Dietary supplements for a younger brain

Dietary supplements for a younger brain

The selection of dietary supplements in the pharmacy can be overwhelming, but there are certain gems among those bottles that are shown to reduce the rate of cognitive decline. If you're concerned about keeping your brain healthy, research has linked levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E and antioxidants to stronger brain function.

Omega-3 supplements
Our bodies need certain long-chain polyunsaturated fats, such as Omega-3 and EPA, but can't produce these on their own. According to research published in the Nutrition Journal, most Americans don't consume enough fish or other omega-3 rich foods to sustain the needed levels. As you age, it's increasingly important to get appropriate nutrients to keep your brain working hard.

A study by Richard Uauy, M.D., Ph.D., published in Nutrition Reviews discusses how aging is related to reduced levels of Omega 3. If you aren't getting enough of this polyunsaturated fat in your diet, chances are your levels of Omega 3 are lower than they should be.

By taking a daily fish oil supplement, such as Omax3, you can improve the levels of Omega 3 in your brain. The research shows that these supplements often result in higher brain function and cognitive test scores.

Vitamin E and exercise
Omega-3 levels aren't the only ones that drop as your age increases . There's also a correlation between age and a deficit in antioxidant enzymes in your brain. Antioxidants fight against free-radical molecules that cause illnesses such as diabetes, dementia, cancer and other degenerative diseases.

A study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging has found evidence that vitamin E supplements, when paired with exercise, can push those enzyme levels back up to where they should be. The research shows improvements in two important parts of the brain: The hippocampus, which controls certain memories, and the cerebral cortex, which affects awareness and language skills.

Antioxidants
There are also supplements that are a good source of antioxidants, like vitamins A and C. According to a study published in the journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, a diet with more antioxidants can lower oxidative stress and inflammation throughout the body. This reduces the rate of cognitive decline. Both vitamins can also boost the immune system and help to stave off illness. 

If you're uncertain about what supplements could benefit you or concerned about interactions with other medications, consult your primary care physician.

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