Smart Nutrients & Memory
Article by Don Goldberg
| Smart Nutrients & Memory
Brain Nutrients Advance Support For Memory & Cognition
Of all the challenges associated with human aging, few are as distressing or fraught with emotion as the prospect of losing ones mental faculties. Besides detracting from our ability to perform daily tasks, the gradual loss of our memories and recollections represents the loss of all that defines us. Research into the aging brain is leading to a better understanding of the role of nutrients and related compounds that may support and enhance normal memory and cognitive functions while retarding the gradual loss of mental powers associated with human aging. Numerous compounds in common foods, as well as more exotic natural nutrients, can have a profoundly favorable impact on a positive biochemical environment, and therefore on brain functions. The following review covers but a small portion of the growing array of potent brain nutrients that are currently available.
The brain, dependent on a constant supply of oxygen, is especially susceptible to increases in uncontrolled freeradical production. Research suggests that the age-associated accumulation of mitochondrial deficits caused by oxidative damage is a major contributor to cellular, tissue, and organismal aging. over time cellular debris associated with oxidatively damaged proteins can accumulate in mitochondrial membranes, severely impairing mitochondrial transport and inhibiting energy-producing processes. Mitochondrial functions that decline with age include the intrinsic rate of proton leakage across the inner mitochondrial membrane, decreased membrane fluidity, and decreased levels and function of cardiolipin, a diphosphatidly glycerol derivative that supports the function and structure of proteins in the inner mitochondrial membrane.
A growing body of research suggests that age-associated deficits in mitochondrial function can be slowed or reversed by Acetyl-l-camifine (ALC), the acetylated ester of the amino acid L-carnitine. ALC is a normal component of the inner mitochondrial membrane and serves as a precursor for acetyl-CoA and the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. ALC also functions as a high-energy mitochondrial substrate to aid in the transport of long chain fatty acids between the cytosol and the mito_ chondria where they undergo B-oxidation, a key source of energy for many tissues. After being deacetylated, L-carnitine remains in the mitochondrial membranes where it can be reacylated to continue to transport lipid substrates into the mitochondria for B-oxidation
ALC appears to reverse age-associated deficits in cellular functgion, in part by increasing cellular ATP production while providing acetyl groups to regenerate acetyl-CoA. ALC quickly crosses the blood-brain barrier to help normalize local mitochondrial membrane function and fluidity while enhancing neuronal metabolism, cerebral blood flow and brain neurotransmitters activity. ALC is uniquely able to restore and enhance mitochondrial function, increasing cellular energy output while improving the sensitivity of receptors that trigger and mediate acetylcholine release.
This non-essential amino acid is found in high concentrations in serum, cerebro-spinal fluid and muscle tissues. Glutamine serves several key functions in human health, most notably as a key building block for glutathione, the body’s front-line antioxidant complex. Glutamine can easily cross the blood brain barrier where it is converted i