It is commonly known that oily fish and fish oil supplements contain the two omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA that are good for the brain. Now, scientists from Singapore have discovered a special omega-3 fatty acid that is of particular importance to brain cells that are surrounded by a protective myeline sheath. The scientists say that their discovery may help prevent brain ageing and lead to the development of new therapies aimed at treating neurological disorders like sclerosis that are associated with myelin damage. Their new study is published in Journal of Clinical Investigation and it appears that fish roe is the best source of these special omega-3 fatty acids that are needed to stimulate the myeline sheath.
The number of older people is on the rise, and so is the number of people who suffer from dementia and die as a result of this condition. If you increase your dietary intake of magnesium, however, and get more than what is officially recommended, it helps keep your brain sharp and prevents dementia, according to a large population study that is published in European Journal of Nutrition. Many older people don’t eat enough and even take different kinds of medicine that block the body’s uptake and utilization of magnesium. So, how does magnesium affect the brain and nervous system? And how much do we need to stay mentally alert throughout life? Those are the questions.
Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants protect the brain in sports disciplines with frequent head injuries
Contact sports like football and boxing are associated with frequent blows to the head that can cause physical traumas and long-term effects. However, a new study that is published in Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests that high-dosed supplements of omega-3 fatty acids can protect against the damage caused by head traumas in American football. There is even a positive effect on cardiovascular health and joints. Excessive training and high performance sport can also increase the risk of oxidative stress that is linked to acute injury, inflammation, and subsequent development of neurological disease. It is therefore also important to get plenty of antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E plus selenium and zinc if you engage in sport at a high level.
Neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, migraine, and fibromyalgia are rather common. These conditions are a result of imbalances in the nervous system, and they are often insidious. In a new review article that is published in Frontiers in Neuroscience, researchers have studied Q10’s role in the different neurological disorders. The reason for this is that Q10 is important for cellular energy turnover and serves as an antioxidant that protects the circulatory system and the nerve cells against oxidative damage. As we grow older, our endogenous Q10 synthesis decreases, and certain diseases and medical drugs also impair the body’s Q10 synthesis.
The brain is particularly vulnerable towards oxidative stress and local inflammation that can set the stage for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions. However, it turns out that certain selenium-containing antioxidants are able to protect the brain neurons against damage. Also, selenium supplements can improve cognitive performance in patients suffering from mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, according to a meta-analysis that is published in Nutrients.
Alzheimer’s is a growing health burden worldwide, and diet appears to play a major role. A large meta-analysis published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience recently revealed that patients with Alzheimer’s disease have lower levels of magnesium in their blood and cerebrospinal fluid compared to healthy controls. This suggests that being magnesium-deficient may be a risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin B12 is important for the development and function of our central nervous system. In the past decades, science has also found similarities between sclerosis and the neurological symptoms that occur in people who lack vitamin B12. In a new study that is published in Cell Reports, scientists have found the molecular relation between vitamin B12 and the function of supportive brain cells.
Parkinson’s patients have less vitamin B3 in their blood due to interactions with medicine and certain other factors. Vitamin B3 is important for our energy turnover and some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may be caused by lack of B3. On the other hand, vitamin B3 supplements can help by reducing fatigue, improving handwriting, and improving your mood, according to a study that is published in Frontiers of Aging Neuroscience. The scientists assume that giving supplements of vitamin B3 to patients with Parkinson’s disease has the potential to improve quality of life and delay the progression of their disease.
There is a link between vitamin D deficiency and sclerosis. However, only few studies show whether vitamin D supplements can stop further progression of the disease. A new placebo-controlled study of rats with advanced sclerosis has looked closer at the connection. The study, which is published in Nutrients, shows that vitamin D supplementation counteracts oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, and other processes that are involved in the neurological damage seen with this disease. It is important that vitamin D supplementation aims at optimizing blood levels of the nutrient, which requires higher doses than officially recommended. It also requires enough magnesium to help activate vitamin D and support the nervous system.
We have relatively large quantities of zinc in our central nervous system where it plays a vital role in various physiological and pathological processes. Zinc is also important for brain development, various gene activities, the formation of new neurons, and the immune defense. What is more, zinc is a vital antioxidant that protects the brain against calcification and cell damage caused by oxidative stress. Zinc deficiency is a global problem and may be involved in a number of different neurological diseases – including stroke, cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression, according to a new review article that is published in Biomolecules.