At best, problems remembering or concentrating are simply annoying or frustrating.
At worst, they can be debilitating.
Scientists have studied the brain for centuries and are nowhere near to fully understanding its intricacies.
Brain cells work together in a network, organizing themselves into groups that specialize in different kinds of information processing.
The typical brain has about 100 trillion synapses, which are the points where nerve cells in the human brain connect with other cells.
As one brain cell sends signals to another, the synapse between the two get stronger.
Every time you recall a memory or have a new thought, you are creating a new connection in your brain.
Neurons have a high demand for energy because they’re always in a state of metabolic activity.
Even during sleep, neurons are still at work repairing.
Diet, in conjunction with environmental factors, has a crucial role in shaping brain cognitive capacity.
Although the brainpower differs from person to person, certain techniques can surely be adopted to improve your memory.
Scientist confirmed that the adult brain does carry cells which endow the capacity to regenerate.
These are classic “stem cells,” with the capacity to divide and make new cells which can go on to become any type of cell (nerve, glia, other) needed in the brain.
Common risk factors for the decline in brain performance are:
- Advanced age
- Family history (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s)
- Head trauma
- Reduced blood flow to the brain, stroke
- Ostrogen imbalance
- Emotional stress
- Alcohol abuse
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Heavy metal exposure (Aluminium, Mercury)
- Drug abuse
As the sensitive and highly complex organ it is, the brain needs this kind of nourishment to improve its functions.
Top Brain Nutrients
The human brain is the fattest organ in the body and may consists of at least 60% fat.
One of the most important nutrients for memory is the omega-3 fatty acids, which not only fight free radical damage but also help to create cell structure in the body and brain.
Omega-3 fish oil contains DHA and EPA, which stimulate brain function, helping to increase memory.
Australian study of 396 children showed that those who were given a drink with omega-3 fatty acids scored higher on memory tests after 6 months than those who did not take the drink.
It turns out that DHA, found in fish, becomes concentrated in the hippocampus, a memory center of the brain.
Researchers at the University of Alberta discovered that DHA improves communication between the cells in the hippocampus.
B vitamins are powerful assets for improving memory.
Because they help with the communication between the nervous system and the brain by manufacturing and releasing neurotransmitters, they provide an important stimulus for assisting concentration, awareness and memory.
Most particularly, B6 helps with the overall health of the brain, including memory retention.
B12, B9 and B6are essential for decreasing the levels of homocysteine in the body, an amino acid responsible for hampering brain function.
B12 also is also responsible for repairing nerve fibers in the brain.
Vitamin B9, or folic acid, produces red blood cells, which contributes to mental clarity.
Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a major building block for nerve cells.
All the cells of the human body contain PS and rely on its presence for ATP production, ionic homeostasis, and cell-level activation and deactivation.
PS is particularly enriched in the membrane systems of nerve cells.
Extensive double-blind trials have established that PS consistently benefits memory, learning, concentration, word choice, and other measurable cognition parameters, as well as mood and the capacity to cope with stress.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) is a metabolic co-factor for the conversion of fatty acids into energy within the mitochondria of the nerve cells, thereby helping to keep them supplied with energy.
A number of double-blind clinical trials suggest ALC may have clinical significance in enhancing cognition and delaying dementia.
Magnesium promotes proper electrical and neurotransmitter function in the brain.
Optimal levels of this mineral are critical for energy production as well as enabling the vital functions of cellular DNA and RNA. Magnesium may support energy-generating functions that control storage and retrieval of memories.
Neuroscientists research shows that increasing brain magnesium enhanced learning abilities, working memory, and short- and long-term memory in rats.
Women who take fish oil during pregnancy may give birth to children
with improved hand-eye coordination, language skills and behaviour, an
Australian study has suggested.
The positive effects of
omega-3’s for cognitive development and learning difficulties has been
well documented, and this research adds to the expanding list of
benefits fish oil has for practically everyone.
If you like this article be sure to visit the Spinal Centre website at www.thespinalcentre.com.au and view more content by Dr. Hooper and the Spinal Rehabilitation Team.
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