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Chlorella May Help Keep Your Memory Strong And Brain Healthy

Chlorella May Help Keep Your Memory Strong And Brain Healthy Whether we like it or not, aging is the cold, harsh reality we can’t escape. No one wants to get old, not only because we like youth and all its adventures but also because aging inevitably brings all sorts of health problems for the mind … Continue reading Chlorella May Help Keep Your Memory Strong And Brain Healthy

Chlorella May Help Keep Your Memory Strong And Brain Healthy

Whether we like it or not, aging is the cold, harsh reality we can’t escape. No one wants to get old, not only because we like youth and all its adventures but also because aging inevitably brings all sorts of health problems for the mind and body alike. Arthritic pain, cardiovascular health conditions, diseases of the lungs and kidneys, as well as the risk of many cancers are just a few examples of what’s waiting for most people. And while aging itself is bad enough, things turn sinister if dementia develops – the risk of which doubles every five years past 65 (Flier 2005). In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) data, one in nine adults aged 45 or older report confusion or memory loss (CDC 2018).

 

Your memory is not just another typical facet of your body; rather, it is at the foundation of your perception of self and identity. In addition, you cannot operate in the present or think about the future without memory. In severe memory loss, such as Alzheimer’s, you forget not only yourself but even the basic functions of life, such as breathing. Nonetheless, whether old or young, the good news is there are things you can do to keep your memory strong and brain healthy. For instance, adapting sleep hygiene, exercising regularly, minimizing alcohol consumption, avoiding a high-sugar diet, and improving diet, in general, can prove very helpful (Wang, 2020).

 

In addition, many people also take vitamin and dietary supplements to strengthen their memory and keep their brains healthy. In fact, one in five adults over 50 takes a vitamin or dietary supplement to support their brain health, according to a survey by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP, 2021). However, not all vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients are equally effective when it comes to improving memory and promoting brain health. So we compiled the top three scientifically-backed vitamins or dietary supplements that can help your memory withstand the pressure of aging and get you past 90.

 

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is one of the essential nutrients your body requires from the outside. Besides its crucial role in red blood cell formation, it may also benefit other body parts, especially the brain. Novel research has found vitamin B12 to play a fundamental role in brain function at all ages (Rathod 2016). Recent evidence suggests that vitamin B12 deficiency is related to memory loss and attention deficit, especially in the elderly (Nalder 2021). In addition, it is also associated with demyelination (damage to the protective covering surrounding nerve fibers). Vitamin B12 deficiency and the resulting demyelination lead to a tingling sensation, numbness, coordination disorders, and reduced nerve conduction velocity, often presenting as subacute degeneration of the spinal cord (Loveblad 1997Qudsiya 2021).

 

 

Similarly, in a 2015 study published in the Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, researchers aimed to examine the mental health outcomes of vitamin B12 deficiency in 259 participants. The researchers found that vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with a significantly increased risk of many neuropsychiatric manifestations. For example, out of the 60 people with neuropsychiatric manifestations, dementia was the most common complaint for the majority. However, many people also experienced other brain disorders, like schizophrenia and Parkinson’s. In addition, researchers found that the first symptoms of manifestation of brain damage in vitamin B12 deficiency were behavioral changes and memory loss (Issac 2015).

 

 

Interestingly, vitamin B12 does not affect the brain directly; instead, its effects are indirect, usually through products of its metabolism. For example, vitamin B12 acts as a co-factor (non-protein molecules that assist with a biochemical reaction) in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine — from one amino acid to another — as well as the conversion of methylmalonyl-CoA into succinyl-CoA. As a result, a deficiency of vitamin B12 results in elevated blood levels of homocysteine, methylmalonic acid and the subsequent side effects (Vashi 2016).

 

Research suggests that elevated homocysteine is an independent risk factor for both regional and whole brain atrophy, leading to dementia and Alzheimer’s (Seshadri 2002). Similarly, methylmalonic acid accumulation in the body is associated with peripheral neuropathy as well as dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease (Park 2017Wang 2022). A 2011 study indicates that methyl malonic acid may affect cognition by reducing brain volume (Tangney 2011). Furthermore, methionine is a precursor for S-adenosyl methionine, which is required for methylation reactions essential for myelin maintenance and nerve function and hence the demyelination associated with vitamin B12 deficiency (Gröber 2013).

