The brain is the supercomputer that runs your life. When your brain works right, you tend to be productive, thoughtful, creative and energetic. However, when your brain function is out of balance, you may have problems with stress, mood, impulsivity, work performance, memory, anger, and your relationships. It is estimated that your brain has one hundred billion cells, each one connected to other cells by up to ten thousand individual connections.
Brain nutrition is emerging as one of the most promising categories of growth in nutrition. Thousands and thousands of brain supplements have emerged, many with patented formulas and ingredients. There is no surprise that many of these ingredients don’t fall under our more “established” categories such as Amino Acids, Vitamins, Minerals, Fatty Acids, and Herbs. Therefore, for purposes of this article, we have labeled them “Other.”
Popular Other Reviews
What Is the Difference Between Lithium Carbonate and Lithium Orotate?
Lithium is an often ignored naturally occurring element that is usually used in prescription medication because of its potential mood-stabilizing properties as a psychotropic drug. While many people see lithium as a severe mind-altering element, the fact of the matter is that lithium can frequently be found in low levels in our tap and bottled water ranging from trace amounts to 0.17 mg/L.
While the existence of lithium in drinking water might be a shock for many, research shows that certain types of lithium in low amounts may be incredibly beneficial to our health.
The term lithium is regularly used interchangeably to designate a number of different chemical compounds. Pure lithium is a silvery alkali metal, but it rarely occurs freely in nature. Instead, lithium binds readily with other elements.
When it comes to lithium used for human health, there are two common forms of lithium:
- Lithium carbonate – This is what you would find in prescription medication used to treat bipolar disorder.
- Lithium orotate – This is what you would find in lithium-based brain supplement that likely has positive impacts on cognitive health.
The main difference between the two forms of lithium consists in their relative safeness. Lithium orotate has been heavily researched on neurological conditions, with prominent studies dating back to 1973. Because the research showed that Lithium orotate is relatively safe to use, this form of lithium remained an over-the-counter supplement and in some cases is used for depression, anxiety, alcoholism, migraine, cluster headaches, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and dementia.
While lithium orotate might be one of the safest forms of lithium. This element has been associated with quite a few adverse effects. While most of the lithium’s adverse side effects are dose-dependent, they should not be ignored.
For instance, a 2007 report published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology warns that chronic use of lithium orotate may cause tremors and nausea.
Additionally, the use of lithium orotate may cause adverse effects similar to those that result from lithium toxicity. These adverse effects include potentially permanent or long-lasting neurological problems (such as ataxia and dementia) and cardiac arrhythmias.
Popular Other Reviews
It’s worth mentioning that lithium (in all its forms) may interact with a variety of prescription medications such as:
- Loop diuretics
- ACE inhibitors
- Calcium channel blockers
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs)
A Little Lithium Goes a Long Way – 4 Incredible Benefits of Lithium Orotate
Low-dose lithium can provide a unique opportunity for many health conditions under the guidance of an experienced practitioner.
1) Low-dose lithium may help fight anxiety
Lithium is renowned for its antipsychotic effects in bipolar patients. Because of its ability to stabilize mood and reduce mood swings, small doses are being explored in people with various forms of anxiety.
In a 2002 randomized, double-blind, crossover study of methylphenidate and lithium in adults, María Flavia Dorrego and her team of scientists from Raúl Carrea Institute of Neurological Research concluded that the combination of methylphenidate and lithium might calm manic behavior associated with attention deficit disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder, and anxiety.
2) Low-dose lithium may boost cognitive function
The beneficial effects of small doses of lithium on cognitive health are downright fascinating. Low dose lithium has been shown to protect cells in the brain, improve mood, and there are even anecdotal stories and small studies of lithium improving Tourette’s syndrome, Huntington’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
While the full range of benefits of low dose lithium on the brain are not fully understood and additional research is required, the potential to boost cognitive function is promising. Lithium appears to inhibit glycogen synthase kinase-3 activity, which is involved in intracellular signaling. Lithium also appears to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is essential to proper brain function.
