Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
- Helps protect mental clarity and memory
- Helps make neurotransmitters (chemicals that affect our mind and mood)
- Helps fight against age related memory loss and some forms of dementia
Well known for its immune protecting abilities, recent studies link high vitamin C intake with improved mental function and reduced memory loss. A deficiency of vitamin C reduces production of neurotransmitters associated with anxiety.
A recent 2015 study demonstrated that vitamin C could even reduce stress/anxiety in students. Using a well known anxiety scale called the Beck Anxiety Inventory, high school students demonstrated not only reduced anxiety levels but reduced heart rates as well. The researchers suggested that these results indicate that vitamin-C plays an important role for anxiety.
Pyridoxal-5-phosphate (the metabolically active form of vitamin B-6) also known as PLP
- Supports healthy homocysteine levels (HCY). Elevated HCY levels are associated with brain shrinkage, cognitive decline and performance
- Important for nervous system functions
- Is needed in the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin
- Helps offset the effects of sugar (glycation) which is harmful and aging to all cells and organs in the body including the brain and nerves
- According to some studies, supplementation with B-6 might lessen age-related cognitive decline (e.g., perception, attention, reaction time, and memory)
Symptoms of B-6 deficiency include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Short-term memory loss
- Nervousness & Irritability
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
- Regulates stress-related hormones to ensure a healthy state of mind
- Builds immune system
- Stamina builder helping to fight fatigue
Vitamin B-5 produces numerous enzymes and helps maintain precise communication between the central nervous system and the brain. In addition to playing a role in the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates for energy, vitamin B5 is critical to the manufacture of sex and stress-related hormones produced in the adrenal glands. Pantothenic Acid helps to manage stress and psychological strain. A low level of B5 can lead to difficulty coping with stress, inability to relax and problems sleeping.
Bacopa Monnieri (Brahmi)
- Maintains health brain chemistry
- Stimulates vital neurotransmitters that process information
- Reduces symptoms of anxiety
- Improves concentration
Brahmi is a well-known herb in India and is frequently used in Ayurvedic herbal preparations to improve memory and intelligence. Clinical studies suggest that bacopa may improve learning rate, ability to process data/information, retention of learned facts and memory. Over 4 weeks bacopa was shown to reduce nervousness and irritability in humans diagnosed with anxiety. Bacopa helps the elderly as well. In a patient population whose average age was 62, bacopa was shown to improve working memory/recall, and improve attention as well as cognitive processing.
Huperzine-A is a neuro-nutrient/compound extracted from the herbs of the Huperziceae family, a Chinese club moss. It is known as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, which means that it stops an enzyme from breaking down acetylcholine which results in increases in acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is known as the learning neurotransmitter. Taking huperzine-A orally seems to nutritionally support normal memory, cognitive function, and behavioral function in healthy patients as well as patients with Alzheimer’s, multi-infarct, mild cognitive impairment and senile dementia, making it an important ingredient for the elderly as well.
Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera)
KSM-66 is a Full spectrum ashwagandha extract derived only from the most valuable parts of the plants, the roots! (None of the plant leaves are ever used.)
Ashwagandha is the most popular medicinal plant used by Ayurvedic practitioners. Indian physicians who practice Ayurveda believed that ashwangandha has the following benefits:
- Supports and maintains normal, healthy memory and cognitive function
- Supports the body (immune system) and mind against the effects of stress and anxiety
- Supports healthy sexual function in both men and women
Now, scientific studies in humans, published in respected, peer-reviewed medical/scientific journals support many of the benefits that Ayurvedic practitioners have known about for centuries.
- Better recall of facts, names and numbers!
- Stabilizes hormones associated with stress and anxiety
- Significant reduction in scores on Stress Assessment Scales within 60 days, with an increase in self-assessed quality of life
- Supports normal healthy sexual response and function
Of interest is that in an in-vitro study of the effects of KSM-66 ashwagandha extract on telomerase activity on the human cell line HELA was measured. Telomerase is the enzyme that protects the telomeres from shortening (the caps at the end of our chromosome which shorten every time a cell replicates and eventually get to the point where the cell has grown too old to replicate properly or at all. In this experiment KSM-66 extract enhanced telemerase activity by approximately 200% which theoretically could significantly enhance the healthy life span of the cell (an anti-aging effect). It is important to caution that both pre-clinical animal studies and in-vitro studies like the one here, are not a guarantee that the same results will or won’t occur in humans. Only well designed human trials can determine that.
Vinpocetine is an herb derived from the seeds of the periwinkle plant. It has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for centuries and in European clinical practice for over 20 years. Vinpocetine is known for being “neuro-protective” and improves cerebral metabolism.
- Supports normal cognitive function
- Promotes healthy attention, memory and concentration
- Combats excessive stress
- Improves blood supply to the brain
- Enhances cerebral metabolism by helping to maintain healthy blood flow and oxygen utilization
- Maintain healthy levels of crucial neurotransmitters
Clinical studies suggest that vinpocetine may enhance memory even in normal patients. Some evidence indicates that vinpocetine may help the brain use glucose and oxygen more efficiently. Like the heart, optimum blood flow through the vessel of the brain is necessary for healthy cognitive and over-all brain function. Patients with compromised brain vessel function scored significantly higher on mental exams after taking vinpocetine for 3 months.