Health Topics

Nootropics: towards the Mind

Many of us know people who have lived past 90 and enjoyed a well-functioning brain until the very end. So we know it is possible to maintain a fully optimized brain throughout life. Memory loss is NOT a normal part of aging.

Recent research in aging and brain function have found that as we get older individual brain molecules, cerebral circulation, cells, and even the physical shape of your brain are affected in some way. The brain responds to the same types of insults we throw at it as the rest of your body. Attacks by stress, nutritional deficiencies, poor diet, toxins, not enough exercise or sleep all affect the cognition.

But the human brain has an amazing ability to repair and maintain itself even into old age. All we have to do is give it what it needs to survive and thrive. For most people, changes in your diet and the right nootropic supplement or herbal formula can make a profound difference in cognition and memory.

In this post I will take a look at what can go wrong as your brain ages and what types of natural nootropics can correct those problems before they cause any lasting damage.

No single treatment or nootropic supplement works for everyone. Because everyone is different.

Extensive research has shown that oxidation of DNA, proteins and lipids by free radicals are responsible for functional decline in your brain.
It is estimated that 10 000 oxidative interactions between DNA and free radicals in each of your brain cells occur every day. The role of free radicals in cognitive dysfunction is a major issue and it can be effectively controlled with daily use of nootropic supplements.

Here is a list of nootropics that can defend against oxidative damage and free radicals.

ALPHA LIPOIC ACID (ALA) is naturally-occurring, sulfur-containing fatty acid is unique among other antioxidants. Because it is both water- and fat-soluble.
Alpha Lipoic Acid has the unique ability to neutralize free radicals in all cell environments. This potent antioxidant can even reduce brain damage after a stroke. ALA regenerates other depleted antioxidants (Vitamins C & E, glutathione), and recycles CoQ10.

COENZYME Q 10 is a natural antioxidant synthesized in every single cell in your body and brain. It takes fat and other substances and converts them into usable energy. Studies show that supplementing with CoQ10 protects against brain cell damage by raising energy levels. It preserves brain function, and helps fight mental illness and migraines.

GINGKO BILOBA is one of the oldest species of trees on earth that has been used in Chinese medicine for millennia. Ginkgo by increasing cerebral circulation improves oxygen and glucose availability to neurons which improves memory, cognition and learning.
A study with 31 stroke patients looked at the effects of supplementing with Ginkgo in stroke recovery. Researchers found the stroke patients using Gingko had lower oxidative stress, inflammation and better antioxidant levels.

N-ACETYL L-CYSTEINE (NAC) is a derivative of the naturally occurring amino acid L-cysteine. It works by primarily helping restore your body’s natural antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione is a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and free radical scavenger. Supplementing with NAC helps restore dopamine receptors.

CHOLINE is the body’s preferred precursor for the memory neurotransmitter acetylcholine and it is important in phospholipid metabolism.

ASHWAGANDHA is one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurvedic healing. Ashwagandha helps regenerate axons and dendrites of neurons.

BACOPA MONNIERI is an nootropic herb that has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve cognitive function and protect against neurodegeneration.

L-THEANINE is an amino acid found in the tea leaves and it is known for its reliable benefits, which include increased relaxation, focus, reduction of anxiety and stress without sedation.

RESVERATROL has a profound effect on preventing Amyloid-beta damage and preventing Alzheimer’s as it increases blood flow in the brain and boosts Brain-derived neurotrophic factor.

CURCUMIN is the most active compound that is isolated from turmeric, may help
inhibits the inflammation which is linked to Alzheimer’s. Studies show that heavy metals can induce Amyloid-beta aggregation and toxicity and are concentrated in the Alzheimer’s brain. Curcumin, by interaction with heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, prevents neurotoxicity caused by these metals.

As with any supplements, there is a risk of side effects and interactions with medications. Anyone interested in trying a nootropic should consult a healthcare professional about the best options.