Back to Work and School With a Better Brain - Part 2
Part 1 of this article discussed the functions of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA for our brain and body, and how the benefits can be dramatically increased by combining a third essential fat called GLA. This was the motivation behind Optimum Health Vitamin's essential fatty acid blend called Synergy-3.
Yet, essential fats are certainly not the only considerations for better brain function. Also critical is ensuring your brains ability to produce ample amounts of energy. Three considerations for this are optimal intake of B vitamins in forms your body can use, keeping your gut happy with probiotics, and especially maintaining and supporting your brain's energy generators, i.e. your mitochondria!
Ask yourself, when the power goes off in your house at night how efficient are you at carrying out tasks in the dark? Likewise, without energy, how efficiently does your brain, (or any cell type for that matter), perform? Not well, if at all.
In fact, research is quickly showing that maintaining your brain's ability to produce energy isn't just a matter of performance, it's a matter of survival, to prevent neurological disease. The problem with energy failure in your brain cells called neurons is that when it is prolonged, they die.
B-Complex Vitamins: Essential But Are You Taking the Right Forms For You?
For example, neuronal death can result from deficiencies in B-vitamins, (particularly those involved with methylation), such as folate and vitamin B12. [12,13] As many may already be aware, the B Complex family of vitamins plays a myriad of critical roles in the body, particularly in energy metabolism.  Many get great benefit from a supplement. Yet, advances in science and genetics have shown that for some just taking a regular B-complex may not be as helpful. To derive benefit, a percentage of people require "activated" forms of B vitamins. This is because they lack the ability to convert the regular versions found in some supplements into the "co-enzyme" forms that actually participate in our metabolic cycles. In fact, for some, getting the activated co-enzyme forms can be like turning on a light in our brains.
We have discussed this issue in this prior article:
The need for normal methylation ties directly into two other issues coming to the forefront of brain research as root causes of neurological conditions, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer’s, Huntington's, and MS. Namely, inflammation, and mitochondrial failure. And as we at Optimum Health have been informing our customers for well over a decade, these two issues are directly linked...and you don't have to be experiencing a serious condition for them to affect you! [15,16]
Anxiety and Depression: Is Your Brain On Fire?
Inflammation is not only being shown to cause brain dysfunction, and neuronal death, but is being directly linked to more common brain-related conditions, such as anxiety and depression. [17,18,19,20] There are several anti-inflammatory natural substances you can use to prevent and combat this, particularly essential fatty acids.  Complimentary to use with essential fats are anti-inflammatory botanicals such as those in our Opti A.I. Extra that contains the herbs curcumin, boswellia, quercetin, and others.
Where Inflammation Begins: The Gut!
Yet, given that the gut houses over 70% of our immune tissue, it is the most likely place for inflammation to start. Many who deal with food allergies and intolerances can appreciate this first-hand! And the gut is hard-wired to the brain!
Hence, maintaining good gut health is absolutely vital for a happy brain.
Though "the gut-brain super-highway" is a topic for another article, suffice it to say that one of the most basic things you can do to help your gut, (and hence your brain), is to ensure your intake of probiotics, whether through foods, or supplements, or both.
Many underestimate this until they experience it. I can't tell you how many times I have counselled people experiencing gut problems and digestive issues who say their brain is "out the window", and they can't remember anything. This is one of the effects of inflammation.
Keep Your Energy Production Going!
You see, inflammation causes energy failure. (Just think, when you are sick with a cold or flu, how energetic are you?) And when it comes to serious neurological conditions, it is energy failure that is being shown to be the root cause. This involves dysfunction of the cellular energy-generating "power plants" inside cells called mitochondria. [15,16, 21]
The importance of supporting your mitochondria to maintain your health and vitality is something I have talked about in this blog for years, and at Optimum Health we have underscored the value of mitochondrial health and maintenance with substances such Ubiquinol (Coenzyme Q10), Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, and NAC! Yet, with the emergence of a highly effective mitochondrial support nutrient called PQQ, (and especially the timed release version known as Micro-PQQ), I was motivated to combine these five ingredients into one synergistic combination called Cell Fuel.
We have detailed the benefits of each of these nutrients, and many of their effects on brain function in detail in a prior article:
Prior Article - Support Your Energy and Metabolism With This Simple Strategy
Cell Fuel can be helpful for any of your cells that have mitochondria, and require energy...which is all of them!* Yet, in terms of which types of our cells this applies to most, our brain cells top the list!
After all, our mitochondria use oxygen to produce energy. And which tissue is most dependent on this? The brain! Three plus minutes without oxygen and energy failure sets in, along with brain-damage! Yet, this same situation applies to varying degrees in every day life. Whether we are happy and our brain feels energized, or we feel depressed and anxious, either condition is largely determined by how well our mitochondria are working, and our levels of inflammation.
Related article: How To Effectively Unleash More Energy From Your Oxygen
For this anti-inflammatory mitochondrial support with substances from the natural world to maintain our energy can be invaluable! So, hail the mighty mitochondria, and watch as a new era in medicine is ushered-in!
Until next time,
* Red Blood Cells transport oxygen so don't have mitochondria, since they would consume it before it got to our tissues.
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Vitamin B12-Impaired Metabolism Produces Apoptosis and Parkinson Phenotype in RatsExpressing the Transcobalamin-Oleosin Chimera in Substantia Nigra. Carlos Enrique Orozco-Barrios, et al., https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2791211/
 B12 deficiency from the perspective of a practicing hematologist Ralph Green http://www.bloodjournal.org/content/bloodjournal/129/19/2603.full.pdf?sso-checked=true
 B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy—A Review
David O. Kennedy https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4772032/
 Mitochondrial Biology and Neurological Diseases. Siddarth Arun, Lei Liu, and Gizem Donmez https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4825945/
 Neuronal degeneration and mitochondrial dysfunction. Eric A. Schon and Giovanni Manfredi Clin Invest. 2003 Feb 1; 111(3): 303–312.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC151870/
 Is Depression an Inflammatory Disorder? Charles L. Raison and Andrew H.Miller https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3285451/
 The role of inflammation in depression: from evolutionary imperative to modern treatment target Andrew H.Miller and Charles L. Raison https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5542678/
 Is Anxious-Depression an Inflammatory State? Alvaro Camacho MD, MPH
 Anxiety and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Your brain's only protection is adequate levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3s.
 Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Alzheimer’s Disease
Xinglong Wang,a Wenzhang Wang,a Li Li,a George Perry,b Hyoung-gon Lee,a and Xiongwei Zhua