The foods that you eat contain nutrients which allow your cells to function at their optimum levels. Certain cells in your body, for example, skin, muscle, blood and bone cells are continually regenerating themselves. Other cells such as those contained in the brain do not readily replace themselves and can age. When this happens, the chemical messages that are carried through your brain on specialized cells called neurons start to slow down. Information is not stored or retrieved as easy as it once was and you may find yourself forgetting things, has this happened to you?
There are some nutrients which can help you keep those precious neurons on your brain from aging too quickly and keep the brain cells functioning at their best.
- Vitamin B-12
This exciting nutrient is required by your body to make red blood cells, nerve tissue and help regenerate new cells. It is found in higher amounts in meat, liver, poultry, fortified cereals, fish and clams. It can also be taken as a supplement form which is best allowed to dissolve under the tongue. Vitamin B-12 is commonly lower in older people and in those who are suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. As you age, your stomach does not secrete enough acids to digest the protein in the food which you consume and this can make the absorption of B-12 rather difficult. This vitamin is essential for the development and maintenance of the nerve cells in your brain which are, for most of us, require a continuous supply of this vital nutrient. I recommend those folks over 65 take the active form of Vitamin B-12 (Methylcobalamin) in a sublingual form, the dose being 1000. Mcg. per day.
- Vitamin C and E
Antioxidant nutrients are extremely important in the brain because your brain cells require a constant source of energy to function properly. In the process of doing so, they produce a lot of free-radials which can damage the sensitive neurons from oxidation. Vitamin C and E can help eliminate these damaging free radicals and even help prevent them from forming!
Your brain can produce this compound in adequate amounts, however if you don’t eat enough healthy fats and b-vitamins, levels of phosphatidylserine will continue to drop. This chemical is required for the proper functioning and maintenance of the neuron cell membranes. Although previous evidence has shown a direct link between the levels of this chemical and mental decline, supplements are available to improve the situation. Supplements containing phosphatidylserine containing 100 Mg. can be taken several times per day with meals.
- Omega -3 Fatty Acids
Your brain cells are composed of cell membranes containing essential fatty acids which can become damaged from free radical activity or need continued replacement to ensure proper nerve cell function. The omega-3 family of essential fatty acids found in high amounts in oily fish like salmon and mackerel can provide the adequate source of the necessary fatty acids in combination with phosphatidylserine can help keep your neurons firing along normally. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are available to be taken daily if you do not eat fish on a regular basis. I recommend capsules containing at least 500 Mg. of DHA and EPA 2-3 times per day with food.
As a professional health coach concerned with the health and well-being of my clients it is my intention to improve your well-being and longevity by using the principles of nutrition, fitness, lifestyle dynamics, and anti-aging medicine.
Together you and I will work as a team to accomplish all of your health needs and to ensure that you practice prevention and live your life through the lens of quality.
Remember….your quality of life is the measurement of successful living regardless of your age.
Dr. Kevin. K. McLaughlin
Clinical Director: The Vitality Project