Brain Health V: Supplements to Support a Healthy Brain

February 14, 2011

Brain Health V:  Supplements to Support a Healthy Brain 

 Reference:  Building Brain Nutrition Michael Schmidt PhD 2007 Pub Frog Ltd Competency:  Brain Health 

What are the supplements you might want to consider to keep your brain healthy?  What does it take to make the motor purr?  Here’s my list and the reasons why. 

STEP ONE: Healthy Phytonutrients;  THIS IS WHERE YOU START (after taking your 2 mile walk) 

 1.     Blueberries and all berries are strong brain food.  I personally eat a ½ cup of blueberries every day on my breakfast cereal.  Rats with Alzheimer’s stay well on blueberries. (Less Parkinson’s with more berries just this week) 

 2.     Turmeric is a power-packed antioxidant.  It’s the yellow in mustard and curry.  Suggest a capsule a day or 500 mg a day: make your own with black pepper 10%.  Indians have 80% less Alzheimer’s when they eat curry a lot. 

 3.     Understand the ORAC score: Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity. Get to 10,000 points every day.  1 cup of blueberries is 6000 points so it’s not impossible.  But a banana is only 100 points – 100 bananas is hard.  A wide variety of colored foods will do it.  And you get your minerals naturally. Healthy Fats:  THIS IS 

STEP TWO:  Healthy Oils 

 1.     Fish Oil.  Preferably ultra-purified to get the dioxins and PCBs out.  1 tsp a day or 3 grams of DHA/EPA.   I like the taste of Nordic Naturals liquid. 

 2.     GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) from primrose oil or borage oil to balance and synergize with the DHA and EPA.  1.5 grams a day 

 3.  Gamma delta Vitamin E: 100 IU a day to stabilize your fats 

STEP THREE Healthy Energy Production without Inflammation 

 1.     Coenzyme Q10:  100 mg a day to soak up radicals.  And add 100 mg if on statins or diabetes medications 

 2.     N-Acetyl cysteine:  helps make glutathione, our strongest natural antioxidant – no clear guidelines on dose but  300-500 mg a day is pretty good 

 3.     Alpha lipoic acid 50-200 mg a day makes for another good antioxidant 

 4.     Magnesium: 400 mg a day (cools off inflammation very nicely and cheaply)  Get it in the maleate or glycinate forms – not the oxide form.  Zinc, chromium and selenium are also important: a multivitamin will do 

 5.     B vitamins: particularly methyl folate, thiamine, B12 and riboflavin (B6).     


1.   Vitamin D:  pretty strong association studies all showing folks with Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s with lower D than controls.  Makes sense to keep your D up.  The IOM says up to 4000 IU a day is safe.  It turns off inflammation in many ways.

2.   Lecithin or phosphatidylcholine.   1 gram a day.

 WWW:  What will work for me?  Remember to sleep well, laugh hard, pray often (or meditate) and cherish your family and friends.  Loving and caring is brain food. 

 Written by John E Whitcomb MD, Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield WI.