3) Low-dose lithium may help fight depression
A small dose of lithium may be an excellent alternative to prescription medication when treating depression. In fact, several studies showed that lithium, in small doses, is just as effective as lithium in higher doses but without as many dangerous adverse effects.
Low-dose lithium increases 5-HT neurotransmission in the brain, which is a group of serotonin (your “happy” neurotransmitter) receptors. This effect generates antidepressant activity in the brain, which is how low-dose lithium fights depression.
4) Low-dose lithium may reduce inflammation
Toxins, environmental factors, and junk food are the primary “assault” elements that raise inflammation levels and contribute to disease. Reducing inflammation levels is one of the best things anyone can do to improve their overall health. Studies have shown that lithium seems to boost anti-inflammatory proteins while reducing inflammatory proteins.
Furthermore, low-dose lithium may have neuroprotective effects against nervous system autoimmunity. A 2007 study observed how LISPRO (ionic co-crystal of lithium salicylate and l-proline) suppressed IFN-γ production, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
How Coffee Can Boost Memory and Thinking Skills
This may come as a huge surprise to many of you, but coffee is an incredibly healthy beverage. It contains hundreds of bioactive compounds (like antioxidants) that repair the damage caused by free radicals in your cells.
There are four key active ingredients in coffee.
- Trigonelline – This alkaloid compound is unstable at high temperature. During the roasting process, trigonelline transforms into nicotinic acid, commonly known as Niacin or Vitamin B3.
- Chlorogenic acids (CGA): These polyphenol antioxidants may benefit some biological pathways, such as high blood pressure and blood sugar metabolism, both of which are linked to the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
- Caffeine: The main active component of coffee, caffeine works as a powerful stimulant to the central nervous system. Caffeine is the most regularly consumed psychoactive substance globally.
- Cafestol and kahweol: These two compounds are available in coffee’s natural oil and in unfiltered coffee. Cafestol and kahweol may protect against cancer and be beneficial for the liver. However, a high intake may increase LDL cholesterol.
A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition concluded that the caffeine in coffee might offer not just a temporary cognitive boost but also longer-term benefits on thinking skills. The group of researchers from the National Institute on Aging analyzed scores on several tests of memory and thinking skills with nutrient intake caffeine, alcohol, and caffeine in 727 men and women taking part in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Overall, participants who took in more caffeine did better on 10 tests of thinking skills and memory than those who received smaller amounts of caffeine. The same held true for those on a healthy diet scale. The benefits of moderate alcohol drinking were mixed.
What Is SAMe?
S-adenosyl-L-methionine, commonly known as SAMe (pronounced “Sammy”), is a compound produced by the liver and used throughout the body in a chemical process called methylation. An essential process for many chemical reactions in the body, methylation is one of the last steps in the production of the brain chemicals norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin.
SAMe is believed to have memory enhancements properties, especially for patients using SSRI therapy. However, the primary benefit of SAMe for cognitive health is combating symptoms of depression. Additionally, SAMe works with the cholinergic system in the brain and may possess therapeutic effects for diseases such as senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
In one study, SAMe showed better results in combating symptoms of depression than many prescription drugs on the market. In another study, SAMe reduced depression symptoms by 65% in patients who have Parkinson’s disease.
Individuals who suffer from severe depression frequently have low levels of Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). The administration of SAM either orally or intravenously was correlated with a notable rise of CSF SAM, indicating that it crosses the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in humans.
In another study, the beneficial effects of the SAMe supplementation were even more profound than SSRIs such as the case where the patients did not respond to SSRI medication.
3 Amazing Health Benefits of Resveratrol Supplements
Resveratrol is a plant compound that can be found mostly in the seeds and skins of berries and grapes. The pulp, skins and seeds of the grape are included in the fermentation of red wine, hence the reason why resveratrol can be found in such a high concentration in the red wine. Resveratrol acts as a potent antioxidant and offers a wide range of health benefits.
