Brain Power

Blended excerpts from various sections of Potential Within A Guide to Nutritional Empowerment

Authored by Franco Cavaleri ISBN 0-9731701-0-7

Original post: September 11, 2010

This article is composed of multiple excerpts to result in tone and content shifts and reference numbering that may be out of order.

Youthful Thinking

Life extension or anti-aging initiatives are normally centered around brain health, so much so that common pharmaceutical drugs such as deprenyl (selegiline hydrochloride) have become crucial to the anti-aging strategy.

Deprenyl is a monoamineoxidase inhibitor that blocks the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which is responsible for chewing up acetylcholine (a critical neurotransmitter) in the synapses of the neurons. Blocking the destruction of this neurotransmitter prolongs the transmission of its message.

The activity of this drug promotes the bioavailability of brain dopamine, as well. Dopamine level in the brain tends to decline with age, and this shortfall has been identified as a major element in the biological aging process. Such drugs

deliver antidepressant capabilities, cognitive-enhancing capacity, general brain and mentation preservation, and even aphrodisiac activity. Typically deprenyl, or selegiline, is an approved pharmaceutical prescription treatment for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s patients but has become more recently become accepted as a significant preventive factor that adds tremendous synergy to the nutraceutical anti-aging strategy.

As an anti-aging or dementia-preventive agent, deprenyl is applied in 1 to 5 mg

quantities weekly from age 30 to 40 years and often raised to 1 mg daily after age

40—of course, always with monitoring by a professional experienced in this field.

The dose is often increased to as high as 10 mg daily for those as old or older than

80. As a therapeutic agent for the previously mentioned diseases, it’s often used

with other drugs in doses as high as 20 mg daily.

Research now indicates that nutraceuticals can deliver some of the positive brain- preservation activity that deprenyl provides. Huperzine A, also known as Chinese club moss or Huperzia serrata, imparts activity similar to a monoamine-oxidase inhibitor. In addition, studies performed on humans and animals with this substance demonstrate that the nutraceutical protects neurons against environmental toxins such as organophosphate pesticides, which are terrible nerve toxins and have already been described a few times in different contexts. Huperzine A acts as an important neuro-protective against over-stimulation by other common factors, including stress hormones, malnourishment, and biological aging.

The aging process is now seen as a factor in the decline of acetylcholine output by

neurons, and when this neurotransmitter becomes short in supply, memory, mood,

and general cognition are also reduced. As these brain functions weaken, the body

follows suit quickly. Preserving brain function is vital to longevity, and the avoidance

of mental deterioration is critical in the prevention of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s,

which can develop at an exponential rate once neuron damage has been sustained.

A supplement to make a huge impact on cognitive health is glycerylphosphoryl-

choline (GPC). GPC is a formidable source of choline. Research shows it improves

acetylcholine production in the neural synapse to heighten memory, and even

physical performance. This is the only choline supplement known to also improve

intellectual capacity in healthy young individuals. Many of these cognition boosters,

or nootropics, improve mental and emotional health of those who are challenged by

diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, ADD, or ADDHD.

Few are known to improve intellectual performance of healthy individuals.

Supplementation with GPC is great for students; fabulous for seniors.

GPC is also shown to improve growth hormone secretion as well. It appears to be a

tremendous youth preservation molecule. GPC is a crucial part of any wellness

program. However, the daily doses required to produce a potent affect is about 750

mg to 1200 mg daily. I take from 500 mg to 1000 mg daily and its influence can be

felt in only a few hours. I’m sold on it!

L-tyrosine is another amino acid supplement which can significantly improve

mental alertness. It can induce the production of dopamine, and norepinephrine.

This amino acid is also used by the thyroid gland to produce thyroxin so it

delivers a double whammy to improve energy and mental health. In addition to

the common physical difficulties which can accompany thryoid deficiency, poor

thyroxin status can contribute to mental fog and depression. L-tyrosine is a great

addition to a cognition supplement program.

L-tyrosine is often recommended for use in conjunction with phenylalanine to treat

depression. Typical doses are between 125-250 mg of L-tyrosine daily to start.

Tyrosine can deliver a stimulatory effect so start with lower doses. Some cases

will need as much as 700 mg daily when used on its own.

Soy isoflavones protect breast, endometrial, and prostate tissue from disease,

even from cancer. They’ve been shown to protect and help build bone density,

reduce the severity of menopausal symptoms and post-menstrual syndrome,

and even safeguard neural tissue and cognition ( 10, 11, 12). This is a hugely

controversial subject as phytoestrogens like these are thought to elicit oestrogenic

effects which can increase the risk of cancer. These plant sterols have a mild

estrogenic effect which can be as much as 500 times weaker than the body’s

natural oestrogen. It binds to the cell’s docking or receptor sites and prevents it

from inducing it’s potent effect.

However, soy as a protein source for lean-muscle tissue recovery and direct

immune support might not be as great as whey, which delivers a much higher

quality amino-acid profile. But the isoflavones of soy can help preserve health,

including brain health, especially for peri- and post-menopausal women that will

have reductions in biological oestrogen and a concurrent cognitive fog.

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