What we consume greatly influences our brain chemistry and function – making nutrition an important factor to the brain’s overall function, mood, and behavior. I think we can agree that most people want to improve their memory, mood, clarity and focus, while also protecting against mental decline, depression, anxiety and dementia. To support all brain functions, there are specific nutrients that you should ensure that you are getting. They include Vitamin B12, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Choline, GABA, 5HTP, and Vitamin B1. Let’s further explore these nutrients.
Vitamin B12 is found in poultry, fish, eggs, and fortified grains. Vitamin B12 can help:
- Boost memory and brain power
- Resolve sleep disorders
- Improve mood
- Decrease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
- Maintain the development and functioning of the central nervous system
Acetyl L-Carnitine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body. Acetyl L-Carnitine helps the brain by:
- Producing energy
- Improving blood flow
- Aiding in a variety of mental disorders (i.e. Alzheimer's, memory loss, and late-life depression)
Choline is found in almonds, beef, cabbage, fish, liver, chicken, cheese, and avocado. It is an essential “precursor” for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which determines your brain processing speed. Choline also helps the brain by:
- Improving immediate recall, reaction time, and mood
- Protecting the brain cells and membranes
- Supporting optimal brain function
- Helping counteract cognitive impairment (i.e. Alzheimer's , brain injuries, stroke, vascular dementia, and Parkinson's disease)
- Sources of choline are commonly found alongside the Racetams in nootropic stacks.
GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid)
GABA is an essential amino acid derived from Vitamin B6 and Glutamate in the brain. It is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that binds to neurotransmitter receptor sites and prevents signaling of stress reactions. Moreover, GABA acts as a powerful anti-anxiety and anti-depressive effects, which can also promote healthy sleep cycles
5HTP is the direct pre-cursor to serotonin, a mood-regulating neurotransmitter. 5HTP delivers serotonin to the brain
- Delivers serotonin to the brain, can assist in the prevention of anxiety and promotion of good moods and sleep.
- Some 5-HTP is also converted into melatonin in the brain, another hormone related to sleep cycles.
- Strong anti-anxiety and stress-relieving qualities
- Promotes overall mood enhancement. Helps to prevent depression.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Thiamine, like all B vitamins synthesizes proteins and enzymes, and metabolizes carbohydrates. It also helps with:
- Provides cellular energy
- Protects tissue health
- Supports nerve function
- Improves memory function
Helps to regulate stress and improve mood. The nootropic supplement Sulbutiamine is an enhanced form of Thiamine.
Vitamin BC (Niacin)
- Improves circulation to the brain
- Assists in the formation of ATP, the brain’s main energy source
- Prompts the adrenal glands to produce key sex and stress hormones.
- Lowers bad LDL cholesterol.
As a nootropic, the vitamin can increase mental focus, increase mental energy, and make it easier to concentrate for long periods of time. The nootropic supplement Picamilon contains Niacin combined with GABA.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothetic Acid)
- Assists in the processing of choline as it metabolizes into acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which is tied to memory function, neural signaling, and logical reasoning skills.
- It accentuates mental clarity and lifts brain fog
Vitamin B6 (Pyrodoxine)
Stimulates the production of neurotransmitters, by converting 5-HTP into serotonin and melatonin
- Regulates homocysteine levels for heart health, and combines with B12 and B9 to create red blood cells.
- Heightened motivation, mental clarity, concentration, and improved signaling between neurons.
- Stress reduction
- Pyritinol is a nootropic agent that combines two Pyridoxine molecules together for stronger effects.
When maintaining the health of the brain it is important to remember to challenge your brain. Learning new things, like a new language, playing a new instrument, or taking a new class helps the brain remain fresh. Exercise is another component to maintaining memory, by exercising it increases blood flow to the brain, which can help in risk factors such as cardiovascular disease.
These brain supplements help improve memory, mood, clarity and focus and protect against mental decline, depression, anxiety and dementia.