Home > Alzheimer's disease > Three Nutrients To Keep You from Forgetting

Three Nutrients To Keep You from Forgetting

Glycerophosphocholine (GPC)

GPC  is a natural compound that can help you improve memory, focus, concentration and maintain healthy brain function during aging. GPC has been studied in over 20 clinical trials involving 4,000 patients. Results show GPC supports:

  • speed and sharpness of cognition
  • focus, concentration, and recall
  • revitalization of declining mental function

While GPC is not a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, clinical trials have shown that it may help the brain recover some of its functions lost during aging.

A recent study demonstrated GPC’s benefits against mild to moderate Alzheimer’s dementia:

 De Jesus Moreno Moreno M. Cognitive improvement in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s dementia after treatment with the acetylcholine precursor choline alfoscerate: a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Clin Ther 2003;25(1):178-93.

 The researchers noted that patients improved not just on cognition, but in behavior and daily living activities.

 Another study demonstrated GPC’s ability to support the brain after a stroke or brain injury:

 Barbagallo Sangiorgi G, Barbagallo M, Giordano M, Meli M, Panzarasa R. Glycerophosphocholine in the mental recovery of cerebral ischemic attacks. An Italian multicenter clinical trial. Ann N YAcad Sci 1994;717:253-69.

 Fish Oil

Australian scientists at Melbourne’s Deakin University have discovered the reason a diet rich in Omega- 3 fatty acids can protect the brain from developing Alzheimer’s disease.  “Its protective powers stem from an ability to regulate the brain’s natural level of zinc, which can prove toxic at elevated levels”, said cellular biologist and project leader Professor Leigh Ackland. She said previous research had shown a reduced incidence of neurodegenerative diseases in populations with a diet rich in Omega- 3 fatty acids. Ackland and her colleagues looked specifically at the relationship between one of these acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and zinc in neuronal cells which are responsible for transmitting signals in the brain. “We found that when the level of DHA in neuronal cells drops, the level of zinc rises,” she said. “The higher levels of zinc can be toxic, resulting in cell death … a key feature of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s.”We believe that having omega-3 fatty acids in the diet helps keep the levels of zinc in the brain in balance and helps prevents the increase in levels that triggers cell death.”

There’s More

“It’s known that people who get plenty of DHA, a fish oil fatty acid, have a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” noted Greg M. Cole, PhD, associate director of the UCLA Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and colleagues.

Why? Cole’s team had a clue. People with Alzheimer’s disease tend to have low levels of a brain protein called LR11 (also known as SorLA). And about 15% of people with Alzheimer’s disease carry a genetic mutation that reduces LR11.

LR11 helps clear the brain of amyloid precursor protein, essential for production of the brain-gumming beta-amyloid plaque that clogs the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Sure enough, in live rodents and in cultures of human brain cells, the researchers found that the fish-oil compound DHA causes brain cells to make lots more LR11.

“Because reduced LR11 is known to increase beta amyloid production and may be a significant genetic cause of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, our results indicate that DHA increases in LR11 levels may play an important role in preventing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease,” Cole and colleagues conclude.

It may be too late for people with late-stage Alzheimer’s disease to get much benefit from fish oil. But Cole suggests that it may be a great help if taken at the first signs of Alzheimer’s.

Cole and colleagues report their findings in the Dec. 2007 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

 Magnesium

Mice given extra doses of a new magnesium compound had better working memory, long-term memory and greater learning ability.  Magnesium is an essential element found in some fruits, spinach, and other dark leafy greens. It is known to be important for the immune system. Consume less than 400 milligrams a day and you may be at greater risk for allergies, asthma and heart disease.   “Half the population of the industrialized countries has a magnesium deficit, which increases with aging,” said Guosong Liu, director of the Center for Learning and Memory at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.  “If normal or even higher levels of magnesium can be maintained, we may be able to significantly slow age-related loss of cognitive function and perhaps prevent or treat diseases that affect cognitive function.”

They’re your memories, you created them…might as well keep them with you.

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