Communication between neuronal cells in the brain is the basis of cognitive function. The supportive structures, neurotransmitters and energy levels are important in maintaining cognitive and memory abilities. Protecting this system from oxidative stress, beta amyloid plaques and tau tangles that can disrupt neurotranmissions and degenerate neuronal cells is the goal of many natural compounds found in dietary supplements.
Recent research is demonstrating dietary ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, botanicals and specialty compounds can impact neurons and the challenges that threaten cognitive function. In some cases, substances that form the building blocks of the brain, including omega-3 DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and phospholipids (e.g., phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylcholine), are boosted by supplementation, which results in cognitive improvements. Minerals can strengthen synaptic function and improve how the brain uses glucose for energy, as is the case with magnesium and chromium, respectively. In other cases, botanicals such as French maritime pine bark, blueberries, Bacopa monniera and Ginkgo biloba can help manage oxidative stress, signaling pathways and blood flow to improve cognition and memory.
To learn more about what the current research has found on the benefits and mechanisms of these and other natural ingredients on brain health, including cognitive function and memory, check out the article, “Cognitive Preservation: Untangling the Latest Natural Brain Health Research," in the special cognitive function digital issue.