The Healthy Brain
The human brain weighs roughly three pounds and has been described as "about two good fistfuls of pinkish gray tissue, wrinkled like a walnut, and about the consistency of cold oatmeal." The brain works with the spinal cord to make up the central nervous system (CNS) of the body. Responsible for constantly sending and receiving messages to all areas of the body, the central nervous system has been compared to a computer. It dictates how we move, when we move, how well we sleep, our memory skills, and many other critical functions.
The central nervous system is equipped with protective "armor" to shield it from harm. The brain is covered by a bony case called the skull, and the spinal cord is housed inside the backbone or spine to protect it from injury. There are other layers of defenses, one of which is the "blood-brain barrier." This network of capillaries and their special cells form tight links to create a type of "seal" against the intrusion of toxins into the brain area. This natural fortress guards the brain against blood-borne wastes and poisons. (However, fat-soluble molecules can still pass through it. This is why substances in the blood like alcohol, nicotine, and anesthetics can negatively affect the brain).
Injury to the brain, whether physical (as in a car accident or a fall) or chemical (as with drugs or environmental poisons) can damage the tight junctions between capillaries and cause a breakdown of the blood-brain barrier. Once its defenses have been penetrated, the brain's nerve cells (called neurons) are vulnerable to a type of poisoning called "oxidative stress." Oxidative stress is a fancy term for damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are formed by the body's normal processes of metabolism, toxic elements in the environment (such as air pollution), and as a response by the body to infection or other challenges. Oxidative stress from free radicals can weaken or kill neurons, causing a domino pathway of destruction throughout other parts of the brain. Scientists and medical experts are finding increasing evidence linking oxidative stress to various brain disorders. And there can be multiple sources of this oxidative stress.
Natural Keys to Brain Health
Antioxidants are nutrients that quench the activity of free radicals. Their action can be compared to throwing water on a fire. In all neurodegenerative diseases, antioxidants have an important role in protecting the brain, as these brain disorders are caused by excessive free radical production. These diseases are further aggravated by inadequate antioxidant defenses. Following are descriptions of several antioxidants that can reduce or eliminate free radical activity in the brain.
Alpha lipoic acid: Alpha lipoic acid has the unique capability to cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the central nervous system. Alpha lipoic acid also binds with toxic metals, including cadmium and free iron, and assists with their elimination from the body.
Acetyl-L-carnitine: The benefits of the amino acid acetyl-L-carnitine are two-fold: it helps enhance energy production in damaged neurons and protects the brain against oxidative damage.
Studies show that Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA), an antiaging supplement can reverse the effects of aging while improving your health and adding years to your longevity. As we progress into our later years, we have a lower energy demand and our eating habits change. The result is a reduction in energy metabolism. Our ALA/ALC Healthy Life Duo&™ boosts your energy while working to reverse age-related changes that occur to the body later in life.
Our Healthy Heart Dou&™hasboth Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Alpha Lipoic Acid, two highly researched antiaging ingredients combined into one powerful daily supplement that fights biological aging.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine (500mg): ALC has been shown to protect cells throughout the body against age-related degeneration. Additional clinical research on ALC has shown improved mood, memory and cognition.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (225 mg):ALA may be the most important antiaging antioxidant discovered in the last 25 years. It is essential to your body in the production of energy and one of the most powerful antioxidants known to science.
Vitamin E: The brain and cell membranes contain high amounts of lipids (fats) and need the protection of fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin E (as d-alpha tocopherol or mixed tocopherols). This important brain antioxidant has been studied extensively for its benefits in many neurodegenerative conditions.
Vitamin E supplementation, in addition to diet and lifestyle factors, can contribute to reducing the risk of heart disease and improving overall health. Our Healthy Heart Naturals™. This natural source of Vitamin E that is a key nutrient for heart health, immune support and nerve and muscle function. As a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E is an essential ally against pollution, aging, toxins and other causes of free radical damage.
Vitamin E may function as an antioxidant. This means it may help protect the body cells from oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction in the body that can lead to cell damage. It is also a natural part of aging. Many scientists believe that this cell damage can lead to chronic health problems such as heart disease.
N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC): The antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine helps the brain create glutathione. This production is further boosted in the presence of dietary vitamin C and vitamin E. NAC reduces the formation of the free radical nitric oxide, which has shown to cause Parkinson's disease, and several other neurodegenerative disorders.
You can also keep your brain healthy by stimulating it through mental exercises. They include solving crossword puzzles, learning a new language and memorizing passages of text from a book. So feed your brain, both physically and mentally and you can stay sharp—no matter what your age!