Mind Your Brain Health
Natural Biology's Brain Health Protocol:
- EVEREST EARTH & SEA FORMULA - Take 6 capsules daily
- Arctic Ocean Krill Oil and/or Norwegian Omega 3 - Take 2 softgels daily
- Brain Rocket - Take 1 capsule 2-3 times daily as needed
EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON THE HEALTH OF YOUR BRAIN - EVERYTHING....
When it comes to the science of the brain, there is quite a bit of grey matter. But as Lyall Watson,
Ph.D., naturalist and author of “Supernatural” eloquently said, “If the brain were so simple we could
understand it, we would be so simple we couldn’t.”
Amazing that a bundle of neurons innervate the body to perform the miracle of cognition and such
abstract concepts as reasoning, perception, intelligence, learning, comprehension, decision-making
and planning. We can contemplate and have power to argue such mysteries as the
expanding/contracting universe, negative matter and life;
it’s no wonder the organ that houses such
musing is a phenomenon unto itself.
Medicare currently spends nearly three times as much for people with Alzheimer’s and other
dementias than for the average Medicare beneficiary. These costs are projected to double from $91
billion in 2005 to more than $189 billion by 2015, more than the current gross national product of 86
percent of the world’s countries, according to the Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report
(2007, alz.org). In 2005, state and federal Medicaid spending for nursing home and home care for
people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias was estimated at $21 billion; that number is projected to
increase to $27 billion by 2015.
According to Maryellen Molyneaux, president of The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), nearly three-
quarters of consumers are using supplements, foods or beverages to prevent memory problems.
Cognitive dysfunction is oft taken for granted, treated as an expected part of “getting old”. Yet, in
research terms, there is no link between progressive cognitive decline (usually noticeable in middle
age) and cognitive dysfunction, only that decline is more likely as we age.
That said, one icon stigmatizing any range of memory decline—Alzheimer’s disease (AD)—has
become a societal concern
. The Alzheimer’s Association reports there are now more than 5 million
people in the United States living with Alzheimer’s disease (2007), and unless a cure or effective
treatment to delay the onset or progression of the AD is found, the prevalence could soar to 7.7
million people by 2030. Two types of abnormal lesions
—beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary
—clog the brains of individuals with AD, building up inside the nerve cells. Although these are
hallmarks of the disease, scientists are unclear whether they cause it or are a byproduct of it.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Huntington’s disease are also conditions that affect cognitive
function. Symptoms of both include memory loss, impaired coordination, uncontrolled movements
and dementia; however,
Huntington’s disease, the rarest of the three diseases, results from a
genetically programmed degeneration of neurons, while PD results from a combination of genetic
susceptibility and exposure to one or more environmental factors that trigger the disease
Fortunately, there is some hope on the horizon. Numerous controlled clinical trials have demonstrated
improved brain performance from dietary supplementation with specialty nutrients. Scientists have
demonstrated several nutritional building blocks to properly benefit the moods and minds of men and
women to maximize the potential of this three-pound cognitive control tower of the central nervous
Offsetting Oxidation Effects
This is one of the primary reasons Natural Biology formulated EVEREST Earth & Sea Formula to be a complex array of antioxidants to insure free radical oxidation was minimized in a daily formula.
Oxidation is the culprit behind the breakdown of most tissues, and brain tissue, with its high metabolic
rate and high content of polyunsaturated lipids, is particularly susceptible to peroxidative attack. Free
radical accumulation and oxidative stress may contribute to the progression of motor neuron disease.
Antioxidants, including carotenoids, vitamins C and E, selenium, methionine and acetylcysteine,
assist in maintaining brain integrity by countering cognitive decline, particularly in the elderly. Boston
researchers reported an antioxidant-rich diet may preserve cognitive ability, as oxidative damage
decreased motor and cognitive performance, and increased the possibility of neurodegenerative
diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), AD and PD.
Italian researchers have also found connections between depressed peripheral levels of the
antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E, and carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-
cryptoxanthin, lycopene, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene); and activities of plasma and red blood
cell (RBC) antioxidant enzymes such as
superoxide dismutase (SOD) with mild cognitive
impairment (MCI) and AD in test subjects, compared to controls.