1) Resveratrol may protect the brain
Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, resveratrol may slow down age-related cognitive decline and improve spatial working memory via the modulation of hippocampal and cortical protein activation. Furthermore, resveratrol may play a key role in shielding brain cells from oxidative damage.
While the research surrounding this compound is intriguing, experts still have questions about how well the human brain can utilize supplemental resveratrol, which limits its immediate use as a supplement to protect the brain.
2) Resveratrol supplements may help lower blood pressure
A 2015 meta-analysis review analyzing the data of six different studies comprising a total of 247 subjects concluded that resveratrol might be a promising supplement for lowering blood pressure, while high doses of the compound may help reduce the pressure exerted on artery walls when the heart beats.
However, the authors of that study concluded that additional research is required before specific recommendations can be made about the best dose of resveratrol to maximize blood pressure benefits.
3) Resveratrol may ease joint pain
There is no surprise that more and more plant-based supplements are being studied as a way to alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis, a common affliction that leads to loss of mobility and joint pain. According to several animal studies, when taken as a supplement, resveratrol may help protect cartilage from deteriorating, which is one of the main symptoms of arthritis.
4 Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) Benefits That May Dramatically Improve Your Health
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is one of the most popular ingredients in dietary supplements. However, in the world of nutrition, Coenzyme Q10 is a relatively new discovery. The nutrient was discovered in 1957, and it took the next 21 years for scientists to understand what a powerhouse nutrient it is.
This powerful antioxidant has many benefits on overall health and plays a crucial role in improving energy levels. In 1978, Peter Mitchell won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for outlining the cellular use of Coenzyme Q10.
Your body needs enough Coenzyme Q10 to convert food into energy. However, as you age, your body produces less Coenzyme Q10, which is believed to be a significant reason behind the progressive loss of energy past your twenties. This is because your body needs sufficient CoQ10 to convert food into energy. Fortunately, we’ve discovered that Coenzyme Q10 levels can be improved through proper diet and supplementation.
1) Coenzyme Q10 works with the all-important fat-soluble vitamins
Coenzyme Q10 is a fat-soluble nutrient, which means it carries all the benefits of fat-soluble nutrients. This type of nutrients are carried in lipoproteins and are much better absorbed and can stay in your body for much longer. Just like other fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K2), Coenzyme Q10 is essential for your teeth, bones, immune system, and every other system in the body.
2) Coenzyme Q10 can reduce inflammation
As stated above, Coenzyme Q10 is a powerful antioxidant and antioxidants can reduce inflammation on the body. This is significant because inflammation is the primary cause of many diseases. We now know that inflammation is often due to our poor diet, lack of sleep, and lack of nutrients. Coenzyme Q10 is one nutrient you should increase to fight off disease-causing inflammation.
3) Coenzyme Q10 may decrease the risk of heart disease
Decreasing and preventing the risk of heart disease is by far one of the most exciting and promising aspects of CoQ10, and it’s complementary Vitamin D and Vitamin K2, the three work together in heart health.
In one study, when patients with heart failure were given Coenzyme Q10, it reduced their mortality rates significantly and improved their heart function.
In another study, 641 patients with heart failure were given either Coenzyme Q10 or a placebo for a year. The study concluded that patients taking CoQ10 fared significantly better – with better overall health and fewer hospitalizations.
4) Coenzyme Q10 may improve brain performance and support better memory
Low Coenzyme Q10 levels are usually linked with several health conditions, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Clinical studies revealed that Coenzyme Q10 is neuroprotective by helping ATP synthesis and related mitochondrial functions. In fact, in his “Reversal of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease” protocol, Dr. Dale E. Bredesen recommends increasing Coenzyme Q10 consumption through better diet and/or supplementation.