 

To add more, besides serving as a co-factor, vitamin B12 may also have immunomodulatory and neurotrophic effects, meaning it may augment the proliferation, differentiation, growth, and regeneration of neurons (Miller 2005Baltrusch 2021). Thus, vitamin B12 supplementation may prove effective in not only preventing mental decline but also improving brain function. Some evidence suggests that vitamin B12 may slow brain atrophy and lead to symptomatic improvement in cognitive impairment (Jatoi 2020Ontario 2013). Nonetheless, the homocysteine and methylmalonic acid lowering benefits of vitamin B12, along with the maintenance of nerve function through methionine, makes it one of the most critical supplements to improve brain health and keep memory strong (Smith 2018).

 

Vitamin D

Also known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is another crucial enzyme involved with numerous functions throughout the body, especially calcium regulation and the health of bone. However, newer studies may have found a link between vitamin D and brain health, suggesting a potential role of vitamin D in brain health. For example, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to dementia, autism, and schizophrenia (Anjum 2018). Many studies have consistently found that vitamin D levels are significantly low in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive impairment (Sultan 2020). Similarly, studies have also linked vitamin D deficiency to cerebrovascular events such as fatal stroke (Soni 2012). Furthermore, vitamin D deficiency leads to clinical depression (a severe form of depression) in the elderly (Menon 2020.

 

For example, in a 2019 study on lab mice, researchers deprived a group of mice of dietary vitamin D for twenty weeks and observed the health outcomes, especially related to brain health. The researchers found that the mice that lacked vitamin D were less able to learn and remember new things compared to the mice in the control group. The researchers then compared the brain scans of both mice and found that the brains of the study mice showed a reduction in the perineuronal nets in the hippocampus — the brain area that is key for memory formation (Mayne 2019). Perineural nets form a strong, supportive mesh around certain neurons and stabilize neuronal connections between each other (Sorg 2016). Likewise, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed a causal relationship between vitamin D deficiency and the increased risk of dementia by analyzing the neuroimages of more than 33,000 people from the UK (Navale 2022)

 

Furthermore, according to the authors of a 2020 literature review, vitamin D affects brain health in many ways, such as protecting the brain against neurodegenerative diseases and promoting calcium homeostasis in the brain. Furthermore, the authors note that vitamin D levels correlate with the levels of several neurotrophic factors, antioxidants in the brain, as well as anti-inflammatory cytokines (Farghali 2020). Furthermore, a 2021 review suggests that vitamin D regulates essential functions in the development of a normal brain and has neuroprotective effects in the adult brain. According to the review, vitamin D may promote axonal growth (neuronal processes to find other neurons for connection), regulate dopamine and acetylcholine systems (neurotransmitters in the brain), and protect the brain against the effects of corticosterone — a stress hormone (Eyles 2021).

 

While most studies have looked at the effects of vitamin D deficiency on the brain, some have also examined its supplementation benefits, and the results are very encouraging. For example, a 2017 study involving 50 post-menopausal women (with 46 completing the trial) showed that vitamin D supplementation might significantly improve depression symptoms (Penckofer 2017). Similarly, the 2020 literature review of 25 clinical trials indicates that vitamin D supplementation may improve depression symptoms, mood, and negative emotions (Cheng 2020). To add more, the researchers of a study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Association analyzed the brain regions of 290 deceased people for vitamin D levels and found that high brain levels of vitamin D are associated with better cognitive function prior to death (Shea 2022)

 

 

Omega 3

Omega 3 fatty acids, commonly known as fish oils, have recently gained wide popularity for their cardioprotective health benefits (Swanson 2012). However, increasing evidence suggests that they also play a significant role in keeping memory strong and brain health among people of all ages  (Derbyshire 2018). Omega 3 fats are abundantly found in the cell membranes of neurons, thus preserving cell integrity and facilitating communication (Phillips 2012). In addition, omega-three fats also promote the growth of synapses and neurite outgrowth necessary for brain development and repair, prevent gray matter atrophy of the hippocampus and amygdala (a brain area involved with emotions and motivations), and reduce neuroinflammation, and improve learning and memory, according to literature 2015 review (Dyal 2015).

 

To add more, in a large study involving 1575 participants, researchers demonstrated that lower red blood cell levels of omega-three fats are associated with smaller brain volumes and cognitive impairment, even among people with dementia (Tan 2012). Similarly, a low intake of omega-3s increases the risk for numerous mental health issues, including ADHD, autism, bipolar disorder, depression, and suicidal ideation (DiNicolantonio 2020). Likewise, according to a 2009 literature review, more than a dozen studies have reported that reduced levels or intake of omega-3 fatty acids or fish consumption is associated with increased risk for age-related cognitive decline or dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease (Cole 2009). Thus, out of all the supplements mentioned here, the health effects of omega-3s are the most well-understood.