2 They also noted MCI may represent
an early symptom stage of AD, and since oxidative damage appears to occur as one of the earliest
pathophysiological events in AD, an increased intake of antioxidants could be helpful in lowering the
risk MCI evolving to dementia. And a clinical trial out of Washington provides additional research
behind taking antioxidant supplements to ensure top cognitive performance over a lifetime.
Researchers monitored long-term antioxidant status and cognitive function in a seven-year study of
2,082 community-dwelling elderly subjects and found that those subjects who supplemented with
vitamins A, C or E, plus selenium or
zinc, had a 34-percent lower risk of developing cognitive
impairment and a 29-percent lower risk of experiencing cognitive decline, compared with non-
On its own, vitamin E is critical in the neuroprotective antioxidant category—with impressive efficacy
against AD and other neurodegenerative disorders.
5,6 Japanese researchers found chronic lipid
peroxidation due to alpha-tocopherol depletion enhanced AD phenotype in a mouse model.
study out of the University D'Annunzio, Chieti Scalo, Italy, measured motor nerve conduction velocity
of the right superficial peroneal nerve using a standard neurophysiologic technique in a population-
based sample of subjects aged between 20 and 103 years old enrolled in the InCHIANTI study.
concluded inflammation and inadequate antioxidant defenses are associated with accelerated decline
of nerve conduction velocity over the aging process.
Clinical studies support the idea that vitamin E may have a key role to play in brain health. A six-year
study out of Rush University, Chicago, found a correlation between cognitive decline and intakes of
vitamin E, alpha-tocopherols and alpha-tocopherol equivalents, and gamma-tocopherols.
researchers found, in a cohort of 1,033 elderly people, those individuals with plasma vitamin E levels
in the bottom tertile had a significantly higher probability of being demented and suffering from
cognitive impairment, compared to those in the highest vitamin E tertile.
In addition, vitamin E’s tocotrienols may be even more effective than its tocopherols. Nanomolar
alpha-tocotrienol, not alpha-tocopherol, is potently neuroprotective,
11 and crosses the blood-brain
12 Researchers at The Ohio State University Medical Center, Colombus, observed micromolar,
but not nanomolar, alpha-tocotrienol functions as an antioxidant, as verified in a model involving
linoleic acid-induced oxidative stress and cell death.13
Two studies on natural full-spectrum palm tocotrienols, funded by the National Institutes of Health
(NIH) and led by Chandra K Sen, M.D., Ohio State University Medical Center, found oral tocotrienols
(as Tocomin® and Tocomin® SupraBioTM, from Carotech Inc.) were effective in elevating blood
plasma levels to concentrations that could help protect against neurological damage resulting from
14 In the first study, a group of women were given 400 mg of Tocovid SupraBio soft gel
capsules; blood samples were collected at 2, 4, 6 and 8 hours after supplementation. Peak plasma
tocotrienol levels were found to be 12 to 30 times higher than those needed to completely prevent
related neurodegeneration as determined by earlier research. In the second study, Sen’s team
determined tocotrienols protect against stroke-induced neurodegeneration by acting as an antioxidant
at higher concentrations, and providing non-antioxidant protection at lower levels,
15 although higher
concentrations of tocotrienols were needed to reduce free-radical activity and resulting neurotoxicity.
Another vitamin-like compound, coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), is a powerful antioxidant that buffers the
potential adverse consequences of free radicals produced during oxidative phosphorylation in the
inner mitochondrial membrane.
16 As CoQ10 levels decline with age,17 accelerating precursors of
beta-amyloid deposition, CoQ10 supplementation may be preventive against AD, PD and other
18 For example, in one study, CoQ10 therapy attenuated amyloid
betapeptide toxicity in brain mitochondria isolated from elderly rats.
19 Hong Kong researchers
similarly found in a group of 48 mice (four genotypes), those treated with CoQ10 (1,200 mg/d) for 28
days after ischemic injury for 28 days had amyloid precursor protein mutations had smaller infarct
volumes, while the volumes of hemisphere and hippocampus on the infarcted side were larger than
those treated with placebo, suggesting CoQ10 could protect the brain from ischemic-related atrophy
in aged and susceptible transgenic mice.
