We hope to have a wide variety contributors from all walks of life both scientific and layman. Not the least of which is Dr. Warren Chaney, CEO of Mind Technology Institute, and creator of the Dynamic Mind System.
We invite your input and our hope is that through this communication we can learn how to develop and protect the part of our body that truly creates the human experience, the brain.
THE RIGHT STUFF – WHAT IS IT?
Certain nutrients help keep the mind sharp.
By Warren H. Chaney, Ph.D.
CEO Mind Technologies Inc.
Many in our society are very concerned with the possibility of losing their memory and cognitive functioning or ability to think. As we frequently discuss in our Mind Dynamics’ Workshops, such loss has no claim on age. It happens to the young as it does one who is older. However, there appear to be two major contributors to one’s severe loss of memory. The one occurring most frequently is due to deposits of amyloidal-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles around the brain’s neurons. Amyloid buildup is a degenerative process that without exception affects us all as we age. Little by little it steadily gums our brain cells with protein deposits, decreasing our brain's memory and learning abilities.
The other major cause is due to multiple episodes of decreased blood flow in the brain. This leads to damage in many localized areas within the brain. Often these losses are very tiny and become noticeable only over time. This may be physiologically caused or it can occur because of an injury that seems minor at the time, but has a major effect later on. A friend of mine sustained a concussion from what he thought was a minor football head injury. It was 23 years later when his neurologist discovered that the injury had decreased brain flow to an area of his brain’s frontal lobe, causing it to become less active than normal. For years he found himself “stuck” on this or that. His family described him as unable to “get off of” something. It was later in life that the discovery was made that his problem solving ability was being impacted by an under active frontal brain lobe.
the Right Stuff
The following is not intended to be a compete listing of everything a brain needs but it’s a grand start. Begin with this supplementation and your brain will feel a difference in a week to ten days.
• Good Multi-Vitamin/Mineral Capsule (not tablet): These are commercially available and not overly expensive. The very nature of our highly processed foods, over use of sugars, and inundation of transfats in our food supply makes supplementation a first line of defense requirement. Today, most nutritional professionals require their patients to take a multiple-vitamin/mineral capsule (they are far more bio-available than tablets). What’s more – other supplements work better when taken in tandem with a multiple-vitamin mineral.
Studies have shown that much of the world food supply being grown today is mineral deficient. There are many reasons for this including soil depletion. Be that as it may, a good multiple vitamin/mineral capsule helps alleviate the problem. For example, some studies have demonstrated that nearly 80% of people have a magnesium deficiency.[i] As a consequence, low magnesium levels were found to heighten the risk of blockage of blood flow to the brain. The amount of magnesium in most multiples is sufficient enough to counteract this mineral deficit.
• B-Complex Vitamin: It is a little known fact that B’s should be taken together. A vitamin B-12 taken alone does little good. The brain has many vitamin B requirements and a complex will supply most of them in addition to supplying a positive synergistic effect amongst the Bs.
• Fish Oil: Also inexpensive – fish oil supplies the brain with the important Omega-3 oils also needed by the cardio vascular system. Low levels of Omega-3s have been proven to increase the risk of poor memory health in humans. In the well-known Framingham Heart Study, 899 people with an average age of 76 were followed for a period of 9 years.[ii] Those with the highest levels of the Omega-3s had a 47% reduction of the development of poor memory health and compared with the others. Any way you look at it…”That ain’t bad!”
• Curcumin: is the source for the spice turmeric used in yellow curry. Current studies consistently indicate that turmeric appears to reduce amyloidal plaque around the brain’s cells.[iii],[iv],[v] Amazingly, the incident of Alzheimer’s’ disease in eastern Indian countries are 25% of ours in the west - and they remain the greatest consumers of the spice.
Curcumin is inexpensive and has been shown to have other mild physiological effects but the more important one remains in what appears to be a significant reduction of Alzheimer's-related amyloid plaque. I am often asked if I recommend this for young people and my answer has remained a positive yes!
• Phosphatidylserine (PS): is a phospholipid that improves a cell’s membrane flexibility and permeability. This aids the connections between neurons and improves the transmission of information from cell to cell via the important neurotransmitters. So far over 3,000 published research papers have established the value of phosphatidylserine in strengthening memory formation, improving mental acuity and aiding in focus and concentration.[vi] That PS also helps inhibit stress and relieve depression is a plus.[vii] Unfortunately, as we age our brain supply of this important ingredient diminishes.
WHAT MORE ONE CAN ONE DO?
Of course there is much more than one can do in aiding the supplementation of the brain but it is beyond the scope and purpose of discussing them in this brief article. For instance, Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an important part of the brain’s electron transport chain. It is essential in the brain and strengthens heart action.[viii] Often a physician will prescribe a statin drug for a patient unaware that the statins reduce the body’s supply of CoQ10. Yet, it has been well documented that the severity of heart failure correlates with those having the lowest levels of CoQ10. In the brain – CoQ10 is used to convert food and vitamins into fuel packets known as ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Because, the body can store little ATP, a constant supply is needed. Nor have we discussed Alpha lipoic acid or vitamin D3s importance to the brain.
I have not made an attempt to recommend a dosage level because in many cases it depends upon one’s age, current health, and living circumstances. That being said, the important nutrients that we have just discussed will get your brain off to a wonderful start and you will feel a difference in your mind in a very short span of time.
Until next time – pleasant memories!
Dr. Warren H. Chaney, CEO of Mind Technologies, Inc., is one of the nation’s preeminent behavioral scientists, specializing in cognitive behavior and the brain. Dr. Chaney is widely published and is one of the most sought after speakers in his field. He works with corporations, educational institutions, and other organizations helping them to better utilize their brainpower to improve performance.
[i] Larsson SC, Virtanen MJ, Mars M, Männistö S, Pietinen P, Albanes D, Virtamo J.: “Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, and Sodium Intakes and Risk of Stroke in Male Smokers.” Arch. Interan Medicine. 2008 March; 168(5): pp 459-465.
[ii] Framingham Heart Study, Dawber TR, Kannel WB, Revotskie N, Stokes JI, Kagan A, Gordon T: “Some factors associated with the development of coronary heart disease. Six years' follow-up experience in the Framingham Study.” Am J Public Health 1959; 49(10):1349-1356. (PubMed ID Number: 13814556: No Abstract)
[iii] Park SY, Kim DS. "Discovery of natural products from Curcuma longa that protect cells from beta-amyloid insult: a drug discovery effort against Alzheimer's disease." J Nat Prod. 2002 Sep;65(9):1227-31.
[iv] Frautschy SA, Hu W, Kim P, Miller SA, Chu T, Harris-White ME, Cole GM. "Phenolic anti-inflammatory antioxidant reversal of Abeta-induced cognitive deficits and neuropathology." Neurobiol Aging. 2001 Nov-Dec;22(6):993-1005.
[v] Lim GP, Chu T, Yang F, Beech W, Frautschy SA, Cole GM. "The curry spice Curcumin reduces oxidative damage and amyloid pathology in an Alzheimer transgenic mouse." J Neuroscience. 2001 Nov 1;21(21):8370-7.
[vi] Singh RB,
[vii] Palmieri, G., Palmieri, R., Inzoli, M.R., Lombardi, G., Sottini, C., Tavolato, B., and G. Giometto.: “Double-Blind Controlled Trial of Phosphatidylserine in Patients with Senile Metal Deterioration.” Clinical Trials Journal, 1987; 24(1):73-83.
[viii] Burke BE, Neuenschwander R,