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Brain Support

The brain and nervous system act as the body’s electrical system communicating millions of messages every second. The brain is the command centre, hence Central Nervous System (CNS), and coordinates incoming and outgoing messages from all over the body. A healthy and optimally functioning brain and nervous system enable us to cope well and respond appropriately to the countless stimuli we encounter daily. Nervous systems can become overwhelmed and alterations in mental function may manifest unless we manage the CNS well with suitable support including exercise, rest from stimulation and nutrition. A healthy and optimally functioning CNS will help us to make better decisions and respond to complex and normal daily events more easily.

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An important component to a healthy nervous system is the proper balance of the brain’s neurotransmitters (chemicals that transmit information from one nerve cell to another) such as dopamine, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), phenylethylamine (PEA), acetylcholine and serotonin. A healthy nervous system allows us to handle life’s ups-and-downs smoothly, and to feel more emotionally balanced. Exercise, stress-management techniques, proper nutrition and diet all contribute to better balance the brain’s intricate chemistry.

Several key nutrients are necessary to supply the chemicals responsible for the formation of the brain’s neurotransmitters, helping to balance brain chemistry. When taken on a daily basis, supplementation with certain amino acids, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and herbs may help us feel more mentally balanced and provides us with an overall sense of well-being.

The brain is also subject to adverse events linked to aging including micronutrient deficiencies and inflammation. The health of the brain will also often reflect the health of the body and as a highly energy dependent organ, an inadequate supply of levels of key macro and micronutrients can lead to loss of mental acuity and function. The use of nutrition including supplements have been shown in many studies to offer distinct improvements in function and represent a safe way of providing a reduction of risk linked to brain decline with aging.

References

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  2. Farooqu AA, Horrocks LA. Plasmalogens, phospholipase A2, and docosahexaenoic acid turnover in brain tissue. J Mol Neurosci. 2001 Apr-Jun;16(2-3):263-72; discussion 279-84.View Abstract
  3. Frölich L, Götz ME, Weinmüller M, Youdim MB, Barth N, Dirr A, Gsell W, Jellinger  K, Beckmann H, Riederer P J. (r)-, but not (s)-alpha lipoic acid stimulates deficient brain pyruvate dehydrogenase complex in vascular dementia, but not in Alzheimer dementia. Neural Transm. 2004 Mar;111(3):295-310. Epub 2003 Oct 24. View Abstract
  4. Bourre JM. Effects of nutrients (in food) on the structure and function of the nervous system: update on dietary requirements for brain. Part 1: micronutrients. J Nutr Health Aging. 2006 Sep Oct;10(5):377-85. View Abstract
  5. Solfrizzi V, Panza F, Capurso A. The role of diet in cognitive decline. J Neural Transm. 2003 Jan;110(1):95-110. View Abstract
  6. Tucker KL, Qiao N, Scott T, Rosenberg I, Spiro A 3rd. High homocysteine and low B vitamins predict cognitive decline in aging men: the  Veterans Affairs Normative Aging Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;82(3):627-35. View Abstract
  7. Rolland Y, Pillard F, Klapouszczak A, et al. Exercise program for nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease: a 1-year randomized, controlled trial. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007;55(2):158-65. View Abstract
  8. Stella F, Banzato CE, Gasparetto Se EV, et al. Risk factors for vascular dementia in elderly psychiatric outpatients with preserved cognitive functions. J Neurol Sci. 2007; View Abstract
  9. Saleem S, Zhuang H, Biswal S, Christen Y, Doré S. Ginkgo biloba extract neuroprotective action is dependent on heme oxygenase 1 in ischemic reperfusion brain injury. Stroke. Published online before print October 9, 2008, doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.108.523480 View Abstract
  10. H Zhuang, YS Kim, RC Koehler, and S Dore. Potential mechanism by which resveratrol, a red wine constituent, protects neurons. Ann N Y Acad Sci, May 2003; 993: 276-86; View Abstract

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