20 The combination of CoQ10 with vitamin E may also be
beneficial, as research from the University of North Texas, Fort Worth, showed supplementation of
aged mice with CoQ10 and alpha-tocopherol improved brain function, as measured by cognitive
Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of multiple antioxidants, leading many suppliers and
researchers to explore the benefits extracts of these foods may provide. A study out of the Human
Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts, Boston investigated the impact of a multi-berry extract
(as OptiBerry®, from InterHealth Nutraceuticals) fed to Fischer rats for eight weeks, was effective in
reversing age-related deficits in several neuronal and behavioral parameters, including Morris water
22 Boston researchers similarly found diets supplemented with spinach,
strawberries or blueberries (nutritional goldmines for antioxidants) given to aged rats, could reverse
age-induced declines in beta-adrenergic receptor function in cerebellar Purkinje neuron and improved
motor learning, critical for rehabilitation following stroke, spinal cord injury, and the onset of some
23 And spirulina may be even more powerful, as an in vitro study found it
could reduce brain damage caused by ischemia by roughly 70-percent; blueberries and spinach
reduced it by 30 percent.
The carotenoid astaxanthin also has brain-protective abilities, which may be due in part to its ability
to cross the blood-brain barrier.
25 A series of tests conducted at the International Research Center for
Traditional Medicine, Japan, found mice fed astaxanthin (as Bioastin, Cyanotech Corp.) one hour
before induction of ischemia (arterial obstruction of blood to the brain) performed better in a maze
designed as a learning performance test.26 The researchers concluded: “The present results showed
astaxanthin had neuroprotective effects at relatively high doses by preventing the ischemia-induced
impairment of spatial memory in mice.” Japanese researchers did further work in this area in a rat
model. Rats were fed Astaxanthin twice before inducing ischemia; and once after releasing blood
flow. Rats were killed and brains were compared with a control group fed olive oil. Researchers found
that the rats fed Astaxanthin had 40-percent less brain damage than control.
Fat’s Where It’s At
Natural Biology's EVERET PROTOCOL utilizes higher grades of Omega 3s to insure a quality solution with Norwegian Omega 3 and Arctic Ocean Krill Oil. In combination with EVEREST Earth & Sea Formula either of these Omega 3 solutions provides two of the most critical aspects of cognitive health - and there's even more including Resveratrol, CoQ10, etc.
The function of fatty acids is largely dependent on the state of the lipid membranes in which they are
found, and half the dry weight of the brain is lipid and half of the lipid portion consists of
fatty acids (EFAs)
. The quantity and strength of evidence for effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the
neurological conditions assessed vary greatly.
However, people who eat fish or fish supplements score 13-percent higher in IQ tests and are less
likely to show signs of AD.
29 And cohort studies from Holland,30 France,31 and the United States32
demonstrated lower risk of developing dementia in people with a regular intake of seafood compared
to non-fish eaters.
Clinical trials are investigating the role of dietary and supplemental EFAs on brain function. One
large-scale clinical, funded by NIH and led by the director of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) is
evaluating whether the omega-3 fatty acid
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, as life’sDHATM, from
Martek Biosciences Corp.), taken over many months, slows the progression of both cognitive and
functional decline in people with mild to moderate AD.
However, completed studies have confirmed the protective and even preventive effect of DHA or its
metabolites. A study out of the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden demonstrated that patients
given an omega-3 concentrate high in DHA (as EPAX 1050G, from EPAX AS) halted further memory
decline while patients on placebo continued to deteriorate
33 The 204 patients, in early stage AD, were
randomly given EPAX 1050 TG (4 g/d), or placebo (corn oil) for six months; the placebo group then
was also given the EPAX supplement. All patients were also treated with acetylcholine esterase
inhibitors, a standard AD treatment. The patients on active treatment did not demonstrate significant
progression of memory decline; the placebo group had a two-point memory decline in six months,
until switched to EPAX treatment, at which point memory decline was arrested.
“We are now starting
to realize the importance of DHA in the brain as being not only a structural component of brain cells,
but moreover, a natural compound guarding the aging brain cells from degradation by neurotoxic
mechanisms,” said Yvonne Freund-Levi, M.D, and lead researcher in the study.
The mechanism of EFA supplements in brain health is under investigation as well. Recently a
neuroprotective effect of DHA has been demonstrated in an animal model of brain damage.
experiments, with transgenic mice developing neuron amyloid resembling human amyloid deposition
in brain cells leading to AD, have provided better understanding of the pathophysiology of the
diseases. One study demonstrated a protective effect of DHA on brain cell death.35 Another study
showed positive effects in the prevention of amyloid formation in the mouse brain.
