It’s nearly impossible to get all the vitamins your brain needs to thrive from diet alone these days.
Stress, sugar, caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, medications, and poor digestion are just some of the issues that increase your need for vitamins.
There’s an abundance of evidence that taking the right vitamins can improve how well your brain works … and protect it from mental decline in the future.
While all vitamins are required for optimal brain health and function, there are a few that stand out above the rest.
And, in the US, deficiency levels of two of these vitamins are currently of epidemic proportion!
They may be just the ones you need.
Vitamin C: For Improved Mood and Neuroprotection
Vitamin C is the single most popular vitamin supplement. (1)
And for good reason.
It’s safe, inexpensive, and there are few things this powerhouse vitamin can’t do.
It’s widely taken to prevent, or at least minimize, the discomforts of the common cold.
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine used by millions to reduce allergy symptoms.
Studies suggest that it can help prevent both heart disease and cancer. (3)
And, of course, it’s the cure for scurvy, a former scourge among sailors and pirates.
But its benefits as a most important vitamin for the brain are less well known.
Here are some of the many reasons vitamin C rates among the best vitamins for the brain:
1. Neurotransmitter Production
Your brain has approximately 86 billion neurons which communicate with each other via brain chemicals called neurotransmitters.
. Improved Mood
Vitamin C can make you happy!
In a recent study, subjects randomly given vitamin C reported feeling happier, often within as little as one week
People with depression tend to have low vitamin C levels.
Vitamin C is a cofactor needed to synthesize serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, three neurotransmitters essential for a positive mood. (7)
3. Defense Against Neurodegenerative Diseases
The brain is particularly susceptible to free radical damage because of its high oxygen usage.You can see free radical damage at work when you cut open an apple and watch it turn brown.
And just as dipping an apple in lemon juice stops discoloration, so does vitamin C protect your brain against free radical damage.
Since neurodegenerative diseases typically involve high levels of oxidative stress, vitamin C shows promise for treating ischemic stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
What Can the Right Brain
Supplement Do for You?
Are you …?
➔ Frustrated with fuzzy thinking and foggy focus?
➔ Stressed by growing forgetfulness?
➔ Struggling to learn and problem-solve?
➔ Discouraged by a lack of mental energy and drive?
The right brain supplement can help reverse all this.
Deane & Dr. Pat
4. Heavy Metal Detoxification
Your brain accumulates toxic heavy metals.
Mercury gets into our systems from seafood and from amalgam (“silver”) dental fillings.
Aluminum in the brain has long been suspected of contributing to Alzheimer’s.
It easily leeches from aluminum cookware and is also found in deodorants and antacids.
But three of them — B6, B12 and folic acid (B9) — are especially vital for brain health.
Studies have shown that these vitamins work together to help prevent mental decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.
An Oxford University study found that taking B6, B12, and folic acid together reduced brain atrophy, improved brain function, and dramatically reduced brain shrinkage in the part of the brain most affected in Alzheimer’s. (33)
These vitamins work by reducing levels of homocysteine, a toxic amino acid that’s a natural byproduct of digestion.
High levels of this amino acid double your risk for developing Alzheimer’s. (34)
Below are brain scans from the control group (marked “placebo”) and the group that took B vitamins.
The areas of brain atrophy are in yellow.
You can see that the placebo group (top row) shows significantly more brain atrophy than the group that took B vitamins (bottom row).
Taking B vitamins helps prevent brain atrophy
Image courtesy of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
It was discovered that high levels of homocysteine doubled the risk for developing Alzheimer’s back in 2002. Yet frustratingly little has been done with this information since. That’s why it’s up to each of us to take care of our own brain.
A Very Common Deficiency: Vitamin B12
If your memory is poor or you’re in a constant state of brain fog, you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin C’s antioxidant power can be enhanced further when taken with vitamin E.
Together, these vitamins have a synergistic effect.
A large study confirmed the power of this pairing for preventing memory loss and lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia by 60%. (9)
A meta analysis of studies found that a diet rich in vitamins C and E was linked to a 20-25% decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
That is why we recommend that you do your homework and only buy supplements that contain ingredients in the preferred form and are manufactured by a reputable company.
Brain Vitamins: Take the Next Step
Today’s modern lifestyle increases the need for vitamins, putting your brain health at risk.
Your brain needs all vitamins, but there are a few that are vital for optimal mental health and brain function.
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will increase your intake of vitamin C and the B complex vitamins, except for vitamin B12 which is found only in animal food products.
If you live in North America or Europe, it’s doubtful that you can get adequate sun exposure to form the vitamin D you need.
Unless you live in a particularly warm, sunny climate, it’s prudent to get your vitamin D level tested.
And don’t rule out the value of taking a high-quality multivitamin supplement.
Recommended: Consider Performance Lab Whole-Food Multi (men’s and women’s formulas available). It meets our stringent criteria for effectiveness, safety, and value.
Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidant vitamins
Vitamin C is essential in their production. (5)
Neurotransmitters impact just about every aspect of your life.
They affect your ability to focus, concentrate, and remember.
They also control your mood, cravings, addictions, sleep, and more.