The most dangerous illness a person can suffer from is a mental breakdown. Most elderly persons with Alzheimer’s disease or other irreversible brain deterioration are aware of their condition. The saddest part is that most of the harm we cause is to ourselves. Your ten billion brain cells are processing more data in a single second than all the computers in the world. Everything you do, from the twitch of your toes to the delicate chemistry of your hormones and the metabolism of your thirty trillion cells, which allows you to think, feel, and act like a person, is orchestrated by your brain. The loss of even a few thousand brain cells has far-reaching consequences. Progressive brain damage builds up due to inadequate nutrition, pollution in our body, overuse of medicines, and lack of exercise. As we age, we lose brainpower and memory and muscle mass, bone density, and immunity to disease.
Without a doubt, stopping brain deterioration is the key to ending illness once and for all. The good news is that modern nutritional research has shown ways to maintain and even boost brain function. Memory loss often begins at about age 30 and accelerates after age 40, suggesting that this is the earliest cognitive ability to decline with age. You can modify your behavior, hone your abilities, and enrich your life if you can learn something new and keep it in long-term memory. If that ability dwindles, you’ll stop learning new things and instead be stuck in a rut, repeating the same old routines and reliving the same old memories.
Neurons, the nerve cells that make up our brains, have a specific structure to help us ward off this degeneration. A neuron comprises a cell body, a stringy filament called a dendrite, and another stringy filament, an axon. The axon transports nerve impulses away from the cell body, whereas the dendrite brings them in. Information is transmitted via nerve impulses in a manner analogous to that of electrical impulses transmitting your voice over a telephone line.
However, neurons don’t link to each other as phone lines do. Each neuron’s axon terminates near the dendrites of neighboring cells. An axon and its connecting dendrites are separated by a gap called a synapse. Neurotransmitters are chemical molecules released from the axon and go to the nearby dendrites to facilitate the transmission of nerve impulses across the synapse. Serotonin and acetylcholine are two of these chemicals that have been linked to memory. Each is composed of critical nutrients that the body lacks. They are a part of what you eat and nothing else. Synaptic plasticity is crucial to the memory storage of learning. By learning something new, your brain’s neurons become more amenable to being triggered into a specific pattern of synaptic discharges. When the way reappears, so does the information that was learned.
The novel and significant finding is that the presence or absence of memory storage is dependent on the amount of neurotransmitters present at the synapse. Reducing neurotransmitter levels interferes with memory storage. Let’s start with serotonin. Adding more serotonin to neurons has been shown to improve memory in animal studies conducted at Columbia University’s Center for Neurobiology. In humans, an increase in serotonin levels has also been shown to boost memory.
If you study, then go to bed right away, your memory will benefit. While asleep, the brain receives no new information, preventing any potential distractions from preventing the learning from being stored. The importance of the neurotransmitters has recently come to light. Large amounts of serotonin are released in the brain just before sleep. The increased serotonin levels are responsible for enhanced memory retention. Zimelidine enhances both serotonin and memory function in the brain. Neurons in the brain synthesize serotonin from the amino acid l-tryptophan. The availability of l-tryptophan in the brain determines how quickly serotonin is synthesized.
Eating foods rich in tryptophan or supplementing with pure tryptophan can increase the level of this amino acid in the blood. This necessary amino acid is readily available and completely free of charge to European citizens.
However, only an l-tryptophan pill will easily elevate brain tryptophan due to the blood/brain barrier. Amino acids have a hard time getting through the blood-brain wall. Tryptophan is a large neutral amino acid (LNAA), meaning it must be transported via a certain kind of molecule. The other LNAAs in the diet, such as isoleucine, leucine, valine, tyrosine, and phenylalanine, compete with tryptophan for transport if you ingest protein food at the same time as l-tryptophan.
Eating high-carbohydrate meals with protein, like whole-grain bread or rice cakes, can “neutralize” the other LNAAs in the blood, alleviating the problem. Carbohydrates reduce all the LNAAs except tryptophan in the blood, making tryptophan the most efficient LNAA to enter the brain and increase serotonin levels. It will help you remember things much more clearly. As we get older, our brains produce less acetylcholine. However, the medicine is choline, which boosts acetylcholine action and improves memory. Acetylcholine is synthesized in the brain from choline and pantothenic acid.
Choline improves memory, but only when combined with pantothenic acid. Folic acid, vitamin B12, and thiamin are incredibly scarce in the diets of the elderly. Maintaining or enhancing memory requires a holistic approach that begins with proper nutrition.
If the neurons in your brain whose performance acetylcholine is meant to enhance are already dead, there is no point in giving yourself more of the chemical. The neurons in the brains of people with mild memory loss are still fully functional and responsive to the choline. Taking choline supplements before the onset of deterioration is ideal. It’s also important to remember that increasing acetylcholine production in the brain through ingesting choline requires some cognitive stimulation, like learning. It appears that regular mental exercise is also essential for optimal memory retention.
Improving memory is a process that takes time. Growth of new dendrites, axons, and possibly even new neurons is required for any noticeable improvement, which often takes several months.
New brain cells can be grown, as recent scientific research has demonstrated. Dr. Fernando Nottebohm made this astounding finding by researching the effects of brain-stimulating medicines and acute mental stimulation on developing new brain cells and connections in adult animals. Nottebohm thinks that this is true for people as well. These findings show that cognitive enhancement is possible for anyone. However, it does not occur instantly. Ten months to six years is not uncommon for cholinergic improvement.
Lecithin obtained in the health foods market includes just modest levels of lecithin, so if you’re trying to raise brain acetylcholine with lecithin intake, you should keep that in mind.
Phosphatidylcholine supplements of 20 milligrams or less are ineffective. Recent research suggests that acetyl-l-carnitine’s antioxidant properties contribute to the maintenance of brain function. It helps with memory, stops brain cells from dying, makes you more innovative, and gets your acetylcholine metabolism back on track.
Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and memory loss in the elderly, as well as their improvement in younger individuals, are all treated with dosages ranging from 1000 to 2000 mg per day in Europe.
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