Another fatty compound with brain protective properties is citicoline. Citicoline is involved in maintaining the structural integrity and functionality of neuronal membranes and is a precursor of the
neurotransmitter, acetylcholine (Ach). A meta-analysis out of Rome confirmed citicoline has a positive
effect on memory, at least in the short to medium term; the researchers noted the evidence for this
theory was limited only by the duration of the studies reviewed.
In a 2004 review, conducted by Richard Conant, MAc, CN, and Alexander G. Schauss, Ph.D. at the
American Institute for Biosocial and Medical Research, Inc. (AIBMR), Puyallup, WA found that as a
dietary supplement, citicoline appears useful for improving both the structural integrity and
functionality of the neuronal membrane that may assist in membrane repair in older subjects.
In a recent unpublished study, the effect of citicoline (as CognizinTM, from Kyowa Hakko USA) on the
memory performance was examined in mice. Forty (eight-week old) mice were subjected to training in
a Morris water maze to learn how to reach the platform (PF).
After 18 training “sessions”, almost all
the mice could reach the PF within 20 seconds. The mice were then randomly divided into two
groups. Commercial diet (CE2) was given to one group (control), and a CE2 diet containing two
percent citicoline was given to another group for four weeks, without any training. After the completion
of the feeding period, the mice were forced to swim in the Morris water maze for one minute without
PF. Results showed the time for reaching and crossing over the former PF position was found shorter
in the mice given citicoline than in the control mice; and the mice given citicoline, had increased
frequency of crossing-over at the former PF position within 60 seconds compared with the control
“Additional studies point to the ability of Cognizin to act as an antioxidant in preserving normal healthy
visual function. In addition, Cognizin protects neural tissue from the ravages of free radical damage,”
said Toshi Kamiya, research director at Kyowa Hakko.
In vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) was used to measure brain levels of
cytosolic, choline-containing compounds before and after single oral doses of cytidine 5' diphosphate
39 Results suggest that the cytidine moiety of CDP-choline stimulates
phosphatidylcholine synthesis in human brain cell membranes in older human subjects.
Once sold as a prescription drug and over-the-counter (OTC) for fighting cognition impairment,
phosphatidylserine (PS) is a natural phospholipid derived from both plant (soy) and animal (bovine)
sources. Soy-derived PS has been validated through double blind trials for improving memory,
learning, concentration, word recall, and mood in middle-aged and elderly subjects with dementia or
age-related cognitive decline.
40 It is active in cell membranes, and is a major building block for nerve
cells. In a study out of England, young adults (with neuroticism scores above rather than below the
median) given 300 mg/d PS for a month were less stressed and had a better mood.
In a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study with PS, published in Neurology journal,42
149 subjects, aged 50 to 75 years were given PS at 300 mg/d for 12 weeks. There was significant
improvement in learning and recalling names, faces, telephone numbers, misplaced objects,
paragraphs and the ability to concentrate.
Chemi Nutra’s SerinAid® PS was evaluated in an unpublished research study at the University of
Guadalajara in Mexico, involving PS and its ability to reduce the incidence of memory loss that
accompanies hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in women. In the final report, the researcher
commented that PS “improved various emotional aspects” related to HRT.
Botanical Brain Boosters
Natural Biology's Brain Rocket incorporates the purest and most potent forms of Vinpocentine
Nutritional and botanical therapies are available offering proven degrees of efficacy and generally
favorable benefit-to-risk profiles.
Vinpocetine, Bacopa monniera (Bacopa) and Ginkgo biloba
extract are a handful of nature’s offerings with interesting contributions to a personalized approach for
restoring cognitive function.
Vinpocetine is a chemical substance isolated from vincamine, a vinca alkaloid obtained from the
leaves of the Lesser Periwinkle (Vinca minor). It was discovered in the late 1960s, and has been used
by humans for over 20 years. Studies in humans and in animal models demonstrate
ability to increase short-term memory and increase critical reaction time in healthy volunteers.43 It
increases blood flow to the brain through reduction in flow resistance of cerebral vessels,
improves the rheological properties of blood by inhibiting platelet aggregation and increasing the
deformability of red blood cells of erythrocytes.
Bacopa (Bacopa monniera, BM) or water hyssop, is the source of a centuries-old plant extract with
specific cognition-enhancing benefits. This Ayurvedic botanical has apparent anti-anxiety, anti-fatigue
and memory-strengthening effects.