 

The good news is that omega-3 supplementation is linked to improved brain health and the prevention of cognitive decline, including memory loss (Song 2016). For instance, omega-3s protect against Alzheimer’s disease in many ways, such as limiting the production and accumulation of the amyloid β peptides (plaques found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s) and suppressing several signaling pathways that promote neurofibrillary tangle pathology (abnormal accumulations of a protein called tau inside neurons) (Thomas 2015). Additionally, a large study involving more than 80 thousand UK citizens who reported taking fish oil supplements between 2006 and 2010 showed that omega-3 fat consumption is associated with a lower risk of all-cause dementia, including vascular, frontotemporal, and others (Huang 2022). Many literature reviews have also found similar results (Karr 2011Ajith 2018)

 

 

In the end, we have chlorella, which is not only loaded with above mentioned dietary supplements but also acts independently to promote brain health and improve memory. For instance, a 2020 literature review reports that chlorella contains substantial amounts an active bioavailable vitamin B12 and vitamin D, along with vitamins C, E, and K, as well as other B-complex vitamins like folate and niacin (Bito 2020). Similarly, a 2016 literature review suggests that chlorella is a multifactorial dietary supplement rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, polysaccharides, vitamins and minerals, and carotenoids like lutein, zeaxanthin, and α-carotene (Panahi 2016). Interestingly, carotenoids are very effective at reducing stroke, preventing neurodegeneration, and protecting against dementia and Alzheimer’s (Bahonar 2017Park 2020Obulesu 2011)

 

Most algae do not contain active forms of vitamin B12, just pseudo substitutes. Organic chlorella is the only type of algae that has been scientifically proven to contain the active form of vitamin B12 that is utilized and easily absorbed by the body (Barreiro,2021).

According to the results of a study that was completed and published in 2015, B12 derived from Chlorella was successful in improving the health parameters of 17 vegans and vegetarians between the ages of 26 and 57 who had a history of B-12 deficiency (Merchant, 2015).

According to the findings of another research study, the human body is able to effectively absorb and digest vitamin B12 from chlorella, which is of great assistance to vegans who lack B 12 (Madhubalaji, 2021).

 

For many years spirulina was thought to be an acceptable source of vitamin B12. On the other hand, the B12 concentration of spirulina, which was initially evaluated using outdated techniques, was quickly revealed to be inactive pseudo-B12 in several investigations. In fact, the total amount of B12 has been measured to be only 30%, which is a meager amount compared to other algae (Kumudha, 2010).

According to a research study taking spirulina worsened not only the deficiency of vitamin B12 but also impaired the absorption of B12 in the body (Dagnelie, 1991).

 

Besides containing these essential nutrients, plenty of research suggests that chlorella supplementation may improve brain health and prevent cognitive decline (Nakashima 2009). In a 2002 lab study, Japanese researchers administered Omega-3 fortified chlorella supplement to aged mice for two months. At the end of the study, the researchers found that the chlorella administration significantly decreased working memory errors and increased brain levels of omega-3 fats (Sugimoto 2002). Similarly, the chlorella growth factor also reduces stroke risk and increases lifespan in stroke-prone lab mice (Sansawa 2006). Likewise, a 2022 study indicates that chlorella reduces nicotine-induced brain damage and might be an effective therapy for smokers or those exposed to secondhand smoke (Mohamad, 2022).

 

 

To add more, A recent study showed that chlorella vulgaris reduced NLRP3 inflammasome activation by inhibiting mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and caspase-1 activation (inflammatory signaling pathways) (Nakashima 2021). And multiple evidence has confirmed that chronic neuroinflammation plays a crucial role in Alzheimer’s, with NLRP3 inflammasome serving as a key molecular link in the AD neuroinflammatory pathway (Liang 2022). Moreover, chlorella may also help with depression and anxiety and reduce the physical and cognitive symptoms of these conditions (Panahi 215). In the same way, a 2017 literature review suggests that chemicals from microalga like chlorella may possess neuroprotective potentials relevant to the prevention or management of Alzheimer’s Disease (Olasehinde 2017).

 

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