Best Coenzyme Q10 Sources
While you can easily consume CoQ10 as a supplement, it can also be found in some foods:
- Nuts and seeds: peanuts, pistachios and sesame seeds
- Oils: canola oil and soybean oil
- Some muscle meats: chicken, beef, and pork
- Organ meats: kidney, liver, and heart
- Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower
- Fatty fish: sardines, trout, mackerel, and herring
- Legumes: soybeans and lentils
- Fruit: strawberries and oranges
1) Schrauzer GN, Shrestha KP. – “Lithium in drinking water and the incidences of crimes, suicides, and arrests related to drug addictions.” Published May 1990.
2) James L. Dye Frederick Tepper – “Alkali metal.” Published for Encyclopaedia Britannica. Last updated February 25, 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
3) “Chemistry of the Elements (Second Edition) – science.com. Published 1997.
4) Sartori HE. – “Lithium orotate in the treatment of alcoholism and related conditions.” Published April 1986.
5) “Lithium Orotate” – psycheducation.org. Updated March 2019. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
6) Jonathan V. Wright, MD – “Lithium – The Misunderstood Mineral Part 2.” Published June 4, 2010.
7) Timothy M. Marshall, Ph.D. – “Lithium as a Nutrient.” Published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Volume 20, Number 4, Winter 2015.
8) D. K. Pauzé and D. E. Brooks – “Lithium toxicity from an internet dietary supplement.” Published June 2007.
9) “The Facts About Lithium Toxicity” – healthline.com. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
10) Michael Gitlin – “Lithium side effects and toxicity: prevalence and management strategies.” Published December 17, 2016.
11) “Lithium” – webmd.com. Retrieved March 20, 2019.
12) Dorrego MF, Canevaro L, Kuzis G, Sabe L, Starkstein SE. – “A randomized, double-blind, crossover study of methylphenidate and lithium in adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: preliminary findings.” Published in 2002.
13) Michele Raja, Francesco Soleti, and Anna Rita Bentivoglio – “Lithium Treatment in Patients With Huntington Disease and Suicidal Behavior.” Published December 2013.
14) Paul Naarding, Hubertus P. H. Kremer, and Frans G Zitman – “Huntington’s disease: A review of the literature on prevalence and treatment of neuropsychiatric phenomena.” Published January 2002.
15) Bronwen Martin, Erin Golden, Alex Keselman, Matthew Stone, Mark P. Mattson, Josephine M. Egan, and Stuart Maudsley – “Therapeutic perspectives for the treatment of Huntington’s disease: Treating the whole body.” Published February 2008.
16) Vuk Stambolic, Laurent Ruel, James R.Woodgett – “Lithium inhibits glycogen synthase kinase-3 activity and mimics Wingless signalling in intact cells.” Published online April 30, 2004.
17) Iria Grande, Gabriel Rodrigo Fries, Mauricio Kunz, and Flavio Kapczinski – “The Role of BDNF as a Mediator of Neuroplasticity in Bipolar Disorder.” Published December 2010.
18) de Sousa RT, van de Bilt MT, Diniz BS, Ladeira RB, Portela LV, Souza DO, Forlenza OV, Gattaz WF, Machado-Vieira R. – “Lithium increases plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor in acute bipolar mania: a preliminary 4-week study.” Published April 20, 2011.
19) James Phelps, MD – “Low-Dose Lithium: A Different, Important Tool.” Published September 13, 2016. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
20) E. Mohandas and V. Rajmohan – “Lithium use in special populations.” Published September 2007.
21) Michael Gitlin – “Lithium side effects and toxicity: prevalence and management strategies.” Published December 17, 2016.
22) Ahmad Nassar and Abed N. Azab – “Effects of Lithium on Inflammation.” Published April 25, 2014.
23) Amber L. Rowse, Rodrigo Naves, Kevin S. Cashman, Donald J. McGuire, Tethia Mbana, Chander Raman, and Patrizia De Sarno – “Lithium Controls Central Nervous System Autoimmunity through Modulation of IFN-γ Signaling.” Published December 28, 2012.
