Brain health is an important topic and with an increase in mental health and cognitive related disorders it is essential to support brain function as much as possible. Cognitive function is multi factorial and therefore has many drivers. At Cytoplan we offer a full spectrum of supplements to support brain health both directly, and by helping to lessen the drivers of cognitive decline or mental dysfunction. Drivers of cognitive decline include inflammation, sub-optimal nutrient intake, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, genetic factors, and stress to name a few. As a consequence, many people suffer brain fog, poor concentration, low mood or feeling anxious; and cognitive decline is on the increase.
As an initial baseline it is important to ensure that optimum levels of nutrients are obtained, and the nutrition gap is bridged. Cytoplan' food-based bioeffective multivitamin and mineral supplements are a great way to start to optimising brain health. Nutrients particularly important for brain health include omega-3 fatty acids (the brain is 60% fat) and DHA in particular, which contributes to normal brain function. Other important nutrients include those which contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system, psychological function, energy-yielding metabolism and the reduction of homocysteine - which includes the B-complex vitamins. In addition, adequate antioxidants are important, for example, vitamins C, E, zinc, and selenium.
Cytoplan provide specifically formulated supplements for normal cognitive function which are supportive for conditions such as brain fog, memory, concentration. Some nutrients have a low bioavailability and therefore often have a reduced capacity to be effective in the brain. Therefore, certain nutrients are available in liposomal form including in our Cell-Active Curcumin Plus (liposomal curcumin) and Cell-Active Glutathione (liposomal glutathione). Liposomal nutrients are absorbed as a fat and therefore can get across the gut lining and blood brain barrier intact, making them highly bioavailable and bioeffective, and enhancing their transport to the brain.
Nootropics are nutrients or herbs that support memory, learning and cognition. We provide nootropics which have been shown to be effective for many aspects of cognitive function, but many also work on other systems including the stress response, which can further enhance their function within the brain.
What are the best supplements for focus and concentration?
What are the best vitamins for brain health?
The short answer is all of them. Nutrients all work synergistically, and often if you are depleted in one you are likely to be depleted in others. It is a good idea to obtain a good quality multivitamin and mineral to ensure optimum intake of all nutrients. It should also be noted that in modern day society due to multiple factors it is very difficult to obtain optimal levels of nutrients from diet alone.
Having said that, important nutrients to consider are;
- Omega-3 fatty acids - particularly DHA which contributes to normal cognitive function as well as EPA which supports a normal inflammatory response. DHA is the predominant omega-3 in the brain
- B vitamins, especially methyl folate and B12, which are responsible for normal nervous system function and the production of neurotransmitters. They also aid the clearance of homocysteine; a waste product which can contribute to cognitive decline
- Vitamin D - a deficiency is associated with cognitive issues
- Zinc is a major cofactor for enzymatic processes and is classed an antioxidant. Again, deficiency can be associated with cognitive issues
- COQ10 is essential for energy production. Levels have been shown to decline in the brains of dementia patients
- Glutathione, vitamin C, selenium and n-acetyl cysteine all support glutathione production, which again is often depleted in Alzheimer's patients
- Digestive support is also essential as there is strong communication between the gut and the brain, therefore probiotics are highly beneficial
Which supplements should I consider for depression?
A nutrient known as 5-HTP is the precursor to our feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. 5-HTP can cross the blood brain barrier and the brain can then firstly convert it to serotonin and then melatonin at night to aid sleep. Our 5-HTP Plus also contains vitamin B6 and magnesium which are cofactors for the conversion of 5-HTP to serotonin.
There is also a strong connection between the gut and the brain, therefore supporting gut health can be effective for mood. It is often useful to consider a probiotic such as our Fos-A-Dophilus.
It is also worth considering an anti-inflammatory diet as inflammation is a major driver of cognitive decline. Omega 3 fatty acids are useful as they support anti-inflamamtory pathways and also contain DHA which contributes to normal cognitive function. Curcumin and ginger are also useful for supporting anti-inflammatory pathways however they have a low bioavailability. Therefore, a liposomal curcumin is recommended as it can cross the blood brain barrier intact. Our Cell-Active Curcumin Plus provides curcumin in this form.
Support antioxidant status and reduce oxidative stress with nutrients such as zinc, selenium, vitamin C and CoQ10, all of which have antioxidant properties.
There may be a need for additional vitamin D3, zinc, folate and B12 (in the active methylfolate and methyl cobalamin forms)
In general it is recommended to use a bioeffective multivitamin and mineral (such as our CoQ10 Multi), with a good quality omega-3 supplement (such as our Omega Protect + CoQ10) and a probiotic (such as our Fos-A-Dophilus). For further support, consider our 5-HTP plus and Cell-Active Curcumin Plus.