably reduced quality of life. All of which can be escaped and possibly reversed when the aging process is slowed down and brain energy is maximised.
The Healthy Human Brain
A healthy brain contains strong nerve cells that process and sends important information throughout the body in order to function correctly. These nerve cells, called neurons pass and receive signals from other neurons. Neurons generate an electrical charge to release neurotransmitters in order to relay a signal. Neurons can live a long time (100 years). Therefore, it is vital for neurons to maintain and repair themselves while new neurons are continuously being made in other brain regions. A healthy human brain also depends on various chemical reactions. These cellular chemical reactions and functions are carried in blood flowing through the brain. And require oxygen and glucose in order to survive.
When brain health is not a priority in one’s life, the communication between the neurons (nerve cells) deteriorate and the blood flow in the brain decreases. Thus, resulting in mental function being severely affected. Neglecting these important functions will essentially affect how well everyday tasks are performed and whether one can live independently.
Slow the Aging Process – Preserve brain Health
There are many tiny cell structures within each cell called mitochondria. These mitochondria convert nutrients into cellular energy in a process called biological oxidation. Oxygen plays a vital role in brain function. It is the fuel that turns on energy production yet the production of energy can also produce free radicals. A free radical is an unstable form of oxygen which damages good cells. However, there is good news! In a ground-breaking book written by Lester Packer Ph.D. and co-author Carol Colman “The Antioxidant Miracle”, the importance of antioxidants and their role in arresting and / reversing the effects of aging was revealed (1).
Antioxidants interact safely with free radicals and terminate the chain reaction before any damage to vital cells is caused. Thus, antioxidants prevent free radicals from attacking cells in the body and brain. Without the support of antioxidants, free radicals can cause mental deterioration. This because antioxidants are what’s needed to keep free radicals are kept under control.
The intake of antioxidants is very important in boosting one’s immune system and slowing down the process of aging and therefore mental decline. The body alone cannot produce antioxidants making diet and supplementation that contain antioxidants important.
Anti-oxidant: Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR)
This superior form of preservative-free carnitine, able to cross the blood-brain barrier is essential for keeping cells alive. It prevents brain cell deterioration and increases cognitive performance so that you can expand your mental functionality and perform at your peak.
ALCAR has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and directly enter the brain where it acts as a powerful antioxidant and in so doing helps in the prevention of brain cells’ deterioration. ALCAR can help to increase energy production in the mitochondria and this can boost physical and mental energy.
Anti-oxidant: Alpha Lipoic Aclid (ALA)
Alpha Lipoic Acid is a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties, capable of detoxifying heavy metals found in the brain. It rejuvenates the aging brain and regenerates the nerve tissue in the brain thereby reducing the risk of stroke and dementia. Which will allow your brain to serve you well for years to come.
ALA was first discovered in 1973. However, its powerful antioxidant characteristics were only recognised decades later, in 1989. In 1991 it was further discovered that not only was it a powerful antioxidant but it was perhaps the MOST powerful.
In Manheim Germany, a study was performed on the effect of Lipoic Acid on memory loss in aging mice. The study showed that after 14 days, mice treated with Lipoic Acid in their water performed considerably better in negotiating their way through a maze in comparison to those who were not given Lipoic Acid in their water. In fact, some mice on the treated water did better than mice half their age!
Maintain Brain Health – THE BEST WAY.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) works synergistically with Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) to increase the effect that they have on the immune system and brain health. Many studies done by Professor Bruce Ames at the University of California used a combination of ALCAR and ALA. The study found that the combination can “literally rejuvenate mitochondria in old animals”. Professor Bruce also mentioned that “mitochondrial decay appears to be a major contributor to aging and its associated deceases”, including mental and energy decline.
Studies have indicated that ALC given in doses of up to 2gms daily can delay the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. ALC enhances or mimics the function of acetylcholine. The levels of acetylcholine have been found to be diminished in Alzheimer’s patients. Therefore, stimulating the production thereof should be advantageous.
In conclusion, combining these two powerful anti-oxidants will help protect the red blood cells that carry oxygen to the brain and stabilise cell membranes. Similarly, as studies have shown, the combination of ALCAR and ALA has the potential to delay the onset of dementia. Also, it may be useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, senile depression, and age-related memory defects.
Packer, Lester & Colman, Carol. The Antioxidant Miracle. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 1999