24) Belkhelfa M, Rafa H, Medjeber O, Arroul-Lammali A, Behairi N, Abada-Bendib M, Makhlouf M, Belarbi S, Masmoudi AN, Tazir M, Touil-Boukoffa C. – “IFN-γ and TNF-α are involved during Alzheimer disease progression and correlate with nitric oxide production: a study in Algerian patients.” Published November 2014.
25) Nuhu AA – “Bioactive micronutrients in coffee: recent analytical approaches for characterization and quantification.” Published January 22, 2014.
26) Thom E – “The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people.” Published December 2007.
27) Zhao Y, Wang J, Ballevre O, Luo H, Zhang W. – “Antihypertensive effects and mechanisms of chlorogenic acids.” Published April 2012.
28) Heckman MA, Weil J, Gonzalez de Mejia E. – “Caffeine (1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine) in foods: a comprehensive review on consumption, functionality, safety, and regulatory matters.” Published April 2010.
29) Cavin C, Holzhaeuser D, Scharf G, Constable A, Huber WW, Schilter B. – “Cafestol and kahweol, two coffee specific diterpenes with anticarcinogenic activity.” Published August 2002.
30) Lee KJ, Choi JH, Jeong HG. – “Hepatoprotective and antioxidant effects of the coffee diterpenes kahweol and cafestol on carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in mice.” Published November 2007.
31) Heckers H, Göbel U, Kleppel U. – “End of the coffee mystery: diterpene alcohols raise serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels.” Published February 1994.
32) May A. Beydoun, Alyssa A. Gamaldo, Hind A. Beydoun, Toshiko Tanaka, Katherine L. Tucker, Sameera A. Talegawkar, Luigi Ferrucci, Alan B. Zonderman – “Caffeine and Alcohol Intakes and Overall Nutrient Adequacy Are Associated with Longitudinal Cognitive Performance among U.S. Adults.” Published June 2014.
33) Levkovitz Y, Alpert JE, Brintz CE, Mischoulon D, Papakostas GI. – “Effects of S-adenosylmethionine augmentation of serotonin-reuptake inhibitor antidepressants on cognitive symptoms of major depressive disorder.” Published February 2012.
34) Papakostas GI – “Evidence for S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM-e) for the treatment of major depressive disorder.” Published in 2009.
35) Shea TB, Chan A. – “S-adenosyl methionine: a natural therapeutic agent effective against multiple hallmarks and risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease.” Published February 2008.
36) Sarris J, Papakostas GI, Vitolo O, Fava M, Mischoulon D. – “S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) versus escitalopram and placebo in major depression RCT: efficacy and effects of histamine and carnitine as moderators of response.” Published August 2014.
37) Di Rocco A, Rogers JD, Brown R, Werner P, Bottiglieri T. – “S-Adenosyl-Methionine improves depression in patients with Parkinson’s disease in an open-label clinical trial.” Published November 2000.
38) Bottiglieri T, Godfrey P, Flynn T, Carney MW, Toone BK, Reynolds EH. – “Cerebrospinal fluid S-adenosylmethionine in depression and dementia: effects of treatment with parenteral and oral S-adenosylmethionine.” Published December 1990.
39) Levkovitz Y, Alpert JE, Brintz CE, Mischoulon D, Papakostas GI. – “Effects of S-adenosylmethionine augmentation of serotonin-reuptake inhibitor antidepressants on cognitive symptoms of major depressive disorder.” Published February 2012.
40) J. Gambini, M. Inglés, G. Olaso, R. Lopez-Grueso, V. Bonet-Costa, L. Gimeno-Mallench, C. Mas-Bargues, K. M. Abdelaziz, M. C. Gomez-Cabrera, J. Vina, and C. Borras – “Properties of Resveratrol: In Vitro and In Vivo Studies about Metabolism, Bioavailability, and Biological Effects in Animal Models and Humans.” Published June 28, 2015.
