Can supplements help the brain function better?By Dr. Veita Bland / July 19, 2019
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One of the most precious gifts we received in life is our ability to think and make decisions. As Mother Nature would have it, we all have special talents and abilities. Some are a whizzes at math while others loathe the subject. Some enjoy the classics while others would rather play heavy metal. We all have our special talents and quirkiness that define who we are individuals.
The way we treat our brain now also affects its ability to work. Do we power it with great nutrition? So we stay away from lead or alcohol; substances we know will damage our brains? Are we getting enough rest? Are we caring for our respective bodies which house our brain?
One of the sad aspects of aging is that for some people the brain seems to be losing a step or two.
You do not process that information as fast as you once did. You feel that you are just not as sharp as you once were.
That has resulted in many people taking a lot of different supplements with the hope that these will return that lost step you once had. It is known that sales of these supplements topped over three billion dollars in 2016 and the numbers continue to grow.
The question is if they really are effective in helping the brain, is there some missing element in the brain that these supplements are repairing or replacing. The main supplements used now include: Omega fatty acids, fish oil, coconut oil (triglycerides), Huperzine-A, caffeine, Nicotinamide riboside, phosphatidylserine, Curcumin, Flavanols, Coenzyme Q10, Ginkgo biloba, and Apoaequorin, which is derived from jelly fish.
The studies have shown that if a person has normal nutrition levels these supplements are of no help to the function of the brain. Exceptions would be if there were specific deficiencies such as vitamin B12 or B9. DHA supplementation may be helpful in those who already have mild cognitive decline, which is a precursor to Alzheimer’s.
It may be better to save the funds spent on supplements for your brain and ensure a better environment for your brain. This can be accomplished with more nutritiously dense food, cleaner air, better physical condition, adequate sleep and avoiding toxins to the brain such as alcohol. This can be accomplished by treating high blood pressure to prevent strokes, treating diabetes to prevent heart disease. The real treatment for the brain and preventing loss of brain power is taking care of the vessel it lives in. Treat your body like a Temple. You will feel better and it will appreciate your healthy lifestyle choices. Visit: www.cognitivevitality.org and see the evidence.
Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. Email Dr. Bland at firstname.lastname@example.org.