46,47,48 An Indian study showed administration of BM extract to
mice with cognitive impairment induced by phenytoin improved the animals’ scores on a passive
avoidance test.49 An unpublished study out of Oregon State University concluded Bacopa extract (as
BaCognize®, from Verdure Sciences) displaced antagonist [3H] Ketanserin from serotonin receptor
5HT2a isolated from rats, and exhibited even stronger effects in its displacement of agonist 8-OH-
DPAT from the 5HT1a receptor
—indicative of its strong serotonin receptor activity.
Ginkgo biloba extract a Chinese botanical, is widely used in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke in
China and is also used occasionally in Europe. Studies on ginkgo have generally shown positive
results. Polish researchers, for example, reported preventive doses of 100 mg/kg ginkgo (as EGb
761, from Willmar Schwabe Group) in rats prior to a two-hour episode of restraint stress or
corticosterone injection, abolished cognitive deficits as measured by decreased re-entry latencies in a
passive avoidance test.
50 Further, another study by the same researchers showed 100 mg/kg doses
of EGB 761 improved spatial and nonspatial memory in the Morris water maze and object recognition
tests in chronically stressed or corticosterone-treated rats.
51 And ginkgo’s positive effects on spatial
learning and memory have been demonstrated by two studies from China.52,53
On another note from nature, a variety of green oat (Avena sativa L.) may help cognitive function.
Unpublished studies conducted on Avena sativa (as
Neuravena TM, from Frutarom) suggest it has
activity on two cerebral enzymes closely connected to mental health and cognitive function. In vivo,
quantitive analysis demonstrated Neurovena has stimulating properties and the dopaminergic
—implicated in cognitive functioning and depression.
Soy has been shown to promote cognitive wellness, especially among postmenopausal women,
although results have been mixed. In one study, daily supplementation with 80 mg soy-derived isoflavones did not improve performance on standard neuropsychological tests and overall quality of
life in generally healthy Chinese postmenopausal women.
54 However, in another six-month, double
blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical, researchers concluded 55 mg/d of soy-extracted
isoflavones (as Soyselect, from Indena) supplementation has a favorable effect on cognitive function,
particularly verbal memory, in postmenopausal women.55
Adding to the list of botanicals, ginseng root, a Chinese adaptogenic herb, may also have cognitive-
enhancing effects. Supporting this is a double blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study out of
England, which showed administration of Panax ginseng to healthy young adults subjected to a 10-
minute test battery at baseline, and then six times in immediate succession after receiving ginseng
extract or placebo.
56 Researchers found ginseng produced significant reductions in blood glucose
levels at all three post-treatment measurements; and concluded ginseng can improve performance
and subjective feelings of mental fatigue during sustained mental activity, possibly due to acute gluco-
regulatory properties of the extract.
57 And an in vitro study showed ginsenosides enhanced neurite
outgrowth in the absence of a nerve growth factor.
And Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), an Ayurvedic botanical used in India, is another
adaptogenic herb thoug
ht to benefit neurons’ dendrites and axons (where input is received and
released) damaged by neurodegeneration.
59 Researchers at the Toyama Medical and
Pharmaceutical University in Japan concluded ashwagandha promotes the formation of dendrites,
which may compensate for and repair damaged neuronal circuits in the dementia brain. Additional
studies from the same institution found oral administration of withanoside extracted from
ashwagandha significantly improved memory deficits in beta-amyloid-injected mice, and prevented
loss of axons, dendrites, and synapses in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus.
Resveratrol, the polyphenolic phytoalexin phenomenon found in grape skins, is another botanical
brain booster. Resveratrol may protect against the ravages of ischemia in the brain; researchers from
National Chia- Yi University gave 60 adult male rats general anesthesia and randomized them to
receive an ischemia treatment (bilateral ligation of carotid artery), ischemia combined with resveratrol
administration (20 mg/kg) or a sham treatment.
