286 – Nutrition for Your Brain – Part 2 – My Interview with Neil E. Levin

Vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbs all support brain health.*

Neil E. Levin

Brain Support

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on Brain Support

In this interview with Neil E. Levin, we are looking at nutrients that can influence mood, stress, sleep and tension issues. We are also considering nutrients for memory, brain acuity and concentration. In the first podcast interview part 1 on brain health, Neil discussed the importance of DHA, MCT oil, acetylcholine, magnesium and curcumin for brain nutrition.* These may be first line nutrients for brain health but there are many nutrients that support brain function.*

There are often multiple factors occurring at the same time. If you have everyday stress in your life, you may not be sleeping well. If you don’t sleep well, it’s hard to restore your brain and this may affect your mood. This could lead to nervousness. Any of these can affect your quality of life. Memory is a cause of concern for many as we age. Concentration and lack of focus can be problems even for children. So these brain issues can affect us throughout life. When any of these issues have a nutritional component then you have to provide those nutrients either through food or supplements, or usually both. Supplements are the best way to provide higher potency targeted nutrients.

Neil also introduces Cera-Q™. Cera-Q™ is a novel silk protein derivative that helps to support normal brain activities including memory, learning, attention, focus, and can help maintain healthy brain functions in both children and adults.* Cera-Q™ has a unique structure that allows it to easily interact with existing proteins in the brain.* NOW® Brain Attention™ is a cutting-edge cognitive support supplement made with Cera-Q™. This is a chewable supplement that is clinically studied and used with adults and children down to 7 years old. You can read more at the Cera-Q website.

Consumers are often confused simply because there are so many different nutrients that support brain health. It can be difficult process of discovery to develop a nutritional program that works. Your program for brain health should include considerations for diet and lifestyle choices first, as these are foundational to health.

As you consider the various nutrients for brain health here are some principles that will help you be more successful.
Food GridIf you have a medical condition and/or are taking prescription medications consult with your doctor. It is important that you have at least a basic understanding of your condition and the purpose and side effects of any meds you are on. Nutrient/drug interactions should be considered and avoided.
• Try to put together a lifestyle and diet that is beneficial to health and conversely reduce or eliminate negative influences. Neil makes this point strongly in both interviews. Supplements cannot do what you won’t do for yourself.
• Spend some time learning about the wide world of brain support nutrients. Neil discusses many of those nutrients in this series on brain health. The best product is the one that works best for you and choosing the “right” ones is often a process of trial and error.
• Adopt a mindset of discovery. There are many possible solutions for you to try. Be willing to experiment. The more you know, the better choices you will make. Over time better choices will lead to better outcomes. The process involves researching (products, ingredients, company etc.), choosing what to try, taking the products as recommended, being consistent over time and then evaluating your results. Repeat as often as necessary.

Brain Support Nutrients fall into several broad categories and Neil discusses each group.
BrainFats: DHA, MCT oil, phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylcholine.*
• Vitamins: B-6, B-12, Folate and vitamin D.*
• Minerals: Magnesium and Zinc.*
• Amino Acids: L-Theanine, Taurine, Carnitine, GABA, L-Tryptophan and 5HTP, Melatonin, L-Phenylalanine and L-Tyrosine.*
• Herbs: Ginkgo, Curcumin, Holy Basil, huperzine A.*
These are not the only nutrients or herbs which would be useful. So in your search you will discover many possibilities. Combination formulas for brain support, or mood and stress support will provide a variety of ingredients providing a variety of benefits. It is critical to remember that nutrients nourish the brain. A well-nourished brain will function better. Don’t be afraid to try different products. Just make sure you are purchasing products from a reputable manufacturer.

Remember to go back to Nutrition for Your Brain – Part 1, where we discuss the foundational nutrients along with diet and lifestyle choices you should consider.
Click Here for a list of all NOW interviews.
Click Here for a list of our interviews on brain health.
Click Here for a list of our interviews on mood support.

About Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA
Neil E. Levin is the Senior Nutrition Education Manager and a product formulator for NOW®. He is a board-certified clinical nutritionist with a diplomat in advanced nutritional laboratory assessment. The U.S. Natural Products Association (NPA) presented Neil its Industry Champion Award in 2008 for “people who have made notable individual contributions to the natural products industry above and beyond what is expected to achieve commercial success.” Neil’s interviews and articles are published in magazines and newspapers. He has been featured in many radio interviews and television news reports. Neil blogs at www.honestnutrition.com; is on Facebook (Honest Nutrition) and Twitter (neilelevin).

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