Written by Nathan Clinton-Barnett, OTD
Fact checked by The Brain Blog Team
We know that lifestyle, diet, and heredity can affect your brain's cognitive health, defined as how well you think, learn and remember. The more we learn about how supplements can increase brain health, the more tools we have to fight cognitive decline. Your brain needs nutrients as fuel to process information, just as your muscles need nutrients as fuel to keep moving. And not all fuel is equal.
If you ever inadvertently bought poor-quality or “dirty” gas for your car, you may have heard sputtering as a warning, or maybe the engine stopped running entirely (as happened to this author on a road trip). The right brain vitamins can affect your brain's ability to function the same way that good or bad fuel can help or hurt your car’s engine’s smooth operation. Our brains are incredible and can withstand various stressors, but you don’t want yours to break down unexpectedly.
We can take steps to keep our brains running well, similar to how we maintain our vehicle with oil changes, brake pad replacement, and fluid top-offs. It's never too late to develop good habits to prevent significant breakdowns in your brain health by incorporating brain vitamins, healthy eating, exercise, and extra water into your daily regimen.
The public began hearing about the benefits of antioxidants to prevent disease back in the 1990s. Some of the benefits were overhyped before the results of some studies had fully played out. Stepping away from that era and moving forward to 2021, research on brain health is growing, and it's becoming more apparent that particular antioxidants make good fuel for your brain.
The main role of antioxidants in the body is to prevent or delay cell damage. Antioxidants can protect your cells against free radicals that cause disease. Antioxidants can be found in fruits, vegetables, and dietary supplements, including in brain vitamins.
Lutein is an antioxidant and one of the major nutrients needed for proper brain functioning. Well-known in recent years as a critical ingredient for healthy eye support, newer research reveals that lutein is one of the most essential of all brain vitamins. We now know that Lutein supports healthy cognitive function from childhood through advanced age. Of many studies on lutein with positive results, one is especially impressive: 4,076 adults over age 50 participated in The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing. Lutein in brain tissue correlated with better cognitive functioning. These studies are breakthroughs that will prevent breakdowns.
Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and its cousin Meso-Zeaxanthin are specific, targeted antioxidants that you can ingest by eating plant-based foods or taking them in a vitamin form. The great news is that even if consumed later in life and not taken consistently, Zeaxanthin increases cognitive function in older adults. Further, Zeaxanthin accumulates in brain tissue and shows improvements with memory 13 years into the future.
Of these three antioxidants, Meso-Zeaxanthin appears to be the most powerful. All three combined have an additive effect, providing the most significant impact for preventing and fighting disease as brain vitamins when taken together.
A vehicle breakdown costs money, time, stress and can even put you in danger. Filling up regularly with good fuel and prioritizing routine maintenance are the best ways to keep your car running and on the road. In the same way, you can fuel your brain to keep it healthy today and prevent disease in the future with the right vitamins as fuel.
Memory Health® was tested and proven in double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials, becoming the first supplement to receive a patent for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative disease, specifically Alzheimer's and dementia. It has been clinically proven to improve cognitive functions and memory. Other tested benefits include improvement in sight, focus, clarity, and mood.Learn More