62 In rats not administered resveratrol, hydroxyl radical
levels were elevated and severe neuronal loss occurred in the brain. In contrast, the brains of animals
given resveratrol had significantly increased concentrations of nitric oxide (NO) and decreased
population of hydroxyl radicals. An Indian study demonstrated administration of resveratrol to rats in a
model of sporadic AD dementia preserved learning and memory capabilities in passive avoidance
paradigms, elevated plus maze and the closed field activity, and lowered the rats’ oxidative stress as
shown by reduced malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione levels, compared to control.63
Curcumin, a potent antioxidant extracted from Curcuma longa root (Zingiberaceae, known as
turmeric), significantly attenuated 3-NP-induced oxidative stress (lipid peroxidation estimation,
reduced glutathione and nitrite activity) in the brains of rats.
64 It also significantly restored deficient
succinate dehydrogenase activity, indicating curcumin by its antioxidant activity showed
neuroprotection against 3-NP-induced behavioral and biochemical alteration.
In an unpublished study sponsored by Tishcon Corp. and conducted at Little Flower Medical
Research Center, Angamaly, India, a special extract of curcumin (as Curcugel
TM, from Tishcon Corp.)
was found to be 8.2-times more bioavailable than normal curcumin. Four human volunteers between
ages 20 to 30 were given four capsules (500 mg/ea) of curcumin; all were put on similar diet. Fasting blood samples were taken and compared to samples taken after volunteers were given Curcu-Gel
Softsules containing BCM-
95TM (from Orcas International). Researchers concluded bioavailability of
curcumin from Curcu-Gel is higher than normal curcumin, on average.
While researchers are still exploring how curcumin works, it appears the botanical extract may help
the brain clear amyloid-beta plaque that could otherwise lead to development and progression of AD
and other neurological problems, according to researchers from the University of California, Los
65 Blood taken from six AD patients and three healthy controls was isolated for macrophages
(cells of the immune system that function in the destruction of foreign antigens). The isolated
macrophages were exposed to curcumin (as Curcumin C3 Complex, from Sabinsa) in a cell culture
for 24 hours, after which time amyloid-beta was introduced. The treated macrophages from the AD
patients showed improved ingestion of amyloid-beta compared to those not treated with
curcuminoids; and macrophages from the healthy controls, which were shown to be effectively
beta, showed no changes with curcuminoids treatment. “These initial findings may
lead to a new approach in treating AD by enhancing the natural function of the immune system using
curcumin, thus increasing the body’s ability to remove plaques that may cause AD and other forms of
dementia,” stated UCLA researcher Milan Fiala, M.D. Previous research supports that plaque,
specifically from amyloid-beta deposits, could be a contributing factor to the development of AD.
The Macro on Micronutrients
Micronutrient status can affect cognitive function at all ages; deficiencies could influence memory
function and might contribute to age-associated cognitive impairment and dementia. For example,
vitamin B6, comprising three chemically distinct compounds pyridoxal, pyridoxamine, and pyridoxine,
is involved in the regulation of mental function and mood.
66 B6 is also an essential homocysteine re-
methylation cofactor, and deficiency is associated with increase in blood homocysteine levels.
Homocysteine, a risk factor for cerebrovascular disease, may also have toxic effects on neurons.
Hyperhomocysteinemia has been suggested as a cause or mechanism in the development AD and
other forms of dementia. However, a two-year clinical trial involving 276 older adults found no
differences in cognitive function between those given B6 and those receiving a placebo.
Pictured above: Natural Biology's Founder and 5 generations of healthy brains....
Iron status is a significant factor in cognitive performance in women of reproductive age. Severity of
anemia primarily affects processing speed, and severity of iron deficiency affects accuracy of
cognitive function over a broad range of tasks.
Studies investigating the impact of the B vitamins on cognitive function and homocysteine levels
demonstrated dietary intake of folate, B12 and B6 in 1,183 men and women, and found higher intakes
of B12 and B6 were positively related to memory function, while higher intakes of folate and B6 were
positively associated with better memory function in women.
Studies have suggested a link between folate deficiency and dementia onset. A Swiss study
investigated the relations of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia with serum
levels of homocysteine, folate and B12.70 The human study found hyperhomocysteinemia was
significantly associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s, as was low folate status, leading the
researchers to suggest folate deficiency may precede the onset of dementia. Similarly, Belgian
researchers found significant negative correlations between levels of serum B12 and folate and
degree of cognitive deterioration in 180 patients with Alzheimer’s and/or vascular dementia.71
As consumers are living longer cognitive decline becomes a bigger societal concern. The right
—from fatty acids to botanicals—can help keep brain degeneration and mood disorders at
bay, even as the fine grey lines of time take their course.
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