41) Soleas GJ, Diamandis EP, Goldberg DM. – “Wine as a biological fluid: history, production, and role in disease prevention.” Published in 1997.
42) Alberto Granzotto and Paolo Zatta – “Resveratrol and Alzheimer’s disease: message in a bottle on red wine and cognition.” Published May 14, 2014
43) Wang J, Ho L, Zhao Z, Seror I, Humala N, Dickstein DL, Thiyagarajan M, Percival SS, Talcott ST, Pasinetti GM. – “Moderate consumption of Cabernet Sauvignon attenuates Abeta neuropathology in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.” Published November 2006.
44) Panza F, Frisardi V, Seripa D, Logroscino G, Santamato A, Imbimbo BP, Scafato E, Pilotto A, Solfrizzi V. – “Alcohol consumption in mild cognitive impairment and dementia: harmful or neuroprotective?” Published December 2012.
45) Corona G, Vauzour D, Hercelin J, Williams CM, Spencer JP. – “Phenolic acid intake, delivered via moderate champagne wine consumption, improves spatial working memory via the modulation of hippocampal and cortical protein expression/activation.” Published November 2013.
46) Braidy N, Jugder BE, Poljak A, Jayasena T, Mansour H, Nabavi SM, Sachdev P, Grant R. – “Resveratrol as a Potential Therapeutic Candidate for the Treatment and Management of Alzheimer’s Disease.” Published in 2016.
47) Moussa C, Hebron M, Huang X, Ahn J, Rissman RA, Aisen PS, Turner RS – “Resveratrol regulates neuro-inflammation and induces adaptive immunity in Alzheimer’s disease.” Published January 3, 2017.
48) Bonnefont-Rousselot D – “Resveratrol and Cardiovascular Diseases.” Published May 2, 2016.
49) Liu Y, Ma W, Zhang P, He S, Huang D – “Effect of resveratrol on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.” Published February 2015.
50) Ali Mobasheri, Yves Henrotin, Hans-Konrad Biesalski, and Mehdi Shakibaei – “Scientific Evidence and Rationale for the Development of Curcumin and Resveratrol as Nutraceuticals for Joint Health.” Published March 30, 2012.
51) Elmali N, Baysal O, Harma A, Esenkaya I, Mizrak B. – “Effects of resveratrol in inflammatory arthritis.” Published April 2007.
52) “The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1978” – nobelprize.org. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
53) Jenna Fletcher – “All you need to know about fat-soluble vitamins.” Reviewed December 14, 2017. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
54) Carrie Cronkite – “How Long Do Fat-Soluble Vitamins Stay in the Body?” Retrieved March 19, 2019.
55) Junya Zhai, Yacong Bo, Yan Lu, Chunli Liu, and Lishi Zhang – “Effects of Coenzyme Q10 on Markers of Inflammation: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Published January 26, 2017.
56) Mortensen SA, Rosenfeldt F, Kumar A, Dolliner P, Filipiak KJ, Pella D, Alehagen U, Steurer G, Littarru GP; Q-SYMBIO Study Investigators – “The effect of coenzyme Q10 on morbidity and mortality in chronic heart failure: results from Q-SYMBIO: a randomized double-blind trial.” Published December 2014.
57) Morisco C, Trimarco B, Condorelli M. – “Effect of coenzyme Q10 therapy in patients with congestive heart failure: a long-term multicenter randomized study.” Published in 1993.
58) Russell T. Matthews, Lichuan Yang, Susan Browne, Myong Baik, and M. Flint Beal – “Coenzyme Q10 administration increases brain mitochondrial concentrations and exerts neuroprotective effects.” Published July 21, 1998.
59) Dale E. Bredesen, Edwin C. Amos, Jonathan Canick, Mary Ackerley, Cyrus Raji, Milan Fiala, and Jamila Ahdidan – “Reversal of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease.” Published June 2016.