Omega 3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. But other nutrients such as vitamins are also necessary for cognition and the prevention of neurological disease and mental disorder. Psychiatric problems have been shown to benefit greatly from nutritional intervention. Vitamin B3 has been linked to some powerful cognitive benefits…
There’s no question that it affects the brain but the main question is how we can harness that power to extract the most valuable cognitive benefits. Currently, vitamin B3 is used to treat all of the following cognitive conditions…
- Memory Loss
- Chronic Organic Brain Syndrome (OBS)
- Alcohol Dependence And Other Addiction Problems
A nutritional deficiency of niacin (vitamin B3) Pellagra is a condition caused by niacin deficiency and two of its clinical manifestation include delirium and dementia. Interestingly, schizophrenia appears to have some of the features of pellagra.
Vitamin B6, B8 and B12 for Schizophrenia
A research review of studies from around the world has found that add-on treatment with high-dose B-vitamins can help to reduce symptoms of schizophrenia. The study determined that the addition of vitamins B6, B8, and B12 can significantly reduce symptoms of schizophrenia more than standard treatments alone. The research — on the effect of vitamin and mineral supplements on symptoms of schizophrenia — is funded by the Medical Research Council and University of Manchester. The findings appear in the journal Psychological Medicine.
One of the reasons for B vitamins effect on mood disorders and neurological and psychiatric conditions related to the fact that these vitamins have a direct impact on the methylation cycle and are required for the fatty sheath surrounding your nerve cells. Without the protective coating, nerve signals become slow which can lead to motor function problems, cognitive losses and changes in mood. B8 also aids in cell communication allowing your cells to properly interpret chemical message. Vitamin B6 and B12 regulate the synthesis and breakdown of brain chemical involved in mood control, including serotonin, melatonin and dopamine. Hence a deficiency in one or more of these B vitamins can also play a role in depression.
Cerebral Effects of B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is an essential vitamin for the proper functioning and development of the brain and the nerve cells. It plays an important role in the maintenance of the sheaths that cover and protect the nerves of the central and the peripheral nervous system, ensuring proper and faster nerve-impulse transmission. Vitamin B12 deficiency is found to cause neurological and psychiatric problems in adults between 40-90 years of age. It rarely affects people younger than this. The neurological manifestations include myelopathy (disease of the spinal cord), neuropathy (disease of the nerves), sensory disturbances, gait abnormalities and weakness while the psychiatric problems range from cognitive and behavioral disturbances to dementia. Vitamin B12 is easily obtained from animal protein foods such as meat, fish, milk, cheese and eggs, advancing age can diminish your body’s ability to absorb the vitamin from food. Your body’s ability to absorb B12 depend on three factors, adequate stomach acid, the enzyme pepsin and gastric intrinsic factor.
B Vitamins Protect Against Dementia and slows Alzheimer’s
Vitamin B is revolutionary new weapon against Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin B tablets could slow and even halt the devastating march of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly, a breakthrough British study suggests. The research showed that large doses of the supplement could halve the rate of brain shrinkage – a physical symptom associated memory loss and dementia in the elderly. The effects were so dramatic that the scientists behind the work believe it could revolutionize the treatment of the disease. Brain shrinkage or atrophy is a natural part of ageing but it is known to be accelerated in people with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) – a kind of memory loss and forgetfulness – and Alzheimer’s. Scientists at the University of Oxford conducted a trial on 168 people and found that taking high doses of three vitamin B supplements every day reduced brain shrinkage associated with dementia by up to 53 per cent. They said the results were so strong that it should open up a debate as to whether the tablets should be prescribed to everyone with MCI – half of whom develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Addressing Your Diet is the Best Place to Start
Nutritional deficiencies can wreak havoc with your brain function, your gut health also plays an important role and toxic exposures from your diet or environment can contribute. Getting the most if not all of your nutrition from real food, ideally organic foods is recommended. Organic foods avoid toxic pesticides and are locally grown. Depending on your situation and condition you may need one or more supplements. Also consider limiting sugar and eating fermented foods.
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