Beyond the “B”: 4 Secret Ingredients to Feed Memory and Brain Health
Vitamin B is well-documented to support memory and brain health, particularly B6, B9, and B12. B vitamins are certainly useful in improving memory, and may even contribute to the prevention of cognitive decline, according to many studies.
But what other nutrients may benefit the brain, not only in memory care, but other aspects of brain health? Let’s take a closer look at four more powerful ingredients in Brain & Memory Fuel that can contribute to long-term brain health: ALCAR, Bacopa, Sharp-PS, and HupA.
1) ALCAR: For Energy and Increased Learning
Sporting the actual name of acetyl-l-carnitine, ALCAR is an amino acid naturally found in the body. This amino acid affects the metabolism, especially energy production. Ray Sahelian, MD, a nutritional expert and bestselling author of Mind Boosters, declares that ALCAR improves his mental focus and alertness. “I noticed the effect within two hours,” he writes. “It makes one more motivated, you can concentrate better and get things done faster.”
In addition to increased energy, ALCAR may protect against age-related mental decline; it is believed to slow the progression of brain degeneration and improve brain function in those with mild forms of brain degeneration.
Although its functionality is not yet fully understood, continued studies hypothesize ALCAR works by helping maintain brain cells. Studies show ALCAR also improves the emotional state, behavior and mood among elderly patients suffering from age-related impairments.
2) Bacopa: A Unique Powerhouse That Calms and Energizes the Brain
Bacopa is a plant that may provide a sense of calm and peace to the brain through natural means. This sense of calm has helped patients to reduce chronic stress and alleviate anxiety and depression. Bacopa may even prevent or reduce instances of physiological issues, such as high blood pressure and ulcers that often result from mental challenges such as stress, depression and anxiety. As if this weren’t enough, a 12-week double-blind study established that bacopa may relieve symptoms of ADHD. The study showed improvements in mental control, memory and learning.
Bacopa has a unique property that invigorates mental processes. In addition to reducing inflammation, bacopa increased the speed of visual processing, learning rate, and memory in two different studies. One study was conducted on healthy adults, the other on older adults who may have begun to experience a decline in mental acuity. Bacopa is an impressive ingredient because it can affect positive change in both healthy and compromised brains.
3) Sharp-PS: Improve Your Memory, Protect Against Mental Decline and Boost your Athletic Performance
Phosphatidylserine… what a mouthful! Let’s just call it Sharp-PS. A fundamental building block of the brain, Sharp-PS occurs naturally in the body. But most of the body’s intake comes from food. Supplementing Sharp-PS may be necessary if food does not provide sufficient quantities.
More than 30 human studies have shown time and again the benefits of Sharp-PS, including
- Increased memory function for those with cognitive impairment
- Improvement in ADHD symptoms
- Improved athletic performance
Among patients with age-related cognitive decline, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s, supplementing Sharp-PS into a daily routine may provide an improvement in mood, brain function, depression, memory, behavior, and brain cell communication.
ADHD, in both children and adults, can manifest as difficulty focusing and controlling impulses. Sharp-PS has been shown to improve focus, memory, cognition, and mood through increasing brain activity in neurotransmitters. This allows patients to control impulses and learn better with less fatigue.
Additionally, a 2014 double-blind, randomized study published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics found a significant improvement in ADHD symptoms in children who had been diagnosed but not previously received any medicine for their symptoms.
For athletes, Sharp-PS increased exercise performance in muscles. Post-exercise recovery improved, muscle restoration was accelerated, muscle soreness was reduced, and the capacity for endurance increased by up to 85% VO2 max.
4) HupA: Potential for Alzheimer’s and TBI Treatments
Like ALCAR, huperzine A (HupA) is a plant-based ingredient that reduces inflammation in the brain. Made from Chinese club moss, studies have shown HupA increases acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a chemical used by nerves to communicate in the brain, muscles, and throughout the body. This ingredient has improved memory and improved cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s, as well as improved daily living function.
Recent and ongoing studies suggest HupA may provide help in recovering from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). HupA is thought to increase blood flow to the brain and improve cognitive function in those diagnosed with TBIs. Additionally, it may aid in recovery from brain bleeding by postponing cell death and preventing damage to mitochondria.